The apparently stationary phase of mitochondrial motion was investigated in epithelial cells by spinning disk confocal light microscopy combined with image correlation based single particle tracking using custom software producing sub-pixel accuracy measurements (∼5 nm) at 10-12 Hz frame-rates. The analysis of these data suggests that the previously described stationary, or anchored phase, in mitochondrial movement actually comprise Brownian diffusion, interspersed with frequent and brief motor-driven events whose duration are stochastically determined. We have therefore discovered a new aspect of mitochondrial behavior, which we call stochastically determined, directed movement. © 2009 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
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