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Trends Genet. 1998 May;14(5):184-8.

Linear mitochondrial genomes: 30 years down the line.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia.


At variance with the earlier belief that mitochondrial genomes are represented by circular DNA molecules, a large number of organisms have been found to carry linear mitochondrial DNA. Studies of linear mitochondrial genomes might provide a novel view on the evolutionary history of organelle genomes and contribute to delineating mechanisms of maintenance and functioning of telomeres. Because linear mitochondrial DNA is present in a number of human pathogens, its replication mechanisms might become a target for drugs that would not interfere with replication of human circular mitochondrial DNA.

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