The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Iain Johnston

Dynamic cellular populations of mitochondrial DNA in health and disease

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Iain Johnston
Department of Mathematics, University of Bergen

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) exists in dynamic populations in our cells, and encodes vital respiratory machinery. If a sufficiently high proportion of mtDNA molecules in a cell carry a pathogenic mutation, fatal and incurable diseases can result. However, the complex inheritance of mtDNA from our mothers, and the subsequent population dynamics of mtDNA within cells, means that it is challenging to predict if and when this disease-causing threshold will be crossed. I will discuss our work combining experimental and theoretical approaches to address this challenge and to understand more about the inheritance and onset of mitochondrial disease.

Chairperson: Karl Johan Tronstad, Department of Biomedicine