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October 8, 2020
Cell division may look like hard work, but a team led by the Manalis Lab and including the Vander Heiden and Yaffe Labs found that mitosis may take much less energy than expected. In a study appearing in Nature Communications, researchers measured the membrane potential of mitochondria (the powerhouses of the cell) at single-cell resolution and then, using an “electrical circuit” mathematical model, estimated that mitochondria produce ATP (the cell’s primary fuel) about half as quickly during mitosis than outside mitosis.
This study was supported in part by the Koch Institute Frontier Research Program through the Kathy and Curt Marble Cancer Research Fund, the MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine, the Lustgarten Foundation, and the Ludwig Center at MIT.