Significance: Mitochondrial dynamics is a complex process that impacts on mitochondrial biology.
Recent advances: Recent evidence indicates that proteins participating in mitochondrial dynamics have additional cellular roles. Mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) is a potent modulator of mitochondrial metabolism with an impact on energy metabolism in muscle, liver, and hypothalamic neurons. In addition, Mfn2 is subjected to tight regulation. Hence, factors such as proinflammatory cytokines, lipid availability, or glucocorticoids block its expression, whereas exercise and increased energy expenditure promote its upregulation.
Critical issues: Importantly, Mfn2 controls cell metabolism and insulin signaling by limiting reactive oxygen species production and by modulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress. In this connection, it is critical to understand precisely the molecular mechanisms involved in the global actions of Mfn2.
Future directions: Future directions should concentrate into the analysis of those mechanisms, and to fully demonstrate that Mfn2 represents a cellular hub that senses the metabolic and hormonal milieu and drives the control of metabolic homeostasis.