Cell Biology

Muscle Mitophagy

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  29 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6162, pp. 1021
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6162.1021-a

Mitochondrial injury triggers an adaptive compensatory response: Signals emanating from damaged mitochondria activate cytoprotective cascades that restore cellular homeostasis. Identifying cytoprotective factors has been difficult, in part because of the heterogeneity of tissue culture models of mitochondrial distress. Owusu-Ansah et al. have established a Drosophila model in which modest muscle mitochondrial perturbation was associated with the induction of genes required for cytoprotection and cell maintenance. A synthetic lethal screen for increased life span and preserved muscle function uncovered components of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) and a homolog of insulin-like growth factor–binding protein 7, which indirectly facilitates mitophagy—the removal of damaged mitochondria. Overexpression of UPRmt genes in fly muscles preserved mitochondrial function and delayed age-related locomotory impairment.

Cell 155, 699 (2013).

Navigate This Article