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Mitochondrial quality control (MQC) is implicated in cell death induced by heavy metal pollutants. Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) regulates mitochondrial fission, which is an important part of MQC. Retinoblastoma (RB) protein can regulate MQC in a transcription-independent manner. Necroptosis plays a critical role in hepatic pathologies such as inflammatory, infectious, and xenobiotics-induced injury and diseases. We aimed to explore the role and mechanism of Drp1 interaction with RB in hepatocyte's necroptosis caused by cadmium (Cd). CdCl2 was employed to expose to Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice and human hepatic L02 cells. CdCl2 exposure induced necroptosis and hepatic injury both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, Drp1 and RB protein were up-regulated and translocated to mitochondria in CdCl2-exposed hepatocytes. Inhibition of Drp1 with siRNA (siDNM1L) or inhibitors not only suppressed the RB expression and its mitochondrial translocation, but also alleviated MQC disorder, necroptosis, and hepatotoxicity caused by CdCl2. Moreover, blocking Drp1 with metformin rescued necroptosis and hepatic injury triggered by CdCl2. RB was proved to directly interact with Drp1 at mitochondria to form a complex which then bound to receptor interaction protein kinase (RIPK3) and enhanced the formation of necrosome after CdCl2 exposure. In summary, we found a new molecular mechanism of regulated cell death that Drp1 interacted with RB and promoted them mitochondrial translocation to mediate necroptosis and hepatic injury in hepatocytes induced by Cd-exposure. The mitochondrial Drp1-RB axis would be a novel target for the protection cells from xenobiotics triggering hepatic injury and diseases involved in necroptosis.


Shili Zhang, Lin Che, Chengyong He, Jing Huang, Nijun Guo, Jiazhang Shi, Yuchun Lin, Zhongning Lin. Drp1 and RB interaction to mediate mitochondria-dependent necroptosis induced by cadmium in hepatocytes. Cell death & disease. 2019 Jul 08;10(7):523

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PMID: 31285421

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