Coordination of gene expression between organellar and nuclear genomes

Nat Rev Genet. 2008 May;9(5):383-95. doi: 10.1038/nrg2348.


Following the acquisition of chloroplasts and mitochondria by eukaryotic cells during endosymbiotic evolution, most of the genes in these organelles were either lost or transferred to the nucleus. Encoding organelle-destined proteins in the nucleus allows for host control of the organelle. In return, organelles send signals to the nucleus to coordinate nuclear and organellar activities. In photosynthetic eukaryotes, additional interactions exist between mitochondria and chloroplasts. Here we review recent advances in elucidating the intracellular signalling pathways that coordinate gene expression between organelles and the nucleus, with a focus on photosynthetic plants.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / genetics*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chloroplasts / genetics*
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism
  • Eukaryotic Cells / physiology
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology*
  • Genome, Chloroplast / physiology*
  • Genome, Mitochondrial / physiology*
  • Genome, Plant / physiology*
  • Plant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Plant Proteins