Golgi-derived PI(4)P-containing vesicles drive late steps of mitochondrial division

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Science  20 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6484, pp. 1366-1371
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax6089

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PI(4)P regulates mitochondrial fission

Mitochondria are dynamic intracellular organelles, the shape and number of which are regulated by various cell-signaling pathways. Mitochondrial division is driven by the recruitment of a constricting guanosine triphosphatase protein at sites of contact with the endoplasmic reticulum, but other factors, including lysosomes, are also involved. Nagashima et al. now document an essential role for Golgi-derived vesicles bearing a specific lipid—phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate, or PI(4)P—in the final steps of mitochondrial division. Disruption of PI(4)P production results in mitochondrial morphological defects indicative of an inability to complete fission.

Science, this issue p. 1366


Mitochondrial plasticity is a key regulator of cell fate decisions. Mitochondrial division involves Dynamin-related protein-1 (Drp1) oligomerization, which constricts membranes at endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contact sites. The mechanisms driving the final steps of mitochondrial division are still unclear. Here, we found that microdomains of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate [PI(4)P] on trans-Golgi network (TGN) vesicles were recruited to mitochondria–ER contact sites and could drive mitochondrial division downstream of Drp1. The loss of the small guanosine triphosphatase ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (Arf1) or its effector, phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIIβ [PI(4)KIIIβ], in different mammalian cell lines prevented PI(4)P generation and led to a hyperfused and branched mitochondrial network marked with extended mitochondrial constriction sites. Thus, recruitment of TGN-PI(4)P–containing vesicles at mitochondria–ER contact sites may trigger final events leading to mitochondrial scission.

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