bims-mecmid Biomed News
on Membrane communication in mitochondrial dynamics
Issue of 2021‒09‒12
eleven papers selected by
Mauricio Cardenas Rodriguez
University of Padova

  1. Nat Metab. 2021 Sep 09.
      Mitochondria are the main site for generating reactive oxygen species, which are key players in diverse biological processes. However, the molecular pathways of redox signal transduction from the matrix to the cytosol are poorly defined. Here we report an inside-out redox signal of mitochondria. Cysteine oxidation of MIC60, an inner mitochondrial membrane protein, triggers the formation of disulfide bonds and the physical association of MIC60 with Miro, an outer mitochondrial membrane protein. The oxidative structural change of this membrane-crossing complex ultimately elicits cellular responses that delay mitophagy, impair cellular respiration and cause oxidative stress. Blocking the MIC60-Miro interaction or reducing either protein, genetically or pharmacologically, extends lifespan and health-span of healthy fruit flies, and benefits multiple models of Parkinson's disease and Friedreich's ataxia. Our discovery provides a molecular basis for common treatment strategies against oxidative stress.
  2. Autophagy. 2021 Sep 05. 1-3
      Among other mechanisms, mitochondrial membrane dynamics including mitochondrial fission and fusion, and the activity of the ubiquitin (Ub)-proteasome system (UPS) both are critical for maintaining mitochondrial function. To advance our knowledge of the role of mitochondrial fission, the UPS, and how they coordinatively affect mitochondrial response to proteotoxicity, we analyzed mitochondrial ubiquitination and mitochondria-specific autophagy (mitophagy) in E3 Ub ligase PRKN/parkin-expressing and -deficient cells. Through imaging, biochemical, and genetic analyses, we found that in a model of acute reduction of mitochondrial translation fidelity (MTF) some population of mitochondria within a single cell are enriched, while some showed reduced levels of CYCS (cytochrome c, somatic) and CPOX (coproporphyrinogen oxidase) proteins, both located in the intermembrane space (IMS); henceforth called "mosaic distribution". Formation of mosaic mitochondria requires mitochondrial fission and active mitochondrial translation. In cell lines deficient in PRKN activity, this process is followed by severing the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) and ubiquitination of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) proteins (including TRAP1 and CPOX), recruitment of autophagy receptors, and formation of mito-autophagosomes. In contrast, in PRKN-expressing cells, mitochondria with high CYCS and CPOX levels are preferentially targeted by PRKN, leading to OMM ubiquitination and canonical PRKN-PINK1-mediated autophagy.
    Keywords:  DRP1; Parkin; mitochondria; mitochondrial translation; mitophagy; ubiquitin
  3. Livers. 2021 ;1(3): 102-115
      Mitochondria have been studied for decades from the standpoint of metabolism and ATP generation. However, in recent years mitochondrial dynamics and its influence on bioenergetics and cellular homeostasis is also being appreciated. Mitochondria undergo regular cycles of fusion and fission regulated by various cues including cellular energy requirements and pathophysiological stimuli, and the network of critical proteins and membrane lipids involved in mitochondrial dynamics is being revealed. Hepatocytes are highly metabolic cells which have abundant mitochondria suggesting a biologically relevant role for mitochondrial dynamics in hepatocyte injury and recovery. Here we review information on molecular mediators of mitochondrial dynamics and their alteration in drug-induced liver injury. Based on current information, it is evident that changes in mitochondrial fusion and fission are hallmarks of liver pathophysiology ranging from acetaminophen-induced or cholestatic liver injury to chronic liver diseases. These alterations in mitochondrial dynamics influence multiple related mitochondrial responses such as mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis, which are important adaptive responses facilitating liver recovery in several contexts, including drug-induced liver injury. The current focus on characterization of molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial dynamics is of immense relevance to liver pathophysiology and have the potential to provide significant insight into mechanisms of liver recovery and regeneration after injury.
    Keywords:  acetaminophen; drug-induced liver injury; fission; fusion; mitochondrial dynamics
  4. Virulence. 2021 Dec;12(1): 2273-2284
      Remodeling of mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondrial morphology plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis in response to pathogenic attacks or stress stimuli. In addition to their role in metabolism and energy production, mitochondria participate in diverse biological functions, including innate immune responses driven by macrophages in response to infections or inflammatory stimuli. Mitofusin-2 (MFN2), a mitochondria-shaping protein regulating mitochondrial fusion and fission, plays a crucial role in linking mitochondrial function and innate immune responses. In this article, we review the role of MFN2 in the regulation of innate immune responses during viral and bacterial infections. We also summarize the current knowledge on the role of MFN2 in coordinating inflammatory, atherogenic, and fibrotic responses. MFN2-mediated crosstalk between mitochondrial dynamics and innate immune responses may determine the outcomes of pathogenic infections.
