bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2021‒02‒21
twenty-four papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto

  1. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2021 Feb 16.
      Mitochondria are cellular organelles responsible for generation of chemical energy in the process called oxidative phosphorylation. They originate from a bacterial ancestor and maintain their own genome, which is expressed by designated, mitochondrial transcription and translation machineries that differ from those operating for nuclear gene expression. In particular, the mitochondrial protein synthesis machinery is structurally and functionally very different from that governing eukaryotic, cytosolic translation. Despite harbouring their own genetic information, mitochondria are far from being independent of the rest of the cell and, conversely, cellular fitness is closely linked to mitochondrial function. Mitochondria depend heavily on the import of nuclear-encoded proteins for gene expression and function, and hence engage in extensive inter-compartmental crosstalk to regulate their proteome. This connectivity allows mitochondria to adapt to changes in cellular conditions and also mediates responses to stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. With a focus on mammals and yeast, we review fundamental insights that have been made into the biogenesis, architecture and mechanisms of the mitochondrial translation apparatus in the past years owing to the emergence of numerous near-atomic structures and a considerable amount of biochemical work. Moreover, we discuss how cellular mitochondrial protein expression is regulated, including aspects of mRNA and tRNA maturation and stability, roles of auxiliary factors, such as translation regulators, that adapt mitochondrial translation rates, and the importance of inter-compartmental crosstalk with nuclear gene expression and cytosolic translation and how it enables integration of mitochondrial translation into the cellular context.
  2. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 623381
      Ca2+ plays a pivotal role in mitochondrial energy production, contraction, and apoptosis. Mitochondrial Ca2+-targeted fluorescent probes have demonstrated that mitochondria Ca2+ transients are synchronized with Ca2+ fluxes occurring in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). The presence of specialized proteins tethering SR to mitochondria ensures the local Ca2+ flux between these organelles. Furthermore, communication between SR and mitochondria impacts their functionality in a bidirectional manner. Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake through the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniplex is essential for ATP production and controlled reactive oxygen species levels for proper cellular signaling. Conversely, mitochondrial ATP ensures the proper functioning of SR Ca2+-handling proteins, which ensures that mitochondria receive an adequate supply of Ca2+. Recent evidence suggests that altered SR Ca2+ proteins, such as ryanodine receptors and the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase pump, play an important role in maintaining proper cardiac membrane excitability, which may be initiated and potentiated when mitochondria are dysfunctional. This recognized mitochondrial role offers the opportunity to develop new therapeutic approaches aimed at preventing cardiac arrhythmias in cardiac disease.
    Keywords:  arrhythmia; calcium; heart failure; ischemia/reperfusion injury; mitochondria; sarcoplasmic reticulum
  3. Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2021 Feb 16. pii: S0304-4165(21)00033-7. [Epub ahead of print] 129874
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondria, which play a critical role in energy production by oxidative respiration, are highly dynamic organelles and their double membranes undergo frequent cycles of fusion and fission. Mitochondria are believed to be derived from the endosymbiosis of proteobacteria, and thus mitochondria still contain their own DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Recently, the morphology and distribution of the mitochondrial membrane and mtDNA were reported to be cooperatively regulated during their dynamic movement. However, the molecular mechanism is unclear, because the involved molecules are poorly understood, and suitable techniques to analyze nucleoids have not been fully developed.RESULTS: To solve these problems, we examined the molecular mechanism of nucleoid dynamics by two approaches. First, we constructed a new probe to perform live imaging of nucleoid dynamics using the DNA-binding domain of transcription factor A of mitochondria (TFAM) and the photo-convertible fluorescent protein Kikume Green-Red (KikGR). Nucleoids were visualized stably for a long period of time using the new probe. Second, we searched for nucleoid regulation factors by small interfering RNA screening using HeLa cells, and identified a subset of MARCH family ubiquitin ligases that affect nucleoid morphology.
    CONCLUSION: The factors and probe reported in this study should be useful to reveal novel mechanisms of mitochondrial regulation.
    GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: The mtDNA dynamics should be concerned in the regulation of mitochondrial activity and quality control, concomitant with mitochondrial membrane dynamics.
