Guest edited by: Martin Brand, Navdeep Chandel, Andrew Murray, Jodi Nunnari, Peter Walter
The past few years have seen a tremendous surge of interest in the biology of mitochondria, partly with the re-emergence of metabolism as a focus of topical interest as well as fundamental importance, and partly through the changing perception of their cell biology, and their recognition as a regulated dynamic network engaging with the other membrane systems of the cell, transmitting and receiving signals on its metabolic status, and serving as a launching-pad for programmed cell death.
Reflecting this explosion of new interest and changing perspective, BMC Biology, Cancer & Metabolism, Extreme Physiology & Medicine, and Longevity & Healthspan are launching a cross-journal series of commissioned articles and research papers that will cover every aspect of mitochondrial biology, from the still-contentious origins of this ancient organelle to the current understanding of its activities as a metabolic and signalling hub.
The special adaptations required to allow the unrestrained growth of cancer cells, and in response to the extremes of hypoxia, starvation and endurance exercise, are the territory of Cancer & Metabolism and Extreme Physiology & Medicine. Articles in Longevity & Healthspan tackle the important and often contentious issues of the part played by mitochondria in maintaining health and lifespan. BMC Biology, with a scope that extends across all of biology, aspires to provide overview reviews for non-specialists on the topics examined in detail in its sister journals, and to extend the series beyond these topics and our own species, to embrace everything from human prehistory to the structural biology of the respiratory chain.
The image on this page is a 3D reconstruction of the budding yeast mitochondrial network. Credit: Matheus Viana and Susanne Rafelski.
Mitochondria - metabolism and beyond
BMC Biology 2014, 12:37
Miranda Robertson explains how the changing perception of the structure and function of mitochondria is reflected in the inaugural reviews published in BMC Biology for the series on mitochondria, and will inform future contributions to the series.
Mitochondria at the extremes: pioneers, protectorates, protagonists
Extreme Physiology & Medicine 2014, 3:10
Andrew Murray introduces the mitochondrial response to extreme physiological states, from extremes of cold or starvation, through intense or endurance exercise to spaceflight.
The role of mitochondria in longevity and healthspan
Longevity & Healthspan 2014, 3:7
Martin Brand discusses developments and set-backs in mitochondria-focussed aging research since the free radical theory of aging was first proposed by Harman.
Mitochondria and Cancer
Cancer & Metabolism 2014, 2:8
Navdeep Chandel outlines the important role for mitochondrial metabolism in providing the building blocks for cell proliferation and explains how mitochondria contribute to the bioenergetic, biosynthetic and signaling requirements of proliferating cancer cells.