Mitochondrial fission and fusion are essential processes in the maintenance of the skeletal muscle function. The contribution of these processes to muscle development has not been properly investigated in vivo because of the early lethality of the models generated so far. To define the role of mitochondrial fission in muscle development and repair, we have generated a transgenic mouse line that overexpresses the fission-inducing protein Drp1 specifically in skeletal muscle. These mice displayed a drastic impairment in postnatal muscle growth, with reorganisation of the mitochondrial network and reduction of mtDNA quantity, without the deficiency of mitochondrial bioenergetics. Importantly we found that Drp1 overexpression activates the stress-induced PKR/eIF2α/Fgf21 pathway thus leading to an attenuated protein synthesis and downregulation of the growth hormone pathway. These results reveal for the first time how mitochondrial network dynamics influence muscle growth and shed light on aspects of muscle physiology relevant in human muscle pathologies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience