Role of UPRmt and mitochondrial dynamics in host immunity: it takes two to tango

Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2023 May 16:13:1135203. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2023.1135203. eCollection 2023.


The immune system of a host contains a group of heterogeneous cells with the prime aim of restraining pathogenic infection and maintaining homeostasis. Recent reports have proved that the various subtypes of immune cells exploit distinct metabolic programs for their functioning. Mitochondria are central signaling organelles regulating a range of cellular activities including metabolic reprogramming and immune homeostasis which eventually decree the immunological fate of the host under pathogenic stress. Emerging evidence suggests that following bacterial infection, innate immune cells undergo profound metabolic switching to restrain and countervail the bacterial pathogens, promote inflammation and restore tissue homeostasis. On the other hand, bacterial pathogens affect mitochondrial structure and functions to evade host immunity and influence their intracellular survival. Mitochondria employ several mechanisms to overcome bacterial stress of which mitochondrial UPR (UPRmt) and mitochondrial dynamics are critical. This review discusses the latest advances in our understanding of the immune functions of mitochondria against bacterial infection, particularly the mechanisms of mitochondrial UPRmt and mitochondrial dynamics and their involvement in host immunity.

Keywords: ATFS-1; DRP1; MFN1; MFN2; UPRmt; bacterial infection; mitochondrial dynamics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Unfolded Protein Response

Grants and funding

MK and SS were supported by CSIR-UCG NET fellowship (Government of India, India).