As essential regulators of mitochondrial quality control, mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy play key roles in maintenance of metabolic health and cellular homeostasis. Here we show that knockdown of the membrane-inserted scaffolding and structural protein caveolin-1 (Cav-1) and expression of tyrosine 14 phospho-defective Cav-1 mutant (Y14F), as opposed to phospho-mimicking Y14D, altered mitochondrial morphology, and increased mitochondrial matrix mixing, mitochondrial fusion and fission dynamics as well as mitophagy in MDA-MB-231 triple negative breast cancer cells. Further, we found that interaction of Cav-1 with mitochondrial fusion/fission machinery Mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) and Dynamin related protein 1 (Drp1) was enhanced by Y14D mutant indicating Cav-1 Y14 phosphorylation prevented Mfn2 and Drp1 translocation to mitochondria. Moreover, limiting mitochondrial recruitment of Mfn2 diminished formation of the PINK1/Mfn2/Parkin complex required for initiation of mitophagy resulting in accumulation of damaged mitochondria and ROS (mtROS). Thus, these studies indicate that phospho-Cav-1 may be an important switch mechanism in cancer cell survival which could lead to novel strategies for complementing cancer therapies.
Keywords: Cav-1; Dynamin-related protein 1; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitofusin 2; Mitophagy; mtROS.
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