bims-mecosi Biomed News
on Membrane contact sites
Issue of 2021‒09‒12
eleven papers selected by
Verena Kohler
Stockholm University

  1. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 09. 12(1): 5354
      Mitochondrial division is not an autonomous event but involves multiple organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and lysosomes. Whereas the ER drives the constriction of mitochondrial membranes, the role of lysosomes in mitochondrial division is not known. Here, using super-resolution live-cell imaging, we investigate the recruitment of lysosomes to the site of mitochondrial division. We find that the ER recruits lysosomes to the site of division through the interaction of VAMP-associated proteins (VAPs) with the lysosomal lipid transfer protein ORP1L to induce a three-way contact between the ER, lysosome, and the mitochondrion. We also show that ORP1L might transport phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI(4)P) from lysosomes to mitochondria, as inhibiting its transfer or depleting PI(4)P at the mitochondrial division site impairs fission, demonstrating a direct role for PI(4)P in the division process. Our findings support a model where the ER recruits lysosomes to act in concert at the fission site for the efficient division of mitochondria.
  2. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 06. pii: 9655. [Epub ahead of print]22(17):
      Most mitochondrial proteins are synthesized in the cytosol and targeted to the mitochondrial surface in a post-translational manner. The surface of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays an active role in this targeting reaction. ER-associated chaperones interact with certain mitochondrial membrane protein precursors and transfer them onto receptor proteins of the mitochondrial surface in a process termed ER-SURF. ATP-driven proteins in the membranes of mitochondria (Msp1, ATAD1) and the ER (Spf1, P5A-ATPase) serve as extractors for the removal of mislocalized proteins. If the re-routing to mitochondria fails, precursors can be degraded by ER or mitochondria-associated degradation (ERAD or MAD respectively) in a proteasome-mediated reaction. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the cooperation of the ER and mitochondria in the targeting and quality control of mitochondrial precursor proteins.
    Keywords:  ER-SURF; chaperones; contact sites; endoplasmic reticulum; membrane extraction; mitochondria; protein targeting
  3. Eur J Transl Myol. 2021 Aug 31.
      The inositol-3-phosphate receptors (IP3Rs) of cerebellar Purkinje cells are located in abundant, large stacks of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) cisternae. Using thin section electron microscopy, we identify very frequent associations of the ER stacks with mitochondria. The associations have two components: a single, close ER-mitochondria contact on one side to the stack, and multiple layers of ER cisternae decorated by IP3Rs receptors on the side away from the mitochondria. Due to their location in the stacks, IP3Rs are never in contact with the mitochondria, although they are in their vicinity. We conclude that transfer of Ca2+ between ER and mitochondria is not directly mediated by IP3Rs, but is based on mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake from the local cytoplasmic spikes during IP3Rs' activity.
  4. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 721546
    Keywords:  membrane contact remodeling; membrane contact sites; membrane-cytoskeleton interactions; non-vesicular lipid transport; organelle dynamics
  5. Neuroscience. 2021 Sep 07. pii: S0306-4522(21)00444-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Among the hypomyelinating leukodystrophies, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is a representative disorder. The disease is caused by different types of PLP1 mutations, among which PLP1 duplication accounts for ∼70% of the mutations. Previous studies have shown that PLP1 duplications lead to PLP1 retention in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER); in parallel , recent studies have demonstrated that PLP1 duplication can also lead to mitochondrial dysfunction. As such, the respective roles and interactions of the ER and mitochondria in the pathogenesis of PLP1 duplication are not clear. In both PLP1 patients' and healthy fibroblasts , we measured mitochondrial respiration with a Seahorse XF Extracellular Analyzer and examined the interactions between the ER and mitochondria with super-resolution microscopy (spinning-disc pinhole-based structured illumination microscopy, SD-SIM). For the first time, we demonstrated that PLP1 duplication mutants had closer ER-mitochondrion interfaces mediated through structural and morphological changes in both the ER and mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs). These changes in both the ER and mitochondria then led to mitochondrial dysfunction , as reported previously. This work highlights the roles of MAMs in bridging PLP1 expression in the ER and pathogenic dysfunction in mitochondria, providing novel insight into the pathogenicity of mitochondrial dysfunction resulting from PLP1 duplication. These findings suggest that interactions between the ER and mitochondria may underlie pathogenic mechanisms of hypomyelinating leukodystrophies diseases at the organelle level.
