bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2021‒01‒31
twenty-four papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto

  1. Bioact Mater. 2021 Jul;6(7): 2058-2069
      Mitochondrial damage is a critical driver in myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury and can be alleviated via the mitochondrial transplantation. The efficiency of mitochondrial transplantation is determined by mitochondrial vitality. Because aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) has a key role in regulating mitochondrial homeostasis, we aimed to investigate its potential therapeutic effects on mitochondrial transplantation via the use of ALDH2 activator, Alda-1. Our present study demonstrated that time-dependent internalization of exogenous mitochondria by cardiomyocytes along with ATP production were significantly increased in response to mitochondrial transplantation. Furthermore, Alda-1 treatment remarkably promoted the oxygen consumption rate and baseline mechanical function of cardiomyocytes caused by mitochondrial transplantation. Mitochondrial transplantation inhibited cardiomyocyte apoptosis induced by the hypoxia-reoxygenation exposure, independent of Alda-1 treatment. However, promotion of the mechanical function of cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia-reoxygenation treatment was only observed after mitochondrial Alda-1 treatment and transplantation. By using a myocardial I/R mouse model, our results revealed that transplantation of Alda-1-treated mitochondria into mouse myocardial tissues limited the infarction size after I/R injury, which was at least in part due to increased mitochondrial potential-mediated fusion. In conclusion, ALDH2 activation in mitochondrial transplantation shows great potential for the treatment of myocardial I/R injury.
    Keywords:  ALDH2 activation; Ischemia-reperfusion; Mitochondrial transfer; Myocardial injury
  2. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Jan 21. pii: S0891-5849(21)00051-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are responsible for life-long production of blood and immune cells. HSC transplantation (HSCT) is the original cell therapy which can cure hematological disorders but also has the potential to treat other diseases if technical and safety barriers are overcome. To maintain homeostatic hematopoiesis or to restore hematopoiesis during transplantation HSCs must perform both self-renewal, replication of themselves, and differentiation, generation of mature blood and immune cells. These are just two of the cell fate choices HSCs have; the transitional phases where HSCs undergo these cell fate decisions are regulated by reduction-oxidation (redox) signaling, mitochondrial activity, and cellular metabolism. Recent studies revealed that mitochondria, a key source of redox signaling components, are central to HSC cell fate decisions. Here we highlight how mitochondria serve as hubs in HSCs to manage redox signaling and metabolism and thus guide HSC fate choices. We focus on how mitochondrial activity is modulated by their clearance, biogenesis, dynamics, distribution, and quality control in HSCs. We also note how modulating mitochondria in HSCs can help overcome technical barriers limiting further use of HSCT.
    Keywords:  Aging; Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs); mitochondrial quality control; rejuvenation; transplantation
  3. Nat Immunol. 2021 Jan 28.
      Mitochondrial abnormalities have been noted in lupus, but the causes and consequences remain obscure. Autophagy-related genes ATG5, ATG7 and IRGM have been previously implicated in autoimmune disease. We reasoned that failure to clear defective mitochondria via mitophagy might be a foundational driver in autoimmunity by licensing mitochondrial DNA-dependent induction of type I interferon. Here, we show that mice lacking the GTPase IRGM1 (IRGM homolog) exhibited a type I interferonopathy with autoimmune features. Irgm1 deletion impaired the execution of mitophagy with cell-specific consequences. In fibroblasts, mitochondrial DNA soiling of the cytosol induced cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS)-stimulator of interferon genes (STING)-dependent type I interferon, whereas in macrophages, lysosomal Toll-like receptor 7 was activated. In vivo, Irgm1-/- tissues exhibited mosaic dependency upon nucleic acid receptors. Whereas salivary and lacrimal gland autoimmune pathology was abolished and lung pathology was attenuated by cGAS and STING deletion, pancreatic pathology remained unchanged. These findings reveal fundamental connections between mitochondrial quality control and tissue-selective autoimmune disease.
