Mitochondrial dynamics in the regulation of nutrient utilization and energy expenditure

Cell Metab. 2013 Apr 2;17(4):491-506. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2013.03.002.


Mitochondrial fusion, fission, and mitophagy form an essential axis of mitochondrial quality control. However, quality control might not be the only task carried out by mitochondrial dynamics. Recent studies link mitochondrial dynamics to the balance between energy demand and nutrient supply, suggesting changes in mitochondrial architecture as a mechanism for bioenergetic adaptation to metabolic demands. By favoring either connected or fragmented architectures, mitochondrial dynamics regulates bioenergetic efficiency and energy expenditure. Placement of bioenergetic adaptation and quality control as competing tasks of mitochondrial dynamics might provide a new mechanism, linking excess nutrient environment to progressive mitochondrial dysfunction, common to age-related diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism
  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology


  • Adenosine Triphosphate