Each cell type develops and maintains a specific oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) capacity to satisfy its metabolic and energetic demands. This implies that there are differences between tissues in mitochondrial number, function, protein composition and morphology. The OXPHOS system biogenesis requires the coordinated expression of both mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) expression can be regulated at different levels (replication, transcription, translation and post-translational levels) to contribute to the final observed OXPHOS activities. By analyzing five mammalian tissues, we evaluated the differences in the cellular amount of mtDNA and its correlation with the final observed mitochondrial activity.
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