bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2021‒08‒29
twenty-four papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto

  1. J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2021 Aug 25. e22898
      Maintenance of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation capacity and other mitochondrial functions are essential for the prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction-related diseases such as neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and liver diseases. To date, no well-known treatment modality has been developed to prevent or reduce mitochondrial dysfunction. However, a novel approach that transplants fully functional mitochondria directly into defective cells has recently caught the attention of scientists. In this review, we provide an overview of the cell/tissue source of the mitochondria to prompt cell regeneration or tissue repair in vitro and in vivo applications. The animal and human models entail that effective procedures should be used in the isolation and confirmation of mitochondrial membrane potential and function. We believe that these procedures for mitochondrial transplantation for tissue or cell culture will confirm intact, viable, and free from contamination isolated mitochondria from the appropriate sources.
    Keywords:  mitochondria dysfunction; mitochondrial isolation; mitochondrial transplantation
  2. Autophagy. 2021 Aug 25. 1-12
      Depolarized mitochondria can be degraded via mitophagy, a selective form of autophagy. The RAB GTPase RAB7A was recently shown to play a key role in this process. RAB7A regulates late endocytic trafficking under normal growth conditions but is translocated to the mitochondrial surface following depolarization. However, how RAB7A activity is regulated during mitophagy is not understood. Here, using a proximity-dependent biotinylation approach (miniTurbo), we identified C5orf51 as a specific interactor of GDP-locked RAB7A. C5orf51 also interacts with the RAB7A guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) complex members MON1 and CCZ1. In the absence of C5orf51, localization of RAB7A on depolarized mitochondria is compromised and the protein is degraded by the proteasome. Furthermore, depletion of C5orf51 also inhibited ATG9A recruitment to depolarized mitochondria. Together, these results indicate that C5orf51 is a positive regulator of RAB7A in its shuttling between late endosomes and mitochondria to enable mitophagy.Abbreviations: ATG9A: autophagy related 9A; Baf A1: bafilomycin A1; BioID: proximity-dependent biotin identification; CCCP: carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone; CCZ1: CCZ1 homolog, vacuolar protein trafficking and biogenesis associated; DQ-BSA: dye quenched-bovine serum albumin; FYCO1: FYVE and coiled-coil domain autophagy adaptor 1; GAP: GTPase activating protein; GEF: guanine nucleotide exchange factor; KO: knockout; LRPPRC: leucine rich pentatricopeptide repeat containing; MG132: carbobenzoxy-Leu-Leu-leucinal; MON1: MON1 homolog, secretory trafficking associated; mtDNA: mitochondrial DNA; PINK1: PTEN induced kinase 1; PRKN/PARKIN: parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase; RMC1: regulator of MON1-CCZ1; TBC1D15: TBC1 domain family member 15; TBC1D17: TBC1 domain family member 17; TOMM20: translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 20; WDR91: WD repeat domain 91; WT: wild type.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; C5orf51; RAB7A; guanine nucleotide exchange factor; mitophagy
  3. J Cell Biochem. 2021 Aug 25.
      Mitochondria function as an integrated network that moves along the microtubules within cells and changes the morphology through membrane fusion and fission events. Mitofusin (MFN) mediates membrane tethering and subsequent fusion of the mitochondrial outer membrane. Understanding the regulatory mechanisms of MFN function is critical to tackling the pathology related to mitochondrial network imbalance. Here, we reveal a novel inhibitory mechanism of MFN-mediated fusion by mitochondrial Rho GTPase (Miro1) in response to elevated mitochondrial Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+ ]m ). We showed that elevated [Ca2+ ]m prevents the fusion between mitochondria forming the outer membrane tether by ectopically expressing MFN. Lowering [Ca2+ ]m by treating cells with an inhibitor of mitochondrial calcium uniporter or knocking down Miro1/2 induces more fused networks. Miro1 interacts with MFN as supported by co-immunoprecipitation and protein association identified by proximity labeling proteomics. It suggests that Miro1 functions as a Ca2+ -sensor and inhibits MFN function at elevated [Ca2+ ]m. Miro1 EF-hand mutant has a compromised inhibitory effect, which reiterates Ca2+ -modulated regulation. Dysregulated Ca2+ -handling and mitochondrial network imbalance are highly relevant in the pathology of cancers, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Miro1 functions as a coordinated Ca2+ -responder by pausing mitochondrial transport while reducing network fusion and cooperating with Drp1-mediated fission. It likely prevents the detrimental effect of Ca2+ m overload and facilitates mitophagy. Our finding reveals a novel regulation of mitochondrial network dynamics responding to [Ca2+ ]m through the interplay of Miro1 and MFN. Modulation of Miro1 and MFN interaction is a potential intervention to promote network homeostasis.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial Rho GTPase (Miro); mitochondrial calcium; mitochondrial fusion; mitochondrial network homeostasis; mitofusin (MFN)
