Cell Image of the Month - MAOA and mitochondrial disease


Staining of MAOA (green) in the mitochondria with microtubules (red) and DAPI labeling the nucleus (blue) in RT4 cells.

Often referred to as the "powerhouse of the cell", mitochondria are vitally important to you. The mitochondria contains its own DNA coding for 37 genes, while a vast majority of mitochondrial localizing genes are coded in the nuclear DNA. Dysfunction in these genes often cause extreme disorders and have shown to play key roles in diseases including but not limited to: cancers, optical atrophy, mental development, heart, liver and kidney disease, dementia and diabetes (Scharfe C. et al. 2009).

MAOA shown here is a mitochondrial protein and member of the Monoamine oxidase family of proteins. This family of proteins has been implicated in optic atrophy. What's more, MAO inhibitors are frequently used to treat depression and Parkinsons disease.

Did you know, all of your mitochondria are passed down from your mother? Thanks Mom!

Devin Sullivan