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Stressed out mitochondria: The role of mitochondria in ageing and cancer focussing on strategies and opportunities in human skin

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Asif Tulah, Professor Mark Birch-MachinORCiD


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Mitochondrial DNA damage has been used as a successful and unique biomarker of tissue stress. A valuable example of this is sun damage in human skin which leads to ageing and skin cancer. The skin is constantly exposed to the harmful effects of sunlight, such as ultraviolet radiation, which causes it to age with observable characteristic features as well as clinical precancerous lesions and skin cancer. Formation of free radicals by the sun's harmful rays which contribute to oxidative stress has been linked to the induction of deletions and mutations in the mitochondrial DNA. These markers of mitochondrial DNA damage have been proposed to contribute to the mechanisms of ageing in many tissues including skin and are associated with many diseases including cancer. In this article we highlight the role of this important organelle in ageing and cancer with particular emphasis on experimental strategies in the skin.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tulah AS, Birch-Machin MA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Mitochondrion

Year: 2013

Volume: 13

Issue: 5

Pages: 444-453

Print publication date: 01/09/2013

Online publication date: 26/11/2012

ISSN (print): 1567-7249

ISSN (electronic): 1872-8278


DOI: 10.1016/j.mito.2012.11.007

PubMed id: 23195682