Mitochondria Info

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Mitochondria — General Information

From: http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/CellularRespiration.html. They also discuss mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) on this page and how mutations in mitochondrial DNA cause disease (such as exercise intolerance).

Mitochondria are membrane-enclosed organelles distributed through the cytosol of most eukaryotic cells. Their main function is the conversion of the potential energy of food molecules into ATP. Mitochondria have:

  • an outer membrane that encloses the entire structure
  • an inner membrane that encloses a fluid-filled matrix
  • between the two is the intermembrane space
  • the inner membrane is elaborately folded with shelflike cristae projecting into the matrix.
  • a small number (some 5–10) circular molecules of DNA


The Outer Membrane

The outer membrane contains many complexes of integral membrane proteins that form channels through which a variety of molecules and ions move in and out of the mitochondrion.


The Inner Membrane

The inner membrane contains 5 complexes of integral membrane proteins:

  • NADH dehydrogenase
  • succinate dehydrogenase
  • cytochrome c reductase(also known as the cytochrome b-c1 complex)
  • cytochrome c oxidase
  • ATP synthase

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