Cytoplasmic Inheritance of Rutamycin Resistance in Mammalian Cells

  • Godfrey S. Getz
  • Kathleen L. Kornafel


The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven the most informative model organism for the study of mitochondrial biogenesis and genetics. This is attributed to its ability to grow anaerobically and therefore without mitochondrial respiration. It was its ability to grow in the absence of mitochondrial protein synthesis that initially led Slonimski and colleagues (Coen et al., 1970) to seek mutants resistant to inhibitors of this process. In the last 10–15 years a rich library of information on mitochondrial genetics has been accumulated, so that the mitochondrial genome has probably become the best understood of eukaryotic genomes. The yeast mitochondrial genome is 70–76 kb in size and codes for the two ribosomal RNAs, 24 tRNAs, cytochrome b, three cytochrome oxidase peptides, and at least two ATPase peptides, as well as at least one ribosomal (Var) protein (Schatz and Mason, 1974; Borst and Grivell, 1978; Locker and Rabinowitz, 1979; Tzagoloff et al., 1979). The vast majority of the mitochondrial proteins are specified by the nuclear genome, are synthesized in the cytoplasm, in some cases as larger precursors, and are specifically imported into the mitochondria (Schatz, 1979). Several but not all of the yeast mitochondrial genomes contain intervening sequences (Bos et al., 1978; Haid et al., 1979; Bonitz et al., 1980). Indeed the complete nucleotide sequence of most of these genes has now been determined. A substantial portion of the yeast mitochondrial genome appears to consist of spacer DNA, whose role, if any, is unclear. Recombination between mitochondrial DNA molecules has been unequivocally demonstrated (Lewin et al., 1979).


Mitochondrial Genome Lactic Acid Production Chinese Hamster Cell Chloramphenicol Resistance Mitochondrial Protein Synthesis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Godfrey S. Getz
    • 1
  • Kathleen L. Kornafel
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Pathology and BiochemistryUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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