Organization of multiple nucleoids and DNA molecules in mitochondria of a human cell

Exp Cell Res. 1991 Sep;196(1):137-40. doi: 10.1016/0014-4827(91)90467-9.


Mitochondrial nucleoids (mt-nucleoids) of the A2780 line of cultured human cells were stained with DAPI and observed using an epifluorescence microscope. The mt-nucleoids appeared to be organized compactly in mitochondria. Numbers of mt-nucleoids per mitochondrion ranged from 1 to more than 10, and 70% were "multinucleated" mitochondria. Intensities of fluorescence of mt-nucleoids in each mitochondrion were measured by a video-intensified microscope system (VIM system) and copy numbers of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in each mitochondria were determined. The copy numbers of mtDNA per mitochondrion ranged from 1 to 15, and the average was 4.6. Because the cells had 107 mitochondria on average, the copy number of mtDNA per cell was estimated to be about 500.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / ultrastructure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Ovary / ultrastructure*
  • Staining and Labeling / methods


  • DNA, Mitochondrial