Is cholesterol bad for mitochondria?


by Sayuri Miyamoto

Cholesterol is an important component of cell membranes and plays essential structural and signaling roles. It is synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum and distributed to other cell membranes/compartments through a tightly regulated trafficking system involving vesicular and non-vesicular processes [1]. Cholesterol distribution among intra-cellular membranes is not homogeneous. Mitochondria are cholesterol-poor organelles (less than 5 %). However, mitochondrial cholesterol is increased in cancer cell lines and treatment of these cells with statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) increases their susceptibility to chemotherapy [2].

How mitochondrial cholesterol could influence