Nuclear response to divergent mitochondrial DNA genotypes modulates the interferon immune response
AuthorLopez Sanchez, MIG; Ziemann, M; Bachem, A; Makam, R; Crowston, JG; Pinkert, CA; McKenzie, M; Bedoui, S; Trounce, IA
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sTrounce, Ian; Bedoui, Sammy; Bachem, Annabell; Lopez Sanchez, Maria Isabel; Crowston, Jonathan
AffiliationMicrobiology and Immunology
Ophthalmology (Eye & Ear Hospital)
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLopez Sanchez, M. I. G., Ziemann, M., Bachem, A., Makam, R., Crowston, J. G., Pinkert, C. A., McKenzie, M., Bedoui, S. & Trounce, I. A. (2020). Nuclear response to divergent mitochondrial DNA genotypes modulates the interferon immune response. PLOS ONE, 15 (10), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0239804.
Access StatusOpen Access
Mitochondrial OXPHOS generates most of the energy required for cellular function. OXPHOS biogenesis requires the coordinated expression of the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. This represents a unique challenge that highlights the importance of nuclear-mitochondrial genetic communication to cellular function. Here we investigated the transcriptomic and functional consequences of nuclear-mitochondrial genetic divergence in vitro and in vivo. We utilized xenomitochondrial cybrid cell lines containing nuclear DNA from the common laboratory mouse Mus musculus domesticus and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from Mus musculus domesticus, or exogenous mtDNA from progressively divergent mouse species Mus spretus, Mus terricolor, Mus caroli and Mus pahari. These cybrids model a wide range of nuclear-mitochondrial genetic divergence that cannot be achieved with other research models. Furthermore, we used a xenomitochondrial mouse model generated in our laboratory that harbors wild-type, C57BL/6J Mus musculus domesticus nuclear DNA and homoplasmic mtDNA from Mus terricolor. RNA sequencing analysis of xenomitochondrial cybrids revealed an activation of interferon signaling pathways even in the absence of OXPHOS dysfunction or immune challenge. In contrast, xenomitochondrial mice displayed lower baseline interferon gene expression and an impairment in the interferon-dependent innate immune response upon immune challenge with herpes simplex virus, which resulted in decreased viral control. Our work demonstrates that nuclear-mitochondrial genetic divergence caused by the introduction of exogenous mtDNA can modulate the interferon immune response both in vitro and in vivo, even when OXPHOS function is not compromised. This work may lead to future insights into the role of mitochondrial genetic variation and the immune function in humans, as patients affected by mitochondrial disease are known to be more susceptible to immune challenges.
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