Mitochondrial dynamics and functionality are linked to the autophagic degradative pathway under several stress conditions. However, the interplay between mitochondria and autophagy upon cell death signalling remains unclear. The T-cell receptor pathway signals the so-called activation-induced cell death (AICD) essential for immune tolerance regulation. Here, we show that this apoptotic pathway requires the inhibition of macroautophagy. Protein kinase-A activation downstream of T-cell receptor signalling inhibits macroautophagy upon AICD induction. This leads to the accumulation of damaged mitochondria, which are fragmented, display remodelled cristae and release cytochrome c, thereby driving apoptosis. Autophagy-forced reactivation that clears the Parkin-decorated mitochondria is as effective in inhibiting apoptosis as genetic interference with cristae remodelling and cytochrome c release. Thus, upon AICD induction regulation of macroautophagy, rather than selective mitophagy, ensures apoptotic progression.
- mitochondrial dynamics
- T cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)