Big change from small player — Mitochondria alter body metabolism and gene expression

Mitochondria have their own DNA, but the 13 genes in human mitochondria — along with DNA sequences for tRNAs, rRNAs and some small peptides — are massively overshadowed by the 20,000 genes in the human nucleus. Nevertheless, these diminutive mitochondria may have a strong influence on cellular metabolism and susceptibility to metabolic diseases like heart failure or obesity, according to preliminary research by Scott Ballinger, Ph.D., professor of pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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