Mitochondrial-nuclear communication, known as retrograde signaling, is important for regulating nuclear gene expression in response to mitochondrial dysfunction. Previously, we have found that p32/C1qbp-deficient mice, which have a mitochondrial translation defect, show endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response and integrated stress response (ISR) gene expression in the heart and brain. However, the mechanism by which mitochondrial translation inhibition elicits these responses is not clear. Among the transcription factors that respond to mitochondrial stress, activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) is a key transcription factor in the ISR. Herein, chloramphenicol (CAP), which inhibits mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-encoded protein expression, induced eukaryotic initiation factor 2 α subunit (eIF2α) phosphorylation and ATF4 induction, leading to ISR gene expression. However, the expression of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (mtUPR) genes, which has been shown in Caenorhabditis elegans, was not induced. Short hairpin RNA-based knockdown of ATF4 markedly inhibited the CAP-induced ISR gene expression. We also observed by ChIP analysis that induced ATF4 bound to the promoter region of several ISR genes, suggesting that mitochondrial translation inhibition induces ISR gene expression through ATF4 activation. In the present study, we showed that mitochondrial translation inhibition induced the ISR through ATF4 activation rather than the mtUPR.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology