News tagged with mitochondria

Related topics: cells , protein , cell death , neurons , brain

Cancer cell metabolism kills

Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) is the main energy source for all forms of work inside our cells. Scientists from the University of Helsinki, Finland, have found that even a short-term shortage of ATP supply ...

Apr 15, 2013
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Repairing mitochondria in neurodegenerative disease

(Medical Xpress)—The relationship between fine-scale structure and function in the brain is perhaps best explored today by the study of neurodegenerative disease. Disorders like Rett syndrome may be considered developmental in origin—and defined by exotic mechanisms in ...

Dec 11, 2013
popularity 4.3 / 5 (8) | comments 0 | with audio podcast report

Mitochondrion

In cell biology, a mitochondrion (plural mitochondria) is a membrane-enclosed organelle found in most eukaryotic cells. These organelles range from 0.5–10 micrometers (μm) in diameter. Mitochondria are sometimes described as "cellular power plants" because they generate most of the cell's supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used as a source of chemical energy. In addition to supplying cellular energy, mitochondria are involved in a range of other processes, such as signaling, cellular differentiation, cell death, as well as the control of the cell cycle and cell growth. Mitochondria have been implicated in several human diseases, including mitochondrial disorders and cardiac dysfunction, and may play a role in the aging process. The word mitochondrion comes from the Greek μίτος or mitos, thread + χονδρίον or khondrion, granule.

Several characteristics make mitochondria unique. The number of mitochondria in a cell varies widely by organism and tissue type. Many cells have only a single mitochondrion, whereas others can contain several thousand mitochondria. The organelle is composed of compartments that carry out specialized functions. These compartments or regions include the outer membrane, the intermembrane space, the inner membrane, and the cristae and matrix. Mitochondrial proteins vary depending on the tissue and the species. In humans, 615 distinct types of proteins have been identified from cardiac mitochondria; whereas in Murinae (rats), 940 proteins encoded by distinct genes have been reported. The mitochondrial proteome is thought to be dynamically regulated. Although most of a cell's DNA is contained in the cell nucleus, the mitochondrion has its own independent genome. Further, its DNA shows substantial similarity to bacterial genomes.

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