Doctoral dissertation

Mitochondria affects cell migration

Ana Andjelkovic
Every human starts as a single cell, but ends up being the sum of billions. In order to achieve this, cells not only divide to give rise to more cells but also travel around the body to find their correct location. This is known as cell migration, and is a critical process in the development of any animal. A breakdown in this process may lead to congenital defects, tissue injuries and metastatic tumors. For this reason, many researchers are interested to understand how cells move, and how they intrinsically know where their final destination is.

In her thesis, MSc Ana Andjelković demonstrates that cell migration is affected by cellular structures called mitochondria. Mitochondria are known as the 'powerhouse of the cell' because they produce most of the energy required by every cell in the body to survive.

The mitochondrial respiratory chain, which is the core of energy generation, affects cell migration which is important in our development, tissue repair and functioning of the immune system.

Elucidation of the processes that link mitochondrial perturbations with cell migration is of considerable medical importance and is likely to support the design of new and more effective treatments for metastatic tumors, tissue injuries, and congenital midline closure defects.

The doctoral dissertation of MSc Ana Andjelković, in the field of molecular biology, Expression of Alternative Oxidase Influences Cell Migration, will be publicly examined in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology in auditorium F115 of the Arvo building, Arvo Ylpön katu 34, on 14 September 2019 at 12 o’clock. The Opponent will be Professor Rafael Garesse from the Autonomous University of Madrid. The Custos will be Professor Howard Jacobs from Tampere University.

The dissertation is available online at