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This article is the author's final published version in Nature Communications, Volume 13, Issue 1, December 2022, Article number 6779.

The published version is available at Copyright © The Author(s) 2022.


Endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria contacts (ERMCs) are restructured in response to changes in cell state. While this restructuring has been implicated as a cause or consequence of pathology in numerous systems, the underlying molecular dynamics are poorly understood. Here, we show means to visualize the capture of motile IP3 receptors (IP3Rs) at ERMCs and document the immediate consequences for calcium signaling and metabolism. IP3Rs are of particular interest because their presence provides a scaffold for ERMCs that mediate local calcium signaling, and their function outside of ERMCs depends on their motility. Unexpectedly, in a cell model with little ERMC Ca2+ coupling, IP3Rs captured at mitochondria promptly mediate Ca2+ transfer, stimulating mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. The Ca2+ transfer does not require linkage with a pore-forming protein in the outer mitochondrial membrane. Thus, motile IP3Rs can traffic in and out of ERMCs, and, when ‘parked’, mediate calcium signal propagation to the mitochondria, creating a dynamic arrangement that supports local communication.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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