The effect of OPA1 on mitochondrial Ca 2+ signaling

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The dynamin-related GTPase protein OPA1, localized in the intermembrane space and tethered to the inner membrane of mitochondria, participates in the fusion of these organelles. Its mutation is the most prevalent cause of Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy. OPA1 controls the diameter of the junctions between the boundary part of the inner membrane and the membrane of cristae and reduces the diffusibility of cytochrome c through these junctions. We postulated that if significant Ca 2+ uptake into the matrix occurs from the lumen of the cristae, reduced expression of OPA1 would increase the access of Ca 2+ to the transporters in the crista membrane and thus would enhance Ca 2+ uptake. In intact H295R adrenocortical and HeLa cells cytosolic Ca 2+ signals evoked with K + and histamine, respectively, were transferred into the mitochondria. The rate and amplitude of mitochondrial [Ca 2+] rise (followed with confocal laser scanning microscopy and FRET measurements with fluorescent wide-field microscopy) were increased after knockdown of OPA1, as compared with cells transfected with control RNA or mitofusin1 siRNA. Ca 2+ uptake was enhanced despite reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. In permeabilized cells the rate of Ca 2+ uptake by depolarized mitochondria was also increased in OPA1-silenced cells. The participation of Na +/Ca 2+ and Ca 2+/H + antiporters in this transport process is indicated by pharmacological data. Altogether, our observations reveal the significance of OPA1 in the control of mitochondrial Ca 2+ metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere25199
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 29 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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