Something else in the body seems to make ATP
April 3, 2013 11:52 AM   Subscribe

And it doesn't seem to be Mitochondria. I've always been fascinated by Mitochondria for two reasons. One: they have their own genes and reproduce on their own while living in human body cells. Two: they turn the food we eat into a specialized molecule, ATP, that powers almost everything the Cell or the rest of the human body does. They are so small that we only get them from our Mothers in the Egg because they're too big to go into sperm cells but *they* provide the energy for everything we do. Turns out there is something hidden in Nerve cells that also makes the energy (ATP) that turns the wheels of Cell machinery.
posted by aleph (3 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Seems like maybe neat news but this is a really short article about it and posts to the front page of Metafilter need to be a little bit less "here's my personal thoughts on the subject" in their framing. -- cortex

Here is the actual paper if you have access to these things. If you do not please feel free to memail me with an email address I can send a PDF to and a promise not to distribute it further - for the purposes of this academic discussion we are currently having.
Vesicular Glycolysis Provides On-Board Energy for Fast Axonal Transport
Fast axonal transport (FAT) requires consistent energy over long distances to fuel the molecular motors that transport vesicles. We demonstrate that glycolysis provides ATP for the FAT of vesicles. Although inhibiting ATP production from mitochondria did not affect vesicles motility, pharmacological or genetic inhibition of the glycolytic enzyme GAPDH reduced transport in cultured neurons and in Drosophila larvae. GAPDH localizes on vesicles via a huntingtin-dependent mechanism and is transported on fast-moving vesicles within axons. Purified motile vesicles showed GAPDH enzymatic activity and produced ATP. Finally, we show that vesicular GAPDH is necessary and sufficient to provide on-board energy for fast vesicular transport. Although detaching GAPDH from vesicles reduced transport, targeting GAPDH to vesicles was sufficient to promote FAT in GAPDH deficient neurons. This specifically localized glycolytic machinery may supply constant energy, independent of mitochondria, for the processive movement of vesicles over long distances in axons.
I'm going to go read it so I can report back
posted by Blasdelb at 12:03 PM on April 3, 2013

posted by Strange Interlude at 12:09 PM on April 3, 2013

I thought "huntingtin" had to be a typo, so I looked it up. It's not. It's pretty interesting in and of itself.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:09 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

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