Motors, anchors, and connectors: orchestrators of organelle inheritance

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2015;31:55-81. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-100814-125553. Epub 2015 Oct 5.


Organelle inheritance is a process whereby organelles are actively distributed between dividing cells at cytokinesis. Much valuable insight into the molecular mechanisms of organelle inheritance has come from the analysis of asymmetrically dividing cells, which transport a portion of their organelles to the bud while retaining another portion in the mother cell. Common principles apply to the inheritance of all organelles, although individual organelles use specific factors for their partitioning. Inheritance factors can be classified as motors, which are required for organelle transport; anchors, which immobilize organelles at distinct cell structures; or connectors, which mediate the attachment of organelles to motors and anchors. Here, we provide an overview of recent advances in the field of organelle inheritance and highlight how motor, anchor, and connector molecules choreograph the segregation of a multicopy organelle, the peroxisome. We also discuss the role of organelle population control in the generation of cellular diversity.

Keywords: Saccharomyces cerevisiae; organelle division; organelle population control; organelle retention; organelle transport; peroxisomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology*
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Cytokinesis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Organelles / physiology*
  • Peroxisomes / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology


  • Membrane Proteins