The Importance of Mitochondria
& The Electric Transport Chain
Mitochondria is responsible for 90% of the Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) our body needs to function and has a pivotal role in cell life and cell death.
Mitochondria are highly specialised organelles required for key cellular processes including ATP production through cellular respiration and controlling cell death via apoptosis. Unlike other organelles, mitochondria contain their own DNA genome which encodes both protein and RNA required for cellular respiration. Each cell may contain hundreds to thousands of copies of the mitochondrial genome, which is essential for normal cellular function - deviation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number is associated with cellular ageing and disease. Furthermore, mtDNA lesions can arise from both endogenous or exogenous sources and must either be tolerated or corrected to preserve mitochondrial function. Importantly, replication of damaged mtDNA can lead to stalling and introduction of mutations or genetic loss, mitochondria have adapted mechanisms to repair damaged DNA.