    Keywords:  Live imaging; Mitochondrial fission; Mitochondrial fusion; Mitochondrial nucleoids; mtDNA dynamics; mtDNA probe
  4. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2021 Feb 13. pii: S0005-2728(21)00032-3. [Epub ahead of print] 148399
      Many cellular processes involve the participation of large macromolecular assemblies. Understanding their function requires methods allowing to study their dynamic and mechanistic properties. Here we present a method for quantitative analysis of native protein or ribonucleoprotein complexes by mass spectrometry following their separation by density - qDGMS. Mass spectrometric quantitation is enabled through stable isotope labelling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC). We provide a complete guide, from experimental design to preparation of publication-ready figures, using a purposely-developed R package - ComPrAn. As specific examples, we present the use of sucrose density gradients to inspect the assembly and dynamics of the human mitochondrial ribosome (mitoribosome), its interacting proteins, the small subunit of the cytoplasmic ribosome, cytoplasmic aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase complex and the mitochondrial PDH complex. ComPrAn provides tools for analysis of peptide-level data as well as normalization and clustering tools for protein-level data, dedicated visualization functions and graphical user interface. Although, it has been developed for the analysis of qDGMS samples, it can also be used for other proteomics experiments that involve 2-state labelled samples separated into fractions. We show that qDGMS and ComPrAn can be used to study macromolecular complexes in their native state, accounting for the dynamics inherent to biological systems and benefiting from its proteome-wide quantitative and qualitative capability.
    Keywords:  Complexome profiling; Density gradient ultracentrifugation; Mitochondrial ribosome; Proteomics; R package; SILAC
  5. EMBO Rep. 2021 Feb 15. e51635
      Mitochondria possess a small genome that codes for core subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation system and whose expression is essential for energy production. Information on the regulation and spatial organization of mitochondrial gene expression in the cellular context has been difficult to obtain. Here we devise an imaging approach to analyze mitochondrial translation within the context of single cells, by following the incorporation of clickable non-canonical amino acids. We apply this method to multiple cell types, including specialized cells such as cardiomyocytes and neurons, and monitor with spatial resolution mitochondrial translation in axons and dendrites. We also show that translation imaging allows to monitor mitochondrial protein expression in patient fibroblasts. Approaching mitochondrial translation with click chemistry opens new avenues to understand how mitochondrial biogenesis is integrated into the cellular context and can be used to assess mitochondrial gene expression in mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  gene expression; hippocampal neuron; mitochondria; synapse; translation
  6. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 ;2021 8865762
      Myocardial injury after cardiac arrest (CA) often results in severe myocardial dysfunction and death involving mitochondrial dysfunction. Here, we sought to investigate whether baicalin, a natural flavonoid compound, exerts cardioprotection against CA-induced injury via regulating mitochondrial dysfunction. We subjected the rats to asphyxia CA after a daily baicalin treatment for 4 weeks. After the return of spontaneous circulation, baicalin treatment significantly improved cardiac function performance, elevated survival rate from 35% to 75%, prevented necrosis and apoptosis in the myocardium, which was accompanied by reduced phosphorylation of Drp1 at serine 616, inhibited Drp1 translocation to the mitochondria and mitochondrial fission, and improved mitochondrial function. In H9c2 cells subjected to simulated ischemia/reperfusion, increased phosphorylation of Drp1 at serine 616 and subsequently enhanced mitochondrial Drp1 translocation as well as mitochondrial fission, augmented cardiomyocyte death, increased reactive oxygen species production, released cytochrome c from mitochondria and injured mitochondrial respiration were efficiently improved by baicalin and Drp1 specific inhibitor with Mdivi-1. Furthermore, overexpression of Drp1 augmented excessive mitochondrial fission and abolished baicalin-afforded cardioprotection, indicating that the protective impacts of baicalin are linked to the inhibition of Drp1. Altogether, our findings disclose for the first time that baicalin offers cardioprotection against ischemic myocardial injury after CA by inhibiting Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission. Baicalin might be a prospective therapy for the treatment of post-CA myocardial injury.
  7. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2021 Feb 14.
      Microglial activation involves both fragmentation of the mitochondrial network and changes in cellular Ca2+ homeostasis, but possible modifications in mitochondrial calcium uptake have never been described in this context. Here we report that activated microglial BV-2 cells have impaired mitochondrial calcium uptake, including lower calcium retention capacity and calcium uptake rates. These changes were not dependent on altered expression of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter. Respiratory capacity and the inner membrane potential, key determinants of mitochondrial calcium uptake, are both decreased in activated microglial BV-2 cells. Modified mitochondrial calcium uptake correlates with impaired cellular calcium signaling, including reduced ER calcium stores, and decreased replenishment by store operated calcium entry (SOCE). Induction of mitochondrial fragmentation through Mfn2 knockdown in control cells mimicked this effect, while inhibiting LPS-induced mitochondrial fragmentation by a dominant negative form of Drp1 prevented it. Overall, our results show that mitochondrial fragmentation induced by LPS promotes altered Ca2+ homeostasis in microglial cells, a new aspect of microglial activation that could be a key feature in the inflammatory role of these cells.
