Metabolism encompasses life-sustaining chemical reactions that occur within cells and tissues. Mitochondria, in particular, are central hubs for such biochemical transformations. Mitochondria are best known for their role as energy converters through a process termed oxidative phosphorylation.
Importantly, however, mitochondria are also involved in the synthesis of biomolecules, the regulation of calcium homeostasis, mechanisms of cell survival, and signalling by redox reactions. Not surprisingly, these roles are highly integrated, such that any perturbation in the machinery responsible for energy conversion may result in substantial effects on related processes such as cataplerosis or apoptosis.
Over the last two decades it has therefore become increasingly important to identify and quantify changes in specific components that constitute mitochondrial function for understanding relationships between bioenergetics and changes in a cells phenotype.