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Trends Mol Med. 2016 Apr 14. pii: S1471-4914(16)30004-1. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2016.03.009. [Epub ahead of print]

2016: A 'Mitochondria' Odyssey.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, Departments of Environmental Health Science and Ophthalmology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
2
School of Medicine, Departments of Environmental Health Science and Ophthalmology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. Electronic address: Josephine.hoh@yale.edu.

Abstract

The integration of the many roles of mitochondria in cellular function and the contribution of mitochondrial dysfunction to disease are major areas of research. Within this realm, the roles of mitochondria in immune defense, epigenetics, and stem cell (SC) development have recently come into the spotlight. With new understanding, mitochondria may bring together these seemingly unrelated fields, a crucial process in treatment and prevention for various diseases. In this review we describe novel findings in these three arenas, discussing the significance of the interplay between mitochondria and the cell nucleus in response to environmental cues. While we optimistically anticipate that further research in these areas can have a profound impact on disease management, we also bring forth some of the key questions and challenges that remain.

KEYWORDS:

epigenetics; immunity; mitochondria; stem cells

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