bims-cytox1 Biomed news on
Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1
Issue of 2017‒04‒07
two papers selected by
Gavin McStay
New York Institute of Technology


  1. PLoS Genet. 2017 Mar;doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.100651713(3):
    Abstract:  The oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) pathway is responsible for most aerobic ATP production and is the only pathway with both nuclear and mitochondrial encoded proteins. The importance of the interactions between these two genomes has recently received more attention because of their potential evolutionary effects and how they may affect human health and disease. In many different organisms, healthy nuclear and mitochondrial genome hybrids between species or among distant populations within a species affect fitness and OxPhos functions. However, what is less understood is whether these interactions impact individuals within a single natural population. The significance of this impact depends on the strength of selection for mito-nuclear interactions. We examined whether mito-nuclear interactions alter allele frequencies for ~11,000 nuclear SNPs within a single, natural Fundulus heteroclitus population containing two divergent mitochondrial haplotypes (mt-haplotypes). Between the two mt-haplotypes, there are significant nuclear allele frequency differences for 349 SNPs with a p-value of 1% (236 with 10% FDR). Unlike the rest of the genome, these 349 outlier SNPs form two groups associated with each mt-haplotype, with a minority of individuals having mixed ancestry. We use this mixed ancestry in combination with mt-haplotype as a polygenic factor to explain a significant fraction of the individual OxPhos variation. These data suggest that mito-nuclear interactions affect cardiac OxPhos function. The 349 outlier SNPs occur in genes involved in regulating metabolic processes but are not directly associated with the 79 nuclear OxPhos proteins. Therefore, we postulate that the evolution of mito-nuclear interactions affects OxPhos function by acting upstream of OxPhos.
  2. Free Radic Biol Med. 2017 Mar 29. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2017.03.027108
    Abstract:  Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease and has a single mitochondrion, an organelle responsible for ATP production and the main site for the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). T. cruzi is an obligate intracellular parasite with a complex life cycle that alternates between vertebrate and invertebrate hosts, therefore the development of survival strategies and morphogenetic adaptations to deal with the various environments is mandatory. Over the years our group has been studying the vector-parasite interactions using heme as a physiological oxidant molecule that triggered epimastigote proliferation however, the source of ROS induced by heme remained unknown. In the present study we demonstrate the involvement of heme in the parasite mitochondrial metabolism, decreasing oxygen consumption leading to increased mitochondrial ROS and membrane potential. First, we incubated epimastigotes with carbonyl cyanide p-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone (FCCP), an uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation, which led to decreased ROS formation and parasite proliferation, even in the presence of heme, correlating mitochondrial ROS and T. cruzi survival. This hypothesis was confirmed after the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant ((2-(2,2,6,6 Tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl-4-ylamino)-2-oxoethyl) triphenylphosphonium chloride (MitoTEMPO) decreased both heme-induced ROS and epimastigote proliferation. Furthermore, heme increased the percentage of tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester (TMRM) positive parasites tremendously-indicating the hyperpolarization and increase of potential of the mitochondrial membrane (ΔΨm). Assessing the mitochondrial functional metabolism, we observed that in comparison to untreated parasites, heme-treated epimastigotes decreased their oxygen consumption, and increased the complex II-III activity. These changes allowed the electron flow into the electron transport system, even though the complex IV (cytochrome c oxidase) activity decreased significantly, showing that heme-induced mitochondrial ROS appears to be a consequence of the enhanced mitochondrial physiological modulation. Finally, the parasites that were submitted to high concentrations of heme presented no alterations in the ultrastructure. Consequently, our results suggest that heme released by the insect vector after the blood meal, modify epimastigote mitochondrial physiology to increase ROS as a metabolic mechanism to maintain epimastigote survival and proliferation.
    Keywords:  Bioenergetics; Heme; Mitochondrion; Oxygen consumption; ROS; Trypanosoma cruzi