Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease 4A is an autosomal-recessive polyneuropathy caused by mutations of ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein 1 (GDAP1), a putative glutathione transferase, which affects mitochondrial shape and alters cellular Ca2+ homeostasis. Here, we identify the underlying mechanism. We found that patient-derived motoneurons and GDAP1 knockdown SH-SY5Y cells display two phenotypes: more tubular mitochondria and a metabolism characterized by glutamine dependence and fewer cytosolic lipid droplets. GDAP1 interacts with the actin-depolymerizing protein Cofilin-1 and beta-tubulin in a redox-dependent manner, suggesting a role for actin signaling. Consistently, GDAP1 loss causes less F-actin close to mitochondria, which restricts mitochondrial localization of the fission factor dynamin-related protein 1, instigating tubularity. GDAP1 silencing also disrupts mitochondria-ER contact sites. These changes result in lower mitochondrial Ca2+ levels and inhibition of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, explaining the metabolic changes upon GDAP1 loss of function. Together, our findings reconcile GDAP1-associated phenotypes and implicate disrupted actin signaling in CMT4A pathophysiology.
- Actin Cytoskeleton/metabolism
- Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism
- Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex/metabolism