  4. J Biol Chem. 2020 Feb 07. pii: S0021-9258(17)49869-3. [Epub ahead of print]295(6): 1716-1726
      Budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) responds to low cytosolic iron by up-regulating the expression of iron import genes; iron import can reflect iron transport into the cytosol or mitochondria. Mmt1 and Mmt2 are nuclearly encoded mitochondrial proteins that export iron from the mitochondria into the cytosol. Here we report that MMT1 and MMT2 expression is transcriptionally regulated by two pathways: the low-iron-sensing transcription factor Aft1 and the oxidant-sensing transcription factor Yap1. We determined that MMT1 and MMT2 expression is increased under low-iron conditions and decreased when mitochondrial iron import is increased through overexpression of the high-affinity mitochondrial iron importer Mrs3. Moreover, loss of iron-sulfur cluster synthesis induced expression of MMT1 and MMT2. We show that exposure to the oxidant H2O2 induced MMT1 expression but not MMT2 expression and identified the transcription factor Yap1 as being involved in oxidant-mediated MMT1 expression. We defined Aft1- and Yap1-dependent transcriptional sites in the MMT1 promoter that are necessary for low-iron- or oxidant-mediated MMT1 expression. We also found that the MMT2 promoter contains domains that are important for regulating its expression under low-iron conditions, including an upstream region that appears to partially repress expression under low-iron conditions. Our findings reveal that MMT1 and MMT2 are induced under low-iron conditions and that the low-iron regulator Aft1 is required for this induction. We further uncover an Aft1-binding site in the MMT1 promoter sufficient for inducing MMT1 transcription and identify an MMT2 promoter region required for low iron induction.
    Keywords:  Aft1; Yap1; iron; iron–sulfur protein; metal homeostasis; mitochondria; transcription; transport metal
  5. Life (Basel). 2021 Jan 23. pii: 82. [Epub ahead of print]11(2):
      The major role of mitochondria is to provide cells with energy, but no less important are their roles in responding to various stress factors and the metabolic changes and pathological processes that might occur inside and outside the cells. The post-translational modification of proteins is a fast and efficient way for cells to adapt to ever changing conditions. Phosphorylation is a post-translational modification that signals these changes and propagates these signals throughout the whole cell, but it also changes the structure, function and interaction of individual proteins. In this review, we summarize the influence of kinases, the proteins responsible for phosphorylation, on mitochondrial biogenesis under various cellular conditions. We focus on their role in keeping mitochondria fully functional in healthy cells and also on the changes in mitochondrial structure and function that occur in pathological processes arising from the phosphorylation of mitochondrial proteins.
    Keywords:  disease; kinases; mitochondria; phosphorylation
  6. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 25. 11(1): 2157
      Bloom Syndrome (BS; OMIM #210900; ORPHA #125) is a rare genetic disorder that is associated with growth deficits, compromised immune system, insulin resistance, genome instability and extraordinary predisposition to cancer. Most efforts thus far have focused on understanding the role of the Bloom syndrome DNA helicase BLM as a recombination factor in maintaining genome stability and suppressing cancer. Here, we observed increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and DNA base damage in BLM-deficient cells, as well as oxidative-stress-dependent reduction in DNA replication speed. BLM-deficient cells exhibited increased mitochondrial mass, upregulation of mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), higher ATP levels and increased respiratory reserve capacity. Cyclin B1, which acts in complex with cyclin-dependent kinase CDK1 to regulate mitotic entry and associated mitochondrial fission by phosphorylating mitochondrial fission protein Drp1, fails to be fully degraded in BLM-deficient cells and shows unscheduled expression in G1 phase cells. This failure to degrade cyclin B1 is accompanied by increased levels and persistent activation of Drp1 throughout mitosis and into G1 phase as well as mitochondrial fragmentation. This study identifies mitochondria-associated abnormalities in Bloom syndrome patient-derived and BLM-knockout cells and we discuss how these abnormalities may contribute to Bloom syndrome.
