Mitochondria-cytoskeleton associations in mammalian cytokinesis
The mitochondrial network fragments and becomes uniformly dispersed within the cytoplasm when mammalian cells enter mitosis. Such morphology and distribution of mitochondria was previously thought to facilitate the stochastic inheritance of mitochondria by daughter cells. In contrast, we recently reported that mitochondria in dividing mammalian cells are inherited by an ordered mechanism of inheritance mediated by microtubules. We showed that mitochondria are progressively enriched at the cell equator and depleted at the poles throughout division. Furthermore, the mitochondrial distribution during division is dependent on microtubules, indicating an ordered inheritance strategy. The microtubule-mediated positioning of mitochondria in dividing mammalian cells may have functional consequences for cell division and/or mitochondrial inheritance.