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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 May-Jun;1763(5-6):463-72. Epub 2006 Apr 20.

Organization, dynamics and transmission of mitochondrial DNA: focus on vertebrate nucleoids.

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INSERM U582, Institut de Myologie, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, IFR14, 47, boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75651 Paris cedex 13, France.


Eukaryotic cells contain numerous copies of the mitochondrial genome (from 50 to 100 copies in the budding yeast to some thousands in humans) that localize to numerous intramitochondrial nucleoprotein complexes called nucleoids. The transmission of mitochondrial DNA differs significantly from that of nuclear genomes and depends on the number, molecular composition and dynamic properties of nucleoids and on the organization and dynamics of the mitochondrial compartment. While the localization, dynamics and protein composition of mitochondrial DNA nucleoids begin to be described, we are far from knowing all mechanisms and molecules mediating and/or regulating these processes. Here, we review our current knowledge on vertebrate nucleoids and discuss similarities and differences to nucleoids of other eukaryots.

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