Navigation Links
Three parents and a baby
Date:6/17/2014

Mitochondria are cell organelles located within animal and human cells. They produce energy for the organism, possess their own genetic material - mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) - and are transmitted exclusively by the mother. Depending on their activity and tasks, different numbers of mitochondria are present in a cell - usually a few hundred to a thousand per body cell.

Inherited mitochondrial disorders or so-called mitochondropathies occur in about one of 10,000 humans throughout the world. Diseases such as diabetes, stroke, cardiac defects, epilepsy, or muscle weakness may originate from mitochondrial defects. Inherited mitochondrial disorders have been incurable so far. Therefore, efforts are now being made to enable women with this disease to bear healthy children by means of nuclear transfer.

Mitochondria multiply at different rates

Jrg Burgstaller, a scientist and member of Gottfried Brem's research group at the Vetmeduni Vienna, has been working for several years on the genetics of mitochondria. It was known before that different types of mitochondria within a cell can proliferate at different rates. However, it was not known whether this is a singular phenomenon or if these cases occur more frequently.

Burgstaller investigated this in four newly bred mouse models which carried different mixtures of mitochondria whose DNA were related to each other to a differing extent.

This meant no health problem for the mice since all mtDNAs are were fully functional.

The outcome was: the more distantly two types of mitochondria within an egg cell were related, the more frequently a growth advantage was noted in favor of one of the two types of mitochondria. When two different mtDNAs were equally common in cells of an organ at the time of birth, one type was completely lost after a while. One mitochondria variant had thus achieved a growth advantage compared to the other variant and superseded the latter. This effect was almost non-existent in genetically very similar mitochondria within the cells; the ratio between the two types of mitochondria was not altered in that case.

The effect is of significance in reproduction medicine

Burgstaller's results may have effects on the planned introduction of the so called "Three-Parent Baby" in Great Britain. Experts take the cell nucleus of one human egg cell whose mitochondria have a defect and place it in an egg cell with "healthy" mitochondria. The baby resulting from this procedure has three parents, namely the mother whose cell nucleus is used, the mother whose mitochondria are involved, and the father whose sperm inseminated the egg cell.

However, this method raises the following problem: in every nuclear transfer, a small number of defective mitochondria are transferred into the healthy egg cell. "So far it was believed that this minimal 'contamination' is of no consequence for the baby. However, our data show that the effect may have dramatic consequences on the health of the offspring. If the mitochondria of both mothers are genetically very different, it may have the same effects seen in the mouse model," says Burgstaller who developed the theory together with co-author Joanna Poulton, Professor of Mitochondrial Genetics at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. "One mitochondrial type may be able to assert itself against the other. If the assertive one happens to carry the defective mtDNA, the benefit of the therapy would be jeopardized."

The solution to the "Three-Parent Baby"-problem

Burgstaller and his colleagues suggest the following solution to the problem: the mtDNA of both mothers, i.e. the donor of the nucleus and the donor of the mitochondria, should be analyzed in advance and aligned to each other. So called "machting haplotypes" could prevent the dangerous effect. In the future the effect may even be utilized in a targeted manner to suppress defective mtDNA.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joerg Burgstaller
joerg.burgstaller@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-664-376-7262
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Three gene networks discovered in autism, may present treatment targets
2. Three new species of yellow-shouldered bats discovered in museum collections
3. Three UTSA College of Sciences faculty honored at AAAS Annual Meeting
4. Three native aromatics indicated for use in Mediterranean extensive green roofs
5. Largest lake in Britain and Ireland has lost three-quarters of winter water birds
6. DFG to fund three new research units
7. Evolution Marketing Research Grows its Practice with Addition of Three Key Industry Professionals
8. Research and Markets Announces the Release of Multi-Factor Authentication Market - by Model/Type [Two, Three, Four & Five-Factor], Application & Geography - Forecasts (2012 - 2017)
9. Three new arthropod species have been found in the Maestrazgo Caves in Teruel
10. Thirty teams compete to interpret three families genomes
11. Aware Provides Biometrics Software and Services for Three Large-Scale Border Management Systems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Three parents and a baby
(Date:12/20/2016)... 2016   Valencell , the leading innovator ... STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving ... today the launch of a new, highly accurate ... includes ST,s compact SensorTile turnkey multi-sensor ... sensor system. Together, SensorTile and Benchmark deliver the ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global wearable medical device market, in ... 2021 from USD 5.31 billion in 2016, at a CAGR of ... ... technological advancements in medical devices, launch of a growing number of ... connectivity among healthcare providers, and increasing focus on physical fitness. ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... 2016 Advancements in biometrics will ... and wellbeing (HWW), and security of vehicles ... passenger vehicles begin to feature fingerprint recognition, ... beat monitoring, brain wave monitoring, stress detection, ... pulse detection. These will be driven by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Basel, Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... ... ... leading provider of advanced software solutions for pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), ... project-based expertise in omic data analysis and interpretation for the rapidly evolving ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... GAITHERSBURG, Md. , Jan. 19, ... Altimmune, Inc., a privately-held immunotherapeutics company targeting infectious ... agreement for the merger of PharmAthene and Altimmune ... Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital and Redmont ... and diversified immunotherapeutics company with four clinical stage ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (AIM: ABTU; NASDAQ: AQB), a ... a majority-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: ... of its common shares on the NASDAQ Stock Market ... "AquaBounty,s listing on NASDAQ represents an important milestone for ... U.S. markets as we advance plans for commercial production ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... for tech innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, was today awarded ... The awards program is based entirely on merit and decided upon by a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: