bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2021‒11‒07
seven papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto


  1. FEBS J. 2021 Nov 05.
      Loss of the mitochondrial fission enzyme dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) in cardiomyocytes results in energy shortage and heart failure. We aim to understand the intracellular signal pathway and extracellular factors regulating Drp1 phosphorylation and mitochondrial morphology and function in cardiomyocytes. We found cyclic mechanical stretching induced mitochondrial fission through Drp1 and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs). FAK regulated phosphorylation of Drp1 and mitochondrial Drp1 levels. Extracellular fibronectin activated Drp1 and caused mitochondrial fission through FAK and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). Fibronectin increased NRVMs oxygen consumption rate and ATP content via FAK-ERK1/2-Drp1. Inhibition of the FAK-ERK1/2-Drp1 pathway caused cellular energy shortage. In addition, the FAK-ERK1/2-Drp1 pathway was rapidly activated by adrenergic agonists and contributed to agonists-stimulated NRVMs respiration. Interestingly, fibronectin limited the adrenergic agonists-induced NRVMs respiration by restricting phosphorylation of Drp1. Our results suggest that extracellular fibronectin and adrenergic stimulations use the FAK-ERK1/2-Drp1 pathway to regulate mitochondrial morphology and function in cardiomyocytes.
    Keywords:  Drp1; FAK; fibronectin; mitochondrial fission
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/febs.16263
  2. Mitochondrion. 2021 Oct 30. pii: S1567-7249(21)00145-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      The integrity of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) isolated from solid tissues is critical for analyses such as long-range PCR, but is typically assessed under conditions that fail to provide information on the individual mtDNA strands. Using denaturing gel electrophoresis, we show that commonly-used isolation procedures generate mtDNA containing several single-strand breaks per strand. Through systematic comparison of DNA isolation methods, we identify a procedure yielding the highest integrity of mtDNA that we demonstrate displays improved performance in downstream assays. Our results highlight the importance of isolation method choice, and serve as a resource to researchers requiring high-quality mtDNA from solid tissues.
    Keywords:  DNA integrity; long-range PCR; mitochondrial DNA; mtDNA; nuclease activity
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2021.10.005
  3. Shock. 2021 Nov 03.
      BACKGROUND: Recent studies have demonstrated that alterations in mitochondrial dynamics can impact innate immune function. However, the upstream mechanisms which link mitochondrial dynamics to innate immune phenotypes have not been completely elucidated. This study asks if δPKC-mediated phosphorylation of Drp1, a key driver of mitochondrial fission, impacts macrophage pro-inflammatory response following bacterial-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation.METHODS: Using RAW 264.7 cells, bone marrow-derived macrophages from C57BL/6J mice, as well as human monocyte-derived macrophages, we first characterized changes in δPKC-mediated phosphorylation of Drp1 following LPS stimulation. Next, using rationally-designed peptides that inhibit δPKC activation (δV1-1) and δPKC-Drp1 interaction (ψDrp1), we determined whether δPKC-mediated phosphorylation of Drp1 impacts LPS-induced changes in mitochondrial morphology, mitochondrial function, and inflammatory response.
    RESULTS: Our results demonstrated that δPKC-dependent Drp1 activation is associated with increased mitochondrial fission, impaired cellular respiration, and increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in LPS-treated macrophages. This is reversed using a rationally-designed peptide which selectively inhibits δPKC phosphorylation of Drp1 (ψDrp1). Interestingly, limiting excessive mitochondrial fission using ψDrp1 reduced LPS-triggered pro-inflammatory response, including a decrease in NF-κB nuclear localization, decreased iNOS induction, and a reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNFα, IL-6).
    CONCLUSION: These data suggest that inhibiting Drp1 phosphorylation by δPKC abates the excessive mitochondrial fragmentation and mitochondrial dysfunction that is seen following LPS treatment. Furthermore, these data suggest that limiting δPKC-dependent Drp1 activation decreases the pro-inflammatory response following LPS treatment. Altogether, δPKC-dependent Drp1 phosphorylation might be an upstream mechanistic link between alterations in mitochondrial dynamics and innate immune phenotypes, and may have therapeutic potential.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1097/SHK.0000000000001885
  4. Physiol Res. 2021 Oct 30. 70(6):
      Mitochondria play an important role in the cell aging process. Changes in calcium homeostasis and/or increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production lead to the opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP), depolarization of the inner mitochondrial membrane, and decrease of ATP production. Our work aimed to monitor age-related changes in the Ca2+ ion effect on MPTP and the ability of isolated rat liver mitochondria to accumulate calcium. The mitochondrial calcium retention capacity (CRC) was found to be significantly affected by the age of rats. Measurement of CRC values of the rat liver mitochondria showed two periods when 3 to 17-week old rats were tested. 3-week and 17-week old rats showed lower CRC values than 7-week old animals. Similar changes were observed while testing calcium-induced swelling of rat liver mitochondria. These findings indicate that the mitochondrial energy production system is more resistant to calcium-induced MPTP opening accompanied by the damaging effect of ROS in adult rats than in young and aged animals.
