Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (2023)

How mitochondria work used to be a mystery. In fact, they got their name because the scientists who discovered them thought that the main function of mitochondria was genetic information. Then,Why are mitochondria considered the powerhouses of the cell today??

Essentially,Mitochondria convert the food we eat into usable energy for the body. Many defects, diseases and disorders in organisms can be attributed to deficiencies in this small organelle. This article explains everything you need to know, from the first observed mitochondria to the latest research on therapies and treatments for mitochondrial diseases.

read to learnall about your mitochondriaand how cell power got its name.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (1)

What are mitochondria?

Mitochondria are classically known as "cellular power plant" or the "Kraftwerk" of the body. A mitochondrion (the singular form of mitochondrion) is aorganelle, like a tiny organ in a living cell. It contains organized or specialized structures that help convert parts of the food we eat into chemical energy that powers all life processes.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (2)

Why mitochondria are known as the powerhouse of the cell

Mitochondria are theStromgeneratorof the cell they work forconvert oxygen and other nutrientsconvert into energy that the body can use. This energy helps propelcellular metabolismand, finally, the general functioning of the body.

Mitochondria not only produce energy, they also produce energyMaking chemicals for other cellular purposes, with:

  • break down waste products
  • Waste recycling to save energy
  • Apoptosis (cell death)
  • Response to infection and injury

From birth to death of a cell, mitochondria are involved.

Are mitochondria found in animal and plant cells?

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (3)

mitochondria arefound in many types of cells, including the following:

  • animals
  • body cells
  • Mushroom
  • Plantar
  • Protists (unicellular)

Mitochondria are probably the reason higher animals can exist. humans and higher animalscomplex creatures that require large amounts of energysurvive and thrive every day. Without mitochondria, cells could not generate energy very efficiently.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (4)

Who first observed mitochondria?

Mitochondria were first seen under a light microscope in the 19th century and got their name from the Greek word for "hilo"y"granuleThe scientists who first discovered them named them after their appearance, believing they carried genetic information.

In the mid-1950s, a method for isolating and studying organelles was developed. This method helped scientists better understand how mitochondria work.

Mitochondrial function (how mitochondria work)

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (5)

Understanding the structure of a mitochondrion is important for understanding exactly how it works.

mitochondria areelongatedmolded and usually marked asrod shapedor oval. you can vary from1-10 micrometerslong and quite flexible. they arecan change shapefast and this is well knownmove almost constantly in the cell.

The outer membrane and the inner membrane contain theintermembrane space. This space contains highly specialized proteins.

Oouter membraneworks like a sieve. Filter out oversized molecules before they reach the mitochondria. This is done with the help ofa protein called porinthat helps you fulfill that role.

Oinner membraneCalled Twists and Twists with Big Inside FoldsKamm. Crests multiply the surface area available for cellular components to complete vital processes such as cellular respiration. Similar to the outer membrane, the inner membrane only allows certain molecules to enter.Mitochondrial Matrix-- where the magic of power generation happens.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (6)

Inside the inner membrane aretransport proteins. This group of transport proteins moves the right molecules to where they are needed. They work in harmony with other mitochondrial components to complete a multi-step process to create the energy the cell needs.

Can mitochondria survive on their own?

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (7)

The number of mitochondria in a cell is directly correlated with the metabolic activity (metabolism) of the cell.

Some organisms have only one large mitochondrion. Others have thousands of mitochondria.

For example, here are some organs that contain higher amounts of mitochondria:

  • Muscle
  • Leber
  • Rins
  • Brain

Experts believe that these organellesThey seem to be connected in some kind of network.of errant chains depending on the needs of the cell.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (8)

Can mitochondria survive outside the cell?

While mitochondria produce about 90% of the chemical energy that cells need to survive,Mitochondria do not survive outside the cell.

Mitochondria move and function in the cell due toInteractions in the cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton is a dynamic microscopic network in all cells that helps give them their internal organization, coherence and shape.

Essentially, the mitochondria and the cell need the cytoplasm to do mechanically support their chemical functions. The cell also provides the mitochondria with the oxygen they need to produce energy.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (9)

Can mitochondria replicate?

Mitochondria differ from other organelles in that they have their own small chromosomes and DNA. They replicate (reproduce) regardless of the cell they reside in. Its genetic system is separate and distinct from the cell nucleus.

