Cell Biology

Mechano-induced mitochondrial fission

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Science  15 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6369, pp. 1398
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6369.1398-b

The inside of a cell is crowded with lots of different organelles that need to be accommodated in a constrained environment. What happens when different organelles bump into one another? Dynamic reticular organelles, such as the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, are continually being remodeled. The fusion and fission of mitochondria is essential for their efficient function and healthy maintenance. The mechanism of mitochondrial fission has been well studied, but what physiological stimuli promote fission? Helle et al. show that mechanical stimulation of mitochondria—when bumped into by intracellular bugs, when poked by an atomic force microscope tip, or when moving across contoured surfaces—causes recruitment and activation of the mitochondrial fission machinery and, subsequently, mitochondrial division.

eLife 6, e30292 (2017).

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