Cause of aging

Tom Matthews tmatth at
Fri Aug 28 16:17:02 EST 1998

Aubrey de Grey wrote:
> Iuval Clejan wrote:
> > BTW, do any plants have mitochondria in addition to chloroplasts?
> They all do.

Yes, I knew this much.

> Plant mitochondria are in fact likely to be a highly
> useful resource in the development of mitochondrial gene therapy,
> because all plants yet examined have retained the standard genetic
> code in their mitochondria, thus allowing gene transfer to the
> nucleus to continue (albeit very rarely, since the encoded proteins
> are so hard to re-import).  Several examples are now known of genes
> encoded in our mitochondrial DNA which are nuclear in one or another
> plant; the study of how the encoded proteins are got back in will
> probably be highly illuminating.

This last is very interesting and exciting! I have lots of questions:

How many of the 13 mitchondrial mammalian genes have found their way
into the nucleus of some plant?

Is there active work proceeding to attempt to mimick these gene
transfers in some mammal? and if not why not? It seems to me this should
be a top priority.

Is there any correlation between the longevity of plants and the number
of mitochondrial genes which have been transfered to the nuclear DNA? 

Are there any animals of any kind which have more or less mitochondrial
genes than the human 13?

Tom Matthews
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