Protein Disulfide Isomerase PDI-6 Regulates Wnt Secretion to Coordinate Inter-Tissue UPRmt Activation and Lifespan Extension in C. elegans.

Xinyu Li, Jiasheng Li, Di Zhu, Ning Zhang, Xusheng Hao, Wenfeng Zhang, Qian Zhang, Yangli Liu, Xueying Wu, and Ye Tian

Cell Reports
DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110931


Coordination of inter-tissue stress signaling is essential for organismal fitness. Neuronal mitochondrial perturbations activate the mitochondrial unfolded-protein response (UPRmt) in the intestine via the mitokine Wnt signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we found that the protein disulfide isomerase PDI-6 coordinates inter-tissue UPRmt signaling via regulating the Wnt ligand EGL-20. PDI-6 is expressed in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and interacts with EGL-20 through disulfide bonds that are essential for EGL-20 stability and secretion. pdi-6 deficiency results in misfolded EGL-20, which leads to its degradation via ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) machinery. Expression of PDI-6 declines drastically with aging, and animals with pdi-6 deficiency have decreased lifespan. Overexpression of PDI-6 is sufficient to maintain Wnt/EGL-20 protein levels during aging, activating the UPRmt, and significantly extending lifespan in a Wnt- and UPRmt-dependent manner. Our study reveals that protein disulfide isomerase facilitates Wnt secretion to coordinate the inter-tissue UPRmt signaling and organismal aging.