Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress mediate the physiological impairment induced by the disruption of autophagy.

J. Julie Wu, Celia Quijano, Edmund Chen, Hongjun Liu, Liu Cao, Maria M. Fergusson, Ilsa I. Rovira, Sarah Gutkind, Mathew P. Daniels, Masaaki Komatsu, Toren Finkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


Impaired or deficient autophagy is believed to cause or contribute to aging, as well as a number of age-related pathologies. The exact mechanism through which alterations in autophagy induce these various pathologies is not well understood. Here we describe the creation of two in vivo mouse models that allow for the characterization of the alteration in mitochondrial function and the contribution of the corresponding oxidative stress following deletion of Atg7. Using these models we demonstrate that isolated mitochondria obtained from Atg7(-/-) skeletal muscle exhibit a significant defect in mitochondrial respiration. We further show that cells derived from Atg7(-/-) mice have an altered metabolic profile characterized by decreased resting mitochondrial oxygen consumption and a compensatory increase in basal glycolytic rates. Atg7(-/-)cells also exhibit evidence for increased steady state levels of reactive oxygen species. The observed mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress is also evident in a mouse model where Atg7 is deleted within the pancreatic beta cell. In this model, the simple administration of an antioxidant can significantly ameliorate the physiological impairment in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential role of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in autophagy related pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-437
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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