Notch1 Modulation of Cellular Calcium Regulates Mitochondrial Metabolism and Anti-Apoptotic Activity in T-Regulatory Cells

Front Immunol. 2022 Feb 10;13:832159. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.832159. eCollection 2022.

Abstract

As the major hub of metabolic activity and an organelle sequestering pro-apoptogenic intermediates, mitochondria lie at the crossroads of cellular decisions of death and survival. Intracellular calcium is a key regulator of these outcomes with rapid, uncontrolled uptake into mitochondria, activating pro-apoptotic cascades that trigger cell death. Here, we show that calcium uptake and mitochondrial metabolism in murine T-regulatory cells (Tregs) is tuned by Notch1 activity. Based on analysis of Tregs and the HEK cell line, we present evidence that modulation of cellular calcium dynamics underpins Notch1 regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis and consequently anti-apoptotic activity. Targeted siRNA-mediated ablations reveal dependency on molecules controlling calcium release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the chaperone, glucose-regulated protein 75 (Grp75), the associated protein Voltage Dependent Anion Channel (VDAC)1 and the Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter (MCU), which together facilitate ER calcium transfer and uptake into the mitochondria. Endogenous Notch1 is detected in immune-complexes with Grp75 and VDAC1. Deficits in mitochondrial oxidative and survival in Notch1 deficient Tregs, were corrected by the expression of recombinant Notch1 intracellular domain, and in part by recombinant Grp75. Thus, the modulation of calcium dynamics and consequently mitochondrial metabolism underlies Treg survival in conditions of nutrient stress. This work positions a key role for Notch1 activity in these outcomes.

Keywords: Grp75; NOTCH1; Tregs; apoptosis; calcium; mammalian cells; mitochondria; oxphos.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Calcium* / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory* / metabolism

Substances

  • Calcium