A computational model of mitochondrial deoxynucleotide metabolism and DNA replication.

Bradshaw PC, Samuels DC
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2005 288 (5): C989-1002

PMID: 15634740 · DOI:10.1152/ajpcell.00530.2004

We present a computational model of mitochondrial deoxynucleotide metabolism and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) synthesis. The model includes the transport of deoxynucleosides and deoxynucleotides into the mitochondrial matrix space, as well as their phosphorylation and polymerization into mtDNA. Different simulated cell types (cancer, rapidly dividing, slowly dividing, and postmitotic cells) are represented in this model by different cytoplasmic deoxynucleotide concentrations. We calculated the changes in deoxynucleotide concentrations within the mitochondrion during the course of a mtDNA replication event and the time required for mtDNA replication in the different cell types. On the basis of the model, we define three steady states of mitochondrial deoxynucleotide metabolism: the phosphorylating state (the net import of deoxynucleosides and export of phosphorylated deoxynucleotides), the desphosphorylating state (the reverse of the phosphorylating state), and the efficient state (the net import of both deoxynucleosides and deoxynucleotides). We present five testable hypotheses based on this simulation. First, the deoxynucleotide pools within a mitochondrion are sufficient to support only a small fraction of even a single mtDNA replication event. Second, the mtDNA replication time in postmitotic cells is much longer than that in rapidly dividing cells. Third, mitochondria in dividing cells are net sinks of cytoplasmic deoxynucleotides, while mitochondria in postmitotic cells are net sources. Fourth, the deoxynucleotide carrier exerts the most control over the mtDNA replication rate in rapidly dividing cells, but in postmitotic cells, the NDPK and TK2 enzymes have the most control. Fifth, following from the previous hypothesis, rapidly dividing cells derive almost all of their mtDNA precursors from the cytoplasmic deoxynucleotides, not from phosphorylation within the mitochondrion.

MeSH Terms (14)

Animals Biological Transport Cell Division Cytoplasm DNA, Mitochondrial DNA Replication Humans Mitochondria Models, Biological Neoplasms Nucleoside-Diphosphate Kinase Nucleotides Phosphorylation Thymidine Kinase

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