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Trends Cell Biol. 2010 Feb;20(2):102-12. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2009.11.002. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

Control of mitochondrial transport and localization in neurons.

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Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, Gower St, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Mitochondria play an essential role in ATP generation, calcium buffering and apoptotic signalling. In neurons, the transport of mitochondria to specific locations where they are needed has emerged as an important process for correct nerve cell function. Recent studies have shed light on the mechanisms that control mitochondrial transport and localization in neurons. We describe the machinery that is important for constitutive transport of mitochondria throughout the cell, and highlight recent advances in our understanding of how signalling pathways can converge on this machinery and allow for rapid activity-dependent control of mitochondrial trafficking and localization. Regulation of mitochondrial trafficking might work in concert with mitochondrial tethering systems to give precise control of mitochondrial delivery and localization to regions of high energy and calcium buffering requirements within neurons.

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