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Exposure of biological material to high levels of free radicals causes extensive cellular damage. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by mitochondria have been associated with a variety of diseases and aging. We investigated the effect of low-level mitochondrial ROS production on newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins which are potentially vulnerable to mitochondrial ROS due to their location and unfolded state. We show that elevated mitochondrial ROS increases the degradation of newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins with some proteins more sensitive than others. In the long term reduced assembly of mitochondrial complexes would affect mitochondrial function and may trigger a vicious cycle of mitochondrial ROS production.

Original publication




Journal article


Febs lett

Publication Date





6511 - 6517


Animals, Biodegradation, Environmental, Mice, Mitochondria, Mitochondrial Proteins, Oxidative Stress, Protein Biosynthesis, Reactive Oxygen Species, Vitamin K 3