  7. Autophagy. 2021 Jan 26. 1-26
      Macroautophagy/autophagy is an intracellular degradation process that delivers cytosolic materials and/or damaged organelles to lysosomes. De novo synthesis of the autophagosome membrane occurs within a phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate-rich region of the endoplasmic reticulum, and subsequent expansion is critical for cargo encapsulation. This process is complex, especially in mammals, with many regulatory factors. In this study, by utilizing PRKN (parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase)-mediated mitochondria autophagy (mitophagy)-inducing conditions in conjunction with chemical crosslinking and mass spectrometry, we identified human BCAS3 (BCAS3 microtubule associated cell migration factor) and C16orf70 (chromosome 16 open reading frame 70) as novel proteins that associate with the autophagosome formation site during both non-selective and selective autophagy. We demonstrate that BCAS3 and C16orf70 form a complex and that their association with the phagophore assembly site requires both proteins. In silico structural modeling, mutational analyses in cells and in vitro phosphoinositide-binding assays indicate that the WD40 repeat domain in human BCAS3 directly binds phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate. Furthermore, overexpression of the BCAS3-C16orf70 complex affects the recruitment of several core autophagy proteins to the phagophore assembly site. This study demonstrates regulatory roles for human BCAS3 and C16orf70 in autophagic activity.
    Keywords:  Mitophagy; parkin; phagophore; pink1; starvation; wd40
  8. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Jan 23. pii: S0891-5849(21)00055-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome(FXTAS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expansion of 55 to 200 CGG repeats located within 5'UTR of FMR1.These CGG repeats are transcribed into RNAs, which sequester several RNA binding proteins and alter the processing of miRNAs. CGG repeats are also translated into a toxic polyglycine-containing protein, FMRpolyG, that affects mitochondrial and nuclear functions reported in cell and animal models and patient studies. Nuclear-encoded small non-coding RNAs, including miRNAs, are transported to mitochondria; however, the role of mitochondrial miRNAs in FXTAS pathogenesis is not understood. Here, we analyzed mitochondrial miRNAs from HEK293 cells expressing expanded CGG repeats and their implication in the regulation of mitochondrial functions. The analysis of next generation sequencing (NGS) data of small RNAs from HEK293 cells expressing CGG premutation showed decreased level of cellular miRNAs and an altered pattern of association of miRNAs with mitochondria (mito-miRs). Among such mito-miRs, miR-320a was highly enriched in mitoplast and RNA immunoprecipitation of Ago2 (Argonaute-2) followed by Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR)suggested that miR-320a may form a complex with Ago2 and mitotranscripts. Finally, transfection of miR-320a mimic in cells expressing CGG permutation recovers mitochondrial functions and rescues cell death. Overall, this work reveals an altered translocation of miRNAs to mitochondria and the role of miR-320a in FXTAS pathology.
    Keywords:  Ago2; FXTAS; OXPHOS; cell death; miR-320a; mito-miRs; mitochondrial dysfunctions; mitotranscripts
  9. iScience. 2021 Jan 22. 24(1): 102029
      Loss of membrane potential of sperm mitochondria has been regarded as the first step preceding mitophagy degradation after their entry into the C. elegans oocyte at fertilization. This is in line with the classical view of mitophagy of defective or abnormal mitochondria and could serve as a recognition signal for their specific and quick autophagy degradation. Here, using TMRE (tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester) and live imaging we show that this is not the case. Instead, sperm inherited mitochondria show a stable labeling with TMRE before and at the time of autophagosomes formation. Interestingly, this labeling remains in late-stage-embryos of autophagy-defective-mutants suggesting that the loss of membrane potential occurs upon the entry of the mitochondria into the autophagy pathway. These stabilized and still polarized sperm mitochondria remain distinct but associated with the maternal-derived mitochondrial network suggesting a mechanism that prevents their fusion and represents an efficient additional protective system against fertilization-induced heteroplasmy.
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Reproductive Medicine
  10. Cells. 2021 Jan 20. pii: E199. [Epub ahead of print]10(2):
      Cyclophilin D (CypD) has been shown to play a critical role in mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening and the subsequent cell death cascade. Studies consistently demonstrate that mitochondrial dysfunction, including mitochondrial calcium overload and mPTP opening, is essential to the pathobiology of cell death after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). CypD inhibitors, such as cyclosporin A (CsA) or NIM811, administered following TBI, are neuroprotective and quell neurological deficits. However, some pharmacological inhibitors of CypD have multiple biological targets and, as such, do not directly implicate a role for CypD in arbitrating cell death after TBI. Here, we reviewed the current understanding of the role CypD plays in TBI pathobiology. Further, we directly assessed the role of CypD in mediating cell death following TBI by utilizing mice lacking the CypD encoding gene Ppif. Following controlled cortical impact (CCI), the genetic knockout of CypD protected acute mitochondrial bioenergetics at 6 h post-injury and reduced subacute cortical tissue and hippocampal cell loss at 18 d post-injury. The administration of CsA following experimental TBI in Ppif-/- mice improved cortical tissue sparing, highlighting the multiple cellular targets of CsA in the mitigation of TBI pathology. The loss of CypD appeared to desensitize the mitochondrial response to calcium burden induced by TBI; this maintenance of mitochondrial function underlies the observed neuroprotective effect of the CypD knockout. These studies highlight the importance of maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis after injury and validate CypD as a therapeutic target for TBI. Further, these results solidify the beneficial effects of CsA treatment following TBI.
    Keywords:  NIM811; Ppif; controlled cortical impact; cyclosporin a; mitochondria; mitochondrial bioenergetics; mitochondrial permeability transition; neuroprotection
  11. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2021 Jan 25.
      Nrf2 and HIF1αtranscription factors protect against ischemicacute kidney injury (AKI) by upregulating metabolic and cytoprotective gene expression. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that Nrf2 is required for HIF1α-mediated hypoxic responses using Nrf2-sufficient (WT) and Nrf2-deficient (Nrf2-/-) primary murine kidney tubular epithelial cells (RTECs) and human immortalized tubular epithelial cells (HK2 cells) with HIF1 inhibition and activation. HIF1 pathway inhibitor digoxin blocked hypoxia-stimulated HIF1α activation and heme oxygenase (HMOX1) expression in HK2 cells. Hypoxia mimicking CoCl2 stimulated HMOX1 expression was significantly lower in Nrf2-/- RTECs than in WT counterparts. Similarly, hypoxia-stimulated HIF1α-dependent metabolic gene expression was markedly impaired in Nrf2-/- RTECs. Nrf2 deficiency impaired hypoxia-induced HIF1α stabilization independent of increased prolyl 4-hydroxylase gene expression. We found decreased HIF1α mRNA levels in Nrf2-/- RTECs both in normoxia and hypoxia-reoxygenation conditions. In silico analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated Nrf2 binding to the HIF1α promoter in normoxia, but its binding decreased in hypoxia exposed HK2 cells. However, Nrf2 binding at the HIF1α promoter was enriched following reoxygenation demonstrating that Nrf2 maintains constitutive HIF1α expression. Consistent with this result, we found decreased levels of Nrf2 in hypoxia and that were restored following reoxygenation. Inhibition of mitochondrial complex I prevented hypoxia-induced Nrf2 downregulation and also increased basal Nrf2 levels. These results demonstrate a crucial role for Nrf2 in optimal HIF1α activation in hypoxia, that mitochondrial signaling downregulates Nrf2 levels in hypoxia whereas reoxygenation restores it. Nrf2 and HIF1α interact toprovide optimal metabolic and cytoprotective responses in ischemic AKI.
    Keywords:  Acute kidney injury; HIF1α; Nrf2; ischemic reperfusion; mitochondria
  12. PLoS Comput Biol. 2021 Jan 25. 17(1): e1008624
      Mitochondria are vital organelles inside the cell and contribute to intracellular calcium (Ca2+) dynamics directly and indirectly via calcium exchange, ATP generation, and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Arrhythmogenic Ca2+ alternans in cardiac myocytes has been observed in experiments under abnormal mitochondrial depolarization. However, complex signaling pathways and Ca2+ cycling between mitochondria and cytosol make it difficult in experiments to reveal the underlying mechanisms of Ca2+ alternans under abnormal mitochondrial depolarization. In this study, we use a newly developed spatiotemporal ventricular myocyte computer model that integrates mitochondrial Ca2+ cycling and complex signaling pathways to investigate the mechanisms of Ca2+ alternans during mitochondrial depolarization. We find that elevation of ROS in response to mitochondrial depolarization plays a critical role in promoting Ca2+ alternans. Further examination reveals that the redox effect of ROS on ryanodine receptors and sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase synergistically promote alternans. Upregulation of mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter promotes Ca2+ alternans via Ca2+-dependent mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening. Due to their relatively slow kinetics, oxidized Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II activation and ATP do not play significant roles acutely in the genesis of Ca2+ alternans after mitochondrial depolarization, but their roles can be significant in the long term, mainly through their effects on sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase activity. In conclusion, mitochondrial depolarization promotes Ca2+ alternans acutely via the redox effect of ROS and chronically by ATP reduction. It suppresses Ca2+ alternans chronically through oxidized Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II activation.
