Faulty DNA disposal system found to cause inflammation

Salk scientists have discovered a novel mechanism that removes improperly functioning mtDNA and sends it from inside to outside of the mitochondria. This process can cause inflammation in the immune system and has implications for aging and diseases. The team used imaging techniques to trace the steps of the pathway, which can be targeted with therapeutic interventions to prevent inflammation. They found that malfunction in mtDNA replication caused it to be transported to endosomes and then leaked into the cell, offering new insight into how mtDNA leaves mitochondria and triggers an innate immune response. This discovery represents a new cellular target to reduce inflammation.

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