Mitochondrial fission, fusion, and stress

Science. 2012 Aug 31;337(6098):1062-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1219855.


Mitochondrial fission and fusion play critical roles in maintaining functional mitochondria when cells experience metabolic or environmental stresses. Fusion helps mitigate stress by mixing the contents of partially damaged mitochondria as a form of complementation. Fission is needed to create new mitochondria, but it also contributes to quality control by enabling the removal of damaged mitochondria and can facilitate apoptosis during high levels of cellular stress. Disruptions in these processes affect normal development, and they have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fusion*
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Mitochondrial Proteins