C. elegans ATAD-3 is essential for mitochondrial activity and development
SourcePLoS One, 4, 10, (2009), article e7644
Article / Letter to editor
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Cell Biology (UMC)
SubjectIGMD 8: Mitochondrial medicine; NCMLS 4: Energy and redox metabolism
BACKGROUND: Mammalian ATAD3 is a mitochondrial protein, which is thought to play an important role in nucleoid organization. However, its exact function is still unresolved. RESULTS: Here, we characterize the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) ATAD3 homologue (ATAD-3) and investigate its importance for mitochondrial function and development. We show that ATAD-3 is highly conserved among different species and RNA mediated interference against atad-3 causes severe defects, characterized by early larval arrest, gonadal dysfunction and embryonic lethality. Investigation of mitochondrial physiology revealed a disturbance in organellar structure while biogenesis and function, as indicated by complex I and citrate synthase activities, appeared to be unaltered according to the developmental stage. Nevertheless, we observed very low complex I and citrate synthase activities in L1 larvae populations in comparison to higher larval and adult stages. Our findings indicate that atad-3(RNAi) animals arrest at developmental stages with low mitochondrial activity. In addition, a reduced intestinal fat storage and low lysosomal content after depletion of ATAD-3 suggests a central role of this protein for metabolic activity. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, our data clearly indicate that ATAD-3 is essential for C. elegans development in vivo. Moreover, our results suggest that the protein is important for the upregulation of mitochondrial activity during the transition to higher larval stages.
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