Mitochondrial fission and fusion and their roles in the heart
Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that usually exist in extensive and interconnected networks that undergo constant remodeling through fission and fusion. These processes are governed by distinct sets of proteins whose mechanism and regulation we are only beginning to fully understand. Early studies on mitochondrial dynamics were performed in yeast and simple mammalian cell culture models that allowed easy visualization of these intricate networks. Equipped with this core understanding, the field is now expanding into more complex systems. Cardiac cells are a particularly interesting example because they have unique energetic and spatial demands that make the study of their mitochondria both challenging and potentially very fruitful. This review will provide an overview of mitochondrial fission and fusion as well as recent developments in the understanding of these processes in the heart.