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Tafazzin-dependent cardiolipin composition in C6 glioma cells correlates with changes in mitochondrial and cellular functions, and cellular proliferation

Gürtler, Sarah, Wolke, Carmen, Otto, Oliver, Heise, Nico, Scholz, Fritz, Laporte, Anna, Elsner, Matthias, Jörns, Anne, Weinert, Sönke, Döring, Mona, Jansing, Steffen, Gardemann, Andreas, Lendeckel, Uwe, Schild, Lorenz
Biochimica et biophysica acta 2019 v.1864 no.4 pp. 452-465
adenosine triphosphate, cardiolipins, cell proliferation, cell respiration, fatty acids, glioma, glycolysis, lipid metabolism, membrane potential, mitochondria, oxidative phosphorylation, reactive oxygen species, transferases
The mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin (CL) has been implicated with mitochondrial morphology, function and, more recently, with cellular proliferation. Tafazzin, an acyltransferase with key functions in CL remodeling determining actual CL composition, affects mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Here, we show that the CRISPR-Cas9 mediated knock-out of tafazzin (Taz) is associated with substantial alterations of various mitochondrial and cellular characteristics in C6 glioma cells. The knock-out of tafazzin substantially changed the profile of fatty acids incorporated in CL and the distribution of molecular CL species. Taz knock-out was further associated with decreased capacity of oxidative phosphorylation that mainly originates from impaired complex I associated energy metabolism in C6 glioma cells. The lack of tafazzin switched energy metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis indicated by lower respiration rates, membrane potential and higher levels of mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species but keeping the cellular ATP content unchanged. The impact of tafazzin on mitochondria was also indicated by altered morphology and arrangement in tafazzin deficient C6 glioma cells. In the cells we observed tafazzin-dependent changes in the distribution of cellular fatty acids as an indication of altered lipid metabolism as well as in stability/morphology. Most impressive is the dramatic reduction in cell proliferation in tafazzin deficient C6 glioma cells that is not mediated by reactive oxygen species. Our data clearly indicate that defects in CL phospholipid remodeling trigger a cascade of events including modifications in CL linked to subsequent alterations in mitochondrial and cellular functions.