Respiratory chain inactivation links cartilage-mediated growth retardation to mitochondrial diseases

Publikationen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


  • Tatjana Holzer
  • Kristina Probst
  • Julia Etich
  • Markus Auler
  • Veronika S Georgieva
  • Björn Bluhm
  • Christian Frie
  • Juliane Heilig
  • Anja Niehoff
  • Julian Nüchel
  • Markus Plomann
  • Jens M Seeger
  • Hamid Kashkar
  • Olivier R Baris
  • Rudolf J Wiesner
  • Bent Brachvogel



In childhood, skeletal growth is driven by transient expansion of cartilage in the growth plate. The common belief is that energy production in this hypoxic tissue mainly relies on anaerobic glycolysis and not on mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) activity. However, children with mitochondrial diseases causing RC dysfunction often present with short stature, which indicates that RC activity may be essential for cartilage-mediated skeletal growth. To elucidate the role of the mitochondrial RC in cartilage growth and pathology, we generated mice with impaired RC function in cartilage. These mice develop normally until birth, but their later growth is retarded. A detailed molecular analysis revealed that metabolic signaling and extracellular matrix formation is disturbed and induces cell death at the cartilage-bone junction to cause a chondrodysplasia-like phenotype. Hence, the results demonstrate the overall importance of the metabolic switch from fetal glycolysis to postnatal RC activation in growth plate cartilage and explain why RC dysfunction can cause short stature in children with mitochondrial diseases.

ZeitschriftThe Journal of cell biology
Seiten (von - bis)1853-1870
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 03.06.2019

ID: 4016891


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