Mitochondria-rough-ER contacts in the liver regulate systemic lipid homeostasis

Authors: Anastasia, Irene
Advisor: Pellegrini, Luca; Toth, Katalin
Abstract: Lipid metabolism is central to all forms of life. In vertebrates, its study is particularly important because 80% of the dry mass of the brain is composed of lipids and because those that make up the myelin of neurons must be continuously recycled throughout the decades of the animal's life. Not surprisingly, a plethora of neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric di sorders are linked to altered lipid metabolism in the brain as well as in the liver, which controls systemic (organism-level) lipid homeostasis. Within the eukaryotic cell, contacts between organelles create microdomains that play major roles in regulating key intracellular activities and signaling pathways, but whether inter-organelle contacts also control systemic activities related to the regulation of intracellular and systemic lipid homeostasis remains unknown. The study illustrated in this PhD thesis reports the ultrastructural organization and dynamics of the inter-organelle contact established by sheets of curved rough endoplasmic reticulum closely wrapped around the mitochondria (wrappER). To elucidate the in vivo function of this inter-organelle contact, mouse liver fractions enriched in wrappER-associated mitochondria were analyzed by parallel transcriptomics, proteomics, and lipidomics analysis. The biochemical signature of the wrappER points to a role of this compartment in the biogenesis of very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), the neutral lipid containing particles that the liver secretes in the bloodstream to maintain systemic lipid homeostasis. Altering wrappER-mitochondria contacts curtails VLDL secretion and increases hepatic fatty acids, lipid droplets, and neutral lipid content. Conversely, acute liver-specific ablation of Mttp, the most upstream regulator of VLDL biogenesis, recapitulates this hepatic dyslipidemia phenotype and promotes remodeling of the wrappER-mitochondria contact. The discovery that wrappER-mitochondria contacts participate in VLDL biology indicates an involvement of inter-organelle contacts in hepatic lipid biology and systemic lipid homeostasis. Consequently, this study opens up the possibility of investigating the regulation of lipid fluxes and lipid homeostasis in the brain from the ultrastructure, function and dynamics of ER-mitochondria contacts in this organ.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2021
Open Access Date: 13 September 2021
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/70308
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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