The role of SQSTM1 (p62) in mitochondrial function and clearance in human cortical neurons


Sequestosome-1 (SQSTM1/p62) is involved in cellular processes such as autophagy and metabolic reprogramming. Mutations resulting in the loss of function of SQSTM1 lead to neurodegenerative diseases including frontotemporal dementia. The pathogenic mechanism that contributes to SQSTM1-related neurodegeneration has been linked to its role as an autophagy adaptor, but this is poorly understood, and its precise role in mitochondrial function and clearance remains to be clarified. Here, we assessed the importance of SQSTM1 in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cortical neurons through the knockout of SQSTM1. We show that SQSTM1 depletion causes altered mitochondrial gene expression and functionality, as well as autophagy flux, in iPSC-derived neurons. However, SQSTM1 is not essential for mitophagy despite having a significant impact on early PINK1-dependent mitophagy processes including PINK1 recruitment and phosphorylation of ubiquitin on depolarized mitochondria. These findings suggest that SQSTM1 is important for mitochondrial function rather than clearance. Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Authors Poon A, Saini H, Sethi S, O'Sullivan GA, Plun-Favreau H, Wray S, Dawson LA, McCarthy JM
Journal Stem cell reports
Publication Date 2021 May 11;16(5):1276-1289
PubMed 33891871
PubMed Central PMC8185463
DOI 10.1016/j.stemcr.2021.03.030

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