    Keywords:  Calcium handling; Inflammation; Metabolism; Mitochondrial morphology
  8. Cancer Med. 2021 Feb 18.
      Autophagy removes damaged organelles to inhibit malignant transformation during tumor initiation. Once a cancer matures, it uses the autophagic pathway as an energy source. Optineurin (OPTN) is an autophagy adaptor protein that recruits microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3, an autophagosome marker, to the autophagosome. Despite studies of the relation between cancer progression and autophagy adaptor proteins, there are no reports to our knowledge of a correlation between hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and OPTN. We aimed here to investigate the effects of OPTN expression on HCC progression through autophagy. Immunohistochemistry was used to measure the OPTN expression in the tissues of 141 Japanese patients with HCC. The effects of OPTN expression on HCC progression and mitophagy were assessed using an OPTN knockout (KO) cell line in vitro. We used this KO cell line to establish and exploit a mouse model of HCC to determine the effects of OPTN expression on tumor progression. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that patients with elevated expression of OPTN experienced shorter overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS). OPTN KO cells proliferated relatively slower versus wild-type (WT) cells in vitro. Western blot analysis showed that mitophagy was suppressed in OPTN KO cells, and ATP synthesis and beta-oxidation were reduced. The mouse model of HCC showed that OPTN KO cells formed smaller tumors versus WT cells less 10 weeks after implantation. Overall, the present findings suggest that OPTN is a key mediator of mitophagy that contributes to HCC progression through mitochondrial energy production.
    Keywords:  adaptor protein; autophagy; beta-oxidation; liver; mitochondria
  9. Histochem Cell Biol. 2021 Feb 18.
      It has long been appreciated that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria, organelles important for regular cell function and survival, also play key roles in pathogenesis of various lung diseases, including asthma, fibrosis, and infections. Alterations in processes regulated within these organelles, including but not limited to protein folding in the ER and oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria, are important in disease pathogenesis. In recent years it has also become increasingly apparent that organelle structure dictates function. It is now clear that organelles must maintain precise organization and localization for proper function. Newer microscopy capabilities have allowed the scientific community to reveal, via 3D imaging, that the structure of these organelles and their interactions with each other are a main component of regulating function and, therefore, effects on the disease state. In this review, we will examine how 3D imaging through techniques could allow advancements in knowledge of how the ER and mitochondria function and the roles they may play in lung epithelia in progression of lung disease.
    Keywords:  3D; Endoplasmic reticulum; Epithelial; Lung; Mitochondria; Structure
  10. Pflugers Arch. 2021 Feb 15.
      Ca2+ cycling plays a critical role in regulating cardiomyocyte (CM) function under both physiological and pathological conditions. Mitochondria have been implicated in Ca2+ handling in adult cardiomyocytes (ACMs). However, little is known about their role in the regulation of Ca2+ dynamics in human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). In the present study, we developed a multifunctional genetically encoded Ca2+ probe capable of simultaneously measuring cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca2+ in real time. Using this novel probe, we determined and compared mitochondrial Ca2+ activity and the coupling with cytosolic Ca2+ dynamics in hiPSC-CMs and ACMs. Our data showed that while ACMs displayed a highly coordinated beat-by-beat response in mitochondrial Ca2+ in sync with cytosolic Ca2+, hiPSC-CMs showed high cell-wide variability in mitochondrial Ca2+ activity that is poorly coordinated with cytosolic Ca2+. We then revealed that mitochondrial-sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) tethering, as well as the inter-mitochondrial network connection, is underdeveloped in hiPSC-CM compared to ACM, which may underlie the observed spatiotemporal decoupling between cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca2+ dynamics. Finally, we showed that knockdown of mitofusin-2 (Mfn2), a protein tethering mitochondria and SR, led to reduced cytosolic-mitochondrial Ca2+ coupling in ACMs, albeit to a lesser degree compared to hiPSC-CMs, suggesting that Mfn2 is a potential engineering target for improving mitochondrial-cytosolic Ca2+ coupling in hiPSC-CMs. Physiological relevance: The present study will advance our understanding of the role of mitochondria in Ca2+ handling and cycling in CMs, and guide the development of hiPSC-CMs for healing injured hearts.
    Keywords:  Ca2+ cycling; Genetically encoded Ca2+ probe; Mitochondrial network; hiPSC-CM
  11. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 620081
      Mitochondria are bioenergetic organelles with a plethora of fundamental functions ranging from metabolism and ATP production to modulation of signaling events leading to cell survival or cell death. Ion channels located in the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes critically control mitochondrial function and, as a consequence, also cell fate. Opening or closure of mitochondrial ion channels allow the fine-tuning of mitochondrial membrane potential, ROS production, and function of the respiratory chain complexes. In this review, we critically discuss the intracellular regulatory factors that affect channel activity in the inner membrane of mitochondria and, indirectly, contribute to cell death. These factors include various ligands, kinases, second messengers, and lipids. Comprehension of mitochondrial ion channels regulation in cell death pathways might reveal new therapeutic targets in mitochondria-linked pathologies like cancer, ischemia, reperfusion injury, and neurological disorders.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; cell death; cell signaling; ion channel; mitochondria
  12. Mitochondrion. 2021 Feb 10. pii: S1567-7249(21)00007-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a metabolic syndrome characterized by excessive accumulation of hepatic lipid droplets. The disease progresses with steatosis as the premise for hepatocytic damage and tissue scarring, often culminating in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Perturbations in mitochondrial metabolism and energetics were found to be associated with, and often instrumental in various stages of this progression. Functional impairment of the mitochondria affects all aspects of cellular functioning and a particularly important one is calcium signalling. Changes in mitochondrial calcium specifically in hepatocytes of a fatty liver, is reflected by alterations in calcium signalling as well as calcium transporter activities. This deranged Ca2+ homeostasis aids in even more uptake of lipids into the mitochondria and a shift in equilibrium, both metabolically as well as in terms of energy production, leading to completely altered cellular states. These alterations have been reviewed as a perspective to understand the disease progression through NAFLDs leading to HCC.
    Keywords:  HCC; Hepatocytes; Mitochondria; NAFLD; mitochondrial calcium
  13. J Clin Invest. 2021 Feb 15. pii: 135197. [Epub ahead of print]131(4):
      Sepsis is a leading cause of death in critical illness, and its pathophysiology varies depending on preexisting medical conditions. Here we identified nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as an independent risk factor for sepsis in a large clinical cohort and showed a link between mortality in NAFLD-associated sepsis and hepatic mitochondrial and energetic metabolism dysfunction. Using in vivo and in vitro models of liver lipid overload, we discovered a metabolic coordination between hepatocyte mitochondria and liver macrophages that express triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-2 (TREM2). Trem2-deficient macrophages released exosomes that impaired hepatocytic mitochondrial structure and energy supply because of their high content of miR-106b-5p, which blocks Mitofusin 2 (Mfn2). In a mouse model of NAFLD-associated sepsis, TREM2 deficiency accelerated the initial progression of NAFLD and subsequent susceptibility to sepsis. Conversely, overexpression of TREM2 in liver macrophages improved hepatic energy supply and sepsis outcome. This study demonstrates that NAFLD is a risk factor for sepsis, providing a basis for precision treatment, and identifies hepatocyte-macrophage metabolic coordination and TREM2 as potential targets for future clinical trials.
    Keywords:  Fatty acid oxidation; Hepatology; Macrophages; Metabolism; Mitochondria
  14. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Feb 19. 13
      Cerebral ischemia-reperfusion induces mitochondrial fragmentation and dysfunction, which plays a critical role in the subsequent neuronal death and neurological impairment. Protection of mitochondria is an effective strategy to prevent neuronal damage after cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. USP30 is a deubiquitinating enzyme that localizes to the outer mitochondrial membrane. USP30 participates in the regulation of mitophagy and maintenance of mitochondrial morphology. In this study, the neuroprotective effect of USP30 and the underlying mechanisms were assessed in an ischemia-reperfusion injury model. SK-N-BE (2) cells were subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGDR) insult. Ubiquitination of mitochondrial proteins is increased during the early stage of reperfusion after oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), but the ubiquitination of cytoplasmic proteins exhibits no obvious changes. OGDR insult also induces rapid ubiquitination and degradation of the mitochondrial fusion protein mitofusin 2 (MFN2) in the early stage of reperfusion after OGD. Overexpression of MFN2 attenuates OGDR induced mitochondrial fragmentation. USP30 overexpression suppresses OGDR-induced ubiquitination and degradation of MFN2, and protects against mitochondrial fragmentation. Therefore, precisely targeting USP30 may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for cerebral ischemia-reperfusion related disorders.
