bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2022‒07‒03
eleven papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto

  1. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Jun 27.
      Mitophagy, a mitochondria-specific form of autophagy, removes dysfunctional mitochondria and is hence an essential process contributing to mitochondrial quality control. PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) and the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin are critical molecules involved in stress-induced mitophagy, but the intracellular signaling mechanisms by which this pathway is regulated are unclear. We tested the hypothesis that signaling through RhoA, a small GTPase, induces mitophagy via modulation of the PINK1/Parkin pathway as a protective mechanism against ischemic stress. We demonstrate that expression of constitutively active RhoA as well as sphingosine-1-phosphate induced activation of endogenous RhoA in cardiomyocytes result in an accumulation of PINK1 at mitochondria. This is accompanied by translocation of Parkin to mitochondria and ubiquitination of mitochondrial proteins leading to recognition of mitochondria by autophagosomes and their lysosomal degradation. Expression of RhoA in cardiomyocytes confers protection against ischemia, and this cardioprotection is attenuated by siRNA-mediated PINK1 knockdown. In vivo myocardial infarction elicits increases in mitochondrial PINK1, Parkin, and ubiquitinated mitochondrial proteins. AAV9-mediated RhoA expression potentiates these responses and a concurrent decrease in infarct size is observed. Interestingly, induction of mitochondrial PINK1 accumulation in response to RhoA signaling is neither mediated through its transcriptional upregulation nor dependent on depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane, the canonical mechanism for PINK1 accumulation. Instead, our results reveal that RhoA signaling inhibits PINK1 cleavage, thereby stabilizing PINK1 protein at mitochondria. We further show that active RhoA localizes at mitochondria and interacts with PINK1, and that the mitochondrial localization of RhoA is regulated by its downstream effector protein kinase D. These findings demonstrate that RhoA activation engages a unique mechanism to regulate PINK1 accumulation, induce mitophagy and protect against ischemic stress, and implicates regulation of RhoA signaling as a potential strategy to enhance mitophagy and confer protection under stress conditions.
  2. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 28. 13(1): 3720
      PINK1-Parkin mediated mitophagy, a selective form of autophagy, represents one of the most important mechanisms in mitochondrial quality control (MQC) via the clearance of damaged mitochondria. Although it is well known that the conjugation of mammalian ATG8s (mATG8s) to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) is a key step in autophagy, its role in mitophagy remains controversial. In this study, we clarify the role of the mATG8-conjugation system in mitophagy by generating knockouts of the mATG8-conjugation machinery. Unexpectedly, we show that mitochondria could still be cleared in the absence of the mATG8-conjugation system, in a process independent of lysosomal degradation. Instead, mitochondria are cleared via extracellular release through a secretory autophagy pathway, in a process we define as Autophagic Secretion of Mitochondria (ASM). Functionally, increased ASM promotes the activation of the innate immune cGAS-STING pathway in recipient cells. Overall, this study reveals ASM as a mechanism in MQC when the cellular mATG8-conjugation machinery is dysfunctional and highlights the critical role of mATG8 lipidation in suppressing inflammatory responses.
  3. J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 Jun 29. e026135
      Background The metabolite succinate accumulates during cardiac ischemia. Within 5 minutes of reperfusion, succinate returns to baseline levels via both its release from cells and oxidation by mitochondrial complex II. The latter drives reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and subsequent opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition (PT) pore, leading to cell death. Targeting succinate dynamics (accumulation/oxidation/release) may be therapeutically beneficial in cardiac ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. It has been proposed that blocking MCT1 (monocarboxylate transporter 1) may be beneficial in IR injury, by preventing succinate release and subsequent engagement of downstream inflammatory signaling pathways. In contrast, herein we hypothesized that blocking MCT1 would retain succinate in cells, exacerbating ROS generation and IR injury. Methods and Results Using the mitochondrial ROS probe mitoSOX and a custom-built murine heart perfusion rig built into a spectrofluorometer, we measured ROS generation in situ during the first moments of reperfusion. We found that acute MCT1 inhibition enhanced mitochondrial ROS generation at reperfusion and worsened IR injury (recovery of function and infarct size). Both of these effects were abrogated by tandem inhibition of mitochondrial complex II, suggesting that succinate retention worsens IR because it drives more mitochondrial ROS generation. Furthermore, using the PT pore inhibitor cyclosporin A, along with monitoring of PT pore opening via the mitochondrial membrane potential indicator tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester, we herein provide evidence that ROS generation during early reperfusion is upstream of the PT pore, not downstream as proposed by others. In addition, pore opening was exacerbated by MCT1 inhibition. Conclusions Together, these findings highlight the importance of succinate dynamics and mitochondrial ROS generation as key determinants of PT pore opening and IR injury outcomes.
