Wednesday, 2 October 2013

When Cells ‘Eat’ Their Own Power Plants; Pitt Scientists Solve Mystery of Basic Cellular Process

Journal article: Cardiolipin externalization to the outer mitochondrial membrane acts as an elimination signal for mitophagy in neuronal cells. Nature Cell Biology, 

Like car tires and carpeting, the #mitrochondria that power our cells eventually wear out and need replacing. A new study in Nature Cell Biology identified a group of chemicals known as #cardiolipins that are normally found on a mitochondrion's inner membrane that signal to the cell that the mitochondria is not functioning properly by moving to the outer membrane. Researchers at McMaster University in Canada also identified a compound known as LC3 that binds to cardiolipin, which causes a specialized structure to form around the mitochondrion and digest it. A variety of #neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS and Parkinson's disease, have been linked to problems with mitochondrial recycling, which makes these findings important to understanding these disease processes.

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