Suppression of Mitochondrial DNA Instability of Autosomal Dominant Forms of Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia-Associated ANT1 Mutations in Podospora Anserina
El-Khoury, Riyad, Sainsard-Chanet, Annie, Genetics
Maintenance and expression of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are essential for the cell and the organism. In humans, several mutations in the adenine nucleotide translocase gene ANT1 are associated with multiple mtDNA deletions and autosomal dominant forms of progressive external ophthalmoplegia (adPEO). The mechanisms underlying the mtDNA instability are still obscure. A current hypothesis proposes that these pathogenic mutations primarily uncouple the mitochondrial inner membrane, which secondarily causes mtDNA instability. Here we show that the three adPEO-associated mutations equivalent to A114P, L98P, and V289M introduced into the Podospora anserina ANT1 ortholog dominantly cause severe growth defects, decreased reactive oxygen species production (ROS), decreased mitochondrial inner membrane potential (Δψ), and accumulation of large-scale mtDNA deletions leading to premature death. Interestingly, we show that, at least for the adPEO-type M106P and A121P mutant alleles, the associated mtDNA instability cannot be attributed only to a reduced membrane potential or to an increased ROS level since it can be suppressed without restoration of the Δψ or modification of the ROS production. Suppression of mtDNA instability due to the M106P and A121P mutations was obtained by an allele of the rmp1 gene involved in nucleo-mitochondrial cross- talk and also by an allele of the AS1 gene encoding a cytosolic ribosomal protein. In contrast, the mtDNA instability caused by the S296M mutation was not suppressed by these alleles.
THE maintenance and expression of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depend on many nuclear-encoded gene products. Recent studies have shown that defects in this maintenance can have devastating consequences for the cell and the organism. In humans, these defects are an important cause of neurological diseases including autosomal dominant (or recessive) progressive external ophthalmoplegia (adPEO) (Chinnery 2003; Copeland 2008). These disorders are characterized by multiple large-scale deletions of mtDNA. Three different genes that can cause PEO with multiple mtDNA deletions have been identified: the mtDNA polymerase (POLG), the heart/muscle isoform of the adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT1), and the mitochondrial DNA helicase, Twinkle.
The adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT), also known as the ADP/ATP mitochondrial translocator, is the most abundant protein in the inner mitochondrial membrane (Riccio et al. 1975; Nury et al. 2006; Klingenberg 2008). It exports ATP produced by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation toward the cytosol to meet the energy requirements of the cell; in exchange, it transports ADP into the mitochondrial matrix to fuel the conversion of ADP to ATP by the F1FO-ATP synthase. In humans, four isoforms of the ANT protein exist, and they are differently expressed in a tissue-specific manner (Stepien et al. 1992; Palmieri 2004; Dolce et al. 2005). The human ANT1 isoform is predominantly expressed in skeletal and cardiac muscle, and specific ANT1 mutations are associated with adPEO characterized by mtDNA instability (Kaukonen et al. 1999, 2000; Napoli et al. 2001; Komaki et al. 2002; Siciliano et al. 2003). In mice, Ant1 knockout induces mitochondrial myopathy (Graham et al. 1997), increased H2O2 production, and mtDNA damage and inhibits oxidative phosphorylation (Esposito et al. 1999). Some of these mutations were introduced in the AAC2 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that encodes the major ADP/ATP mitochondrial translocator isoform in this organism. Numerous and sometimes contradictory effects have been reported depending in particular on the yeast laboratory strains examined (Kaukonen et al. 2000; Chen 2002, 2004; Fontanesi et al. 2004; Palmieri et al. 2005; Wang et al. 2008b).
In an attempt to better understand how these mutations affect mitochondrial DNA stability and their functional consequences on mitochondrial metabolism, we decided to introduce them in the unique ADP/ATP translocator gene of Podospora anserina, PaAnt. …