    Keywords:  ER and mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs); Endoplasmic reticulum (ER); PLP1 duplication; Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease; mitochondria
  6. J Biol Chem. 2021 Sep 02. pii: S0021-9258(21)00966-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101164
      Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of eukaryotic cells; however, they perform many other functions besides oxidative phosphorylation, including Ca2+ homeostasis, lipid metabolism, anti-viral response, and apoptosis. Although other hypotheses exist, mitochondria are generally thought as descendants of an α-proteobacteria that adapted to the intracellular environment within an Asgard archeobacteria, that have been studied for decades as an organelle subdued by the eukaryotic cell. Nevertheless, several early electron microscopy observations hinted that some mitochondria establish specific interactions with certain plasma membrane (PM) domains in mammalian cells. Furthermore, recent findings have documented the direct physical and functional interaction of mitochondria and the PM, the organization of distinct complexes, and their communication through vesicular means. In yeast, some molecular players mediating this interaction have been elucidated, but only a few works have studied this interaction in mammalian cells. In addition, mitochondria can be translocated among cells through tunneling nanotubes or by other mechanisms, and free, intact, functional mitochondria have been reported in the blood plasma. Together, these findings challenge the conception of mitochondria as organelles subdued by the eukaryotic cell. This review discusses the evidence of the mitochondria interaction with the PM that has been long disregarded, despite its importance in cell function, pathogenesis, and evolution. It also proposes a scheme of mitochondria-PM interactions with the intent to promote research and knowledge of this emerging pathway that promises to shift the current paradigms of cell biology.
    Keywords:  caveolae; cell metabolism; evolution; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondria metabolism; organelle; organelle interactions; plasma membrane; tunneling nanotubes
  7. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 724470
      Cardiac fibrosis is evident even in the situation without a significant cardiomyocyte loss in diabetic cardiomyopathy and a high glucose (HG) level independently activates the cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) and promotes cell proliferation. Mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis, which are key for cell proliferation and the mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs), are critically involved in this process. However, the roles and the underlying mechanism of MAMs in the proliferation of HG-induced CFs are largely unknown. The proliferation and apoptosis of CFs responding to HG treatment were evaluated. The MAMs were quantified, and the mitochondrial respiration and cellular glycolytic levels were determined using the Seahorse XF analyzer. The changes of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and mitofusin-2 (MFN2) in responding to HG were also determined, the effects of which on cell proliferation, MAMs, and mitochondrial respiration were assessed. The effects of STAT3 on MFN2 transcription was determined by the dual-luciferase reporter assay (DLRA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (CHIP). HG-induced CFs proliferation increased the glycolytic levels and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, while mitochondrial respiration was inhibited. The MAMs and MFN2 expressions were significantly reduced on the HG treatment, and the restoration of MFN2 expression counteracted the effects of HG on cell proliferation, mitochondrial respiration of the MAMs, glycolytic levels, and ATP production. The mitochondrial STAT3 contents were not changed by HG, but the levels of phosphorylated STAT3 and nuclear STAT3 were increased. The inhibition of STAT3 reversed the reduction of MFN2 levels induced by HG. The DLRA and CHIP directly demonstrated the negative regulation of MFN2 by STAT3 at the transcription levels via interacting with the sequences in the MFN2 promoter region locating at about -400 bp counting from the start site of transcription. The present study demonstrated that the HG independently induced CFs proliferation via promoting STAT3 translocation to the nucleus, which switched the mitochondrial respiration to glycolysis to produce ATP by inhibiting MAMs in an MFN2-depression manner.