  4. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 24. pii: S2211-1247(21)00999-2. [Epub ahead of print]36(8): 109565
      Mitochondria constantly undergo fusion and fission events, referred as mitochondrial dynamics, which determine mitochondrial architecture and bioenergetics. Cultured cell studies demonstrate that mitochondrial dynamics are acutely regulated by phosphorylation of the mitochondrial fission orchestrator dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) at S579 or S600. However, the physiological impact and crosstalk of these phosphorylation sites is poorly understood. Here, we describe the functional interrelation between S579 and S600 phosphorylation sites in vivo and their role on mitochondrial remodeling. Mice carrying a homozygous Drp1 S600A knockin (Drp1 KI) mutation display larger mitochondria and enhanced lipid oxidation and respiratory capacities, granting improved glucose tolerance and thermogenic response upon high-fat feeding. Housing mice at thermoneutrality blunts these differences, suggesting a role for the brown adipose tissue in the protection of Drp1 KI mice against metabolic damage. Overall, we demonstrate crosstalk between Drp1 phosphorylation sites and provide evidence that their modulation could be used in the treatment and prevention of metabolic diseases.
    Keywords:  Drp1; brown adipose tissue; insulin resistance; metabolic syndrome; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial respiration; phosphorylation; thermoneutrality
  5. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 ;2021 1370862
      Although the interplay between mitochondria and ER has been identified as a crucial regulator of cellular homeostasis, the pathogenic impact of alterations in mitochondria-ER contact sites (MERCS) during myocardial postischemic reperfusion (I/R) injury remains incompletely understood. Therefore, in our study, we explored the beneficial role played by melatonin in protecting cardiomyocytes against reperfusion injury via stabilizing mitochondria-ER interaction. In vitro exposure of H9C2 rat cardiomyocytes to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) augmented mitochondrial ROS synthesis, suppressed both mitochondrial potential and ATP generation, and increased the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening rate. Furthermore, H/R exposure upregulated the protein content of CHOP and caspase-12, two markers of ER stress, and enhanced the transcription of main MERCS tethering proteins, namely, Fis1, BAP31, Mfn2, and IP3R. Interestingly, all the above changes could be attenuated or reversed by melatonin treatment. Suggesting that melatonin-induced cardioprotection works through normalization of mitochondria-ER interaction, overexpression of IP3R abolished the protective actions offered by melatonin on mitochondria-ER fitness. These results expand our knowledge on the cardioprotective actions of melatonin during myocardial postischemic reperfusion damage and suggest that novel, more effective treatments for acute myocardial reperfusion injury might be achieved through modulation of mitochondria-ER interaction in cardiac cells.
  6. Biochem J. 2021 Aug 27. 478(16): 3125-3143
      Mitochondria import about 1000 proteins that are produced as precursors on cytosolic ribosomes. Defects in mitochondrial protein import result in the accumulation of non-imported precursor proteins and proteotoxic stress. The cell is equipped with different quality control mechanisms to monitor protein transport into mitochondria. First, molecular chaperones guide unfolded proteins to mitochondria and deliver non-imported proteins to proteasomal degradation. Second, quality control factors remove translocation stalled precursor proteins from protein translocases. Third, protein translocases monitor protein sorting to mitochondrial subcompartments. Fourth, AAA proteases of the mitochondrial subcompartments remove mislocalized or unassembled proteins. Finally, impaired efficiency of protein transport is an important sensor for mitochondrial dysfunction and causes the induction of cellular stress responses, which could eventually result in the removal of the defective mitochondria by mitophagy. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of quality control mechanisms that govern mitochondrial protein transport.
    Keywords:  TIM23 complex; TOM complex; mitochondria; protein sorting; protein transport
  7. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Aug 10. pii: 4027. [Epub ahead of print]13(16):
      Targeting mitochondria with thenoyltrifluoroacetone (TTFA), an inhibitor of Complex II in the respiratory chain, stimulated cisplatin-induced apoptosis in various cell lines in normoxia but not in hypoxia. This can be explained by the elimination of mitochondria involved in triggering apoptotic cell death by mitophagy, either Parkin-dependent or receptor-mediated. Treatment with TTFA alone or in combination with cisplatin did not cause accumulation of PINK1, meaning that under hypoxic conditions cells survive through activation of a receptor-mediated pathway. Hypoxia triggers the accumulation of BNIP3 and BNIP3L (also known as NIX), key participants in receptor-mediated mitophagy. Under hypoxic conditions, stimulation of autophagy, as assessed by the accumulation of lipidated form of LC3 (LC3II), was observed. To exclude the contribution of canonical macroautophagy in LC3II accumulation, experiments were performed using U1810 cells lacking ATG13, a key enzyme of macroautophagy. Despite the absence of ATG13, hypoxia-mediated accumulation of LC3II was not affected, underlying the importance of the receptor-mediated pathway. In order to prove the protective role of BNIP3 against cisplatin-induced apoptosis, BNIP3-deficient A549 cells were used. Surprisingly, a BNIP3 knockout did not abolish hypoxia-induced protection; however, in cells lacking BNIP3, a compensatory upregulation of BNIP3L was detected. Thus, in the absence of BNIP3, mitophagy could be maintained by BNIP3L and lead to cell death suppression due to the elimination of proapoptotic mitochondria. When both BNIP3 and BNIP3L were knocked out, the inhibitory effect of hypoxia on apoptosis was diminished, although not abolished completely. Undoubtedly, receptor-mediated mitophagy is likely to be one of the mechanisms responsible for cell death suppression under hypoxic conditions.
    Keywords:  autophagy; cancer; cell death; hypoxia; mitochondria; mitophagy
  8. Biophys Chem. 2021 Aug 14. pii: S0301-4622(21)00150-2. [Epub ahead of print]278 106668
      Mitochondrial activity as regards ATP production strongly depends on mitochondrial swelling (MS) mode. Therefore, this work analyzes reversible and irreversible MS using a detailed biophysical model. The reported model includes mechanical properties of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM). The model describes MS dynamics for spherically symmetric, axisymmetric ellipsoidal and general ellipsoidal mitochondria. Mechanical stretching properties of the IMM were described by a second-rank rigidity tensor. The tensor components were estimated by fitting to the earlier reported results of in vitro experiments. The IMM rigidity constant of ca. 0.008 dyn/nm was obtained for linear deformations. The model also included membrane bending effects, which were small compared to those of membrane stretching. The model was also tested by simulation of the earlier reported experimental data and of the system dynamics at different initial conditions, predicting the system behavior. The transition criteria from reversible to irreversible swelling were determined and tested. The presently developed model is applicable directly to the analysis of in vitro experimental data, while additional improvements are necessary before it could be used to describe mitochondrial swelling in vivo. The reported theoretical model also provides an idea of physically consistent mechanism for the permeability transport pore (PTP) opening, which depends on the IMM stretching stress. In the current study, this idea is discussed briefly, but a detailed theoretical analysis of these ideas will be performed later. The currently developed model provides new understanding of the detailed MS mechanism and of the conditions for the transition between reversible and irreversible MS modes. On the other hand, the current model provides useful mathematical tools, that may be successfully used in mitochondrial biophysics research, and also in other applications, predicting the behavior of mitochondria in different conditions of the surrounding media in vitro or cellular cyto(sarco)plasm in vivo. These mathematical tools are based on real biophysical processes occurring in mitochondria. Thus, we note a significant progress in the theoretical approach, which may be used in real biological systems, compared to the earlier reported models. Significance of this study derives from inclusion of IMM mechanical properties, which directly impact the reversible and irreversible mitochondrial swelling dynamics. Reversible swelling corresponds to reversible IMM deformations, while irreversible swelling corresponds to irreversible deformations, with eventual membrane disruption. The IMM mechanical properties are directly dependent on the membrane biochemical composition and structure. The IMM deformationas are induced by osmotic pressure created by the ionic/neutral solute imbalance between the mitochondrial matrix media and the bulk solution in vitro, or cyto(sarco)plasm in vivo. The novelty of the reported model is in the biophysical mechanism detailing ionic and neutral solute transport for a large number of solutes, which were not taken into account in the earlier reported biophysical models of MS. Therefore, the reported model allows understanding response of mitochondria to the changes of initial concentration(s) of any of the solute(s) included in the model. Note that the values of all of the model parameters and kinetic constants have been estimated and the resulting complete model may be used for quantitative analysis of mitochondrial swelling dynamics in conditions of real in vitro experiments.
