À propos de cet article


Mitochondria, the cell powerhouse, are membrane-bound organelles present in the cytoplasm of almost all the eukaryotic cells. Their main function is to generate energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In addition, mitochondria store calcium for the cell signaling activities, generate heat, harbor pathways of intermediate metabolism and mediate cell growth and death. Primary mitochondrial diseases (MDs) form a clinically as well as genetically heterogeneous group of inherited disorders that result from the mitochondrial energetic metabolism malfunctions. The lifetime risk of the MDs development is estimated at 1:1470 of newborns, which makes them one of the most recurrent groups of inherited disorders with an important burden for society.

MDs are progressive with wide range of symptoms of variable severity that can emerge congenitally or anytime during the life. MD can be caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or nuclear DNA genes. Mutations inducing impairment of mitochondrial function have been found in more than 400 genes. Furthermore, more than 1200 nuclear genes, which could play a role in the MDs’ genetic etiology, are involved in the mitochondrial activities. However, the knowledge regarding the mechanism of the mitochondrial pathogenicity appears to be most essential for the development of effective patient’s treatment suffering from the mitochondrial disease. This is an overview update focused on the mitochondrial biology and the mitochondrial diseases associated genes.