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    Recent experiments and thermodynamic arguments suggest that mitochondrial temperatures are higher than those of the cytoplasm. A "hot mitochondrion" calls for a closer examination of the energy balance that endows it with these claimed elevated temperatures. As a first step in this effort, we present here a semi-quantitative bookkeeping whereby, in one stroke, a formula is proposed that yields the rate of heat production in a typical mitochondrion and a formula for estimating the number of active ATP synthase molecules per mitochondrion. Scaling laws are shown to determine the number of active ATP synthase molecules in a mitochondrion and mitochondrial rate of heat production. Mitochondrial population of active ATP synthases and mitochondrial rate of heat production appear, both, to scale with cell volume. Four heterotrophic protozoa cell types are considered in this study. The studied cells, selected to cover a wide range of sizes (volumes) from ca. 100 μm3 to 1 million μm3, are estimated to exhibit a power per mitochondrion ranging from ca. 1 pW to 0.03 pW. The corresponding number of active ATP synthases per mitochondrion in these cells ranges from 5,000 to just about a hundred. © 2021 IOP Publishing Ltd.


    Peyman Fahimi, Cherif Matta. A note on the power per mitochondrion and the number of associated active ATP synthases. Physical biology. 2021 Apr 14

    PMID: 33853054

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