Intramitochondrial location and dynamics of Crithidia fasciculata kinetoplast minicircle replication intermediates

Mark E. Drewa, Paul T. Englunda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Kinetoplast DNA, the mitochondrial DNA of Crithidia fasciculata, is organized into a network containing 5,000 topologically interlocked minicircles. This network, situated within the mitochondrial matrix, is condensed into a disk-shaped structure located near the basal body of the flagellum. Fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that before their replication, minicircles are released vectorially from the network face nearest the flagellum. Replication initiates in the zone between the flagellar face of the disk and the mitochondrial membrane (we term this region the kinetoflagellar zone [KFZ]). The replicating minicircles then move to two antipodal sites that flank the disk-shaped network. In later stages of replication, the number of free minicircles increases, accumulating transiently in the KFZ. The final replication events, including primer removal, repair of many of the gaps, and reattachment of the progeny minicircles to the network periphery, are thought to take place within the antipodal sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-743
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 14 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle
  • DNA replication
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Kinetoplast DNA
  • Trypanosomatid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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