Mitochondrial dynamics in health and disease

Nethmi M.B. Yapa, Valerie Lisnyak, Boris Reljic, Michael T. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


In animals, mitochondria are mainly organised into an interconnected tubular network extending across the cell along a cytoskeletal scaffold. Mitochondrial fission and fusion, as well as distribution along cytoskeletal tracks, are counterbalancing mechanisms acting in concert to maintain a mitochondrial network tuned to cellular function. Balanced mitochondrial dynamics permits quality control of the network including biogenesis and turnover, and distribution of mitochondrial DNA, and is linked to metabolic status. Cellular and organismal health relies on a delicate balance between fission and fusion, and large rearrangements in the mitochondrial network can be seen in response to cellular insults and disease. Indeed, dysfunction in the major components of the fission and fusion machineries including dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), mitofusins 1 and 2 (MFN1, MFN2) and optic atrophy protein 1 (OPA1) and ensuing imbalance of mitochondrial dynamics can lead to neurodegenerative disease. Altered mitochondrial dynamics is also seen in more common diseases. In this review, the machinery involved in mitochondrial dynamics and their dysfunction in disease will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1204
Number of pages21
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • membrane dynamics
  • mitochondria
  • mitochondrial disease
  • mitochondrial fission
  • mitochondrial fusion
  • organelles
  • oxidative phosphorylation

Cite this