Mitochondrial complex I and cell death: A semi-automatic shotgun model

Mauro Degli Esposti, D. Gonzalez-Halphen, A. Ghelli, L. Iommarini, V. Carelli, M. D. Esposti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Mitochondrial dysfunction often leads to cell death and disease.We can now draw correlations between the dysfunction of one of the most important mitochondrial enzymes, NADH:ubiquinone reductase or complex I, and its structural organization thanks to the recent advances in the X-ray structure of its bacterial homologs. The new structural information on bacterial complex I provide essential clues to finally understand how complex I may work. However, the same information remains difficult to interpret for many scientists working on mitochondrial complex I from different angles, especially in the field of cell death. Here, we present a novel way of interpreting the bacterial structural information in accessible terms. On the basis of the analogy to semi-automatic shotguns, we propose a novel functional model that incorporates recent structural information with previous evidence derived from studies on mitochondrial diseases, as well as functional bioenergetics. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere222
    JournalCell Death and Disease
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


    • Complex I
    • Mitochondria
    • Mitochondrial disease


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