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      Mitofusin 2 tethers endoplasmic reticulum to mitochondria.

      Nature

      Organelle Shape, metabolism, genetics, deficiency, Mitochondrial Proteins, Mitochondria, Mice, Membrane Proteins, Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate, Humans, HeLa Cells, GTP Phosphohydrolases, Fibroblasts, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, Calcium Signaling, Calcium, Animals

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          Abstract

          Juxtaposition between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria is a common structural feature, providing the physical basis for intercommunication during Ca(2+) signalling; yet, the molecular mechanisms controlling this interaction are unknown. Here we show that mitofusin 2, a mitochondrial dynamin-related protein mutated in the inherited motor neuropathy Charcot-Marie-Tooth type IIa, is enriched at the ER-mitochondria interface. Ablation or silencing of mitofusin 2 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and HeLa cells disrupts ER morphology and loosens ER-mitochondria interactions, thereby reducing the efficiency of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake in response to stimuli that generate inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate. An in vitro assay as well as genetic and biochemical evidences support a model in which mitofusin 2 on the ER bridges the two organelles by engaging in homotypic and heterotypic complexes with mitofusin 1 or 2 on the surface of mitochondria. Thus, mitofusin 2 tethers ER to mitochondria, a juxtaposition required for efficient mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake.

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          Journal
          19052620
          10.1038/nature07534

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