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May 11, 2020
Category: News
Posted by: geneticsadmin
CMS - 2.2.10 - Spuzzum

Dr. Kaustuv Datta


Proper mitochondrial biogenesis and its optimal functioning are critical to numerous cellular processes including adaptation to nutrient availability and stress. Mitochondria require coordinated expression of nuclear and its own genome, thus requiring its own translation apparatus in addition to its cytosolic counterpart. Metabolic activity of mitochondria vis-à-vis ATP generation is altered between rapidly proliferating cells and differentiated cells. ATP generation via glycolysis is the preferred pathway in proliferating cells such as tumor/stem cells where mitochondrial activity is maintained at a minimal level.

Respiration via mitochondria is the preferred pathway in differentiated cells. Conversion of proliferating cells to differentiated cells is contingent on smooth transition of the mitochondrial metabolic state and its dysregulation is thought to be a leading cause of diseases including cancer. Saccharomyces cerevisiae life cycle mimics these metabolic states and the transition event. Cells generate ATP through glycolysis in presence of glucose and oxygen where mitochondrial activity vis-à-vis ATP generation is minimal. Metabolic state of yeast cells at this state is akin to rapidly proliferating cells. Upon glucose exhaustion cells switch to utilizing ethanol a byproduct of fermentation via respiration in the mitochondria to generate ATP. Metabolic state of the yeast cells at this point is akin to differentiated cells. My lab is interested understanding the molecules that regulate the mitochondrial geneexpression especially during the transition from glycolysis only to respiration in yeast. Factors involved in this simple switch are likely conserved in yeast and humans.

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