NDPK-D (NM23-H4)-mediated externalization of cardiolipin enables elimination of depolarized mitochondria by mitophagy
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Mitophagy is critical for cell homeostasis. Externalization of the inner mitochondrial membrane phospholipid, cardiolipin (CL), to the surface of the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) was identified as a mitophageal signal recognized by the microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3. However, the CL-translocating machinery remains unknown. Here we demonstrate that a hexameric intermembrane space protein, NDPK-D (or NM23-H4), binds CL and facilitates its redistribution to the OMM. We found that mitophagy induced by a protonophoric uncoupler, carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP), caused externalization of CL to the surface of mitochondria in murine lung epithelial MLE-12 cells and human cervical adenocarcinoma HeLa cells. RNAi knockdown of endogenous NDPK-D decreased CCCP-induced CL externalization and mitochondrial degradation. A R90D NDPK-D mutant that does not bind CL was inactive in promoting mitophagy. Similarly, rotenone and 6-hydroxydopamine triggered mitophagy in SH-SY5Y cells was also suppressed by knocking down of NDPK-D. In situ proximity ligation assay (PLA) showed that mitophagy-inducing CL-transfer activity of NDPK-D is closely associated with the dynamin-like GTPase OPA1, implicating fission-fusion dynamics in mitophagy regulation.
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