Cellular origin is properly defined by the “endosymbiotic idea,” which famously states that larger organisms referred to as “eukaryotes” have advanced from more primitive single-celled organisms referred to as “prokaryotes.” This concept additionally explains that mitochondria — energy-producing factories of the cell — are literally derived from a prokaryotic microorganism, as a part of a course of referred to as “endosymbiosis.” Biologists imagine that their frequent ancestry is why the construction of mitochondria is “conserved” in eukaryotes, which means that it is extremely comparable throughout totally different species — from the only to most advanced organisms. Now, it’s identified that as cells divide, so do mitochondria, however precisely how mitochondrial division takes place stays a thriller.
Contemplating that mitochondria are concerned in among the most vital processes within the cell, together with the upkeep of mobile metabolism, discovering the reply to precisely how they replicate may spur additional developments in cell biology analysis.
In new research printed in Communications Biology, a bunch of scientists at Tokyo University of Science, led by Prof Sachihiro Matsunaga, wished to search out solutions associated with the origin of mitochondrial division. For their analysis, Prof Matsunaga and his workforce selected to check a kind of red alga — the only type of a eukaryote, containing solely one mitochondrion. Particularly, they wished to look at whether or not the equipment concerned in mitochondrial replication is conserved throughout completely different species and, if that’s the case, why.
The scientists first centered on an enzyme referred to as Aurora kinase, which is thought to activate a number of proteins concerned in cell division by “phosphorylating” them (a widely known course of by which phosphate teams are added to proteins to manage their capabilities). Through the use of strategies reminiscent of immunoblotting and kinase assays, they confirmed that the Aurora kinase in red algae phosphorylates a protein referred to as dynamic, which is concerned in mitochondrial division.
Having gained a little bit extra perception into how mitochondria divide in crimson algae, the scientists then puzzled if the method could possibly be comparable in additionally developed eukaryotes, reminiscent of people. Prof Matsunaga and his crew then used a human model of Aurora kinase to see if it phosphorylates human dynamin — and simply as they predicted, it did. This led them to conclude that the method by which mitochondria replicate may be very comparable in several eukaryotic organisms.