Research ArticlePHYSIOLOGY

FUNDC1 interacts with FBXL2 to govern mitochondrial integrity and cardiac function through an IP3R3-dependent manner in obesity

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Science Advances  16 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 38, eabc8561
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc8561


Defective mitophagy is causally linked to obesity complications. Here, we identified an interaction between mitophagy protein FUNDC1 (FUN14 domain containing 1) and receptor subunit of human SCF (SKP1/cullin/F-box protein) ubiquitin ligase complex FBXL2 as a gatekeeper for mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis through degradation of IP3R3 (inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor type 3). Loss of FUNDC1 in FUNDC1−/− mice accentuated high-fat diet–induced cardiac remodeling, functional and mitochondrial anomalies, cell death, rise in IP3R3, and Ca2+ overload. Mass spectrometry and co-immunoprecipitation analyses revealed an interaction between FUNDC1 and FBXL2. Truncated mutants of Fbox (Delta-F-box) disengaged FBXL2 interaction with FUNDC1. Activation or transfection of FBXL2, inhibition of IP3R3 alleviated, whereas disruption of FBXL2 localization sensitized lipotoxicity-induced cardiac damage. FUNDC1 deficiency accelerated and decelerated palmitic acid–induced degradation of FBXL2 and IP3R3, respectively. Our data suggest an essential role for interaction between FUNDC1 and FBXL2 in preserving mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis and cardiac function in obese hearts.

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