Enhanced Ca2+-channeling complex formation at the ER-mitochondria interface underlies the pathogenesis of alcohol-associated liver disease

Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 27;14(1):1703. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-37214-4.


Ca2+ overload-induced mitochondrial dysfunction is considered as a major contributing factor in the pathogenesis of alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD). However, the initiating factors that drive mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation in ALD remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that an aberrant increase in hepatic GRP75-mediated mitochondria-associated ER membrane (MAM) Ca2+-channeling (MCC) complex formation promotes mitochondrial dysfunction in vitro and in male mouse model of ALD. Unbiased transcriptomic analysis reveals PDK4 as a prominently inducible MAM kinase in ALD. Analysis of human ALD cohorts further corroborate these findings. Additional mass spectrometry analysis unveils GRP75 as a downstream phosphorylation target of PDK4. Conversely, non-phosphorylatable GRP75 mutation or genetic ablation of PDK4 prevents alcohol-induced MCC complex formation and subsequent mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation and dysfunction. Finally, ectopic induction of MAM formation reverses the protective effect of PDK4 deficiency in alcohol-induced liver injury. Together, our study defines a mediatory role of PDK4 in promoting mitochondrial dysfunction in ALD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases* / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria