Analysis of Mitochondria by Single-Organelle Resolution

Annu Rev Anal Chem (Palo Alto Calif). 2022 Jun 13;15(1):1-16. doi: 10.1146/annurev-anchem-061020-111722. Epub 2022 Mar 18.


Cellular organelles are highly specialized compartments with distinct functions. With the increasing resolution of detection methods, it is becoming clearer that same organelles may have different functions or properties not only within different cell populations of a tissue but also within the same cell. Dysfunction or altered function affects the organelle itself and may also lead to malignancies or undesirable cell death. To understand cellular function or dysfunction, it is therefore necessary to analyze cellular components at the single-organelle level. Here, we review the recent advances in analyzing cellular function at single-organelle resolution using high-parameter flow cytometry or multicolor confocal microscopy. We focus on the analysis of mitochondria, as they are organelles at the crossroads of various cellular signaling pathways and functions. However, most of the applied methods/technologies are transferable to any other organelle, such as the endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, or peroxisomes.

Keywords: flow cytometry; microscopy; mitochondria; organelles; single-organelle analysis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endoplasmic Reticulum* / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum* / pathology
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Lysosomes / pathology
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Mitochondria* / metabolism
  • Mitochondria* / pathology
  • Peroxisomes / metabolism
  • Peroxisomes / pathology