Intramitochondrial transfer and engineering of mammalian mitochondrial genomes in yeast

Young Geol Yoon, Michael D. Koob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial genomes (mtDNA) depend on the nuclear genome with which they have evolved to provide essential replication functions and have been known to replicate as xenotransplants only in the cells of closely related species. We now report that complete mouse mitochondrial genomes can be stably transplanted into the mitochondrial network in yeast devoid of their own mtDNA. Our analyses of these xenomitochondrial yeast cells show that they are accurately replicating intact mouse mtDNA genomes without rearrangement and that these mtDNA genomes have the same overall topology as the mtDNA present in the mouse mitochondrial network (i.e., circular monomers). Moreover, non-mtDNA replication and selection sequences required for maintaining the mitochondrial genomes in bacterial hosts are dispensable in these yeast mitochondria and could be efficiently and seamlessly removed by targeted homologous recombination within the mitochondria. These findings demonstrate that the yeast mtDNA replication system is capable of accurately replicating intact mammalian mtDNA genomes without sequence loss or rearrangement and that yeast mitochondria are a highly versatile host system for engineering complete mammalian mitochondrial genomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Mitochondrial genome
  • Mitochondrial host
  • Non-mtDNA sequence
  • Petite mutant
  • Xenomitochondrial yeast
  • mtDNA engineering

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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