The cluA- mutant of Dictyostelium identifies a novel class of proteins required for dispersion of mitochondria

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Jul 8;94(14):7308-13. doi: 10.1073/pnas.94.14.7308.


The cluA gene of Dictyostelium discoideum encodes a novel 150-kDa protein. Disruption of cluA results in clustering of mitochondria near the cell center. This is a striking difference from normal cells, whose mitochondria are dispersed uniformly throughout the cytoplasm. The mutant cell populations also exhibit an increased frequency of multinucleated cells, suggesting an impairment in cytokinesis. Both phenotypes are reversed by transformation of cluA- cells with a plasmid carrying a constitutively expressed cluA gene. The predicted sequence of the cluA gene product is homologous to sequences encoded by open reading frames in the genomes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans, but not to any known protein. The only exception is a short region with some homology to the 42-residue imperfect repeats present in the kinesin light chain, which probably function in protein-protein interaction. These studies identify a new class of proteins that appear to be required for the proper distribution of mitochondria.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Dictyostelium / genetics*
  • Dictyostelium / ultrastructure
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Protozoan Proteins*


  • CluA protein, Dictyostelium discoideum
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Protozoan Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/P34466
  • GENBANK/U49332
  • GENBANK/Z48613