DOI: 10.1101/464339Nov 6, 2018Paper

NCLX prevents cell death during adrenergic activation of the brown adipose tissue

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Essam A. AssaliOrian S Shirihai


A sharp increase in mitochondrial Ca2+ marks the activation of the brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis, yet the mechanisms preventing Ca2+ deleterious effects are poorly understood. Here, we show that adrenergic stimulation of BAT activates a PKA-dependent mitochondrial Ca2+ extrusion via the mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger, NCLX. Adrenergic stimulation of NCLX-ablated brown adipocytes (BA) induces a profound mitochondrial Ca2+ overload and impaired uncoupled respiration. Core body temperature, PET imaging and VO2 measurements confirm a BAT specific thermogenic defect in NCLX-null mice. We show that mitochondrial Ca2+ overload induced by adrenergic stimulation of NCLX-null BAT, triggers the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), leading to remarkable mitochondrial swelling, Cytochrome c release and cell death in BAT. However, treatment with mPTP inhibitors rescue mitochondrial respiratory function and thermogenesis in NCLX-null BA, in vitro and in vivo. Our findings identify a novel pathway enabling non-lethal mitochondrial Ca2+ elevation during adrenergic stimulation of uncoupled respiration. Deletion of NCLX transforms the adrenergic pathway responsible for the stimulation of thermogenesis int...Continue Reading

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