4 years ago

Mechanical force induces mitochondrial fission

Qian Feng, Timon Idema, Anđela Šarić, Afshin Vahid, Jess G Snedeker, Benoît Kornmann, Luca Hirt, Tomaso Zambelli, Andrea Sirianni, Raphael R Grüter, Mathias J Aebersold, Serge Mostowy, Sebastian Carsten Johannes Helle
Eukaryotic cells are densely packed with macromolecular complexes and intertwining organelles, continually transported and reshaped. Intriguingly, organelles avoid clashing and entangling with each other in such limited space. Mitochondria form extensive networks constantly remodeled by fission and fusion. Here, we show that mitochondrial fission is triggered by mechanical forces. Mechano-stimulation of mitochondria – via encounter with motile intracellular pathogens, via external pressure applied by an atomic force microscope, or via cell migration across uneven microsurfaces – results in the recruitment of the mitochondrial fission machinery, and subsequent division. We propose that MFF, owing to affinity for narrow mitochondria, acts as a membrane-bound force sensor to recruit the fission machinery to mechanically strained sites. Thus, mitochondria adapt to the environment by sensing and responding to biomechanical cues. Our findings that mechanical triggers can be coupled to biochemical responses in membrane dynamics may explain how organelles orderly cohabit in the crowded cytoplasm.

Publisher URL: https://elifesciences.org/articles/30292

DOI: 10.7554/eLife.30292

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