Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 81, Issue 10, pp 1229–1236 | Cite as

Do mitochondria have an immune system?

  • V. A. Popkov
  • L. D. Zorova
  • I. O. Korvigo
  • D. N. Silachev
  • S. S. Jankauskas
  • V. A. Babenko
  • I. B. Pevzner
  • T. I. Danilina
  • S. D. Zorov
  • E. Y. Plotnikov
  • D. B. Zorov


The question if mitochondria have some kind of immune system is not trivial. The basis for raising this question is the fact that bacteria, which are progenitors of mitochondria, do have an immune system. The CRISPR system in bacteria based on the principle of RNA interference serves as an organized mechanism for destroying alien nucleic acids, primarily those of viral origin. We have shown that mitochondria are also a target for viral attacks, probably due to a related organization of genomes in these organelles and bacteria. Bioinformatic analysis performed in this study has not given a clear answer if there is a CRISPR-like immune system in mitochondria. However, this does not preclude the possibility of mitochondrial immunity that can be difficult to decipher or that is based on some principles other than those of CRISPR.

Key words

mitochondria immune system virus 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. A. Popkov
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. D. Zorova
    • 3
  • I. O. Korvigo
    • 4
  • D. N. Silachev
    • 1
  • S. S. Jankauskas
    • 1
  • V. A. Babenko
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. B. Pevzner
    • 1
  • T. I. Danilina
    • 2
  • S. D. Zorov
    • 2
  • E. Y. Plotnikov
    • 1
  • D. B. Zorov
    • 1
  1. 1.Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical BiologyLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Faculty of Bioengineering and BioinformaticsLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  3. 3.International Laser Research CenterLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Moscow Institute of Physics and TechnologyDolgoprudnyRussia

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