    Keywords:  complex II; ischemia; metabolism; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; succinate
  4. J Cell Physiol. 2022 Jul 01.
      The ability of stem cells for self-renewing, differentiation, and regeneration of injured tissues is believed to occur via the hormetic modulation of nuclear/mitochondrial signal transductions. The evidence now indicates that in damaged tissues, the mitochondria set off the alarm under oxidative stress conditions, hence they are the central regulators of stem cell fate decisions. This review aimed to provide an update to a broader concept of stem cell fate in stress conditions of damaged tissues, and insights for the mitochondrial hormesis (mitohormesis), including the integrated stress response (ISR), mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondria uncoupling, unfolded protein response, and mitokines, with implications for the control of stem cells programing in a successful clinical cell therapy.
    Keywords:  hypoxia; integrated stress response; mitohormesis; mitokines; oxidative stress; stem cell
  5. Commun Biol. 2022 Jul 01. 5(1): 649
      Mitochondrial ultrastructure represents a pinnacle of form and function, with the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) forming isolated pockets of cristae membrane (CM), separated from the inner-boundary membrane (IBM) by cristae junctions (CJ). Applying structured illumination and electron microscopy, a novel and fundamental function of MICU1 in mediating Ca2+ control over spatial membrane potential gradients (SMPGs) between CM and IMS was identified. We unveiled alterations of SMPGs by transient CJ openings when Ca2+ binds to MICU1 resulting in spatial cristae depolarization. This Ca2+/MICU1-mediated plasticity of the CJ further provides the mechanistic bedrock of the biphasic mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake kinetics via the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) during intracellular Ca2+ release: Initially, high Ca2+ opens CJ via Ca2+/MICU1 and allows instant Ca2+ uptake across the CM through constantly active MCU. Second, MCU disseminates into the IBM, thus establishing Ca2+ uptake across the IBM that circumvents the CM. Under the condition of MICU1 methylation by PRMT1 in aging or cancer, UCP2 that binds to methylated MICU1 destabilizes CJ, disrupts SMPGs, and facilitates fast Ca2+ uptake via the CM.
  6. Nature. 2022 Jun 29.
      Aggressive and metastatic cancers show enhanced metabolic plasticity1, but the precise underlying mechanisms of this remain unclear. Here we show how two NOP2/Sun RNA methyltransferase 3 (NSUN3)-dependent RNA modifications-5-methylcytosine (m5C) and its derivative 5-formylcytosine (f5C) (refs.2-4)-drive the translation of mitochondrial mRNA to power metastasis. Translation of mitochondrially encoded subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation complex depends on the formation of m5C at position 34 in mitochondrial tRNAMet. m5C-deficient human oral cancer cells exhibit increased levels of glycolysis and changes in their mitochondrial function that do not affect cell viability or primary tumour growth in vivo; however, metabolic plasticity is severely impaired as mitochondrial m5C-deficient tumours do not metastasize efficiently. We discovered that CD36-dependent non-dividing, metastasis-initiating tumour cells require mitochondrial m5C to activate invasion and dissemination. Moreover, a mitochondria-driven gene signature in patients with head and neck cancer is predictive for metastasis and disease progression. Finally, we confirm that this metabolic switch that allows the metastasis of tumour cells can be pharmacologically targeted through the inhibition of mitochondrial mRNA translation in vivo. Together, our results reveal that site-specific mitochondrial RNA modifications could be therapeutic targets to combat metastasis.
  7. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 28. 13(1): 3702
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondria contact site (ERMCS) is crucial for exchanging biological molecules such as phospholipids and Ca2+ ions between these organelles. Mitoguardin-2 (MIGA2), a mitochondrial outer membrane protein, forms the ERMCS in higher eukaryotic cells. Here, we report the crystal structures of the MIGA2 Lipid Droplet (LD) targeting domain and the ER membrane protein VAPB bound to the phosphorylated FFAT motif of MIGA2. These structures reveal that the MIGA2 LD targeting domain has a large internal hydrophobic pocket that accommodates phospholipids and that two phosphorylations of the FFAT motif are required for tight interaction of MIGA2 with VAPB, which enhances the rate of lipid transport. Further biochemical studies show that MIGA2 transports phospholipids between membranes with a strong preference for binding and trafficking phosphatidylserine (PS). These results provide a structural and molecular basis for understanding how MIGA2 mediates the formation of ERMCS and facilitates lipid trafficking at the ERMCS.
