bims-camemi Biomed news
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2018‒09‒23
seven papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit


  1. Pharmacol Res. 2018 Sep 13. pii: S1043-6618(18)30321-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Basso V, Marchesan E, Peggion C, Chakraborty J, von Stockum S, Giacomello M, Ottolini D, Debattisti V, Caicci F, Tasca E, Pegoraro V, Angelini C, Antonini A, Bertoli A, Brini M, Ziviani E.
      Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase and a Parkinson's disease (PD) related gene, translocates to impaired mitochondria and drives their elimination via autophagy, a process known as mitophagy. Mitochondrial pro-fusion protein Mitofusins (Mfn1 and Mfn2) were found to be a target for Parkin mediated ubiquitination. Mfns are transmembrane GTPase embedded in the outer membrane of mitochondria, which are required on adjacent mitochondria to mediate fusion. In mammals, Mfn2 also forms complexes that are capable of tethering mitochondria to endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a structural feature essential for mitochondrial energy metabolism, calcium (Ca2+) transfer between the organelles and Ca2+ dependent cell death. Despite its fundamental physiological role, the molecular mechanisms that control ER-mitochondria cross talk are obscure. Ubiquitination has recently emerged as a powerful tool to modulate protein function, via regulation of protein subcellular localization and protein ability to interact with other proteins. Ubiquitination is also a reversible mechanism, which can be actively controlled by opposing ubiquitination-deubiquitination events. In this work we found that in Parkin deficient cells and parkin mutant human fibroblasts, the tether between ER and mitochondria is decreased. We identified the site of Parkin dependent ubiquitination and showed that the non-ubiquitinatable Mfn2 mutant fails to restore ER-mitochondria physical and functional interaction. Finally, we took advantage of an established in vivo model of PD to demonstrate that manipulation of ER-mitochondria tethering by expressing an ER-mitochondria synthetic linker is sufficient to rescue the locomotor deficit associated to an in vivo Drosophila model of PD.
    Keywords:  Drosophila model of PD; ER-mitochondria synthetic tether; ER-mitochondria tethering; Mitochondria; Mitofusin; PINK1; Parkin; Parkinson’s disease; ubiquitination
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2018.09.006
  2. Prog Neurobiol. 2018 Sep 13. pii: S0301-0082(18)30065-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    Grünewald A, Kumar KR, Sue CM.
      New discoveries providing insights into mitochondrial bioenergetics, their dynamic interactions as well as their role in cellular homeostasis have dramatically advanced our understanding of the neurodegenerative process of Parkinson's disease (PD). Respiratory chain impairment is a key feature in sporadic PD patients and there is growing evidence that links proteins encoded by PD-associated genes to disturbances in mitochondrial function. Against the backdrop of latest advances in the development of PD treatments that target mitochondria, we aim to give an overview of the literature published in the last three decades on the significance of mitochondria in the pathogenesis of PD. We describe the contribution of mitochondrial genome alterations and PD-associated genes to mitochondrial maintenance. We highlight mitophagy as a key mechanism in neurodegeneration. Moreover, we focus on the reciprocal interaction between alpha-synuclein aggregation and mitochondrial dysfunction. We discuss a novel trafficking pathway involving mitochondrial-derived vesicles within the context of PD and provide a synopsis of the most recently emerging topics in PD research with respect to mitochondria. This includes the relationship between mitochondria and cell-mediated immunity, the ER-mitochondria axis, sirtuin-mediated mitochondrial stress response and the role of micro RNAs in the aetiology of PD. In addition, recent studies have challenged the neuro-centric view of PD pathology, moving microglia and astrocytes into the research spotlight. Greater insights into these mechanisms may hold the key for the development of novel targeted therapies, addressing the need for a disease-modifying treatment, which has remained elusive to date.
