Mammalian mitochondrial nucleoids: organizing an independently minded genome

Mitochondrion. 2007 Sep;7(5):311-21. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2007.06.004. Epub 2007 Jul 4.


Mitochondrial DNA is arranged in nucleoprotein complexes, or nucleoids. Nucleoid proteins include not only factors involved in replication and transcription but also structural proteins required for mitochondrial DNA maintenance. Although several nucleoid proteins have been identified and characterized in yeast over the course of the past decade, little was known of mammalian mitochondrial nucleoids until recently. Two publications in the past year have expanded considerably the pool of putative mammalian mitochondrial nucleoid proteins; and analysis of one of the candidates, ATAD3p, suggests that mitochondrial nucleoid formation and division are orchestrated, not random, events.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATPases Associated with Diverse Cellular Activities
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Replication / physiology
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / physiopathology
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / physiology
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Nucleoproteins / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / ultrastructure


  • ATAD3A protein, human
  • ATAD3B protein, human
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Nucleoproteins
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • ATPases Associated with Diverse Cellular Activities