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Organization of DNA in Mammalian Mitochondria

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et des Particules, Laboratoire de Physique de Clermont, Université Clermont Auvergne, 63178 Clermont-Ferrand, France
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University of Gothenburg, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2770;
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
PDF [5069 KB, uploaded 5 June 2019]


As with all organisms that must organize and condense their DNA to fit within the limited volume of a cell or a nucleus, mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is packaged into nucleoprotein structures called nucleoids. In this study, we first introduce the general modes of DNA compaction, especially the role of the nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs) that structure the bacterial chromosome. We then present the mitochondrial nucleoid and the main factors responsible for packaging of mtDNA: ARS- (autonomously replicating sequence-) binding factor 2 protein (Abf2p) in yeast and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) in mammals. We summarize the single-molecule manipulation experiments on mtDNA compaction and visualization of mitochondrial nucleoids that have led to our current knowledge on mtDNA compaction. Lastly, we discuss the possible regulatory role of DNA packaging by TFAM in DNA transactions such as mtDNA replication and transcription. View Full-Text
Keywords: mitochondrial DNA; mtDNA compaction; mtDNA maintenance; mtDNA replication; mtDNA transcription mitochondrial DNA; mtDNA compaction; mtDNA maintenance; mtDNA replication; mtDNA transcription

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Farge, G.; Falkenberg, M. Organization of DNA in Mammalian Mitochondria. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2770.

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