The Division of Endosymbiotic Organelles

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Science  05 Dec 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5651, pp. 1698-1704
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082192

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Mitochondria and chloroplasts are essential eukaryotic organelles of endosymbiotic origin. Dynamic cellular machineries divide these organelles. The mechanisms by which mitochondria and chloroplasts divide were thought to be fundamentally different because chloroplasts use proteins derived from the ancestral prokaryotic cell division machinery, whereas mitochondria have largely evolved a division apparatus that lacks bacterial cell division components. Recent findings indicate, however, that both types of organelles universally require dynamin-related guanosine triphosphatases to divide. This mechanistic link provides fundamental insights into the molecular events driving the division, and possibly the evolution, of organelles in eukaryotes.

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