Liver inter-organelle membrane contact sites revealed by serial section electron tomography.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Methods Cell Biol, Volume 177, p.101-123 (2023)


Cell Membrane, Electron Microscope Tomography, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Liver, Mitochondrial Membranes


<p>Inter-organelle membrane contact sites (MCSs) are defined as areas of close proximity between the membranes of two organelles (10-80nm). They have been implicated in many physiological processes such as Ca, lipids or small molecules transfer, organelles biogenesis or dynamic and have an important role in many cellular processes such as apoptosis, autophagy, and signaling. Since the distance and the extent of these contacts are in the nanometer range, high resolution techniques are ideal for imaging these structures. It is for this reason that transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been considered the gold standard for MCSs visualization and the first technique that described them. However, often TEM analysis is limited to 2D lacking information on the 3D association between the organelles involved in MCSs. To fully describe the complex architecture of MSCs and to unveil their role in cellular physiology a 3D analysis is required. This chapter provides a method for the analysis of MCSs using serial section electron tomography (ssET), a technique able to reconstruct in 3D at nanometer resolution cellular and subcellular structures. By applying this procedure, it was possible to elucidate the role of the contacts between Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) and other organelles in liver lipid metabolism.</p>

Financement / Soutien / Partenaires

logo FRQ-S logo ctrn logo fci logo cihr irsc logo nserc logo MESISentinelle nord