bims-cytox1 Biomed news on
Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1
Issue of 2017‒02‒11
five papers selected by
Gavin McStay
New York Institute of Technology


  1. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017 Feb 01. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2017.01.012
    Abstract:  Mitochondria, known for more than a century as the energy powerhouse of a cell, represent key intracellular signaling hub that are emerging as important determinants of several aspects of cancer development and progression, including metabolic reprogramming, acquisition of metastatic capability, and response to chemotherapeutic drugs. The majority of cancer cells harbors somatic mutations in the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) and/or alterations in the mtDNA content, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction. Decreased mtDNA content is also detected in tumor-initiating cells, a subpopulation of cancer cells that are believed to play an integral role in cancer recurrence following chemotherapy. Although mutations in mitochondrial genes are common in cancer cells, they do not shut down completely the mitochondrial energy metabolism and functionality. Instead, they promote rewiring of the bioenergetics and biosynthetic profile of a cancer cell through a mitochondria-to-nucleus signaling activated by "dysfunctional" mitochondria that results in changes in transcription and/or activity of cancer-related genes and signaling pathways. Different cancer cell types may undergo different bioenergetic changes, some to more glycolytic and some to more oxidative. These different metabolic signatures may coexist within the same tumor mass (intra-tumor heterogeneity). In this review we describe the current understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction in the context of cancer chemoresistance with special attention to the role of mtDNA alterations. We put emphasis on potential therapeutic strategies targeting different metabolic events specific to cancer cells, including glycolysis, glutaminolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, and the retrograde signaling, to prevent chemoresistance. We also highlight novel genome-editing strategies aimed at "correcting" mtDNA defects in cancer cells. We conclude on the importance of considering intratumor metabolic heterogeneity to develop effective metabolism-based cancer therapy that can overcome chemoresistance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Respiratory complex I, edited by Giuseppe Gasparre, Rodrigue Rossignol and Pierre Sonveaux.
    Keywords:  Cancer chemoresistance; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial DNA
  2. Redox Biol. 2017 Jan 25. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2017.01.01711
    Abstract:  Mitochondria have been in the focus of oxidative stress and aging research for decades due to their permanent production of ROS during the oxidative phosphorylation. The hypothesis exists that mitochondria are involved in the formation of lipofuscin, an autofluorescent protein aggregate that accumulates progressively over time in lysosomes of post-mitotic and senescent cells. To investigate the influence and involvement of mitochondria in lipofuscinogenesis, we analyzed lipofuscin amounts as well as the mitochondrial function in young and senescent cells. In addition we used an aging model and Lon protease deficient HeLa cells to investigate the influence of mitochondrial degradation processes on lipofuscin formation. We were able to show that mitophagy is impaired in senescent cells resulting in an increased mitochondrial mass and superoxide formation. In addition, the inhibition of mitochondrial fission leads to increased lipofuscin formation. Moreover, we observed that Lon protease downregulation is linked to a higher lipofuscinogenesis whereas the application of the mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant mitoTEMPO is able to prevent the accumulation of this protein aggregate.
    Keywords:  Aging; Lipofuscin; Lon protease; Mitochondria; Oxidative stress; Protein aggregates
  3. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2017 Feb 01. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2017.01.008
    Abstract:  In previous studies, we identified a putative 38-nucleotide stem-loop structure (zipcode) in the 3' untranslated region of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV (COXIV) mRNA that was necessary and sufficient for the axonal localization of the message in primary superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons. However, little is known about the proteins that interact with the COXIV-zipcode and regulate the axonal trafficking and local translation of the COXIV message. To identify proteins involved in the axonal transport of the COXIV mRNA, we used the biotinylated 38-nucleotide COXIV RNA zipcode as bait in the affinity purification of COXIV zipcode binding proteins. Gel-shift assays of the biotinylated COXIV zipcode indicated that the putative stem-loop structure functions as a nucleation site for the formation of ribonucleoprotein complexes. Mass spectrometric analysis of the COXIV zipcode ribonucleoprotein complex led to the identification of a large number RNA binding proteins, including fused in sarcoma/translated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS), and Y-box protein 1 (YB-1). Validation experiments, using western analyses, confirmed the presence of the candidate proteins in the COXIV zipcode affinity purified complexes obtained from SCG axons. Immunohistochemical studies show that FUS, and YB-1 are present in SCG axons. Importantly, RNA immunoprecipitation studies show that FUS, and YB-1 interact with endogenous axonal COXIV transcripts. siRNA-mediated downregulation of the candidate proteins FUS and YB-1 expression in the cell-bodies diminishes the levels of COXIV mRNA in the axon, suggesting functional roles for these proteins in the axonal trafficking of COXIV mRNA.
