Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author's final published version in Cell, Volume 187, Issue 2, January 2024, Pages 257 - 270.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2023 The Author(s)


The view of organelles and how they operate together has changed dramatically over the last two decades. The textbook view of organelles was that they operated largely independently and were connected by vesicular trafficking and the diffusion of signals through the cytoplasm. We now know that all organelles make functional close contacts with one another, often called membrane contact sites. The study of these sites has moved to center stage in cell biology as it has become clear that they play critical roles in healthy and developing cells and during cell stress and disease states. Contact sites have important roles in intracellular signaling, lipid metabolism, motor-protein-mediated membrane dynamics, organelle division, and organelle biogenesis. Here, we summarize the major conceptual changes that have occurred in cell biology as we have come to appreciate how contact sites integrate the activities of organelles.

Creative Commons License

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

PubMed ID




Included in

Cell Biology Commons