bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2021‒04‒25
twenty papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto

  1. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2021 Apr 23. e13666
      AIM: Mitophagy is the regulated process that targets damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria for lysosomal-mediated removal. This process is an essential element of mitochondrial quality control, and dysregulation of mitophagy may contribute to a host of diseases, most notably neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease. Mitochondria targeted for mitophagic destruction are molecularly marked by the ubiquitination of several outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) proteins. This ubiquitination is positively regulated, in part, by the mitochondrial-targeted kinase PINK1 and the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin. In contrast, the reverse phenomenon, deubiquitination, removes ubiquitin from Parkin substrates embedded in the OMM proteins, antagonizing mitophagy. Recent evidence suggests that the mitochondrial deubiquitinase USP30 negatively regulates Parkin mediated mitophagy, providing opportunities to identify USP30 inhibitors and test for their effects in augmenting mitophagy. Here we will characterize a USP30 inhibitor and demonstrate how the pharmacological inhibition of USP30 can augment stress-induced mitophagic flux.METHODS: We have conducted mitophagy and mitochondrial analyses in cultured cells. We have determined the plasma pharmacokinetics of the USP30 inhibitor in mice and conducted analyses using the mt-Keima mice to measure in vivo mitophagy directly.
    RESULTS: The compound has minimal mitochondrial toxicity in cultured cells and is tolerated well in mice. Interestingly, we demonstrated tissue-specific induction of mitophagy following USP30 pharmacological inhibition. In particular, pharmacological inhibition of USP30 induces a significant increase in cardiac mitophagy without detriment to cardiac function.
    CONCLUSION: Our data support the evidence that USP30 inhibition may serve as a specific strategy to selectively increase mitophagic flux, allowing for the development of novel therapeutic approaches.
    Keywords:  Mitophagy; PINK1; Parkin; USP30; mitochondrial deubiquitination; mt-Keima
  2. Stem Cell Reports. 2021 Apr 13. pii: S2213-6711(21)00161-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Sequestosome-1 (SQSTM1/p62) is involved in cellular processes such as autophagy and metabolic reprogramming. Mutations resulting in the loss of function of SQSTM1 lead to neurodegenerative diseases including frontotemporal dementia. The pathogenic mechanism that contributes to SQSTM1-related neurodegeneration has been linked to its role as an autophagy adaptor, but this is poorly understood, and its precise role in mitochondrial function and clearance remains to be clarified. Here, we assessed the importance of SQSTM1 in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cortical neurons through the knockout of SQSTM1. We show that SQSTM1 depletion causes altered mitochondrial gene expression and functionality, as well as autophagy flux, in iPSC-derived neurons. However, SQSTM1 is not essential for mitophagy despite having a significant impact on early PINK1-dependent mitophagy processes including PINK1 recruitment and phosphorylation of ubiquitin on depolarized mitochondria. These findings suggest that SQSTM1 is important for mitochondrial function rather than clearance.
