The Mitochondria of Cultured Mammalian Cells
Mitochondria are almost ubiquitous organelles in Eukaryota. They are highly dynamic and often complex structures in the cell. The mammalian mitochondrial proteome is predicted to comprise as many as 2000–2500 different proteins. Determination of the subcellular localization of any newly identified protein is one of the first steps toward unraveling its biological function. For most mitochondrial proteins, this can now be done relatively easily by cloning a complementary deoxyribonucleic acid of interest in frame with an additional sequence for a fluorescent or nonfluorescent protein tag. Transfection and subsequent visualization, either by direct fluorescence microscopy or by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, will give the first clue to mitochondrial localization. In combination with a fluorescent “marker” dye, the mitochondrial localization can be confirmed. This chapter describes some of the methods used in determining mitochondrial protein localization, which can also be used to study dynamics of mitochondria or individual mitochondrial proteins or protein complexes.
Key WordsDsRed fluorescent microscopy GFP mammalian cell culture MitoTracker PicoGreen transfection