Endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria contacts: function of the junction

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Oct;13(10):607-25. doi: 10.1038/nrm3440. Epub 2012 Sep 20.


The most well-characterized organelle contact sites are those between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria. Increased understanding is being gained of how ER-mitochondria contact sites are organized and which factors converge at this interface, some of which may provide a tethering function. The role of the ER-mitochondria junction in coordinating the functions of these two organelles is also becoming clearer, and it has been shown to be involved in the regulation of lipid synthesis, Ca(2+) signalling and the control of mitochondrial biogenesis and intracellular trafficking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / ultrastructure*
  • Lipids / biosynthesis
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure*
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / ultrastructure
  • Mitochondrial Turnover
  • Protein Transport
  • Signal Transduction


  • Lipids