  13. Nat Commun. 2021 Jan 29. 12(1): 707
      Mitochondrial complex I is central to the pathological reactive oxygen species (ROS) production that underlies cardiac ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. ND6-P25L mice are homoplasmic for a disease-causing mtDNA point mutation encoding the P25L substitution in the ND6 subunit of complex I. The cryo-EM structure of ND6-P25L complex I revealed subtle structural changes that facilitate rapid conversion to the "deactive" state, usually formed only after prolonged inactivity. Despite its tendency to adopt the "deactive" state, the mutant complex is fully active for NADH oxidation, but cannot generate ROS by reverse electron transfer (RET). ND6-P25L mitochondria function normally, except for their lack of RET ROS production, and ND6-P25L mice are protected against cardiac IR injury in vivo. Thus, this single point mutation in complex I, which does not affect oxidative phosphorylation but renders the complex unable to catalyse RET, demonstrates the pathological role of ROS production by RET during IR injury.
  14. Inflammation. 2021 Jan 26.
      Propofol (PRO) protects against hepatic ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Bnip3 is involved in the I/R-induced injury. This study investigated whether the effect of PRO on hepatic hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) injury was realized through regulating Bnip3. After establishing a hepatic ischemia reperfusion (I/R ) injury model in mice, the serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were determined by an automatic biochemical analyzer. The histopathology and apoptosis of liver tissues were detected by hematoxylin-eosin and TUNEL staining. After the H/R liver cells were cultured and treated with PRO, the viability, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and the levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), malondialdehyde (MDA), TNF-α, and IL-6 were detected by MTT, flow cytometry, colorimetry, and ELISA. The expressions of Bnip3 and apoptosis-related factors in I/R mouse liver tissues and H/R cells were determined by immunohistochemical assay, immunofluorescence, Western blot, or RT-qPCR. PRO ameliorated the abnormal histopathology, reduced cell apoptosis and the levels of AST, ALT, Bnip3, Cleaved Caspase-3, and Bax, but upregulated the Bcl-2 level in the liver tissues of I/R mice. In H/R liver cells, PRO promoted the cell viability, downregulated the levels of LDH, MDA, TNF-α, IL-6, and reduced ROS production. Moreover, PRO promoted the downregulated expressions of cytosolic Bnip3, total Bni3p, Cleaved Caspase-3, and Bax and upregulated the Bcl-2 level. siBnip3 reversed the effect of H/R on the liver cells, and its overexpression also reversed the effect of PRO on H/R-induced liver cells. PRO protects against hepatic I/R injury via inhibiting Bnip3.
    Keywords:  Bnip3; hepatic injury; hypoxia/reoxygenation; ischemia/reperfusion; propofol
  15. Crit Care. 2021 01 25. 25(1): 36
      BACKGROUND: Sepsis is a life-threatening condition accompanied by organ dysfunction subsequent to a dysregulated host response to infection. Up to 60% of patients with sepsis develop acute kidney injury (AKI), which is associated with a poor clinical outcome. The pathophysiology of sepsis-associated AKI (sepsis-AKI) remains incompletely understood, but mitochondria have emerged as key players in the pathogenesis. Therefore, our aim was to identify mitochondrial damage in patients with sepsis-AKI.METHODS: We conducted a clinical laboratory study using "warm" postmortem biopsies from sepsis-associated AKI patients from a university teaching hospital. Biopsies were taken from adult patients (n = 14) who died of sepsis with AKI at the intensive care unit (ICU) and control patients (n = 12) undergoing tumor nephrectomy. To define the mechanisms of the mitochondrial contribution to the pathogenesis of sepsis-AKI, we explored mRNA and DNA expression of mitochondrial quality mechanism pathways, DNA oxidation and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) integrity in renal biopsies from sepsis-AKI patients and control subjects. Next, we induced human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 48 h to mimic sepsis and validate our results in vitro.
    RESULTS: Compared to control subjects, sepsis-AKI patients had upregulated mRNA expression of oxidative damage markers, excess mitochondrial DNA damage and lower mitochondrial mass. Sepsis-AKI patients had lower mRNA expression of mitochondrial quality markers TFAM, PINK1 and PARKIN, but not of MFN2 and DRP1. Oxidative DNA damage was present in the cytosol of tubular epithelial cells in the kidney of sepsis-AKI patients, whereas it was almost absent in biopsies from control subjects. Oxidative DNA damage co-localized with both the nuclei and mitochondria. Accordingly, HUVECs induced with LPS for 48 h showed an increased mnSOD expression, a decreased TFAM expression and higher mtDNA damage levels.
    CONCLUSION: Sepsis-AKI induces mitochondrial DNA damage in the human kidney, without upregulation of mitochondrial quality control mechanisms, which likely resulted in a reduction in mitochondrial mass.
    Keywords:  Acute kidney injury; Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; Sepsis
  16. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 624216
      Cardiac tissue requires a persistent production of energy in order to exert its pumping function. Therefore, the maintenance of this function relies on mitochondria that represent the "powerhouse" of all cardiac activities. Mitochondria being one of the key players for the proper functioning of the mammalian heart suggests continual regulation and organization. Mitochondria adapt to cellular energy demands via fusion-fission events and, as a proof-reading ability, undergo mitophagy in cases of abnormalities. Ca2+ fluxes play a pivotal role in regulating all mitochondrial functions, including ATP production, metabolism, oxidative stress balance and apoptosis. Communication between mitochondria and others organelles, especially the sarcoplasmic reticulum is required for optimal function. Consequently, abnormal mitochondrial activity results in decreased energy production leading to pathological conditions. In this review, we will describe how mitochondrial function or dysfunction impacts cardiac activities and the development of dilated cardiomyopathy.
    Keywords:  Ca ATPase (SERCA) 2+; calcium; cardiomyocytes; cardiomyopathies; heart function; mitochondria; organoids model; sarcoplasmic reticulum
  17. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jan 27. pii: 179. [Epub ahead of print]10(2):
      Mitochondria are the cellular powerhouses that generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to substantiate various biochemical activities. Instead of being a static intracellular structure, they are dynamic organelles that perform constant structural and functional remodeling in response to different metabolic stresses. In situations that require a high ATP supply, new mitochondria are assembled (mitochondrial biogenesis) or formed by fusing the existing mitochondria (mitochondrial fusion) to maximize the oxidative capacity. On the other hand, nutrient overload may produce detrimental metabolites such as reactive oxidative species (ROS) that wreck the organelle, leading to the split of damaged mitochondria (mitofission) for clearance (mitophagy). These vital processes are tightly regulated by a sophisticated quality control system involving energy sensing, intracellular membrane interaction, autophagy, and proteasomal degradation to optimize the number of healthy mitochondria. The effective mitochondrial surveillance is particularly important to skeletal muscle fitness because of its large tissue mass as well as its high metabolic activities for supporting the intensive myofiber contractility. Indeed, the failure of the mitochondrial quality control system in skeletal muscle is associated with diseases such as insulin resistance, aging, and muscle wasting. While the mitochondrial dynamics in cells are believed to be intrinsically controlled by the energy content and nutrient availability, other upstream regulators such as hormonal signals from distal organs or factors generated by the muscle itself may also play a critical role. It is now clear that skeletal muscle actively participates in systemic energy homeostasis via producing hundreds of myokines. Acting either as autocrine/paracrine or circulating hormones to crosstalk with other organs, these secretory myokines regulate a large number of physiological activities including insulin sensitivity, fuel utilization, cell differentiation, and appetite behavior. In this article, we will review the mechanism of myokines in mitochondrial quality control and ROS balance, and discuss their translational potential.
    Keywords:  ROS; aging; exercise; mitochondria; myokine
  18. Commun Biol. 2021 Jan 29. 4(1): 127
      Common fragile sites (CFSs) are genomic regions frequently involved in cancer-associated rearrangements. Most CFSs lie within large genes, and their instability involves transcription- and replication-dependent mechanisms. Here, we uncover a role for the mitochondrial stress response pathway in the regulation of CFS stability in human cells. We show that FANCD2, a master regulator of CFS stability, dampens the activation of the mitochondrial stress response and prevents mitochondrial dysfunction. Genetic or pharmacological activation of mitochondrial stress signaling induces CFS gene expression and concomitant relocalization to CFSs of FANCD2. FANCD2 attenuates CFS gene transcription and promotes CFS gene stability. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that the mitochondrial stress-dependent induction of CFS genes is mediated by ubiquitin-like protein 5 (UBL5), and that a UBL5-FANCD2 dependent axis regulates the mitochondrial UPR in human cells. We propose that FANCD2 coordinates nuclear and mitochondrial activities to prevent genome instability.
  19. Redox Biol. 2021 Jan 21. pii: S2213-2317(21)00018-5. [Epub ahead of print] 101870
      Cancer cells display abnormal metabolic activity as a result of activated oncogenes and loss of tumor suppressor genes. The Warburg Effect is a common metabolic feature of cancer that involves a preference for aerobic glycolysis over oxidative phosphorylation to generate ATP and building blocks for biosynthesis. However, emerging evidence indicates that mitochondrial metabolic pathways are also reprogrammed in cancer and play vital roles in bioenergetics, biosynthesis, and managing redox homeostasis. The mitochondria act a central hub for metabolic pathways that generate ATP and building blocks for lipid, nucleic acid and protein biosynthesis. However, mitochondrial respiration is also a leading source of reactive oxygen species that can damage cellular organelles and trigger cell death if levels become too high. In general, cancer cells are reported to have higher levels of reactive oxygen species than their non-cancerous cells of origin, and therefore must employ diverse metabolic strategies to prevent oxidative stress. However, mounting evidence indicates that the metabolic profiles between proliferative and disseminated cancer cells are not the same. In this review, we will examine mitochondrial metabolic pathways, such as glutaminolysis, that proliferative and disseminated cancer cells utilize to control their redox status.
    Keywords:  Cancer progression; Glutaminolysis; Mitochondria metabolism; Redox homeostasis
  20. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 28. 11(1): 2529
      Even though metformin is widely used to treat type2 diabetes, reducing glycaemia and body weight, the mechanisms of action are still elusive. Recent studies have identified the gastrointestinal tract as an important site of action. Here we used intestinal organoids to explore the effects of metformin on intestinal cell physiology. Bulk RNA-sequencing analysis identified changes in hexose metabolism pathways, particularly glycolytic genes. Metformin increased expression of Slc2a1 (GLUT1), decreased expression of Slc2a2 (GLUT2) and Slc5a1 (SGLT1) whilst increasing GLUT-dependent glucose uptake and glycolytic rate as observed by live cell imaging of genetically encoded metabolite sensors and measurement of oxygen consumption and extracellular acidification rates. Metformin caused mitochondrial dysfunction and metformin's effects on 2D-cultures were phenocopied by treatment with rotenone and antimycin-A, including upregulation of GDF15 expression, previously linked to metformin dependent weight loss. Gene expression changes elicited by metformin were replicated in 3D apical-out organoids and distal small intestines of metformin treated mice. We conclude that metformin affects glucose uptake, glycolysis and GDF-15 secretion, likely downstream of the observed mitochondrial dysfunction. This may explain the effects of metformin on intestinal glucose utilisation and food balance.
  21. Mitochondrion. 2021 Jan 20. pii: S1567-7249(21)00003-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ru360, a mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake inhibitor, was tested in a unilateral fluid percussion TBI model in developing rats (P31). Vehicle and Ru360 treated TBI rats underwent sensorimotor behavioral monitoring between 24 to 72 hours, thereafter which 185 brain metabolites were analyzed postmortem using LC/MS. Ru360 treatment after TBI improved sensorimotor behavioral recovery, upregulated glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathways, mitigated oxidative stress and prevented NAD+ depletion across both hemispheres. While neural viability improved ipsilaterally, it reduced contralaterally. Ru360 treatment, overall, had a global impact with most benefit near the strongest injury impact areas, while perturbing mitochondrial oxidative energetics in the milder TBI impact areas.
    Keywords:  Ru360; calcium uniporter; metabolomics; mitochondria; oxidative stress; traumatic brain injury
  22. J Biol Chem. 2020 Feb 07. pii: S0021-9258(17)49861-9. [Epub ahead of print]295(6): 1623-1636
      Permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane is a key step in the intrinsic apoptosis pathway, triggered by the release of mitochondrial intermembrane space proteins into the cytoplasm. The BCL-2-associated X apoptosis regulator (BAX) protein critically contributes to this process by forming pores in the mitochondrial outer membrane. However, the relative roles of the mitochondrial residence of BAX and its oligomerization in promoting membrane permeabilization are unclear. To this end, using both cell-free and cellular experimental systems, including membrane permeabilization, size-exclusion chromatography-based oligomer, and retrotranslocation assays, along with confocal microscopy analysis, here we studied two BAX C-terminal variants, T182I and G179P. Neither variant formed large oligomers when activated in liposomes. Nevertheless, the G179P variant could permeabilize liposome membranes, suggesting that large BAX oligomers are not essential for the permeabilization. However, when G179P was transduced into BAX/BCL2 agonist killer (BAK) double-knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts, its location was solely cytoplasmic, and it then failed to mediate cell death. In contrast, T182I was inefficient in both liposome insertion and permeabilization. Yet, when transduced into cells, BAXT182I resided predominantly on mitochondria, because of its slow retrotranslocation and mediated apoptosis as efficiently as WT BAX. We conclude that BAX's mitochondrial residence in vivo, regulated by both targeting and retrotranslocation, is more significant for its pro-apoptotic activity than its ability to insert and to form higher-order oligomers in model membranes. We propose that this finding should be taken into account when developing drugs that modulate BAX activity.
    Keywords:  Bax; anticancer drug; apoptosis; liposome; mitochondrial apoptosis; mitochondrial localization; mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP); molecular cell biology; protein oligomers; translocation
  23. PLoS Genet. 2021 Jan 25. 17(1): e1008711
      The rate of evolution differs between protein sites and changes with time. However, the link between these two phenomena remains poorly understood. Here, we design a phylogenetic approach for distinguishing pairs of amino acid sites that evolve concordantly, i.e., such that substitutions at one site trigger subsequent substitutions at the other; and also pairs of sites that evolve discordantly, so that substitutions at one site impede subsequent substitutions at the other. We distinguish groups of amino acid sites that undergo coordinated evolution and evolve discordantly from other such groups. In mitochondrion-encoded proteins of metazoans and fungi, we show that concordantly evolving sites are clustered in protein structures. By analysing the phylogenetic patterns of substitutions at concordantly and discordantly evolving site pairs, we find that concordant evolution has two distinct causes: epistatic interactions between amino acid substitutions and episodes of selection independently affecting substitutions at different sites. The rate of substitutions at concordantly evolving groups of protein sites changes in the course of evolution, indicating episodes of selection limited to some of the lineages. The phylogenetic positions of these changes are consistent between proteins, suggesting common selective forces underlying them.
  24. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Jan 20. pii: S0891-5849(21)00053-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      The heart is the most metabolically flexible organ with respect to the use of substrates available in different states of energy metabolism. Cardiac mitochondria sense substrate availability and ensure the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation and heart function. Mitochondria also play a critical role in cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury, during which they are directly involved in ROS-producing pathophysiological mechanisms. This review explores the mechanisms of ROS production within the energy metabolism pathways and focuses on the impact of different substrates. We describe the main metabolites accumulating during ischemia in the glucose, fatty acid, and Krebs cycle pathways. Hyperglycemia, often present in the acute stress condition of ischemia/reperfusion, increases cytosolic ROS concentrations through the activation of NADPH oxidase 2 and increases mitochondrial ROS through the metabolic overloading and decreased binding of hexokinase II to mitochondria. Fatty acid-linked ROS production is related to the increased fatty acid flux and corresponding accumulation of long-chain acylcarnitines. Succinate that accumulates during anoxia/ischemia is suggested to be the main source of ROS, and the role of itaconate as an inhibitor of succinate dehydrogenase is emerging. We discuss the strategies to modulate and counteract the accumulation of substrates that yield ROS and the therapeutic implications of this concept.
    Keywords:  Cardiac injury; Energy metabolism; Ischemia/reperfusion; Long-chain acylcarnitines; Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; Succinate