    Keywords:  MFN2; USP30; mitochondria; oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGDR); ubiquitination
  15. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2021 Feb 16. 6(1): 65
      As the crucial powerhouse for cell metabolism and tissue survival, the mitochondrion frequently undergoes morphological or positional changes when responding to various stresses and energy demands. In addition to intracellular changes, mitochondria can also be transferred intercellularly. Besides restoring stressed cells and damaged tissues due to mitochondrial dysfunction, the intercellular mitochondrial transfer also occurs under physiological conditions. In this review, the phenomenon of mitochondrial transfer is described according to its function under both physiological and pathological conditions, including tissue homeostasis, damaged tissue repair, tumor progression, and immunoregulation. Then, the mechanisms that contribute to this process are summarized, such as the trigger factors and transfer routes. Furthermore, various perspectives are explored to better understand the mysteries of cell-cell mitochondrial trafficking. In addition, potential therapeutic strategies for mitochondria-targeted application to rescue tissue damage and degeneration, as well as the inhibition of tumor progression, are discussed.
  16. Development. 2021 Feb 19. pii: dev194183. [Epub ahead of print]148(4):
      Mitochondria are signaling hubs responsible for the generation of energy through oxidative phosphorylation, the production of key metabolites that serve the bioenergetic and biosynthetic needs of the cell, calcium (Ca2+) buffering and the initiation/execution of apoptosis. The ability of mitochondria to coordinate this myriad of functions is achieved through the exquisite regulation of fundamental dynamic properties, including remodeling of the mitochondrial network via fission and fusion, motility and mitophagy. In this Review, we summarize the current understanding of the mechanisms by which these dynamic properties of the mitochondria support mitochondrial function, review their impact on human cortical development and highlight areas in need of further research.
    Keywords:  Cortical development; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitochondrial motility; Mitophagy
  17. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 629397
      Although mitochondrial fission has been reported to increase proliferative capacity and collagen production, it can also contribute to mitochondrial impairment, which is detrimental to cell survival. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of mitochondrial fission in cardiac fibroblasts (CF) activation and explore the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of mitochondrial health under this condition. For this, changes in the levels of mitochondrial fission/fusion-related proteins were assessed in transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1)-activated CF, whereas the role of mitochondrial fission during this process was also elucidated, as were the underlying mechanisms. The interaction between mitochondrial fission and mitophagy, the main defense mechanism against mitochondrial impairment, was also explored. The results showed that the mitochondria in TGF-β1-treated CF were noticeably more fragmented than those of controls. The expression of several mitochondrial fission-related proteins was markedly upregulated, and the levels of fusion-related proteins were also altered, but to a lesser extent. Inhibiting mitochondrial fission resulted in a marked attenuation of TGF-β1-induced CF activation. The TGF-β1-induced increase in glycolysis was greatly suppressed in the presence of a mitochondrial inhibitor, whereas a glycolysis-specific antagonist exerted little additional antifibrotic effects. TGF-β1 treatment increased cellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and triggered mitophagy, but this effect was reversed following the application of ROS scavengers. For the signals mediating mitophagy, the expression of Pink1, but not Bnip3l/Nix or Fundc1, exhibited the most significant changes, which could be counteracted by treatment with a mitochondrial fission inhibitor. Pink1 knockdown suppressed CF activation and mitochondrial fission, which was accompanied by increased CF apoptosis. In conclusion, mitochondrial fission resulted in increased glycolysis and played a crucial role in CF activation. Moreover, mitochondrial fission promoted reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, leading to mitophagy and the consequent degradation of the impaired mitochondria, thus promoting CF survival and maintaining their activation.
