Distinct mitochondrial retrograde signals control the G1-S cell cycle checkpoint

Nat Genet. 2008 Mar;40(3):356-61. doi: 10.1038/ng.2007.50. Epub 2008 Feb 3.


During electron transport, the mitochondrion generates ATP and reactive oxygen species (ROS), a group of partially reduced and highly reactive metabolites of oxygen. In this in vivo genetic analysis in Drosophila melanogaster, we establish that disruption of complex I of the mitochondrial electron transport chain specifically retards the cell cycle during the G1-S transition. The mechanism involves a specific signaling cascade initiated by ROS and transduced by ASK-1, JNK, FOXO and the Drosophila p27 homolog, Dacapo. On the basis of our data combined with previous analyses of the system, we conclude that mitochondrial dysfunction activates at least two retrograde signals to specifically enforce a G1-S cell cycle checkpoint. One such signal involves an increase in AMP production and downregulation of cyclin E protein; another independent pathway involves increased ROS and upregulation of Dacapo. Thus, our results indicate that the mitochondrion can use AMP and ROS at sublethal concentrations as independent signaling molecules to modulate cell cycle progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Monophosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Monophosphate / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Electron Transport Complex I / genetics
  • Feedback, Physiological / physiology
  • G1 Phase / genetics
  • Genes, Mitochondrial
  • Lens, Crystalline / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / pharmacology*
  • S Phase / genetics
  • Signal Transduction* / drug effects


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • dap protein, Drosophila
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Electron Transport Complex I