bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2021‒07‒18
fifteen papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto

  1. Am J Transplant. 2021 Jul 09.
      Augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR) is an anti-apoptotic protein found mainly in mitochondria. It protects hepatocytes from ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, but the underlying mechanism is not clear. We found that in rats, delivery of the ALR gene alleviated hepatic I/R injury during orthotopic liver transplantation as evidenced by reduced serum aminotransferase, oxidative stress and apoptosis, and increased expression of autophagy markers. In an in-vitro hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) model, overexpression of the ALR gene activated autophagy and relieved defective mitophagy via the PINK1/Parkin pathway. Mechanistically, ALR transfection induced the expression of mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) in the H/R model, which led to PINK1 accumulation and mitochondrial translocation of Parkin. Deletion of Mfn2 abolished mitophagy activation induced by ALR transfection, promoted mitochondrial dysfunction, and eventually inhibited cell apoptosis. Mfn2 administration prevented the inhibition of mitophagy in ALR-knockout (KO) cells, thus attenuated mitochondrial dysfunction and cell apoptosis. In heterozygous ALR-knockout mice treated with a warm I/R injury, marked aggravation of liver injury was associated with mitophagy inhibition and reduction in Mfn2 expression. Taken together, our results confirm that ALR accelerated Parkin translocation and mitophagy via Mfn2, and protected hepatocytes from I/R-induced injury. Our findings provide a novel rationale for the treatment of hepatic I/R injury.
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jul 20. pii: e2023079118. [Epub ahead of print]118(29):
      Mitochondria form tubular networks that undergo coordinated cycles of fission and fusion. Emerging evidence suggests that a direct yet unresolved interaction of the mechanoenzymatic GTPase dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) with mitochondrial outer membrane-localized cardiolipin (CL), externalized under stress conditions including mitophagy, catalyzes essential mitochondrial hyperfragmentation. Here, using a comprehensive set of structural, biophysical, and cell biological tools, we have uncovered a CL-binding motif (CBM) conserved between the Drp1 variable domain (VD) and the unrelated ADP/ATP carrier (AAC/ANT) that intercalates into the membrane core to effect specific CL interactions. CBM mutations that weaken VD-CL interactions manifestly impair Drp1-dependent fission under stress conditions and induce "donut" mitochondria formation. Importantly, VD membrane insertion and GTP-dependent conformational rearrangements mediate only transient CL nonbilayer topological forays and high local membrane constriction, indicating that Drp1-CL interactions alone are insufficient for fission. Our studies establish the structural and mechanistic bases of Drp1-CL interactions in stress-induced mitochondrial fission.
    Keywords:  NMR; cardiolipin; dynamin; intrinsically disordered; mitochondria
  3. FEBS J. 2021 Jul 16.
      Bacterial pathogens employ a variety of tactics to persist in their host and promote infection. Pathogens often target host organelles in order to benefit their survival, either through manipulation or subversion of their function. Mitochondria are regularly targeted by bacterial pathogens owing to their diverse cellular roles, including energy production and regulation of programmed cell death. However, disruption of normal mitochondrial function during infection can be detrimental to cell viability because of their essential nature. In response, cells use multiple quality control programs to mitigate mitochondrial dysfunction and promote recovery. In this review, we will provide an overview of mitochondrial recovery programs including mitochondrial dynamics, the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt ), and mitophagy. We will then discuss the various approaches used by bacterial pathogens to target mitochondria which result in mitochondrial dysfunction. Lastly, we will discuss how cells leverage mitochondrial recovery programs beyond their role in organelle repair, to promote host defense against pathogen infection.
    Keywords:  UPRmt; defense; infection; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial fission; mitochondrial fusion; mitophagy; pathogen
  4. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2021 ;pii: S1937-6448(21)00037-X. [Epub ahead of print]362 209-259
      Skeletal muscle mitochondria are placed in close proximity of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), the main intracellular Ca2+ store. During muscle activity, excitation of sarcolemma and of T-tubule triggers the release of Ca2+ from the SR initiating myofiber contraction. The rise in cytosolic Ca2+ determines the opening of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), the highly selective channel of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM), causing a robust increase in mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake. The Ca2+-dependent activation of TCA cycle enzymes increases the synthesis of ATP required for SERCA activity. Thus, Ca2+ is transported back into the SR and cytosolic [Ca2+] returns to resting levels eventually leading to muscle relaxation. In recent years, thanks to the molecular identification of MCU complex components, the role of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in the pathophysiology of skeletal muscle has been uncovered. In this chapter, we will introduce the reader to a general overview of mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation. We will tackle the key molecular players and the cellular and pathophysiological consequences of mitochondrial Ca2+ dyshomeostasis. In the second part of the chapter, we will discuss novel findings on the physiological role of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in skeletal muscle. Finally, we will examine the involvement of mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling in muscle diseases.
