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Mitochondrion. 2012 Jan;12(1):149-55. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2011.06.010. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Effect of selenite on basic mitochondrial function in human osteosarcoma cells with chronic mitochondrial stress.

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Laboratory of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes, Department of Biochemistry, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, 3 Pasteur St, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland.


Mitochondrial chronic stress that originates from defective mitochondria is implicated in a growing list of human diseases. To enhance understanding of pathophysiology of chronic mitochondrial dysfunction we investigated human osteosarcoma cells with 2 types of chronic stress: corresponding to the mutation in ATP synthase subunit 6 encoded by mtDNA (NARP syndrome-mild stress) and to a total lack of mtDNA (Rho0 cells-heavy stress). We previously found that selenium influenced mitochondrial stress response and lowered ROS production. Therefore, in this study effect of selenite on other mitochondrial parameters was investigated. We showed that presence of selenium improved survival of starved cells, modified organization of mitochondrial network in NARP cybrids and decreased cytosolic calcium level in NARP and Rho0 cells. Selenium did not affect mitochondrial membrane potential, ATP level, activity of ATP synthase and activity of complex II of the respiratory chain.

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