Mitofusins and OPA1 mediate sequential steps in mitochondrial membrane fusion

Zhiyin Song, Mariam Ghochani, J Michael McCaffery, Terrence G Frey, David C Chan
Molecular Biology of the Cell 2009, 20 (15): 3525-32
Mitochondrial fusion requires the coordinated fusion of the outer and inner membranes. Three large GTPases--OPA1 and the mitofusins Mfn1 and Mfn2--are essential for the fusion of mammalian mitochondria. OPA1 is mutated in dominant optic atrophy, a neurodegenerative disease of the optic nerve. In yeast, the OPA1 ortholog Mgm1 is required for inner membrane fusion in vitro; nevertheless, yeast lacking Mgm1 show neither outer nor inner membrane fusion in vivo, because of the tight coupling between these two processes. We find that outer membrane fusion can be readily visualized in OPA1-null mouse cells in vivo, but these events do not progress to inner membrane fusion. Similar defects are found in cells lacking prohibitins, which are required for proper OPA1 processing. In contrast, double Mfn-null cells show neither outer nor inner membrane fusion. Mitochondria in OPA1-null cells often contain multiple matrix compartments bounded together by a single outer membrane, consistent with uncoupling of outer versus inner membrane fusion. In addition, unlike mitofusins and yeast Mgm1, OPA1 is not required on adjacent mitochondria to mediate membrane fusion. These results indicate that mammalian mitofusins and OPA1 mediate distinct sequential fusion steps that are readily uncoupled, in contrast to the situation in yeast.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"