Metabolism and DNA repair shape a specific modification pattern in mitochondrial DNA
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Original versionMitochondrion (Amsterdam. Print). 2017, (17), 1567-?. 10.1016/j.mito.2017.09.002
The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) resides in the vicinity of energy-rich reactions. Thus, chemical modifications of mtDNA might mirror mitochondrial processes and could serve as biomarkers of metabolic processes in the mitochondria. This hypothesis was tested by assessing modifications at 17 different sites in the mtDNA as a function of cell type, oxidative stress and mitochondrial activity. Two mouse mutants with a metabolic phenotype were compared to wild-type (WT) mice: the ogg1−/− mouse that lacks the 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1), and the alkbh7−/− mouse missing the ALKBH7 protein that has been implicated in fatty acid oxidation. It was found that cell type, oxidative stress and mitochondrial complex activity shaped distinct modification patterns in mtDNA, and that OGG1 and ALKBH7 independently modulated these modification patterns. The modifications included ribonucleotides, which also accumulated in mtDNA with age. Interestingly, this age-dependent accumulation most likely involves DNA repair, as mtDNA from ogg1−/− mice did not accumulate modifications with age. On the other hand, alkbh7−/− mtDNA accumulated more modifications with age than WT mtDNA. Our results show that mtDNA is dynamically modified with metabolic activity and imply a novel synergy between metabolism and mtDNA repair proteins.