ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0059.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: Oxidative stress, MFN2, mitochondria, fusion/fission
Online: 9 September 2019 (11:46:36 CEST)
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a hereditary polyneuropathy caused by mutations in Mitofusin-2 (MFN2), a GTPase in the outer mitochondrial membrane involved in the regulation of mitochondrial fusion and bioenergetics. Autosomal-dominant inheritance of a R94Q mutation in MFN2 causes the axonal subtype 2A2A which is characterized by early onset and progressive atrophy of distal muscles caused by motoneuronal degeneration. Here, we studied mitochondrial shape, respiration, cytosolic and mitochondrial ATP content as well as mitochondrial quality control in MFN2-deficient fibroblasts stably expressing wildtype or R94Q MFN2. Under normal culture conditions, R94Q cells had slightly more fragmented mitochondria but a similar mitochondrial oxygen consumption, membrane potential and ATP production as wildtype cells. However, when inducing mild oxidative stress 24 h before analysis using 100 µM hydrogen peroxide, R94Q cells exhibited significantly increased respiration but decreased mitochondrial ATP production. This was accompanied by increased glucose uptake and an upregulation of hexokinase 1 and pyruvate kinase M2 suggesting increased pyruvate shuttling into mitochondria. As these changes coincided with decreased levels of PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy in R94Q cells, we conclude that the disease-causing R94Q mutation in MFN2 causes uncoupling of mitochondrial respiration from ATP production by a less efficient mitochondrial quality control triggered by oxidative stress.