    Keywords:  Mitofusin-2; infections; innate immunity; mitochondrial dynamics
  5. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 14. pii: e2025834118. [Epub ahead of print]118(37):
      Regulation of apoptosis is tightly linked with the targeting of numerous Bcl-2 proteins to the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM), where their activation or inhibition dictates cell death or survival. According to the traditional view of apoptotic regulation, BH3-effector proteins are indispensable for the cytosol-to-MOM targeting and activation of proapoptotic and antiapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 protein family. This view is challenged by recent studies showing that these processes can occur in cells lacking BH3 effectors by as yet to be determined mechanism(s). Here, we exploit a model membrane system that recapitulates key features of MOM to demonstrate that the proapoptotic Bcl-2 protein BAX and antiapoptotic Bcl-xL have an inherent ability to interact with membranes in the absence of BH3 effectors, but only in the presence of cellular concentrations of Mg2+/Ca2+ Under these conditions, BAX and Bcl-xL are selectively targeted to membranes, refolded, and activated in the presence of anionic lipids especially the mitochondrial-specific lipid cardiolipin. These results provide a mechanistic explanation for the mitochondrial targeting and activation of Bcl-2 proteins in cells lacking BH3 effectors. At cytosolic Mg2+ levels, the BH3-independent activation of BAX could provide localized amplification of apoptotic signaling at regions enriched in cardiolipin (e.g., contact sites between MOM and mitochondrial inner membrane). Increases in MOM cardiolipin, as well as cytosolic [Ca2+] during apoptosis could further contribute to its MOM targeting and activity. Meanwhile, the BH3-independent targeting and activation of Bcl-xL to the MOM is expected to counter the action of proapoptotic BAX, thereby preventing premature commitment to apoptosis.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; divalent cations; membrane protein folding; mitochondria permeabilization; protein–lipid interactions
  6. J Hazard Mater. 2021 Aug 15. pii: S0304-3894(21)01141-9. [Epub ahead of print]416 126177
      Previous study showed that lead (Pb) could induce ATM-dependent mitophagy. However, whether Pb has any impact on mitochondrial fusion and fission, the upstream events of mitophagy, and how ATM connects to these processes remain unclear. In this study, we found that Pb can disrupt mitochondrial network morphology as indicated by increased percentage of shortened mitochondria and by decreased mitochondrial footprints. Correspondingly, the expression of fission protein Drp1 and its association with mitochondrial marker Hsp60 were significantly increased, while those of fusion proteins Mfn2 and Opa1 and their co-localization with Hsp60 were drastically attenuated. Notably, the expression of p-Drp1 (Ser616) and its translocation to mitochondria were dramatically elevated. Moreover, a small amount of ATM could be detected in the cytoplasm around mitochondria in response to Pb, and the co-localization of p-ATM (Ser1981) with Drp1 and p-Drp1 (Ser616) was obviously increased while its co-localization with Mfn2 and Opa1 was dramatically decreased. Furthermore, siRNA silencing of ATM evidently promoted greater fission in response to Pb stress, indicating that ATM is involved in mitochondrial fragmentation. Our results suggest that cytoplasmic ATM is an important regulator of Pb-induced mitochondrial fission.
    Keywords:  ATM; Lead (Pb); Mitochondrial fission; Mitochondrial fusion
  7. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2021 Sep 03. 25 416-443
      Pathological cardiac hypertrophy begins as an adaptive response to increased workload; however, sustained hemodynamic stress will lead it to maladaptation and eventually cardiac failure. Mitochondria, being the powerhouse of the cells, can regulate cardiac hypertrophy in both adaptive and maladaptive phases; they are dynamic organelles that can adjust their number, size, and shape through a process called mitochondrial dynamics. Recently, several studies indicate that promoting mitochondrial fusion along with preventing mitochondrial fission could improve cardiac function during cardiac hypertrophy and avert its progression toward heart failure. However, some studies also indicate that either hyperfusion or hypo-fission could induce apoptosis and cardiac dysfunction. In this review, we summarize the recent knowledge regarding the effects of mitochondrial dynamics on the development and progression of cardiac hypertrophy with particular emphasis on the regulatory role of mitochondrial dynamics proteins through the genetic, epigenetic, and post-translational mechanisms, followed by discussing the novel therapeutic strategies targeting mitochondrial dynamic pathways.
