Is it Time to Start Using Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number as an Indicator of Health and Diseases?

Vasudeva G. Kamath*

Is it Time to Start Using Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number as an Indicator of Health and Diseases?
Clinical biochemistry and pathology have contributed too many assays for diagnosis and prognosis of human health and diseases. Bedside biochemistry has revolutionized modern medicine and the invention of new generation biosensors have educated the patients like never before. Although, there are many gadgets which are available for monitoring the blood glucose in the patients with metabolic syndromes.

By the time a person is diagnosed and treated for metabolic syndrome, molecular and pathological damages further push the patient towards the metabolic syndrome. Early detection and early treatments are necessary to further revolutionize the field of Medicine. Energy metabolism is in the center of metabolic syndrome, and mitochondria are one such organelle where majority of the energy metabolism takes place.

Given that it is at the center of energy metabolism, most of the proteins required for this process are supplied by the nuclear gene products. Additionally, the mitochondria with its genome is responsible for 13 of the key electron transport complex proteins. Mutations in both nuclear and mitochondrial genes result in Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy Lactic Acidosis and Stroke-like Episodes.

Apart from this the number of mitochondria in each tissue also varies. This imbalance in quantity of proteins generated from mitochondria and nucleus for electron transport complex is a testimony of their importance in energy metabolism. Mitochondrial DNA  quantity and the quality is an important aspect of the energy metabolism.

The factors attributing towards determining the number of mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA copy number is yet unclear. Nonetheless, recent investigations suggest a negative correlation between mitochondrial DNA copy number and disease process and progression. As we discussed the significance of the mitochondrial DNA copy number, it is also important.

Cancer Stud Mol Med Open J. 2017; 3(2): 21-22. doi: 10.17140/CSMMOJ-3-118