Failure is not an option – mitochondrial genome segregation in trypanosomes

Schneider, André; Ochsenreiter, Torsten (2018). Failure is not an option – mitochondrial genome segregation in trypanosomes. Journal of cell science, 131(18), jcs221820. Company of Biologists Limited 10.1242/jcs.221820

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Unlike most other model eukaryotes, Trypanosoma brucei and its relatives have a single mitochondrion with a single-unit mitochondrial genome that is termed kinetoplast DNA (kDNA). Replication of the kDNA is coordinated with the cell cycle. During binary mitochondrial fission and prior to cytokinesis, the replicated kDNA has to be faithfully segregated to the daughter organelles. This process depends on the tripartite attachment complex (TAC) that physically links the kDNA across the two mitochondrial membranes with the basal body of the flagellum. Thus, the TAC couples segregation of the replicated kDNA with segregation of the basal bodies of the old and the new flagellum. In this Review, we provide an overview of the role of the TAC in kDNA inheritance in T. brucei. We focus on recent advances regarding the molecular composition of the TAC, and discuss how the TAC is assembled and how its subunits are targeted to their respective TAC subdomains. Finally, we will contrast the segregation of the single-unit kDNA in trypanosomes to mitochondrial genome inheritance in yeast and mammals, both of which have numerous mitochondria that each contain multiple genomes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Schneider, André, Ochsenreiter, Torsten


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Company of Biologists Limited




Christina Schüpbach

Date Deposited:

19 Sep 2018 08:20

Last Modified:

14 Jul 2023 17:33

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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