2Kulakov National Medical Research Center of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology, 117997 Moscow, Russia
3Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received October 21, 2022; Revised November 3, 2022; Accepted December 3, 2022
In this work, we decided to initiate a discussion concerning heterogeneity of mitochondria, suggesting that it is time to build classification of mitochondria, like the one that exists for their progenitors, α-proteobacteria, proposing possible separation of mitochondrial strains and maybe species. We continue to adhere to the general line that mitochondria are friends and foes: on the one hand, they provide the cell and organism with the necessary energy and signaling molecules, and, on the other hand, participate in destruction of the cell and the organism. Current understanding that the activity of mitochondria is not only limited to energy production, but also that these alternative non-energetic functions are unique and irreplaceable in the cell, allowed us to speak about the strong subordination of the entire cellular metabolism to characteristic functional manifestations of mitochondria. Mitochondria are capable of producing not only ATP, but also iron–sulfur clusters, steroid hormones, heme, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, participate in thermogenesis, regulate cell death, proliferation and differentiation, participate in detoxification, etc. They are a mandatory attribute of eukaryotic cells, and, so far, no eukaryotic cells performing a non-parasitic or non-symbiotic life style have been found that lack mitochondria. We believe that the structural-functional intracellular, intercellular, inter-organ, and interspecific diversity of mitochondria is large enough to provide grounds for creating a mitochondrial nomenclature. The arguments for this are given in this analytical work.
KEY WORDS: mitochondria, bacteria, structure, heterogeneity, mitochondrial DNA, heteroplasmy, diseases, phenotype, taxonomy