Abnormal mitochondrial fragmentation by dynamin-related protein1 (Drp1) is associated with the progression of aging-associated heart diseases, including heart failure and myocardial infarction (MI). Here, we report a protective role of outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM)-localized E3 ubiquitin ligase MITOL/MARCH5 against cardiac senescence and MI, partly through Drp1 clearance by OMM-associated degradation (OMMAD). Persistent Drp1 accumulation in cardiomyocyte-specific MITOL conditional-knockout mice induced mitochondrial fragmentation and dysfunction, including reduced ATP production and increased ROS generation, ultimately leading to myocardial senescence and chronic heart failure. Furthermore, ischemic stress-induced acute downregulation of MITOL, which permitted mitochondrial accumulation of Drp1, resulted in mitochondrial fragmentation. Adeno-associated virus-mediated delivery of the MITOL gene to cardiomyocytes ameliorated cardiac dysfunction induced by MI. Our findings suggest that OMMAD activation by MITOL can be a therapeutic target for aging-associated heart diseases, including heart failure and MI.
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