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Mitochondrial Hydrogen Peroxide Positively Regulates Neuropeptide Secretion During Diet-induced Activation Of The Oxidative Stress Response

Qi Jia, Derek Sieburth

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AbstractMitochondria play a pivotal role in the generation of signals coupling metabolism with neurotransmitter release, but a role for mitochondrial-produced ROS in regulating neurosecretion has not been described. Here we show that endogenously produced hydrogen peroxide originating from axonal mitochondria (mtH2O2) functions as a signaling cue to selectively regulate the secretion of a FMRFamide-related neuropeptide (FLP-1) from a pair of interneurons (AIY) in C. elegans. We show that pharmacological or genetic manipulations that increase mtH2O2 levels lead to increased FLP-1 secretion that is dependent upon ROS dismutation, mitochondrial calcium influx, and cysteine sulfenylation of the calcium-independent PKC family member PKC-1. mtH2O2-induced FLP-1 secretion activates the oxidative stress response transcription factor SKN-1/Nrf2 in distal tissues and protects animals from ROS-mediated toxicity. mtH2O2 levels in AIY neurons, FLP-1 secretion and SKN-1 activity are rapidly and reversibly regulated by exposing animals to different bacterial food sources. These results reveal a previously unreported role for mtH2O2 in linking diet-induced changes in mitochondrial homeostasis with neuropeptide secretion.