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Front. Cell Dev. Biol. | doi: 10.3389/fcell.2019.00172

The Mitochondria-Endoplasmic Reticulum Contacts and their critical role in ageing and age-associated diseases

Ornella Moltedo1, 2,  Paolo Remondelli1, 3* and  Giuseppina Amodio1, 3*
  • 1University of Salerno, Italy
  • 2Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Italy
  • 3Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry, Salernitan Medical School, University of Salerno, Italy

The recent discovery of interconnections between the ER membrane and those of almost all the cell compartments is providing novel perspectives for the understanding of the molecular events underlying cellular mechanisms in both physiological and pathological conditions. In particular, growing evidences strongly support the idea that the molecular interactions occurring between Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial membranes, referred as the Mitochondria/Endoplasmic Reticulum Contacts (MERCs), may play a crucial role in ageing and in the development of age-associated diseases. As emerged in the last decade, MERCs behave as signalling hubs composed by structural components that act as critical players in different age-associated disorders, such as neurodegenerative diseases and motor disorders, cancer, metabolic syndrome, as well as cardiovascular diseases. Age-associated disorders often derive from mitochondrial or ER dysfunction as consequences of oxidative stress, mitochondrial DNA mutations, accumulation of misfolded proteins and defective organelle turnover. In this review, we discuss the recent advances associating MERCs to ageing in the context of ER-mitochondria crosstalk regulating redox signalling, ER-to mitochondria lipid transfer, mitochondrial dynamics and autophagy.

Keywords: Ageing, Age-disease association, Oxydative stress, endoplasmic rericulum, Membrane contact sites (MCS), Mitochondria

Received: 30 May 2019; Accepted: 07 Aug 2019.

Edited by:

Adelaide Fernandes, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Reviewed by:

Raman Chandrasekar, Kansas State University, United States
Paola Rizzo, University of Ferrara, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Moltedo, Remondelli and Amodio. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Paolo Remondelli, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy, premondelli@unisa.it
Mx. Giuseppina Amodio, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy, gamodio@unisa.it