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Front Biosci. 2007 Jan 1;12:1131-53.

Mitochondrial dysfunction in human pathologies.

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Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040, Madrid, Spain.


The integrity of mitochondrial function is fundamental to cell life. The cell demands for mitochondria and their complex integration into cell biology, extends far beyond the provision of ATP. It follows that disturbances of mitochondrial function lead to disruption of cell function, expressed as disease or even death. Mitochondria are major producers of free radical species and also possibly of nitric oxide, and are, at the same time, major targets for oxidative damage. In this review we consider recent developments in our knowledge of how the mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a critical role in several major human pathologies. We will also consider recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in mitochondrial ROS detoxification.

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