Mitochondria are highly abundant in and essential to the beat-to-beat contractile performance of hearts. However, relatively few cardiac diseases have been attributed to primary mitochondrial dysfunction. The paucity of evidence for 'primary mitochondrial cardiac diseases' may be because such an entity does not exist. Alternately, the consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction on hearts may be so severe that long-term viability is severely impaired and affected individuals are therefore not included in standard genetic screens of adult heart disease subjects. Here, I review accumulating experimental evidence that impairing mitochondrial fission or fusion causes cardiomyopathy in otherwise normal mice, and consider how these data could motivate screening of perinatal cardiomyopathy subjects for damaging mutations of mitochondrial fission and fusion factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


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