Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Mitochondrial DNA: Epigenetics and environment.

Authors: Sharma, Nidhi; Pasala, Monica S; Prakash, Aishwarya

Published In Environ Mol Mutagen, (2019 10)

Abstract: Maintenance of the mitochondrial genome is essential for proper cellular function. For this purpose, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) needs to be faithfully replicated, transcribed, translated, and repaired in the face of constant onslaught from endogenous and environmental agents. Although only 13 polypeptides are encoded within mtDNA, the mitochondrial proteome comprises over 1500 proteins that are encoded by nuclear genes and translocated to the mitochondria for the purpose of maintaining mitochondrial function. Regulation of mtDNA and mitochondrial proteins by epigenetic changes and post-translational modifications facilitate crosstalk between the nucleus and the mitochondria and ultimately lead to the maintenance of cellular health and homeostasis. DNA methyl transferases have been identified in the mitochondria implicating that methylation occurs within this organelle; however, the extent to which mtDNA is methylated has been debated for many years. Mechanisms of demethylation within this organelle have also been postulated, but the exact mechanisms and their outcomes is still an active area of research. Mitochondrial dysfunction in the form of altered gene expression and ATP production, resulting from epigenetic changes, can lead to various conditions including aging-related neurodegenerative disorders, altered metabolism, changes in circadian rhythm, and cancer. Here, we provide an overview of the epigenetic regulation of mtDNA via methylation, long and short noncoding RNAs, and post-translational modifications of nucleoid proteins (as mitochondria lack histones). We also highlight the influence of xenobiotics such as airborne environmental pollutants, contamination from heavy metals, and therapeutic drugs on mtDNA methylation. Environ. Mol. Mutagen., 60:668-682, 2019. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PubMed ID: 31335990 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: DNA Methylation/genetics*; DNA Replication/genetics; DNA, Mitochondrial/genetics*; Epigenesis, Genetic/genetics*; Genome, Mitochondrial/genetics; Humans; Mitochondria/genetics*; Protein Processing, Post-Translational/genetics; RNA, Untranslated/genetics*

Back
to Top