    Keywords:  cardiac fibroblasts; glycolysis; mitochondrial fission; mitophagy; reactive oxygen species
  18. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 596819
      The fate and proliferative capacity of stem cells have been shown to strongly depend on their metabolic state. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell being responsible for energy production via oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) as well as for several other metabolic pathways. Mitochondrial activity strongly depends on their structural organization, with their size and shape being regulated by mitochondrial fusion and fission, a process known as mitochondrial dynamics. However, the significance of mitochondrial dynamics in the regulation of stem cell metabolism and fate remains elusive. Here, we characterize the role of mitochondria morphology in female germ stem cells (GSCs) and in their more differentiated lineage. Mitochondria are particularly important in the female GSC lineage. Not only do they provide these cells with their energy requirements to generate the oocyte but they are also the only mitochondria pool to be inherited by the offspring. We show that the undifferentiated GSCs predominantly have fissed mitochondria, whereas more differentiated germ cells have more fused mitochondria. By reducing the levels of mitochondrial dynamics regulators, we show that both fused and fissed mitochondria are required for the maintenance of a stable GSC pool. Surprisingly, we found that disrupting mitochondrial dynamics in the germline also strongly affects nurse cells morphology, impairing egg chamber development and female fertility. Interestingly, reducing the levels of key enzymes in the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle (TCA), known to cause OxPhos reduction, also affects GSC number. This defect in GSC self-renewal capacity indicates that at least basal levels of TCA/OxPhos are required in GSCs. Our findings show that mitochondrial dynamics is essential for female GSC maintenance and female fertility, and that mitochondria fusion and fission events are dynamically regulated during GSC differentiation, possibly to modulate their metabolic profile.
    Keywords:  Drosophila melanogaster; differentiation; fertility; germ stem cell; mitochondrial dynamics; oogenesis; oxidative phosphorylation
  19. Immunometabolism. 2021 ;pii: e210008. [Epub ahead of print]3(1):
      One of the most fascinating aspects of mitochondria is their remarkable ability to accumulate and store large amounts of calcium in the presence of phosphate leading to mitochondrial calcification. In this paper, we briefly address the mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial calcium homeostasis followed by the extensive review on the formation and characterization of intramitochondrial calcium phosphate granules leading to mitochondrial calcification and its relevance to physiological and pathological calcifications of body tissues.
    Keywords:  calcification; calcium; mitochondria; phosphate
  20. Cell Rep. 2021 Jan 26. pii: S2211-1247(20)31665-X. [Epub ahead of print]34(4): 108676
      Hypoxia, low oxygen (O2), is a key feature of all solid cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 knockout library screening is used to identify reliable therapeutic targets responsible for hypoxic survival in HCC. We find that protein-tyrosine phosphatase mitochondrial 1 (PTPMT1), an important enzyme for cardiolipin (CL) synthesis, is the most significant gene and ranks just after hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and HIF-1β as crucial to hypoxic survival. CL constitutes the mitochondrial membrane and ensures the proper assembly of electron transport chain (ETC) complexes for efficient electron transfer in respiration. ETC becomes highly unstable during hypoxia. Knockout of PTPMT1 stops the maturation of CL and impairs the assembly of ETC complexes, leading to further electron leakage and ROS accumulation at ETC in hypoxia. Excitingly, HCC cells, especially under hypoxic conditions, show great sensitivity toward PTPMT1 inhibitor alexidine dihydrochloride (AD). This study unravels the protective roles of PTPMT1 in hypoxic survival and cancer development.
    Keywords:  CRISPR library screening; ROS; cardiolipin; electron transport chain; hypoxia; liver cancer; metabolism; mitochondria; oxidative stress
  21. Life Sci. 2021 Feb 16. pii: S0024-3205(21)00213-7. [Epub ahead of print] 119228
      AIMS: The purpose of this study was to reveal the therapeutic efficacy and underlying mechanism of cannabinoid type 2 receptor agonist (AM1241) on myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (MIRI) in rats.MAIN METHODS: We established a rat myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) model and H9c2 hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) model. ELISA was used to determine the concentrations of cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in plasma. EB/TTC staining was performed to observe the myocardial infarct size. Besides, the pathological changes of myocardial tissue were identified via H&E staining and Masson's trichrome staining. TUNEL assay was performed to examine myocardial apoptosis. Then, the protein expression of Pink1, Parkin and autophagy-related markers (Beclin-1, P62 and LC3) were detected by Western blot, and autophagy was evaluated by Mitotracker staining.