    Keywords:  Central core disease; Mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake; Mitochondrial calcium uniporter; Muscular dystrophy; Skeletal muscle
  5. J Cell Sci. 2021 Jul 01. pii: jcs252197. [Epub ahead of print]134(13):
      The mitochondrial inner membrane is a protein-rich environment containing large multimeric complexes, including complexes of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, mitochondrial translocases and quality control machineries. Although the inner membrane is highly proteinaceous, with 40-60% of all mitochondrial proteins localised to this compartment, little is known about the spatial distribution and organisation of complexes in this environment. We set out to survey the arrangement of inner membrane complexes using stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM). We reveal that subunits of the TIM23 complex, TIM23 and TIM44 (also known as TIMM23 and TIMM44, respectively), and the complex IV subunit COXIV, form organised clusters and show properties distinct from the outer membrane protein TOM20 (also known as TOMM20). Density based cluster analysis indicated a bimodal distribution of TIM44 that is distinct from TIM23, suggesting distinct TIM23 subcomplexes. COXIV is arranged in larger clusters that are disrupted upon disruption of complex IV assembly. Thus, STORM super-resolution microscopy is a powerful tool for examining the nanoscale distribution of mitochondrial inner membrane complexes, providing a 'visual' approach for obtaining pivotal information on how mitochondrial complexes exist in a cellular context.
    Keywords:  COXIV; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial complexes; Nanoscopy; Protein import; STORM; TIM23
  6. Bio Protoc. 2021 Jun 20. 11(12): e4057
      Mitochondria are essential organelles containing approximately 1,500 proteins. Only approximately 1% of these proteins are synthesized inside mitochondria, whereas the remaining 99% are synthesized as precursors on cytosolic ribosomes and imported into the organelle. Various tools and techniques to analyze the import process have been developed. Among them, in vitro reconstituted import systems are of importance to study these processes in detail. These experiments monitor the import reaction of mitochondrial precursors that were previously radiolabeled in a cell-free environment. However, the methods described have been mostly performed in mitochondria isolated from S. cerevisiae. Here, we describe the adaptation of this powerful assay to import proteins into crude mitochondria isolated from human tissue culture cells. Graphic abstract: Overview of the assay to monitor protein import into mitochondria isolated from human cells.
    Keywords:  Cell-free protein synthesis; Human tissue culture cells; In organello import ; Isolated mitochondria; Radiolabeled proteins
  7. Nat Cell Biol. 2021 Jul;23(7): 684-691
      Members of the mammalian AlkB family are known to mediate nucleic acid demethylation1,2. ALKBH7, a mammalian AlkB homologue, localizes in mitochondria and affects metabolism3, but its function and mechanism of action are unknown. Here we report an approach to site-specifically detect N1-methyladenosine (m1A), N3-methylcytidine (m3C), N1-methylguanosine (m1G) and N2,N2-dimethylguanosine (m22G) modifications simultaneously within all cellular RNAs, and discovered that human ALKBH7 demethylates m22G and m1A within mitochondrial Ile and Leu1 pre-tRNA regions, respectively, in nascent polycistronic mitochondrial RNA4-6. We further show that ALKBH7 regulates the processing and structural dynamics of polycistronic mitochondrial RNAs. Depletion of ALKBH7 leads to increased polycistronic mitochondrial RNA processing, reduced steady-state mitochondria-encoded tRNA levels and protein translation, and notably decreased mitochondrial activity. Thus, we identify ALKBH7 as an RNA demethylase that controls nascent mitochondrial RNA processing and mitochondrial activity.
  8. Trends Biochem Sci. 2021 Jul 06. pii: S0968-0004(21)00121-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Within cellular structures, compartmentalization is the concept of spatial segregation of macromolecules, metabolites, and biochemical pathways. Therefore, this concept bridges organellar structure and function. Mitochondria are morphologically complex, partitioned into several subcompartments by a topologically elaborate two-membrane system. They are also dynamically polymorphic, undergoing morphogenesis events with an extent and frequency that is only now being appreciated. Thus, mitochondrial compartmentalization is something that must be considered both spatially and temporally. Here, we review new developments in how mitochondrial structure is established and regulated, the factors that underpin the distribution of lipids and proteins, and how they spatially demarcate locations of myriad mitochondrial processes. Consistent with its pre-eminence, disturbed mitochondrial compartmentalization contributes to the dysfunction associated with heritable and aging-related diseases.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; cristae; macromolecular trafficking; mitochondria; morphogenesis; ultrastructure
