Properly regulated mitochondrial networks are essential for cellular function and implicated in multiple diseases. Mitochondria undergo fission and fusion events, but the dynamics and regulation of a third event of inter-mitochondrial contact formation remain unclear. Using super-resolution imaging, we demonstrate that inter-mitochondrial contacts frequently form and play a fundamental role in mitochondrial networks by restricting mitochondrial motility. Inter-mitochondrial contact untethering events are marked and regulated by mitochondria-lysosome contacts, which are modulated by RAB7 GTP hydrolysis. Moreover, inter-mitochondrial contact formation and untethering are further regulated by Mfn1/2 and Drp1 GTP hydrolysis, respectively. Surprisingly, endoplasmic reticulum tubules are also present at inter-mitochondrial contact untethering events, in addition to mitochondrial fission and fusion events. Importantly, we find that multiple Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2 disease-linked mutations in Mfn2 (CMT2A), RAB7 (CMT2B), and TRPV4 (CMT2C) converge on prolonged inter-mitochondrial contacts and defective mitochondrial motility, highlighting a role for inter-mitochondrial contacts in mitochondrial network regulation and disease.
Keywords: Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2; Mfn2; RAB7; TRPV4; endoplasmic reticulum; inter-mitochondrial contact; lysosome; mitochondria; mitochondria-lysosome contact; super-resolution imaging.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.