The role of cardiolipin in the structural organization of mitochondrial membranes

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Oct;1788(10):2080-3. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2009.04.019. Epub 2009 May 4.


Considerable progress has recently been made in understanding the role of cardiolipin in mitochondria. In this brief review, we discuss new data that show how cardiolipin specifically contributes to the lateral organization of mitochondrial membranes. We argue that the function of cardiolipin has to be understood in the context of dynamic membrane assembly rather than static membrane structure, and we propose that remodeling of cardiolipin, i.e. the formation of uniformly substituted molecular species, may reduce the energy barrier of the assembly process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiolipins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / chemistry*
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / metabolism


  • Cardiolipins