Cells depleted of mitochondrial DNA (ρ0) yield insight into physiological mechanisms

Navdeep S. Chandel*, Paul T. Schumacker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


A resurgence of interest in mitochondrial physiology has recently developed as a result of new experimental data demonstrating that mitochondria function as important participants in a diverse collection of novel intracellular signaling pathways. Cells depleted of mitochondrial DNA, or ρ0 cells, lack critical respiratory chain catalytic subunits that are encoded in the mitochondrial genome. Although ρ0 cells contain petit mitochondria, they cannot support normal oxidative phosphorylation and must survive and replicate using ATP derived solely from glycolysis. Without a functional electron transport chain, ρ0 cells cannot normally regulate redox potential and their mitochondria appear to be incapable of generating reactive oxygen species. Emerging evidence suggests that these signals are important components in a number of mitochondria-initiated signaling pathways. The present article focuses on how ρ0 cells have contributed to an understanding of the role that mitochondria play in distinct physiological pathways involved with apoptosis, glucose-induced insulin secretion, and oxygen sensing. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-176
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 9 1999


  • Apoptosis
  • Hypoxia
  • Insulin
  • Mitochondrion
  • Oxygen sensing
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Rho zero cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cells depleted of mitochondrial DNA (ρ0) yield insight into physiological mechanisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this