bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2021‒05‒16
ten papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto


  1. Cell Death Dis. 2021 May 12. 12(5): 475
      Mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy are constitutive and complex systems that ensure a healthy mitochondrial network through the segregation and subsequent degradation of damaged mitochondria. Disruption of these systems can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and has been established as a central mechanism of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Emerging evidence suggests that mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy are integrated systems; however, the role of this relationship in the context of I/R injury remains unclear. To investigate this concept, we utilized primary cortical neurons isolated from the novel dual-reporter mitochondrial quality control knockin mice (C57BL/6-Gt(ROSA)26Sortm1(CAG-mCherry/GFP)Ganl/J) with conditional knockout (KO) of Drp1 to investigate changes in mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagic flux during in vitro I/R injury. Mitochondrial dynamics was quantitatively measured in an unbiased manner using a machine learning mitochondrial morphology classification system, which consisted of four different classifications: network, unbranched, swollen, and punctate. Evaluation of mitochondrial morphology and mitophagic flux in primary neurons exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) and reoxygenation (OGD/R) revealed extensive mitochondrial fragmentation and swelling, together with a significant upregulation in mitophagic flux. Furthermore, the primary morphology of mitochondria undergoing mitophagy was classified as punctate. Colocalization using immunofluorescence as well as western blot analysis revealed that the PINK1/Parkin pathway of mitophagy was activated following OGD/R. Conditional KO of Drp1 prevented mitochondrial fragmentation and swelling following OGD/R but did not alter mitophagic flux. These data provide novel evidence that Drp1 plays a causal role in the progression of I/R injury, but mitophagy does not require Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-03752-2
  2. Mitochondrion. 2021 Apr 30. pii: S1567-7249(21)00058-1. [Epub ahead of print]59 113-122
      The protective effect of intermittent hypoxia (IH) preconditioning against oxidative injury in hepatic cells was investigated and the involvement of the PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy regulated by nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) was evaluated. The results showed that IH preconditioning protected HepG2 cells against oxygen and glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/Rep)-induced injury and protected WRL68 cells against H2O2 or AMA-induced oxidative injury. IH preconditioning up-regulated the protein level of NRF-1, PINK1, Parkin, and LC3 II, promoted the recruitment of the cytosolic Parkin, indicating the initiation of the PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy in WRL68 cells. When NRF-1 was down-regulated by NRF-1 specific shRNA, the protein level of PINK1 and Parkin as well as the mitophagy level were significantly decreased. After IH preconditioning, the protein level of PINK1 and the recruitment of Parkin in CCCP-treated group were significantly higher than that of the control group, indicating the increased mitophagy capacity. And the increased mitophagy capacity induced by IH preconditioning was also reduced by down-regulation of NRF-1. Furthermore, the protective effect of IH preconditioning against H2O2-induced oxidative injury in WRL68 cells was inhibited when NRF-1 or PINK1 was down-regulated by specific shRNA. Mitochondrial ROS generation may be responsible for the increased expression of NRF-1 induced by IH preconditioning. In conclusion, the PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy regulated by NRF-1 was involved in IH preconditioning-induced protective effect against oxidative cellular injury in hepatic cells.
    Keywords:  Intermittent hypoxia; Mitophagy; Nuclear respiratory factor 1; PINK1; Parkin
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2021.04.012
  3. Autophagy. 2021 May 09. 1-20
      Initiation of PINK1- and PRKN-dependent mitophagy is a highly regulated process involving the activity of the AAA-ATPase VCP/p97, a cofactor-guided multifunctional protein central to handling ubiquitinated client proteins. Removal of ubiquitinated substrates such as the mitofusin MFN2 from the outer mitochondrial membrane by VCP is critical for PRKN accumulation on mitochondria, which drives mitophagy. Here we characterize the role of the UBA and UBX-domain containing VCP cofactor UBXN1/SAKS1 during mitophagy. Following mitochondrial depolarization and depending on PRKN, UBXN1 translocated alongside VCP to mitochondria. Prior to mitophagy, loss of UBXN1 led to mitochondrial fragmentation, diminished ATP production, and impaired ER-mitochondrial apposition. When mitophagy was induced in cells lacking UBXN1, mitochondrial translocation of VCP and PRKN was impaired, diminishing mitophagic flux. In addition, UBXN1 physically interacted with PRKN in a UBX-domain depending manner. Interestingly, ectopic expression of the pro-mitophagic VCP cofactor UBXN6/UBXD1 fully reversed impaired PRKN recruitment in UBXN1-/- cells. Mechanistically, UBXN1 acted downstream of PINK1 by facilitating MFN2 removal from mitochondria. In UBXN1-/- cells exposed to mitochondrial stress, MFN2 formed para-mitochondrial blobs likely representing blocked intermediates of the MFN2 removal process partly reversible by expression of UBXN6. Presence of these MFN2 blobs strongly correlated with impaired PRKN translocation to depolarized mitochondria. Our observations connect the VCP cofactor UBXN1 to the initiation and maintenance phase of PRKN-dependent mitophagy, and indicate that, upon mitochondrial stress induction, MFN2 removal from mitochondria occurs through a specialized process.
