Crosstalk between Drp1 phosphorylation sites during mitochondrial dynamics and metabolic adaptation

Mitochondria are highly dynamics organelles that undergo coordinated cycles of fission and fusion, referred to as mitochondrial dynamics. Mitochondrial dynamics regulate mitochondrial bioenergetics and allow cells to adapt to changing cellular stresses and physiological challenges. The balance between different GTPase enzymes dictates the shift from interconnected tubular networks to fragmented individual units. Among them, mitochondrial fission is regulated by the mitochondrial fission orchestrator, Drp1. Drp1 function is modulated by post-translational modifications, of which the phosphorylation at two specific sites have gained most attention. Drp1 phosphorylation at the S579 site results in Drp1 recruitment to mitochondria to promote fission, whereas the research on the role of the Drp1 S600 phosphorylation have yielded contradictory results on whether it promotes fission or fusion. Importantly, the crosstalk and physiological impact of these phosphorylations is poorly understood. In this project, we focused first on elucidating the interplay between Drp1 S600 and Drp1 S579 phosphorylations. We described how Drp1 S600 phosphorylation promotes S579 phosphorylation by protecting against its dephosphorylation. The activation at both S600 and S579 sites is required to, then, promote mitochondrial fragmentation. To explore the physiological relevance of these phosphorylations, we generated a Drp1 S600A knock-in (Drp1KI) mouse model. Drp1KI mice displayed enhanced lipid oxidation rates and respiratory capacity, granting improved glucose tolerance and thermogenic capacity upon high-fat feeding. Housing mice at thermoneutrality blunted these differences, suggesting a role for the brown adipose tissue in the protection of Drp1KI mice against metabolic damage. Therefore, this work unveils for the first time the crosstalk between Drp1 phosphorylation sites and their relationship to impact on mitochondrial architecture. Moreover, we demonstrate that targeting the Drp1 S600 site can grant protection against diet-induced insulin resistance, suggesting that the modulation of these phosphorylations could be used in the treatment and prevention of metabolic diseases.

Canto Alvarez, Carlos
Meylan, Etienne
Lausanne, EPFL

 Record created 2020-09-25, last modified 2020-09-25

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)