Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Mitochondrial dynamics and inheritance during cell division, development and disease


This is a nice review on mitochondrial dynamics during cell division, development and disease. A few highlights are mentioned here.

In cells lacking Drp1, mitochondria exist in elongated networks but they are still segregated to daughter cells (but less uniformly), probably because the machinery involved in cytokinesis is strong enough to cleave the mitochondria.

Mitochondria can be non-selectively removed as part of an autophagy response, but mitophagy can be selective too. Mitochondria that are experimentally depolarized attract autophagy machinery and undergo mitophagy.

The mtDNA bottleneck that occurs during oogenesis is discussed as well. A second mtDNA bottleneck occurs during early embryogenesis (there is no mtDNA replication in this stage which reduces mtDNA copy number).

A discussion about the depletion of parental mtDNA is also given, reasons for uniparental inheritance of mtDNA remain unclear..

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