Mitochondria are highly dynamic and functionally versatile organelles that continuously fragment and fuse in response to different physiological needs of the cell. The list of proteins that strictly regulate the morphology of these organelles is constantly growing, adding new players every day and new pieces to the comprehension and elucidation of this complex machinery. The structural complexity of mitochondria is only paralled by their functional versatility. Indeed, changes in mitochondria shape play critical roles in vertebrate development programmed cell death and in various processes of normal cell physiology, such as calcium signaling, reactive oxygen species production, and lifespan. Here, we present the latest findings on the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and some of their physiological roles, focusing on cell migration. In cells where migration represents a crucial function in their physiology, such as T and tumoral metastatic cells, mitochondria need to be fragmented and recruited to specific subcellular regions to make movement possible. In depth analysis of this role of mitochondrial dynamics should help in identifying potential targeted therapy against cancer or in improving the immune system's efficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Molecular Medicine
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience