Neuroscience

Anxiety-depressive disorder changes brain genes activity

Russian neuroscientists discovered that anxiety-depressive disorder in mice is associated with impaired energy metabolism in the brain. The obtained data provides a fresh look at depression development and other psycho-emotional ...

Medical research

Study opens new therapeutic avenue for mitochondria malfunction

A surprising offender has been emerging to drive the progression of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's and other neurodegenerative diseases: calcium. Calcium controls the production of fuel in mitochondria, the cell's ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

New theory may explain cause of depression and improve treatments

A new area in depression research suggests dysfunction in mitochondria—the main source of energy for cells—could lead to major depression. Published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, this new insight to long-held theories ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Potential indicator for the early detection of dementias

Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered a factor that could support the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. This cytokine is induced by cellular stress reactions ...

Medical research

Heat therapy boosts mitochondrial function in muscles

A new study finds that long-term heat therapy may increase mitochondrial function in the muscles. The discovery could lead to new treatments for people with chronic illness or disease. The study—the first of its kind in ...

Neuroscience

Novel therapy delays muscle atrophy in Lou Gehrig's disease model

Supplementing a single protein found in the spinal cord could help prevent symptoms of Lou Gehrig's disease, according to a new study out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Researchers found high levels ...

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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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