Paper of the Month - January 2015

Iqbal S, Hood DA. Cytoskeletal regulation of mitochondrial movements in myoblasts. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2014 Oct;71(10):564-72.

Our laboratory examines the movement of mitochondria, also affectionately known as “the powerhouse of the cell” due to its ability to produce energy that is required for the maintenance and health of the cell. Movement of mitochondria is important for directing these organelles to areas of high energy demands, thus allowing for adequate energy supply. Mitochondria are highly mobile and travel along cytoskeletal tracks. These tracks are used as a form of highway by which the organelles can use to distribute themselves within the cell. The purpose of our study was to determine which cytoskeletal tracks are predominately used by mitochondria within skeletal muscle cells. We discovered that mitochondria primarily move along microtubule tracks within skeletal muscle. Moreover, we found that the environment of muscle also influences the motility of mitochondria, such that organelle movement is suppressed under conditions of high calcium. By understanding mitochondrial movements and the signaling events that regulate their dynamics, we can determine the underlying basis for organelle interactions, and the distribution of energy in muscle cells.

Click here to view a PDF document of this article.