    Keywords:  FTD; SQSTM1; iPSC disease modeling; mitochondria
  3. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 636553
      Our previous research has shown that type-2a Sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a) undergoes posttranscriptional oxidative modifications in cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) in the context of excessive cardiac oxidative injury. However, whether SERCA2a inactivity induces cytosolic Ca2+ imbalance in mitochondrial homeostasis is far from clear. Mitofusin2 (Mfn2) is well known as an important protein involved in endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/mitochondrial Ca2+ tethering and the regulation of mitochondrial quality. Therefore, the aim of our study was to elucidate the specific mechanism of SERCA2a-mediated Ca2+ overload in the mitochondria via Mfn2 tethering and the survival rate of the heart under conditions of cardiac microvascular ischemic injury. In vitro, CMECs extracted from mice were subjected to 6 h of hypoxic injury to mimic ischemic heart injury. C57-WT and Mfn2KO mice were subjected to a 1 h ischemia procedure via ligation of the left anterior descending branch to establish an in vivo cardiac ischemic injury model. TTC staining, immunohistochemistry and echocardiography were used to assess the myocardial infarct size, microvascular damage, and heart function. In vitro, ischemic injury induced irreversible oxidative modification of SERCA2a, including sulfonylation at cysteine 674 and nitration at tyrosine 294/295, and inactivation of SERCA2a, which initiated calcium overload. In addition, ischemic injury-triggered [Ca2+]c overload and subsequent [Ca2+]m overload led to mPTP opening and ΔΨm dissipation compared with the control. Furthermore, ablation of Mfn2 alleviated SERCA2a-induced mitochondrial calcium overload and subsequent mito-apoptosis in the context of CMEC hypoxic injury. In vivo, compared with that in wild-type mice, the myocardial infarct size in Mfn2KO mice was significantly decreased. In addition, the findings revealed that Mfn2KO mice had better heart contractile function, decreased myocardial infarction indicators, and improved mitochondrial morphology. Taken together, the results of our study suggested that SERCA2a-dependent [Ca2+]c overload led to mitochondrial dysfunction and activation of Mfn2-mediated [Ca2+]m overload. Overexpression of SERCA2a or ablation of Mfn2 expression mitigated mitochondrial morphological and functional damage by modifying the SERCA2a/Ca2+-Mfn2 pathway. Overall, these pathways are promising therapeutic targets for acute cardiac microvascular ischemic injury.
    Keywords:  CMEC; Mfn2; SERCA2a; hypoxia; ischemia injury; mitochondria
  4. Autophagy. 2021 Apr 05. 1-3
      Mitophagy is an essential mechanism in maintaining cellular homeostasis, in which damaged and superfluous mitochondria are selectively degraded by the autophagy-lysosome pathway. Our recent study revealed that SPATA33 functions as a novel receptor for mitophagy in the priming of mitochondria for degradation in male germline cells. SPATA33 directly mediates the interaction of the outer mitochondrial membrane protein VDAC2 with the autophagy machinery component ATG16L1 during mitophagy. Upon starvation induction, SPATA33 can promote mitophagy as an autophagy receptor. Thus, SPATA33 confers cargo selectivity during mitophagy in germline cells. These findings provide new insights into selective autophagy and mitochondrial homeostasis.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; SPATA33; mammals; mitochondria; spermatogenesis
  5. J Cell Biol. 2021 May 03. pii: e202010004. [Epub ahead of print]220(5):
      Mitochondria, which are excluded from the secretory pathway, depend on lipid transport proteins for their lipid supply from the ER, where most lipids are synthesized. In yeast, the outer mitochondrial membrane GTPase Gem1 is an accessory factor of ERMES, an ER-mitochondria tethering complex that contains lipid transport domains and that functions, partially redundantly with Vps13, in lipid transfer between the two organelles. In metazoa, where VPS13, but not ERMES, is present, the Gem1 orthologue Miro was linked to mitochondrial dynamics but not to lipid transport. Here we show that Miro, including its peroxisome-enriched splice variant, recruits the lipid transport protein VPS13D, which in turn binds the ER in a VAP-dependent way and thus could provide a lipid conduit between the ER and mitochondria. These findings reveal a so far missing link between function(s) of Gem1/Miro in yeast and higher eukaryotes, where Miro is a Parkin substrate, with potential implications for Parkinson's disease pathogenesis.
  6. Mol Cell. 2021 Apr 09. pii: S1097-2765(21)00263-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mitochondrial translation system originates from a bacterial ancestor but has substantially diverged in the course of evolution. Here, we use single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) as a screening tool to identify mitochondrial translation termination mechanisms and to describe them in molecular detail. We show how mitochondrial release factor 1a releases the nascent chain from the ribosome when it encounters the canonical stop codons UAA and UAG. Furthermore, we define how the peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase ICT1 acts as a rescue factor on mitoribosomes that have stalled on truncated messages to recover them for protein synthesis. Finally, we present structural models detailing the process of mitochondrial ribosome recycling to explain how a dedicated elongation factor, mitochondrial EFG2 (mtEFG2), has specialized for cooperation with the mitochondrial ribosome recycling factor to dissociate the mitoribosomal subunits at the end of the translation process.
    Keywords:  ICT1; cryo-EM; mitochondria; mtEFG2; mtRF1a; mtRRF; recycling; ribosome; termination; translation
  7. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2021 Apr 16. pii: S0167-4889(21)00099-9. [Epub ahead of print] 119045
      PGAM5 is a protein phosphatase located in the inner mitochondrial membrane through its transmembrane (TM) domain and is cleaved within the TM domain upon mitochondrial dysfunction. We found previously that cleaved PGAM5 is released from mitochondria, following proteasome-mediated rupture of the outer mitochondrial membrane during mitophagy, a selective form of autophagy specific to mitochondria. Here, we examined the role of cleaved PGAM5 outside mitochondria. Deletion mutants that mimic cleaved PGAM5 existed not only in the cytosol but also in the nucleus, and a fraction of cleaved PGAM5 translocated to the nucleus during mitophagy induced by the uncoupler CCCP. We identified serine/arginine-related nuclear matrix protein of 160 kDa (SRm160)/SRRM1, which contains a highly phosphorylated domain rich in arginine/serine dipeptides, called the RS domain, as a nuclear protein that interacts with PGAM5. PGAM5 dephosphorylated SRm160, and incubation of lysates from WT cells, but not of those from PGAM5-deficient cells, induced dephosphorylation of SRm160 and another RS domain-containing protein SRSF1, one of the most characterized serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins. Moreover, phosphorylation of these proteins and other SR proteins, which are commonly reactive toward the 1H4 monoclonal antibody that detects phosphorylated SR proteins, decreased during mitophagy, largely because of PGAM5 activity. These results suggest that PGAM5 regulates phosphorylation of these nuclear proteins during mitophagy. Because SRm160 and SR proteins play critical roles in mRNA metabolism, PGAM5 may coordinate cellular responses to mitochondrial stress at least in part through post-transcriptional and pre-translational events.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; Mitophagy; PGAM5; Parkin; Protein phosphatase; SR proteins
  8. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2302 1-20
      Rhomboid proteases are a ubiquitous superfamily of serine intramembrane peptidases that play a role in a wide variety of cellular processes. The mammalian mitochondrial rhomboid protease, Presenilin-Associated Rhomboid Like (PARL), is a critical regulator of mitochondrial homeostasis through the cleavage of its substrates, which have roles in mitochondrial quality control and apoptosis. However, neither structural nor functional information for this important protease is available, because the expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins to sufficient levels in an active form often represents a major bottleneck for in vitro studies. Here we present an optimized protocol for expression and purification of the human PARL protease using the eukaryotic expression host Pichia pastoris. The PARL gene construct was generated in tandem with green fluorescent protein (GFP), which allowed for the selection of high expressing clones and monitoring during the large-scale expression and purification steps. We discuss the production protocol with precise details for each step. The protocol yields 1 mg of pure PARL per liter of yeast culture.
