Transmitochondrial cybrids: tools for functional studies of mutant mitochondria

Methods Mol Biol. 2012:837:219-30. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-504-6_15.


Mitochondrial functions are controlled by both mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA. Hence, it is difficult to identify whether mitochondrial or nuclear genome is responsible for a particular mitochondrial defect. Cybrid is a useful tool to overcome this difficulty, where we can compare mitochondria from different sources in a defined nuclear background. Cybrids are constructed by fusing enucleated cells harboring wild type or altered mtDNA of interest with ρ(0) cells (cells lacking mtDNA) in which the endogenous mtDNA has been depleted. Therefore, cybrids are very useful in studying consequences of mtDNA alterations or other mitochondrial defects at the cellular level by excluding the influence of nuclear DNA mutations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Fusion / methods*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / metabolism
  • Ethidium / metabolism
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Mutation*
  • Transfection
  • Uridine / metabolism


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Genetic Markers
  • Ethidium
  • Uridine