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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

12 Issues per year



Mitochondrial morphology and distribution in mammalian cells

Ann E. Frazier1 / Clement Kiu2 / Diana Stojanovski3 / Nicholas J. Hoogenraad4 / Michael T. Ryan5






Corresponding author

Corresponding author

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 387, Issue 12, Pages 1551–1558, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/BC.2006.193, November 2006

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It is now appreciated that mitochondria form tubular networks that adapt to the requirements of the cell by undergoing changes in their shape through fission and fusion. Proper mitochondrial distribution also appears to be required for ATP delivery and calcium regulation, and, in some cases, for cell development. While we now realise the great importance of mitochondria for the cell, we are only beginning to work out how these organelles undergo the drastic morphological changes that are essential for cellular function. Of the few known components involved in shaping mitochondria, some have been found to be essential to life and their gene mutations are linked to neurological disorders, while others appear to be recruited in the activation of cell death pathways. Here we review our current understanding of the functions of the main players involved in mitochondrial fission, fusion and distribution in mammalian cells.

Keywords: apoptosis; cytoskeleton; fission; fusion; mitochondria

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