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Hypoxic mitophagy regulates mitochondrial quality and platelet activation and determines severity of I/R heart injury
[ Update Time: 2016-12-23 ]

Mitochondrial dysfunction underlies many prevalent diseases including heart disease arising from acute ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Here, we demonstrate that mitophagy, which selectively removes damaged or unwanted mitochondria, regulated mitochondrial quality and quantity in vivo. Hypoxia induced extensive mitochondrial degradation in a FUNDC1-depenent manner in platelets, and this was blocked by in vivo administration of a cell-penetrating peptide encompassing the LIR motif of FUNDC1 only in wild-type mice. Genetic ablation of Fundc1 impaired mitochondrial quality and increased mitochondrial mass in platelets and rendered the platelets insensitive to hypoxia and the peptide. Moreover, hypoxic mitophagy in platelets protected the heart from worsening of I/R injury. This represents a new mechanism of the hypoxic preconditioning effect which reduces I/R injury. Our results demonstrate a critical role of mitophagy in mitochondrial quality control and platelet activation, and suggest that manipulation of mitophagy by hypoxia or pharmacological approaches may be a novel strategy for cardioprotection.

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