The mitochondrial genome, a growing interest inside an organelle

Int J Nanomedicine. 2008;3(1):51-7. doi: 10.2147/ijn.s2482.


Mitochondria are semi-autonomously reproductive organelles within eukaryotic cells carrying their own genetic material, called the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA). Until some years ago, mtDNA had primarily been used as a tool in population genetics. As scientists began associating mtDNA mutations with dozens of mysterious disorders, as well as the aging process and a variety of chronic degenerative diseases, it became increasingly evident that the information contained in this genome had substantial potential applications to improve human health. Today, mitochondria research covers a wide range of disciplines, including clinical medicine, biochemistry, genetics, molecular cell biology, bioinformatics, plant sciences and physiology. The present review intends to present a summary of the most exiting fields of the mitochondrial research bringing together several contributes in terms of original prospective and future applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genome, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial