mitochondrionmedical dictionary

Highly pleiomorphic organelle of eukaryotic cells that varies from short rod like structures present in high number to long branched structures. Contains DNA and mitoribosomes. Has a double membrane and the inner membrane may contain numerous folds (cristae). The inner fluid phase has most of the enzymes of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and some of the urea cycle. The inner membrane contains the components of the electron transport chain. Major function is to regenerate ATP by oxidative phosphorylation (see chemiosmotic theory).

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)