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Marc Vermulst, PhD
A New Understanding of Mitochondrial Mutagenesis in Mice
Postdoctoral Research Scholar Department of Chemistry University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
A VTCRI shuttle will depart from Burruss Hall in Blacksburg at 3:00 p.m. and return at 6:00 p.m.
Mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are associated with numerous diseases that are endemic in Western society, including cancer, neurodegeneration, and diabetes. Dr. Vermulst will describe how a new experimental tool—the random mutation capture assay—can be used to detect mutations in the mitochondrial genome with unprecedented sensitivity. This tool allows for the first accurate determination of the mutation frequency and spectrum of the mitochondrial genome in mammals. It has also helped to quantify how DNA polymerase gamma, mitochondrial dynamics, and mitochondrial respiration affect the mutation rate. Dr. Vermulst will further discuss how much—or how little—mitochondrial mutations affect mammalian health.
- Chen H, Vermulst M, Wang YE, et al. Mitochondrial fusion is required for mtDNA stability and tolerance of mtDNA mutations. Cell, 2010, 141: 280–289.
- Vermulst M, Wanagat J, Kujoth GC, et al. DNA deletions and clonal mutations drive premature aging in mitochondrial mutator mice. Nature Genetics, 2008, 40: 392–394.
About the Speaker:
Marc Vermulst's research focuses on nongenetic mutations, single molecule analysis of errors in transcription, and translation in living cells during aging.