Unraveling biochemical pathways affected by mitochondrial dysfunctions using metabolomic approaches

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Mitochondrial dysfunction(s) (MDs) can be defined as alterations in the mitochondria, including mitochondrial uncoupling, mitochondrial depolarization, inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, mitochondrial network fragmentation, mitochondrial or nuclear DNA mutations and the mitochondrial accumulation of protein aggregates. All these MDs are known to alter the capacity of ATP production and are observed in several pathological states/diseases, including cancer, obesity, muscle and neurological disorders. The induction of MDs can also alter the secretion of several metabolites, reactive oxygen species production and modify several cell-signalling pathways to resolve the mitochondrial dysfunction or ultimately trigger cell death. Many metabolites, such as fatty acids and derived compounds, could be secreted into the blood stream by cells suffering from mitochondrial alterations. In this review, we summarize how a mitochondrial uncoupling can modify metabolites, the signalling pathways and transcription factors involved in this process. We describe how to identify the causes or consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction using metabolomics (liquid and gas chromatography associated with mass spectrometry analysis, NMR spectroscopy) in the obesity and insulin resistance thematic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-878
Number of pages47
Issue number3
Early online date25 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2014


  • Metabolites, Mitochondria Uncoupling, Mass Spectrometry, NMR, obesity


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