  9. J Physiol. 2021 Jul 16.
      KEY POINTS: The maintenance of mitochondrial integrity is critical for skeletal muscle health. Mitochondrial dynamics play key roles in mitochondrial quality control; however, the exact role that mitochondrial fission plays in the muscle aging process remains unclear. Here we report that both Drp1 knockdown and overexpression late in life in mice is detrimental to skeletal muscle function and mitochondrial health. Drp1 knockdown in 18-month-old mice resulted in severe skeletal muscle atrophy, mitochondrial dysfunction, muscle degeneration/regeneration, oxidative stress, and impaired autophagy. Overexpressing Drp1 in 18-month-old mice resulted in mild skeletal muscle atrophy and decreased mitochondrial quality. Our data indicate that silencing or overexpressing Drp1 late in life is detrimental to skeletal muscle integrity. We conclude that modulating Drp1 expression is unlikely to be a viable approach to counter the muscle aging process.ABSTRACT: Sarcopenia, the aging-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, is a debilitating process negatively impacting s the quality of life of afflicted individuals. Although the mechanisms underlying sarcopenia are still only partly understood, impairments in mitochondrial dynamics, and specifically mitochondrial fission, have been proposed as an underlying mechanism. Importantly, conflicting data exist in the field and both excessive and insufficient mitochondrial fission were proposed to contribute to sarcopenia. In D. Melanogaster, enhancing mitochondrial fission in midlife through overexpression of dynamin-1-like protein (Drp1) extended lifespan and attenuated several key hallmarks of muscle aging. Whether a similar outcome of Drp1 overexpression is observed in mammalian muscles remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the impact of knocking down and overexpressing Drp1 protein for 4 months in skeletal muscles of late middle-aged (18 months) mice using intra-muscular injections of adeno-associated viruses expressing shRNA targeting Drp1 or full Drp1 cDNA. We report that knocking down Drp1 expression late in life triggers severe muscle atrophy, mitochondrial dysfunctions, degeneration/regeneration, oxidative stress and impaired autophagy. Drp1 overexpression late in life triggered mild muscle atrophy and decreased mitochondrial quality. Taken altogether, our results indicate that both overexpression or silencing Drp1 in late middle-aged mice negatively impact skeletal muscle mass and mitochondrial health. These data suggest that Drp1 content must remain within a narrow physiological range to preserve muscle and mitochondrial integrity during aging. Altering Drp1 expression is therefore unlikely to be a viable target to counter sarcopenia. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  autophagy; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial fission; myopathic phenotype; oxidative stress; skeletal muscle aging; skeletal muscle atrophy
  10. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Jul 15. 12(7): 711
      Mitochondria are the main oxygen consumers in cells and as such are the primary organelle affected by hypoxia. All hypoxia pathology presumably derives from the initial mitochondrial dysfunction. An early event in hypoxic pathology in C. elegans is disruption of mitochondrial proteostasis with induction of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) and mitochondrial protein aggregation. Here in C. elegans, we screen through RNAis and mutants that confer either strong resistance to hypoxic cell death or strong induction of the UPRmt to determine the relationship between hypoxic cell death, UPRmt activation, and hypoxia-induced mitochondrial protein aggregation (HIMPA). We find that resistance to hypoxic cell death invariantly mitigated HIMPA. We also find that UPRmt activation invariantly mitigated HIMPA. However, UPRmt activation was neither necessary nor sufficient for resistance to hypoxic death and vice versa. We conclude that UPRmt is not necessarily hypoxia protective against cell death but does protect from mitochondrial protein aggregation, one of the early hypoxic pathologies in C. elegans.
  11. J Cell Biol. 2021 Sep 06. pii: e202005193. [Epub ahead of print]220(9):
      Long-lived proteins (LLPs) have recently emerged as vital components of intracellular structures whose function is coupled to long-term stability. Mitochondria are multifaceted organelles, and their function hinges on efficient proteome renewal and replacement. Here, using metabolic stable isotope labeling of mice combined with mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomic analysis, we demonstrate remarkable longevity for a subset of the mitochondrial proteome. We discovered that mitochondrial LLPs (mt-LLPs) can persist for months in tissues harboring long-lived cells, such as brain and heart. Our analysis revealed enrichment of mt-LLPs within the inner mitochondrial membrane, specifically in the cristae subcompartment, and demonstrates that the mitochondrial proteome is not turned over in bulk. Pioneering cross-linking experiments revealed that mt-LLPs are spatially restricted and copreserved within protein OXPHOS complexes, with limited subunit exchange throughout their lifetimes. This study provides an explanation for the exceptional mitochondrial protein lifetimes and supports the concept that LLPs provide key structural stability to multiple large and dynamic intracellular structures.
