Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications

Title

Stress-Induced Phosphorylation and Proteasomal Degradation of Mitofusin 2 Facilitates Mitochondrial Fragmentation and Apoptosis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-24-2012

Journal Title

Molecular Cell

ISSN

1097-4164

Volume

47

Issue

4

First Page

547

Last Page

557

DOI

10.1016/j.molcel.2012.05.041

PubMed ID

22748923

PubMed Central® ID

PMC3526191

Abstract

Mitochondria play central roles in integrating pro- and antiapoptotic stimuli, and JNK is well known to have roles in activating apoptotic pathways. We establish a critical link between stress-induced JNK activation, mitofusin 2, which is an essential component of the mitochondrial outer membrane fusion apparatus, and the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). JNK phosphorylation of mitofusin 2 in response to cellular stress leads to recruitment of the ubiquitin ligase (E3) Huwe1/Mule/ARF-BP1/HectH9/E3Histone/Lasu1 to mitofusin 2, with the BH3 domain of Huwe1 implicated in this interaction. This results in ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation of mitofusin 2, leading to mitochondrial fragmentation and enhanced apoptotic cell death. The stability of a nonphosphorylatable mitofusin 2 mutant is unaffected by stress and protective against apoptosis. Conversely, a mitofusin 2 phosphomimic is more rapidly degraded without cellular stress. These findings demonstrate how proximal signaling events can influence both mitochondrial dynamics and apoptosis through phosphorylation-stimulated degradation of the mitochondrial fusion machinery.

Keywords

Apoptosis, cell line, tumor, mitochondria, mitochondrial proteins, phosphorylation, stress, physiological, tumor suppressor proteins

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