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Juanjuan Zhang, Yanchun Ji, Jie Chen, Man Xu, Guoping Wang, Xiaorui Ci, Bing Lin, Jun Q. Mo, Xiangtian Zhou, Min-Xin Guan; Assocation Between Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy and MT-ND1 3460G>A Mutation-Induced Alterations in Mitochondrial Function, Apoptosis, and Mitophagy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(9):38. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.9.38.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the molecular mechanism underlying the Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON)-linked MT-ND1 3460G>A mutation.
Cybrid cell models were generated by fusing mitochondrial DNA-less ρ0 cells with enucleated cells from a patient carrying the m.3460G>A mutation and a control subject. The impact of m.3460G>A mutations on oxidative phosphorylation was evaluated using Blue Native gel electrophoresis, and measurements of oxygen consumption were made with an extracellular flux analyzer. Assessment of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in cell lines was performed by flow cytometry with MitoSOX Red reagent. Assays for apoptosis and mitophagy were undertaken via immunofluorescence analysis.
Nineteen Chinese Han pedigrees bearing the m.3460G>A mutation exhibited variable penetrance and expression of LHON. The m.3460G>A mutation altered the structure and function of MT-ND1, as evidenced by reduced MT-ND1 levels in mutant cybrids bearing the mutation. The instability of mutated MT-ND1 manifested as defects in the assembly and activity of complex I, respiratory deficiency, diminished mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate production, and decreased membrane potential, in addition to increased production of mitochondrial ROS in the mutant cybrids carrying the m.3460G>A mutation. The m.3460G>A mutation mediated apoptosis, as evidenced by the elevated release of cytochrome c into the cytosol and increasing levels of the apoptotic-associated proteins BAK, BAX, and PARP, as well as cleaved caspases 3, 7, and 9, in the mutant cybrids. The cybrids bearing the m.3460G>A mutation exhibited reduced levels of autophagy protein light chain 3, accumulation of autophagic substrate P62, and impaired PTEN-induced kinase 1/parkin-dependent mitophagy.
Our findings highlight the critical role of m.3460G>A mutation in the pathogenesis of LHON, manifested by mitochondrial dysfunction and alterations in apoptosis and mitophagy.
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