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Tools to study heterogeneity of mitochondrial structure-function in cells, tissues and animal models

Biology Colloquium | Dr. Kasturi Mitra | Dec 1st, 2023 (Friday)

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Abstract: 

Today we know the prokaryote-turned-cellular-organelles, mitochondria as multifunctional organelles with marked heterogeneity at different levels. Mitochondria are morphologically and structurally distinct between and within various tissue and cell types and are also remodeled by various stimuli and cellular milieu. Mitochondrial heterogeneity also exists between individual human subjects at the level of the circular DNA they carry (mt-DNA), which contributes to genetic variation. Quantitative knowledge of the heterogeneity of various mitochondrial properties is necessary for understanding the critical nuances of mitochondrial functions and dysfunctions in various tissues and at an organismal level. Mitochondrial structure and function influence each other in ways that are far from clear. We focus on studying mitochondrial structure-function relationship in a quantitative way to be able to understand the significance of mitochondrial heterogeneity at the fundamental level, and also to evaluate if such knowledge can be used in develop targeted/personalized therapeutic strategies for diseases caused by mitochondrial or metabolic aberrations. The seminar will cover our attempts to tease out the heterogeneity of mitochondrial structure-function in a quantitative and semi-quantitative manner using cell biological tools/methods we have developed, and also discuss some potential applications of such tools.  

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