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  • Drosophila Erect wing (Ewg) controls mitochondrial fusion during muscle growth and maintenance by regulation of the Opa1-like gene.

Drosophila Erect wing (Ewg) controls mitochondrial fusion during muscle growth and maintenance by regulation of the Opa1-like gene.

Journal of cell science (2013-11-08)
Mamta Rai, Prasanna Katti, Upendra Nongthomba
ABSTRACT

Mitochondrial biogenesis and morphological changes are associated with tissue-specific functional demand, but the factors and pathways that regulate these processes have not been completely identified. A lack of mitochondrial fusion has been implicated in various developmental and pathological defects. The spatiotemporal regulation of mitochondrial fusion in a tissue such as muscle is not well understood. Here, we show in Drosophila indirect flight muscles (IFMs) that the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial inner membrane fusion gene, Opa1-like, is regulated in a spatiotemporal fashion by the transcription factor/co-activator Erect wing (Ewg). In IFMs null for Ewg, mitochondria undergo mitophagy and/or autophagy accompanied by reduced mitochondrial functioning and muscle degeneration. By following the dynamics of mitochondrial growth and shape in IFMs, we found that mitochondria grow extensively and fuse during late pupal development to form the large tubular mitochondria. Our evidence shows that Ewg expression during early IFM development is sufficient to upregulate Opa1-like, which itself is a requisite for both late pupal mitochondrial fusion and muscle maintenance. Concomitantly, by knocking down Opa1-like during early muscle development, we show that it is important for mitochondrial fusion, muscle differentiation and muscle organization. However, knocking down Opa1-like, after the expression window of Ewg did not cause mitochondrial or muscle defects. This study identifies a mechanism by which mitochondrial fusion is regulated spatiotemporally by Ewg through Opa1-like during IFM differentiation and growth.

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Anti-Mitofusin-2 (N-Terminal) antibody produced in rabbit, affinity isolated antibody, buffered aqueous solution