The impairment of HCCS leads to MLS syndrome by activating a non-canonical cell death pathway in the brain and eyes


Mitochondrial-dependent (intrinsic) programmed cell death (PCD) is an essential homoeostatic mechanism that selects bioenergetically proficient cells suitable for tissue/organ development. However, the link between mitochondrial dysfunction, intrinsic apoptosis and developmental anomalies has not been demonstrated to date. Now we provide the evidence that non-canonical mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis explains the phenotype of microphthalmia with linear skin lesions (MLS), an X-linked developmental disorder caused by mutations in the holo-cytochrome c-type synthase (HCCS) gene. By taking advantage of a medaka model that recapitulates the MLS phenotype we demonstrate that downregulation of hccs, an essential player of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC), causes increased cell death via an apoptosome-independent caspase-9 activation in brain and eyes. We also show that the unconventional activation of caspase-9 occurs in the mitochondria and is triggered by MRC impairment and overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We thus propose that HCCS plays a key role in central nervous system (CNS) development by modulating a novel non-canonical start-up of cell death and provide the first experimental evidence for a mechanistic link between mitochondrial dysfunction, intrinsic apoptosis and developmental disorders. The X-linked disorder microphtalmia with skin lesions (MLS) is caused by HCCS gene mutations. The disease phenotype is now be explained by the increased non-conventional caspase-9 -mediated cell death in the brain and eyes due to HCCS impairment. © 2013 The Authors. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd on behalf of EMBO.Italian Telethon Foundation (BF, grant TGM11CB3); the Spanish MICINN (BFU2010-16031); CIBERER (PB); EMBO short-term fellowship; Company of Biologists LtdPeer Reviewe

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oaioai:digital.csic.es:10261/99525Last time updated on 5/25/2016

This paper was published in Digital.CSIC.

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