11 July 2022 – “We binned the data, which is one of my favorite things to do,” said cell biologist Orian Shirihai, describing how careful observation and analysis transformed an inquiry into the regulation of insulin secretion into a groundbreaking description of the mitochondrial life cycle. The resulting portrait of what Shirihai refers to as “the social life of mitochondria within the cell” was published in The EMBO Journal in 2008. The paper, “Fission and selective fusion govern mitochondrial segregation and elimination by autophagy”, has since received almost three thousand citations and is included in the journal’s 40th anniversary collection. Konstanze Winklhofer discusses the paper’s enduring impact and the role of mitochondrial quality control in her field of neurodegenerative diseases.
Fuse or die: A conversation with Orian Shirihai
The story behind an influential The EMBO Journal paper on the mitochondrial life cycle
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