Luca Pellegrini

Luca Pellegrini,

Full Professor, Université Laval

Professor Luca Pellegrini's research aims to understand the factors that control the structure, morphology and localization of mitochondria in cells. Mitochondria are essential components of cells that are responsible for energy production, that are also important for communication between cells and cell survival. They are considered as the power plants of the cell and their organization and location are precisely regulated in cells.

Defects in the production or maintenance of mitochondria are responsible for several degenerative diseases and severe metabolic syndromes.

In neurons, mitochondria are concentrated near synapses, which are the places where neurons communicate with each other and with other cells, and where large amounts of energy are required. Professor Pellegrini's research aims to understand how the mitochondria network is organized, and how it responds to the energy requirements of cells.

Luca Pellegrini on ResearchGate

Don't miss the EMBO Workshop, from September 26th to October 1st, 2021 !

Molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial dynamics

The regulation of primary mitochondrial activities like ATP synthesis, calcium signaling and apoptosis impinges on the activity of proteins controlling the shape and structure of the mitochondrial network. Consequently, dysfunctions in mitochondria biogenesis and homeostasis are central to the development of a plethora of degenerative diseases and metabolic syndromes.

To understand the etiology of these disorders it is imperative to discover, therefore, how mitochondria morphology remodeling is regulated and which signaling pathways link physiological transitions to structural changes of the mitochondrial architecture. To this goal, the machinery coordinating mitochondria membrane fusion and fission must be dissected, and its mechanism of regulation understood.

In the PelleLAB we are working toward this goal by studying the mechanism of regulation of the rhomboid protease PARL and of the dynamin-related GTPase OPA1, two central regulators of mitochondria morphology and structure.


Molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial dynamics



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