New Orleans—If ATP is the fuel that keeps
the cellular engine running, mitochondria are the gas stations open all night
for service. But these "powerhouses of the cell" have a dark side. Provoked
by stressful conditions, mitochondria—semiautonomous organelles that
maintain their own genome and life cycle—can be transformed from beneficent
energy suppliers into ticking time bombs capable of triggering events that
lead to cell damage and death.
Friedrich MJ. Scientists Probe Roles of Mitochondria in Neurological Disease and Injury. JAMA. 2004;291(6):679-681. doi:10.1001/jama.291.6.679