    Keywords:  IMM mechanical properties; Inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM); Irreversible swelling; Mitochondrion; Reversible swelling; Swelling
  9. MethodsX. 2021 ;8 101197
      We describe here a simple method to enrich mitochondrial fractions from mammalian cells for downstream analyses in the lab. Mitochondria purification involves cell lysis followed by separation of the organelles from the rest of the cellular components. Here, we use detergent to rupture the cell membrane of mammalian cells followed by differential centrifugation to enrich the organelles. Optimum conditions with respect to detergent concentration, time, sample size, and yield are discussed. The method's utility in downstream analyses and ease of processing multiple samples simultaneously is also described. All the reagents in this method can be assembled in-house, are economical, and are comparable, if not superior, to commercially available kits in terms of mitochondrial yield and integrity. • Rapid enrichment of mitochondria from mammalian cells using commonly available reagents. • Multiple samples can be processed simultaneously. • Works over a wide range of sample size (1 million to 100 million cells).
    Keywords:  Chemical lysis of cells; Mitochondria purification; Purity and integrity of mitochondria; Subcellular fractionation
  10. Cells. 2021 Jul 23. pii: 1863. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury unavoidably occurs during hepatic resection and transplantation. Aged livers poorly tolerate I/R during surgical treatment. Although livers have a powerful endogenous inhibitor of calpains, calpastatin (CAST), I/R activates calpains, leading to impaired autophagy, mitochondrial dysfunction, and hepatocyte death. It is unknown how I/R in aged livers affects CAST. Human and mouse liver biopsies at different ages were collected during in vivo I/R. Hepatocytes were isolated from 3-month- (young) and 26-month-old (aged) mice, and challenged with short in vitro simulated I/R. Cell death, protein expression, autophagy, and mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) between the two age groups were compared. Adenoviral vector was used to overexpress CAST. Significant cell death was observed only in reperfused aged hepatocytes. Before the commencement of ischemia, CAST expression in aged human and mouse livers and mouse hepatocytes was markedly greater than that in young counterparts. However, reperfusion substantially decreased CAST in aged human and mouse livers. In hepatocytes, reperfusion rapidly depleted aged cells of CAST, cleaved autophagy-related protein 5 (ATG5), and induced defective autophagy and MPT onset, all of which were blocked by CAST overexpression. Furthermore, mitochondrial morphology was shifted toward an elongated shape with CAST overexpression. In conclusion, CAST in aged livers is intrinsically short-lived and lost after short I/R. CAST depletion contributes to age-dependent liver injury after I/R.
    Keywords:  autophagy; calpastatin; ischemia/reperfusion; liver; mitochondria
  11. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 09. pii: 8560. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      The opening of the permeability transition pore (mPTP) in mitochondria initiates cell death in numerous diseases. The regulation of mPTP by NAD(H) in the mitochondrial matrix is well established; however, the role of extramitochondrial (cytosolic) NAD(H) is still unclear. We studied the effect of added NADH and NAD+ on: (1) the Ca2+-retention capacity (CRC) of isolated rat liver, heart, and brain mitochondria; (2) the Ca2+-dependent mitochondrial swelling in media whose particles can (KCl) or cannot (sucrose) be extruded from the matrix by mitochondrial carriers; (3) the Ca2+-dependent mitochondrial depolarization and the release of entrapped calcein from mitochondria of permeabilized hepatocytes; and (4) the Ca2+-dependent mitochondrial depolarization and subsequent repolarization. NADH and NAD+ increased the CRC of liver, heart, and brain mitochondria 1.5-2.5 times, insignificantly affecting the rate of Ca2+-uptake and the free Ca2+ concentration in the medium. NAD(H) suppressed the Ca2+-dependent mitochondrial swelling both in KCl- and sucrose-based media but did not induce the contraction and repolarization of swollen mitochondria. By contrast, EGTA caused mitochondrial repolarization in both media and the contraction in KCl-based medium only. NAD(H) delayed the Ca2+-dependent depolarization and the release of calcein from individual mitochondria in hepatocytes. These data unambiguously demonstrate the existence of an external NAD(H)-dependent site of mPTP regulation.
    Keywords:  NAD+; NADH; calcium retention capacity; cytosolic; external regulatory site; permeability transition pore; pore closure
  12. J Control Release. 2021 Aug 24. pii: S0168-3659(21)00444-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      We have demonstrated, for the first time that microvesicles, a sub-type of extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from hCMEC/D3: a human brain endothelial cell (BEC) line transfer polarized mitochondria to recipient BECs in culture and to neurons in mice acute brain cortical and hippocampal slices. This mitochondrial transfer increased ATP levels by 100 to 200-fold (relative to untreated cells) in the recipient BECs exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation, an in vitro model of cerebral ischemia. We have also demonstrated that transfer of microvesicles, the larger EV fraction, but not exosomes resulted in increased mitochondrial function in hypoxic endothelial cultures. Gene ontology and pathway enrichment analysis of EVs revealed a very high association to glycolysis-related processes. In comparison to heterotypic macrophage-derived EVs, BEC-derived EVs demonstrated a greater selectivity to transfer mitochondria and increase endothelial cell survival under ischemic conditions.
    Keywords:  BBB protection; Exosomes; Extracellular vesicles; Ischemic stroke; Microvesicles; Mitochondrial function; Mitochondrial transfer
  13. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Aug 24. pii: gkab726. [Epub ahead of print]
      Diagnosing mitochondrial disorders remains challenging. This is partly because the clinical phenotypes of patients overlap with those of other sporadic and inherited disorders. Although the widespread availability of genetic testing has increased the rate of diagnosis, the combination of phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity still makes it difficult to reach a timely molecular diagnosis with confidence. An objective, systematic method for describing the phenotypic spectra for each variant provides a potential solution to this problem. We curated the clinical phenotypes of 6688 published individuals with 89 pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations, collating 26 348 human phenotype ontology (HPO) terms to establish the MitoPhen database. This enabled a hypothesis-free definition of mtDNA clinical syndromes, an overview of heteroplasmy-phenotype relationships, the identification of under-recognized phenotypes, and provides a publicly available reference dataset for objective clinical comparison with new patients using the HPO. Studying 77 patients with independently confirmed positive mtDNA diagnoses and 1083 confirmed rare disease cases with a non-mitochondrial nuclear genetic diagnosis, we show that HPO-based phenotype similarity scores can distinguish these two classes of rare disease patients with a false discovery rate <10% at a sensitivity of 80%. Enriching the MitoPhen database with more patients will improve predictions for increasingly rare variants.
  14. Mol Biol Rep. 2021 Aug 25.
      Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) caused by the ingestion of medications, herbs, chemicals or dietary supplements, is a clinically widespread health problem. The underlying mechanism of DILI is the formation of reactive metabolites, which trigger mitochondrial oxidative stress and the opening of mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) pores through direct toxicity or immune response, leading to cell inflammation, apoptosis, and necrosis. Traditionally, mitochondria play an indispensable role in maintaining the physiological and biochemical functions of cells by producing ATP and mediating intracellular signal transduction; drugs can typically stimulate the mitochondria and, in the case of sustained stress, can eventually cause impairment of mitochondrial function and metabolic activity. Meanwhile, the mitochondrial stress response, as an adaptive protective mechanism, occurs when mitochondrial homeostasis is threatened. In this review, we summarize the relevant frontier researches of the protective effects of mitochondrial stress response in DILI as well as the potential related mechanisms, thus providing some thoughts for the clinical treatment of DILI.
    Keywords:  Adaptive protective mechanism; Drug-induced liver injury; Mitochondrial homeostasis; Mitochondrial stress response
  15. Redox Biol. 2021 Aug 18. pii: S2213-2317(21)00272-X. [Epub ahead of print]46 102113
      Short-term PM2.5 exposure is related to vascular remodeling and stiffness. Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ is reported to improve the occurrence and development of mitochondrial redox-related diseases. At present, there is limited data on whether MitoQ can alleviate the vascular damage caused by PM2.5. Therefore, the current study was aimed to evaluate the protective role of MitoQ on aortic fibrosis induced by PM2.5 exposure. Vascular Doppler ultrasound manifested PM2.5 damaged both vascular function and structure in C57BL/6J mice. Histopathological analysis found that PM2.5 induced aortic fibrosis and disordered elastic fibers, accompanied by collagen I/III deposition and synthetic phenotype remodeling of vascular smooth muscle cells; while these alterations were partially alleviated following MitoQ treatment. We further demonstrated that mitochondrial dysfunction, including mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction and activated superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) expression, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), oxygen consumption rate (OCR), ATP and increased intracellular Ca2+, as well as mitochondrial fragmentation caused by increased Drp1 expression and decreased Mfn2 expression, occurred in PM2.5-exposed aorta or human aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (HAVSMCs), which were reversed by MitoQ. Moreover, the enhanced expressions of LC3II/I, p62, PINK1 and Parkin regulated mitophagy in PM2.5-exposed aorta and HAVSMCs were weakened by MitoQ. Transfection with PINK1 siRNA in PM2.5-exposed HAVSMCs further improved the effects of MitoQ on HAVSMCs synthetic phenotype remodeling, mitochondrial fragmentation and mitophagy. In summary, our data demonstrated that MitoQ treatment had a protective role in aortic fibrosis after PM2.5 exposure through mitochondrial quality control, which regulated by mitochondrial ROS/PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy. Our study provides a possible targeted therapy for PM2.5-induced arterial stiffness.
