Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26530674
Link to DOI – 10.1007/978-1-4939-3040-1_5
Methods Mol Biol 2016 ; 1351(): 49-65
Mitochondria autonomously replicate and transcribe their own genome, which is present in multiple copies in the organelle. Transcription and replication of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which are defined here as mtDNA processing, are essential for mitochondrial function. The extent, efficiency, and coordination of mtDNA processing are key parameters of the mitochondrial state in living cells. Recently, single-cell analysis of mtDNA processing revealed a large and dynamic heterogeneity of mitochondrial populations in single cells, which is linked to mitochondrial function and is altered during disease. This was achieved using mitochondrial Transcription and Replication Imaging Protocol (mTRIP), a modified fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) approach that simultaneously reveals the mitochondrial RNA content and mtDNA engaged in initiation of replication at the single-cell level. mTRIP can also be coupled to immunofluorescence or MitoTracker, resulting in the additional labeling of proteins or active mitochondria, respectively. Therefore, mTRIP detects quantitative and qualitative alterations of the dynamics of mtDNA processing in human cells that respond to physiological changes or result from diseases. In addition, we show here that mTRIP is a rather sensitive tool for detecting mitochondrial alterations that may lead to loss of cell viability, and is thereby a useful tool for monitoring sublethal cytotoxicity for instance during chronic drug treatment.