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Mitochondrial form and function

Abstract

Mitochondria are one of the major ancient endomembrane systems in eukaryotic cells. Owing to their ability to produce ATP through respiration, they became a driving force in evolution. As an essential step in the process of eukaryotic evolution, the size of the mitochondrial chromosome was drastically reduced, and the behaviour of mitochondria within eukaryotic cells radically changed. Recent advances have revealed how the organelle's behaviour has evolved to allow the accurate transmission of its genome and to become responsive to the needs of the cell and its own dysfunction.

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Figure 1: The organization and distribution of mitochondria and mtDNA in higher eukaryotes.
Figure 2: Evolution of mitochondrial division site placement mechanisms.
Figure 3: Integration of mitochondrial stress response pathways and their coordination with mitochondrial shape.

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Acknowledgements

We thank members of the Nunnari lab for helpful discussions and comments. We also thank K. Osteryoung and S. Lewis for helpful discussions. J.N. is supported by NIH grants R01GM062942, R01GM097432 and R01GM106019. J.F. is supported by a fellowship from the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research.

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Friedman, J., Nunnari, J. Mitochondrial form and function. Nature 505, 335–343 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12985

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