Understand, Prevent & Cure Mitochondrial Diseases

Mito Time Line

Pre 1900

  • First descriptions of mitochondria in cells; speculations about them as bacteria


  • 1930 Formulation of urea and TCA cycle by H. Krebs


  • 1950 Identification of mitochondria by electron microscopy (Palade, Sjostrand)
  • 1950s Mitochondria as site of fatty acid oxidation (Lehninger, Kennedy) Mitochondria as site of respiration and oxidative phosphorylation
  • 1953 Discovery of cytoplasmic inheritance in yeast (Ephrussi, Slonimski)
  • 1955 Definitive respiratory chain analysis (Chance and Williams, Ernster)

1960's & 70's

  • 1960 Fractionation and characterization of major complexes of electron transport chain and ATP synthase. Definition of mobile carriers ubiquinone and cytochrome c
  • 1961 Discovery of DNA in mitochondria (M.M.K. and S. Nass)
  • 1967 Discovery of mitochondrial ribosomes - Thomas W. O'Brien and George F. Kalf
  • 1962-70's Formulation of chemiosmotic hypothesis by P. Mitchell and slow acceptance by the scientific community


  • 1980s Identification of all genes on mammalian mtDNA Elucidation of poly-cistronic transcripts, RNA processing, mRNAs Identification of translation products In vitro mitochondrial protein import and definition of requirements Basics of mtDNA replication
  • 1981 Complete sequence of a mammalian mitochondrial DNA
  • 1988 First molecular identification of cause of mitochondrial diseases


  • 1990s First complete sequences of plant mtDNAs
  • 1990s Transformation of mtDNA in yeast (introduction of DNA by microprojectiles)
  • 1997 Mitochondria and apoptosis: bcl2, cytochrome c; the permeability
  • 1997 Direct demonstration of molecular rotation associated with complex V activitytransition


Note: This is a partial list, please suggest further addition