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J Biol Chem. 2007 Apr 13;282(15):11521-9. Epub 2007 Feb 14.

Mitotic phosphorylation of dynamin-related GTPase Drp1 participates in mitochondrial fission.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.


Organelles are inherited to daughter cells beyond dynamic changes of the membrane structure during mitosis. Mitochondria are dynamic entities, frequently dividing and fusing with each other, during which dynamin-related GTPase Drp1 is required for the fission reaction. In this study, we analyzed mitochondrial dynamics in mitotic mammalian cells. Although mitochondria in interphase HeLa cells are long tubular network structures, they are fragmented in early mitotic phase, and the filamentous network structures are subsequently reformed in the daughter cells. In marked contrast, tubular mitochondrial structures are maintained during mitosis in Drp1 knockdown cells, indicating that the mitochondrial fragmentation in mitosis requires mitochondrial fission by Drp1. Drp1 was specifically phosphorylated in mitosis by Cdk1/cyclin B on Ser-585. Exogenous expression of unphosphorylated mutant Drp1S585A led to reduced mitotic mitochondrial fragmentation. These results suggest that phosphorylation of Drp1 on Ser-585 promotes mitochondrial fission in mitotic cells.

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