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Journal Article

Progressive loss of mitochondrial DNA in thymidine kinase 2-deficient mice


Stewart,  J.
Stewart – Mitochondrial Mutations and Genome Co-evolution, Research Groups, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Max Planck Society;

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Zhou, X., Solaroli, N., Bjerke, M., Stewart, J., Rozell, B., Johansson, M., et al. (2008). Progressive loss of mitochondrial DNA in thymidine kinase 2-deficient mice. Hum Mol Genet, 17(15), 2329-35. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddn133.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-68C5-2
Deficient enzymatic activity of the mitochondrial deoxyribonucleoside kinases deoxyguanosine kinase (DGUOK) or thymidine kinase 2 (TK2) cause mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-depletion syndromes in humans. Here we report the generation of a Tk2-deficient mouse strain and show that the mice develop essentially normally for the first week but from then on exhibit growth retardation and die within 2-4 weeks of life. Several organs including skeletal muscle, heart, liver and spleen showed progressive loss of mtDNA without increased mtDNA mutations or structural alterations. There were no major histological changes in skeletal muscle, but heart muscle showed disorganized and damaged muscle fibers. Electron microscopy showed mitochondria with distorted cristae. The Tk2-deficient mice exhibited pronounced hypothermia and showed loss of hypodermal fat and abnormal brown adipose tissue. We conclude that Tk2 has a major role in supplying deoxyribonucleotides for mtDNA replication and that other pathways of deoxyribonucleotide synthesis cannot compensate for loss of this enzyme.