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Deletion of heat shock protein 60 in adult mouse cardiomyocytes perturbs mitochondrial protein homeostasis and causes heart failure.

  • Author(s): Fan, Feifei
  • Duan, Yaoyun
  • Yang, Feili
  • Trexler, Christa
  • Wang, Hong
  • Huang, Lei
  • Li, Yali
  • Tang, Huayuan
  • Wang, Gang
  • Fang, Xi
  • Liu, Jie
  • Jia, Nan
  • Chen, Ju
  • Ouyang, Kunfu
  • et al.
Abstract

To maintain healthy mitochondrial enzyme content and function, mitochondria possess a complex protein quality control system, which is composed of different endogenous sets of chaperones and proteases. Heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) is one of these mitochondrial molecular chaperones and has been proposed to play a pivotal role in the regulation of protein folding and the prevention of protein aggregation. However, the physiological function of HSP60 in mammalian tissues is not fully understood. Here we generated an inducible cardiac-specific HSP60 knockout mouse model, and demonstrated that HSP60 deletion in adult mouse hearts altered mitochondrial complex activity, mitochondrial membrane potential, and ROS production, and eventually led to dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and lethality. Proteomic analysis was performed in purified control and mutant mitochondria before mutant hearts developed obvious cardiac abnormalities, and revealed a list of mitochondrial-localized proteins that rely on HSP60 (HSP60-dependent) for correctly folding in mitochondria. We also utilized an in vitro system to assess the effects of HSP60 deletion on mitochondrial protein import and protein stability after import, and found that both HSP60-dependent and HSP60-independent mitochondrial proteins could be normally imported in mutant mitochondria. However, the former underwent degradation in mutant mitochondria after import, suggesting that the protein exhibited low stability in mutant mitochondria. Interestingly, the degradation could be almost fully rescued by a non-specific LONP1 and proteasome inhibitor, MG132, in mutant mitochondria. Therefore, our results demonstrated that HSP60 plays an essential role in maintaining normal cardiac morphology and function by regulating mitochondrial protein homeostasis and mitochondrial function.

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