Making connections: interorganelle contacts orchestrate mitochondrial behavior

Trends Cell Biol. 2014 Sep;24(9):537-45. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2014.04.004. Epub 2014 Apr 28.


Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles. During their life cycle they frequently fuse and divide, and damaged mitochondria are removed by autophagic degradation. These processes serve to maintain mitochondrial function and ensure optimal energy supply for the cell. It has recently become clear that this complex mitochondrial behavior is governed to a large extent by interactions with other organelles. In this review, we describe mitochondrial contacts with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), plasma membrane, and peroxisomes. In particular, we highlight how mitochondrial fission, distribution, inheritance, and turnover are orchestrated by interorganellar contacts in yeast and metazoa. These interactions are pivotal for the integration of the dynamic mitochondrial network into the architecture of eukaryotic cells.

Keywords: endoplasmic reticulum; mitochondria; organelle contact sites; peroxisomes; plasma membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy / genetics
  • Cell Membrane / genetics
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / genetics
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics
  • Organelles / genetics
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Peroxisomes / genetics
  • Peroxisomes / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism