bims-mikwok Biomed News
on Mitochondrial quality control
Issue of 2022‒07‒10
six papers selected by
Avinash N. Mukkala
University of Toronto

  1. Cells. 2022 Jul 04. pii: 2111. [Epub ahead of print]11(13):
      Reperfusion injury after extended ischemia accounts for approximately 50% of myocardial infarct size, and there is no standard therapy. HDAC inhibition reduces infarct size and enhances cardiomyocyte autophagy and PGC1α-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis when administered at the time of reperfusion. Furthermore, a specific autophagy-inducing peptide, Tat-Beclin 1 (TB), reduces infarct size when administered at the time of reperfusion. However, since SAHA affects multiple pathways in addition to inducing autophagy, whether autophagic flux induced by TB maintains mitochondrial homeostasis during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is unknown. We tested whether the augmentation of autophagic flux by TB has cardioprotection by preserving mitochondrial homeostasis both in vitro and in vivo. Wild-type mice were randomized into two groups: Tat-Scrambled (TS) peptide as the control and TB as the experimental group. Mice were subjected to I/R surgery (45 min coronary ligation, 24 h reperfusion). Autophagic flux, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), mitochondrial morphology, and mitochondrial dynamic genes were assayed. Cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) were treated with a simulated I/R injury to verify cardiomyocyte specificity. The essential autophagy gene, ATG7, conditional cardiomyocyte-specific knockout (ATG7 cKO) mice, and isolated adult mouse ventricular myocytes (AMVMs) were used to evaluate the dependency of autophagy in adult cardiomyocytes. In NRVMs subjected to I/R, TB increased autophagic flux, mtDNA content, mitochondrial function, reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mtDNA damage. Similarly, in the infarct border zone of the mouse heart, TB induced autophagy, increased mitochondrial size and mtDNA content, and promoted the expression of PGC1α and mitochondrial dynamic genes. Conversely, loss of ATG7 in AMVMs and in the myocardium of ATG7 cKO mice abolished the beneficial effects of TB on mitochondrial homeostasis. Thus, autophagic flux is a sufficient and essential process to mitigate myocardial reperfusion injury by maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis and partly by inducing PGC1α-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis.
    Keywords:  ROS; autophagy; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial dynamics; myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury
  2. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2022 Jul 08.
      Mitochondria are traditionally known as the powerhouse of the cell, but their functions extend far beyond energy production. They are vital in cellular and organismal pathways that direct metabolism, stress responses, immunity, and cellular fate. To accomplish these tasks, mitochondria have established networks of both intra- and extracellular communication. Intracellularly, these communication routes comprise direct contacts between mitochondria and other subcellular components as well as indirect vesicle transport of ions, metabolites, and other intracellular messengers. Extracellularly, mitochondria can induce stress responses or other cellular changes that secrete mitochondrial cytokine (mitokine) factors that can travel between tissues as well as respond to immune challenges from extracellular sources. Here we provide a current perspective on the major routes of communication for mitochondrial signaling, including their mechanisms and physiological impact. We also review the major diseases and age-related disorders associated with defects in these signaling pathways. An understanding of how mitochondrial signaling controls cellular homeostasis will bring greater insight into how dysfunctional mitochondria affect health in disease and aging. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology Volume 38 is October 2022. Please see for revised estimates.
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jul 03. pii: 7408. [Epub ahead of print]23(13):
      Extracellular vesicles (EV) derived from stem cells have become an effective complement to the use in cell therapy of stem cells themselves, which has led to an explosion of research into the mechanisms of vesicle formation and their action. There is evidence demonstrating the presence of mitochondrial components in EV, but a definitive conclusion about whether EV contains fully functional mitochondria has not yet been made. In this study, two EV fractions derived from mesenchymal stromal stem cells (MSC) and separated by their size were examined. Flow cytometry revealed the presence of mitochondrial lipid components capable of interacting with mitochondrial dyes MitoTracker Green and 10-nonylacridine orange; however, the EV response to the probe for mitochondrial membrane potential was negative. Detailed analysis revealed components from all mitochondria compartments, including house-keeping mitochondria proteins and DNA as well as energy-related proteins such as membrane-localized proteins of complexes I, IV, and V, and soluble proteins from the Krebs cycle. When assessing the functional activity of mitochondria, high variability in oxygen consumption was noted, which was only partially attributed to mitochondrial respiratory activity. Our findings demonstrate that the EV contain all parts of mitochondria; however, their independent functionality inside EV has not been confirmed, which may be due either to the absence of necessary cofactors and/or the EV formation process and, probably the methodology of obtaining EV.
