Maintenance of Cardiolipin and Crista Structure Requires Cooperative Functions of Mitochondrial Dynamics and Phospholipid Transport

Cell Rep. 2019 Jan 15;26(3):518-528.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.12.070.


Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that constantly fuse and divide to maintain their proper morphology, which is essential for their normal functions. Energy production, a central role of mitochondria, demands highly folded structures of the mitochondrial inner membrane (MIM) called cristae and a dimeric phospholipid (PL) cardiolipin (CL). Previous studies identified a number of factors involved in mitochondrial dynamics, crista formation, and CL biosynthesis, yet it is still enigmatic how these events are interconnected and cooperated. Here, we first report that mitochondrial fusion-division dynamics are important to maintain CL abundance. Second, our genetic and biochemical analyses revealed that intra-mitochondrial PL transport plays an important role in crista formation. Finally, we show that simultaneous defects in MIM fusion and intra-mitochondrial PL transport cause a drastic decrease in crista structure, resulting in CL depletion. These results expand our understanding of the integrated functional network among the PL transport, crista formation, and CL biogenesis.

Keywords: cardiolipin; cristae; mitochondria; mitochondrial division; mitochondrial fusion; phospholipid; yeast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiolipins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics / genetics*
  • Phospholipids / metabolism*


  • Cardiolipins
  • Phospholipids