    Keywords:  Parkinson's disease; endogenous PD models; fibroblasts; glia cells; iPSC-derived neurons; micro RNA; mitochondria; mitochondrial-derived vesicles; mitophagy; neurodegeneration; respiratory chain complexes
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pneurobio.2018.09.003
  3. Mitochondrion. 2018 Sep 12. pii: S1567-7249(18)30113-2. [Epub ahead of print]
    Cruz ACP, Ferrasa A, Muotri AR, Herai RH.
      Mitochondria are small cytosolic organelles and the main source of energy production for the cells, especially in the brain. This organelle has its own genome, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and genetic variants in this molecule can alter the normal energy metabolism in the brain, contributing to the development of a wide assortment of Neurological Disorders (ND), including neurodevelopmental syndromes, neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders. These ND are comprised by a heterogeneous group of syndromes and diseases that encompass different cognitive phenotypes and behavioral disorders, such as autism, Asperger's syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Huntington disease, Leigh Syndrome and bipolar disorder. In this work we carried out a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) to identify and describe the mitochondrial genetic variants associated with the occurrence of ND. Majority of genetic variants found in mtDNA were associated with Single Nucleotide Polimorphisms (SNPs), ~79%, with ~15% corresponding to deletions, ~3% to Copy Number Variations (CNVs), ~2% to insertions and another 1% included mtDNA replication problems and genetic rearrangements. We also found that most of the variants were associated with coding regions of mitochondrial proteins but were also found in regulatory transcripts (tRNA and rRNA) and in the D-Loop replication region of the mtDNA. After analysis of mtDNA deletions and CNV, none of them occur in the D-Loop region. This SLR shows that all transcribed mtDNA molecules have mutations correlated with ND. Finally, we describe that all mtDNA variants found were associated with deterioration of cognitive (dementia) and intellectual functions, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and personality and behavior problems.
    Keywords:  Genetic variants; Mitochondrial DNA; Neurodegenerative diseases; Neurodevelopmental syndromes; Neurological disorders; Neuropsychiatric disorders; Systematic literature review
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2018.09.005
  4. Cell Signal. 2018 Sep 13. pii: S0898-6568(18)30228-6. [Epub ahead of print]
    Liu J, Yan W, Zhao X, Jia Q, Wang J, Zhang H, Liu C, He K, Sun Z.
      Mitochondrial damage is involved in the pathogenesis of post-infarction cardiac injury. However, the upstream regulators of mitochondrial damage have not yet been identified. The aim of our study is to explore the role of Sirt3 in post-infarction cardiac injury with a particular focus on mitochondrial fission and AMPK-Drp1 pathways. Our results indicated that Sirt3 was downregulated in the progression of post-infarction cardiac injury. Overexpression of Sirt3 attenuated cardiac fibrosis, sustained myocardial function, inhibited the inflammatory response, and reduced cardiomyocyte death. Functional studies illustrated that chronic post-infarction cardiac injury was characterized by increased mitochondrial fission, which triggered mitochondrial oxidative stress, metabolic disorders, mitochondrial potential reduction and caspase-9 apoptosis in cardiomyocytes. However, Sirt3 overexpression attenuated mitochondrial fission and thus preserved mitochondrial homeostasis and cardiomyocyte viability. Furthermore, our results confirmed that Sirt3 repressed mitochondrial fission via normalizing AMPK-Drp1 pathways. Inhibition of AMPK activity re-activated Drp1 and thus abrogated the inhibitory effect of Sirt3 on mitochondrial fission. Altogether, our results indicate that Sirt3 enhancement could be an effective approach to retard the development of post-infarction cardiac injury via disrupting mitochondrial fission and normalizing the AMPK-Drp1 axis.
    Keywords:  AMPK-Drp1 pathways; Mitochondrial fission; Post-infarction cardiac injury; Sirt3
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cellsig.2018.09.009
  5. Histochem Cell Biol. 2018 Sep 15.
    Islinger M, Voelkl A, Fahimi HD, Schrader M.
