The Critical Role Played by Mitochondrial MITF Serine 73 Phosphorylation in Immunologically Activated Mast Cells


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In recent years, growing evidence has indicated the pivotal role of mitochondria in mast cell immunological activation. We have previously reported a decrease in degranulation and cytokine secretion following the inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) either by CPI-613 (PDH inhibitor/anti-cancer drug) or through its interaction with mitochondrial microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). In the present study, we further explored the role played by mitochondrial MITF in mast cell exocytosis using rat basophil leukemia cells [RBL], as well as mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs). Here, we report that mast cell degranulation, cytokine secretion and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) activities were associated with phosphorylation of Serine 73 of mitochondrial MITF, controlled by extracellular signals regulated by protein kinase (ERK1/2) activity. Also, we report here that decreased OXPHOS activity following ERK1/2 inhibition (U0126 treatment) during IgE-Ag activation was mediated by the dephosphorylation of Serine 73 mitochondrial MITF, which inhibited its association with PDH. This led to a reduction in mast cell reactivity. In addition, a phosphorylation-mimicking mitochondrial MITF-S73D positively regulated the mitochondrial activity, thereby supporting mast cell degranulation. Thus, the present research findings highlight the prominence of mitochondrial MITF Serine 73 phosphorylation in immunologically activated mast cells.
allergy, mast cells, mitochondria, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, pyruvate dehydrogenase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, degranulation, cytokines
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