Mitochondrial solar sensitivity: evolutionary and biomedical implications

Andrei P. Sommer

Abstract

Depending on cellular demand or oxidative stress, mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or reactive oxygen species (ROS), thereby controlling the entire scale of cellular energy supply or disease, respectively. While deficiency in ROS can compromise the immune system, excessive ROS levels contribute to a large number of pathological conditions, including retinal, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease as well as cancer. Aging is also a process accelerated by ROS.