bims-cytox1 Biomed News
on Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1
Issue of 2021‒05‒02
thirteen papers selected by
Gavin McStay
Staffordshire University

  1. J Vis Exp. 2021 Apr 11.
      Mitochondria are essential organelles of eukaryotic cells capable of aerobic respiration. They contain circular genome and gene expression apparatus. A mitochondrial genome of baker's yeast encodes eight proteins: three subunits of the cytochrome c oxidase (Cox1p, Cox2p, and Cox3p), three subunits of the ATP synthase (Atp6p, Atp8p, and Atp9p), a subunit of the ubiquinol-cytochrome c oxidoreductase enzyme, cytochrome b (Cytb), and mitochondrial ribosomal protein Var1p. The purpose of the method described here is to specifically label these proteins with 35S methionine, separate them by electrophoresis and visualize the signals as discrete bands on the screen. The procedure involves several steps. First, yeast cells are cultured in a galactose-containing medium until they reach the late logarithmic growth stage. Next, cycloheximide treatment blocks cytoplasmic translation and allows 35S methionine incorporation only in mitochondrial translation products. Then, all proteins are extracted from yeast cells and separated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Finally, the gel is dried and incubated with the storage phosphor screen. The screen is scanned on a phosphorimager revealing the bands. The method can be applied to compare the biosynthesis rate of a single polypeptide in the mitochondria of a mutant yeast strain versus the wild type, which is useful for studying mitochondrial gene expression defects. This protocol gives valuable information about the translation rate of all yeast mitochondrial mRNAs. However, it requires several controls and additional experiments to make proper conclusions.
  2. Life (Basel). 2021 Apr 17. pii: 351. [Epub ahead of print]11(4):
      The mitochondrial respiratory chain encompasses four oligomeric enzymatic complexes (complex I, II, III and IV) which, together with the redox carrier ubiquinone and cytochrome c, catalyze electron transport coupled to proton extrusion from the inner membrane. The protonmotive force is utilized by complex V for ATP synthesis in the process of oxidative phosphorylation. Respiratory complexes are known to coexist in the membrane as single functional entities and as supramolecular aggregates or supercomplexes (SCs). Understanding the assembly features of SCs has relevant biomedical implications because defects in a single protein can derange the overall SC organization and compromise the energetic function, causing severe mitochondrial disorders. Here we describe in detail the main types of SCs, all characterized by the presence of complex III. We show that the genetic alterations that hinder the assembly of Complex III, not just the activity, cause a rearrangement of the architecture of the SC that can help to preserve a minimal energetic function. Finally, the major metabolic disturbances associated with severe SCs perturbation due to defective complex III are discussed along with interventions that may circumvent these deficiencies.
    Keywords:  MTCYB mutations; complex III; cytochrome b; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial diseases; oxidative stress; respiratory complexes; respiratory supercomplexes
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 26. pii: 4524. [Epub ahead of print]22(9):
      In most eukaryotes, mitochondrial protein synthesis is essential for oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) as some subunits of the respiratory chain complexes are encoded by the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mutations affecting the mitochondrial translation apparatus have been identified as a major cause of mitochondrial diseases. These mutations include either heteroplasmic mtDNA mutations in genes encoding for the mitochondrial rRNA (mtrRNA) and tRNAs (mttRNAs) or mutations in nuclear genes encoding ribosomal proteins, initiation, elongation and termination factors, tRNA-modifying enzymes, and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (mtARSs). Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) catalyze the attachment of specific amino acids to their cognate tRNAs. Differently from most mttRNAs, which are encoded by mitochondrial genome, mtARSs are encoded by nuclear genes and then imported into the mitochondria after translation in the cytosol. Due to the extensive use of next-generation sequencing (NGS), an increasing number of mtARSs variants associated with large clinical heterogeneity have been identified in recent years. Being most of these variants private or sporadic, it is crucial to assess their causative role in the disease by functional analysis in model systems. This review will focus on the contributions of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the functional validation of mutations found in mtARSs genes associated with human disorders.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases; mitochondrial diseases; novel variants; yeast model
  4. Genes (Basel). 2021 Apr 20. pii: 607. [Epub ahead of print]12(4):
      Mitochondrial diseases can be caused by pathogenic variants in nuclear or mitochondrial DNA-encoded genes that often lead to multisystemic symptoms and can have any mode of inheritance. Using a single test, Genome Sequencing (GS) can effectively identify variants in both genomes, but it has not yet been universally used as a first-line approach to diagnosing mitochondrial diseases due to related costs and challenges in data analysis. In this article, we report three patients with mitochondrial disease molecularly diagnosed through GS performed on DNA extracted from blood to demonstrate different diagnostic advantages of this technology, including the detection of a low-level heteroplasmic pathogenic variant, an intragenic nuclear DNA deletion, and a large mtDNA deletion. Current technical improvements and cost reductions are likely to lead to an expanded routine diagnostic usage of GS and of the complementary "Omic" technologies in mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  genome sequencing; heteroplasmy; mitochondria; mutation; respiratory chain
  5. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 12. pii: 592. [Epub ahead of print]10(4):
