Mitochondrial retrograde signaling

Annu Rev Genet. 2006;40:159-85. doi: 10.1146/annurev.genet.40.110405.090613.


Mitochondrial retrograde signaling is a pathway of communication from mitochondria to the nucleus under normal and pathophysiological conditions. The best understood of such pathways is retrograde signaling in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It involves multiple factors that sense and transmit mitochondrial signals to effect changes in nuclear gene expression; these changes lead to a reconfiguration of metabolism to accommodate cells to defects in mitochondria. Analysis of regulatory factors has provided us with a mechanistic view of regulation of retrograde signaling. Here we review advances in the yeast retrograde signaling pathway and highlight its regulatory factors and regulatory mechanisms, its physiological functions, and its connection to nutrient sensing, TOR signaling, and aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / metabolism
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • target of rapamycin protein, S cerevisiae