Dynamin-related proteins (DRPs) are key components of the organelle division machineries, functioning as molecular scissors during the fission process. In Arabidopsis, DRP3A and DRP3B are shared by peroxisomal and mitochondrial division, whereas the structurally-distinct DRP5B (ARC5) protein is involved in the division of chloroplasts and peroxisomes. Here, we further investigated the roles of DRP3A, DRP3B, and DRP5B in organelle division and plant development. Despite DRP5B's lack of stable association with mitochondria, drp5B mutants show defects in mitochondrial division. The drp3A-2 drp3B-2 drp5B-2 triple mutant exhibits enhanced mitochondrial division phenotypes over drp3A-2 drp3B-2, but its peroxisomal morphology and plant growth phenotypes resemble those of the double mutant. We further demonstrated that DRP3A and DRP3B form a supercomplex in vivo, in which DRP3A is the major component, yet DRP5B is not a constituent of this complex. We thus conclude that DRP5B participates in the division of three types of organelles in Arabidopsis, acting independently of the DRP3 complex. Our findings will help elucidate the precise composition of the DRP3 complex at organelle division sites, and will be instrumental to studies aimed at understanding how the same protein mediates the morphogenesis of distinct organelles that are linked by metabolism.
© 2012 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.