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Trends Biochem Sci. 2001 Jan;26(1):23-9.

Mitochondrial filaments and clusters as intracellular power-transmitting cables.

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Department of Bioenergetics, A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University, 119899, Moscow, Russia.


Mitochondria exist in two interconverting forms; as small isolated particles, and as extended filaments, networks or clusters connected with intermitochondrial junctions. Extended mitochondria can represent electrically united systems, which can facilitate energy delivery from the cell periphery to the cell core and organize antioxidant defence of the cell interior when O2 is consumed by mitochondrial clusters near the the outer cell membrane, and protonic potential is transmitted to the cell core mitochondria to form ATP. As to small mitochondria, they might represent a transportable form of these organelles.

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