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Mol Biol Cell. 2001 Feb;12(2):297-308.

Genome-wide responses to mitochondrial dysfunction.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9148, USA.


Mitochondrial dysfunction can lead to diverse cellular and organismal responses. We used DNA microarrays to characterize the transcriptional responses to different mitochondrial perturbations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We examined respiratory-deficient petite cells and respiratory-competent wild-type cells treated with the inhibitors of oxidative phosphorylation antimycin, carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone, or oligomycin. We show that respiratory deficiency, but not inhibition of mitochondrial ATP synthesis per se, induces a suite of genes associated with both peroxisomal activities and metabolite-restoration (anaplerotic) pathways that would mitigate the loss of a complete tricarboxylic acid cycle. The array data suggested, and direct microscopic observation of cells expressing a derivative of green fluorescent protein with a peroxisomal matrix-targeting signal confirmed, that respiratory deficiency dramatically induces peroxisome biogenesis. Transcript profiling of cells harboring null alleles of RTG1, RTG2, or RTG3, genes known to control signaling from mitochondria to the nucleus, suggests that there are multiple pathways of cross-talk between these organelles in yeast.

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