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MFN2 agonists reverse mitochondrial defects in preclinical models of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A.


ABSTRACT: Mitofusins (MFNs) promote fusion-mediated mitochondrial content exchange and subcellular trafficking. Mutations in Mfn2 cause neurodegenerative Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A (CMT2A). We showed that MFN2 activity can be determined by Met376 and His380 interactions with Asp725 and Leu727 and controlled by PINK1 kinase-mediated phosphorylation of adjacent MFN2 Ser378 Small-molecule mimics of the peptide-peptide interface of MFN2 disrupted this interaction, allosterically activating MFN2 and promoting mitochondrial fusion. These first-in-class mitofusin agonists overcame dominant mitochondrial defects provoked in cultured neurons by CMT2A mutants MFN2 Arg94?Gln94 and MFN2 Thr105?Met105, as demonstrated by amelioration of mitochondrial dysmotility, fragmentation, depolarization, and clumping. A mitofusin agonist normalized axonal mitochondrial trafficking within sciatic nerves of MFN2 Thr105?Met105 mice, promising a therapeutic approach for CMT2A and other untreatable diseases of impaired neuronal mitochondrial dynamism and/or trafficking.

SUBMITTER: Rocha AG 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6109362 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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