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Mitofusin-2 Boosts Innate Immunity Through The Maintenance Of Aerobic Glycolysis And Activation Of Xenophagy In Mice

Prashanta Silwal, Jin Kyung Kim, Sang Min Jeon, June-Young Lee, Young Jae Kim, Yi Sak Kim, Yeji Seo, Jihye Kim, Soo Yeon Kim, Min Joung Lee, Jun Young Heo, Mi-Ja Jung, Hyun Sik Kim, Dong-Wook Hyun, Jeong Eun Han, Jake Whang, Yang Hoon Huh, Sang-Hee Lee, Won Do Heo, Jin-Man Kim, Jin-Woo Bae, Eun-Kyeong Jo

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AbstractMitochondrial function and innate immunity are intimately linked; however, the mechanisms how mitochondrion-shaping proteins regulate innate host defense remains largely unknown. Herein we show that mitofusin-2 (MFN2), a mitochondrial fusion protein, promotes innate host defense through the maintenance of aerobic glycolysis and xenophagy via hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α during intracellular bacterial infection. Myeloid-specific MFN2 deficiency in mice impaired the antimicrobial and inflammatory responses against mycobacterial and listerial infection. Mechanistically, MFN2 was required for the enhancement of inflammatory signaling through optimal induction of aerobic glycolysis via HIF-1α, which is activated by mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I and reactive oxygen species, in macrophages. MFN2 did not impact mitophagy during infection; however, it promoted xenophagy activation through HIF-1α. In addition, MFN2 interacted with the late endosomal protein Rab7, to facilitate xenophagy during mycobacterial infection. Our findings reveal the mechanistic regulations by which MFN2 tailors the innate host defense through coordinated control of immunometabolism and xenophagy via HIF-1α during bacterial infection.