Mitochondrial Superoxide Dismutase Specifies Early Neural Commitment by Modulating Mitochondrial Dynamics

Smitha Bhaskar, Preethi Sheshadri, Joel P. Joseph, Chandrakanta Potdar, Jyothi Prasanna, Anujith Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Studies revealing molecular mechanisms underlying neural specification have majorly focused on the role played by different transcription factors, but less on non-nuclear components. Earlier, we reported mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD2) to be essential for self-renewal and pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). In the present study, we found SOD2 to be specifically required for neural lineage, but not the meso- or endoderm specification. Temporally, SOD2 regulated early neural genes, but not the matured genes, by modulating mitochondrial dynamics—specifically by enhancing the mitochondrial fusion protein Mitofusin 2 (MFN2). Bio-complementation strategy further confirmed SOD2 to enhance mitochondrial fusion process independent of its antioxidant activity. Over-expression of SOD2 along with OCT4, but neither alone, transdifferentiated mouse fibroblasts to neural progenitor-like colonies, conclusively proving the neurogenic potential of SOD2. In conclusion, our findings accredit a novel role for SOD2 in early neural lineage specification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101564
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 23-10-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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