Two Sensory Neurons Coordinate the Systemic Mitochondrial Stress Response via GPCR Signaling in C. elegans

Yangli Liu, Jun Zhou, Ning Zhang, Xueying Wu, Qian Zhang, Wenfeng Zhang, Xinyu Li and Ye Tian

Developmental Cell


Mitochondrial perturbations within neurons communicate stress signals to peripheral tissues, coordinating organismal-wide mitochondrial homeostasis for optimal fitness. However, the neuronal control of the systemic stress regulation remains poorly understood. Here, we identified a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), SRZ-75, that couples with Gαq signaling in a pair of chemosensory ADL neurons to drive the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) activation in the intestine via the release of neuropeptides in Caenorhabditis elegans. Constitutive activation of Gαq signaling in the ADL neurons is sufficient to induce the intestinal UPRmt, leading to increased stress resistance and metabolic adaptations. Ablation of ADL neurons attenuates the intestinal UPRmt activation in response to various forms of neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus, GPCR and its Gαq downstream signaling in two sensory neurons coordinates the systemic UPRmt activation, representing a previously uncharacterized, but potentially conserved, neuronal signaling for organismal-wide mitochondrial stress regulation.