A unique type of nonstochastic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) segregation was found in mammalian cells. In human cell hybrids isolated from the fusion of HeLa cells with 23, GM639, A549, or 293 cells, HeLa mtDNA was always lost from the hybrids, whereas both parental mtDNAs were maintained in hybrids of HeLa × 143BTK-. Similar phenomena were observed in mouse cell hybrids isolated by the fusion of cells with different mtDNA types. Types 1, 2, and 3, can be distinguished from each other by restriction fragment-length polymorphisms. The mouse cell hybrids between cells with type 1 and type 2 mtDNA always lost type 2 mtDNA, whereas the hybrids between cells with type 2 and type 3 mtDNA retained both types stably. These observations suggest that either a codominant or a dominant/recessive relationship may be present in intraspecies mitochondrial genomes of human and mouse cells. When the mitochondrial genomes in cell hybrids are codominant, stochastic segregation occurs while nonstochastic segregation occurs when they are in the dominant/recessive relationship. These concepts may help elucidate organelle heredity in animals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology