The Interplay of Axonal Energy Homeostasis and Mitochondrial Trafficking and Anchoring

Trends Cell Biol. 2017 Jun;27(6):403-416. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2017.01.005. Epub 2017 Feb 20.


Mitochondria are key cellular power plants essential for neuronal growth, survival, function, and regeneration after injury. Given their unique morphological features, neurons face exceptional challenges in maintaining energy homeostasis at distal synapses and growth cones where energy is in high demand. Efficient regulation of mitochondrial trafficking and anchoring is critical for neurons to meet altered energy requirements. Mitochondrial dysfunction and impaired transport have been implicated in several major neurological disorders. Thus, research into energy-mediated regulation of mitochondrial recruitment and redistribution is an important emerging frontier. In this review, I discuss new insights into the mechanisms regulating mitochondrial trafficking and anchoring, and provide an updated overview of how mitochondrial motility maintains energy homeostasis in axons, thus contributing to neuronal growth, regeneration, and synaptic function.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Synapses / metabolism