Optic atrophy 1 mediates coenzyme Q-responsive regulation of respiratory complex IV activity in brain mitochondria

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The oxygen consumption rate (OCR) in brain mitochondria is significantly lower in aged mice than in young mice, and the reduced OCR is rescued by administration of water-solubilized CoQ10 to aged mice via drinking water. However, the mechanism behind this remains unclear. Here, we show that the activity of respiratory complex IV (CIV) in brain mitochondria declined in aged mice than in young mice, with no significant change in individual respiratory complex levels and their supercomplex assembly. Reduced CIV activity in the aged mice coincided with reduced binding of optic atrophy 1 (OPA1) to CIV. Both reduced activity and OPA1 binding of CIV were rescued by water-solubilized CoQ10 administration to aged mice via drinking water. OCR and the activity and OPA1 binding of CIV in isolated brain mitochondria from aged mice were restored by incubation with CoQ10, but not in the presence of 15-deoxy-prostaglandin J2, an inhibitor of a GTPase effector domain-containing GTPase such as OPA1 and DRP1. By contrast, the CoQ10-responsive restoration of OCR in the isolated mitochondria was not inhibited by Mdivi-1, a selective inhibitor of DRP1. Thus, we propose a novel function of OPA1 in regulating the CIV activity in brain mitochondria in response to CoQ10.

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