      Mitochondria are critical for several cellular functions as they control metabolism, cell physiology, and cell death. The mitochondrial proteome consists of around 1500 proteins, the vast majority of which (about 99% of them) are encoded by nuclear genes, with only 13 polypeptides in human cells encoded by mitochondrial DNA. Therefore, it is critical for all the mitochondrial proteins that are nuclear-encoded to be targeted precisely and sorted specifically to their site of action inside mitochondria. These processes of targeting and sorting are catalysed by protein translocases that operate in each one of the mitochondrial sub-compartments. The main protein import pathway for the intermembrane space (IMS) recognises proteins that are cysteine-rich, and it is the only import pathway that chemically modifies the imported precursors by introducing disulphide bonds to them. In this manner, the precursors are trapped in the IMS in a folded state. The key component of this pathway is Mia40 (called CHCHD4 in human cells), which itself contains cysteine motifs and is subject to redox regulation. In this review, we detail the basic components of the MIA pathway and the disulphide relay mechanism that underpins the electron transfer reaction along the oxidative folding mechanism. Then, we discuss the key protein modulators of this pathway and how they are interlinked to the small redox-active molecules that critically affect the redox state in the IMS. We present also evidence that the mitochondrial redox processes that are linked to iron-sulfur clusters biogenesis and calcium homeostasis coalesce in the IMS at the MIA machinery. The fact that the MIA machinery and several of its interactors and substrates are linked to a variety of common human diseases connected to mitochondrial dysfunction highlight the potential of redox processes in the IMS as a promising new target for developing new treatments for some of the most complex and devastating human diseases.
    Keywords:  Mia40; intermembrane space; mitochondria; oxidative folding; redox signaling
  6. J Clin Med. 2021 Apr 20. pii: 1796. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      Mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cause disruption of the oxidative phosphorylation chain and impair energy production in cells throughout the human body. Primary mitochondrial disorders due to mtDNA mutations can present with symptoms from adult-onset mono-organ affection to death in infancy due to multi-organ involvement. The heterogeneous phenotypes that patients with a mutation of mtDNA can present with are thought, at least to some extent, to be a result of differences in mtDNA mutation load among patients and even among tissues in the individual. The most common symptom in patients with mitochondrial myopathy (MM) is exercise intolerance. Since mitochondrial function can be assessed directly in skeletal muscle, exercise studies can be used to elucidate the physiological consequences of defective mitochondria due to mtDNA mutations. Moreover, exercise tests have been developed for diagnostic purposes for mitochondrial myopathy. In this review, we present the rationale for exercise testing of patients with MM due to mutations in mtDNA, evaluate the diagnostic yield of exercise tests for MM and touch upon how exercise tests can be used as tools for follow-up to assess disease course or effects of treatment interventions.
    Keywords:  exercise testing; fatigue; mitochondrial myopathy; mtDNA mutation
  7. Mitochondrion. 2021 Apr 21. pii: S1567-7249(21)00056-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Leigh syndrome is a progressive neurodegenerative syndrome caused by multiple mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA pathological variants. Patients with Leigh syndrome consistently have distinct brain lesions found on MRI scanning involving abnormal signal in the basal ganglia, brainstem and/or cerebellum. Other clinical findings vary depending on the genetic etiology and epigenetic factors. Mitochondrial DNA-derived Leigh syndrome phenotype is thought to be modulated by heteroplasmy level. The classic example is the clinical expression of the pathological variant, m. 8993 T>G. At heteroplasmy levels above 90%, the resulting phenotype is Leigh syndrome, but at levels 70 - 90% patients present with a syndrome of neuropathy, ataxia and retinitis pigmentosa. We describe a 15-year old girl with homoplasmic variant in m.8993 T>G and clinical and biochemical findings consistent with Leigh syndrome but with normal brain MRI findings and without retinal abnormalities or ataxia.
    Keywords:  Leigh syndrome; MRI brain; basal ganglia; homoplasmy; m. 8993 T>G; mitochondrial disease
  8. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 24. pii: 4461. [Epub ahead of print]22(9):
      Mitochondrial diseases result from inherited or spontaneous mutations in mitochondrial or nuclear DNA, leading to an impairment of the oxidative phosphorylation responsible for the synthesis of ATP. To date, there are no effective pharmacological therapies for these pathologies. We performed a yeast-based screening to search for therapeutic drugs to be used for treating mitochondrial diseases associated with dominant mutations in the nuclear ANT1 gene, which encodes for the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier. Dominant ANT1 mutations are involved in several degenerative mitochondrial pathologies characterized by the presence of multiple deletions or depletion of mitochondrial DNA in tissues of affected patients. Thanks to the presence in yeast of the AAC2 gene, orthologue of human ANT1, a yeast mutant strain carrying the M114P substitution equivalent to adPEO-associated L98P mutation was created. Five molecules were identified for their ability to suppress the defective respiratory growth phenotype of the haploid aac2M114P. Furthermore, these molecules rescued the mtDNA mutability in the heteroallelic AAC2/aac2M114P strain, which mimics the human heterozygous condition of adPEO patients. The drugs were effective in reducing mtDNA instability also in the heteroallelic strain carrying the R96H mutation equivalent to the more severe de novo dominant missense mutation R80H, suggesting a general therapeutic effect on diseases associated with dominant ANT1 mutations.
