What would this artificial "super" mitochondria be able to do?

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I was reading a science article and it mentioned in the future that scientist could engineer an artificial super mitochondria. The article is here.


I know the mitochondria generates energy and helps with respiration and the brief description of the artificial "super" mitochondria is stated in the article.
"Another potential avenue for scientific investigation not covered in this review is the study of genetic modification of mitochondria before artificially transferring them. Such modifications could range from slight alterations of the mtDNA in order to better facilitate specific cellular processes to the creation of completely artificial “super” mitochondria"

Its under section 7, Conclusions but it doesn't explain what it could accomplish for a living creature. Can someone who knows a LOT more about biology, explain what this hypothetically could do?
 

jim mcnamara

Mentor
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Mitochondrial DNA (a circle called a plasmid) can have deletes - missing segments of a kilobase or more. This results in a very hard to treat and often fatal group of diseases - grouped under Karnes-Sayre Syndrome. If we could add new mitochondria with complete and good DNA these people would not live under the duress of a raft of nasty disease conditions that are usually fatal and often result in reduced quality of life.
See:

The Mitochondrial Theory of Aging posits that mitochondria "burn out" or the function degrades over time. This would explain why rodents fed a reduced calorie diet in the lab live significantly longer than the same twin (DNA) on a normal diet.

See for example original "burn out":

A current view that DNA degradation , methylation and other changes are a cause of aging
 
Hi Maximum7,

I was directed here from NCBI, but I must say that comment certainly served well as clickbait, and my interest was piqued. Not speaking as someone who knows a lot of biology, but as someone who is genuinely interested in Mitochondria and have glanced on mitochondrial research prior.

Like you said, the article didn't mention much on the topic of 'super' mitochondria, and they quickly chucked a couple of references and links to a textbook chapter on essentially some methods of how mitochondrial modification may happen; and an article which briefly discusses about eugenics from a mitochondrial perspective, without actually providing any tangible directions where an actual 'enhancement' of mitochondria to achieve 'super' status. Therefore, sadly the idea of a 'super' mitocchondria will remain a fantasy for now.

That being said, the idea appears tantalising, and contrary to what many oversimplified models of mitochondria that have been taught in high school up till foundation courses in college may present, the mitochondria is like a box of tricks. Opening it up to see what it does, you discover it does so much more than just 'producing ATP' and regulate ageing. As the nobel laureate of 2016 has shown, in the processes of mitophagy, which shows key processes to how mitochondria regulate themselves as an intracellular population, the cell-specific functions of mitochondria just do so much more. Everything from the homeostasis of intracellular Calcium, ATP, amino acid levels, proteasome activity, to intracellular and intercellular messenger carriers (I really should be citing these, but I suppose if you're interested in any of said functions, a simple google/NCBI search would suffice).

Therefore, if one effectively knows how to juice up the mitochondria or appropriate chromosomal DNA, which use a mix of mtDNA and chDNA signals, one would be able to effectively cure many many many diseases, achieving not just a longevity, but a healthier longevity as well. Of course, lets not go dream up castles in the air and think about enhanced individuals, as that would involve a much greater understanding of the genetics of development to implement.

Going full circle back to answer your question about the implications of 'super' mitochondria, the sky's the limit, but first we need to understand more about this underrated worker in the cell first. Hope I have at least been helpful, if not entertaining your fantasy about 'super' mitochondria.
 
21
3
Hi Maximum7,

I was directed here from NCBI, but I must say that comment certainly served well as clickbait, and my interest was piqued. Not speaking as someone who knows a lot of biology, but as someone who is genuinely interested in Mitochondria and have glanced on mitochondrial research prior.

Like you said, the article didn't mention much on the topic of 'super' mitochondria, and they quickly chucked a couple of references and links to a textbook chapter on essentially some methods of how mitochondrial modification may happen; and an article which briefly discusses about eugenics from a mitochondrial perspective, without actually providing any tangible directions where an actual 'enhancement' of mitochondria to achieve 'super' status. Therefore, sadly the idea of a 'super' mitocchondria will remain a fantasy for now.

That being said, the idea appears tantalising, and contrary to what many oversimplified models of mitochondria that have been taught in high school up till foundation courses in college may present, the mitochondria is like a box of tricks. Opening it up to see what it does, you discover it does so much more than just 'producing ATP' and regulate ageing. As the nobel laureate of 2016 has shown, in the processes of mitophagy, which shows key processes to how mitochondria regulate themselves as an intracellular population, the cell-specific functions of mitochondria just do so much more. Everything from the homeostasis of intracellular Calcium, ATP, amino acid levels, proteasome activity, to intracellular and intercellular messenger carriers (I really should be citing these, but I suppose if you're interested in any of said functions, a simple google/NCBI search would suffice).

Therefore, if one effectively knows how to juice up the mitochondria or appropriate chromosomal DNA, which use a mix of mtDNA and chDNA signals, one would be able to effectively cure many many many diseases, achieving not just a longevity, but a healthier longevity as well. Of course, lets not go dream up castles in the air and think about enhanced individuals, as that would involve a much greater understanding of the genetics of development to implement.

Going full circle back to answer your question about the implications of 'super' mitochondria, the sky's the limit, but first we need to understand more about this underrated worker in the cell first. Hope I have at least been helpful, if not entertaining your fantasy about 'super' mitochondria.
Yes. Thank you!!!!
 
6
4
Where Scienceyboi wrote, "mitochondria or appropriate chromosomal DNA, which use a mix of mtDNA and chDNA signals "

chDNA is the short for "chromosomal DNA" just like
mtDNA is the short for "mitochondrial DNA".
 

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