Adaptation of striated muscles to Wolframin deficiency in mice: Alterations in cellular bioenergetics


Background: Wolfram syndrome (WS), caused by mutations in WFS1 gene, is a multi-targeting disease affecting multiple organ systems. Wolframin is localized in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), influencing Ca2+ metabolism and ER interaction with mitochondria, but the exact role of the protein remains unclear. In this study we aimed to characterize alterations in energy metabolism in the cardiac and in the oxidative and glycolytic skeletal muscles in Wfs1-deficiency. Methods: Alterations in the bioenergetic profiles in the cardiac and skeletal muscles of Wfs1-knock-out (KO) male mice and their wild type male littermates were determined using high resolution respirometry, quantitative RT-PCR, NMR spectroscopy, and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. Results: Oxygen consumption without ATP synthase activation (leak) was significantly higher in the glycolytic muscles of Wfs1 KO mice compared to wild types. ADP-stimulated respiration with glutamate and malate was reduced in the Wfs1-deficient cardiac as well as oxidative and glycolytic skeletal muscles. Conclusions: Wfs1-deficiency in both cardiac and skeletal muscles results in functional alterations of energy transport from mitochondria to ATP-ases. There was a substrate-dependent decrease in the maximal Complex I –linked respiratory capacity of the electron transport system in muscles of Wfs1 KO mice. Moreover, in cardiac and gastrocnemius white muscles a decrease in the function of one pathway were balanced by the increase in the activity of the parallel pathway. General significance: This work provides new insights to the muscle involvement at early stages of metabolic syndrome like WS as well as developing glucose intolerance