Banerjee PS, Ma J, Hart GW. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 May 12;112(19):6050-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1424017112. PMID: 25918408
Elevated mitochondrial O-GlcNAcylation caused by hyperglycemia, as occurs in diabetes, significantly contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction and to diabetic cardiomyopathy. However, little is known about the enzymology of mitochondrial O-GlcNAcylation. Herein, we investigated the enzymes responsible for cycling O-GlcNAc on mitochondrial proteins and studied the mitochondrial transport of UDP-GlcNAc. Analyses of purified rat heart mitochondria from normal and streptozocin-treated diabetic rats show increased mitochondrial O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and a concomitant decrease in the mito-specific O-GlcNAcase (OGA). Strikingly, OGT is mislocalized in cardiac mitochondria from diabetic rats. Interaction of OGT and complex IV observed in normal rat heart mitochondria is visibly reduced in diabetic samples, where OGT is mislocalized to the matrix. Live cell OGA activity assays establish the presence of O-GlcNAcase within the mitochondria. Furthermore, we establish that the inner mitochondrial membrane transporter, pyrimidine nucleotide carrier, transports UDP-GlcNAc from the cytosol to the inside of the mitochondria. Knockdown of this transporter substantially lowers mitochondrial O-GlcNAcylation. Inhibition of OGT or OGA activity within neonatal rat cardiomyocytes significantly affects energy production, mitochondrial membrane potential, and mitochondrial oxygen consumption. These data suggest that cardiac mitochondria not only have robust O-GlcNAc cycling, but also that dysregulation of O-GlcNAcylation likely plays a key role in mitochondrial dysfunction associated with diabetes.