When the Balance Tips: Dysregulation of Mitochondrial Dynamics as a Culprit in Disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 28;22(9):4617. doi: 10.3390/ijms22094617.


Mitochondria are dynamic organelles, the morphology of which is tightly linked to their functions. The interplay between the coordinated events of fusion and fission that are collectively described as mitochondrial dynamics regulates mitochondrial morphology and adjusts mitochondrial function. Over the last few years, accruing evidence established a connection between dysregulated mitochondrial dynamics and disease development and progression. Defects in key components of the machinery mediating mitochondrial fusion and fission have been linked to a wide range of pathological conditions, such as insulin resistance and obesity, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Here, we provide an update on the molecular mechanisms promoting mitochondrial fusion and fission in mammals and discuss the emerging association of disturbed mitochondrial dynamics with human disease.

Keywords: fission; fusion; mitochondrial dynamics; pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics*