Mitochondria-Associated Endoplasmic Reticulum Membranes (MAMs) and Their Prospective Roles in Kidney Disease

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020 Sep 3;2020:3120539. doi: 10.1155/2020/3120539. eCollection 2020.


Mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes (MAMs) serve as essential hubs for interorganelle communication in eukaryotic cells and play multifunctional roles in various biological pathways. A defect in ER-mitochondria signaling or MAMs dysfunction has pleiotropic effects on a variety of intracellular events, which results in disturbances of the mitochondrial quality control system, Ca2+ dyshomeostasis, apoptosis, ER stress, and inflammasome activation, which all contribute to the onset and progression of kidney disease. Here, we review the structure and molecular compositions of MAMs as well as the experimental methods used to study these interorganellar contact sites. We will specifically summarize the downstream signaling pathways regulated by MAMs, mainly focusing on mitochondrial quality control, oxidative stress, ER-mitochondria Ca2+ crosstalk, apoptosis, inflammasome activation, and ER stress. Finally, we will discuss how alterations in MAMs integrity contribute to the pathogenesis of kidney disease and offer directions for future research.