Mitochondrial Mutations in Aging - Dr. Aubrey de Grey

Video Overview

In this video, SRF Chief Science Officer Dr. Aubrey de Grey discusses mitochondrial mutations, their role in aging, and the SENS approach to combatting their deleterious effects. Dr. de Grey opens his lecture by describing the structure of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in humans. In particular, he explains that only thirteen protein-encoding mitochondrial genes actually reside in mitochondria. Throughout the course of human evolution, over a thousand other mitochondrial genes have migrated to the nuclear genome. Next, he explains the major theories developed between the 1970 and the present that aimed to explain the role of mtDNA mutations in aging. During his discussion of the most recent theoretical ground, Dr. de Grey explains his own contribution to the field: an alternative hypothesis to explain how clonal expansion of mutant mitochondria might occur. He then turns to therapeutic strategies and discusses the three main mechanisms by which scientists might intervene in mitochondrial aging. Dr. de Grey closes by describing the mechanism SRF finds most promising: inserting the thirteen protein-encoding mitochondrial genes into the nucleus modified in such a way that the corresponding RNA transcripts or protein-products can be imported into the mitochondria.