  8. J Vis Exp. 2022 Jun 09.
      Transmission electron microscopy has been long considered to be the gold standard for the visualization of cellular ultrastructure. However, analysis is often limited to two dimensions, hampering the ability to fully describe the three-dimensional (3D) ultrastructure and functional relationship between organelles. Volume electron microscopy (vEM) describes a collection of techniques that enable the interrogation of cellular ultrastructure in 3D at mesoscale, microscale, and nanoscale resolutions. This protocol provides an accessible and robust method to acquire vEM data using serial section transmission EM (TEM) and covers the technical aspects of sample processing through to digital 3D reconstruction in a single, straightforward workflow. To demonstrate the usefulness of this technique, the 3D ultrastructural relationship between the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria and their contact sites in liver hepatocytes is presented. Interorganelle contacts serve vital roles in the transfer of ions, lipids, nutrients, and other small molecules between organelles. However, despite their initial discovery in hepatocytes, there is still much to learn about their physical features, dynamics, and functions. Interorganelle contacts can display a range of morphologies, varying in the proximity of the two organelles to one another (typically ~10-30 nm) and the extent of the contact site (from punctate contacts to larger 3D cisternal-like contacts). The examination of close contacts requires high-resolution imaging, and serial section TEM is well suited to visualize the 3D ultrastructural of interorganelle contacts during hepatocyte differentiation, as well as alterations in hepatocyte architecture associated with metabolic diseases.
  9. Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 01. 12(1): 11183
      There is a shortage of donor livers and patients consequently die on waiting lists worldwide. Livers are discarded if they are clinically judged to have a high risk of non-function following transplantation. With the aim of extending the pool of available donor livers, we assessed the condition of porcine livers by monitoring the microwave dielectric properties. A total of 21 livers were divided into three groups: control with no injury (CON), biliary injury by hepatic artery occlusion (AHEP), and overall hepatic injury by static cold storage (SCS). All were monitored for four hours in vivo, followed by ex vivo plurithermic machine perfusion (PMP). Permittivity data was modeled with a two-pole Cole-Cole equation, and dielectric properties from one-hour intervals were analyzed during in vivo and normothermic machine perfusion (NMP). A clear increasing trend in the conductivity was observed in vivo in the AHEP livers compared to the control livers. After four hours of NMP, separations in the conductivity were observed between the three groups. Our results indicate that dielectric relaxation spectroscopy (DRS) can be used to detect and differentiate liver injuries, opening for a standardized and reliable point of evaluation for livers prior to transplantation.
  10. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2497 141-172
      Mitochondrial energy production is crucial for normal daily activities and maintenance of life. Herein, the logic and execution of two main classes of measurements are outlined to delineate mitochondrial function: ATP production and oxygen consumption. Aerobic ATP production is quantified by phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31PMRS) in vivo in both human subjects and animal models using the same protocols and maintaining the same primary assumptions. Mitochondrial oxygen consumption is quantified by oxygen polarography and applied in isolated mitochondria, cultured cells, and permeabilized fibers derived from human or animal tissue biopsies. Traditionally, mitochondrial functional measures focus on maximal oxidative capacity-a flux rate that is rarely, if ever, observed outside of experimental conditions. Perhaps more physiologically relevant, both measurement classes herein focus on one principal design paradigm; submaximal mitochondrial fluxes generated by graded levels of ADP to map the function for ADP sensitivity. We propose this function defines the bioenergetic role that mitochondria fill within the myoplasm to sense and match ATP demands. Any deficit in this vital role for ATP homeostasis leads to symptoms often seen in cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary diseases, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
    Keywords:  ADP sensitivity; Aerobic metabolism; Bioenergetics; Free energy homeostasis; Magnetic resonance; Oxygen consumption
  11. Nat Metab. 2022 Jun;4(6): 651-662
      Multiple roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their consequences for health and disease are emerging throughout biological sciences. This development has led researchers unfamiliar with the complexities of ROS and their reactions to employ commercial kits and probes to measure ROS and oxidative damage inappropriately, treating ROS (a generic abbreviation) as if it were a discrete molecular entity. Unfortunately, the application and interpretation of these measurements are fraught with challenges and limitations. This can lead to misleading claims entering the literature and impeding progress, despite a well-established body of knowledge on how best to assess individual ROS, their reactions, role as signalling molecules and the oxidative damage that they can cause. In this consensus statement we illuminate problems that can arise with many commonly used approaches for measurement of ROS and oxidative damage, and propose guidelines for best practice. We hope that these strategies will be useful to those who find their research requiring assessment of ROS, oxidative damage and redox signalling in cells and in vivo.