Mitochondrial dysfunction has been reported in obesity and insulin resistance, but primary genetic mitochondrial dysfunction is generally not associated with these, arguing against a straightforward causal relationship. A rare exception, recently identified in humans, is a syndrome of lower body adipose loss, leptin-deficient severe upper body adipose overgrowth, and insulin resistance caused by the p.Arg707Trp mutation in MFN2, encoding mitofusin 2. How the resulting selective form of mitochondrial dysfunction leads to tissue- and adipose depot-specific growth abnormalities and systemic biochemical perturbation is unknown. To address this, Mfn2R707W/R707W knock-in mice were generated and phenotyped on chow and high fat diets. Electron microscopy revealed adipose-specific mitochondrial morphological abnormalities. Oxidative phosphorylation measured in isolated mitochondria was unperturbed, but the cellular integrated stress response was activated in adipose tissue. Fat mass and distribution, body weight, and systemic glucose and lipid metabolism were unchanged, however serum leptin and adiponectin concentrations, and their secretion from adipose explants were reduced. Pharmacological induction of the integrated stress response in wild-type adipocytes also reduced secretion of leptin and adiponectin, suggesting an explanation for the in vivo findings. These data suggest that the p.Arg707Trp MFN2 mutation selectively perturbs mitochondrial morphology and activates the integrated stress response in adipose tissue. In mice, this does not disrupt most adipocyte functions or systemic metabolism, whereas in humans it is associated with pathological adipose remodelling and metabolic disease. In both species, disproportionate effects on leptin secretion may relate to cell autonomous induction of the integrated stress response.
All reagents used are publicly available. Primer sequences and antibodies are detailed in Supplementary Tables 1 and 2. Code used in analysis is available from: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5770057. Raw counts from transcriptomic analysis are available from GEO with accession number GSE210771.
RNAseq from Mfn2-R707W knock-in miceNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE210771.
- Robert K Semple
- Luis Carlos Tábara
- David B Savage
- Jake P Mann
- Stephen O'Rahilly
- Ineke Luijten
- Julien Prudent
- Stephen O'Rahilly
- Stephen O'Rahilly
- Stephen O'Rahilly
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experiments were performed under UK Home Office-approved Project License 70/8955 except for thermogenic capacity assessments which were conducted under P0101ED1D. Protocols were approved by the University of Cambridge Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board.
- Jonathan S Bogan, Yale School of Medicine, United States
- Received: July 29, 2022
- Preprint posted: September 22, 2022 (view preprint)
- Accepted: January 30, 2023
- Accepted Manuscript published: February 1, 2023 (version 1)
- Accepted Manuscript updated: February 2, 2023 (version 2)
- Accepted Manuscript updated: February 3, 2023 (version 3)
- Version of Record published: February 17, 2023 (version 4)
© 2023, Mann 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.
Activating mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) cause Parkinson’s disease. LRRK2 phosphorylates a subset of Rab GTPases, particularly Rab10 and Rab8A, and we showed previously that these phosphoRabs play an important role in LRRK2 membrane recruitment and activation (Vides et al., 2022). To learn more about LRRK2 pathway regulation, we carried out an unbiased, CRISPR-based genome-wide screen to identify modifiers of cellular phosphoRab10 levels. A flow cytometry assay was developed to detect changes in phosphoRab10 levels in pools of mouse NIH-3T3 cells harboring unique CRISPR guide sequences. Multiple negative and positive regulators were identified; surprisingly, knockout of the Rab12 gene was especially effective in decreasing phosphoRab10 levels in multiple cell types and knockout mouse tissues. Rab-driven increases in phosphoRab10 were specific for Rab12, LRRK2-dependent and PPM1H phosphatase-reversible, and did not require Rab12 phosphorylation; they were seen with wild type and pathogenic G2019S and R1441C LRRK2. As expected for a protein that regulates LRRK2 activity, Rab12 also influenced primary cilia formation. AlphaFold modeling revealed a novel Rab12 binding site in the LRRK2 Armadillo domain, and we show that residues predicted to be essential for Rab12 interaction at this site influence phosphoRab10 and phosphoRab12 levels in a manner distinct from Rab29 activation of LRRK2. Our data show that Rab12 binding to a new site in the LRRK2 Armadillo domain activates LRRK2 kinase for Rab phosphorylation and could serve as a new therapeutic target for a novel class of LRRK2 inhibitors that do not target the kinase domain.
The MRTF–SRF pathway has been extensively studied for its crucial role in driving the expression of a large number of genes involved in actin cytoskeleton of various cell types. However, the specific contribution of MRTF–SRF in hair cells remains unknown. In this study, we showed that hair cell-specific deletion of Srf or Mrtfb, but not Mrtfa, leads to similar defects in the development of stereocilia dimensions and the maintenance of cuticular plate integrity. We used fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based hair cell RNA-Seq analysis to investigate the mechanistic underpinnings of the changes observed in Srf and Mrtfb mutants, respectively. Interestingly, the transcriptome analysis revealed distinct profiles of genes regulated by Srf and Mrtfb, suggesting different transcriptional regulation mechanisms of actin cytoskeleton activities mediated by Srf and Mrtfb. Exogenous delivery of calponin 2 using Adeno-associated virus transduction in Srf mutants partially rescued the impairments of stereocilia dimensions and the F-actin intensity of cuticular plate, suggesting the involvement of Cnn2, as an Srf downstream target, in regulating the hair bundle morphology and cuticular plate actin cytoskeleton organization. Our study uncovers, for the first time, the unexpected differential transcriptional regulation of actin cytoskeleton mediated by Srf and Mrtfb in hair cells, and also demonstrates the critical role of SRF–CNN2 in modulating actin dynamics of the stereocilia and cuticular plate, providing new insights into the molecular mechanism underlying hair cell development and maintenance.