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It is generally believed that the cell cycle consists essentially of the mitotic cycle, which involves mitosis and cytokinesis. These processes are becoming increasingly well understood at the molecular level. However, successful cell reproduction requires duplication and segregation (inheritance) of all of the cellular contents, including not only the cell-nuclear genome but also intracellular organelles. Eukaryotic cells contain at least three types of double membrane-bounded organelles (cell nucleus, mitochondria and plastids), four types of single membrane-bounded organelles (endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes and microbodies) and the cytoskeleton, which comprises tubulin-based structures (including microtubules, centrosome and spindle) and actin microfilaments. These membrane-bounded organelles cannot be formed de novo and daughter organelles must be inherited from parent organelles during cell cycle. Regulation of organelle division and its coordination with the progression of the cell cycle involves a sequence of events that are subjected to precise spatio-temporal control. Considering that the cells of higher animals and plants contain many organelles which tend to behave somewhat randomly, there is little information concerning the division and inheritance of these double- and single-membrane-bounded organelles during the cell cycle. Here, we summarize the current cytological and morphological knowledge of the cell cycle, including the division cycles of seven membrane-bounded and some non-membrane-bounded organelles. The underlying mechanisms and the biological relevance of these processes are discussed, particularly with respect to cells of the primitive alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae that have a minimum of organelles. We discuss unsolved problems and future perspectives opened by recent studies.


Yuuta Imoto, Yamato Yoshida, Fumi Yagisawa, Haruko Kuroiwa, Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa. The cell cycle, including the mitotic cycle and organelle division cycles, as revealed by cytological observations. Journal of electron microscopy. 2011;60 Suppl 1:S117-36

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PMID: 21844584

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