Aging is defined as the time-dependent decline of functional properties. One common denominator of aging is mitochondrial dysfunction and accumulation of genetic damage throughout life. In fact, the imperfect maintenance of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA likely represents a critical contributor of aging. Each day, the integrity and stability of DNA are challenged by exogenous physical, chemical, or biological agents, as well as by endogenous processes, including DNA replication mistakes, spontaneous hydrolytic reactions, and reactive oxygen species. In this way, DNA repair systems have evolved a complex network that is collectively able of dealing with most of the damages inflicted. However, their efficiency may decrease with age and, therefore, influence the rate of aging. Thus, the purpose of this work is to summarize the recent knowledge in cellular aging process and its link with DNA repair systems, with a particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms associated.
Part of the book: DNA Repair