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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2010 Nov 1;13(9):1341-58. doi: 10.1089/ars.2009.3063.

The intermembrane space of mitochondria.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany.


Mitochondria contain two aqueous compartments: the matrix and the intermembrane space. Whereas many of the biologic functions of the matrix were well characterized in the past, it became clear very recently that the intermembrane space plays a pivotal role in the coordination of mitochondrial activities with other cellular processes. These activities include the exchange of proteins, lipids, or metal ions between the matrix and the cytosol, the regulated initiation of apoptotic cascades, signalling pathways that regulate respiration and metabolic functions, the prevention of reactive oxygen species produced by the respiratory chain, or the control of mitochondrial morphogenesis. We focus on the different biologic functions of the intermembrane space and discuss the relevance of this fascinating compartment for cellular physiology and human health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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