Mitochondrial Chitter-Chatter: Unveiling the Molecular Structures of Cellular Respiration

In order to generate energy, our bodies transfer electrons from food—sugars, fats and proteins—to molecular oxygen, which allows our cells to respire and function. Performed by the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC), this process creates ATP, the “molecular currency” for energy in the cell. In a Molecular Cell study, Assistant Professor James Letts, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and colleagues reveal further nuances of the ETC.

Key to Regulating Cell’s Powerhouse Discovered: Fundamental Discovery Has Implications for Health and Disease

Aging, neurodegenerative disorders and metabolic disease are all linked to mitochondria, structures within our cells that generate chemical energy and maintain their own DNA. In a fundamental discovery with far-reaching implications, scientists at the University of California, Davis, now show how cells control DNA synthesis in mitochondria and couple it to mitochondrial division.