Mitochondria are extremely dynamic organelles that are capable
of proliferation in response to increased energy demand or
environmental temperature. It has been estimated that approximately
3000 genes are required to create a functional mitochondrion,
including the 13 genes that reside in the mitochondrial DNA.
Therefore, the response to a signal to proliferate mitochondria
must require the orchestrated coordination of two genomes, the
nuclear and the mitochondrial. The control of mitochondrial
respiration is important in metabolic regulation, and for humans as
it relates to obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and genetic
metabolic defects. My main research interest is in mitochondrial
biogenesis; in particular, how the cell responds to a deficiency of
energy, what the nature of this signal is, and how it is translated
into mitochondrial proliferation. Current projects include
investigation of putative mitochondrial biogenesis genes identified
by microarray analysis of the transcriptional profile of a mouse
model of mitochondrial disease.
Energy deficient skeletal muscle from adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT1) deficient mice exhibit dramatic proliferation of mitochondria. Identification of genes up-regulated in the muscle of these genetically engineered mice has identified both nuclear and mitochondrial genes involved in energy production, and should identify elements important for mitochondrial proliferation. The product of one gene found to be transcriptionally up-regulated in ANT1-deficient skeletal muscle was first identified as a protein interacting with PPAR¿Ñ, a nuclear hormone receptor type transcription factor known to be important in energy regulation. When overexpressed in yeast, this gene has been shown to cause mitochondrial proliferation. Some of the current work in my laboratory consists of evaluating the results of the regulated overexpression of this gene in cultured cells.
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Key: MeSH Term Keywordaging energy regulation Glutathione Peroxidase Glutathione Transferase Mathematics metabolism mice microarrays mitochondrial biogenesis mitochondrial genetics Models, Biological mtDNA muscle Nitrogen nuclear hormone receptors oxidative stress Prions Repressor Proteins Saccharomyces cerevisiae Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins transcription Transcription Factors