    Keywords:  Detergent; Intramembrane serine proteases; Membrane protein expression; PARL; PINK1; Pichia pastoris; Polytopic membrane protein; Rhomboid
  9. Blood Adv. 2021 Apr 27. 5(8): 2087-2100
      Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) and therapy-resistant acute myeloid leukemia (AML) blasts contribute to the reinitiation of leukemia after remission, necessitating therapeutic interventions that target these populations. Autophagy is a prosurvival process that allows for cells to adapt to a variety of stressors. Blocking autophagy pharmacologically by using mechanistically distinct inhibitors induced apoptosis and prevented colony formation in primary human AML cells. The most effective inhibitor, bafilomycin A1 (Baf A1), also prevented the in vivo maintenance of AML LSCs in NSG mice. To understand why Baf A1 exerted the most dramatic effects on LSC survival, we evaluated mitochondrial function. Baf A1 reduced mitochondrial respiration and stabilized PTEN-induced kinase-1 (PINK-1), which initiates autophagy of mitochondria (mitophagy). Interestingly, with the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine, levels of enhanced cell death and reduced mitochondrial respiration phenocopied the effects of Baf A1 only when cultured in hypoxic conditions that mimic the marrow microenvironment (1% O2). This indicates that increased efficacy of autophagy inhibitors in inducing AML cell death can be achieved by concurrently inducing mitochondrial damage and mitophagy (pharmacologically or by hypoxic induction) and blocking mitochondrial degradation. In addition, prolonged exposure of AML cells to hypoxia induced autophagic flux and reduced chemosensitivity to cytarabine (Ara-C), which was reversed by autophagy inhibition. The combination of Ara-C with Baf A1 also decreased tumor burden in vivo. These findings demonstrate that autophagy is critical for mitochondrial homeostasis and survival of AML cells in hypoxia and support the development of autophagy inhibitors as novel therapeutic agents for AML.
  10. Biol Cell. 2021 Apr 18.
      Mitochondria are organelles involved in various functions related to cellular metabolism and homeostasis. Though mitochondria contain own genome, their nuclear counterparts encode most of the different mitochondrial proteins. These are synthesized as precursors in the cytosol and have to be delivered into the mitochondria. These organelles hence have elaborate machineries for the import of precursor proteins from cytosol. The protein import machineries present in both mitochondrial membrane and aqueous compartments show great variability in pre-protein recognition, translocation and sorting across or into it. Mitochondrial protein import machineries also interact transiently with other protein complexes of the respiratory chain or those involved in the maintenance of membrane architecture. Hence mitochondrial protein translocation is an indispensable part of the regulatory network that maintains protein biogenesis, bioenergetics, membrane dynamics and quality control of the organelle. Various stress conditions and diseases that are associated with mitochondrial import defects lead to changes in cellular transcriptomic and proteomic profiles. Dysfunction in mitochondrial protein import also causes over-accumulation of precursor proteins and their aggregation in the cytosol. Multiple pathways may be activated for buffering these harmful consequences. Here we present a comprehensive picture of import machinery and its role in cellular quality control in response to defective mitochondrial import. We also discuss the pathological consequences of dysfunctional mitochondrial protein import in neurodegeneration and cancer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Intracellular compartmentalization; Mitochondria; Protein degradation/proteases
  11. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Apr 20. 12(5): 413
      Retinal degeneration diseases (RDDs) are common and devastating eye diseases characterized by the degeneration of photoreceptors, which are highly associated with oxidative stress. Previous studies reported that mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with various neurodegenerative diseases. However, the role of mitochondrial proteostasis mainly regulated by mitophagy and mitochondrial unfolded protein response (mtUPR) in RDDs is unclear. We hypothesized that the mitochondrial proteostasis is neuroprotective against oxidative injury in RDDs. In this study, the data from our hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-treated mouse retinal cone cell line (661w) model of RDDs showed that nicotinamide riboside (NR)-activated mitophagy increased the expression of LC3B II and PINK1, and promoted the co-localization of LC3 and mitochondria, as well as PINK1 and Parkin in the H2O2-treated 661w cells. However, the NR-induced mitophagy was remarkably reversed by chloroquine (CQ) and cyclosporine A (CsA), mitophagic inhibitors. In addition, doxycycline (DOX), an inducer of mtUPR, up-regulated the expression of HSP60 and CHOP, the key proteins of mtUPR. Activation of both mitophagy and mtUPR increased the cell viability and reduced the level of apoptosis and oxidative damage in the H2O2-treated 661w cells. Furthermore, both mitophagy and mtUPR played a protective effect on mitochondria by increasing mitochondrial membrane potential and maintaining mitochondrial mass. By contrast, the inhibition of mitophagy by CQ or CsA reversed the beneficial effect of mitophagy in the H2O2-treated 661w cells. Together, our study suggests that the mitophagy and mtUPR pathways may serve as new therapeutic targets to delay the progression of RDDs through enhancing mitochondrial proteostasis.
