Is Mitochondria The Powerhouse Of The Cell? 5+ Facts

Mitochondria are subcellular organelles derived from initial endosymbiosis in eukaryotes. Let us explore if mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

Mitochondria are referred to as the “powerhouse of the cell” because they produce the energy needed for other cell organelles to function. The production of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, takes place in an area that is set aside in the inner membrane of mitochondria.

ATP which is synthesized in mitochondria are also known as the energy currency of the cell. It makes possible for cells to safely store energy and only release it when it is actually needed.

What is powerhouse of cells?

Mitochondria is called the powerhouse of the cell. Let us see what the term “powerhouse of cells” mean.

The cell organelle that is in charge of a cell’s energy generation is referred to as the powerhouse of the cell.These are microscopic organelles that play key role in the release of energy from meals within cells. Numerous mitochondria can be seen in muscle cells and other cells with high energy requirements.

The mitochondria serve as the primary site for the generation of ATP and are crucial for cellular respiration.

Why are mitochondria called the powerhouse of the cell?

Mitochondria are essential for maintaining life and are the guardians of cell death. Let us explore why mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell.

Mitochondria are considered as the powerhouse of the cell as it produces energy currency in the form of ATP, by breaking the food through the Oxidative phosphorylation. In almost every human cell, mitochondria produce energy that powers cellular activity and, in essence, all of our biological functions.

Mitochondria from Wikipedia

The majority of the chemical energy required to drive metabolic reactions within the cell is produced by mitochondria. ATP is a little molecule that stores the chemical energy.

How does mitochondria make energy?

Mitochondria produces ATP, by directing the process of cellular energy production. Let us understand the process in detail.

  • Mitochondria by utilising oxygen convert chemical energy of food in to the cellular energy
  • For this , it undergoes three process of glucose metabolism and these are oxidative phosphorylation, kreb cycle and electron transport chain to form NADH.
  • NADH then produce ATP in inner Mitochondrial membrane.
  • In ATP, energy get stored in form of chemical bonds.
  • During the time of need these bonds are open and energy can be redeemed.

Utilizing the oxygen already present in the cell, mitochondria transform the chemical energy from food into energy that can be used by the host cell.

When does mitochondria make energy?

The release of energy from mitochondria can be triggered by specific fasting or starving conditions. Let us understand how often mitochondria makes energy.

Mitochondria chiefly makes energy during the process of glucose metabolism. Oxidative phosphorylation occurs in mitochondria and is responsible for the majority of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) release.

Cellular stress or an external trigger can activate mitochondrial biogenesis. The primary regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis is PGC-1. This increases the transcription of the PGC-1 gene, leading to increased NRFs.

What would happen if eukaryotic cells lack mitochondria?

Mitochondria is the most essential organelles for most of the highly developed eukaryotic cell. Let us see what will happen if eukaryotic cells lack mitochondria.

Higher eukaryotic animals probably would not exist without mitochondria since their cells could only get their energy through anaerobic respiration. But it would not be the problem for lower grade eukaryotes as they could survive on low ATP production.

Despite lacking mitochondria, eukaryotic cells are still capable of producing ATP through anaerobic fermentation, but they would need to have a very low metabolic rate. In order to support high metabolic rates, ATP must be produced quickly by mitochondria.

What stops mitochondria from functioning?

The bulk of mitochondrial dysfunction are brought on by abnormalities in nuclear DNA that have an impact on mitochondrial products. Let us find out more.

On a physiological level, exposure to specific environmental elements (such as some prescription medication, workplace toxins, and cigarette smoke) or chromosomal defects can result in mitochondrial malfunction. The cells then, runs out of energy when mitochondria ceases to work.

Furthermore, an insufficient number of mitochondria, an inability to supply the substrates required by mitochondria, a problem with the electron transport chain or the ATP production machinery are some other causes of mitochondrial dysfunction.


The majority of eukaryotic creatures contain a double-membrane-bound organelle known as a mitochondrion. The majority of cells adenosine triphosphate, which is then used as a source of chemical energy throughout the cell, is produced by mitochondria using aerobic respiration.

Sadiqua Noor

Hi...I am Sadiqua Noor, done Postgraduation in Biotechnology, my area of interest is molecular biology and genetics, apart from these I have a keen interest in scientific article writing in simpler words so that the people from non-science backgrounds can also understand the beauty and gifts of science. I have 5 years of experience as a tutor. Let's connect through LinkedIn-

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