Mitochondrial DNA is arranged in nucleoprotein complexes, or nucleoids. Nucleoid proteins include not only factors involved in replication and transcription but also structural proteins required for mitochondrial DNA maintenance. Although several nucleoid proteins have been identified and characterized in yeast over the course of the past decade, little was known of mammalian mitochondrial nucleoids until recently. Two publications in the past year have expanded considerably the pool of putative mammalian mitochondrial nucleoid proteins; and analysis of one of the candidates, ATAD3p, suggests that mitochondrial nucleoid formation and division are orchestrated, not random, events. © 2007 Mitochondria Research Society.
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