In fluctuating environmental conditions, organisms must modulate their bioenergetic production in order to maintain cellular homeostasis for optimal fitness. Mitochondria are hubs for metabolite and energy generation. Mitochondria are also highly dynamic in their function: modulating their composition, size, density, and the network-like architecture in relation to the metabolic demands of the cell. Here, we review the recent research on the post-transcriptional regulation of mitochondrial composition focusing on mRNA localization, mRNA translation, protein import, and the role that dynamic mitochondrial structure may have on these gene expression processes. As mitochondrial structure and function has been shown to be very important for age-related processes, including cancer, metabolic disorders, and neurodegeneration, understanding how mitochondrial composition can be affected in fluctuating conditions can lead to new therapeutic directions to pursue.

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