Mitochondrial Physiology Network 10.9: 11 (2005) - download pdf
The future of mitochondrial physiology.
Guy C Brown
Dept. Biochem., University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QW, UK. - email@example.com
It is not entirely clear what mitochondrial physiology is, but it may be the study of what mitochondria do.
A Brief History of Mitochondrial Physiology:
1774: Joseph Priestly & Antoine Lavoisier, discover oxygen and respiration.
1857: Rudolph Kölliker, pioneer of light microscope, finds mitochondria in muscle.
1890: Richard Altmann, develops mitochondrial stain, postulates genetic autonomy.
1898: Carl Benda develops crystal violet as mitochondria-specific stain. Coins name.
1912: Otto Warburg, identifies respiratory enzyme, crude mitochondrial isolation.
1923-1933: David Keilin, identifies cytochromes and redox chain.
1940-1943: Albert Claude, isolates intact liver mitochondria and microsomes.
1948-1951: Albert Lehninger, locates β-oxidation, TCA and oxphos in mitochondria.
1952: George Palade, uses EM to define inner, outer membranes and cristae.
1950’s: Britton Chance, control of mitochondrial respiration.
1961: Peter Mitchell, chemiosmotic theory.
1972: Denham Harman, mitochondrial free radical theory of aging.
1974: David Nicholls, mitochondrial proton leak regulates BAT heat production.
1981: Lynn Margulis, endosymbiotic theory of mitochondrial origins.
1981: Fred Sanger, mtDNA sequence
1986: Kay Tanaka et al, first mtDNA diseases reported.
1996: Xiaodong Wang, reports cytochrome c release central to apoptosis.
I have no idea what the future of mitochondrial physiology is, but I am sure it will be as surprising and unpredictable as it’s past. I will propose some wacky ideas about mitochondria, not because I necessarily think they are true, but because I don’t know that they are false.
Mitochondrial viruses: can viruses hang out in mitochondria?
Mitochondrial autonomy: can mitochondria exit and enter cells?
Mitochondrial identity crisis: can mitochondria fuse with other cell membranes?
Mitochondrial differentiation: cells differentiate and change state, do mitochondria?
Mitochondrial vibrations: is energy moved around by vibrational energy transfer?
Mitochondrial lightning: is the electric field large enough to cause ionization?