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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Aging-related decreases in hepatic mitochondrial and cytosolic delta-aminolevulinic acid synthase during experimental porphyria.

The basal- and allylisopropylacetamide-induced activities of the first enzyme of heme biosynthesis, delta-aminolevulinic acid synthase (ALAS) were measured in hepatic mitochondria and cytosol of young, adult, and aged Fisher 344 rats. The total cellular ALAS activity induced by allylisopropylacetamide decreased 67% with age. The specific activity of mitochondrial ALAS in normal and induced animals decreased with aging when assayed in whole or broken mitochondria. The levels of ALAS which accumulated in the cytosol after allylisopropylacetamide administration were proportionally greater in both the young and senescent than in the mature animals. During aging, no evidence for a fragile population of mitochondria in either normal or induced animals was observed suggesting that mitochondrial matrix proteins are not released during homogenization. The hepatic mitochondrial content decreased during aging when calculated using both a membrane-bound marker enzyme cytochrome oxidase and a matrix marker enzyme citrate synthase and was unaffected by allylisopropylacetamide treatment. This reduced mitochondrial content further diminishes the level of functional ALAS available in the liver during senescence. This study confirms the age-dependent decrease in mitochondria ALAS in normal and induced animals and also suggests an age-related change in the process by which cytosolic ALAS is translocated into the mitochondria.[1]


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