    Keywords:  ectosomes; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; mesenchymal stromal cells; mitochondria; stem cells
  4. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 07. 13(1): 3775
      Mitofusins reside on the outer mitochondrial membrane and regulate mitochondrial fusion, a physiological process that impacts diverse cellular processes. Mitofusins are activated by conformational changes and subsequently oligomerize to enable mitochondrial fusion. Here, we identify small molecules that directly increase or inhibit mitofusins activity by modulating mitofusin conformations and oligomerization. We use these small molecules to better understand the role of mitofusins activity in mitochondrial fusion, function, and signaling. We find that mitofusin activation increases, whereas mitofusin inhibition decreases mitochondrial fusion and functionality. Remarkably, mitofusin inhibition also induces minority mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization followed by sub-lethal caspase-3/7 activation, which in turn induces DNA damage and upregulates DNA damage response genes. In this context, apoptotic death induced by a second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases (SMAC) mimetic is potentiated by mitofusin inhibition. These data provide mechanistic insights into the function and regulation of mitofusins as well as small molecules to pharmacologically target mitofusins.
  5. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2022 Jul 08.
      Mitochondrial energetic adaptations encompass a plethora of conserved processes that maintain cell and organismal fitness and survival in the changing environment by adjusting the respiratory capacity of mitochondria. These mitochondrial responses are governed by general principles of regulatory biology exemplified by changes in gene expression, protein translation, protein complex formation, transmembrane transport, enzymatic activities and metabolite levels. These changes can promote mitochondrial biogenesis and membrane dynamics that in turn support mitochondrial respiration. The main regulatory components of mitochondrial energetic adaptation include: the transcription coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) coactivator 1α (PGC1α) and associated transcription factors; mTOR and endoplasmic reticulum stress signalling; TOM70-dependent mitochondrial protein import; the cristae remodelling factors, including mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) and OPA1; lipid remodelling; and the assembly and metabolite-dependent regulation of respiratory complexes. These adaptive molecular and structural mechanisms increase respiration to maintain basic processes specific to cell types and tissues. Failure to execute these regulatory responses causes cell damage and inflammation or senescence, compromising cell survival and the ability to adapt to energetically demanding conditions. Thus, mitochondrial adaptive cellular processes are important for physiological responses, including to nutrient availability, temperature and physical activity, and their failure leads to diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction such as metabolic and age-associated diseases and cancer.
  6. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 02. 13(1): 3812
      Autophagy selectively targets cargo for degradation, yet mechanistic understanding remains incomplete. The ATG8-family plays key roles in autophagic cargo recruitment. Here by mapping the proximal interactome of ATG8-paralogs, LC3B and LC3C, we uncover a LC3C-Endocytic-Associated-Pathway (LEAP) that selectively recruits plasma-membrane (PM) cargo to autophagosomes. We show that LC3C localizes to peripheral endosomes and engages proteins that traffic between PM, endosomes and autophagosomes, including the SNARE-VAMP3 and ATG9, a transmembrane protein essential for autophagy. We establish that endocytic LC3C binds cargo internalized from the PM, including the Met receptor tyrosine kinase and transferrin receptor, and is necessary for their recruitment into ATG9 vesicles targeted to sites of autophagosome initiation. Structure-function analysis identified that LC3C-endocytic localization and engagement with PM-cargo requires the extended carboxy-tail unique to LC3C, the TBK1 kinase, and TBK1-phosphosites on LC3C. These findings identify LEAP as an unexpected LC3C-dependent pathway, providing new understanding of selective coupling of PM signalling with autophagic degradation.