Mitochondria on the move

Trends Cell Biol. 2007 Oct;17(10):502-10. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2007.07.008. Epub 2007 Sep 4.


Interactions of mitochondria with the cytoskeleton are crucial for normal mitochondrial function and for localization of the organelle at its sites of action within cells. Early studies revealed a role for microtubule motors in mitochondrial motility in neurons and other cell types. Here, we describe advances in our understanding of mitochondrial movement and distribution. Specifically, we review recent studies on proteins that mediate or regulate the interaction between motor molecules and the organelle, motor-independent mechanisms for mitochondrial motility, anchorage of mitochondria at cortical sites within cells and links between mitochondria-cytoskeleton interactions and mitochondrial plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinesins / metabolism
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Actins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • Kinesins