This means that mitochondria do not depend on cell division to reproduce. This was created through a process called endosymbiosis and is believed to be the result of evolutionary adaptations that occurred millions of years ago.

The DNA in mitochondria is located and resides in the matrix. Contains:

  • Difficult
  • Ribosomes (Protein Synthesis)

However, mitochondria cannot be created “from scratch”. They require genetic material from both the mitochondria and the cell nucleus. They respond to the cell's needs: When a muscle cell is stimulated by repetitive movements, the mitochondria within the cell multiply to respond to that need for energy.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (10)

How mitochondria produce energy

Energy is produced by mitochondria in the cell in the form ofchemical energy. This energy is transformed as it passes through the metabolic pathways of the cell.

Mitochondria produce chemical energy in a form calledAdenosintrifosfato (ATP). Phosphate in this form creates a high-energy bond that provides energy for other reactions taking place within the cell.

Energy production occurs through the metabolism of the following components (to food we eat) by cellular respiration with the help of molecular oxygen:

  • carbohydrates (sugar)
  • slices
  • Protein
  • chemical fuels

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (11)

mitochondrial disease

Sometimes there are defects in the pathways that mitochondria use to convert food and oxygen into energy. Since mitochondria exist in multiple places and produce most of the energy each cell needs to survive, this is not uncommon.Symptoms range from cell damage and cell death to organ system failure-- from muscles to brain and kidneys.

Quality of life can be severely affected and serious illnesses can occur when mitochondria are damaged. It is recommended thatMore than 3 malfunctioning organ systems can be a warning sign of mitochondrial disease.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (12)

Experts suspect that we are unaware of all the different diseases caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. This complex organellemay be involved in many diseases and have long-term effects.

Research suggests that mitochondria are linked to:

  • aging
  • Krebs
  • chronic disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Degenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer's, Parkinson's)
  • genetic disorders
  • Lou Gehrig's disease
  • muscular dystrophy
  • obesity

For example, during a heart attack or stroke, mitochondria may not get the oxygen they need. When mitochondria stop working, cells in vital organs like the brain or heart can be damaged or die.Cell injury can overwhelm mitochondria.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (13)

Can mitochondria be repaired?

The likelihood that mitochondria will repair themselves depends on the type of damage that has occurred.

Mitochondrial damage can be divided into two main categories:

  1. primary- Mitochondrial dysfunction caused by an inherited disease.

This damage is caused by a genetic defect in the mitochondrial DNA or nucleus that results in faulty assembly or function of the organelle.

Often referred to as “mitochondrial diseases”, they usually occur in infants or children and affect organs that use a lot of energy (eg brain, heart, vital organs). In adults, mitochondrial disease can manifest itself in ways that lead to blindness or diabetes.

  1. Secondary- Mitochondrial dysfunction caused by environmental factors.

This type of dysfunction is often referred to as "secondary mitochondrial dysfunction" and is caused by lifelong harmful events (such as a heart attack).

Sepsis, organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases are just a few of the many diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction plays a role.

Typical tests to determine if mitochondrial disease is suspected usually include blood and urine tests, DNA testing, and a thigh muscle biopsy. Because mitochondria are central to many diseases, they are often the target of therapies.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (14)

Therapies and treatments for mitochondrial diseases

Mitochondrial medicine is relatively new, it has only been done in the last 30 years. The following timeline gives an idea of ​​some important milestones in mitochondrial disease mapping:

  • 1962- First suspected case (large mitochondria, both in size and number); chemical staining is applied to mitochondria to identify and observe changes under a microscope
  • 1975- The first case of mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke syndrome (MELAS) is described.
  • 1981- The mitochondrial genome is mapped
  • 1982- Scientific studies are published on two mitochondrial diseases, Kearns-Sayre Syndrome (KSS) and Myoclonic Epilepsy Syndrome with Ragged Red Fibers (MERRF).
  • 1984- The first scientific article on MELAS is published
  • 1991- Tissue analysis becomes more available for testing

Although they may seem rare, mitochondrial diseases are more common than you might think. They usually occur in children and, according to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, “all30 minutesA child is born who develops mitochondrial disease at age 10.

You can learn more about the different types of mitochondrial diseases by visiting thePage Types of Mitochondrial DiseasesOn your website.

