bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2022‒03‒06
eleven papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto

  1. Trends Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 24. pii: S0962-8924(22)00034-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Intracellular long-lived proteins (LLPs) provide structural support for several highly stable protein complexes and assemblies that play essential roles in ensuring cellular homeostasis and function. Recently, mitochondrial long-lived proteins (mt-LLPs) were discovered within inner mitochondria membranes (IMMs) and cristae invagination in tissues with old postmitotic cells. This observation is at odds with the fact that mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that are continually remodeled through processes of fission, fusion, biogenesis, and multiple quality control pathways. In this opinion article, we propose that a subset of the mitochondrial proteome persists over long time frames and these mt-LLPs provide key structural support for the lifelong maintenance of mitochondrial structure.
    Keywords:  cristae ultrastructure; long-lived proteins; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; protein turnover; stable structures
  2. Development. 2022 Mar 03. pii: dev.200458. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mitochondrial matrix AAA+ Lon protease (LONP1) degrades misfolded or unassembled proteins, which play a pivotal role in mitochondrial quality control. During heart development, a metabolic shift from anaerobic glycolysis to mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation takes place, and this process relies highly on functional mitochondria. However, the relationship between mitochondrial quality control machinery and metabolic shifts is elusive. Here, we interfered with mitochondrial quality control by inactivating Lonp1 in embryonic cardiac tissue and found severely impaired heart development, leading to embryonic lethality. Mitochondrial swelling, cristae loss and abnormal protein aggregates were evident in the mitochondria of Lonp1-deficient cardiomyocytes. Accordingly, the p-eIF2α-ATF4 pathway was triggered, and nuclear translocation of ATF4 was observed. We further demonstrated that ATF4 negatively regulates the expression of Tfam while promoting that of Glut1, which was responsible for the disruption of the metabolic shift to oxidative phosphorylation. Meanwhile, elevated levels of reactive oxygen species were observed in Lonp1 mutant cardiomyocytes. This study revealed that LONP1 safeguards metabolic shifts in the developing heart by controlling mitochondrial protein quality and implies that disrupted mitochondrial quality control may cause prenatal cardiomyopathy.
    Keywords:  ATF4; Glycolysis; Heart development; LONP1; Metabolic shift; Mitochondrial quality control; Oxidative phosphorylation
  3. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 27. 1-12
      Mutations in the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) are ubiquitous in humans and can lead to a broad spectrum of disorders. However, due to the presence of multiple mtDNA molecules in the cell, co-existence of mutant and wild-type mtDNAs (termed heteroplasmy) can mask disease phenotype unless a threshold of mutant molecules is reached. Importantly, the mutant mtDNA level can change across lifespan as mtDNA segregates in an allele- and cell-specific fashion, potentially leading to disease. Segregation of mtDNA is mainly evident in hepatic cells, resulting in an age-dependent increase of mtDNA variants, including non-synonymous potentially deleterious mutations. Here we modeled mtDNA segregation using a well-established heteroplasmic mouse line with mtDNA of NZB/BINJ and C57BL/6N origin on a C57BL/6N nuclear background. This mouse line showed a pronounced age-dependent NZB mtDNA accumulation in the liver, thus leading to enhanced respiration capacity per mtDNA molecule. Remarkably, liver-specific atg7 (autophagy related 7) knockout abolished NZB mtDNA accumulat ion, resulting in close-to-neutral mtDNA segregation through development into adulthood. prkn (parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase) knockout also partially prevented NZB mtDNA accumulation in the liver, but to a lesser extent. Hence, we propose that age-related liver mtDNA segregation is a consequence of macroautophagic clearance of the less-fit mtDNA. Considering that NZB/BINJ and C57BL/6N mtDNAs have a level of divergence comparable to that between human Eurasian and African mtDNAs, these findings have potential implications for humans, including the safe use of mitochondrial replacement therapy.
    Keywords:  Atg7; NZB; heteroplasmy; mitochondria; mitophagy; parkin
  4. Biol Chem. 2022 Mar 02.
      Recent studies showed that Ceramide Kinase-Like Protein (CERKL)was expressed in the nerve cells and could regulate autophagy. Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) is the regulator of the mitophagy, which can be stabilized by CERKL. Furthermore, the study also revealed that the SIRT1 induced mitophagy by activating PINK1/Parkin signaling. Therefore, we speculated that CERKL has potential to activate the SIRT1/PINK1/Parkin pathway to induce mitophagy. In this study, cerebral ischemia reperfusion mouse model was established. CERKL was overexpressed in those mice and human neuroblastoma cells. Tunel staining and flow cytometry were applied for the detection of cell apoptosis. The ratios of LC3Ⅱ to LC3Ⅰ and the expression of LC3Ⅱ in mitochondria were determined by gel electrophoresis. Overexpression of CERKL alleviated the cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury and damage to OGD/R human neuroblastoma cells. Overexpression of CERKL enhanced the expression of LC3 Ⅱ in mitochondria and induced occurrence of mitophagy. Overexpression of CERKL promoted the stability of SIRT1 and facilitated the expression of PINK1 and Parkin in those cells. Knockdown of PINK1 impeded the mitophagy and suppressed the expression of LC3 Ⅱ in mitochondria. It can be concluded that CERKL alleviated the ischemia reperfusion induced nervous system injury through inducing mitophagy in a SIRT1/PINK1/Parkin dependent pathway.
