Sphingosine kinase 1 overexpression induces MFN2 fragmentation and alters mitochondrial matrix Ca2+ handling in HeLa cells.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular cell research (2019-06-21)
I Pulli, C Löf, T Blom, M Y Asghar, T Lassila, N Bäck, K-L Lin, J H Nyström, K Kemppainen, D M Toivola, E Dufour, A Sanz, H M Cooper, J B Parys, K Törnquist

Sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1) converts sphingosine to the bioactive lipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). S1P binds to G-protein-coupled receptors (S1PR1-5) to regulate cellular events, including Ca2+ signaling. The SK1/S1P axis and Ca2+ signaling both play important roles in health and disease. In this respect, Ca2+ microdomains at the mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes (MAMs) are of importance in oncogenesis. Mitofusin 2 (MFN2) modulates ER-mitochondria contacts, and dysregulation of MFN2 is associated with malignancies. We show that overexpression of SK1 augments agonist-induced Ca2+ release from the ER resulting in increased mitochondrial matrix Ca2+. Also, overexpression of SK1 induces MFN2 fragmentation, likely through increased calpain activity. Further, expressing putative calpain-cleaved MFN2 N- and C-terminal fragments increases mitochondrial matrix Ca2+ during agonist stimulation, mimicking the SK1 overexpression in cells. Moreover, SK1 overexpression enhances cellular respiration and cell migration. Thus, SK1 regulates MFN2 fragmentation resulting in increased mitochondrial Ca2+ and downstream cellular effects.

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