Specific Interaction with Cardiolipin Triggers Functional Activation of Dynamin-Related Protein 1
Bustillo Zabalbeitia, Itsasne
Basañez Asua, Gorka
Terrones Urio, Oihana
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PLOS ONE 9 (7) : (2014) // Article ID e102738
Dynamin-Related Protein 1 (Drp1), a large GTPase of the dynamin superfamily, is required for mitochondrial fission in healthy and apoptotic cells. Drp1 activation is a complex process that involves translocation from the cytosol to the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) and assembly into rings/spirals at the MOM, leading to membrane constriction/division. Similar to dynamins, Drp1 contains GTPase (G), bundle signaling element (BSE) and stalk domains. However, instead of the lipid-interacting Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain present in the dynamins, Drp1 contains the so-called B insert or variable domain that has been suggested to play an important role in Drp1 regulation. Different proteins have been implicated in Drp1 recruitment to the MOM, although how MOM-localized Drp1 acquires its fully functional status remains poorly understood. We found that Drp1 can interact with pure lipid bilayers enriched in the mitochondrion-specific phospholipid cardiolipin (CL). Building on our previous study, we now explore the specificity and functional consequences of this interaction. We show that a four lysine module located within the B insert of Drp1 interacts preferentially with CL over other anionic lipids. This interaction dramatically enhances Drp1 oligomerization and assembly-stimulated GTP hydrolysis. Our results add significantly to a growing body of evidence indicating that CL is an important regulator of many essential mitochondrial functions.