Mitochondrial dynamics and interorganellar communication in the development and dysmorphism of mammalian oocytes

J Biochem. 2020 Mar 1;167(3):257-266. doi: 10.1093/jb/mvz093.


Mitochondria play many critical roles in cells, not only by supplying energy, but also by supplying metabolites, buffering Ca2+ levels and regulating apoptosis. During oocyte maturation and subsequent embryo development, mitochondria change their morphology by membrane fusion and fission, and coordinately undergo multiple cellular events with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) closely apposed. Mitochondrial fusion and fission, known as mitochondrial dynamics, are regulated by family members of dynamin GTPases. Oocytes in animal models with these regulators artificially altered exhibit morphological abnormalities in nearby mitochondria and at the ER interface that are reminiscent of major cytoplasmic dysmorphisms in human assisted reproductive technology, in which a portion of mature oocytes retrieved from patients contain cytoplasmic dysmorphisms associated with mitochondria and ER abnormal morphologies. Understanding organelle morpho-homeostasis in oocytes obtained from animal models will contribute to the development of novel methods for determining oocyte health and for how to deal with dysmorphic oocytes.

Keywords: cytoplasmic dysmorphisms; dynamin-related GTPase; mitochondrial fission and fusion; oocyte maturation; organelle morphology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoplasm / genetics
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / pathology
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / pathology
  • Dynamins / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics / physiology*
  • Oocytes / growth & development*
  • Oocytes / metabolism


  • Dynamins