Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Mitochondria: Form and function (London, UK) (2017) Proc Physiol Soc 38, SA04

Research Symposium

Mitochondrial trafficking in the brain

J. Kittler1

1. University College London, London, United Kingdom.


Regulated trafficking of mitochondria in neurons is essential for providing ATP at the correct spatial location to power neural function and computation, and for providing calcium buffering at sites of calcium entry or release. Indeed the regulation of mitochondrial distribution, morphology and function are proposed to play an important role in neuronal development and survival but the regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. The proteins Miro1 and Miro2 contain a transmembrane domain locating them to the outer mitochondrial membrane, along with two GTPase domains and two calcium-sensing EF-hand domains that face into the cytosol, and play a key role in regulating mitochondrial transport. Miro proteins mediate mitochondrial trafficking and positioning in neurons by linking mitochondria to kinesin and dynein motor proteins for their transport in axons and dendrites. Miro proteins are also targets for the Parkinson's Disease associated PINK1/Parkin mitophagy pathway and are therefore implicated in altered mitochondrial dynamics during mitophagy. Here I will present our recent results on the role played by Miro proteins in controlling mitochondrial dynamics and reciprocally how this can influence neuronal development, synaptic function and pathology

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements