Dynamic regulation of mitochondrial fission through modification of the dynamin-related protein Drp1.
ABSTRACT Mitochondria in cells comprise a tubulovesicular network shaped continuously by complementary fission and fusion events. The mammalian Drp1 protein plays a key role in fission, while Mfn1, Mfn2, and OPA1 are required for fusion. Shifts in the balance between these opposing processes can occur rapidly, indicating that modifications to these proteins may regulate mitochondrial membrane dynamics. We highlight posttranslational modifications of the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1, for which these regulatory mechanisms are best characterized. This dynamin-related GTPase undergoes a number of steps to mediate mitochondrial fission, including translocation from cytoplasm to the mitochondrial outer membrane, higher-order assembly into spirals, GTP hydrolysis associated with a conformational change and membrane deformation, and ultimately disassembly. Many of these steps may be influenced by covalent modification of Drp1. We discuss the dynamic nature of Drp1 modifications and how they contribute not only to the normal regulation of mitochondrial division, but also to neuropathologic processes.
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ABSTRACT: Although the c-Myc (Myc) oncoprotein controls mitochondrial biogenesis and multiple enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), the coordination of these events and the mechanistic underpinnings of their regulation remain largely unexplored. We show here that re-expression of Myc in myc-/- fibroblasts is accompanied by a gradual accumulation of mitochondrial biomass and by increases in membrane polarization and mitochondrial fusion. A correction of OXPHOS deficiency is also seen, although structural abnormalities in electron transport chain complexes (ETC) are not entirely normalized. Conversely, the down-regulation of Myc leads to a gradual decrease in mitochondrial mass and a more rapid loss of fusion and membrane potential. Increases in the levels of proteins specifically involved in mitochondrial fission and fusion support the idea that Myc affects mitochondrial mass by influencing both of these processes, albeit favoring the latter. The ETC defects that persist following Myc restoration may represent metabolic adaptations, as mitochondrial function is re-directed away from producing ATP to providing a source of metabolic precursors demanded by the transformed cell.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e37699. · 4.09 Impact Factor