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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Jun 2;344(2):500-10. Epub 2006 Apr 3.

The atypical Rho GTPases Miro-1 and Miro-2 have essential roles in mitochondrial trafficking.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Uppsala University, Biomedical Center, Box 595, S-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden.


We recently described the atypical Rho GTPases Miro-1 and Miro-2. These proteins have tandem GTP-binding domains separated by a linker region with putative calcium-binding motives. In addition, the Miro GTPases have a C-terminal transmembrane domain, which confers targeting to the mitochondria. It was reported previously that a constitutively active mutant of Miro-1 induced a clustering of the mitochondria. This response can be separated into two distinct phenotypes: a formation of aggregated mitochondria and the appearance of thread-like mitochondria probably caused by defects in mitochondrial trafficking. The first GTPase domain is required for the clustering of the mitochondria, but the effect is not dependent on the EF-hands. Miro-2 only induces aggregation and not the formation of thread-like mitochondria. Moreover, we show that Miro interacts with the Kinesin-binding proteins, GRIF-1 and OIP106, suggesting that the Miro GTPases form a link between the mitochondria and the trafficking apparatus of the microtubules.

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