bims-mimhed Biomed News
on Mitochondria and metabolism in health and disease
Issue of 2021‒08‒08
forty-five papers selected by
Timothy C. Kenny
Rockefeller University

  1. Cell Metab. 2021 Aug 03. pii: S1550-4131(21)00322-3. [Epub ahead of print]33(8): 1546-1564
      The brain has almost no energy reserve, but its activity coordinates organismal function, a burden that requires precise coupling between neurotransmission and energy metabolism. Deciphering how the brain accomplishes this complex task is crucial to understand central facets of human physiology and disease mechanisms. Each type of neural cell displays a peculiar metabolic signature, forcing the intercellular exchange of metabolites that serve as both energy precursors and paracrine signals. The paradigm of this biological feature is the astrocyte-neuron couple, in which the glycolytic metabolism of astrocytes contrasts with the mitochondrial oxidative activity of neurons. Astrocytes generate abundant mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and shuttle to neurons glycolytically derived metabolites, such as L-lactate and L-serine, which sustain energy needs, conserve redox status, and modulate neurotransmitter-receptor activity. Conversely, early disruption of this metabolic cooperation may contribute to the initiation or progression of several neurological diseases, thus requiring innovative therapies to preserve brain energetics.
  2. Cell. 2021 Aug 05. pii: S0092-8674(21)00838-2. [Epub ahead of print]184(16): 4109-4112
      Interplay between metabolic and epigenetic remodeling may be key to cell fate control. In this issue of Cell, Puleston et al. and Wagner et al. use metabolomic, computational, and genetic approaches to uncover that polyamine metabolism directs T helper cell lineage choices, epigenetic state, and pathogenic potential in inflammation.
  3. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jul 22. pii: 3670. [Epub ahead of print]13(15):
      Nuclear protein 1 (NUPR1) is a small intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) activated in response to various types of cellular stress, including endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are mainly produced during mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, and directly impact redox homeostasis and oxidative stress. Ferroptosis is a ROS-dependent programmed cell death driven by an iron-mediated redox reaction. Substantial evidence supports a maintenance role of the stress-inducible protein NUPR1 on cancer cell metabolism that confers chemotherapeutic resistance by upregulating mitochondrial function-associated genes and various antioxidant genes in cancer cells. NUPR1, identified as an antagonist of ferroptosis, plays an important role in redox reactions. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the mechanism behind the observed impact of NUPR1 on mitochondrial function, energy metabolism, iron metabolism, and the antioxidant system. The therapeutic potential of genetic or pharmacological inhibition of NUPR1 in cancer is also discussed. Understanding the role of NUPR1 in the antioxidant system and the mechanisms behind its regulation of ferroptosis may promote the development of more efficacious strategies for cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  NUPR1; ROS; cell death; cell stress; ferroptosis
  4. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jul 21. pii: 7779. [Epub ahead of print]22(15):
      Mitochondria are essential in eukaryotes. Besides producing 80% of total cellular ATP, mitochondria are involved in various cellular functions such as apoptosis, inflammation, innate immunity, stress tolerance, and Ca2+ homeostasis. Mitochondria are also the site for many critical metabolic pathways and are integrated into the signaling network to maintain cellular homeostasis under stress. Mitochondria require hundreds of proteins to perform all these functions. Since the mitochondrial genome only encodes a handful of proteins, most mitochondrial proteins are imported from the cytosol via receptor/translocase complexes on the mitochondrial outer and inner membranes known as TOMs and TIMs. Many of the subunits of these protein complexes are essential for cell survival in model yeast and other unicellular eukaryotes. Defects in the mitochondrial import machineries are also associated with various metabolic, developmental, and neurodegenerative disorders in multicellular organisms. In addition to their canonical functions, these protein translocases also help maintain mitochondrial structure and dynamics, lipid metabolism, and stress response. This review focuses on the role of Tim50, the receptor component of one of the TIM complexes, in different cellular functions, with an emphasis on the Tim50 homologue in parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei.
    Keywords:  HAD-phosphatase family; TIM; TIMM50; TOM; Tim50; Trypanosoma
  5. EMBO Rep. 2021 Aug 02. e53086
      Mitochondria are dynamic organelles whose architecture changes depending on the cell's energy requirements and other signalling events. These structural changes are collectively known as mitochondrial dynamics. Mitochondrial dynamics are crucial for cellular functions such as differentiation, energy production and cell death. Importantly, it has become clear in recent years that mitochondrial dynamics are a critical control point for immune cell function. Mitochondrial remodelling allows quiescent immune cells to rapidly change their metabolism and become activated, producing mediators, such as cytokines, chemokines and even metabolites to execute an effective immune response. The importance of mitochondrial dynamics in immunity is evident, as numerous pathogens have evolved mechanisms to manipulate host cell mitochondrial remodelling in order to promote their own survival. In this review, we comprehensively address the roles of mitochondrial dynamics in immune cell function, along with modulation of host cell mitochondrial morphology during viral and bacterial infections to facilitate either pathogen survival or host immunity. We also speculate on what the future may hold in terms of therapies targeting mitochondrial morphology for bacterial and viral control.
    Keywords:  bacteria; immune response; mitochondrial dynamics; therapy; virus
  6. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Aug 10. pii: e2101675118. [Epub ahead of print]118(32):
      Viruses modulate mitochondrial processes during infection to increase biosynthetic precursors and energy output, fueling virus replication. In a surprising fashion, although it triggers mitochondrial fragmentation, the prevalent pathogen human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) increases mitochondrial metabolism through a yet-unknown mechanism. Here, we integrate molecular virology, metabolic assays, quantitative proteomics, and superresolution confocal microscopy to define this mechanism. We establish that the previously uncharacterized viral protein pUL13 is required for productive HCMV replication, targets the mitochondria, and functions to increase oxidative phosphorylation during infection. We demonstrate that pUL13 forms temporally tuned interactions with the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) complex, a critical regulator of cristae architecture and electron transport chain (ETC) function. Stimulated emission depletion superresolution microscopy shows that expression of pUL13 alters cristae architecture. Indeed, using live-cell Seahorse assays, we establish that pUL13 alone is sufficient to increase cellular respiration, not requiring the presence of other viral proteins. Our findings address the outstanding question of how HCMV targets mitochondria to increase bioenergetic output and expands the knowledge of the intricate connection between mitochondrial architecture and ETC function.
    Keywords:  HCMV; metabolism; mitochondria; pUL13; proteomics
  7. Sci Adv. 2021 Aug;pii: eabf6580. [Epub ahead of print]7(32):
      Altered mitochondrial quality control and dynamics may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, but we understand little about these processes in neurons. We combined time-lapse microscopy and correlative light and electron microscopy to track individual mitochondria in neurons lacking the fission-promoting protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) and delineate the kinetics of PINK1-dependent pathways of mitochondrial quality control. Depolarized mitochondria recruit Parkin to the outer mitochondrial membrane, triggering autophagosome formation, rapid lysosomal fusion, and Parkin redistribution. Unexpectedly, these mitolysosomes are dynamic and persist for hours. Some are engulfed by healthy mitochondria, and others are deacidified before bursting. In other cases, Parkin is directly recruited to the matrix of polarized mitochondria. Loss of PINK1 blocks Parkin recruitment, causes LC3 accumulation within mitochondria, and exacerbates Drp1KO toxicity to dopamine neurons. These results define a distinct neuronal mitochondrial life cycle, revealing potential mechanisms of mitochondrial recycling and signaling relevant to neurodegeneration.