    Keywords:  ANT1 mutations; mitochondrial diseases; yeast model
  9. Life (Basel). 2021 Apr 08. pii: 325. [Epub ahead of print]11(4):
      Human diseases range from gene-associated to gene-non-associated disorders, including age-related diseases, neurodegenerative, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, diabetic diseases, neurocognitive disorders and cancer. Mitochondria participate to the cascades of pathogenic events leading to the onset and progression of these diseases independently of their association to mutations of genes encoding mitochondrial protein. Under physiological conditions, the mitochondrial ATP synthase provides the most energy of the cell via the oxidative phosphorylation. Alterations of oxidative phosphorylation mainly affect the tissues characterized by a high-energy metabolism, such as nervous, cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues. In this review, we focus on human diseases caused by altered expressions of ATP synthase genes of both mitochondrial and nuclear origin. Moreover, we describe the contribution of ATP synthase to the pathophysiological mechanisms of other human diseases such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases or neurocognitive disorders.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; human disease; mitochondria
  10. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 07. pii: 3827. [Epub ahead of print]22(8):
      Mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) synthesize a small subset of proteins, which are essential components of the oxidative phosphorylation machinery. Therefore, their function is of fundamental importance to cellular metabolism. The assembly of mitoribosomes is a complex process that progresses through numerous maturation and protein-binding events coordinated by the actions of several assembly factors. Dysregulation of mitoribosome production is increasingly recognized as a contributor to metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, mutations in multiple components of the mitoribosome assembly machinery have been associated with a range of human pathologies, highlighting their importance to cell function and health. Here, we provide a review of our current understanding of mitoribosome biogenesis, highlighting the key factors involved in this process and the growing number of mutations in genes encoding mitoribosomal RNAs, proteins, and assembly factors that lead to human disease.
    Keywords:  assembly factors; mitochondria; mitochondrial disease; mitoribosome; rRNA
  11. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 27. pii: S2211-1247(21)00338-7. [Epub ahead of print]35(4): 109024
      Glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) resist current glioblastoma (GBM) therapies. GSCs rely highly on oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), whose function requires mitochondrial translation. Here we explore the therapeutic potential of targeting mitochondrial translation and report the results of high-content screening with putative blockers of mitochondrial ribosomes. We identify the bacterial antibiotic quinupristin/dalfopristin (Q/D) as an effective suppressor of GSC growth. Q/D also decreases the clonogenicity of GSCs in vitro, consequently dysregulating the cell cycle and inducing apoptosis. Cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) reveals that Q/D binds to the large mitoribosomal subunit, inhibiting mitochondrial protein synthesis and functionally dysregulating OXPHOS complexes. These data suggest that targeting mitochondrial translation could be explored to therapeutically suppress GSC growth in GBM and that Q/D could potentially be repurposed for cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS; cryo-EM; dalfopristin; drug repurposing; glioblastoma; glioblastoma stem cells; high-content screening; mitochondrial translation; mitoribosome; quinupristin
  12. Open Biol. 2021 Apr;11(4): 200362
      Oxidative phosphorylation is among the most conserved mitochondrial pathways. However, one of the cornerstones of this pathway, the multi-protein complex NADH : ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) has been lost multiple independent times in diverse eukaryotic lineages. The causes and consequences of these convergent losses remain poorly understood. Here, we used a comparative genomics approach to reconstruct evolutionary paths leading to complex I loss and infer possible evolutionary scenarios. By mining available mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, we identified eight independent events of mitochondrial complex I loss across eukaryotes, of which six occurred in fungal lineages. We focused on three recent loss events that affect closely related fungal species, and inferred genomic changes convergently associated with complex I loss. Based on these results, we predict novel complex I functional partners and relate the loss of complex I with the presence of increased mitochondrial antioxidants, higher fermentative capabilities, duplications of alternative dehydrogenases, loss of alternative oxidases and adaptation to antifungal compounds. To explain these findings, we hypothesize that a combination of previously acquired compensatory mechanisms and exposure to environmental triggers of oxidative stress (such as hypoxia and/or toxic chemicals) induced complex I loss in fungi.
    Keywords:  complex I; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; oxidative stress; phylogenomics; yeast