Nuclear-Mitochondrial Interactions

Biomolecules. 2022 Mar 10;12(3):427. doi: 10.3390/biom12030427.


Mitochondria, the cell's major energy producers, also act as signaling hubs, interacting with other organelles both directly and indirectly. Despite having its own circular genome, the majority of mitochondrial proteins are encoded by nuclear DNA. To respond to changes in cell physiology, the mitochondria must send signals to the nucleus, which can, in turn, upregulate gene expression to alter metabolism or initiate a stress response. This is known as retrograde signaling. A variety of stimuli and pathways fall under the retrograde signaling umbrella. Mitochondrial dysfunction has already been shown to have severe implications for human health. Disruption of retrograde signaling, whether directly associated with mitochondrial dysfunction or cellular environmental changes, may also contribute to pathological deficits. In this review, we discuss known signaling pathways between the mitochondria and the nucleus, examine the possibility of direct contacts, and identify pathological consequences of an altered relationship.

Keywords: MAMs; integrated stress response; mitochondria; nucleus; retrograde signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus* / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria* / genetics
  • Mitochondria* / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Mitochondrial Proteins