Biophysical properties of mitochondrial fusion events in pancreatic β-cells and cardiac cells unravel potential control mechanisms of its selectivity

Gilad Twig, Xingguo Liu, Marc Liesa, Jakob D. Wikstrom, Anthony J.A. Molina, Guy Las, Gal Yaniv, György Hajnóczky, Orian S. Shirihai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies in various types of cells find that, on average, each mitochondrion becomes involved in a fusion event every 15 min, depending on the cell type. As most contact events do not result in mitochondrial fusion, it is expected that properties of the individual mitochondrion determine the likelihood of a fusion event. However, apart from membrane potential, the properties that influence the likelihood of entering a fusion event are not known. Here, we tag and track individual mitochondria in H9c2, INS1, and primary β-cells and determine the biophysical properties that increase the likelihood of a fusion event. We found that the probability for fusion is independent of contact duration and organelle dimensions, but it is influenced by organelle motility. Furthermore, the history of a previous fusion event of the individual mitochondrion influenced both the likelihood for a subsequent fusion event, as well as the site on the mitochondrion at which the fusion occurred. These observations unravel the specific properties that distinguish mitochondria that will enter fusion events from the ones that will not. Altogether, these properties may help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that regulate fusion at the level of the single mitochondrion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C477-C487
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Volume299
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • H9c2 cells
  • Mitochondrial fusion and fisson
  • Mitochondrial movement
  • Photoactivatable green fluorescent protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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