    Keywords:  MitoQ; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Mitophagy; Short-term PM(2.5) exposure; Vascular fibrosis
  16. Redox Rep. 2021 Dec;26(1): 160-169
      Objectives: High dose-rate ionizing radiation (IR) causes severe DSB damage, as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and oxidative stress. However, it is unknown what biological processes are affected by low dose-rate IR; therefore, the molecular relationships between mitochondria changes and oxidative stress in human normal cells was investigated after low dose-rate IR.Methods: We compared several cellular response between high and low dose-rate irradiation using cell survival assay, ROS/RNS assay, immunofluorescence and western blot analysis.Results: Reduced DSB damage and increased levels of ROS, with subsequent oxidative stress responses, were observed in normal cells after low dose-rate IR. Low dose-rate IR caused several mitochondrial changes, including morphology mass, and mitochondrial membrane potential, suggesting that mitochondrial damage was caused. Although damaged mitochondria were removed by mitophagy to stop ROS leakage, the mitophagy-regulatory factor, PINK1, was reduced following low dose-rate IR. Although mitochondrial dynamics (fission/fusion events) are important for the proper mitophagy process, some mitochondrial fusion factors decreased following low dose-rate IR.Discussion: The dysfunction of mitophagy pathway under low dose-rate IR increased ROS and the subsequent activation of the oxidative stress response.
    Keywords:  ATM; DNA damage; Low dose-rate irradiation; PINK1; ROS; genomic instability; mitochondria; mitophagy; oxidative stress
  17. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 16. pii: 8773. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is characterized by a limited blood supply to organs, followed by the restoration of blood flow and reoxygenation. In addition to ischemia, blood flow recovery can also lead to very harmful injury, especially inflammatory injury. Autophagy refers to the transport of cellular materials to the lysosomes for degradation, leading to the conversion of cellular components and offering energy and macromolecular precursors. It can maintain the balance of synthesis, decomposition and reuse of the intracellular components, and participate in many physiological processes and diseases. Inflammasomes are a kind of protein complex. Under physiological and pathological conditions, as the cellular innate immune signal receptors, inflammasomes sense pathogens to trigger an inflammatory response. TheNLRP3 inflammasome is the most deeply studied inflammasome and is composed of NLRP3, the adaptor apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC) and pro-caspase-1. Its activation triggers the cleavage of pro-interleukin (IL)-1β and pro-IL-18 mediated by caspase-1 and promotes a further inflammatory process. Studies have shown that autophagy and the NLRP3 inflammasome play an important role in the process of I/R injury, but the relevant mechanisms have not been fully explained, especially how the interaction between autophagy and the NLRP3 inflammasome participates in I/R injury, which remains to be further studied. Therefore, we reviewed the recent studies about the interplay between autophagy and the NLRP3 inflammasome in I/R injury and analyzed the mechanisms to provide the theoretical references for further research in the future.
    Keywords:  NLRP3 inflammasome; autophagy; ischemia/reperfusion injury; mitophagy; reactive oxygen species
  18. Transpl Int. 2021 Sep;34(9): 1607-1617
      Livers from donors after circulatory death (DCD) are a promising option to increase the donor pool, but their use is associated with higher complication rate and inferior graft survival. Normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) keeps the graft at 37°C, providing nutrients and oxygen supply. Human liver stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles (HLSC-EVs) are able to reduce liver injury and promote regeneration. We investigated the efficacy of a reconditioning strategy with HLSC-EVs in an experimental model of NMP. Following total hepatectomy, rat livers were divided into 4 groups: (i) healthy livers, (ii) warm ischemic livers (60 min of warm ischemia), (iii) warm ischemic livers treated with 5 × 108 HLSC-EVs/g-liver, and (iv) warm ischemic livers treated with a 25 × 108 HLSC-EVs/g-liver. NMP lasted 6 h and HLSC-EVs (Unicyte AG, Germany) were administered within the first 15 min. Compared to controls, HLSC-EV treatment significantly reduced transaminases release. Moreover, HLSC-EVs enhanced liver metabolism by promoting phosphate utilization and pH self-regulation. As compared to controls, the higher dose of HLSC-EV was associated with significantly higher bile production and lower intrahepatic resistance. Histologically, this group showed reduced necrosis and enhanced proliferation. In conclusion, HLSC-EV treatment during NMP was feasible and effective in reducing injury in a DCD model with prolonged warm ischemia.
