Detection of deletions flanked by short direct repeats in mitochondrial DNA of aging Drosophila

Mutat Res. 2006 Feb 22;594(1-2):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2005.08.003. Epub 2005 Nov 14.


Cumulative damage due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mitochondria, especially in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), would result in a decrease in mitochondrial respiratory function and contributes to the age-related decline in the physiological functioning of organisms. Previously, we reported the tissue-specific accumulation of deleted mtDNA with age in Drosophila melanogaster. In the present study, to understand the mechanism by which mtDNA deletion is generated with age, nucleotide sequences of deleted mtDNA were determined. Consequently, 33 different sequences each containing a deletion were obtained from flies that were more than 55-day-old. Most of the deletions were found to be flanked by short direct repeats. The present results, together with those from other animals, suggest that there is a common mechanism generating mtDNA deletions through direct repeats.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Sequence Deletion*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial