Mitochondrial fitness is central to heart health. In many cell types, mitochondria are dynamic, interconnected filamentous networks. By comparison, mitochondria of healthy postmitotic adult cardiomyocytes are shortened, round, hypodynamic organelles. Mitochondrial networks are absent in cardiomyocytes; fission, fusion, and organelle mobility are not normally observed. Nevertheless, mitochondrial fission factor Drp1 and fusion factors Mfn1, Mfn2, and Opa1 are abundant and indispensable in adult hearts. Here, we review recent insights into roles for mitochondrial dynamics factors not strictly related to morphometric remodeling, advancing the argument that fission and fusion of cardiomyocyte mitochondria support surveillance, sequestration, and mitophagic removal of damaged organelles.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.