Mitochondrial mutations may increase oxidative stress: implications for carcinogenesis and aging?

Free Radic Biol Med. 1990;8(6):523-39. doi: 10.1016/0891-5849(90)90152-9.


The sensitivity of mitochondrial DNA to damage by mutagens predisposes mitochondria to injury on exposure of cells to genotoxins or oxidative stress. Damage to the mitochondrial genome causing mutations or loss of mitochondrial gene products, or to some nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial membrane proteins, may accelerate release of reactive species of oxygen. Such aberrant mitochondria may contribute to cellular aging and promotion of cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Oxygen