Yeast mitochondria: An overview of mitochondrial biology and the potential of mitochondrial systems biology
Other text in scientific journal, 2018

Mitochondria are dynamic organelles of endosymbiotic origin that are essential components of eukaryal cells. They contain their own genetic machinery, have multicopy genomes and like their bacterial ancestors they consist of two membranes. However, the majority of the ancestral genome has been lost or transferred to the nuclear genome of the host, preserving only a core set of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Mitochondria perform numerous biological tasks ranging from bioenergetics to production of protein co-factors, including heme and iron-sulfur clusters. Due to the importance of mitochondria in many cellular processes, mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in a wide variety of human disorders. Much of our current knowledge on mitochondrial function and dysfunction comes from studies using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This yeast has good fermenting capacity, rendering tolerance to mutations that inactivate oxidative phosphorylation and complete loss of mitochondrial DNA. Here, we review yeast mitochondrial metabolism and function with focus on S. cerevisiae and its contribution in understanding mitochondrial biology. We further review how systems biology studies, including mathematical modeling, has allowed gaining new insight into mitochondrial function, and argue that this approach may enable us to gain a holistic view on how mitochondrial function interacts with different cellular processes.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae


Mitochondrial disorders

Mitochondrial metabolism


Carl Malina

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Christer Larsson

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Jens B Nielsen

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

FEMS Yeast Research

1567-1356 (ISSN) 1567-1364 (eISSN)

Vol. 18 5 foy040

Subject Categories


Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology



More information

Latest update