Age-related accumulation of somatic mitochondrial DNA mutations in adult-derived human ipscs

Eunju Kang, Xinjian Wang, Rebecca Tippner-Hedges, Hong Ma, Clifford D.L. Folmes, Nuria Marti Gutierrez, Yeonmi Lee, Crystal Van Dyken, Riffat Ahmed, Ying Li, Amy Koski, Tomonari Hayama, Shiyu Luo, Cary O. Harding, Paula Amato, Jeffrey Jensen, David Battaglia, David Lee, Diana Wu, Andre TerzicDon P. Wolf, Taosheng Huang, Shoukhrat Mitalipov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


The genetic integrity of iPSCs is an important consideration for therapeutic application. In this study, we examine the accumulation of somatic mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) mutations in skin fibroblasts, blood, and iPSCs derived from young and elderly subjects (24-72 years). We found that pooled skin and blood mtDNA contained low heteroplasmic point mutations, but a panel of ten individual iPSC lines from each tissue or clonally expanded fibroblasts carried an elevated load of heteroplasmic or homoplasmic mutations, suggesting that somatic mutations randomly arise within individual cells but are not detectable in whole tissues. The frequency of mtDNA defects in iPSCs increased with age, and many mutations were non-synonymous or resided in RNA coding genes and thus can lead to respiratory defects. Our results highlight a need to monitor mtDNA mutations in iPSCs, especially those generated from older patients, and to examine the metabolic status of iPSCs destined for clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-636
Number of pages12
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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