    Keywords:  CERKL; SIRT1; cerebral ischemia reperfusion; mitophagy
  5. Cell Death Dis. 2022 02 26. 13(2): 191
      Dynamic changes in physiologic oxygen are required for proper placenta development; yet, when low-oxygen levels persist, placental development is halted, culminating in preeclampsia (PE), a serious complication of pregnancy. Considering mitochondria's function is intimately linked to oxygen changes, we investigated the impact of oxygen on mitochondrial dynamics in placental mesenchymal stromal cells (pMSCs) that are vital for proper placental development. Transmission electron microscopy, proximity ligation assays for mitochondrial VDAC1 and endoplasmic reticulum IP3R, and immunoanalyses of p-DRP1 and OPA1, demonstrate that low-oxygen conditions in early 1st trimester and PE promote mitochondrial fission in pMSCs. Increased mitochondrial fission of mesenchymal cells was confirmed in whole PE placental tissue sections. Inhibition of DRP1 oligomerization with MDiVi-1 shows that low oxygen-induced mitochondrial fission is a direct consequence of DRP1 activation, likely via HIF1. Mitophagy, a downstream event prompted by mitochondrial fission, is a prominent outcome in PE, but not 1st trimester pMSCs. We also investigated whether mesenchymal-epithelial interactions affect mitochondrial dynamics of trophoblasts in PE placentae. Exposure of trophoblastic JEG3 cells to exosomes of preeclamptic pMSCs caused heightened mitochondrial fission in the cells via a sphingomyelin-dependent mechanism that was restored by MDiVi-1. Our data uncovered dichotomous regulation of mitochondrial fission and health in human placental mesenchymal cells under physiologic and pathologic hypoxic conditions and its impact on neighboring trophoblast cells.
  6. Aging Cell. 2022 Mar 02. e13564
      Aged cardiomyocytes develop a mismatch between energy demand and supply, the severity of which determines the onset of heart failure, and become prone to undergo cell death. The FoF1-ATP synthase is the molecular machine that provides >90% of the ATP consumed by healthy cardiomyocytes and is proposed to form the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), an energy-dissipating channel involved in cell death. We investigated whether aging alters FoF1-ATP synthase self-assembly, a fundamental biological process involved in mitochondrial cristae morphology and energy efficiency, and the functional consequences this may have. Purified heart mitochondria and cardiomyocytes from aging mice displayed an impaired dimerization of FoF1-ATP synthase (blue native and proximity ligation assay), associated with abnormal mitochondrial cristae tip curvature (TEM). Defective dimerization did not modify the in vitro hydrolase activity of FoF1-ATP synthase but reduced the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation in intact mitochondria (in which membrane architecture plays a fundamental role) and increased cardiomyocytes' susceptibility to undergo energy collapse by mPTP. High throughput proteomics and fluorescence immunolabeling identified glycation of 5 subunits of FoF1-ATP synthase as the causative mechanism of the altered dimerization. In vitro induction of FoF1-ATP synthase glycation in H9c2 myoblasts recapitulated the age-related defective FoF1-ATP synthase assembly, reduced the relative contribution of oxidative phosphorylation to cell energy metabolism, and increased mPTP susceptibility. These results identify altered dimerization of FoF1-ATP synthase secondary to enzyme glycation as a novel pathophysiological mechanism involved in mitochondrial cristae remodeling, energy deficiency, and increased vulnerability of cardiomyocytes to undergo mitochondrial failure during aging.
    Keywords:  ATP; ROS; aging; dicarbonyl stress; mitochondria
  7. JCI Insight. 2022 Mar 01. pii: e150696. [Epub ahead of print]
      The importance of healthy mitochondrial function is implicated in the prevention of chronic/diabetic kidney diseases (CKD/DKD). Sex differences also play an important role in DKD. Our previous studies revealed that mitochondrial substrate overload (modeled by homozygous deletion of carnitine acetyl-transferase - CrAT) in proximal tubules causes renal injury. Here we demonstrate the importance of intact mitochondrial substrate efflux by titrating the amount of overload through the generation of a heterozygous CrAT knockout model ("PT-CrATHET" mouse). Intriguingly, these animals developed renal injury similarly to their homozygous counterparts. Mitochondria were structurally and functionally impaired in both sexes. Transcriptomic analyses, however, revealed striking sex differences. Male mice shut down fatty acid oxidation and several other metabolism-related pathways. Females had a significantly weaker transcriptional response in metabolism but activation of inflammatory pathways was prominent. Proximal tubular cells from PT-CrATHET mice of both sexes exhibited a shift towards a more glycolytic phenotype, but females were still able to oxidize fatty acid-based substrates. Our results demonstrate that maintaining mitochondrial substrate metabolism balance is crucial to satisfy proximal tubular energy demand. Our findings have potentially broad implications as both the glycolytic shift and the sexual dimorphisms discovered herein offer new modalities for future interventions for treating kidney disease.
