What is the importance of mitochondrial DNA?


What is the importance of mitochondrial DNA?


The mitochondria of organisms are organelle found in all cells that is responsible for the production of biochemical energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), to support all catabolic and anabolic reactions for the growth and development of the organism. Mitochondria, a membrane-bound organelle similar to other organelles found in the cell, is also highly involved in the modulation of cellular signaling, cellular differentiation, and apoptosis. Moreover, the mitochondria are also important for regulating the cell cycle which is a process accountable for cell growth and proliferation by cell division.

There are several unicellular eukaryotic species such as the diplomonads, parabasalids, and microsporidia that have converted their mitochondria into similar structures (termed mitosomes and hydrogenosomes) that functions to generate and provide chemical energy. In situations that the organism requires an ample amount of adenosine triphosphate to cope with the physical demand exerted by the organism, the mitochondria increases in mass as well as in the production of chemical energy via the method called Mitochondrial biogenesis. Mitochondrial biogenesis is essential and is activated with cellular signaling. Any aberrance in the capability of mitochondria to perform biogenesis is associated with certain diseases such as cardiac failure, and metabolic diseases.

Answer and Explanation: 1

Mitochondrial DNA is a small eukaryotic DNA genome found in the mitochondria of all organisms. The mitochondrial DNA is responsible for encoding and producing protein subunits and enzymes responsible for the maintenance and continued processing of molecular oxygen in the oxidative phosphorylation system (production of biochemical energy, adenosine triphosphate) of the mitochondria. Therefore, any abnormalities in the mitochondrial DNA lead to the deficient production of cellular energy leading to several mitochondrial-related diseases that affect the muscular and nervous system.

Learn more about this topic:

Plant Cell Mitochondria: Structure & Role


Chapter 53 / Lesson 6

What are mitochondria in plant cells? What does the mitochondria do in a plant cell? Read about mitochondria function in plant cells and how they are structured.

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