    Keywords:  FUS; RNA binding proteins; Sympathetic neurons; YB-1; mRNA localization; mRNA trafficking
  4. J Mol Biol. 2017 Feb 01. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2017.01.021
    Abstract:  Iron-sulfur (Fe/S) cluster-containing proteins constitute one of the largest protein classes, with varied functions that include electron transport, regulation of gene expression, substrate binding and activation, and radical generation. Consequently, the biosynthetic machinery for Fe/S clusters is evolutionarily conserved, and mutations in a variety of putative intermediate Fe/S cluster scaffold proteins can cause disease states, including multiple mitochondrial dysfunctions syndrome (MMDS), sideroblastic anemia and mitochondrial encephalomyopathy. Herein, we have characterized the impact of defects occurring in the MMDS1 disease state that result from a point mutation (Gly208Cys) near the active site of NFU1, an iron-sulfur scaffold protein, via an in vitro investigation into the structural and functional consequences. Analysis of protein stability and oligomeric state demonstrates that the mutant increases the propensity to dimerize and perturbs the secondary structure composition. These changes appear to underlie the severely decreased ability of mutant NFU1 to accept an iron-sulfur cluster from physiologically relevant sources. Therefore, the point mutation on NFU1 impairs downstream cluster trafficking and results in the disease phenotype, because there does not appear to be an alternative in vivo reconstitution path, most likely due to greater protein oligomerization from a minor structural change.
    Keywords:  NFU1; cluster exchange; iron–sulfur cluster; mitochondrial disease; protein stability
  5. Neuropharmacology. 2017 Feb 01. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.01.039117
    Abstract:  Mitochondrial encephalopathies are fatal, infantile neurodegenerative disorders caused by a deficit of mitochondrial functioning, for which there is urgent need to identify efficacious pharmacological treatments. Recent evidence shows that rapamycin administered both intraperitoneally or in the diet delays disease onset and enhances survival in the Ndufs4 null mouse model of mitochondrial encephalopathy. To delineate the clinical translatability of rapamycin in treatment of mitochondrial encephalopathy, we evaluated the drug's effects on disease evolution and mitochondrial parameters adopting treatment paradigms with fixed daily, oral doses starting at symptom onset in Ndufs4 knockout mice. Molecular mechanisms responsible for the pharmacodynamic effects of rapamycin were also evaluated. We found that rapamycin did not affect disease development at clinically-relevant doses (0.5 mg kg-1). Conversely, an oral dose previously adopted for intraperitoneal administration (8 mg kg-1) delayed development of neurological symptoms and increased median survival by 25%. Neurological improvement and lifespan were not further increased when the dose raised to 20 mg kg-1. Notably, rapamycin at 8 mg kg-1 did not affect the reduced expression of respiratory complex subunits, as well as mitochondrial number and mtDNA content. This treatment regimen however significantly ameliorated architecture of mitochondria cristae in motor cortex and cerebellum. However, reduction of mTOR activity by rapamycin was not consistently found within the brain of knockout mice. Overall, data show the ability of rapamycin to improve ultrastructure of dysfunctional mitochondria and corroborate its therapeutic potential in mitochondrial disorders. The non-clinical standard doses required, however, raise concerns about its rapid and safe clinical transferability.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; Mitochondrial diseases; Mitochondrial encephalopathy; Ndufs4 knockout mice; Rapamycin