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With the recent renaissance in mitochondrial biology and increasing recognition of their role in many diseases, this book provides a timely summary of the current state-of-the-art in mitochondrial research. The book opens with the regulation of mitochondrial replication and biogenesis and reviews the mechanisms and functional consequences of mitochondrial fission and fusion. Further chapters address mitochondria and oxidative stress and their roles in cell signalling and cell death. The book includes extensive, fascinating discussion of the biochemistry of mitochondrial cell signalling (especially involving calcium) and of oxidative stress. The nature of the proteins engaged in these processes, many only recently discovered, is covered in detail.
Mitochondria have been strongly implicated in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Huntington's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. They are also affected in cancer, ageing and cardiovascular disease. The final section of the book reviews mitochondrial mutations and their consequences in ageing and other phenotypic manifestations. The authors discuss how mitochondrial proteins might constitute important therapeutic targets and describe initial attempts to develop compounds that can regulate their function.