Regulation of long-distance transport of mitochondria along microtubules

Anna Melkov, Uri Abdu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Mitochondria are cellular organelles of crucial importance, playing roles in cellular life and death. In certain cell types, such as neurons, mitochondria must travel long distances so as to meet metabolic demands of the cell. Mitochondrial movement is essentially microtubule (MT) based and is executed by two main motor proteins, Dynein and Kinesin. The organization of the cellular MT network and the identity of motors dictate mitochondrial transport. Tight coupling between MTs, motors, and the mitochondria is needed for the organelle precise localization. Two adaptor proteins are involved directly in mitochondria-motor coupling, namely Milton known also as TRAK, which is the motor adaptor, and Miro, which is the mitochondrial protein. Here, we discuss the active mitochondria transport process, as well as motor–mitochondria coupling in the context of MT organization in different cell types. We focus on mitochondrial trafficking in different cell types, specifically neurons, migrating cells, and polarized epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Dynein
  • Kinesin
  • Microtubules
  • Milton
  • Miro
  • Mitochondria
  • Neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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