Multicellular organisms are complex biological systems, composed of specialized tissues that require coordination of the metabolic and fitness state of each component. In the cells composing the tissues, one central organelle is the mitochondrion, a compartment essential for many energetic and fundamental biological processes. Beyond serving these functions, mitochondria have emerged as signaling hubs in biological systems, capable of inducing changes to the cell they are in, to cells in distal tissues through secreted factors, and to overall animal physiology. Here, we describe our current understanding of these communication mechanisms in the context of mitochondrial stress. We focus on cellular mechanisms that deal with perturbations to the mitochondrial proteome and outline recent advances in understanding how local perturbations can affect distal tissues and animal physiology in model organisms. Finally, we discuss recent findings of these responses associated with metabolic and age-associated diseases in mammalian systems, and how they may be employed as diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
Keywords: aging; mitochondria; stress.
© 2020 The Authors.