Mitochondrial-nuclear co-evolution and its effects on OXPHOS activity and regulation

Dan Bar-Yaacov, Amit Blumberg, Dan Mishmar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Factors required for mitochondrial function are encoded both by the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. The order of magnitude higher mutation rate of animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) enforces tight co-evolution of mtDNA and nuclear DNA encoded factors. In this essay we argue that such co evolution exists at the population and inter-specific levels and affect disease susceptibility. We also argue for the existence of three modes of co-evolution in the mitochondrial genetic system, which include the interaction of mtDNA and nuclear DNA encoded proteins, nuclear protein - mtDNA-encoded RNA interaction within the mitochondrial translation machinery and nuclear DNA encoded proteins-mtDNA binging sites interaction in the frame of the mtDNA replication and transcription machineries. These modes of co evolution require co-regulation of the interacting factors encoded by the two genomes. Thus co evolution plays an important role in modulating mitochondrial activity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mitochondrial Gene Expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1111
Number of pages5
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2012


  • Co evolution
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial-nuclear interaction
  • Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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