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Essential role for Nix in autophagic maturation of erythroid cells.

Nature | Jul 10, 2008

Erythroid cells undergo enucleation and the removal of organelles during terminal differentiation. Although autophagy has been suggested to mediate the elimination of organelles for erythroid maturation, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain undefined. Here we report a role for a Bcl-2 family member, Nix (also called Bnip3L), in the regulation of erythroid maturation through mitochondrial autophagy. Nix(-/-) mice developed anaemia with reduced mature erythrocytes and compensatory expansion of erythroid precursors. Erythrocytes in the peripheral blood of Nix(-/-) mice exhibited mitochondrial retention and reduced lifespan in vivo. Although the clearance of ribosomes proceeded normally in the absence of Nix, the entry of mitochondria into autophagosomes for clearance was defective. Deficiency in Nix inhibited the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)), and treatment with uncoupling chemicals or a BH3 mimetic induced the loss of DeltaPsi(m) and restored the sequestration of mitochondria into autophagosomes in Nix(-/-) erythroid cells. These results suggest that Nix-dependent loss of DeltaPsi(m) is important for targeting the mitochondria into autophagosomes for clearance during erythroid maturation, and interference with this function impairs erythroid maturation and results in anaemia. Our study may also provide insights into molecular mechanisms underlying mitochondrial quality control involving mitochondrial autophagy.

Pubmed ID: 18454133 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Apoptosis | Autophagy | Biphenyl Compounds | Carbonyl Cyanide p-Trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone | Cell Survival | Embryonic Stem Cells | Erythroid Cells | Erythropoiesis | Membrane Proteins | Mice | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Mitochondria | Mitochondrial Proteins | Nitrophenols | Piperazines | Reticulocytes | Sulfonamides

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R01 AI074949-01
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM087710
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R01 AI056210
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R01 AI074949
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: F31 AI058932
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R01 AI056210-05

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