In cells the interorganelle communication comprises vesicular and non-vesicular mechanisms. Non-vesicular material transfer predominantly takes place at regions of close organelle apposition termed membrane contact sites and is facilitated by a growing number of specialized proteins. Contacts of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria are now recognized to be essential for diverse biological processes such as calcium homeostasis, phospholipid biosynthesis, apoptosis, and autophagy. In addition to these universal roles, ER-mitochondria communication serves also cell type-specific functions. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on ER-mitochondria contacts in cells of the innate immune system, especially in macrophages. We discuss ER- mitochondria communication in the context of macrophage fatty acid metabolism linked to inflammatory and ER stress responses, its roles in apoptotic cell engulfment, activation of the inflammasome, and antiviral defense.
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