    Keywords:  cell proliferation; glycolysis; mitochondria-associated membranes; mitofusin-2; signal transducer and activator of transcription 3
  8. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 724828
      Mitochondria critically regulate a range of cellular processes including bioenergetics, cellular metabolism, apoptosis, and cellular Ca2+ signaling. The voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) functions as a passageway for the exchange of ions, including Ca2+, across the outer mitochondrial membrane. In cardiomyocytes, genetic or pharmacological activation of isoform 2 of VDAC (VDAC2) effectively potentiates mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake and suppresses Ca2+ overload-induced arrhythmogenic events. However, molecular mechanisms by which VDAC2 controls mitochondrial Ca2+ transport and thereby influences cardiac rhythmicity remain elusive. Vertebrates express three highly homologous VDAC isoforms. Here, we used the zebrafish tremblor/ncx1h mutant to dissect the isoform-specific roles of VDAC proteins in Ca2+ handling. We found that overexpression of VDAC1 or VDAC2, but not VDAC3, suppresses the fibrillation-like phenotype in zebrafish tremblor/ncx1h mutants. A chimeric approach showed that moieties in the N-terminal half of VDAC are responsible for their divergent functions in cardiac biology. Phylogenetic analysis further revealed that a glutamate at position 73, which was previously described to be an important regulator of VDAC function, is sevolutionarily conserved in VDAC1 and VDAC2, whereas a glutamine occupies position 73 (Q73) of VDAC3. To investigate whether E73/Q73 determines VDAC isoform-specific anti-arrhythmic effect, we mutated E73 to Q in VDAC2 (VDAC2E73Q) and Q73 to E in VDAC3 (VDAC3Q73E). Interestingly, VDAC2E73Q failed to restore rhythmic cardiac contractions in ncx1 deficient hearts, while the Q73E conversion induced a gain of function in VDAC3. In HL-1 cardiomyocytes, VDAC2 knockdown diminished the transfer of Ca2+ from the SR into mitochondria and overexpression of VDAC2 or VDAC3Q73E restored SR-mitochondrial Ca2+ transfer in VDAC2 deficient HL-1 cells, whereas this rescue effect was absent for VDAC3 and drastically compromised for VDAC2E73Q. Collectively, our findings demonstrate a critical role for the evolutionary conserved E73 in determining the anti-arrhythmic effect of VDAC isoforms through modulating Ca2+ cross-talk between the SR and mitochondria in cardiomyocytes.
    Keywords:  calcium; cardiac rhythmicity; mitochondria; voltage-dependent anion channel; zebrafish
  9. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2021 Sep 09.
      Voltage-dependent anion channels (VDACs) of the outer mitochondrial membrane are known conventionally as metabolite flux proteins. However, research findings in the past decade have revealed the multifaceted regulatory roles of VDACs, from governing cellular physiology and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis to directly regulating debilitating cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. VDACs achieve these diverse functions by establishing isoform-dependent stereospecific interactomes in the cell with the cytosolic constituents and endoplasmic reticulum complexes, and the machinery of the mitochondrial compartments. VDACs are now increasingly recognized as regulatory hubs of the cell. Not surprisingly, even the transient misregulation of VDACs results directly in mitochondrial dysfunction. Additionally, human VDACs are now implicated in interaction with aggregation-prone cytosolic proteins, including Aβ, tau, and α-synuclein, contributing directly to the onset of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Deducing the interaction dynamics and mechanisms can lead to VDAC-targeted peptide-based therapeutics that can alleviate neurodegenerative states. This review succinctly presents the latest findings of the VDAC interactome, and the mode(s) of VDAC-dependent regulation of biochemical physiology. We also discuss the relevance of VDACs in pathophysiological states and aggregation-associated diseases and address how VDACs will facilitate the development of next-generation precision medicines.
    Keywords:  VDAC; human mitochondrial protein; interaction network; membrane channel; mitochondrial diseases; neurodegeneration; α-synuclein
  10. 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