Concentration of mitochondrial DNA mutations by cytoplasmic transfer from platelets to cultured mouse cells

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Accumulation of mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is thought to be responsible for mitochondrial, and other, diseases and biological phenomena, such as diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and aging. Mouse models may elucidate the relationship between mutations in mtDNA and these abnormalities. However, because of the difficulty of mtDNA manipulation, generation of mouse models has not sufficiently progressed to enable such studies. To overcome this difficulty and to establish a source of diverse mtDNA mutations, we here generated cultured mouse cells containing mtDNA derived from an mtDNA mutator mouse that accumulates random mtDNA mutations with age. Mutation analysis of the obtained transmitochondrial cytoplasmic hybrid cells (cybrids) revealed that the cells harbored diverse mtDNA mutations occurring at a higher frequency than in mouse tissues, and exhibited severe respiration defects that would be lethal in tissues or organs. Abnormal respiratory complex formation and high stress on the mitochondrial protein quality control system appeared to be involved in these severe respiration defects. The mutation rates of the majority of highly accumulated mutations converged to either approximately 5%, 10%, or 40%, suggesting that these mutations are linked on the respective mtDNA molecules, and mtDNA in cybrid cells likely consisted of mtDNA molecules clonally expanded from the small population of introduced mtDNAs. Thus, the linked mutations in these cybrid cells cannot be evaluated individually. In addition, mtDNA mutations homologous to confirmed pathogenic mutations in human were rarely observed in our generated cybrids. However, the transmitochondrial cybrids constitute a useful tool for concentrating pathogenic mtDNA mutations and as a source of diverse mtDNA mutations to elucidate the relationship between mtDNA mutations and diseases.



    PLOS ONE 14(3), e0213283, 2019-03

    Public Library of Science


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