Mitochondrial Bioenergetics and Dynamics During Infection

Exp Suppl. 2018:109:221-233. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74932-7_5.


Microbes have developed a series of strategies to overcome the defense mechanisms of the infected host. During pathogen-host coevolution, they develop strategy to manipulate cellular machinery particularly in subverting mitochondrion function. Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that constantly remodel their structure. In particular, shaping and cellular distribution of the mitochondrial network is maintained in large part by the conserved activities of mitochondrial division, fusion, motility, and tethering. Mitochondria have been long recognized for their role in providing energy production, calcium metabolism, and apoptosis. More recently, mitochondria have been also shown to serve as a platform for innate immune response. In this context, mitochondrial dynamics and shaping is not only essential to maintain cristae structure and bioenergetic to fuel cellular demands but contribute to regulate cellular function such as innate immune response and mitochondrial permeabilization. Due to their key role in cell survival, mitochondria represent attractive targets for pathogens. Therefore, microbes by manipulating mitochondrial dynamics may escape to host cellular control. Herein, we describe how mitochondrial bioenergetics, dynamics, and shaping are impacted during microbe infections and how this interplay benefits to pathogens contributing to the diseases.

Keywords: Bioenergetics; Mitochondrial dynamics; Pathogens.

MeSH terms

  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Infections / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics*