Dynamin-related protein 1 has membrane constricting and severing abilities sufficient for mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission

Nat Commun. 2018 Dec 7;9(1):5239. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07543-w.


Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) is essential for mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission. Recent studies propose that Drp1 does not sever but rather constricts mitochondrial membranes allowing dynamin 2 (Dnm2) to execute final scission. Here, we report that unlike Drp1, Dnm2 is dispensable for peroxisomal and mitochondrial fission, as these events occurred in Dnm2 knockout cells. Fission events were also observed in mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking Dnm1, 2 and 3. Using reconstitution experiments on preformed membrane tubes, we show that Drp1 alone both constricts and severs membrane tubes. Scission required the membrane binding, self-assembling and GTPase activities of Drp1 and occurred on tubes up to 250 nm in radius. In contrast, Dnm2 exhibited severely restricted fission capacity with occasional severing of tubes below 50 nm in radius. We conclude that Drp1 has both membrane constricting and severing abilities and is the dominant dynamin performing mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Dynamin II / genetics
  • Dynamin II / metabolism
  • Dynamins / genetics
  • Dynamins / metabolism*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fusion*
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / metabolism
  • Peroxisomes / metabolism*


  • Dnm1l protein, mouse
  • Dynamin II
  • Dynamins