MitoQ regulates redox-related noncoding RNAs to preserve mitochondrial network integrity in pressure-overload heart failure

Seulhee Kim, Jiajia Song, Patrick Ernst, Mary N. Latimer, Chae Myeong Ha, Kah Yong Goh, Wenxia Ma, Namakkal Soorappan Rajasekaran, Jianhua Zhang, Xiaoguang Liu, Sumanth D. Prabhu, Gangjian Qin, Adam R. Wende, Martin E. Young, Lufang Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Evidence suggests that mitochondrial network integrity is impaired in cardiomyocytes from failing hearts. While oxidative stress has been implicated in heart failure (HF)-associated mitochondrial remodeling, the effect of mitochondrial-targeted antioxidants, such as mitoquinone (MitoQ), on the mitochondrial network in a model of HF (e.g., pressure overload) has not been demonstrated. Furthermore, the mechanism of this regulation is not completely understood with an emerging role for posttranscriptional regulation via long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). We hypothesized that MitoQ preserves mitochondrial fusion proteins (i.e., mitofusin), likely through redox-sensitive lncRNAs, leading to improved mitochondrial network integrity in failing hearts. To test this hypothesis, 8-wk-old C57BL/6J mice were subjected to ascending aortic constriction (AAC), which caused substantial left ventricular (LV) chamber remodeling and remarkable contractile dysfunction in 1 wk. Transmission electron microscopy and immunostaining revealed defective intermitochondrial and mitochondrial-sarcoplasmic reticulum ultrastructure in AAC mice compared with sham-operated animals, which was accompanied by elevated oxidative stress and suppressed mitofusin (i.e., Mfn1 and Mfn2) expression. MitoQ (1.36 mg·day-1·mouse-1, 7 consecutive days) significantly ameliorated LV dysfunction, attenuated Mfn2 downregulation, improved interorganellar contact, and increased metabolism-related gene expression. Moreover, our data revealed that MitoQ alleviated the dysregulation of an Mfn2-associated lncRNA (i.e., Plscr4). In summary, the present study supports a unique mechanism by which MitoQ improves myocardial intermitochondrial and mitochondrial-sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) ultrastructural remodeling in HF by maintaining Mfn2 expression via regulation by an lncRNA. These findings underscore the important role of lncRNAs in the pathogenesis of HF and the potential of targeting them for effective HF treatment. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We have shown that MitoQ improves cardiac mitochondrial network integrity and mitochondrial-SR alignment in a pressure-overload mouse heart-failure model. This may be occurring partly through preventing the dysregulation of a redox-sensitive lncRNA-microRNA pair (i.e., Plscr4-miR-214) that results in an increase in mitofusin-2 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H682-H695
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • heart failure
  • long noncoding RNA
  • mitochondrial network
  • mitofusin
  • oxidative stress


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