Macrophage migration inhibitory factor regulates mitochondrial dynamics and cell growth of human cancer cell lines through CD74–NF-κB signaling
Journal of Biological Chemistry
The indispensable role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in cancer cell proliferation is unambiguous, although which specific roles the cytokine plays to block apoptosis by preserving cell growth is still obscure. Using different cancer cell lines (AGS, HepG2, HCT116, and HeLa), here we report that the silencing of MIF severely deregulated mitochondrial structural dynamics by shifting the balance toward excess fission, besides inducing apoptosis with increasing sub-G 0 cells.
... ermore, enhanced mitochondrial Bax translocation along with cytochrome c release, down-regulation of Bcl-xL, and Bcl-2 as well as up-regulation of Bad, Bax, and p53 indicated the activation of a mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis upon MIF silencing. The data also indicate a concerted down-regulation of Opa1 and Mfn1 along with a significant elevation of Drp1, cumulatively causing mitochondrial fragmentation upon MIF silencing. Upregulation of Drp1 was found to be further coupled with fissogenic serine 616 phosphorylation and serine 637 dephosphorylation, thus ensuring enhanced mitochondrial translocation. Interestingly, MIF silencing was found to be associated with decreased NF-B activation. In fact, NF-B knockdown in turn increased mitochondrial fission and cell death. In addition, the silencing of CD74, the cognate receptor of MIF, remarkably increased mitochondrial fragmentation in addition to preventing cell proliferation, inducing mitochondrial depolarization, and increasing apoptotic cell death. This indicates the active operation of a MIF-regulated CD74 -NF-B signaling axis for maintaining mitochondrial stability and cell growth. Thus, we propose that MIF, through CD74, constitutively activates NF-B to control mitochondrial dynamics and stability for promoting carcinogenesis via averting apoptosis.