Reference: Xu N, et al. (2005) Mitochondrial DNA impacts the morphology of mitochondrial compartments. Gene 354:37-42

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Abstract


Mitochondrial compartments of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae experience continual morphological alterations. Mitochondrial compartments of wild-type yeast, when observed using fluorescent markers, are usually found to be a network of extended tubular structures. However, a quantitative analysis of mitochondrial structures in a genetically homogenous population of wild-type yeast revealed that although the majority of individual yeast cells contained the expected extended network of mitochondrial tubules, a significant number of cells were found to exclusively contain condensed globular mitochondrial compartments or a mixture of extended and globular mitochondrial compartments. Additionally, this distribution of mitochondrial morphologies was found to be dependent upon the presence of mitochondrial DNA. Cells containing intact wild-type genomes or a deletion mutation of the COX2 gene gave rise to populations of yeast in which at least 80% of the cells contained only extended tubular networks of mitochondria. In isogenic yeast strains lacking mitochondrial DNA or containing a mitochondrial genome composed of reiterated COX2 sequences, only 30 to 40% of the cells in the population had exclusively extended mitochondrial networks, and the remaining cells in the population were composed of cells exhibiting either exclusively condensed or both condensed and extended mitochondrial profiles. We conclude that either a specific sequence element or a mitochondrially encoded gene product is required for promoting a pervasive distribution of extended tubular mitochondrial compartments.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Xu N, Thorsness MK, Thorsness PE
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