The Journal of biological chemistry

Altering O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine cycling disrupts mitochondrial function.

PMID 24713701


Mitochondrial impairment is commonly found in many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer disease. We demonstrate that the enzymes responsible for the addition or removal of the O-GlcNAc modification, O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-GlcNAcase (OGA), respectively, are critical regulators of mitochondrial function. Using a SILAC (stable isotope labeling of amino acids in cell culture)-based proteomics screen, we quantified the changes in mitochondrial protein expression in OGT- and OGA-overexpressing cells. Strikingly, overexpression of OGT or OGA showed significant decreases in mitochondria-localized proteins involved in the respiratory chain and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Furthermore, mitochondrial morphology was altered in these cells. Both cellular respiration and glycolysis were reduced in OGT/OGA-overexpressing cells. These data demonstrate that alterations in O-GlcNAc cycling profoundly affect energy and metabolite production.