Missense mutations of valosin-containing protein (VCP) cause an autosomal dominant disease known as inclusion body myopathy, Paget disease with frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. The pathological mechanism of IBMPFD is not clear and there is no treatment. We show that endogenous VCP negatively regulates Mitofusin, which is required for outer mitochondrial membrane fusion. Because 90% of IBMPFD patients have myopathy, we generated an in vivo IBMPFD model in adult Drosophila muscle, which recapitulates disease pathologies. We show that common VCP disease mutants act as hyperactive alleles with respect to regulation of Mitofusin. Importantly, VCP inhibitors suppress mitochondrial defects, muscle tissue damage and cell death associated with IBMPFD models in Drosophila. These inhibitors also suppress mitochondrial fusion and respiratory defects in IBMPFD patient fibroblasts. These results suggest that VCP disease mutants cause IBMPFD through a gain-of-function mechanism, and that VCP inhibitors have therapeutic value.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)