      Peroxisomes are key metabolic organelles, which contribute to cellular lipid metabolism, e.g. the β-oxidation of fatty acids and the synthesis of myelin sheath lipids, as well as cellular redox balance. Peroxisomal dysfunction has been linked to severe metabolic disorders in man, but peroxisomes are now also recognized as protective organelles with a wider significance in human health and potential impact on a large number of globally important human diseases such as neurodegeneration, obesity, cancer, and age-related disorders. Therefore, the interest in peroxisomes and their physiological functions has significantly increased in recent years. In this review, we intend to highlight recent discoveries, advancements and trends in peroxisome research, and present an update as well as a continuation of two former review articles addressing the unsolved mysteries of this astonishing organelle. We summarize novel findings on the biological functions of peroxisomes, their biogenesis, formation, membrane dynamics and division, as well as on peroxisome-organelle contacts and cooperation. Furthermore, novel peroxisomal proteins and machineries at the peroxisomal membrane are discussed. Finally, we address recent findings on the role of peroxisomes in the brain, in neurological disorders, and in the development of cancer.
    Keywords:  ACBD5; Alzheimer; Cancer; Hearing loss; Membrane contact sites; Motility; Multiple sclerosis; Organelle biogenesis; Organelle division; Organelle dynamics; Parkinson; Peroxin; Peroxisome
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00418-018-1722-5
  6. Int J Hematol. 2018 Sep 15.
    Ito K, Bonora M, Ito K.
      HSCs have a fate choice when they divide; they can self-renew, producing new HSCs, or produce daughter cells that will mature to become committed cells. Technical challenges, however, have long obscured the mechanics of these choices. Advances in flow-sorting have made possible the purification of HSC populations, but available HSC-enriched fractions still include substantial heterogeneity, and single HSCs have proven extremely difficult to track and observe. Advances in single-cell approaches, however, have led to the identification of a highly purified population of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that make a critical contribution to hematopoietic homeostasis through a preference for self-renewing division. Metabolic cues are key regulators of this cell fate choice, and the importance of controlling the population and quality of mitochondria has recently been highlighted to maintain the equilibrium of HSC populations. Leukemic cells also demand tightly regulated metabolism, and shifting the division balance of leukemic cells toward commitment has been considered as a promising therapeutic strategy. A deeper understanding of precisely how specific modes of metabolism control HSC fate is, therefore, of great biological interest, and more importantly will be critical to the development of new therapeutic strategies that target HSC division balance for the treatment of hematological disease.
    Keywords:  Cellular metabolism; Hematopoietic stem cell; Leukemia; Mitochondria; Stem cell fate
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12185-018-2534-z
  7. Free Radic Biol Med. 2018 Sep 13. pii: S0891-5849(18)31593-4. [Epub ahead of print]
    Seibt TM, Proneth B, Conrad M.
      Ferroptosis is a non-apoptotic form of cell death characterized by iron-dependent lipid peroxidation and metabolic constraints. Dependence on NADPH/H+, polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism, and the mevalonate and glutaminolysis metabolic pathways have been implicated in this novel form of regulated necrotic cell death. Genetic studies performed in cells and mice established the selenoenzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPX4) as the key regulator of this form of cell death. Besides these genetic models, the identification of a series of small molecule ferroptosis-specific inhibitors and inducers have not only helped in the delineation of the molecular underpinnings of ferroptosis but they might also prove highly beneficial when tipping the balance between cell death inhibition and induction in the context of degenerative diseases and cancer, respectively. In the latter, the recent recognition that a subset of cancer cell lines including certain triple negative breast cancer cells and those of therapy-resistant high-mesenchymal cell state present a high dependence on this lipid make-up offers unprecedented opportunities to eradicate difficult to treat cancers. Due to the rapidly growing interest in this form of cell death, we provide an overview herein what we know about this field today and its future translational impact.
    Keywords:  Cysteine metabolism; Ferritinophagy; GPX4; Lipid peroxidation; Non-apoptotic cell death; Regulated necrosis
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.09.014