  8. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 03. pii: S2211-1247(21)00905-0. [Epub ahead of print]36(5): 109478
      Oxidative stress is a ubiquitous cellular challenge implicated in aging, neurodegeneration, and cancer. By studying pathogenic mutations in the tumor suppressor BRCA2, we identify a general mechanism by which oxidative stress restricts mitochondrial (mt)DNA replication. BRCA2 inactivation induces R-loop accumulation in the mtDNA regulatory region and diminishes mtDNA replication initiation. In BRCA2-deficient cells, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) are elevated, and ROS scavengers suppress the mtDNA defects. Conversely, wild-type cells exposed to oxidative stress by pharmacologic or genetic manipulation phenocopy these defects. Mechanistically, we find that 8-oxoguanine accumulation in mtDNA caused by oxidative stress suffices to impair recruitment of the mitochondrial enzyme RNaseH1 to sites of R-loop accrual, restricting mtDNA replication initiation. Thus, oxidative stress impairs RNaseH1 function to cripple mtDNA maintenance. Our findings highlight a molecular mechanism that links oxidative stress to mitochondrial dysfunction and is elicited by the inactivation of genes implicated in neurodegeneration and cancer.
    Keywords:  BRCA2; PRPF8; R-loops; RNaseH1; SETX; cancer; mitochondrial DNA replication; neurodegeneration; oxidative stress
  9. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 02. pii: 8312. [Epub ahead of print]22(15):
      Mitochondria are complex intracellular organelles traditionally identified as the powerhouses of eukaryotic cells due to their central role in bioenergetic metabolism. In recent decades, the growing interest in mitochondria research has revealed that these multifunctional organelles are more than just the cell powerhouses, playing many other key roles as signaling platforms that regulate cell metabolism, proliferation, death and immunological response. As key regulators, mitochondria, when dysfunctional, are involved in the pathogenesis of a wide range of metabolic, neurodegenerative, immune and neoplastic disorders. Far more recently, mitochondria attracted renewed attention from the scientific community for their ability of intercellular translocation that can involve whole mitochondria, mitochondrial genome or other mitochondrial components. The intercellular transport of mitochondria, defined as horizontal mitochondrial transfer, can occur in mammalian cells both in vitro and in vivo, and in physiological and pathological conditions. Mitochondrial transfer can provide an exogenous mitochondrial source, replenishing dysfunctional mitochondria, thereby improving mitochondrial faults or, as in in the case of tumor cells, changing their functional skills and response to chemotherapy. In this review, we will provide an overview of the state of the art of the up-to-date knowledge on intercellular trafficking of mitochondria by discussing its biological relevance, mode and mechanisms underlying the process and its involvement in different pathophysiological contexts, highlighting its therapeutic potential for diseases with mitochondrial dysfunction primarily involved in their pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; cancer; ccf-mtDNA; extracellular mitochondria; extracellular mitovesicles; immune-metabolic regulation; intercellular mitochondria trafficking; mitochondria; mitochondrial transplantation; neurodegenerative diseases; neurodevelopmental disorders; oxidative phosphorylation; tunneling nanotubes
  10. Cell Metab. 2021 Aug 03. pii: S1550-4131(21)00328-4. [Epub ahead of print]33(8): 1505-1506
      In a new study, Zhang et al. (2021) show that reducing iron levels in adipose tissue improves metabolic function. This occurs through an interorgan communication system where signals from the adipocyte reduce intestinal lipid absorption.
  11. Cell Death Discov. 2021 Aug 04. 7(1): 201
      Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a lipid-like mobile electron transporter of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Patients with partial loss-of-function mutations in the CoQ biosynthesis pathway suffer from partial primary CoQ deficiency (MIM 607426). This leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, which presents like mitochondrial disease syndrome (MDS). In addition, many other conditions, including MDS itself, lead to secondary CoQ deficiency. We sought to identify drugs that can alleviate the consequences of the mitochondrial dysfunction that is associated with CoQ deficiency. Loss of the CoQ-biosynthetic enzyme COQ7 prevents CoQ synthesis but leads to the accumulation of the biosynthetic intermediate demethoxyubiquinone (DMQ). Coq7-knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) die when rapid ATP generation from glycolysis is prevented. We screened for drugs that could rescue cell death under these conditions. All compounds that were identified inhibit mTOR signaling. In the CoQ-deficient cells, the beneficial action mTOR inhibition appears to be mediated by inhibition of protein translation rather than by stimulation of autophagy. We further studied the Coq7-knockout cells to better determine under which conditions mTOR inhibition could be beneficial. We established that Coq7-knockout cells remain capable of a low level of mitochondrial respiration mediated by DMQ. To obtain more profound mitochondrial dysfunction, we created double-knockout mutant MEFs lacking both Coq7, as well as Pdss2, which is required for sidechain synthesis. These cells make neither CoQ nor DMQ, and their extremely small residual respiration depends on uptake of CoQ from the culture medium. Although these cells are healthy in the presence of sufficient glucose for glycolysis and do not require uridine or pyruvate supplementation, mTOR inhibitors were unable to prevent their death in the absence of sufficient glycolysis. We conclude that, for reasons that remain to be elucidated, the energy-sparing benefits of the inhibition of mTOR signaling require a minimally functional respiratory chain.
  12. Oncoimmunology. 2021 ;10(1): 1952539
      Alternol is a naturally occurring compound that exerts antitumor activity in several cancers. However, whether Alternol induces antitumor immune response remains unknown. In this study, we investigated whether Alternol induced immunogenic cell death (ICD) in prostate cancer cells. Alternol triggered ICD in prostate cancer cells, as evidenced by the release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) (i.e., calreticulin, CALR; high mobility group protein B1, HMGB1; and adenosine triphosphate, ATP) and pro-inflammatory cytokine (i.e., interleukin [IL]-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8) expression. Alternol facilitated tumor-associated antigen uptake and cross-presentation, CD8 + T-cell priming, and T-cell infiltration in tumor-draining lymph nodes (LNs) and tumors. The presence of Alternol fostered antitumor immune response in vivo, resulting in delayed tumor growth and prolonged survival. Moreover, inhibition of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation blocked Alternol-induced upregulation of pre-inflammation cytokines, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and consequent antitumor immune response. Overall, our data indicate that Alternol triggers ICD in prostate cancer cells, which is mediated by ROS generation.
    Keywords:  Prostate cancer; ROS; immunogenic cell death; inflammation
  13. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2021 Jul 28. pii: S1535-9476(21)00099-2. [Epub ahead of print] 100127
      Aging is associated with increased risk of ocular disease, suggesting that age-associated molecular changes in the eye increase its vulnerability to damage. Although there are common pathways involved in aging at an organismal level, different tissues and cell types exhibit specific changes in gene expression with advanced age. Drosophila melanogaster is an established model system for studying aging and neurodegenerative disease, that also provides a valuable model for studying age-associated ocular disease. Flies, like humans, exhibit decreased visual function and increased risk of retinal degeneration with age. Here, we profiled the aging proteome and metabolome of the Drosophila eye, and compared these data with age-associated transcriptomic changes from both eyes and photoreceptors to identify alterations in pathways that could lead to age-related phenotypes in the eye. Notably, the proteomic and metabolomic changes observed in the aging eye are distinct from those observed in the head or whole fly, suggesting that tissue-specific changes in protein abundance and metabolism occur in the aging fly. Our integration of the proteomic, metabolomic and transcriptomic data reveals that changes in metabolism, potentially due to decreases in availability of B vitamins, together with chronic activation of the immune response, may underpin many of the events observed in the aging Drosophila eye. We propose that targeting these pathways in the genetically tractable Drosophila system may help to identify potential neuroprotective approaches for neurodegenerative and age-related ocular diseases. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD027090.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; aging; eye; metabolomic; proteomic
  14. J Nucl Med. 2021 Aug 05. pii: jnumed.120.256974. [Epub ahead of print]
      Oxidative stress is the imbalance of harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the action of neutralizing antioxidant mechanisms. If left unchecked, the deleterious effects of oxidative stress results in damage to DNA, proteins, and membranes, ultimately resulting in cell death. Tumors are highly proliferative and consequently generate high levels of mitochondrial ROS. To compensate and maintain redox homeostasis, cancer cells upregulate protective antioxidant pathways, which are further amplified in drug-resistant tumors. This review provides an overview of the latest molecular imaging techniques designed to image oxidative stress in cancer. New probes are now able to assess heterogeneous ROS and antioxidant production within tumors and across lesions. Together, the non-invasive imaging of these dynamic processes holds great promise for treatment response monitoring, prediction of drug resistance, and may provide insight into the metastatic potential of tumors.
    Keywords:  Molecular Biology; Molecular Imaging; Oncology: General; ROS; antioxidant; cancer; molecular imaging; oxidative stress
  15. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 680279
      Cysteine cathepsins are primarily involved in the degradation and recycling of proteins in endo-lysosomal compartments but are also gaining recognition as pivotal proteolytic contributors to various immune functions. Through their extracellular proteolytic activities within the hematopoietic stem cell niche, they are involved in progenitor cell mobilization and differentiation. Cysteine cathepsins, such as cathepsins L and S contribute to antigen-induced adaptive immunity through major histocompatibility complex class II antigen presentation whereas cathepsin X regulates T-cell migration. By regulating toll-like receptor signaling and cytokine secretion cysteine cathepsins activate innate immune cells and affect their functional differentiation. Cathepsins C and H are expressed in cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells and are involved in processing of pro-granzymes into proteolytically active forms. Cytoplasmic activities of cathepsins B and L contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis of the adaptive immune response by regulating cell death of T and B lymphocytes. The expression pattern, localization, and activity of cysteine cathepsins is tightly connected to their function in immune cells. Furthermore, cysteine cathepsins together with their endogenous inhibitors, serve as mediators in the interplay between cancer and immune cells that results in immune cell anergy. The aim of the present article is to review the mechanisms of dysregulation of cysteine cathepsins and their inhibitors in relation to immune dysfunction to address new possibilities for regulation of their function.
    Keywords:  cystatins; cysteine cathepsins; extralysosomal activity; hematopoietic stem cell; immune cell development
  16. Br J Pharmacol. 2021 Aug 06.
      Macrophage activation in response to stimulation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) provides a paradigm for investigating energy metabolism that regulate the inflammatory response. TLR4-mediated pro-inflammatory macrophage activation is characterised by increased glycolysis and altered mitochondrial metabolism, supported by selective amino acid uptake and/or usage. Fatty acid metabolism remains as a highly complex rewiring that accompany classical macrophage activation. TLR4 activation leads to de novo synthesis of fatty acids, which flux into sphingolipids, complex lipids that form the building blocks of eukaryotic cell membranes and regulate cell function. Here we review the importance of TLR4-mediated de novo synthesis of membrane sphingolipids in macrophages. We first highlight fatty acid metabolism during TLR4-driven macrophage immunometabolism. We then focus on the temporal dynamics of sphingolipid biosynthesis and emphasise the modulatory role of some sphingolipid species (i.e. sphingomyelins, ceramides and glycosphingolipids) on the pro-inflammatory and pro-resolution phases of LPS/TLR4 activation in macrophages.
  17. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(8): e0255164
      Glutamate plays diverse roles in neuronal cells, affecting cell energetics and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. These roles are especially vital for neuronal cells, which deal with high amounts of glutamate as a neurotransmitter. Our analysis explored neuronal glutamate implication in cellular energy metabolism and ROS generation, using a kinetic model that simulates electron transport details in respiratory complexes, linked ROS generation and metabolic reactions. The analysis focused on the fact that glutamate attenuates complex II inhibition by oxaloacetate, stimulating the latter's transformation into aspartate. Such a mechanism of complex II activation by glutamate could cause almost complete reduction of ubiquinone and deficiency of oxidized form (Q), which closes the main stream of electron transport and opens a way to massive ROS generating transfer in complex III from semiquinone radicals to molecular oxygen. In this way, under low workload, glutamate triggers the respiratory chain (RC) into a different steady state characterized by high ROS generation rate. The observed stepwise dependence of ROS generation on glutamate concentration experimentally validated this prediction. However, glutamate's attenuation of oxaloacetate's inhibition accelerates electron transport under high workload. Glutamate-oxaloacetate interaction in complex II regulation underlies the observed effects of uncouplers and inhibitors and acceleration of Ca2+ uptake. Thus, this theoretical analysis uncovered the previously unknown roles of oxaloacetate as a regulator of ROS generation and glutamate as a modifier of this regulation. The model predicted that this mechanism of complex II activation by glutamate might be operative in situ and responsible for excitotoxicity. Spatial-time gradients of synthesized hydrogen peroxide concentration, calculated in the reaction-diffusion model with convection under a non-uniform local approximation of nervous tissue, have shown that overproduction of H2O2 in a cell causes excess of its level in neighbor cells.
  18. Eur J Immunol. 2021 Aug 07.
      Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a critical role in maintaining self-tolerance and controlling inflammation. However, physiologically relevant conditions that alter Treg function and drive disease pathogenesis are poorly understood and few have been defined. We have previously shown that induction of hyperlipidemia in mice results in changes in Tregs that reduce their function. Here we set out to examine mechanisms by which hyperlipidemia alters Tregs. Using live-cell metabolic assays, we observed that induction of hyperlipidemia increases metabolism in Tregs but not conventional T cells. Increased metabolism resulted from preferential activation of the serine/threonine kinase Akt2 (PKBβ). Expression of a constitutively activated form of Akt2 in CD4 T cells was sufficient to increase glycolysis in Tregs and drive changes in Treg subsets. Induction of hyperlipidemia did not alter Treg metabolism in mice lacking Akt2. Activation of Akt2 was sufficient to drive production of inflammatory cytokines by Tregs. We suggest that hyperlipidemia alters Treg function through effects on metabolism via Akt2 activation thereby promoting plasticity and decreased function of FoxP3+ T cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Hyperlipidemia; Metabolism; Plasticity; Regulatory T cells
  19. Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 06. 12(1): 4777
      The modulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels is crucial for cellular homeostasis and determination of cellular fate. A sublethal level of ROS sustains cell proliferation, differentiation and promotes tumor metastasis, while a drastic ROS burst directly induces apoptosis. Herein, surface-oxidized arsenene nanosheets (As/AsxOy NSs) with type II heterojunction are fabricated with efficient ·O2- and 1O2 production and glutathione consumption through prolonging the lifetime of photo-excited electron-hole pairs. Moreover, the portion of AsxOy with oxygen vacancies not only catalyzes a Fenton-like reaction, generating ·OH and O2 from H2O2, but also inactivates main anti-oxidants to cut off the "retreat routes" of ROS. After polydopamine (PDA) and cancer cell membrane (M) coating, the engineered As/AsxOy@PDA@M NSs serve as an intelligent theranostic platform with active tumor targeting and long-term blood circulation. Given its narrow-band-gap-enabled in vivo fluorescence imaging properties, As/AsxOy@PDA@M NSs could be applied as an imaging-guided non-invasive and real-time nanomedicine for cancer therapy.
  20. Cancer Immunol Res. 2021 Aug;9(8): 856-861
      The development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has led to a paradigm shift in cancer treatment. However, patients often do not benefit from CAR T-cell therapy due to poor persistence of the adoptively transferred cells. Development of strategies based on the generation and maintenance of long-lasting memory T cells may expand the therapeutic effects of CAR T cells. Mitochondrial metabolic pathways play crucial roles in regulating the fate, function, and longevity of T cells. Here, we discuss how reprogramming of mitochondrial metabolic pathways influences function, persistence, and determination of CAR T-cell fate toward a memory phenotype. Moreover, we explore how mitochondrial activity determines persistence and the clinical outcome of CAR T-cell therapy. In addition, we review some strategies for manipulating CAR T-cell mitochondria to improve the survival of CAR T cells.
  21. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 02. pii: 8306. [Epub ahead of print]22(15):
      Mitochondria are energetic and dynamic organelles with a crucial role in bioenergetics, metabolism, and signaling. Mitochondrial proteins, encoded by both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, must be properly regulated to ensure proteostasis. Mitochondrial protein quality control (MPQC) serves as a critical surveillance system, employing different pathways and regulators as cellular guardians to ensure mitochondrial protein quality and quantity. In this review, we describe key pathways and players in MPQC, such as mitochondrial protein translocation-associated degradation, mitochondrial stress responses, chaperones, and proteases, and how they work together to safeguard mitochondrial health and integrity. Deregulated MPQC leads to proteotoxicity and dysfunctional mitochondria, which contributes to numerous human diseases, including cancer. We discuss how alterations in MPQC components are linked to tumorigenesis, whether they act as drivers, suppressors, or both. Finally, we summarize recent advances that seek to target these alterations for the development of anti-cancer drugs.
    Keywords:  MPQC; cancer; chaperone; mitochondria; oncogene; protease; proteostasis; therapeutic targeting; tumor suppressor; tumorigenesis
  22. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Jul 28. pii: S0165-6147(21)00133-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Myocardial ischemia or reperfusion increases the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from damaged mitochondria, NADPH oxidases, xanthine oxidase, and inflammation. ROS can be removed by eight endogenous antioxidant and redox systems, many components of which are expressed under the influence of the activated Nrf2 transcription factor. Transcriptomic profiling, sequencing of Nrf2-bound DNA, and Nrf2 gene knockout studies have revealed the power of Nrf2 beyond the antioxidant and detoxification response, from tissue recovery, repair, and remodeling, mitochondrial turnover, and metabolic reprogramming to the suppression of proinflammatory cytokines. Multifaceted regulatory mechanisms for Nrf2 protein levels or activity have been mapped to its functional domains, Nrf2-ECH homology (Neh)1-7. Oxidative stress activates Nrf2 via nuclear translocation, de novo protein translation, and increased protein stability due to removal of the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) checkpoint, or the inactivation of β-transducin repeat-containing protein (β-TrCP), or Hmg-CoA reductase degradation protein 1 (Hrd1). The promise of small-molecule Nrf2 inducers from natural products or derivatives is discussed here. Experimental evidence is presented to support Nrf2 as a lead target for drug development to further improve the treatment outcome for myocardial infarction (MI).
    Keywords:  inflammation; mitochondria; myocardial ischemia; reperfusion; small molecule; transcription factor
  23. Cell Host Microbe. 2021 Jul 30. pii: S1931-3128(21)00337-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Many genetic and environmental factors increase susceptibility to cognitive impairment (CI), and the gut microbiome is increasingly implicated. However, the identity of gut microbes associated with CI risk, their effects on CI, and their mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we show that a carbohydrate-restricted (ketogenic) diet potentiates CI induced by intermittent hypoxia in mice and alters the gut microbiota. Depleting the microbiome reduces CI, whereas transplantation of the risk-associated microbiome or monocolonization with Bilophila wadsworthia confers CI in mice fed a standard diet. B. wadsworthia and the risk-associated microbiome disrupt hippocampal synaptic plasticity, neurogenesis, and gene expression. The CI is associated with microbiome-dependent increases in intestinal interferon-gamma (IFNg)-producing Th1 cells. Inhibiting Th1 cell development abrogates the adverse effects of both B. wadsworthia and environmental risk factors on CI. Together, these findings identify select gut bacteria that contribute to environmental risk for CI in mice by promoting inflammation and hippocampal dysfunction.
    Keywords:  Bilophila; brain; cognition; hippocampus; microbiota; neuroimmune
  24. Sci Signal. 2021 Aug 03. pii: eabe0387. [Epub ahead of print]14(694):
      Noncanonical inflammasome activation by cytosolic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a critical component of the host response to Gram-negative bacteria. Cytosolic LPS recognition in macrophages is preceded by a Toll-like receptor (TLR) priming signal required to induce transcription of inflammasome components and facilitate the metabolic reprograming that fuels the inflammatory response. Using a genome-scale arrayed siRNA screen to find inflammasome regulators in mouse macrophages, we identified the mitochondrial enzyme nucleoside diphosphate kinase D (NDPK-D) as a regulator of both noncanonical and canonical inflammasomes. NDPK-D was required for both mitochondrial DNA synthesis and cardiolipin exposure on the mitochondrial surface in response to inflammasome priming signals mediated by TLRs, and macrophages deficient in NDPK-D had multiple defects in LPS-induced inflammasome activation. In addition, NDPK-D was required for the recruitment of TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) to mitochondria, which was critical for reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the metabolic reprogramming that supported the TLR-induced gene program. NDPK-D knockout mice were protected from LPS-induced shock, consistent with decreased ROS production and attenuated glycolytic commitment during priming. Our findings suggest that, in response to microbial challenge, NDPK-D-dependent TRAF6 mitochondrial recruitment triggers an energetic fitness checkpoint required to engage and maintain the transcriptional program necessary for inflammasome activation.
  25. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 691633
      Metabolic rate is a key ecological variable that quantifies the energy expenditure needed to fuel almost all biological processes in an organism. Metabolic rates are typically measured at the whole-organism level (woMR) with protocols that can elicit stress responses due to handling and confinement, potentially biasing resulting data. Improved, non-stressful methodology would be especially valuable for measures of field metabolic rate, which quantifies the energy expenditure of free-living individuals. Recently, techniques to measure cellular metabolic rate (cMR) in mitochondria of blood cells have become available, suggesting that blood-based cMR can be a proxy of organismal aerobic performance. Aerobic metabolism actually takes place in the mitochondria. Quantifying cMR from blood samples offers several advantages such as direct estimates of metabolism and minimized disturbance of individuals. To our knowledge, the hypothesis that blood-based cMR correlates with woMR has not yet been directly tested. We measured cMR in red blood cells of captive great tits (Parus major), first during their morning activity period and second after subjecting them to a 2.5 h day-time respirometry protocol to quantify woMR. We predicted cMR to decrease as individuals transitioned from an active to a resting state. In the two blood samples we also assessed circulating corticosterone concentrations to determine the perceived disturbance of individuals. From respirometry traces we extracted initial and final woMR measures to test for a predicted positive correlation with cMR measures, while accounting for corticosterone concentrations. Indeed, cMR declined from the first to the second measurement. Furthermore, woMR and cMR were positively related in individuals that had relatively low corticosterone concentrations and displayed little locomotor activity throughout respirometry. By contrast, woMR and cMR covaried negatively in birds that increased corticosterone concentrations and activity levels substantially. Our results show that red blood cell cMR represents a proxy for woMR when birds do not display signs of stress, i.e., either before increases in hormonal or behavioral parameters have occurred or after they have abated. This method represents a valuable tool for obtaining metabolic data repeatedly and in free-living individuals. Our findings also highlight the importance of accounting for individual stress responses when measuring metabolic rate at any level.
    Keywords:  aerobic metabolism; avian erythrocytes; glucocorticoids; mitochondria; respirometry; stress response
  26. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2021 ;8 702920
      Heart failure is the leading cause of death worldwide. The inability of the adult mammalian heart to regenerate following injury results in the development of systolic heart failure. Thus, identifying novel approaches toward regenerating the adult heart has enormous therapeutic potential for adult heart failure. Mitochondrial metabolism is an essential homeostatic process for maintaining growth and survival. The emerging role of mitochondrial metabolism in controlling cell fate and function is beginning to be appreciated. Recent evidence suggests that metabolism controls biological processes including cell proliferation and differentiation, which has profound implications during development and regeneration. The regenerative potential of the mammalian heart is lost by the first week of postnatal development when cardiomyocytes exit the cell cycle and become terminally differentiated. This inability to regenerate following injury is correlated with the metabolic shift from glycolysis to fatty acid oxidation that occurs during heart maturation in the postnatal heart. Thus, understanding the mechanisms that regulate cardiac metabolism is key to unlocking metabolic interventions during development, disease, and regeneration. In this review, we will focus on the emerging role of metabolism in cardiac development and regeneration and discuss the potential of targeting metabolism for treatment of heart failure.
    Keywords:  cell cycle; development; heart failure; heart regeneration; metabolism
  27. Nat Plants. 2021 Aug 05.
      Stem cell populations in all multicellular organisms are situated in a niche, which is a special microenvironment that defines stem cell fate. The interplay between stem cells and their niches is crucial for stem cell maintenance. Here, we show that an endogenous stress-related signal (ESS) is overrepresented in the shoot stem cell niche under natural growth conditions, and the vast majority of known stem-cell-specific and niche-specific genes responded to stress signals. Interference with the ESS in the stem cell niche by blocking ethylene signalling impaired stem cell maintenance. Ethylene-insensitive 3 (EIN3), the key transcription factor in ethylene signalling, directly actives the expression of the stress hub transcription factor AGAMOUS-LIKE 22 (AGL22) in the stem cell niche and relays ESS signals to the WUSCHEL/CLAVATA network. Our results provide a mechanistic framework for ESS signalling control of the stem cell niche and demonstrate that plant stem cells are maintained by a native stress microenvironment in vivo.
  28. Theriogenology. 2021 Jul 24. pii: S0093-691X(21)00236-3. [Epub ahead of print]173 83-92
      Energy balance is essential for normal reproduction of ram. However, the effect of energy restriction (ER) on reactive oxygen species (ROS) of sheep Leydig cells (LCs) and the rescuee methods are still unclear. To investigate the in vitro effect of melatonin on cellular ROS in fER-treated sheep LCs and explore the underlying mechanism, Hu sheep LCs were restricted energy using no serum culture medium and resaved with 10 ng/ml melatonin, respectively. The results showed that ER significantly increased MDA level, while decreased CAT, GHS-px expression and ΔΨm (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, ER decreased testosterone concentration and cell proliferation rate (p < 0.05). And the expression of testosterone synthesis-related enzymes was also down-regulated by ER (p < 0.05). Furthermore, we revealed that melatonin reversed the defective phenotypes in ER-treated LCs via Sirt1/Sod2 pathway. The interference of Sirt1 abolished the melatonin-mediated improvement of cellular ROS and testosterone secretion. Taken together, our study firstly indicated that melatonin could alleviate the excessive ROS accumulation and promote testosterone biosynthesis in ER-treated sheep LCs via the activation of Sirt1/Sod2 pathway.
    Keywords:  Energy restriction; Leydig cells; Melatonin; Sheep; Sirt1
  29. Biol Reprod. 2021 Aug 07. pii: ioab150. [Epub ahead of print]
      Previous studies reported that, with aging, Leydig cell intracellular antioxidants are reduced in concentration and intracellular ROS levels increase, suggesting that oxidant/antioxidant imbalance may contribute to the reduced testosterone production that characterizes the aging cells. As yet, little is known about how the Leydig cell oxidant/antioxidant environment is regulated. Sirt1, an enzyme that deacetylates transcription factors, and the transcription factor Nrf2, have been shown to be associated with cellular response to oxidative stress. We hypothesized that Sirt1 and/or Nrf2 might be involved in regulating the oxidant/antioxidant environment of Leydig cells, and therefore testosterone production. We found that Sirt1 and Nrf2 are present in the Leydig cells of Brown Norway rats, though reduced in aged cells. In MA-10 cells in which Sirt1 or Nrf2 were suppressed by nicotinamide (NAM) or ML385, respectively, or in which siRNAs were used for knockdown of Sirt1 or Nrf2, increased ROS levels and decreased progesterone production occurred. In rat Leydig cells, inhibition of Sirt1 by culturing the cells with NAM resulted in increased ROS and reduced testosterone production, and subsequent removal of NAM from the culture medium resulted in increased testosterone production. Activation of rat Leydig cells Sirt1 with honokiol or of Nrf2 with sulforaphane resulted in the maintenance of testosterone production despite the exposure of the cells to oxidizing agent. These results, taken together, suggest that Sirt1 and Nrf2 are involved in maintaining the Leydig cell oxidant/antioxidant environment, and thus in maintaining steroid production.
    Keywords:  Leydig cell; Nrf2; Oxidative stress; Sirt1; Testosterone
  30. Curr Res Toxicol. 2020 Jun 10. 1 141-148
      Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are generated as by-products of aerobic metabolism. The production of ROS increases during xenobiotic stress and under multiple pathological conditions. Although ROS are considered harmful historically, mounting evidence recently indicates a signaling function of ROS, preceding to and regulating transcriptional or post-transcriptional events, contributing to cell death or cell survival and adaptation. Among the cellular defense mechanisms activated by ROS is formation of stress granules (SGs). The stalled translational apparatus, together with mRNA, aggregates into microscopically detectable and molecularly dynamic granules. We found that with H2O2, the dose most potent for inducing SGs in HeLa cells is 400-600 μM. With 200 μM H2O2, 2 h treatment induced the highest percentage of cells containing SGs. Whether ROS signaling pathways regulate the formation of SGs was tested using pharmacological inhibitors. We probed the potential role of PI3K, MAPKs, PKC or histone deacetylation in SG formation. Using deferoxamine as a positive control, we found a lack of inhibitory effect of wortmannin, LY-294002, JNK-I, SB-202190, PD-98059, or H89 when the percentage of cells containing SGs was counted. About 35% inhibition was observed with HDAC6 inhibitor Tubastatin A, whereas general HDAC inhibitor Trichostatin A provided a complete inhibition of SG formation. Our data point to the need of investigating the role of HDACs in SG formation during oxidative stress.
    Keywords:  Cytoprotection; Oxidative stress; Protein translation; Ribosomes; Signaling transduction
  31. Adv Cancer Res. 2021 ;pii: S0065-230X(21)00033-6. [Epub ahead of print]152 383-413
      Reductive stress is defined as a condition characterized by excess accumulation of reducing equivalents (e.g., NADH, NADPH, GSH), surpassing the activity of endogenous oxidoreductases. Excessive reducing equivalents can perturb cell signaling pathways, change the formation of disulfide bonding in proteins, disturb mitochondrial homeostasis or decrease metabolism. Reductive stress is influenced by cellular antioxidant load, its flux and a subverted homeostasis that paradoxically can result in excess ROS induction. Balanced reducing equivalents and antioxidant enzymes that contribute to reductive stress can be regulated by Nrf2, typically considered as an oxidative stress induced transcription factor. Cancer cells may coordinate distinct pools of redox couples under reductive stress and these may link to biological consequences from both molecular and translational standpoints. In cancer, there is recent interest in understanding how selective induction of reductive stress may influence therapeutic management and disease progression.
    Keywords:  Cellular homeostasis; GSH; NADH; NADPH; Oxidative stress; ROS; Reducing equivalents; Reductive stress
  32. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jul 20. pii: 1148. [Epub ahead of print]10(7):
      Deinococcus radiodurans is a robust bacterium with extraordinary resistance to ionizing radiation and reactive oxygen species (ROS). D. radiodurans produces an antioxidant thiol compound called bacillithiol (BSH), but BSH-related enzymes have not been investigated. The D. radiodurans mutant lacking bshA (dr_1555), the first gene of the BSH biosynthetic pathway, was devoid of BSH and sensitive to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) compared to the wild-type D. radiodurans strain. Three bacilliredoxin (Brx) proteins, BrxA, B, and C, have been identified in BSH-producing bacteria, such as Bacillus. D. radiodurans possesses DR_1832, a putative homolog of BrxC. However, because DR_1832 contains a novel signature motif (TCHKT) and a C-terminal region similar to the colicin-like immunity domain, we named it AbxC (atypical BrxC). The deletion of abxC also sensitized cells to H2O2. AbxC exhibited peroxidase activity in vitro, which was linked to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidation via the BSH disulfide reductase DR_2623 (DrBdr). AbxC proteins were present mainly as dimers after exposure to H2O2 in vitro, and the oxidized dimers were resolved to monomers by the reaction coupled with BSH as an electron donor, in which DrBdr transported reducing equivalents from NADPH to AbxC through BSH recycling. We identified 25 D. radiodurans proteins that potentially interact with AbxC using AbxC-affinity chromatography. Most of them are associated with cellular metabolisms, such as glycolysis and amino acid biosynthesis, and stress response. Interestingly, AbxC could bind to the proposed peroxide-sensing transcription regulator, DrOxyR. These results suggest that AbxC may be involved in the H2O2 signaling mechanism mediated by DrOxyR.
    Keywords:  DR_1832; Deinococcus radiodurans; bacilliredoxin; bacillithiol; oxidative stress
  33. Protein Expr Purif. 2021 Aug 03. pii: S1046-5928(21)00134-0. [Epub ahead of print] 105951
      Nitrite levels are generally high in high-density aquaculture. Nitrite is a potential stress-inducing factor and can cause oxidative stress because excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation through nitrite induction cannot be scavenged by the endogenous antioxidant system, thus leading to cell damage or death. Manganese Superoxide Dismutase (MnSOD) is a highly efficient endogenous ROS scavenger that quenches mitochondrial ROS and protective against oxidative stress. To enhance the efficiency of MnSOD in removing ROS and reducing oxidative caused by nitrite, in this study, we cloned grouper MnSOD (gMnSOD) fused with a cell-penetrating peptide, TAT, to construct a TAT-gMnSOD fusion protein and assessed its potential to eliminate excess ROS induced by high nitrite concentrations and enhance the resistance of zebrafish to environmental stressors. Our results revealed that TAT-gMnSOD penetrated the grouper fin (GF-1) cells, scavenged nitrite-induced intracellular ROS, and enhanced cell viability on NaNO2 treatment. Furthermore, pretreatment of zebrafish with TAT-gMnSOD fusion protein reduced the MDA content and increased the survival rate. In addition, the TAT-gMnSOD fusion protein reduced 2-phenoxyethanol toxicity and attenuated excessive anesthesia among zebrafish. In conlusion, our cell-permeable TAT-gMnSOD fusion protein effectively counters oxidative stress, prevents environmental stress-induced damage, and increases aquaculture benefits.
    Keywords:  Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs); Grouper manganese superoxide dismutase; Nitrite; Oxidative stress
  34. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 702020
      Mitochondrial dysfunction has long been overlooked in neurodevelopmental disorders, but recent studies have provided new links to genetic forms of autism, including Rett syndrome and fragile X syndrome (FXS). Mitochondria show plasticity in morphology and function in response to neuronal activity, and previous research has reported impairments in mitochondrial morphology and function in disease. We and others have previously reported abnormalities in distinct types of homeostatic plasticity in FXS. It remains unknown if or how activity deprivation triggering homeostatic plasticity affects mitochondria in axons and/or dendrites and whether impairments occur in neurodevelopmental disorders. Here, we test the hypothesis that mitochondria are structurally and functionally modified in a compartment-specific manner during homeostatic plasticity using a model of activity deprivation in cortical neurons from wild-type mice and that this plasticity-induced regulation is altered in Fmr1-knockout (KO) neurons. We uncovered dendrite-specific regulation of the mitochondrial surface area, whereas axon initial segment (AIS) mitochondria show changes in polarity; both responses are lost in the Fmr1 KO. Taken together, our results demonstrate impairments in mitochondrial plasticity in FXS, which has not previously been reported. These results suggest that mitochondrial dysregulation in FXS could contribute to abnormal neuronal plasticity, with broader implications to other neurodevelopmental disorders and therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  FMRP; Fmr1; axon initial segment; compartment-specific; dendrite; homeostatic plasticity; mitochondria
  35. Biochem Pharmacol. 2021 Aug 02. pii: S0006-2952(21)00335-X. [Epub ahead of print] 114719
      The neuropathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) is the preferential loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and presence of Lewy bodies in the dying neurons. Though specific molecular mechanisms for the neurodegeneration remains to be clarified, mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress are major players associated with PD pathogenesis and these pathogenic mechanisms can be reproduced in cells and animals by application of various neurotoxins such as MPP+. In this study, we attempted to determine the neuroprotective effects of methylene blue (MB) against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-induced neurotoxicity, and to elucidate its action mechanism. We observed that MB attenuated MPP+-induced apoptotic cell death in SH-SY5Y cells and the mescencephalic dopaminergic neurons. In addition, MB protected the cells against MPP+-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction as evidenced by restoration of mitochondrial complex I activity and ATP levels, and attenuation of oxidative stress. Moreover, we demonstrated that MB induced antioxidant molecules, and activated Nrf2 pathway through AKT activation. These results indicate that MB protects the neurons from MPP+-induced toxicity through activation of antioxidant system, thereby reducing the oxidative stress and mitochondrial impairment, implying the potential use of MB in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as PD.
    Keywords:  MPP(+); Parkinson’s disease; methylene blue; mitochondria; oxidative stress
  36. Neurochem Int. 2021 Jul 31. pii: S0197-0186(21)00192-3. [Epub ahead of print]149 105146
      Embolic stroke results in a necrotic core of cells destined to die, but also a peri-ischemic, watershed penumbral region of potentially salvageable brain tissue. Approaches to effectively differentiate between the ischemic and peri-ischemic zones is critical for novel therapeutic discovery to improve outcomes in survivors of stroke. MicroRNAs are a class of small non-coding RNAs regulating gene translation that have region- and cell-specific expression and responses to ischemia. We have previously reported that global inhibition of cerebral microRNA-200c after experimental stroke in mice is protective, however delineating the post-stroke sub-regional and cell-type specific patterns of post-stroke miR-200c expression are necessary to minimize off-target effects and advance translational application. Here, we detail a novel protocol to visualize regional miR-200c expression after experimental stroke, complexed with visualization of regional ischemia and markers of oxidative stress in an experimental stroke model in mice. In the present study we demonstrate that the fluorescent hypoxia indicator pimonidazole hydrochloride, the reactive-oxygen-species marker 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine, neuronal marker MAP2 and NeuN, and the reactive astrocyte marker GFAP can be effectively complexed to determine regional differences in ischemic injury as early as 30 min post-reperfusion after experimental stroke, and can be effectively used to distinguish ischemic core from surrounding penumbral and unaffected regions for targeted therapy. This multi-dimensional post-stroke immunofluorescent imaging protocol enables a greater degree of sub-regional mechanistic investigation, with the ultimate goal of developing more effective post-stroke pharmaceutical therapy.
    Keywords:  Glia; In situ hybridization; Penumbra; Reactive oxygen species; Stroke; microRNA
  37. Front Cell Neurosci. 2021 ;15 696889
      Epilepsy is one of the most common symptoms of many neurological disorders. The typical excessive, synchronous and aberrant firing of neurons originating from different cerebral areas cause spontaneous recurrent epileptic seizures. Prolonged epilepsy can lead to neuronal damage and cell death. The mechanisms underlying epileptic pathogenesis and neuronal death remain unclear. Ferroptosis is a newly defined form of regulated cell death that is characterized by the overload of intracellular iron ions, leading to the accumulation of lethal lipid-based reactive oxygen species (ROS). To date, studies have mainly focused on its role in tumors and various neurological disorders, including epilepsy. Current research shows that inhibition of ferroptosis is likely to be an effective therapeutic approach for epilepsy. In this review, we outline the pathogenesis of ferroptosis, regulatory mechanisms of ferroptosis, related regulatory molecules, and their effects on epilepsy, providing a new direction for discovering new therapeutic targets in epilepsy.
    Keywords:  GPx; GSH; epilepsy; ferroptosis; iron; lipid peroxidation
  38. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jul 14. pii: 1125. [Epub ahead of print]10(7):
      Oxidative damage of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells plays an important role in the pathogenesis of blindness-related diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Quercetin, a bioactive flavonoid compound, has been shown to have a protective effect against oxidative stress-induced cell apoptosis and inflammation in RPE cells; however, the detailed mechanism underlying this protective effect is unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the regulatory mechanism of quercetin in a sodium iodate (NaIO3)-induced retinal damage. The clinical features of the mice, the production of oxidative stress, and the activity of autophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis were examined. In the mouse model, NaIO3 treatment caused changes in the retinal structure and reduced pupil constriction, and quercetin treatment reversed the oxidative stress-related pathology by decreasing the level of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) while enhancing the serum levels of catalase and glutathione. The increased level of reactive oxygen species in the NaIO3-treated ARPE19 cells was improved by treatment with quercetin, accompanied by a reduction in autophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis. Our findings indicated that the effects of quercetin on regulating the generation of mtROS were dependent on increased levels of deacetyl-SOD2 through the Nrf2-PGC-1α-Sirt1 signaling pathway. These results demonstrated that quercetin may have potential therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of AMD through the regulation of mtROS homeostasis.
    Keywords:  age-related macular degeneration; autophagy; mitochondrial biogenesis; oxidative stress; quercetin; retinal pigment epithelium; sodium iodate
  39. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Aug 04. mbcE21040224
      Mitochondrial division is an important cellular process in both normal and pathological conditions. The dynamin GTPase Drp1 is a central mitochondrial division protein, driving constriction of the outer mitochondrial membrane. In mammals, the outer mitochondrial membrane protein Mff is a key receptor for recruiting Drp1 from the cytosol to the mitochondrion. Actin filaments are also important in Drp1 recruitment and activation. The manner in which Mff and actin work together in Drp1 activation is unknown. Here, we show that Mff is an oligomer (most likely a trimer) that dynamically associates and disassociates through its C-terminal coiled-coil, with a Kd in the range of 10 µM. Dynamic Mff oligomerization is required for Drp1 activation. While not binding Mff directly, actin filaments enhance Mff-mediated Drp1 activation by lowering the effective Mff concentration 10-fold. Total internal reflection microscopy assays using purified proteins show that Mff interacts with Drp1 on actin filaments in a manner dependent on Mff oligomerization. In U2OS cells, oligomerization-defective Mff does not effectively rescue three defects in Mff knock-out cells: mitochondrial division, mitochondrial Drp1 recruitment, and peroxisome division. The ability of Mff to assemble into puncta on mitochondria depends on its oligomerization, as well as on actin filaments and Drp1.