    KEY FINDINGS: The results of EB/TTC staining, H&E staining, Masson's trichrome staining and cardiac enzymes measuring showed that AM1241 treatment significantly diminished infarct size, the structural abnormalities and the activities of cardiac enzymes (cTnI, CK-MB, AST and LDH). AM1241 also significantly reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells induced by I/R in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, AM1241 activated Pink1/Parkin signaling pathway and upregulated autophagy level.
    SIGNIFICANCE: AM1241 exerts a protective effect against MIRI in rats by inducing autophagy through the activation of Pink1/Parkin pathway.
    Keywords:  AM1241; Autophagy; Cannabinoid type 2 receptor; Myocardial protection; Pink1/Parkin pathway
  22. Cell Calcium. 2021 Feb 01. pii: S0143-4160(21)00018-X. [Epub ahead of print]95 102364
      Human mitochondria are complex and highly dynamic biological systems, comprised of over a thousand parts and evolved to fully integrate into the specialized intracellular signaling networks and metabolic requirements of each cell and organ. Over the last two decades, several complementary, top-down computational and experimental approaches have been developed to identify, characterize and modulate the human mitochondrial system, demonstrating the power of integrating classical reductionist and discovery-driven analyses in order to de-orphanize hitherto unknown molecular components of mitochondrial machineries and pathways. To this goal, systematic, multiomics-based surveys of proteome composition, protein networks, and phenotype-to-pathway associations at the tissue, cell and organellar level have been largely exploited to predict the full complement of mitochondrial proteins and their functional interactions, therefore catalyzing data-driven hypotheses. Collectively, these multidisciplinary and integrative research approaches hold the potential to propel our understanding of mitochondrial biology and provide a systems-level framework to unraveling mitochondria-mediated and disease-spanning pathomechanisms.
    Keywords:  Functional associations; Integrative analyses; Mitochondrial system; Multiomics approaches
  23. Exp Ther Med. 2021 Mar;21(3): 248
      The mismatch of oxygen supply and demand during hemorrhagic shock disturbs endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis. The resulting accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER lumen, which is a condition that is defined as ER stress, triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR). Since the UPR influences the extent of organ damage following hemorrhagic shock/reperfusion (HS/R) and mediates the protective effects of stress preconditioning before ischemia-reperfusion injury, the current study investigated the mechanisms of ER stress preconditioning and its impact on post-hemorrhagic liver damage. Male C56BL/6-mice were injected intraperitoneally with the ER stress inductor tunicamycin (TM) or its drug vehicle 48 h prior to being subjected to a 90 min pressure-controlled hemorrhagic shock (30±5 mmHg). A period of 14 h after hemorrhagic shock induction, mice were sacrificed. Hepatocellular damage was quantified by analyzing hepatic transaminases and hematoxylin-eosin stained liver tissue sections. Additionally, the topographic expression patterns of the ER stress marker binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP), UPR signaling pathways, and the autophagy marker Beclin1 were evaluated. TM injection significantly increased BiP expression and modified the topographic expression patterns of the UPR signaling proteins. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis of Beclin1 revealed an increased pericentral staining intensity following TM pretreatment. The histologic analysis of hepatocellular damage demonstrated a significant reduction in cell death areas in HS/R+TM (P=0.024). ER stress preconditioning influences the UPR and alleviates post-hemorrhagic liver damage. The beneficial effects were, at least partially, mediated by the upregulation of BiP and autophagy induction. These results underscore the importance of the UPR in the context of HS/R and may help identify novel therapeutic targets.
    Keywords:  binding immunoglobulin protein; hemorrhage; ischemia-reperfusion injury; tunicamycin; unfolded protein response
  24. Science. 2021 Feb 19. 371(6531): 846-849
      Mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) are tethered to the mitochondrial inner membrane to facilitate the cotranslational membrane insertion of the synthesized proteins. We report cryo-electron microscopy structures of human mitoribosomes with nascent polypeptide, bound to the insertase oxidase assembly 1-like (OXA1L) through three distinct contact sites. OXA1L binding is correlated with a series of conformational changes in the mitoribosomal large subunit that catalyze the delivery of newly synthesized polypeptides. The mechanism relies on the folding of mL45 inside the exit tunnel, forming two specific constriction sites that would limit helix formation of the nascent chain. A gap is formed between the exit and the membrane, making the newly synthesized proteins accessible. Our data elucidate the basis by which mitoribosomes interact with the OXA1L insertase to couple protein synthesis and membrane delivery.