Mitochondria - "Recordings from mitochondria and mitoplasts"
Port-a-Patch application note (0.4 MB)
Mitochondria are often referred to as the “power house” of the cell since they are responsible for making most of the cell’s energy supply in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In addition to providing the cell with energy, mitochondria are thought to have roles in cell signalling, cellular differentiation and apoptosis. They have also been implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease , and may also play a role in diabetes and in the ageing process. Mitochondria are usually rod shaped and range in size from approximately 1 - 10 µm. They have an outer membrane and a highly folded inner membrane. The outer membrane is highly permeable and contains one of the most well studied mitochondrial proteins, the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC). The inner membrane contains many ion channels, including the Ca2+ uniporter, a KATP channel, the Ca2+-activated K+ channel (KCa) and the inner membrane anion channel (IMAC). To study the mitochondrial inner membrane using the patch clamp technique, mitoplasts were formed. This is a process whereby the mitochondria are swelled, thus rupturing the outer membrane and exposing the inner membrane.