Erythromycin Resistance in Human Cells

  • Claus-Jens Doersen
  • Eric J. Stanbridge


The biogenesis of mitochondria depends on the cooperation of the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. The remarkable nature of the interaction is best seen in the assembly of the mitochondrial protein-synthesizing apparatus and the respiratory enzyme complexes of the inner mitochondrial membrane (Schatz and Mason, 1974; Borst and Grivell, 1978; Tzagoloff et al., 1979). Our understanding of the role of the mitochondrial genome in the biogenesis of mitochondria in lower eukaryotes has benefited from the vast number of mutants affecting mitochondrial function (Borst and Grivell, 1978; Tzagoloff et al., 1979). Many of these mutants were selected by virtue of their resistance to specific inhibitors of mitochondrial protein synthesis and respiration. A similar approach has been applied to somatic cells in recent years. Resistance to the mitochondrial protein synthesis inhibitors chloramphenicol (Bunn et al., 1974; Wallace et al., 1975; Mitchell and Attardi, 1978; Munro et al., 1978) and erythromycin (Doersen and Stanbridge, 1979) has been shown to be cytoplasmically inherited. Noncytoplasmically inherited resistance to carbomycin (Bunn and Eisenstadt, 1977a) and erythromycin (Molloy and Eisenstadt, 1979) has also been reported. Respiration deficiency resulting from defects in mitochondrial protein synthesis has been shown to be both cytoplasmically (Wiseman and Attardi, 1979) and nuclearly (Soderberg et al., 1979) inherited. Cytoplasmic inheritance of resistance to inhibition of respiration (Harris, 1978) and oxidative phosphorylation (Lichtor and Getz, 1977; Breen and Scheffler, 1980) has also been demonstrated. It is hoped that the continued characterization of these mutants and isolation of additional ones will enhance our understanding of the expression of the mammalian mitochondrial genome, the organization and sequence of which has resulted from elegant molecular studies (Attardi, 1981).


HeLa Cell Mitochondrial Genome Resistant Phenotype Resistant Cell Line Mitochondrial Preparation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claus-Jens Doersen
    • 1
  • Eric J. Stanbridge
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, California College of MedicineUniversity of California — IrvineIrvineUSA

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