IP3R2 regulates apoptosis by Ca2+ transfer through mitochondria-ER contacts in hypoxic photoreceptor injury

Exp Eye Res. 2024 Jun 6:109965. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2024.109965. Online ahead of print.


Mitochondria-associated ER membranes (MAMs) are contact sites that enable bidirectional communication between the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) and mitochondria, including the transfer of Ca2+ signals. MAMs are essential for mitochondrial function and cellular energy metabolism. However, unrestrained Ca2+ transfer to the mitochondria can lead to mitochondria-dependent apoptosis. IP3R2 (Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor 2) is an important intracellular Ca2+ channel. This study investigated the contribution of IP3R2-MAMs to hypoxia-induced apoptosis in photoreceptor cells. A photoreceptor hypoxia model was established by subretinal injection of hyaluronic acid (1%) in C57BL/6 mice and 1% O2 treatment in 661W cells. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), ER-mitochondria colocalization, and the MAM reporter were utilized to evaluate MAM alterations. Cell apoptosis and mitochondrial homeostasis were evaluated using immunofluorescence (IF), flow cytometry, western blotting (WB), and ATP assays. SiRNA transfection was employed to silence IP3R2 in 661W cells. Upon hypoxia induction, MAMs were significantly increased in photoreceptors both in vivo and in vitro. This was accompanied by the activation of mitochondrial apoptosis and disruption of mitochondrial homeostasis. Elevated MAM-enriched IP3R2 protein levels induced by hypoxic injury led to mitochondrial calcium overload and subsequent photoreceptor apoptosis. Notably, IP3R2 knockdown not only improved mitochondrial morphology but also restored mitochondrial function in photoreceptors by limiting MAM formation and thereby attenuating mitochondrial calcium overload under hypoxia. Our results suggest that IP3R2-MAM-mediated mitochondrial calcium overload plays a critical role in mitochondrial dyshomeostasis, ultimately contributing to photoreceptor cell death. Targeting MAM constitutive proteins might provide an option for a therapeutic approach to mitigate photoreceptor death in retinal detachment.

PMID:38851477 | DOI:10.1016/j.exer.2024.109965