IMR Press / FBL / Volume 14 / Issue 11 / DOI: 10.2741/3522

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
News and views on mitochondrial water transport
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1 Dipartimento di Fisiologia Generale ed Ambientale, Università degli Studi di Bari, Bari, Italy
2 Department of Physiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (MD), USA
3 Université de Versailles-St Quentin, PRES UniverSud Paris, CNRS UMR 8159, Versailles, France

Academic Editor: Catherine Brenner

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2009, 14(11), 4189–4198;
Published: 1 January 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptosis and mitochondria)

The osmotic movement of water into and out of the mitochondrial matrix underlies the extraordinary plasticity that characterizes mitochondria, a feature of pivotal importance to cell bioenergetics and signaling, and of critical relevance to life-and-death cell decision. However, the biophysics and identity of mitochondrial water transport had remained mostly unexplored, until recent works suggesting high water permeability and the presence of multiple facilitated pathways of water diffusion in liver mitochondria. Here, we attempt to summarize our current view of the mechanisms of mitochondrial water transport and possible relevance of the channel-mediated pathways created by mitochondrial permeability transition, aquaporins and protein/lipid specializations. Assessing the molecular bases and dynamics of mitochondrial water permeability will help to answer the much-debated question over the role of mitochondria in apoptotic and necrotic cell death.

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