bims-cytox1 Biomed News
on Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1
Issue of 2021‒12‒12
seven papers selected by
Gavin McStay
Staffordshire University

  1. Hum Mutat. 2021 Dec 09.
    Keywords:  Leigh syndrome; NDUFA12; complex-I; mitochondrial; respiratory chain
  2. J Hazard Mater. 2022 Feb 15. pii: S0304-3894(21)02514-0. [Epub ahead of print]424(Pt B): 127546
      Thorium is a radioactive heavy metal and an emerging environmental pollutant. Ecological and human health risks from thorium exposure are growing with the excavation of rare earth metals and implementation of thorium-based nuclear reactors. Thorium poisoning is associated with carcinogenesis, liver impairments, and congenital anomalies. To date, the biomolecular targets that underlie thorium-induced toxicity remain unknown. Here, we used in vitro enzymatic activity assays to comprehensively evaluate the effects of thorium on the mitochondrial respiration process. Thorium was found to inhibit respiratory chain complex IV (cytochrome c oxidase) at sub-micromolar concentrations (IC50 ~ 0.4 μM, 90 μg/L). This is lower than the thorium level limit (246 μg/L) in drinking water specified by the World Health Organization. The inhibitory effects were further verified in mitochondria from human bone and liver cells (thorium mainly deposits in these organs). The inhibition of cytochrome c oxidase can readily rationalize well-documented cellular toxicities of thorium, such as alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential and production of reactive oxygen species. Therefore, cytochrome c oxidase is potentially a key molecular target underlying thorium-induced toxicological effect.
    Keywords:  CcO; Cytochrome c oxidase; Respiratory chain complex; Thorium; Toxicology
  3. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 797265
      Extensive metabolic remodeling is a fundamental feature of cancer cells. Although early reports attributed such remodeling to a loss of mitochondrial functions, it is now clear that mitochondria play central roles in cancer development and progression, from energy production to synthesis of macromolecules, from redox modulation to regulation of cell death. Biosynthetic pathways are also heavily affected by the metabolic rewiring, with protein synthesis dysregulation at the hearth of cellular transformation. Accumulating evidence in multiple organisms shows that the metabolic functions of mitochondria are tightly connected to protein synthesis, being assembly and activity of respiratory complexes highly dependent on de novo synthesis of their components. In turn, protein synthesis within the organelle is tightly connected with the cytosolic process. This implies an entire network of interactions and fine-tuned regulations that build up a completely under-estimated level of complexity. We are now only preliminarily beginning to reconstitute such regulatory level in human cells, and to perceive its role in diseases. Indeed, disruption or alterations of these connections trigger conditions of proteotoxic and energetic stress that could be potentially exploited for therapeutic purposes. In this review, we summarize the available literature on the coordinated regulation of mitochondrial and cytosolic mRNA translation, and their effects on the integrity of the mitochondrial proteome and functions. Finally, we highlight the potential held by this topic for future research directions and for the development of innovative therapeutic approaches.
    Keywords:  inter-organelle coordinated translation regulation; mitochondrial protein import; mitochondrial protein quality control (mtPQC); mitochondrial translation; protein synthesis
  4. Nat Commun. 2021 Dec 06. 12(1): 6997
      Pathological variants of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) typically co-exist with wild-type molecules, but the factors driving the selection of each are not understood. Because mitochondrial fitness does not favour the propagation of functional mtDNAs in disease states, we sought to create conditions where it would be advantageous. Glucose and glutamine consumption are increased in mtDNA dysfunction, and so we targeted the use of both in cells carrying the pathogenic m.3243A>G variant with 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2DG), or the related 5-thioglucose. Here, we show that both compounds selected wild-type over mutant mtDNA, restoring mtDNA expression and respiration. Mechanistically, 2DG selectively inhibits the replication of mutant mtDNA; and glutamine is the key target metabolite, as its withdrawal, too, suppresses mtDNA synthesis in mutant cells. Additionally, by restricting glucose utilization, 2DG supports functional mtDNAs, as glucose-fuelled respiration is critical for mtDNA replication in control cells, when glucose and glutamine are scarce. Hence, we demonstrate that mitochondrial fitness dictates metabolite preference for mtDNA replication; consequently, interventions that restrict metabolite availability can suppress pathological mtDNAs, by coupling mitochondrial fitness and replication.