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Light-inducible Deformation of Mitochondria in Live Cells

By Yutong Song, Peiyuan Huang, Xiaoying Liu, Bianxiao Cui, Liting Duan

Posted 01 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.01.363663

Mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, are dynamic organelles that undergo constant morphological changes. Increasing evidence indicates that mitochondria morphologies and functions can be modulated by mechanical cues. However, the mechano-sensing and -responding properties of mitochondria and the correlation between mitochondrial morphologies and functions are unclear due to the lack of methods to precisely exert mechano-stimulation on and deform mitochondria inside live cells. Here we present an optogenetic approach that uses light to induce deformation of mitochondria by recruiting molecular motors to the outer mitochondrial membrane via light-activated protein-protein hetero-dimerization. Mechanical forces generated by motor proteins distort the outer membrane, during which the inner mitochondrial membrane can also be deformed. Moreover, this optical method can achieve subcellular spatial precision and be combined with other optical dimerizers and molecular motors. This method presents a novel mitochondria-specific mechano-stimulator for studying mitochondria mechanobiology and the interplay between mitochondria shapes and functions. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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