Parkin-mediated mitophagy directs perinatal cardiac metabolic maturation in mice

Guohua Gong, Moshi Song, Gyorgy Csordas, Daniel P. Kelly, Scot J. Matkovich, Gerald W. Dorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

337 Scopus citations


In developing hearts, changes in the cardiac metabolic milieu during the perinatal period redirect mitochondrial substrate preference from carbohydrates to fatty acids. Mechanisms responsible for this mitochondrial plasticity are unknown. Here, we found that PINK1-Mfn2-Parkin-mediated mitophagy directs this metabolic transformation in mouse hearts. A mitofusin (Mfn) 2 mutant lacking PINK1 phosphorylation sites necessary for Parkin binding (Mfn2 AA) inhibited mitochondrial Parkin translocation, suppressing mitophagy without impairing mitochondrial fusion. Cardiac Parkin deletion or expression of Mfn2 AA from birth, but not after weaning, prevented postnatal mitochondrial maturation essential to survival. Five-week-old Mfn2 AA hearts retained a fetal mitochondrial transcriptional signature without normal increases in fatty acid metabolism and mitochondrial biogenesis genes. Myocardial fatty acylcarnitine levels and cardiomyocyte respiration induced by palmitoylcarnitine were concordantly depressed. Thus, instead of transcriptional reprogramming, fetal cardiomyocyte mitochondria undergo perinatal Parkin-mediated mitophagy and replacement by mature adult mitochondria. Mitophagic mitochondrial removal underlies developmental cardiomyocyte mitochondrial plasticity and metabolic transitioning of perinatal hearts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberaad2459
Issue number6265
StatePublished - Dec 4 2015


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