How is the form of mitochondria related to its function?

The form of the mitochondria contribute to their function by housing enzymes, allowing increased surface area through the cristae of the inner membrane, and regulating energy production through mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondria make ATP, convert food energy into energy useful to cells, contribute to apoptosis, store calcium, and help keep the body warm.

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Mitochondria are amazing little organelles found in every cell of our bodies. They have several important functions. First, they make the chemical adenosine triphosphate (ATP) through a series of chemical reactions called the Krebs cycle. Mitochondria also convert energy from our food into energy useful to our cells through a process called oxidative phosphorylation. The ATP molecules then store that energy, which can be used as needed.

Mitochondira also contribute to the process of apoptosis, or cell death. Our cells get old and fail to function as they should, and when this happens, the mitochondria release a substance called cytochrome C, which in turn activates the enzyme caspase, which destroys the failed cells.

Mitochondria even store the critical element calcium until other cells need it. They also help us keep warm through a process called proton leak, which uses brown fat.

What's more, these little mitochondria are perfectly structured for the most efficient performance of their many functions. They have an outer membrane that allows molecules to pass through and houses enzymes that contribute to their functions. Their inner membrane is specially geared to the production of ATP, and it contains folds called cristae that increase the membrane's surface area and give it more space for its job. Many chemical reactions occur here that help the mitochondria carry out their tasks. The inner matrix holds the mitochondria's DNA, which helps regulate energy production and keeps the mitochondria functioning smoothly and correctly.

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