Michael P. Yaffe
Organellar Division and Inheritance
We are interested in the division and inheritance of intracellular organelles. The major focus of our research is on mechanisms by which mitochondria divide and are distributed during cell proliferation. We have isolated yeast mutants defective in this essential process. We are analyzing the effects on these mutations on cells using microscopic analysis of subcellular structures and events, and we are identifying key components by cloning and analyzing the implicated genes. Our goals include identifying the structures that mediate organelle inheritance and elucidating the relationships between organelle movement and other key events of the cell cycle. A related area of interest is the cellular control of organelle morphology. This is being investigated with a combined biochemical and genetic approach.