Mitochondria-driven assembly of a cortical anchor for mitochondria and dynein

Lauren M. Kraft, Laura L. Lackner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Interorganelle contacts facilitate communication between organelles and impact fundamental cellular functions. In this study, we examine the assembly of the MECA (mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum [ER]-cortex anchor), which tethers mitochondria to the ER and plasma membrane. We find that the assembly of Num1, the core component of MECA, requires mitochondria. Once assembled, Num1 clusters persistently anchor mitochondria to the cell cortex. Num1 clusters also function to anchor dynein to the plasma membrane, where dynein captures and walks along astral microtubules to help orient the mitotic spindle. We find that dynein is anchored by Num1 clusters that have been assembled by mitochondria. When mitochondrial inheritance is inhibited, Num1 clusters are not assembled in the bud, and defects in dynein-mediated spindle positioning are observed. The mitochondria-dependent assembly of a dual-function cortical anchor provides a mechanism to integrate the positioning and inheritance of the two essential organelles and expands the function of organelle contact sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3061-3071
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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