AKAP1 Protects from Cerebral Ischemic Stroke by Inhibiting Drp1-Dependent Mitochondrial Fission.
Mitochondrial fission and fusion impact numerous cellular functions and neurons are particularly sensitive to perturbations in mitochondrial dynamics. Here we describe that male mice lacking the mitochondrial A-kinase anchoring protein 1 (AKAP1) exhibit increased sensitivity in the transient middle cerebral artery occlusion model of focal ischemia. At the ultrastructural level, AKAP1-/- mice have smaller mitochondria and increased contacts between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum in the brain. Mechanistically, deletion of AKAP1 dysregulates complex II of the electron transport chain, increases superoxide production, and impairs Ca2+ homeostasis in neurons subjected to excitotoxic glutamate. Ca2+ deregulation in neurons lacking AKAP1 can be attributed to loss of inhibitory phosphorylation of the mitochondrial fission enzyme dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) at the protein kinase A (PKA) site Ser637. Our results indicate that inhibition of Drp1-dependent mitochondrial fission by the outer mitochondrial AKAP1/PKA complex protects neurons from ischemic stroke by maintaining respiratory chain activity, inhibiting superoxide production, and delaying Ca2+ deregulation. They also provide the first genetic evidence that Drp1 inhibition may be of therapeutic relevance for the treatment of stroke and neurodegeneration.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Previous work suggests that activation of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) and mitochondrial fission contribute to ischemic injury in the brain. However, the specificity and efficacy of the pharmacological Drp1 inhibitor mdivi-1 that was used has now been discredited by several high-profile studies. Our report is timely and highly impactful because it provides the first evidence that genetic disinhibition of Drp1 via knock-out of the mitochondrial protein kinase A (PKA) scaffold AKAP1 exacerbates stroke injury in mice. Mechanistically, we show that electron transport deficiency, increased superoxide production, and Ca2+ overload result from genetic disinhibition of Drp1. In summary, our work settles current controversies regarding the role of mitochondrial fission in neuronal injury, provides mechanisms, and suggests that fission inhibitors hold promise as future therapeutic agents.
Flippo, KH; Gnanasekaran, A; Perkins, GA; Ajmal, A; Merrill, RA; Dickey, AS; Taylor, SS; McKnight, GS; Chauhan, AK; Usachev, YM; Strack, S
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