According to medical knowledge, disorders in the energy supply of cells can cause a number of serious health conditions. And, it is also seems to be connected to ageing in individuals. Nonetheless, more research is needed on mitochondrial function to discover future treatments.
A new study carried out by researchers at Karolinska Institutet discloses how an important molecule inside the mitochondria influences their function in fruit flies and mice. The study published in Science Advances is a valuable addition to the knowledge on protein modifications formerly relatively unexplored.
Physiologically, each cell of the body contain an organ called mitochondrion, which transforms nutrients in our food into energy. Mitochondria are an essential part of the body’s metabolism, and if the mitochondria fail to function, it can result into serious diseases.
In fact, mitochondrial dysfunction is characteristic of a group of rare genetic diseases. However, mitochondria dysfunction can also be observed in individuals with common diabetes such as neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease, and normal ageing.
Importantly, more research is needed on mitochondria and how they communicate with rest of the cell. This is required as scientists strive to find new curative approaches to improve mitochondrial function.
In a bid for this, researchers at Karolinska Institute, University of California, and Max-Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing have studied how the methylation of proteins influences different processes of the mitochondria.
Meanwhile, methylation is a chemical process, wherein a methyl group added to a molecule that affects its function. S-Adenosylmethionine, also known as AdoMet plays an important function in the cell. It is the main donor methyl group within the cell, which includes the mitochondria.