  12. Int Immunopharmacol. 2021 Apr 18. pii: S1567-5769(21)00279-4. [Epub ahead of print]96 107643
      Hepatic ischemia reperfusion (I/R) injury remains a major obstacle in liver transplantation, however an effective treatment to mitigate this injury is lacking. 25-Hydroxycholesterol (25HC) is a kind of oxysterol involved in inflammatory and immune responses. However, its function and the underlying mechanism on rat hepatic I/R injury has not been explored. A well-established rat model of partial warm ischemia reperfusion injury was performed. 25HC was intraperitoneally administrated 4 h before ischemia. The results verified that 25HC pretreatment effectively mitigated liver I/R injury, which was demonstrated by lower serum levels of transaminases, histology injury score and less apoptosis. Mechanistically, 25HC pretreatment activated PINK1/Parkin dependent mitophagy and inhibited the NLRP3 inflammasome. Via using mitophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA), we further found that 3-MA counteracted the protective effect of 25HC on hepatic I/R injury and the NLRP3 inflammasome. In conclusion, 25HC pretreatment ameliorates rat hepatic I/R injury, and this protective effect may be dependent on activating mitophagy and inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome activation.
    Keywords:  25-Hydroxycholesterol; Hepatic I/R injury; Mitophagy; NLRP3 inflammasome
  13. Autophagy. 2021 Apr 18. 1-4
      Whether macroautophagy/autophagy is physiologically relevant to regulate mitochondrial function for a rapid and dynamic adaptation of yeast cells to respiratory growth was not fully understood until recently. May et al. (2020. Nat Commun) report that bulk autophagy provides serine as a one-carbon (1C) metabolite that controls respiratory growth onset by initiating mitochondrial initiator tRNAMet modification and mitochondrial translation linking autophagy mechanistically to mitochondrial function. We discuss the mechanistic interplay between autophagy, one-carbon-metabolism, and mitochondrial function and the possible implications in neurodegeneration, aging, and carcinogenesis.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; mitochondrial respiration; mitochondrial translation; one-carbon metabolism; respiratory growth
  14. Dev Cell. 2021 Apr 16. pii: S1534-5807(21)00308-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      The ancient, dynamic, and multifaceted functions of the mitochondrial network are essential for organismal homeostasis and contribute to numerous human diseases. As central hubs for metabolism, ion transport, and multiple macromolecular synthesis pathways, mitochondria establish and control extensive signaling networks to ensure cellular survival. In this review, we explore how these same mitochondrial functions also participate in the control of regulated cell death (RCD). We discuss the complementary essential mitochondrial functions as compartments that participate in the production and presentation of key molecules and platforms that actively enable, initiate, and execute RCD.
    Keywords:  cell biology; mitochondrial function; programed cell death; regulated cell death; signal transduction; stress signaling
  15. J Biol Chem. 2021 Apr 14. pii: S0021-9258(21)00458-0. [Epub ahead of print] 100669
      The mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) and cyclophilin D (CyD) are key players in induction of the permeability transition pore (PTP), which leads to mitochondrial depolarization and swelling, the major sings of Ca2+-induced mitochondrial damage. Mitochondrial depolarization inhibits ATP production, whereas swelling results in the release of mitochondrial pro-apoptotic proteins. The extent to which simultaneous deletion of MCU and CyD inhibits PTP induction and prevents damage of brain mitochondria is not clear. Here, we investigated the effects of MCU and CyD deletion on the propensity for PTP induction using mitochondria isolated from the brains of MCU-KO, CyD-KO, and newly created MCU/CyD-double knockout (DKO) mice. Neither deletion of MCU nor of CyD affected respiration or membrane potential in mitochondria isolated from the brains of these mice. Mitochondria from MCU-KO and MCU/CyD-DKO mice displayed reduced Ca2+ uptake and diminished extent of PTP induction. The Ca2+ uptake by mitochondria from CyD-KO mice was increased compared to mitochondria from wild-type mice. Deletion of CyD prevented mitochondrial swelling and resulted in transient depolarization in response to Ca2+, but it did not prevent Ca2+-induced delayed mitochondrial depolarization. Mitochondria from MCU/CyD-DKO mice did not swell in response to Ca2+, but they did exhibit mild sustained depolarization. Dibucaine, an inhibitor of the Ca2+-activated mitochondrial phospholipase A2, attenuated, and bovine serum albumin completely eliminated the sustained depolarization. This suggests the involvement of phospholipase A2 and free fatty acids. Thus, in addition to induction of the classical PTP, alternative deleterious mechanisms may contribute to mitochondrial damage following exposure to elevated Ca2+.
