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, 31 (1), 18-26

Coordinated Organization of Mitochondrial Lamellar Cristae and Gain of COX Function During Mitochondrial Maturation in Drosophila


Coordinated Organization of Mitochondrial Lamellar Cristae and Gain of COX Function During Mitochondrial Maturation in Drosophila

Yi-Fan Jiang et al. Mol Biol Cell.


Mitochondrial cristae contain electron transport chain complexes and are distinct from the inner boundary membrane (IBM). While many details regarding the regulation of mitochondrial structure are known, the relationship between cristae structure and function during organelle development is not fully described. Here, we used serial-section tomography to characterize the formation of lamellar cristae in immature mitochondria during a period of dramatic mitochondrial development that occurs after Drosophila emergence as an adult. We found that the formation of lamellar cristae was associated with the gain of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) function, and the COX subunit, COX4, was localized predominantly to organized lamellar cristae. Interestingly, 3D tomography showed some COX-positive lamellar cristae were not connected to IBM. We hypothesize that some lamellar cristae may be organized by a vesicle germination process in the matrix, in addition to invagination of IBM. OXA1 protein, which mediates membrane insertion of COX proteins, was also localized to cristae and reticular structures isolated in the matrix additional to the IBM, suggesting that it may participate in the formation of vesicle germination-derived cristae. Overall, our study elaborates on how cristae morphogenesis and functional maturation are intricately associated. Our data support the vesicle germination and membrane invagination models of cristae formation.

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