The team studied the transparent roundworm (C. elegans), which shares about 60-80% of the same genes as humans, to shed light on the importance of mechanisms regulating the frequency of gene mutations in different cells and organs.
“C. elegans and humans share very similar mitochondria, and it is a useful organism as we can genetically tease apart the mechanisms of what is happening at a cellular level,” he said.
The researchers developed an exceptionally pure method of isolating mitochondria from specific cells in the body to study them in detail.
“We now suspect that there is a mechanism in all animals that can filter out these mutations before they are passed to future offspring, which could otherwise cause a multitude of diseases affecting the brain,” Dr Zuryn said.
In humans, mutations in mitochondrial DNA can cause rare but devastating diseases, especially in organs such as the brain, which relies heavily on mitochondria for energy. Paper. (paywall) – Arnaud Ahier, Chuan-Yang Dai, Andrea Tweedie, Ayenachew Bezawork-Geleta, Ina Kirmes & Steven Zuryn. Affinity purification of cell-specific mitochondria from whole animals resolves patterns of genetic mosaicism. Nature Cell Biology, 2018 DOI: 10.1038/s41556-017-0023-x More.
Isn’t it funny how such huge numbers of randomly evolved life forms have such a complex of error-correcting methods. It takes a lot of faith and tenure to be a Darwinian these days.
Note: Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother.
See also: Researchers: Novel mechanism protects mitochondrial DNA
Mitochondria have their own ribosomes as well as their own DNA