J Cell Sci 2015 Feb 22;128(4):621-30. Epub 2015 Jan 22.
Department of Cell Biology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AL T6G 2H7, Canada
Eukaryotic cells replicate and partition their organelles between the mother cell and the daughter cell at cytokinesis. Polarized cells, notably the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are well suited for the study of organelle inheritance, as they facilitate an experimental dissection of organelle transport and retention processes. Much progress has been made in defining the molecular players involved in organelle partitioning in yeast. Each organelle uses a distinct set of factors - motor, anchor and adaptor proteins - that ensures its inheritance by future generations of cells. We propose that all organelles, regardless of origin or copy number, are partitioned by the same fundamental mechanism involving division and segregation. Thus, the mother cell keeps, and the daughter cell receives, their fair and equitable share of organelles. This mechanism of partitioning moreover facilitates the segregation of organelle fragments that are not functionally equivalent. In this Commentary, we describe how this principle of organelle population control affects peroxisomes and other organelles, and outline its implications for yeast life span and rejuvenation.