Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Pim-1 preserves mitochondrial morphology by inhibiting dynamin-related protein 1 translocation.

PMID 23530233


Mitochondrial morphological dynamics affect the outcome of ischemic heart damage and pathogenesis. Recently, mitochondrial fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) has been identified as a mediator of mitochondrial morphological changes and cell death during cardiac ischemic injury. In this study, we report a unique relationship between Pim-1 activity and Drp1 regulation of mitochondrial morphology in cardiomyocytes challenged by ischemic stress. Transgenic hearts overexpressing cardiac Pim-1 display reduction of total Drp1 protein levels, increased phosphorylation of Drp1-(S637), and inhibition of Drp1 localization to the mitochondria. Consistent with these findings, adenoviral-induced Pim-1 neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs) retain a reticular mitochondrial phenotype after simulated ischemia (sI) and decreased Drp1 mitochondrial sequestration. Interestingly, adenovirus Pim-dominant negative NRCMs show increased expression of Bcl-2 homology 3 (BH3)-only protein p53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA), which has been previously shown to induce Drp1 accumulation at mitochondria and increase sensitivity to apoptotic stimuli. Overexpression of the p53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis-dominant negative adenovirus attenuates localization of Drp1 to mitochondria in adenovirus Pim-dominant negative NRCMs promotes reticular mitochondrial morphology and inhibits cell death during sI. Therefore, Pim-1 activity prevents Drp1 compartmentalization to the mitochondria and preserves reticular mitochondrial morphology in response to sI.