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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit



About MITOTrumps

MITOTrumps is a card game based on mitochondrial proteins. On each card there is an image of a mitochondrial protein, along with numerical statistics relating to that protein - amino acid number, mutations (the number of variants listed on gnomAD), publications, chromosome number, and an MBU rating. Each card has a picture of either the structure of the protein (in a complex, if relevant), a closely related structure (e.g. the bovine ortholog), or an Alphafold model. There is also a short sentence describing the protein and a little bubble with the location of it within the mitochondria.

To play

The cards in a deck are divided equally between the players, with each player holding their cards in a stack facing them such that they can only see their own top card. One player reads out a statistic and their score e.g. Amino acids 298, and all the other players check the number of amino acids on their top card. The person in the group with the highest number of amino acids gets to take each of the cards from the other players and add it to the back of their deck. They then call the next stat! This continues until one person has all of the cards, and they are declared the winner.

Originally developed as our contribution to the 2022 Cambridge Festival, the game is available below as .pdf for our visitors to download, print and play.

To save ink, you might prefer to set the printing to single-side; odd pages only.

MITOTrumps (4 cards to one A4 page)

MITOTrumps (8 cards to one A4 page)


We welcome feedback about our audiences and how you found this activity. Please take a few moments to complete our feedback questionnaire.

Thank you!

Further Information

MitoTrumps is also featured in the Biochemical Society's list of curated content packages and is hosted on the Portland Press website - where you can find further information about mitochondria.


We would like to thank members of the MBU who helped to develop this game, particularly its creator, Alannah King (PhD student), Cambridge Reprographics, TenHats, the 1st Stapleford Brownies. We also thank the Biochemical Society for its promotion of this resource. 

MBU Public Engagement Committee