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Physiol Rev. 2009 Jul;89(3):799-845. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00030.2008.

Mitochondrial dynamics in mammalian health and disease.

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  • 1Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), CIBER de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas, and Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona 08028, Spain

Abstract

The meaning of the word mitochondrion (from the Greek mitos, meaning thread, and chondros, grain) illustrates that the heterogeneity of mitochondrial morphology has been known since the first descriptions of this organelle. Such a heterogeneous morphology is explained by the dynamic nature of mitochondria. Mitochondrial dynamics is a concept that includes the movement of mitochondria along the cytoskeleton, the regulation of mitochondrial architecture (morphology and distribution), and connectivity mediated by tethering and fusion/fission events. The relevance of these events in mitochondrial and cell physiology has been partially unraveled after the identification of the genes responsible for mitochondrial fusion and fission. Furthermore, during the last decade, it has been identified that mutations in two mitochondrial fusion genes (MFN2 and OPA1) cause prevalent neurodegenerative diseases (Charcot-Marie Tooth type 2A and Kjer disease/autosomal dominant optic atrophy). In addition, other diseases such as type 2 diabetes or vascular proliferative disorders show impaired MFN2 expression. Altogether, these findings have established mitochondrial dynamics as a consolidated area in cellular physiology. Here we review the most significant findings in the field of mitochondrial dynamics in mammalian cells and their implication in human pathologies.

PMID:
19584314
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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