Molecular and cellular biology

Proteasome Impairment Induces Recovery of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and an Alternative Pathway of Mitochondrial Fusion.

PMID 26552703


Mitochondria are vital and highly dynamic organelles that continuously fuse and divide to maintain mitochondrial quality. Mitochondrial dysfunction impairs cellular integrity and is known to be associated with various human diseases. However, the mechanism by which the quality of mitochondria is maintained remains largely unexplored. Here we show that impaired proteasome function recovers the growth of yeast cells lacking Fzo1, a pivotal protein for mitochondrial fusion. Decreased proteasome activity increased the mitochondrial oxidoreductase protein Mia40 and the ratio of the short isoform of mitochondrial intermembrane protein Mgm1 (s-Mgm1) to the long isoform (l-Mgm1). The increase in Mia40 restored mitochondrial membrane potential, while the increase in the s-Mgm1/l-Mgm1 ratio promoted mitochondrial fusion in an Fzo1-independent manner. Our findings demonstrate a new pathway for mitochondrial quality control that is induced by proteasome impairment.