  40. Expo Health. 2021 Jul 25. 1-11
      Microplastics are ubiquitous environmental pollutants that are a growing concern to many ecosystems, as well as human health. Many of the effects of microplastics on mammalian cells and tissues remain unknown. To address this, we treated L929 murine fibroblasts and Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) epithelial cell lines with 1 μg/mL, 10 μg/mL, or 20 μg/mL of polyethylene (PE) or polystyrene (PS) microspheres in vitro for 6 and 24 h and measured the resulting changes in cell viability, metabolism, and transcriptional expression of inflammatory cytokines and antioxidant enzymes. We observed dose-dependent decreases in cell viability corresponding to increases in doses of both PE and PS. We conducted cell metabolism assays and observed dose-dependent increases in metabolism per cell with increasing doses of both PE and PS. Similarly, we also observed increased expression of the superoxide dismutase-3 gene (SOD3), indicating oxidative stress caused by the microplastics treatments. We also observed increased expression of TNFα, but decreased expression of IFNβ, suggesting different mechanisms by which the microplastics regulate inflammatory responses in mammalian cells. Our results contribute new data to the growing understanding of the effects of microplastics on mammalian cells and indicate complex cellular stress responses to microplastics in the environment.
    Keywords:  Cell viability; Cellular metabolism; Inflammatory cytokines; Microplastics; Oxidative stress
  41. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 03. pii: S2211-1247(21)00914-1. [Epub ahead of print]36(5): 109487
      Ketone bodies are bioactive metabolites that function as energy substrates, signaling molecules, and regulators of histone modifications. β-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB) is utilized in lysine β-hydroxybutyrylation (Kbhb) of histones, and associates with starvation-responsive genes, effectively coupling ketogenic metabolism with gene expression. The emerging diversity of the lysine acylation landscape prompted us to investigate the full proteomic impact of Kbhb. Global protein Kbhb is induced in a tissue-specific manner by a variety of interventions that evoke β-OHB. Mass spectrometry analysis of the β-hydroxybutyrylome in mouse liver revealed 891 sites of Kbhb within 267 proteins enriched for fatty acid, amino acid, detoxification, and one-carbon metabolic pathways. Kbhb inhibits S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine hydrolase (AHCY), a rate-limiting enzyme of the methionine cycle, in parallel with altered metabolite levels. Our results illuminate the role of Kbhb in hepatic metabolism under ketogenic conditions and demonstrate a functional consequence of this modification on a central metabolic enzyme.
    Keywords:  AHCY; S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine hydrolase; ketogenesis; ketogenic diet; liver metabolism; lysine acylation; methionine cycle; β-hydroxybutyrate; β-hydroxybutyrylation
  42. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jul 06. pii: 1088. [Epub ahead of print]10(7):
      The adult mammalian brain is capable of generating new neurons from existing neural stem cells (NSCs) in a process called adult neurogenesis. This process, which is critical for sustaining cognition and mental health in the mature brain, can be severely hampered with ageing and different neurological disorders. Recently, it is believed that the beneficial effects of NSCs in the injured brain relies not only on their potential to differentiate and integrate into the preexisting network, but also on their secreted molecules. In fact, further insight into adult NSC function is being gained, pointing to these cells as powerful endogenous "factories" that produce and secrete a large range of bioactive molecules with therapeutic properties. Beyond anti-inflammatory, neurogenic and neurotrophic effects, NSC-derived secretome has antioxidant proprieties that prevent mitochondrial dysfunction and rescue recipient cells from oxidative damage. This is particularly important in neurodegenerative contexts, where oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction play a significant role. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge and the therapeutic opportunities of NSC secretome for neurodegenerative diseases with a particular focus on mitochondria and its oxidative state.
    Keywords:  antioxidant; degenerative diseases; mitochondrial dysfunction; neural stem cells; oxidative stress; regeneration; secretome
  43. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 ;2021 4946711
      Appropriate mitochondrial physiology is an essential for health and survival. Cells have developed unique mechanisms to adapt to stress circumstances and changes in metabolic demands, by meditating mitochondrial function and number. In this context, sufficient mitochondrial biogenesis is necessary for efficient cell function and haemostasis, which is dependent on the regulation of ATP generation and maintenance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). These procedures play a primary role in the processes of inflammation, aging, cancer, metabolic diseases, and neurodegeneration. Polyphenols have been considered as the main components of plants, fruits, and natural extracts with proven therapeutic effects during the time. These components regulate the intracellular pathways of mitochondrial biogenesis. Therefore, the current review is aimed at representing an updated review which determines the effects of different natural polyphenol compounds from various plant kingdoms on modulating signaling pathways of mitochondrial biogenesis that could be a promising alternative for the treatment of several disorders.
  44. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 ;2021 9314342
      1-Nitropyrene (1-NP), one of the most abundant nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAHs), is generated from the incomplete combustion of carbonaceous organic compounds. 1-NP is a specific marker of diesel exhaust and is an environmental pollutant and a probable carcinogen. Macrophages participate in immune defense against the invasive pathogens in heart, lung, and kidney infection diseases. However, no evidence has indicated that 1-NP induces apoptosis in macrophages. In the present study, 1-NP was found to induce concentration-dependent changes in various cellular functions of RAW264.7 macrophages including cell viability reduction; apoptosis generation; mitochondrial dysfunction; apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) nuclear translocation; intracellular ROS generation; activation of the AMPK/Nrf-2/HO-1 pathway; changes in the expression of BCL-2 family proteins; and depletion of antioxidative enzymes (AOE), such as glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) These results indicate that 1-NP induced apoptosis in macrophages through AIF nuclear translocation and ROS generation due to mitochondrial dysfunction and to the depletion of AOE from the activation of the AMPK/Nrf-2/HO-1 pathway.
  45. Cancer Res. 2021 Aug 04. pii: canres.0753.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Hypoxia is known to be commonly present in breast tumor microenvironments. Stem-like cells that repopulate breast tumors, termed tumor-repopulating cells (TRC), thrive under hypoxic conditions, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here we show that hypoxia promotes the growth of breast TRCs through metabolic reprogramming. Hypoxia mobilized transcription factors HIF-1α and FoxO1 and induced epigenetic reprogramming to upregulate cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK1), a key enzyme that initiates gluconeogenesis. PCK1 subsequently triggered retrograde carbon flow from gluconeogenesis to glycogenesis, glycogenolysis, and the pentose phosphate pathway. The resultant NADPH facilitated reduced glutathione production, leading to a moderate increase of reactive oxygen species that stimulated hypoxic breast TRC growth. Notably, this metabolic mechanism was absent in differentiated breast tumor cells. Targeting PCK1 synergized with paclitaxel to reduce the growth of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). These findings uncover an altered glycogen metabolic program in breast cancer, providing potential metabolic strategies to target hypoxic breast TRCs and TNBC.