MICOS is a conserved multisubunit complex that localizes to mitochondrial cristae junctions and organizes cristae positioning within the organelle. MICOS is organized into two independent subcomplexes; however, the mechanisms that dictate the assembly and spatial positioning of each MICOS subcomplex are poorly understood. Here, we determine that MICOS subcomplexes target independently of one another to sites on the inner mitochondrial membrane that are in proximity to contact sites between mitochondria and the ER. One subcomplex, composed of Mic27/Mic26/Mic10/Mic12, requires ERMES complex function for its assembly. In contrast, the principal MICOS component, Mic60, self-assembles and localizes in close proximity to the ER through an independent mechanism. We also find that Mic60 can uniquely redistribute adjacent to forced mitochondria–vacuole contact sites. Our data suggest that nonoverlapping properties of interorganelle contact sites provide spatial cues that enable MICOS assembly and ultimately lead to proper physical and functional organization of mitochondria.

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