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

Lysosome to mitochondria communication regulates longevity

As people get older, they often feel less energetic, mobile or active. This may be due in part to a decline in mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside of our cells, which provide energy and regulate metabolism. In fact, ...

Mitochondrial distress signaling pathway revealed in new study

Mitochondria cannot autonomously cope with stress and must instead call on the cell for help. Molecular geneticists at LMU have identified the long-sought signaling pathway which enables the organelles to do so.

Unexpected insights into the dynamic structure of mitochondria

As power plants and energy stores, mitochondria are essential components of almost all cells in plants, fungi and animals. Until now, it has been assumed that these functions underlie a static structure of mitochondrial membranes. ...

Control of a mitochondrial protective mechanism identified

Mitochondria are essential for normal functioning of almost all cells, since they are the main production sites of the energy-carrying molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In addition, mitochondria are the key sites of ...

Cells lose their ability to share resources as we get older

A research team led by The University of Western Australia has found that our cells deteriorate and share fewer resources as we age, which can lead to the onset of diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, cardiovascular ...

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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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