    Keywords:  donors after circulatory death; liver transplantation; machine perfusion; microvesicles; organ preservation and procurement; stem cells
  19. EMBO J. 2021 Aug 23. e107988
      The intricate process of human mtDNA replication requires the coordinated action of both transcription and replication machineries. Transcription and replication events at the lagging strand of mtDNA prompt the formation of a stem-loop structure (OriL) and the synthesis of a ∼25 nt RNA primer by mitochondrial RNA polymerase (mtRNAP). The mechanisms by which mtRNAP recognizes OriL, initiates transcription, and transfers the primer to the replisome are poorly understood. We found that transcription initiation at OriL involves slippage of the nascent transcript. The transcript slippage is essential for initiation complex stability and its ability to translocate the mitochondrial DNA polymerase gamma, PolG, which pre-binds to OriL, downstream of the replication origin thus allowing for the primer synthesis. Our data suggest the primosome assembly at OriL-a complex of mtRNAP and PolG-can efficiently generate the primer, transfer it to the replisome, and protect it from degradation by mitochondrial endonucleases.
    Keywords:  POLRMT; PolG; mitochondrial replication; mitochondrial transcription; primosome
  20. J Cell Sci. 2021 Aug 27. pii: jcs.258824. [Epub ahead of print]
      Degradation of aggregates by selective autophagy is important as damaged proteins may impose a threat to cellular homeostasis. Although the core components of the autophagy machinery are well-characterized, the spatiotemporal regulation of many selective autophagy processes, including aggrephagy, remains largely unexplored. Furthermore, because most live-cell imaging studies have so far focused on starvation-induced autophagy, little is known about the dynamics of aggrephagy. Here, we describe the development and application of the mKeima-PIM assay, which enables live-cell observation of autophagic turnover and degradation of inducible protein aggregates in conjunction with key autophagy players. This allowed us to quantify the relative timing and duration of different steps of aggrephagy and revealed the short-lived nature of the autophagosome. The assay furthermore showed the spatial distribution of omegasome formation, highlighting that autophagy initiation is directly instructed by the cargo. Moreover, we found that nascent autophagosomes mostly remain immobile until acidification occurs. Thus, our assay provides new insights into the spatiotemporal regulation and dynamics of aggrephagy.
    Keywords:  Aggregates; Autophagy; Live-cell imaging
  21. Biomolecules. 2021 Aug 09. pii: 1177. [Epub ahead of print]11(8):
      Cancer cell culture is routinely performed under superphysiologic O2 levels and in media such as Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) with nutrient composition dissimilar to mammalian extracellular fluid. Recently developed cell culture media (e.g., Plasmax, Human Plasma-Like Medium (HPLM)), which are modeled on the metabolite composition of human blood plasma, have been shown to shift key cellular activities in several cancer cell lines. Similar effects have been reported with respect to O2 levels in cell culture. Given these observations, we investigated how media composition and O2 levels affect cellular energy metabolism and mitochondria network structure in MCF7, SaOS2, LNCaP, and Huh7 cells. Cells were cultured in physiologic (5%) or standard (18%) O2 levels, and in physiologic (Plasmax) or standard cell culture media (DMEM). We show that both O2 levels and media composition significantly affect mitochondrial abundance and network structure, concomitantly with changes in cellular bioenergetics. Extracellular acidification rate (ECAR), a proxy for glycolytic activity, was generally higher in cells cultured in DMEM while oxygen consumption rates (OCR) were lower. This effect of media on energy metabolism is an important consideration for the study of cancer drugs that target aspects of energy metabolism, including lactate dehydrogenase activity.
    Keywords:  cell culture; glycolysis; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial networks; oxidative phosphorylation
  22. J Hepatol. 2021 Aug 24. pii: S0168-8278(21)02004-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND&AIMS: Patients with acute decompensation (AD) of cirrhosis progressing to acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) present a systemic hyperinflammatory response associated with increased circulating levels of small-molecule metabolites. To investigate whether these alterations reflect inadequate cell energy output, we assessed mitochondrial morphology and central metabolic pathways with emphasis on the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in peripheral leukocytes from AD patients with and without ACLF.METHODS: The study included samples from AD patients (108 without and 128 with ACLF) and 41 healthy subjects. Leukocyte mitochondrial ultrastructure was visualized by transmission electron microscopy and cytosolic and mitochondrial metabolic fluxes were determined by assessing NADH/FADH2 production from various substrates. Plasma GDF15 and FGF21 were determined by Luminex and acylcarnitines by LC-MS/MS. Gene expression was analyzed by RNA-sequencing and PCR-based glucose metabolism profiler array.
