The energy-generating energy-saving powerhouses of mitochondria and the energy-storing organellemes, i.e. the powerhouses of the cell, are known to be targets of detoxification reactions. They are the same targets of detoxification enzymes. It is known that the mitochondria initiate processes involving autophagy to clean the environment and to avoid toxic waste products. Autophagy involves a process to break down damaged proteins and organelles into smaller pieces and to protect cells from subsequent damaging processes resulting in cell death. The process is known to be initiated by the activation of several proteins called ULK1 (units L1-CAP3), which act as signal-transducers. ULK1-L1 can bind different metabolites and activate them. It is assumed that the activation of ULK1 activates two detoxification enzymes that cause the release of cellular waste products into the mitochondria.

In a new study published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, researchers at MedUni Vienna’s Center for Immunology/NeuroImmunology and Vienna Academic Center have succeeded in understanding how 75-90 per cent of energy-storing organelles can be induced in a single cell, i.e. in their native state. For this purpose, they used a method known as high-throughput screening. The results showed that the mitochondrial recyclers of intestinal microflora are not only the ones that convert nutrients and waste products into usable fuel, which is very efficient, but also that they do so by switching on a signalling pathway and inhibiting an enzyme that activates the mitochondria.

“Our study demonstrates that the mitochondria of the cell do not pass on the waste products exclusively through the autophagosome”, explains first author Dr. Andreas Bloem. “The utilisation of mitochondrial recycling proceeds by processes that use the waste products that already are available in a cell. As a result, the identified organelles are not toxic to the cells, but are capable of producing waste products through their indirect means. This means that the identified organelles could serve as cells-autophagosomes”, HZB researcher and first author of the study, Asst Prof. Stefan Kornmann, emphasizes. “Recyclers in the mitochondria are not only a catalytic cell power plant, but they also generate waste products through indirect means. The favoured method of accumulating waste products in mitochondria directly leads to the release of energy. In fact, SYBROTIC ENERGY FACTORS ARE DEEP INDEPENDENTLY ENFORCED BY ANTI-TAMERIES”, says Asst. Prof. Kornmann, one of the leaders of the studies on respiration and energy metabolism.