Five Unique Functions Of The Mitochondrion

Possessing an inner membrane, as well as an outer membrane, and made of phospholipid bilayers and proteins, five specific parts of the mitochondrion and their unique purposes are listed below.
First, lets explore the outer mitochondrial membrane that surrounds the organelle and contains a large number of porin integral proteins that allow molecules to travel through the cell membrane pores in what is commonly known as passive diffusion from either side of the membrane to the other.  In order for larger proteins to enter mitochondrion they must bind to large multi-subunit translocase of the outer membrane proteins that actively transport them across the outer mitochondrion membrane while lipids can be moved between mitochondrion and the endoplasmic reticulum membrane.
The second unique part of mitochondrion is the inner mitochondrial membrane that has proteins with five distinct functions including those that perform oxidative phosphorylation of the redox changes in the metabolic pathway, metabolic passageway transport proteins that regulate the entry and exit of the matrix, mitochondria fission proteins, mitochondria fusion proteins, ATP synthase proteins that generate matrix ATP, and protein import machinery of the inner mitochondrial membrane.
The third distinct part of the mitochondrion is the matrix space that the inner mitochondrion membrane encloses.  The matrix space also provides approximately 2/3rds of all the proteins in all the mitochondrion.  The matrix also plays a large role in producing ATP.  Additionally, the matrix houses several hundred varieties of enzymes, several copies of the mitochondrial DNA genome that convert chemical energy in food into ATP, special mitochondrial ribosomes, and Transfer RNA that links the amino acid sequence with the nucleotide sequence of nucleic acids.  Major functions of the enzymes found in the matrix include pyruvate acid oxidation aerobic respiration, fatty acids oxidation, and the citric acid cycle that generates energy in aerobic organisms and chemical energy in the form of ATP.
The fourth special function of mitochondrion is the inner membrane space between the inner and outer membranes of the mitochondrion where large proteins must be transported across the outer membrane by such proteins as the small heme protein known as cytochrome complex, a highly soluble protein that is essential to the electron transport chain but does not bind oxygen.  It also helps to initiate apoptosis.
And the fifth special function of mitochondrion is known as the cristae space, or the compartmentalization of the inner mitochondrion membrane that helps it to produce ATP and can affect the chemiosmosis movement of ions across selectively permeable membranes especially during ATP generation by hydrogen in movements across a membrane during cellular respiration.


Howard D.

School Teacher, Army Veteran, and International Author Tutors All Ages

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