    Keywords:  cardiac hypertrophy; mitochondrial dynamics; molecular mechanism; recent advances; therapeutic potential
  8. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Sep 04. pii: 4457. [Epub ahead of print]13(17):
      The voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3 is a potential therapeutic target for obesity and diabetes. The genetic ablation and pharmacological inhibition of Kv1.3 lead to a lean phenotype in rodents. The mechanism of regulation of body weight and energy homeostasis involves Kv1.3 expression in different organs, including white and brown adipose tissues. Here, we show that Kv1.3 promotes the proliferation of preadipocytes through the control of mitochondrial dynamics. Kv1.3 is expressed in mitochondria exhibiting high affinity for the perinuclear population. The mitochondrial network is highly dynamic during the cell cycle, showing continuous fusion-fission events. The formation of a hyperfused mitochondrial network at the G1/S phase of the cell cycle is dependent on Kv1.3 expression. Our results demonstrate that Kv1.3 promotes preadipocyte proliferation and differentiation by controlling mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial dynamics at the G1 phase of the cell cycle.
    Keywords:  adipocytes; fusion/fission; mitochondria; potassium channels; proliferation
  9. Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 06. 11(1): 17705
      Mortalin is a mitochondrial chaperone protein involved in quality control of proteins imported into the mitochondrial matrix, which was recently described as a sensor of neuronal stress. Mortalin is down-regulated in neurons of patients with neurodegenerative diseases and levels of Mortalin expression are correlated with neuronal fate in animal models of Alzheimer's disease or cerebral ischemia. To date, however, the links between Mortalin levels, its impact on mitochondrial function and morphology and, ultimately, the initiation of neurodegeneration, are still unclear. In the present study, we used lentiviral vectors to over- or under-express Mortalin in primary neuronal cultures. We first analyzed the early events of neurodegeneration in the axonal compartment, using oriented neuronal cultures grown in microfluidic-based devices. We observed that Mortalin down-regulation induced mitochondrial fragmentation and axonal damage, whereas its over-expression conferred protection against axonal degeneration mediated by rotenone exposure. We next demonstrated that Mortalin levels modulated mitochondrial morphology by acting on DRP1 phosphorylation, thereby further illustrating the crucial implication of mitochondrial dynamics on neuronal fate in degenerative diseases.
  10. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 30. pii: 9388. [Epub ahead of print]22(17):
      The anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-xL regulates apoptosis by preventing the permeation of the mitochondrial outer membrane by pro-apoptotic pore-forming proteins, which release apoptotic factors into the cytosol that ultimately lead to cell death. Two different membrane-integrated Bcl-xL constructs have been identified: a membrane-anchored and a membrane-inserted conformation. Here, we use molecular dynamics simulations to study the effect of the mitochondrial specific lipid cardiolipin and the protein protonation state on the conformational dynamics of membrane-anchored Bcl-xL. The analysis reveals that the protonation state of the protein and cardiolipin content of the membrane modulate the orientation of the soluble head region (helices α1 through α7) and hence the exposure of its BH3-binding groove, which is required for its interaction with pro-apoptotic proteins.
    Keywords:  BCL-2 proteins; BH3-binding site; Bcl-xL; apoptotic regulation; cardiolipin; molecular dynamics simulations; protein–membrane interactions
  11. Nano Lett. 2021 Sep 07.
      Many biological processes employ mechanisms involving the locations and interactions of multiple components. Given that most biological processes occur in three dimensions, the simultaneous measurement of three-dimensional locations and interactions is necessary. However, the simultaneous three-dimensional precise localization and measurement of interactions in real time remains challenging. Here, we report a new microscopy technique to localize two spectrally distinct particles in three dimensions with an accuracy (2.35σ) of tens of nanometers with an exposure time of 100 ms and to measure their real-time interactions using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) simultaneously. Using this microscope, we tracked two distinct vesicles containing t-SNAREs or v-SNARE in three dimensions and observed FRET simultaneously during single-vesicle fusion in real time, revealing the nanoscale motion and interactions of single vesicles in vesicle fusion. Thus, this study demonstrates that our microscope can provide detailed information about real-time three-dimensional nanoscale locations, motion, and interactions in biological processes.
    Keywords:  FRET; nanometric precision; single-particle tracking; three-dimensional localization; vesicle fusion