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Quantification of global mitochondrial DNA methylation levels and inverse correlation with age at two CpG sites

Mawlood, Shakhawan K. and Dennany, Lynn and Watson, Nigel and Dempster, John and Pickard, Benjamin S. (2016) Quantification of global mitochondrial DNA methylation levels and inverse correlation with age at two CpG sites. Aging, 8 (4). pp. 636-641. ISSN 1945-4589

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Abstract

Mammalian ageing features biological attrition evident at cellular, genetic and epigenetic levels. Mutation of mitochondrial DNA, and nuclear DNA methylation changes are well established correlates of ageing. The methylation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a new and incompletely described phenomenon with unknown biological control and significance. Here we describe the bisulphite sequencing of mtDNA from 82 individuals aged 18-91 years. We detected low and variable levels of mtDNA methylation at 54 of 133 CpG sites interrogated. Regression analysis of methylation levels at two CpG sites (M1215 and M1313) located within the 12S ribosomal RNA gene showed an inverse correlation with subject age suggesting their utility as epigenetic markers of ageing.