Start Up Project - Structure and dynamics of the inner mitochondrial membrane by correlated fluorescence and electron cryo-microscopy

Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that undergo constant remodelling. By balancing fusion and fission, cells can control the size and number of mitochondria and adapt to metabolic changes, while at the same time exerting mitochondrial quality control. The dynamin-like Mitochondrial genome maintenance protein 1 (Mgm1) in fungi, or the distantly related Optic Atrophy 1 (OPA1) in animals and plants are thought to be essential proteins for the dynamics of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM). In the cell, both Mgm1 and OPA1 exist as a short and a long isoform, which are thought to perform either different or complementary functions. It has been reported that the long isoform is required for membrane fusion, while the short isoform stabilizes the crista architecture and is related to membrane cleavage. However, recent studies show that both isoforms are required for efficient IMM fusion.