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Mitochondrial DNA mutations in ageing and disease: implications for HIV?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Brendan PayneORCiD, Kris Gardner, Professor Patrick Chinnery


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Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations cause neurological and multisystem disease. Somatic (acquired) mtDNA mutations are also associated with degenerative diseases and with normal human ageing. It is well established that certain nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) antiretroviral drugs cause inhibition of the mtDNA polymerase, pol gamma, leading to a reduction in mtDNA content (depletion). Given this effect of NRTI therapy on mtDNA replication, it is plausible that NRTI treatment may also lead to increased mtDNA mutations. Here we review recent evidence for an effect of HIV infection or NRTI therapy on mtDNA mutations, as well as discussing the methodological challenges in addressing this question. Finally, we discuss the possible implications for HIV-infected persons, with particular reference to ageing.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Payne BA, Gardner K, Chinnery PF

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Antiviral Therapy

Year: 2015

Volume: 20

Issue: 2

Pages: 109-120

Print publication date: 01/01/2015

Online publication date: 17/07/2014

Acceptance date: 28/06/2014

ISSN (print): 1359-6535

ISSN (electronic): 2040-2058



DOI: 10.3851/IMP2824