  5. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Oct 28. pii: ddab314. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pathogenic variants that disrupt human mitochondrial protein synthesis are associated with a clinically heterogenous group of diseases. Despite an impairment in oxidative phosphorylation being a common phenotype, the underlying molecular pathogenesis is more complex than simply a bioenergetic deficiency. Currently, we have limited mechanistic understanding on the scope by which a primary defect in mitochondrial protein synthesis contributes to organelle dysfunction. Since the proteins encoded in the mitochondrial genome are hydrophobic and need co-translational insertion into a lipid bilayer, responsive quality control mechanisms are required to resolve aberrations that arise with the synthesis of truncated and misfolded proteins. Here, we show that defects in the OXA1L-mediated insertion of MT-ATP6 nascent chains into the mitochondrial inner membrane are rapidly resolved by the AFG3L2 protease complex. Using pathogenic MT-ATP6 variants, we then reveal discrete steps in this quality control mechanism and the differential functional consequences to mitochondrial gene expression. The inherent ability of a given cell type to recognize and resolve impairments in mitochondrial protein synthesis may in part contribute at the molecular level to the wide clinical spectrum of these disorders.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab314
  6. Circ Res. 2021 Nov 02.
      Rationale: Obesity-associated cardiomyopathy characterized by hypertrophy and mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial quality control mechanisms, including mitophagy, are essential for the maintenance of cardiac function in obesity-associated cardiomyopathy. However, autophagic flux peaks at around 6 weeks of high fat diet (HFD) consumption and declines thereafter. Objective: We investigated whether mitophagy is activated during the chronic phase of cardiomyopathy associated with obesity (obesity cardiomyopathy) after general autophagy is downregulated and, if so, what the underlying mechanism and the functional significance are. Methods and Results: Mice were fed either a normal diet (ND) or a HFD (60 kcal % fat). Mitophagy, evaluated using Mito-Keima, was increased after 3 weeks of HFD consumption and continued to increase after conventional mechanisms of autophagy were inactivated, at least until 24 weeks. HFD consumption time-dependently up-regulated both Ser555-phosphorylated Ulk1 and Rab9 in the mitochondrial fraction. Mitochondria were sequestrated by Rab9-positive ring-like structures in cardiomyocytes isolated from mice after 20 weeks of HFD consumption, consistent with the activation of alternative mitophagy. Increases in mitophagy induced by HFD consumption for 20 weeks were abolished in cardiac-specific ulk1 knockout mouse hearts, in which both diastolic and systolic dysfunction were exacerbated. Rab9 S179A knock-in mice, in which alternative mitophagy is selectively suppressed, exhibited impaired mitophagy and more severe cardiac dysfunction than control mice following HFD consumption for 20 weeks. Overexpression of Rab9 in the heart increased mitophagy and protected against cardiac dysfunction during HFD consumption. HFD-induced activation of Rab9-dependent mitophagy was accompanied by upregulation of TFE3, which plays an essential role in transcriptional activation of mitophagy. Conclusions: Ulk1-Rab9-dependent alternative mitophagy is activated during the chronic phase of HFD consumption and serves as an essential mitochondrial quality control mechanism, thereby protecting the heart against obesity cardiomyopathy.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.319377
  7. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Nov 05. 12(11): 1050
      Mitochondrial mass imbalance is one of the key causes of cardiovascular dysfunction after hypoxia. The activation of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), as well as its mitochondrial translocation, play important roles in the changes of both mitochondrial morphology and mitochondrial functions after hypoxia. However, in addition to mediating mitochondrial fission, whether Drp1 has other regulatory roles in mitochondrial homeostasis after mitochondrial translocation is unknown. In this study, we performed a series of interaction and colocalization assays and found that, after mitochondrial translocation, Drp1 may promote the excessive opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) after hypoxia. Firstly, mitochondrial Drp1 maximumly recognizes mPTP channels by binding Bcl-2-associated X protein (BAX) and a phosphate carrier protein (PiC) in the mPTP. Then, leucine-rich repeat serine/threonine-protein kinase 2 (LRRK2) is recruited, whose kinase activity is inhibited by direct binding with mitochondrial Drp1 after hypoxia. Subsequently, the mPTP-related protein hexokinase 2 (HK2) is inactivated at Thr-473 and dissociates from the mitochondrial membrane, ultimately causing structural disruption and overopening of mPTP, which aggravates mitochondrial and cellular dysfunction after hypoxia. Thus, our study interprets the dual direct regulation of mitochondrial Drp1 on mitochondrial morphology and functions after hypoxia and proposes a new mitochondrial fission-independent mechanism for the role of Drp1 after its translocation in hypoxic injury.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-04343-x