How mitochondria produce reactive oxygen species

Mitochondria are an important source of reactive oxygen species within most mammalian cells

Michael P. Murphy

2008

Scholarcy highlights

  • Mitochondria are an important source of reactive oxygen species within most mammalian cells
  • As the actual O2− production rate depends so closely on factors such as p and NADH/NAD+ ratio, which vary markedly in vivo, it is not possible to say that changes in ROS production by mitochondria isolated from animals of different ages or hormonal status bear any relation to differences in mitochondrial ROS production in vivo
  • When mitochondria are actively making ATP, the rate of O2− production is far lower and the sites of production are uncertain. This suggests that in vivo conditions leading to reverse electron transport or an accumulation of NADH will favour O2− production
  • The extent to which these situations arise in vivo is not known, and, at the moment, it is not possible to estimate the rate of mitochondrial O2− production in vivo
  • Important is the likelihood that ROS production by mitochondria is a redox signal integrating mitochondrial function with that of the rest of the cell
  • Mitochondrial H2O2 efflux could act as a retrograde signal to the cell, reporting on mitochondrial p or the redox state of the NADH pool, and enable c The Authors Journal compilation c 2009 Biochemical Society

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