Inositol serves as a natural inhibitor of mitochondrial fission by directly targeting AMPK

Che Chia Hsu, Xian Zhang, Guihua Wang, Weina Zhang, Zhen Cai, Bo Syong Pan, Haiwei Gu, Chuan Xu, Guoxiang Jin, Xiangshang Xu, Rajesh Kumar Manne, Yan Jin, Wei Yan, Jingwei Shao, Tingjin Chen, Emily Lin, Amit Ketkar, Robert Eoff, Zhi Gang Xu, Zhong Zhu ChenHong Yu Li, Hui Kuan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial dynamics regulated by mitochondrial fusion and fission maintain mitochondrial functions, whose alterations underline various human diseases. Here, we show that inositol is a critical metabolite directly restricting AMPK-dependent mitochondrial fission independently of its classical mode as a precursor for phosphoinositide generation. Inositol decline by IMPA1/2 deficiency elicits AMPK activation and mitochondrial fission without affecting ATP level, whereas inositol accumulation prevents AMPK-dependent mitochondrial fission. Metabolic stress or mitochondrial damage causes inositol decline in cells and mice to elicit AMPK-dependent mitochondrial fission. Inositol directly binds to AMPKγ and competes with AMP for AMPKγ binding, leading to restriction of AMPK activation and mitochondrial fission. Our study suggests that the AMP/inositol ratio is a critical determinant for AMPK activation and establishes a model in which AMPK activation requires inositol decline to release AMPKγ for AMP binding. Hence, AMPK is an inositol sensor, whose inactivation by inositol serves as a mechanism to restrict mitochondrial fission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3803-3819.e7
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 16 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • AMP
  • AMPK
  • energy stress
  • glucose deprivation
  • IMPA1
  • inosiotl sensor
  • inositol
  • inositol/AMP ratio
  • mitochondrial fission
  • mitocondrial dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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