Mitochondrial Epigenetics: Non-Coding RNAs as a Novel Layer of Complexity
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Mitochondria are organelles responsible for several functions involved in cellular balance, including energy generation and apoptosis. For decades now, it has been well-known that mitochondria have their own genetic material (mitochondrial DNA), which is different from nuclear DNA in many ways. More recently, studies indicated that, much like nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA is regulated by epigenetic factors, particularly DNA methylation and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). This field is now called
... d is now called mitoepigenetics. Additionally, it has also been established that nucleus and mitochondria are constantly communicating to each other to regulate different cellular pathways. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying mitoepigenetics and nuclei–mitochondria communication, and also about the involvement of the ncRNAs in mitochondrial functions and related diseases. In this context, this review presents the state-of-the-art knowledge, focusing on ncRNAs as new players in mitoepigenetic regulation and discussing future perspectives of these fields.