Mitochondrial dysfunction and subsequent metabolic deregulation is observed in neurodegenerative diseases and aging. Mutations in the presenilin (PSEN) encoding genes (PSEN1 and PSEN2) cause most cases of familial Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, the underlying mechanism of pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we show that mutations in the C. elegans gene encoding a PSEN homolog, sel-12 result in mitochondrial metabolic defects that promote neurodegeneration as a result of oxidative stress. In sel-12 mutants, elevated endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling leads to an increase in mitochondrial Ca2+ content which stimulates mitochondrial respiration resulting in an increase in mitochondrial superoxide production. By reducing ER Ca2+ release, mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake or mitochondrial superoxides in sel-12 mutants, we demonstrate rescue of the mitochondrial metabolic defects and prevent neurodegeneration. These data suggest that mutations in PSEN alter mitochondrial metabolic function via ER to mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling and provide insight for alternative targets for treating neurodegenerative diseases.
Source data files have be proved for all figures.
- Yi Tang
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Andrew Dillin, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2018, Sarasija et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Branched actin networks are self-assembling molecular motors that move biological membranes and drive many important cellular processes, including phagocytosis, endocytosis, and pseudopod protrusion. When confronted with opposing forces, the growth rate of these networks slows and their density increases, but the stoichiometry of key components does not change. The molecular mechanisms governing this force response are not well understood, so we used single-molecule imaging and AFM cantilever deflection to measure how applied forces affect each step in branched actin network assembly. Although load forces are observed to increase the density of growing filaments, we find that they actually decrease the rate of filament nucleation due to inhibitory interactions between actin filament ends and nucleation promoting factors. The force-induced increase in network density turns out to result from an exponential drop in the rate constant that governs filament capping. The force dependence of filament capping matches that of filament elongation and can be explained by expanding Brownian Ratchet theory to cover both processes. We tested a key prediction of this expanded theory by measuring the force-dependent activity of engineered capping protein variants and found that increasing the size of the capping protein increases its sensitivity to applied forces. In summary, we find that Brownian Ratchets underlie not only the ability of growing actin filaments to generate force but also the ability of branched actin networks to adapt their architecture to changing loads.
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