‘Social’ Mitochondria Influence Health

The mitochondria is once again proving why it’s the powerhouse of the cell.

via Quanta Magazine

These mitochondrial rendezvous serve multiple purposes, at least one of which seems to be cooperative. Single mitochondria that lack a genome or have a dysfunctional one can be “rescued” by fusing with healthy neighbors. The connected structures create a conduit for sharing chemical signals and proteins, and fusion might help allot proteins more equally among mitochondria, Nunnari said. But fusion doesn’t mix everything. “That’s important too — to maintain a little bit of individuality even when you’re within a network,” she said.

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