Mitochondria-targeted paraquat and metformin mediate ROS production to induce multiple pathways of retrograde signaling: A dose-dependent phenomenon.
The mitochondrial electron transport chain is a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and is also a target of ROS, with an implied role in the stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and induction of the AMPK pathway. Here we used varying doses of two agents, Mito-Paraquat and Mito-Metformin, that have been conjugated to cationic triphenylphosphonium (TPP+) moiety to selectively target them to the mitochondrial matrix compartment, thereby resulting in the site-specific generation of ROS within mitochondria. These agents primarily induce superoxide (O2•-) production by acting on complex I. In Raw264.7 macrophages, C2C12 skeletal myocytes, and HCT116 adenocarcinoma cells, we show that mitochondria-targeted oxidants can induce ROS (O2•- and H2O2). In all three cell lines tested, the mitochondria-targeted agents disrupted membrane potential and activated calcineurin and the Cn-dependent retrograde signaling pathway. Hypoxic culture conditions also induced Cn activation and HIF1α activation in a temporally regulated manner, with the former appearing at shorter exposure times. Together, our results indicate that mitochondrial oxidant-induced retrograde signaling is driven by disruption of membrane potential and activation of Ca2+/Cn pathway and is independent of ROS-induced HIF1α or AMPK pathways.
Wellcome Trust (110159/Z/15/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00015/3)