    Keywords:  calcium; cyclophilin D; membrane potential; mitochondria; mitochondrial calcium uniporter; permeability transition pore; respiration
  16. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2021 Apr 16. pii: S0167-4889(21)00095-1. [Epub ahead of print] 119041
      Oxidative stress is defined as "a serious imbalance between the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defences in favour of ROS, causing excessive oxidative damage to biomolecules". Different stressors that induce autophagy, such as starvation and hypoxia, can increase production of ROS such as superoxide and hydrogen peroxide. This review provides brief summaries about oxidative stress and macroautophagy, and then considers current knowledge about the complex interactions between ROS and autophagy. ROS-induced autophagy could be a cellular protective mechanism that alleviates oxidative stress, or a destructive process. Increased ROS levels can regulate autophagy through several different pathways, such as activation of the AMPK signalling cascade and ULK1 complex, Atg4 oxidation, disruption of the Bcl-2/Beclin-1 interaction, and alteration of mitochondrial homeostasis leading to mitophagy. Autophagic degradation of Keap1 activates the antioxidant transcription factor Nrf2 and protects cells against ROS. Autophagy activation can, in turn, regulate oxidative stress by recycling damaged ROS-producing mitochondria. Macroautophagy plays an important role in degradation of large aggregates of oxidatively damaged/unfolded proteins, which are removed by the autophagy-lysosomal system. ROS can regulate autophagy, and in turn, autophagy can regulate oxidative stress. Future studies are necessary to improve understanding of the complex interactions between autophagy and oxidative stress.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cell signalling; Environmental stress; Oxidative stress; ROS; Xenobiotic
  17. Mitochondrion. 2021 Apr 01. pii: S1567-7249(21)00046-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolic reprogramming and mitochondrial dysfunction are central elements in a broad variety of physiological and pathological processes. While cell culture established itself as a versatile technique for the elaboration of physiology and disease, studying metabolism using standard cell culture protocols is profoundly interfered by the Crabtree effect. This phenomenon refers to the adaptation of cultured cells to a glycolytic phenotype, away from oxidative phosphorylation in glucose-containing medium, and questions the applicability of cell culture in certain fields of research. In this systematic review we aim to provide a comprehensive overview and critical appraisal of strategies reported to circumvent the Crabtree effect.
    Keywords:  Crabtree effect; cell culture; glycolysis; metabolism; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation
  18. Life Sci. 2021 Apr 14. pii: S0024-3205(21)00496-3. [Epub ahead of print] 119511
      Effective Ca2+ dependent mitochondrial energy supply is imperative for proper cardiac contractile activity, while disruption of Ca2+ homeostasis participates in the pathogenesis of multiple human diseases. This phenomenon is particularly prominent in cardiac ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) and heart failure, both of which require strict clinical intervention. The interface between endoplasmic reticula (ER) and mitochondria, designated the mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM), is now regarded as a crucial mediator of Ca2+ transportation. Thus, interventions targeting this physical and functional coupling between mitochondria and the ER are highly desirable. Increasing evidence supports the notion that restoration, and maintenance, of the physiological contact between these two organelles can improve mitochondrial function, while inhibiting cell death, thereby sufficiently ameliorating I/R injury and heart failure development. A better understanding regarding the underlying mechanism of MAM-mediated transport will pave the way for identification of novel treatment approaches for heart disease. Therefore, in this review, we summarize the crucial functions and potential mechanisms of MAMs in the pathogenesis of I/R and heart failure.
