Rapamycin rescues mitochondrial myopathy via coordinated activation of autophagy and lysosomal biogenesis.

TitleRapamycin rescues mitochondrial myopathy via coordinated activation of autophagy and lysosomal biogenesis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsCiviletto, G, Dogan, SAnil, Cerutti, R, Fagiolari, G, Moggio, M, Lamperti, C, Benincá, C, Viscomi, C, Zeviani, M
JournalEMBO Mol Med
Date Published2018 11

The mTOR inhibitor rapamycin ameliorates the clinical and biochemical phenotype of mouse, worm, and cellular models of mitochondrial disease, via an unclear mechanism. Here, we show that prolonged rapamycin treatment improved motor endurance, corrected morphological abnormalities of muscle, and increased cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity of a muscle-specific knockout mouse ( ). Rapamycin treatment restored autophagic flux, which was impaired in naïve muscle, and reduced the number of damaged mitochondria, which accumulated in untreated mice. Conversely, rilmenidine, an mTORC1-independent autophagy inducer, was ineffective on the myopathic features of animals. This stark difference supports the idea that inhibition of mTORC1 by rapamycin has a key role in the improvement of the mitochondrial function in muscle. In contrast to rilmenidine, rapamycin treatment also activated lysosomal biogenesis in muscle. This effect was associated with increased nuclear localization of TFEB, a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis, which is inhibited by mTORC1-dependent phosphorylation. We propose that the coordinated activation of autophagic flux and lysosomal biogenesis contribute to the effective clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria by rapamycin.

Alternate JournalEMBO Mol Med
Citation Key10.15252/emmm.201708799
PubMed ID30309855
PubMed Central IDPMC6220341
Grant List322424 / / European Research Council / International
MC_UU_00015/5 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom