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Dictionary > Cell structure > Mitochondria

Staining of mitochondria in human cell line MCF7 (HPA044393)
Scale bar represents 5µm


The mitochondria are responsible for the cellular energy production, a process that is generally known as the respiratory chain, in which oxidative phosphorylation of nutrition molecules lead to the generation of ATP. Unlike the other organelles, the mitochondria contain their own DNA, which codes for some of their proteins, but the mitochondria is also dependent on proteins translated from nuclear genes and imported into the organelle. The mitochondria has not only one, but two membranes of which the inner membrane plus the matrix are the major working parts. The inner membrane area is increased by a series of foldings of the membrane, thus optimizing the ATP production.

Immunofluorescent staining

Mitochondrial stainings are most often easy to recognize as they have a long, thread like pattern. They are spread throughout the cell, starting centrally, close to the nucleus and stretch all the way out to the edges of the cell. Depending on the cell, the mitochondria can also be stained as shorter threads, separate from the others, and need not be continuous.

Examples IF

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Examples IH

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