Mitofusin 2: from functions to disease

Cell Death Dis. 2018 Feb 28;9(3):330. doi: 10.1038/s41419-017-0023-6.


Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles whose functions are essential for cell viability. Within the cell, the mitochondrial network is continuously remodeled through the balance between fusion and fission events. Moreover, it dynamically contacts other organelles, particularly the endoplasmic reticulum, with which it enterprises an important functional relationship able to modulate several cellular pathways. Being mitochondria key bioenergetics organelles, they have to be transported to all the specific high-energy demanding sites within the cell and, when damaged, they have to be efficiently removed. Among other proteins, Mitofusin 2 represents a key player in all these mitochondrial activities (fusion, trafficking, turnover, contacts with other organelles), the balance of which results in the appropriate mitochondrial shape, function, and distribution within the cell. Here we review the structural and functional properties of Mitofusin 2, highlighting its crucial role in several cell pathways, as well as in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic disorders, cardiomyopathies, and cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiomyopathies / genetics
  • Cardiomyopathies / metabolism*
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / genetics
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Diseases / genetics
  • Metabolic Diseases / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism*


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • MFN2 protein, human