Mitochondria shape cytosolic calcium ([Ca2+]c) transients and utilize the mitochondrial Ca2+ ([Ca2+]m) in exchange for bioenergetics output. Conversely, dysregulated [Ca2+]c causes [Ca2+]m overload and induces permeability transition pore and cell death. Ablation of MCU-mediated Ca2+ uptake exhibited elevated [Ca2+]c and failed to prevent stress-induced cell death. The mechanisms for these effects remain elusive. Here, we report that mitochondria undergo a cytosolic Ca2+-induced shape change that is distinct from mitochondrial fission and swelling. [Ca2+]c elevation, but not MCU-mediated Ca2+ uptake, appears to be essential for the process we term mitochondrial shape transition (MiST). MiST is mediated by the mitochondrial protein Miro1 through its EF-hand domain 1 in multiple cell types. Moreover, Ca2+-dependent disruption of Miro1/KIF5B/tubulin complex is determined by Miro1 EF1 domain. Functionally, Miro1-dependent MiST is essential for autophagy/mitophagy that is attenuated in Miro1 EF1 mutants. Thus, Miro1 is a cytosolic Ca2+ sensor that decodes metazoan Ca2+ signals as MiST. Metazoan Ca2+ signal determines mitochondrial shape transition (MiST) and cellular quality control. Nemani et al. find that mitochondria undergo shape changes upon Ca2+ stress. MiST is distinct from matrix Ca2+-induced swelling and mitochondrial dynamics. The conserved Ca2+ sensor Miro1 enables MiST and promotes autophagy/mitophagy.
- EF hand
- mitochondrial dynamics
- mitochondrial shape
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)