Close proximities between organelles have been described for decades. However, only recently a specific field dealing with organelle communication at membrane contact sites has gained wide acceptance, attracting scientists from multiple areas of cell biology. The diversity of approaches warrants a unified vocabulary for the field. Such definitions would facilitate laying the foundations of this field, streamlining communication and resolving semantic controversies. This opinion, written by a panel of experts in the field, aims to provide this burgeoning area with guidelines for the experimental definition and analysis of contact sites. It also includes suggestions on how to operationally and tractably measure and analyze them with the hope of ultimately facilitating knowledge production and dissemination within and outside the field of contact-site research.
Scorrano, Luca; De Matteis, Maria Antonietta; Emr, Scott; Giordano, Francesca; Hajnóczky, György; Kornmann, Benoît; Lackner, Laura L.; Levine, Tim P.; Pellegrini, Luca; Reinisch, Karin; Rizzuto, Rosario; Simmen, Thomas; Stenmark, Harald; Ungermann, Christian; and Schuldiner, Maya, "Coming together to define membrane contact sites." (2019). Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology Faculty Papers. Paper 272.
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