Mitochondria is an organelle (tiny organ) inside our cells. One of the vital roles of it plays in the biological community is to produce a molecule we use as energy. It is like a central bank of our cells. It produces the currency by which things get done. The energy molecule is called ATP. (adenosine triphosphate) A loss of function in mitochondria can negatively impact our biological systems in a number of ways. ATP is not the only role of mitochondria. They also produce many other things by way of their own DNA. Among these biologically meaningful structures is a peptide called humanin.
Mitochondria communicate back to the cell and actively engage in determining major cellular policies in that larger context through signals communicated through structures like humanin. (these are called retrograde signals) Humanin, and many other signals are encoded in the nuclear genome of the organelle and play a crucial “voice in the choir” role in making sure the whole relationship economy functions. Humanin in particular plays a protector role in the cell against damage. (This is called a cytoprotective role). When the population of humanin, and other peptides that together provide for proper function of cells like ours (eukaryotic cells) becomes disproportionate the cellular needs, we suffer degradation of the systems we depend on. This can include dementia when it comes to brain function. Here’s a closer look at how the understanding of these roles can lead us to forming effective treatments.
𝗠𝗶𝘁𝗼𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀 𝗔𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 𝗗𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗮
“…researchers to believe that humanin levels play an important function in the aging process and the onset of diseases linked to older age… Because of the beneficial effects of humanin, a decrease in circulating levels could lead to an increase in several different diseases of aging, particularly in dementia”