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Interorganelle communication, aging, and neurodegeneration


Our cells are comprised of billions of proteins, lipids, and other small molecules packed into their respective subcellular organelles, with the daunting task of maintaining cellular homeostasis over a lifetime. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that organelles do not act as autonomous discrete units but rather as interconnected hubs that engage in extensive communication through membrane contacts. In the last few years, our understanding of how these contacts coordinate organelle function has redefined our view of the cell. This review aims to present novel findings on the cellular interorganelle communication network and how its dysfunction may contribute to aging and neurodegeneration. The consequences of disturbed interorganellar communication are intimately linked with age-related pathologies. Given that both aging and neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the concomitant failure of multiple cellular pathways, coordination of organelle communication and function could represent an emerging regulatory mechanism critical for long-term cellular homeostasis. We anticipate that defining the relationships between interorganelle communication, aging, and neurodegeneration will open new avenues for therapeutics.

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