Mitochondrial inheritance: cell cycle and actin cable dependence of polarized mitochondrial movements in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1997;37(3):199-210. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0169(1997)37:3<199::AID-CM2>3.0.CO;2-2.


Asymmetric growth and division of budding yeast requires the vectorial transport of growth components and organelles from mother to daughter cells. Time lapse video microscopy and vital staining were used to study motility events which result in partitioning of mitochondria in dividing yeast. We identified four different stages in the mitochondrial inheritance cycle: (1) mitochondria align along the mother-bud axis prior to bud emergence in G1 phase, following polarization of the actin cytoskeleton; (2) during S phase, mitochondria undergo linear, continuous and polarized transfer from mother to bud; (3) during S and G2 phases, inherited mitochondria accumulate in the bud tip. This event occurs concomitant with accumulation of actin patches in this region; and (4) finally, during M phase prior to cytokinesis, mitochondria are released from the bud tip and redistribute throughout the bud. Previous studies showed that yeast mitochondria colocalize with actin cables and that isolated mitochondria contain actin binding and motor activities on their surface. We find that selective destabilization of actin cables in a strain lacking the tropomyosin 1 gene (TPM1) has no significant effect on the velocity of mitochondrial motor activity in vivo or in vitro. However, tpm1 delta mutants display abnormal mitochondrial distribution and morphology; loss of long distance, directional mitochondrial movement; and delayed transfer of mitochondria from the mother cell to the bud. Thus, cell cycle-linked mitochondrial motility patterns which lead to inheritance are strictly dependent on organized and properly oriented actin cables.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology*
  • Actins / ultrastructure
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Polarity / physiology
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology*
  • Fungal Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Gene Deletion
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / ultrastructure
  • Tropomyosin / genetics


  • Actins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Tropomyosin