Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) constricts mitochondria as a mechanochemical GTPase during mitochondrial division. The Drp1 gene contains several alternative exons and produces multiple isoforms through RNA splicing. Here we performed a systematic analysis of Drp1 transcripts in different mouse tissues and identified a previously uncharacterized isoform that is highly enriched in the brain. This Drp1 isoform is termed Drp1ABCD because it contains four alterative exons: A, B, C, and D. Remarkably, Drp1ABCD is located at lysosomes, late endosomes, and the plasma membrane in addition to mitochondria. Furthermore, Drp1ABCD is concentrated at the interorganelle interface between mitochondria and lysosomes/late endosomes. The localizations of Drp1ABCD at lysosomes, late endosomes, and the plasma membrane require two exons, A and B, that are present in the GTPase domain. Drp1ABCD assembles onto these membranes in a manner that is regulated by its oligomerization and GTP hydrolysis. Experiments using lysosomal inhibitors show that the association of Drp1ABCD with lysosomes/late endosomes depends on lysosomal pH but not their protease activities. Thus, Drp1 may connect mitochondria to endosomal-lysosomal pathways in addition to mitochondrial division.
Keywords: GTPase; brain; lysosome; mitochondria; subcellular organelle.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.