    Keywords:  MFN2; PRKN; UBXN1; UBXN6; VCP; mitophagy
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2021.1922982
  4. J Cell Biol. 2021 Jul 05. pii: e202010006. [Epub ahead of print]220(7):
      The ER tethers tightly to mitochondria and the mitochondrial protein FUNDC1 recruits Drp1 to ER-mitochondria contact sites, subsequently facilitating mitochondrial fission and preventing mitochondria from undergoing hypoxic stress. However, the mechanisms by which the ER modulates hypoxia-induced mitochondrial fission are poorly understood. Here, we show that USP19, an ER-resident deubiquitinase, accumulates at ER-mitochondria contact sites under hypoxia and promotes hypoxia-induced mitochondrial division. In response to hypoxia, USP19 binds to and deubiquitinates FUNDC1 at ER-mitochondria contact sites, which facilitates Drp1 oligomerization and Drp1 GTP-binding and hydrolysis activities, thereby promoting mitochondrial division. Our findings reveal a unique hypoxia response pathway mediated by an ER protein that regulates mitochondrial dynamics.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.202010006
  5. FEBS J. 2021 May 10.
      To ensure correct function, mitochondria have developed several mechanisms of protein quality control (QC). Protein homeostasis highly relies on chaperones and proteases to maintain proper folding and remove damaged proteins that might otherwise form cell-toxic aggregates. Besides quality control, mitochondrial proteases modulate and regulate many essential functions, such as trafficking, processing, and activation of mitochondrial proteins, mitochondrial dynamics, mitophagy, and apoptosis. Therefore, the impaired function of mitochondrial proteases is associated with various pathological conditions, including cancer, metabolic syndromes, and neurodegenerative disorders. This review recapitulates and discusses the emerging roles of two major proteases of the mitochondrial matrix, LON and ClpXP. Although commonly acknowledge for their protein quality control role, recent advances have uncovered several highly regulated processes controlled by the LON and ClpXP connected to mitochondrial gene expression and respiratory chain function maintenance. Furthermore, both proteases have been lately recognized as potent targets for anti-cancer therapies, and we summarize those findings.
    Keywords:  ClpXP; LONP1; cancer; degradation; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial matrix; mtDNA; proteases; protein quality control; proteolysis; respiratory complexes
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/febs.15964
  6. J Nanobiotechnology. 2021 May 13. 19(1): 136
      SLC25A46 mutations have been found to lead to mitochondrial hyper-fusion and reduced mitochondrial respiratory function, which results in optic atrophy, cerebellar atrophy, and other clinical symptoms of mitochondrial disease. However, it is generally believed that mitochondrial fusion is attributable to increased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), which is inconsistent with the decreased OXPHOS of highly-fused mitochondria observed in previous studies. In this paper, we have used the live-cell nanoscope to observe and quantify the structure of mitochondrial cristae, and the behavior of mitochondria and lysosomes in patient-derived SLC25A46 mutant fibroblasts. The results show that the cristae have been markedly damaged in the mutant fibroblasts, but there is no corresponding increase in mitophagy. This study suggests that severely damaged mitochondrial cristae might be the predominant cause of reduced OXPHOS in SLC25A46 mutant fibroblasts. This study demonstrates the utility of nanoscope-based imaging for realizing the sub-mitochondrial morphology, mitophagy and mitochondrial dynamics in living cells, which may be particularly valuable for the quick evaluation of pathogenesis of mitochondrial morphological abnormalities.