  12. FASEB J. 2021 Aug;35(8): e21764
      The size of the permeability transition pore (PTP) is accepted to be ≤1.5 kDa. However, different authors reported values from 650 to 4000 Da. The present study is focused on the variability of the average PTP size in and between mitochondrial samples, its reasons and relations with PTP dynamics. Measurement of PTP size by the standard method revealed its 500 Da-range variability between mitochondrial samples. Sequential measurements in the same sample showed that the PTP size tends to grow with time and Ca2+ concentration. Selective damage to the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) reduced the apparent PTP size by ~200-300 Da. Hypotonic and hypertonic osmotic shock and partial removal of the MOM with the preservation of the mitochondrial inner membrane intactness decreased the apparent PTP size by ~50%. We developed an approach to continuous monitoring of the PTP size that revealed the existence of stable PTP states with different pore sizes (~700, 900-1000, ~1350, 1700-1800, and 2100-2200 Da) and transitions between them. The transitions were accelerated by elevating the Ca2+ concentration, temperature, and osmotic pressure, which demonstrates an increased capability of PTP to accommodate to large molecules (plasticity). Cyclosporin A inhibited the transitions between states. The analysis of PTP size dynamics in osmotically shocked mitochondria and mitoplasts confirmed the importance of the MOM for the stabilization of PTP structure. Thus, this approach provides a new tool for PTP studies and the opportunity to reconcile data on the PTP size and mitochondrial megachannel conductance.
    Keywords:  dynamics; method; permeability transition pore; plasticity; pore size
  13. Nat Metab. 2021 Jul 12.
      Cell competition is emerging as a quality-control mechanism that eliminates unfit cells in a wide range of settings from development to the adult. However, the nature of the cells normally eliminated by cell competition and what triggers their elimination remains poorly understood. In mice, 35% of epiblast cells are eliminated before gastrulation. Here we show that cells with mitochondrial defects are eliminated by cell competition during early mouse development. Using single-cell transcriptional profiling of eliminated mouse epiblast cells, we identify hallmarks of cell competition and mitochondrial defects. We demonstrate that mitochondrial defects are common to a range of different loser cell types and that manipulating mitochondrial function triggers cell competition. Moreover, we show that in the mouse embryo, cell competition eliminates cells with sequence changes in mt-Rnr1 and mt-Rnr2, and that even non-pathological changes in mitochondrial DNA sequences can induce cell competition. Our results suggest that cell competition is a purifying selection that optimizes mitochondrial performance before gastrulation.
  14. PLoS Biol. 2021 Jul;19(7): e3001302
      Defects in mitochondrial function activate compensatory responses in the cell. Mitochondrial stress that is caused by unfolded proteins inside the organelle induces a transcriptional response (termed the "mitochondrial unfolded protein response" [UPRmt]) that is mediated by activating transcription factor associated with stress 1 (ATFS-1). The UPRmt increases mitochondrial protein quality control. Mitochondrial dysfunction frequently causes defects in the import of proteins, resulting in the accumulation of mitochondrial proteins outside the organelle. In yeast, cells respond to mistargeted mitochondrial proteins by increasing activity of the proteasome in the cytosol (termed the "unfolded protein response activated by mistargeting of proteins" [UPRam]). The presence and relevance of this response in higher eukaryotes is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that defects in mitochondrial protein import in Caenorhabditis elegans lead to proteasome activation and life span extension. Both proteasome activation and life span prolongation partially depend on ATFS-1, despite its lack of influence on proteasomal gene transcription. Importantly, life span prolongation depends on the fully assembled proteasome. Our data provide a link between mitochondrial dysfunction and proteasomal activity and demonstrate its direct relevance to mechanisms that promote longevity.
  15. BMC Bioinformatics. 2021 Jul 15. 22(Suppl 10): 369
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondria play essential roles in regulating cellular functions. Some drug treatments and molecular interventions have been reported to have off-target effects damaging mitochondria and causing severe side effects. The development of a database for the management of mitochondrial toxicity-related molecules and their targets is important for further analyses.RESULTS: To correlate chemical, biological and mechanistic information on clinically relevant mitochondria-related toxicity, a comprehensive mitochondrial toxicity database (MitoTox) was developed. MitoTox is an electronic repository that integrates comprehensive information about mitochondria-related toxins and their targets. Information and data related to mitochondrial toxicity originate from various sources, including scientific journals and other electronic databases. These resources were manually verified and extracted into MitoTox. The database currently contains over 1400 small-molecule compounds, 870 mitochondrial targets, and more than 4100  mitochondrial toxin-target associations. Each MitoTox data record contains over 30 fields, including biochemical properties, therapeutic classification, target proteins, toxicological data, mechanistic information, clinical side effects, and references.
    CONCLUSIONS: MitoTox provides a fully searchable database with links to references and other databases. Potential applications of MitoTox include toxicity classification, prediction, reference and education. MitoTox is available online at .
    Keywords:  Database; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial toxicity; Toxin-target association