Intracellular ASIC1a regulates mitochondrial permeability transition-dependent neuronal death

Y. Z. Wang, W. Z. Zeng, X. Xiao, Y. Huang, X. L. Song, Z. Yu, D. Tang, X. P. Dong, M. X. Zhu, T. L. Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) is the key proton receptor in nervous systems, mediating acidosis-induced neuronal injury in many neurological disorders, such as ischemic stroke. Up to now, functional ASIC1a has been found exclusively on the plasma membrane. Here, we show that ASIC1a proteins are also present in mitochondria of mouse cortical neurons where they are physically associated with adenine nucleotide translocase. Moreover, purified mitochondria from ASIC1a -/- mice exhibit significantly enhanced Ca 2+ retention capacity and accelerated Ca 2+ uptake rate. When challenged with hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2), ASIC1a -/- neurons are resistant to cytochrome c release and inner mitochondrial membrane depolarization, suggesting an impairment of mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) due to ASIC1a deletion. Consistently, H 2 O 2 -induced neuronal death, which is MPT dependent, is reduced in ASIC1a -/- neurons. Additionally, significant increases in mitochondrial size and oxidative stress levels are detected in ASIC1a -/- mouse brain, which also displays marked changes (>2-fold) in the expression of mitochondrial proteins closely related to reactive oxygen species signal pathways, as revealed by two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry analysis. Our data suggest that mitochondrial ASIC1a may serve as an important regulator of MPT pores, which contributes to oxidative neuronal cell death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1359-1369
Number of pages11
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • ASIC1a
  • MPT
  • mitochondria
  • oxidative cell death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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