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Autophagy. 2014 Jul;10(7):1346-7. doi: 10.4161/auto.28981. Epub 2014 May 15.

ER-mitochondria contacts as sites of mitophagosome formation.

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  • 1Institut für Zellbiologie; Universität Bayreuth; Bayreuth, Germany.


Mitophagy is a degradative process that adapts the quantity and quality of mitochondria to the cellular needs. Mitochondria destined for degradation are marked by specific receptors that recruit the core autophagic machinery to the organellar surface. The organelle is then enclosed by a phagophore (PG) which fuses with the lysosome or vacuole where the mitochondrion is degraded. In spite of significant progress in recent years, several parts of the molecular machinery of mitophagy remain unknown. We used yeast as a model organism to screen for novel components and identified the mitochondria-ER tether ERMES (ER-mitochondria encounter structure) as a major player contributing to mitophagy and formation of mitophagosomes. Tethering of mitochondria to the ER appears to be important to supply the growing PG with lipids synthesized in the ER.


ERMES; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; endoplasmic reticulum; isolation membrane; mitochondria; mitophagosome; mitophagy; organelle contact site

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