Mitochondria implantation and longevity

Discussion of all aspects of cellular structure, physiology and communication.

Moderators: honeev, Leonid, amiradm, BioTeam

Post Reply
Question
Garter
Garter
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:46 pm

Mitochondria implantation and longevity

Post by Question » Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:49 pm

Hmmm, i was watching a programme on BBC4 called time, in particular the part about bird mitochondria caught my eye, i`ve heard this before but apparently they are much more efficient at dealing with free radicals which cause birds to age much slower than mammals with a similar metabolic rate.

I do not know much in depth about biology, but i understand the mitochonria have there own DNA and can self replicate (although some proteins are coded for by the nucleus of the cell). I`m wondering of it would be possible to simply remove mitochonria from a bird cell and implant them into mammal cells, would the cells still function, grow with the new bird mitochonria?

I`m sure this must have been asked before, if not attempted. I was thinking how would it work if you implanted them in all the cells of a foetus, would you create a much longer living organism?

As i said though, i know little about biology so perhaps there is a very obvious reason why this would not work. If perhaps some of the proteins the mitochonria needs can not be coded for it by the mammal DNA, could you not find the genes for these proteins in the bird DNA then insert them?

User avatar
MrMistery
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
Posts: 6832
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:18 pm
Location: Romania(small and unimportant country)
Contact:

Post by MrMistery » Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:31 pm

It might work, if you implant them in the zygote, not the fetus. However, how the zygote would develop i do not know, since, even though mithocondria have a specific code in each organism. i am skeptical about the fact that they are more efficient in neutralising free radicals...
"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

Question
Garter
Garter
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:46 pm

Post by Question » Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:25 pm

Zygote, yes a didn`t know the name for the cell at the start of the organisms development before it becomes a fetus but yes thats what i meant.

It`s not the first time i`ve heard about bird cells dealing well with free radicals, the mitochondria are more efficient at producing atp then mammals as well i believe, so they would give other advantages. It`s the question of wether they would develop into bird mitochondria or mammal mitochondria in a mammal cell? I think bats might have the same quality, that is they live longer than other mammals of a similar size.

It just seems like a very simple method for life extension, so i`m wondering if it would`t work then why, i`m guessing it wouldn`t else it would be common knowledge.

Question
Garter
Garter
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:46 pm

Post by Question » Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:39 pm

"So let us assume bird mitochondria carry the same genes in their DNA as mammalian mtDNA so they can still replicate in mammal cells. What we can do is put an great excess of bird mitochondria in the female egg cell (micro injection). As a result the amount of mitochoindria will be downregulated in the cell resulting in a higher amount of bird mitochondria compared to mammal mitochindria.

But I doubt it will result in longer living species, there -referred by wikipedia- most of the electrontransfer proteins are coded by nuclear DNA (it are those which could reduce free radicals to be formed). Furhtermore mitochondria have enzymes which neutralize free radicals (they use vitE, that's wy they say vitE keeps you young) also these are coded by nuclear DNA. So again I am not that optimistic.
It always better to specifically know at which point they (the bird mitochondria) work better, is coded in their nuclear or mt-DNA and work from there."

Thats a quote from another forum. Going by that it seems that the nuclear DNA is more important, so it would not be as simple as just injecting the bird mitochondria :(

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests