Roles of mitochondrial dynamics under stressful and normal conditions in yeast cells.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2013 14;2013:139491. Epub 2013 Jul 14.

Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University, Vorobyevy Gory 1, Moscow 119992, Russia.

Eukaryotic cells contain dynamic mitochondrial filaments: they fuse and divide. Here we summarize data on the protein machinery driving mitochondrial dynamics in yeast and also discuss the factors that affect the fusion-fission balance. Fission is a general stress response of cells, and in the case of yeast this response appears to be prosurvival. At the same time, even under normal conditions yeast mitochondria undergo continuous cycles of fusion and fission. This seems to be a futile cycle and also expensive from the energy point of view. Why does it exist? Benefits might be the same as in the case of sexual reproduction. Indeed, mixing and separating of mitochondrial content allows mitochondrial DNA to segregate and recombine randomly, leading to high variation in the numbers of mutations per individual mitochondrion. This opens a possibility for effective purifying selection-elimination of mitochondria highly contaminated by deleterious mutations. The beneficial action presumes a mechanism for removal of defective mitochondria. We argue that selective mitochondrial autophagy or asymmetrical distribution of mitochondria during cell division could be at the core of such mechanism.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/139491DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3728513PMC
February 2014
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References

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Genome Biology 2001

Genetics 2002

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 2013

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2013

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