Editors' ChoiceCell Biology

Mitochondrial Fusion and Heart Development

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Science Signaling  12 Nov 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 301, pp. ec277
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004894

The role of mitochondria in fueling homeostatic cell processes is well appreciated, but whether and how they influence cell differentiation is much less clear. Using in vivo embryonic mouse models and mouse embryonic stem cell cultures, Kasahara et al. found that an intact mitochondrial fusion pathway was essential for the cellular signaling that drives mesodermal cell differentiation into cardiomyocytes.

A. Kasahara, S. Cipolat, Y. Chen, G. W. Dorn II, L. Scorrano, Mitochondrial fusion directs cardiomyocyte differentiation via calcineurin and Notch signaling. Science 342, 734–737 (2013). [Abstract][Full Text]