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Metabolism and Mitochondria

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Metabolism and Mitochondria

Postby banaji727 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:29 pm

If you were looking at different types of cells with a transmission electron microscope and noticed certain cells that had no mitochondria, what could you predict about their metabolism?

At first I was going to say that metabolism isn't possible without the mitochondria because they provide enzymes important to metabolism, but recalled my teacher mentioning something about peroxisomes. I know that peroxisomes also provide enzymes but do they relate to metabolism? So I have no idea how to answer this question.
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Re: Metabolism and Mitochondria

Postby jonmoulton » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:53 pm

Consider what kind of energy-generating catabolic processes require mitochondria. Also, what kind of ATP-generating catabolism occurs in the cytosol? Somehow, a cell needs ATP energy. If it can't get it from the mitochondrial processes, then it must generate that energy from cytosolic processes. What does that leave?

This assumes that the mitochondrion-free cells you are observing are nucleated. If they are prokaryotes, all bets are off. Prokaryotes do some outrageous metabolic tricks with only a plasma membrane to set up potential gradients.
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Postby biohazard » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:52 am

There is also a very common cell type in all mammals that lacks mitochondria. Though it's energy politics are bit different from the mainstream anyway...

Think about blood and one of its main functions!
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Re: Metabolism and Mitochondria

Postby jonmoulton » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:00 pm

Biohazard, you would bring up the case of a eukaryotic cell that has no nucleus. Just when I think I've written something tidy, the real biology appears...
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Re: Metabolism and Mitochondria

Postby biohazard » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:04 am

jonmoulton wrote:Biohazard, you would bring up the case of a eukaryotic cell that has no nucleus. Just when I think I've written something tidy, the real biology appears...


Heh, I thought you just wanted to concentrate on nucleated cells and I was thinking that maybe I should mention also these anucleated ones, just in case the original poster would be interested about them as well :)
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Postby banaji727 » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:14 pm

thanks guys...much appreciated
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