Double-Membrane-Bounded Organelles: Recent Findings Regarding Division, Inheritance, Structure, and Evolution of the Nucleus, Mitochondria, and Chloroplasts

  • Yamato Yoshida
  • Yuki Sakamoto
  • Katsuya Iwasaki
  • Shinichiro Maruyama
  • Sachihiro MatsunagaEmail author


The nucleus of Cyanidioschyzon merolae has quite a limited set of components. The core and linker histones, H2A.Z, and a centromeric histone variant CenH3 are preserved, but H2A variants including H2A.X, H2A.M, and H2A.W are absent. Some proteins of the nuclear pore complex and nucleoli are also preserved, but almost all homologs of nuclear lamina and nuclear envelope proteins are lacking. The chloroplast of this species is divided by a ring, which is composed of two inner rings, the FtsZ ring and inner plastid-dividing (PD) ring, and two outer rings, the outer PD ring and dynamin ring. Identification of the PD ring components in C. merolae enabled us to elucidate the molecular mechanism behind the PD machinery. For example, a glycosyltransferase protein, plastid-dividing ring 1, acts in establishing the PD ring by forming ring-shaped polyglucan filaments. The division of mitochondria is performed by the mitochondrion-dividing (MD), FtsZ, and dynamin rings. Mda1 functions as a mediator for stably linking a dynamin. In addition, an FtsZ-associated protein, ZED, is involved in completing the inner rings of the MD machinery. Analyses of the mechanisms of mitochondrial and chloroplast division in C. merolae contribute to our understanding of the endosymbiotic process of double-membrane-bounded organelles.


Nucleus Nuclear envelope Nuclear pore Histone Chloroplast Plastid PD ring FtsZ Dynamin Mitochondria MD ring 



This work was supported by a Human Frontier Science Program Long Term Fellowship (No. LT000356/2011-L) to Y.Y. and a grant for XFEL key technology and the X-ray Free Electron Laser Priority Strategy Program from MEXT to Sa.M. (Tokyo University of Science), MEXT/JSPS KAKENHI No. JP26291067 and JP15H05962 to Sa.M. (Tokyo University of Science), and JP15K18562 to Sh.M. (Tohoku University).


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yamato Yoshida
    • 1
  • Yuki Sakamoto
    • 2
  • Katsuya Iwasaki
    • 3
  • Shinichiro Maruyama
    • 4
  • Sachihiro Matsunaga
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory for Single Cell Gene DynamicsQuantitative Biology CenterSuitaJapan
  2. 2.Imaging Frontier Center, Organization for Research AdvancementTokyo University of ScienceNodaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Science and TechnologyTokyo University of ScienceNodaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Life Sciences, Graduate School of Life SciencesTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

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