    Keywords:  Cristae; Mitochondrial disease; Mitophagy; Nanoscope; SLC25A46
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12951-021-00882-9
  7. Autophagy. 2020 Dec 01. 1-16
      As a highly dynamic organelle, mitochondria undergo constant fission and fusion to change their morphology and function, coping with various stress conditions. Loss of the balance between fission and fusion leads to impaired mitochondria function, which plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). Yet the mechanisms behind mitochondria dynamics regulation remain to be fully illustrated. Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a lysosome-dependent process that selectively degrades proteins to maintain cellular proteostasis. In this study, we demonstrated that MARCHF5, an E3 ubiquitin ligase required for mitochondria fission, is a CMA substrate. MARCHF5 interacted with key CMA regulators and was degraded by lysosomes. Severe oxidative stress compromised CMA activity and stabilized MARCHF5, which facilitated DNM1L translocation and led to excessive fission. Increase of CMA activity promoted MARCHF5 turnover, attenuated DNM1L translocation, and reduced mitochondria fragmentation, which alleviated mitochondrial dysfunction under oxidative stress. Furthermore, we showed that conditional expression of LAMP2A, the key CMA regulator, in dopaminergic (DA) neurons helped maintain mitochondria morphology and protected DA neuronal viability in a rodent PD model. Our work uncovers a critical role of CMA in maintaining proper mitochondria dynamics, and loss of this regulatory control may occur in PD and underlie its pathogenic process.Abbreviations: CMA: chaperone-mediated autophagy; DA: dopaminergic; DNM1L: dynamin 1 like; FCCP: carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone; HSPA8: heat shock protein family A (Hsp70) member 8; LAMP2A: lysosomal associated membrane protein 2A; MARCHF5: membrane-associated ring-CH-type finger 5; MMP: mitochondria membrane potential; OCR: oxygen consumption rate; 6-OHDA: 6-hydroxydopamine; PD: Parkinson disease; SNc: substantia nigra pars compacta; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; TH: tyrosine hydroxylase; TMRE: tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester perchlorate; WT: wild type.
    Keywords:  Autophagy/mitochondria/oxidative stress/Parkinson disease/proteostasis
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1848128
  8. Commun Biol. 2021 May 14. 4(1): 584
      Most humans carry a mixed population of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA heteroplasmy) affecting ~1-2% of molecules, but rapid percentage shifts occur over one generation leading to severe mitochondrial diseases. A decrease in the amount of mtDNA within the developing female germ line appears to play a role, but other sub-cellular mechanisms have been implicated. Establishing an in vitro model of early mammalian germ cell development from embryonic stem cells, here we show that the reduction of mtDNA content is modulated by oxygen and reaches a nadir immediately before germ cell specification. The observed genetic bottleneck was accompanied by a decrease in mtDNA replicating foci and the segregation of heteroplasmy, which were both abolished at higher oxygen levels. Thus, differences in oxygen tension occurring during early development likely modulate the amount of mtDNA, facilitating mtDNA segregation and contributing to tissue-specific mutation loads.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02069-2
  9. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 May 18. pii: e2018770118. [Epub ahead of print]118(20):
      There is a tight association between mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases and axons that are particularly vulnerable to degeneration, but how mitochondria are maintained in axons to support their physiology remains poorly defined. In an in vivo forward genetic screen for mutants altering axonal mitochondria, we identified tsg101 Neurons mutant for tsg101 exhibited an increase in mitochondrial number and decrease in mitochondrial size. TSG101 is best known as a component of the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) complexes; however, loss of most other ESCRT components did not affect mitochondrial numbers or size, suggesting TSG101 regulates mitochondrial biology in a noncanonical, ESCRT-independent manner. The TSG101-mutant phenotype was not caused by lack of mitophagy, and we found that autophagy blockade was detrimental only to the mitochondria in the cell bodies, arguing mitophagy and autophagy are dispensable for the regulation of mitochondria number in axons. Interestingly, TSG101 mitochondrial phenotypes were instead caused by activation of PGC-1ɑ/Nrf2-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis, which was mTOR independent and TFEB dependent and required the mitochondrial fission-fusion machinery. Our work identifies a role for TSG101 in inhibiting mitochondrial biogenesis, which is essential for the maintenance of mitochondrial numbers and sizes, in the axonal compartment.
    Keywords:  ESCRT; TSG101; mitochondria; mitochondrial biogenesis; neurodegeneration
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2018770118
  10. Cell Rep. 2021 May 11. pii: S2211-1247(21)00445-9. [Epub ahead of print]35(6): 109111
      The f subunit is localized at the base of the ATP synthase peripheral stalk. Its function in the human enzyme is poorly characterized. Because full disruption of its ATP5J2 gene with the CRISPR-Cas9 strategy in the HAP1 human model has been shown to cause alterations in the amounts of other ATP synthase subunits, here we investigated the role of the f subunit in HeLa cells by regulating its levels through RNA interference. We confirm the role of the f subunit in ATP synthase dimer stability and observe that its downregulation per se does not alter the amounts of the other enzyme subunits or ATP synthase synthetic/hydrolytic activity. We show that downregulation of the f subunit causes abnormal crista organization and decreases permeability transition pore (PTP) size, whereas its re-expression in f subunit knockdown cells rescues mitochondrial morphology and PTP-dependent swelling.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; f subunit; mitochondrial morphology; permeability transition pore, PTP
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109111