Light-activated mitochondrial fission through optogenetic control of mitochondria-lysosome contacts

Kangqiang Qiu, Weiwei Zou, Hongbao Fang, Mingang Hao, Kritika Mehta, Zhiqi Tian, Jun Lin Guan, Kai Zhang, Taosheng Huang, Jiajie Diao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles whose fragmentation by fission is critical to their functional integrity and cellular homeostasis. Here, we develop a method via optogenetic control of mitochondria–lysosome contacts (MLCs) to induce mitochondrial fission with spatiotemporal accuracy. MLCs can be achieved by blue-light-induced association of mitochondria and lysosomes through various photoactivatable dimerizers. Real-time optogenetic induction of mitochondrial fission is tracked in living cells to measure the fission rate. The optogenetic method partially restores the mitochondrial functions of SLC25A46−/− cells, which display defects in mitochondrial fission and hyperfused mitochondria. The optogenetic MLCs system thus provides a platform for studying mitochondrial fission and treating mitochondrial diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4303
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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