FBXL4 deficiency promotes mitophagy by elevating NIX

  • The selective autophagy of mitochondria is linked to mitochondrial quality control and is critical to a healthy organism. Ubiquitylation is sometimes needed for marking damaged mitochondria for disposal but also for governing the expression and turnover of critical regulatory proteins. We have conducted a CRISPR/Cas9 screen of human E3 ubiquitin ligases for influence on mitophagy under both basal cell culture conditions and following acute mitochondrial depolarisation. We identify two Cullin RING ligases, VHL and FBXL4 as the most profound negative regulators of basal mitophagy. Here we show that these converge through control of the mitophagy adaptors BNIP3 and BNIP3L/NIX, but that this is achieved through different mechanisms. FBXL4 suppression of BNIP3 and NIX levels is mediated via direct interaction and protein destabilisation rather than suppression of HIF1α-mediated transcription. Depletion of NIX but not BNIP3 is sufficient to restore mitophagy levels. Our study enables a full understanding of the aetiology of early onset mitochondrial encephalomyopathy that is supported by analysis of a disease associated mutation. We further show that the compound MLN4924, which globally interferes with Cullin RING ligase activity, is a strong inducer of mitophagy which can provide a research tool in this context as well as a candidate therapeutic agent for conditions linked to mitochondrial quality control.

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Author:Hannah ElcocksORCiD, Ailbhe J. BrazelORCiD, Katy R. McCarronORCiD, Manuel KaulichORCiD, Koraljka HusnjakORCiD, Heather MortiboysORCiDGND, Michael J. ClagueORCiD, Sylvie UrbéORCiD
Parent Title (English):bioRxiv
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2023/04/14
Date of first Publication:2023/04/14
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/04/18
Page Number:34
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International