bims-cytox1 Biomed News
on Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1
Issue of 2021‒04‒11
four papers selected by
Gavin McStay
Staffordshire University

  1. Nat Metab. 2021 Apr 08.
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes protein subunits and translational machinery required for oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Using repurposed whole-exome sequencing data, in the present study we demonstrate that pathogenic mtDNA mutations arise in tumours at a rate comparable to those in the most common cancer driver genes. We identify OXPHOS complexes as critical determinants shaping somatic mtDNA mutation patterns across tumour lineages. Loss-of-function mutations accumulate at an elevated rate specifically in complex I and often arise at specific homopolymeric hotspots. In contrast, complex V is depleted of all non-synonymous mutations, suggesting that impairment of ATP synthesis and mitochondrial membrane potential dissipation are under negative selection. Common truncating mutations and rarer missense alleles are both associated with a pan-lineage transcriptional programme, even in cancer types where mtDNA mutations are comparatively rare. Pathogenic mutations of mtDNA are associated with substantial increases in overall survival of colorectal cancer patients, demonstrating a clear functional relationship between genotype and phenotype. The mitochondrial genome is therefore frequently and functionally disrupted across many cancers, with major implications for patient stratification, prognosis and therapeutic development.
  2. FEBS Lett. 2021 Apr 10.
      Mitochondria play a key role in cellular signalling, metabolism and energetics. Proper architecture and remodelling of the inner mitochondrial membrane are essential for efficient respiration, apoptosis and quality control in the cell. Several protein complexes including mitochondrial contact site and cristae organising system (MICOS), F1 FO -ATP synthase, and Optic Atrophy 1 (OPA1), facilitate formation, maintenance and stability of cristae membranes. MICOS, the F1 FO -ATP synthase, OPA1 and inner membrane phospholipids such as cardiolipin and phosphatidylethanolamine interact with each other to organise the inner membrane ultra-structure and remodel cristae in response to the cell's demands. Functional alterations in these proteins or in the biosynthesis pathway of cardiolipin and phosphatidylethanolamine result in an aberrant inner membrane architecture and impair mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormalities hallmark several human conditions and diseases including neurodegeneration, cardiomyopathies and diabetes mellitus. Yet, they have long been regarded as secondary pathological effects. This review discusses emerging evidence of a direct relationship between protein- and lipid-dependent regulation of the inner mitochondrial membrane morphology and diseases such as fatal encephalopathy, Leigh syndrome, Parkinson's disease, and cancer.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; MICOS; Mitochondria; Opa1; membrane dynamics; membrane morphology; mitochondrial morphology; mitochondrial ultra-structure
  3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Mar 16. pii: e2021157118. [Epub ahead of print]118(11):
      Energy conversion in aerobic organisms involves an electron current from low-potential donors, such as NADH and succinate, to dioxygen through the membrane-bound respiratory chain. Electron transfer is coupled to transmembrane proton transport, which maintains the electrochemical proton gradient used to produce ATP and drive other cellular processes. Electrons are transferred from respiratory complexes III to IV (CIII and CIV) by water-soluble cytochrome (cyt.) c In Saccharomyces cerevisiae and some other organisms, these complexes assemble into larger CIII2CIV1/2 supercomplexes, the functional significance of which has remained enigmatic. In this work, we measured the kinetics of the S. cerevisiae supercomplex cyt. c-mediated QH2:O2 oxidoreductase activity under various conditions. The data indicate that the electronic link between CIII and CIV is confined to the surface of the supercomplex. Single-particle electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) structures of the supercomplex with cyt. c show the positively charged cyt. c bound to either CIII or CIV or along a continuum of intermediate positions. Collectively, the structural and kinetic data indicate that cyt. c travels along a negatively charged patch on the supercomplex surface. Thus, rather than enhancing electron transfer rates by decreasing the distance that cyt. c must diffuse in three dimensions, formation of the CIII2CIV1/2 supercomplex facilitates electron transfer by two-dimensional (2D) diffusion of cyt. c This mechanism enables the CIII2CIV1/2 supercomplex to increase QH2:O2 oxidoreductase activity and suggests a possible regulatory role for supercomplex formation in the respiratory chain.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; cytochrome bc1; cytochrome c oxidase; electron transfer; mitochondria
  4. Clin Chem. 2021 Apr 05. pii: hvab021. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: The quantification of mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy for the diagnosis of mitochondrial disease or after mitochondrial donation, is performed mainly using next-generation sequencing strategies (NGS). Digital PCR (dPCR) has the potential to offer an accurate alternative for mutation load quantification.METHODS: We assessed the mutation load of 23 low-input human samples at the m.11778 locus, which is associated with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) using 2 droplet digital PCR platforms (Stilla Naica and Bio-Rad QX200) and the standard NGS strategy. Assay validation was performed by analyzing a titration series with mutation loads ranging from 50% to 0.01%.
    RESULTS: A good concordance in mutation rates was observed between both dPCR techniques and NGS. dPCR established a distinctly lower level of background noise compared to NGS. Minor alleles with mutation loads lower than 1% could still be detected, with standard deviations of the technical replicates varying between 0.07% and 0.44% mutation load. Although no significant systematic bias was observed when comparing dPCR and NGS, a minor proportional bias was detected. A slight overestimation of the minor allele was observed for the NGS data, most probably due to amplification and sequencing errors in the NGS workflow.
    CONCLUSION: dPCR has proven to be an accurate tool for the quantification of mitochondrial heteroplasmy, even for samples harboring a low mutation load (<1%). In addition, this alternative technique holds multiple benefits compared to NGS (e.g., less hands-on time, more straightforward data-analysis, and a lower up-front capital investment).