Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116 (20) 9853-9858 [2019-05-14; online 2019-04-26]
Mitochondria are tubular double-membrane organelles essential for eukaryotic life. They form extended networks and exhibit an intricate inner membrane architecture. The MICOS (mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system) complex, crucial for proper architecture of the mitochondrial inner membrane, is localized primarily at crista junctions. Harnessing superresolution fluorescence microscopy, we demonstrate that Mic60, a subunit of the MICOS complex, as well as several of its interaction partners are arranged into intricate patterns in human and yeast mitochondria, suggesting an ordered distribution of the crista junctions. We show that Mic60 forms clusters that are preferentially localized in the inner membrane at two opposing sides of the mitochondrial tubules so that they form extended opposing distribution bands. These Mic60 distribution bands can be twisted, resulting in a helical arrangement. Focused ion beam milling-scanning electron microscopy showed that in yeast the twisting of the opposing distribution bands is echoed by the folding of the inner membrane. We show that establishment of the Mic60 distribution bands is largely independent of the cristae morphology. We suggest that Mic60 is part of an extended multiprotein interaction network that scaffolds mitochondria.