Friday, December 28, 2012

Mitochondria - Power house of the Cell

The mitochondria is another very important organelle in the cell and is called the power house of the cell. It is so because mitochondria is capable of producing the energy.

Structure: 
Mitochondria is a membrane enclosed organelle. It is double layered i.e.; it has two membranes  as outer membrane and inner membrane.
Between these two membranes is the space called intermembrane space.
The outer membrane covers the organelle.
The inner membrane folds upon itself many-a-times to form convolutions which are called cristae. This folding basically increases the surface are; the more area, the more work can be done and the more ATP (energy) we will get. The inner membrane also contains various types of proteins with different functions.
The space enclosed within the inner membrane is matrix. This matrix plays an important role in the synthesis of ATP as it contains various enzymes required for this. It also contains mitochondrial ribosomes, mitochondrial DNA.

Functions: 
As already mentioned above, this is the most important organelle for providing us the energy in the form of ATP. This is because the enzymes for the important cycles involved in the production of ATP are present in the mitochondria.
Also, mitochondria is a storage site for calcium ions. MItochondria is also the site for apoptosis or programmed cell-death.