Tsujimoto T, Mori T, Houri K, Onodera Y, Takehara T, Shigi K, Nakao S, Teramura T, Fukuda K
Removal of dysfunctional mitochondria is essential step to maintain normal cell physiology, and selective autophagy in mitochondria, called mitophagy, plays a critical role in quality control of mitochondria. While in several diseases and aging, disturbed mitophagy has been observed. In stem cells, accumulation of damaged mitochondria can lead to deterioration of stem cell properties. Here, we focused on miR-155-5p (miR-155), one of the most prominent miRNAs in inflammatory and aged tissues, and found that miR-155 disturbed mitophagy in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). As a molecular mechanism of miR-155-mediated mitophagy suppression, we found that BCL2 associated athanogene 5 (BAG5) is a direct target of miR-155. Reduction of BAG5 resulted in destabilization of PTEN-induced kinase (PINK1) and consequently disrupted mitophagy. Our study suggests a novel mechanism connecting aging and aging-associated inflammation with mitochondrial dysfunction in stem cells through a miRNA-mediated mechanism.