    Keywords:  Chronic kidney disease; Fatty acid oxidation; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Nephrology
  8. Mol Cell. 2022 Mar 03. pii: S1097-2765(22)00108-3. [Epub ahead of print]82(5): 1066-1077.e7
      The mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) translocates into the nucleus, facilitating histone acetylation by producing acetyl-CoA. We describe a noncanonical pathway for nuclear PDC (nPDC) import that does not involve nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). Mitochondria cluster around the nucleus in response to proliferative stimuli and tether onto the nuclear envelope (NE) via mitofusin-2 (MFN2)-enriched contact points. A decrease in nuclear MFN2 levels decreases mitochondria tethering and nPDC levels. Mitochondrial PDC crosses the NE and interacts with lamin A, forming a ring below the NE before crossing through the lamin layer into the nucleoplasm, in areas away from NPCs. Effective blockage of NPC trafficking does not decrease nPDC levels. The PDC-lamin interaction is maintained during cell division, when lamin depolymerizes and disassembles before reforming daughter nuclear envelopes, providing another pathway for nPDC entry during mitosis. Our work provides a different angle to understanding mitochondria-to-nucleus communication and nuclear metabolism.
    Keywords:  acetylation; cell cycle; lamin; metabolism; mitochondria; mitofusin; nucleus; protein trafficking; pyruvate dehydrogenase complex; tethering
  9. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 27. 1-14
      Defective mitophagy contributes to normal aging and various neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. The newly developed methodologies to visualize and quantify mitophagy allow for additional progress in defining the pathophysiological significance of mitophagy in various model organisms. However, current knowledge regarding mitophagy relevant to human physiology is still limited. Model organisms such as mice might not be optimal models to recapitulate all the key aspects of human disease phenotypes. The development of the human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) may provide an exquisite approach to bridge the gap between animal mitophagy models and human physiology. To explore this premise, we take advantage of the pH-dependent fluorescent mitophagy reporter, mt-Keima, to assess mitophagy in hiPSCs and hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). We demonstrate that mt-Keima expression does not affect mitochondrial function or cardiomyocytes contractility. Comparison of hiPSCs and hiPSC-CMs during different stages of differentiation revealed significant variations in basal mitophagy. In addition, we have employed the mt-Keima hiPSC-CMs to analyze how mitophagy is altered under certain pathological conditions including treating the hiPSC-CMs with doxorubicin, a chemotherapeutic drug well known to cause life-threatening cardiotoxicity, and hypoxia that stimulates ischemia injury. We have further developed a chemical screening to identify compounds that modulate mitophagy in hiPSC-CMs. The ability to assess mitophagy in hiPSC-CMs suggests that the mt-Keima hiPSCs should be a valuable resource in determining the role mitophagy plays in human physiology and hiPSC-based disease models. The mt-Keima hiPSCs could prove a tremendous asset in the search for pharmacological interventions that promote mitophagy as a therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  Cardiomyocytes; cardiomyopathy; induced pluripotent stem cells; mitochondrial; mitophagy; mt-Keima
  10. iScience. 2022 Feb 18. 25(2): 103787
      Glucose homeostasis is maintained by modulation of metabolic flux. Enzymes and metabolites regulate the involved metabolic pathways. Dysregulation of glucose homeostasis is a pathological event in obesity. Analyzing metabolic pathways and the mechanisms contributing to obesity-associated dysregulation in vivo is challenging. Here, we introduce OMELET: Omics-Based Metabolic Flux Estimation without Labeling for Extended Trans-omic Analysis. OMELET uses metabolomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic data to identify relative changes in metabolic flux, and to calculate contributions of metabolites, enzymes, and transcripts to the changes in metabolic flux. By evaluating the livers of fasting ob/ob mice, we found that increased metabolic flux through gluconeogenesis resulted primarily from increased transcripts, whereas that through the pyruvate cycle resulted from both increased transcripts and changes in substrates of metabolic enzymes. With OMELET, we identified mechanisms underlying the obesity-associated dysregulation of metabolic flux in the liver.
    Keywords:  Metabolomics;; Proteomics; Systems biology; Transcriptomics
  11. Sci Adv. 2022 Mar 04. 8(9): eabn2070
      Mammalian photoreceptors aggregate numerous mitochondria, organelles chiefly for energy production, in the ellipsoid region immediately adjacent to the light-sensitive outer segment to support the high metabolic demands of phototransduction. However, these complex, lipid-rich organelles are also poised to affect light passage into the outer segment. Here, we show, via live imaging and simulations, that despite this risk of light scattering or absorption, these tightly packed mitochondria "focus" light for entry into the outer segment and that mitochondrial remodeling affects such light concentration. This "microlens"-like feature of cone mitochondria delivers light with an angular dependence akin to the Stiles-Crawford effect (SCE), providing a simple explanation for this essential visual phenomenon that improves resolution. This new insight into the optical role of mitochondria is relevant for the interpretation of clinical ophthalmological imaging, lending support for the use of SCE as an early diagnostic tool in retinal disease.