Mitochondrial dysfunction is a major hallmark of aging. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations (inherited or acquired) may cause a malfunction of the respiratory chain (RC), and thus negatively affect cell metabolism and function. In contrast, certain mtDNA single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may be beneficial to mitochondrial electron transport chain function and the extension of cellular health as well as lifespan. The goal of the MitoAging project is to detect key physiological characteristics and mechanisms that improve mitochondrial function and use them to develop therapies to increase longevity and a healthy lifespan. We chose to perform a systematic literature review (SLR) as a tool to collect key mtDNA SNPs associated with an increase in lifespan. Then validated our results by comparing them to the MitoMap database. Next, we assessed the effect of relevant SNPs on protein stability. A total of 28 SNPs were found in protein coding regions. These SNPs were reported in Japan, China, Turkey, and India. Among the studied SNPs, the C5178A mutation in the ND2 gene of Complex I of the RC was detected in all the reviewed reports except in Uygur Chinese centenarians. Then, we found that G9055A (ATP6 gene) and A10398G (ND3 gene) polymorphisms have been associated with a protective effect against Parkinson's disease (PD). Additionally, C8414T in ATP8 was significantly associated with longevity in three Japanese reports. Interestingly, using MitoMap we found that G9055A (ATP6 gene) was the only SNP promoting longevity not associated with any pathology. The identification of SNPs associated with an increase in lifespan opens the possibility to better understand individual differences regarding a decrease in illness susceptibility and find strategies that contribute to healthy aging.
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