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Dynamic Regulation Of Mitochondrial Genome Maintenance In Germ Cells

K. Kasashima, Y. Nagao, H. Endo
Published 2014 · Biology, Medicine

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Mitochondria play a crucial role in the development and function of germ cells. Mitochondria contain a maternally inherited genome that should be transmitted to offspring without reactive oxygen species-induced damage during germ line development. Germ cells are also involved in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) bottleneck; thus, the appropriate regulation of mtDNA in these cells is very important for this characteristic transmission. In this review, we focused on unique regulation of the mitochondrial genome in animal germ cells; paternal elimination and the mtDNA bottleneck in females. We also summarized the mitochondrial nucleoid factors involved in various mtDNA regulation pathways. Among them, mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), which has pleiotropic and essential roles in mtDNA maintenance, appears to have putative roles in germ cell regulation.
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