Is defective electron transport at the hub of aging?
Article first published online: 23 DEC 2003
Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 21–27, February 2004
How to Cite
Maklashina, E. and Ackrell, B. A. C. (2004), Is defective electron transport at the hub of aging?. Aging Cell, 3: 21–27. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9728.2003.00078.x
- Issue published online: 23 DEC 2003
- Article first published online: 23 DEC 2003
- Accepted for publication 22 November 2003
- electron transport;
The bulwark of the mitochondrial theory of aging is that a defective respiratory chain initiates the death cascade. The increased production of superoxide is suggested to result in progressive oxidant damage to cellular components and particularly to mtDNA that encodes subunits assembled in respiratory complexes. Earlier studies of respiration in muscle mitochondria obtained from large cohorts of patients supported this notion by showing that either singly or in combinations, the respiratory complexes exhibited decreased activity in the elderly. The following critique of the most cited publications over the past decade points out the systematic errors that put earlier work at odds with recent findings. These later investigations indicate that aging has no overt effect on either the electron transport system or oxidative phosphorylation.