Broken mitochondria use 'eat me' proteins to summon their executioners

Broken mitochondria use 'eat me' proteins to summon their executioners

When mitochondria become damaged, they avoid causing further problems by signaling cellular proteins to degrade them. In a new study, scientists report that they have discovered how the cells trigger this process, which is called mitophagy. In cells with broken mitochondria, two proteins -- NIPSNAP 1 and NIPSNAP 2 -- accumulate on the mitochondrial surface, functioning as 'eat me' signals, recruiting the cellular machinery that will destroy them.

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