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Keller 2023 MiP2023

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MitoGlobal Events
MiPschool 2023

Keller 2023 MiP2023

Keller Markus A
Exploring the influence of the lipid environment on mitochondrial membrane structure and function.

Link: MiP2023 Obergurgl AT

Keller Markus A (2023)

Event: MiP2023 Obergurgl AT

Mitochondrial membranes are dynamic organelles that contain a variety of lipids including the structurally unique, dimeric phospholipid class of cardiolipins. These lipids represent the substrate in which larger protein complexes are embedded, which in turn play an essential role in maintaining mitochondrial functionality. A pronounced tissue-specificity of mitochondrial membranes has been described, defined by the molecular composition of the fatty acyl side chains of the complex lipids from which they are formed. We recently could demonstrate that the lipid environment plays a pivotal role in controlling the side chain specificity of mitochondrial cardiolipins. Alterations in fatty acid availability or fatty acid metabolism, such as those occurring in response to nutrition and/or in a variety of human pathologies, can thus affect biochemical processes in and along mitochondrial membranes. This interplay between lipids and protein functions leads to a potentially strong influence on vital cellular processes such as mitochondrial respiration, the generation of reactive oxygen species, as well as signaling. However, not every lipid change that influences mitochondrial processes on a biochemical level must automatically have physiological effects in living cells. Compensatory mechanisms are at work that increase mitochondrial resilience to fluctuations in fatty acid metabolism, as long as these are within certain bounds. Thus, gaining an in-depth understanding of mitochondria requires an assessment of how their functions are regulated by the distinct lipid environments as found in different tissues and human pathologies.


Keller Markus A
Institute of Human Genetics, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria
Corresponding author:


Event: E2