    RESULTS: Mitochondrial ultrastructure in patients with advanced cirrhosis was distinguished by cristae rarefication and swelling. The number of mitochondria per leukocyte was higher in patients, accompanied by a reduction in their size. Increased FGF21 and C6:0- and C8:0-carnitine predicted mortality whereas GDF15 strongly correlated with a gene set signature related to leukocyte activation. Metabolic flux analyses revealed increased energy production in mononuclear leukocytes from patients with preferential involvement of extra-mitochondrial pathways, supported by upregulated expression of genes encoding enzymes of the glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathways. In ACLF patients, mitochondrial function analysis uncovered two break-points in the TCA cycle at the isocitrate dehydrogenase and succinate dehydrogenase level, which were bridged by anaplerotic reactions involving glutaminolysis and nucleoside metabolism.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence at the cellular, organelle and biochemical levels that severe mitochondrial dysfunction governs immunometabolism in leukocytes from patients with AD cirrhosis and ACLF.
    LAY SUMMARY: Patients at advanced stages of liver disease have dismal prognosis due to vital organ failures and the lack of treatment options. In this study, we report that the functioning of mitochondria, which are known as the cell powerhouse, is severely impaired in leukocytes of these patients, probably as the consequence of intense inflammation. Mitochondrial dysfunction is therefore a hallmark of advanced liver disease.
    Keywords:  ACLF; RNA-seq; acute decompensated cirrhosis; immune cells; metabolic phenotype; mitochondria
  23. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2021 Aug 23. 12(1): 472
      BACKGROUND: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) repair injured tissue in a paracrine manner. To enhance their therapeutic properties, preconditioning with various factors has been researched. We have previously showed that MSCs cultured in serum-free medium (SF-MSCs) promote their immunosuppressive ability, thereby enhancing their anti-fibrotic effect. Here, we examined whether serum-free medium and hypoxic preconditioning synergistically enhance the therapeutic effects of MSCs on renal fibrosis in rats with ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI).METHODS: SF-MSCs were incubated under 1% O2 conditions (hypo-SF-MSCs) or 21% O2 conditions (normo-SF-MSCs) for 24 h before collection. After IRI procedure, hypo-SF-MSCs or normo-SF-MSCs were injected through the abdominal aorta. At 7 or 21 days post-injection, the rats were killed and their kidneys were collected to evaluate inflammation and fibrosis. In in vitro experiments, we investigated whether hypo-SF-MSCs enhanced secretion of anti-fibrotic humoral factors using transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1-stimulated HK-2 cells incubated with conditioned medium from hypo-SF-MSCs or normo-SF-MSCs.
    RESULTS: Normo-SF-MSCs showed attenuation of senescence, which increased their proliferative capacity. Although no significant difference in cellular senescence was found between normo-SF-MSCs and hypo-SF-MSCs, hypo-SF-MSCs further increased their proliferative capacity compared with normo-SF-MSCs. Additionally, administration of hypo-SF-MSCs more strongly ameliorated renal fibrosis than that of normo-SF-MSCs. Moreover, although hypo-SF-MSCs strongly attenuated infiltration of inflammatory cells compared with the control rats, which were treated with PBS, this attenuation was almost equal between normo-SF-MSCs and hypo-SF-MSCs. In vitro experiments revealed that hypo-SF-MSCs more significantly inhibited transforming growth factor (TGF)-β/Smad signaling compared with normo-SF-MSCs. Moreover, hypoxic preconditioning increased hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) secretion even under serum-free conditions, whereas knockdown of HGF in hypo-SF-MSCs attenuated inhibition of TGF-β/Smad signaling.
    CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that administration of ex vivo-expanded, hypoxia-preconditioned SF-MSCs may be a useful cell therapy to prevent renal fibrosis.
    Keywords:  Hepatocyte growth factor; Hypoxic preconditioning; Mesenchymal stem cells; Renal fibrosis; Serum-free conditions
  24. Nat Med. 2021 Aug 23.
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variants influence the risk of late-onset human diseases, but the reasons for this are poorly understood. Undertaking a hypothesis-free analysis of 5,689 blood-derived biomarkers with mtDNA variants in 16,220 healthy donors, here we show that variants defining mtDNA haplogroups Uk and H4 modulate the level of circulating N-formylmethionine (fMet), which initiates mitochondrial protein translation. In human cytoplasmic hybrid (cybrid) lines, fMet modulated both mitochondrial and cytosolic proteins on multiple levels, through transcription, post-translational modification and proteolysis by an N-degron pathway, abolishing known differences between mtDNA haplogroups. In a further 11,966 individuals, fMet levels contributed to all-cause mortality and the disease risk of several common cardiovascular disorders. Together, these findings indicate that fMet plays a key role in common age-related disease through pleiotropic effects on cell proteostasis.