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  • Director of Center
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Scientific Fields
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Published in Cell reports - 09 Nov 2021

Spier A, Connor MG, Steiner T, Carvalho F, Cossart P, Eisenreich W, Wai T, Stavru F,

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 34758302

Link to DOI – 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109989

Cell Rep 2021 Nov; 37(6): 109989

Mutations in mitochondrial genes impairing energy production cause mitochondrial diseases (MDs), and clinical studies have shown that MD patients are prone to bacterial infections. However, the relationship between mitochondrial (dys)function and infection remains largely unexplored, especially in epithelial cells, the first barrier to many pathogens. Here, we generate an epithelial cell model for one of the most common mitochondrial diseases, Leigh syndrome, by deleting surfeit locus protein 1 (SURF1), an assembly factor for respiratory chain complex IV. We use this genetic model and a complementary, nutrient-based approach to modulate mitochondrial respiration rates and show that impaired mitochondrial respiration favors entry of the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, a well-established bacterial infection model. Reversely, enhanced mitochondrial energy metabolism decreases infection efficiency. We further demonstrate that endocytic recycling is reduced in mitochondrial respiration-dependent cells, dampening L. monocytogenes infection by slowing the recycling of its host cell receptor c-Met, highlighting a previously undescribed role of mitochondrial respiration during infection.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34758302