Mitochondria-derived damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) are a range of DNA and protein fragments that are thought to be generated as a result of mitochondrial damage, insufficient mitochondrial quality control, or some combination of the two. Mitochondria are the power plants of the cell, each cell having its own small herd of these descendants of ancient symbiotic bacteria. They have long since evolved into integrated cellular components, but retain a little of their original DNA. There is copious evidence to point to a sizable role for mitochondria in the harms caused by aging. In the SENS view, the most important problem is that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), less protected than the DNA in the cell nucleus, becomes damaged in ways that both cause dysfunction and make the broken mitochondria more resistant to removal by the machinery responsible for quality control.
The focus of this open access paper is on understanding how mitochondrial dysfunction can be linked to the characteristic chronic inflammation that occurs with age. There are many contributions to inflammation among the processes of aging. Obviously, issues internal to the immune system account for much of the problem, but
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