PerspectiveCell Biology

NO Says Yes to Mitochondria

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Science  07 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5608, pp. 838-839
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082028

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What boosts the number of mitochondria in our cells when, for example, we need to generate more heat or to work our muscles harder? In his Perspective, Brown discusses the answer to this question revealed in new work by Nisoli and colleagues. The gas nitric oxide (produced by endothelial nitric oxide synthase) activates a transcriptional coactivator that directs expression of genes, which induce mitochondrial biogenesis.