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The determination of mitochondrial density

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The determination of mitochondrial density

Postby HD123 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:13 pm

Hello all

this question has puzzled me for a while and I can find no help in either my text books or on the web.

Whilst mitochondrial DNA is inherited through the female line, what determines the density of mitochondria in tissue? Is this density determined by the mitochondrial DNA itself or by nuclear dna? I apologise for what maybe a rather simplified or naive question. I really cannot hypothesise any more than this. This isn't a homework question - I stopped doing homework years ago. I am just interested to know the answer.

Thanks in advance
H
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Postby mith » Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:19 pm

why not both?
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Postby MrMistery » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:17 am

It would make most sense for this to be regulated by the nuclear DNA or by the cellular environment, because there is no way a mitochondrium can know what's happening around it(is there?). If I were to make my best guess, I would say that somehow mitochondria can detect the amount of ATP in the cell and start dividing under chronic low ATP concentrations.
However, I have read some (not a lot) literature on mitochondria and so far haven't come across any mechanism of regulation of mitochondria density in a cell. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist...
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
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Re: The determination of mitochondrial density

Postby HD123 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:56 am

Thanks for these answers. I shall explain a little more about where I am coming from. I work a dog for grouse counting for conservation purposes (bear with me :) ). The main quality I look for in a dog in addition to scenting ability and bidability is stamina. Stamina, in many ways, can be a product of training but there must be a sound basis upon which to build and this must have a relationship to its muscle. Breeders pay equal attention to both the dog and the bitch when selecting a breeding pair. I wondered if there was any sense in looking more closely at the female line when selecting for stamina on the basis of female line inheritance and its impact on mitochondria.

I am sorry that this may hugely oversimplify the situation. I would value any comments

Thanks

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