Mitochondrial topoisomerase I is critical for mitochondrial integrity and cellular energy metabolism

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Background Mitochondria contain their own DNA genome (mtDNA), as well as specific DNA replication and protein synthesis machineries. Relaxation of the circular, double-stranded mtDNA relies on the presence of topoisomerase activity. Three different topoisomerases have been identified in mitochondria: Top1mt, Top3α and a truncated form of Top2β. Methodology/Principal Findings The present study shows the importance of Top1mt in mitochondrial homeostasis. Here we show that Top1mt−/− murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) exhibit dysfunctional mitochondrial respiration, which leads decreased ATP production and compensation by increased glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation. ROS production in Top1mt−/− MEF cells is involved in nuclear DNA damage and induction of autophagy. Lack of Top1mt also triggers oxidative stress and DNA damage associated with lipid peroxidation and mitophagy in Top1mt−/− mice. Conclusion/Significance Together, our data implicate Top1mt for mitochondrial integrity and energy metabolism. The compensation mechanism described here contributes to the survival of Top1mt−/− cells and mice despite alterations of mitochondrial functions and metabolism. Therefore, this study supports a novel model for cellular adaptation to mitochondrial damage.




Douarre, C., Sourbier, C., Dalla Rosa, I., Brata Das, B., Redon, C. E., Zhang, H., … Pommier, Y. (2012). Mitochondrial topoisomerase I is critical for mitochondrial integrity and cellular energy metabolism. PLoS ONE, 7(7).

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