Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that are highly motile and frequently fuse and divide. It has recently become clear that their complex behavior is governed to a large extent by interactions with other cellular structures. This review will focus on a mitochondria-plasma membrane tethering complex that was recently discovered and molecularly analyzed in budding yeast, the Num1/Mdm36 complex. This complex attaches mitochondria to the cell cortex and ensures that a portion of the organelles is retained in mother cells during cell division. At the same time, it supports mitochondrial division and integrates mitochondrial dynamics into cellular architecture. Recent evidence suggests that similar mechanisms might exist also in mammalian cells.
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