MCU-complex-mediated mitochondrial calcium signaling is impaired in Barth syndrome

Sagnika Ghosh, Mohammad Zulkifli, Alaumy Joshi, Manigandan Venkatesan, Allen Cristel, Neelanjan Vishnu, Muniswamy Madesh, Vishal M. Gohil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Calcium signaling via mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) complex coordinates mitochondrial bioenergetics with cellular energy demands. Emerging studies show that the stability and activity of the pore-forming subunit of the complex, MCU, is dependent on the mitochondrial phospholipid, cardiolipin (CL), but how this impacts calcium-dependent mitochondrial bioenergetics in CL-deficiency disorder like Barth syndrome (BTHS) is not known. Here we utilized multiple models of BTHS including yeast, mouse muscle cell line, as well as BTHS patient cells and cardiac tissue to show that CL is required for the abundance and stability of the MCU-complex regulatory subunit MICU1. Interestingly, the reduction in MICU1 abundance in BTHS mitochondria is independent of MCU. Unlike MCU and MICU1/MICU2, other subunit and associated factor of the uniporter complex, EMRE and MCUR1, respectively, are not affected in BTHS models. Consistent with the decrease in MICU1 levels, we show that the kinetics of MICU1-dependent mitochondrial calcium uptake is perturbed and acute stimulation of mitochondrial calcium signaling in BTHS myoblasts fails to activate pyruvate dehydrogenase, which in turn impairs the generation of reducing equivalents and blunts mitochondrial bioenergetics. Taken together, our findings suggest that defects in mitochondrial calcium signaling could contribute to cardiac and skeletal muscle pathologies observed in BTHS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-385
Number of pages10
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'MCU-complex-mediated mitochondrial calcium signaling is impaired in Barth syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this