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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014 Oct;71(19):3767-78. doi: 10.1007/s00018-014-1648-6. Epub 2014 May 28.

Biosynthesis and roles of phospholipids in mitochondrial fusion, division and mitophagy.

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Department of Cell Biology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Mitochondria move, fuse and divide in cells. The dynamic behavior of mitochondria is central to the control of their structure and function. Three conserved mitochondrial dynamin-related GTPases (i.e., mitofusin, Opa1 and Drp1 in mammals and Fzo1, Mgm1 and Dnm1 in yeast) mediate mitochondrial fusion and division. In addition to dynamins, recent studies demonstrated that phospholipids in mitochondria also play key roles in mitochondrial dynamics by interacting with dynamin GTPases and by directly changing the biophysical properties of the mitochondrial membranes. Changes in phospholipid composition also promote mitophagy, which is a selective mitochondrial degradation process that is mechanistically coupled to mitochondrial division. In this review, we will discuss the biogenesis and function of mitochondrial phospholipids.

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