Understanding the How and Why of Mitochondrial Movement

This proposal seeks to understand the movement of mitochondria: how theymove, why they move, and how that movement is regulated in the cell. In all cells, mitochondria are inmotion and, when they meet, can fuse with one another and later divide again. In neurons, their motionserves the critical function of allowing mitochondria to enter the axons and dendrites and provide thoseextremities with ATP production. In previous work, we have uncovered the motor/adaptor complex thatallows the motor proteins to be attached to the surface of the mitochondrion. We have also determinedthe mechanism by which this complex allows Ca2+ to regulate how mitochondria move. We now seek todelve more deeply into how the dynamics of mitochondria are achieved and regulated within cells. Weinvestigate whether motors are clustered on the mitochondrial surface, how they are directed to axonsvs dendrites of neurons, how neurons regulate their mitochondrial content in response to changes inactivity, and how mitochondria associate and dissociate from microtubules during the cell cycle