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Mol Biol Cell. 2005 Nov;16(11):5410-7. Epub 2005 Aug 31.

Role of essential genes in mitochondrial morphogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Institut für Zellbiologie, Universität Bayreuth, Germany.


Mitochondria are essential organelles of eukaryotic cells. Inheritance and maintenance of mitochondrial structure depend on cytoskeleton-mediated organelle transport and continuous membrane fusion and fission events. However, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae most of the known components involved in these processes are encoded by genes that are not essential for viability. Here we asked which essential genes are required for mitochondrial distribution and morphology. To address this question, we performed a systematic screen of a yeast strain collection harboring essential genes under control of a regulatable promoter. This library contains 768 yeast mutants and covers approximately two thirds of all essential yeast genes. A total of 119 essential genes were found to be required for maintenance of mitochondrial morphology. Among these, genes were highly enriched that encode proteins involved in ergosterol biosynthesis, mitochondrial protein import, actin-dependent transport processes, vesicular trafficking, and ubiquitin/26S proteasome-dependent protein degradation. We conclude that these cellular pathways play an important role in mitochondrial morphogenesis and inheritance.

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