Biochem Biophys Rep. 2022 Mar 12;30:101250. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2022.101250. eCollection 2022 Jul.
The protein wolframin is localized in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), influencing Ca2+ metabolism and ER interaction with mitochondria, but the exact role of the protein remains unclear. Mutations in Wfs1 gene cause autosomal recessive disorder Wolfram syndrome (WS). The first symptom of the WS is diabetes mellitus, so accurate diagnosis of the disease as WS is often delayed. In this study we aimed to characterize the role of the Wfs1 deficiency on bioenergetics of muscles. Alterations in the bioenergetic profiles of Wfs1-exon-5-knock-out (Wfs1KO) male rats in comparison with their wild-type male littermates were investigated using high-resolution respirometry, and enzyme activity measurements. The changes were followed in oxidative (cardiac and soleus) and glycolytic (rectus femoris and gastrocnemius) muscles. There were substrate-dependent alterations in the oxygen consumption rate in Wfs1KO rat muscles. In soleus muscle, decrease in respiration rate was significant in all the followed pathways. The relatively small alterations in muscle during development of WS, such as increased mitochondrial content and/or increase in the OxPhos-related enzymatic activity could be an adaptive response to changes in the metabolic environment. The significant decrease in the OxPhos capacity is substrate dependent indicating metabolic inflexibility when multiple substrates are available.