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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012, Article ID 836196, 12 pages
Review Article

Research on Plants for the Understanding of Diseases of Nuclear and Mitochondrial Origin

1Centro de Estudios Fotosintéticos y Bioquímicos (CEFOBI-CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Suipacha 531, 2000 Rosario, Argentina
2Department of Plant Biotechnology, Universidad Nacional de General San Martin (UNSAM), Avenida General Paz 5445, 1650 San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Received 17 February 2012; Accepted 28 March 2012

Academic Editor: Marina Clemente

Copyright © 2012 Claudia P. Spampinato and Diego F. Gomez-Casati. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Different model organisms, such as Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, mouse, cultured human cell lines, among others, were used to study the mechanisms of several human diseases. Since human genes and proteins have been structurally and functionally conserved in plant organisms, the use of plants, especially Arabidopsis thaliana, as a model system to relate molecular defects to clinical disorders has recently increased. Here, we briefly review our current knowledge of human diseases of nuclear and mitochondrial origin and summarize the experimental findings of plant homologs implicated in each process.