People say thatone in every 5,000 peoplehave mitochondrial disease. As a variety of symptoms and body systems are involved in these conditions, it is important for research to find better treatments and tests to identify these diseases.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (15)

Current therapy options

In primary mitochondrial diseases, the focus is ondevelopment of gene therapies. These therapies target the dysfunction by replacing faulty genes in the nucleus.

Another related approach is to repair or replace the damaged "on/off" gene within the mitochondria. Other therapies are aimed at relieving symptoms caused by mitochondrial diseases.

The spectrum of symptoms that occur due to mitochondrial disease can include:

  • Brain
    • atypical cerebral palsy
    • Autism or autism-like features
    • insanity
    • development delays
    • learning difficulties
    • mental disability
    • neurological problems
    • migraine
    • convulsion
    • Career
  • Ears: Hearing loss or problems
  • Eyes
    • ophthalmoplegia
    • optic atrophy
    • ptosis
    • retinitis pigmentosa
    • peeling
    • vision loss or problems
  • gastrointestinal system
    • cold
    • cramps
    • Diarrhea
    • reflux
    • difficulties in swallowing
    • unexplained vomiting
  • herz
    • block
    • cardiomyopathy
    • defects
    • heart disease
  • Rins
    • kidney disease
    • renal tube failure
  • Leber
    • liver failure or disease
    • Low blood sugar
  • muscles
    • cold
    • cramps
    • Diarrhea
    • dysmotility
    • exercise intolerance
    • hypotension
    • low tone
    • movement disorders
    • dor
    • reflux
    • To vomit
    • weakness
  • Irritate
    • fainting
    • temperature intolerance
    • dor
    • zero reflections
  • pancreas
    • Diabetes
    • pancreatic insufficiency
    • parathyroid insufficiency
  • systemic
    • lack of weight gain
    • fatigue
    • Higher risk of infection
    • bad growth
    • breathing problems
    • short
    • thyroid problems
    • unexplained vomiting

treatment plans and proceduresIt depends on the specific diagnosis.just like himseverity of symptoms.

Typical treatment may include:

  • Vitamins and dietary supplements (e.g. Co-Q10, B vitamins)
  • save energy ("budget")
  • Exercises (endurance, endurance/strength training)
  • Specialist treatment (e.g., speech therapy, physical, respiratory, or occupational therapy)

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (16)

Implications for the future

New methods are looking for ways to measure mitochondrial efficiency. This makes diagnosing damage quicker and easier. Currently, mitochondrial diseases share symptoms with other diseases, so they areoften confused with other diseases. These methods can also verify that new treatments are working as expected.

While current treatments focus on treating symptoms, future therapies will target this.defect correctionrelated to biological mutations.

Lately,Scientists in Japan have found a new approachto mitochondrial diseases. Using a chemical compound that penetrates mitochondrial proteins, they report that they candelete certain sequences in mutated mitochondrial DNA. This approach is known astarget distance.

Mitochondria - The power plants of cells (17)

Understanding the mitochondria

Who would have thought that a tiny organelle could hold the key to the functioning of organs, organ systems and organisms? Usable energy is produced by mitochondria at the cellular level, and this energy helps muscles (and more) to function and fuel us every day. Scientists are still scratching the surface when it comes to treating and treating disease, but this cell powerhouse shows promise.


Unlimited. The evolution of Published on August 14, 2020.

Cleveland Clinic. Mitochondrial Consulted in September 2021.

Cooper GM. Launched in 2000.

Davidson MW. Published on November 13, 2015.

Elliot K, Wand H. Symptoms of MERRF Consulted in September 2021.

Gahl W. Consulted in September 2021.

Genetic engineering and biotechnology news. Mitochondrial diseases can be improved with a new Posted on Aug 30, 2021.

Department of Mitochondrial Biology at MRC. mitochondrial Accessed in 2021.

Department of Mitochondrial Biology at MRC. What are mitochondria? Accessed in 2021.

nature education. microtubules and Launched in 2014.

nature education. Launched in 2014.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Cerebrovascular Accidents. Kearns-Sayre syndrome information Consulted in September 2021.

Scaglia F. Consulted in September 2021.

United Foundation for Mitochondrial Diseases. Understanding and navigating mitochondrial Released in 2020.

Old West movies. All about Accessed in 2021.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated: 02/13/2023

Views: 6329

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.