    Keywords:  Calcium transfer; Heart failure; Mitochondria; Mitochondria-associated membranes; Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury
  19. Exp Ther Med. 2021 Jun;21(6): 596
      Microcirculatory disturbance is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of acute liver injury (ALI). The current study examined the pathophysiologic role of hepatic microcirculatory disturbance in patients with ALI and in mouse models of ALI. Using serum aminotransferase (ALT)/lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) ratio as a hypoxic marker, 279 patients with ALI were classified into the low ALT/LDH ratio (ALT/LDH ≤1.5) and high ALT/LDH ratio group (ALT/LDH >1.5). In the low ALT/LDH ratio group, serum ALT, LDH, fibrinogen degradation products and prothrombin time-international normalized ratio were increased relative to the high ALT/LDH ratio group. Histologically, hepatic expression of tissue factor (TF) and hypoxia-related proteins was enhanced in the low ALT/LDH ratio group, and this was accompanied by sinusoidal fibrin deposition. Sinusoidal hypercoagulation and intrahepatic hypoxia was also analyzed in two different mouse models of ALI; Concanavalin A (ConA) mice and Galactosamine/tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α (G/T) mice. Serum ALT/LDH ratio in ConA mice was significantly lower compared with G/T mice. Pimonidazole staining revealed the upregulation of hypoxia-related proteins in ConA mice. Recombinant human soluble thrombomodulin improved liver damage in ConA mice in association with reduced sinusoidal hypercoagulation and intrahepatic hypoxia. The present study provides evidence that serum ALT/LDH ratio aids in the identification of patients with ALI and intrahepatic hypoxia as a result of microcirculatory disturbance. The results facilitate the improved understanding of the pathogenesis of ALI, thereby offering a novel therapeutic strategy against ALI, which arises from sinusoidal hypercoagulation.
    Keywords:  acute liver failure; intrahepatic hypoxia; microcirculatory disturbance; serum aminotransferase/lactate dehydrogenase ratio; sinusoidal hypercoagulation
  20. FASEB J. 2021 May;35(5): e21591
      Thyroid hormones regulate adult metabolism partly through actions on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). They also affect neurological development of the brain, but their role in cerebral OXPHOS before birth remains largely unknown, despite the increase in cerebral energy demand during the neonatal period. Thus, this study examined prepartum development of cerebral OXPHOS in hypothyroid fetal sheep. Using respirometry, Complex I (CI), Complex II (CII), and combined CI&CII OXPHOS capacity were measured in the fetal cerebellum and cortex at 128 and 142 days of gestational age (dGA) after surgical thyroidectomy or sham operation at 105 dGA (term ~145 dGA). Mitochondrial electron transfer system (ETS) complexes, mRNA transcripts related to mitochondrial biogenesis and ATP production, and mitochondrial density were quantified using molecular techniques. Cerebral morphology was assessed by immunohistochemistry and stereology. In the cortex, hypothyroidism reduced CI-linked respiration and CI abundance at 128 dGA and 142 dGA, respectively, and caused upregulation of PGC1α (regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis) and thyroid hormone receptor β at 128 dGA and 142 dGA, respectively. In contrast, in the cerebellum, hypothyroidism reduced CI&II- and CII-linked respiration at 128 dGA, with no significant effect on the ETS complexes. In addition, cerebellar glucocorticoid hormone receptor and adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT1) were downregulated at 128 dGA and 142 dGA, respectively. These alterations in mitochondrial function were accompanied by reduced myelination. The findings demonstrate the importance of thyroid hormones in the prepartum maturation of cerebral mitochondria and have implications for the etiology and treatment of the neurodevelopmental abnormalities associated with human prematurity and congenital hypothyroidism.
    Keywords:  brain; fetus; mitochondria; thyroid hormones