bims-minimp Biomed News
on Mitochondria, innate immunity, proteostasis
Issue of 2021‒09‒12
thirty-six papers selected by
Hanna Salmonowicz
International Institute of Molecular Mechanisms and Machines of the Polish Academy of Sciences

  1. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Sep 09. pii: gkab770. [Epub ahead of print]
      We report a rapid experimental procedure based on high-density in vivo psoralen inter-strand DNA cross-linking coupled to spreading of naked purified DNA, positive staining, low-angle rotary shadowing, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) that allows quick visualization of the dynamic of heavy strand (HS) and light strand (LS) human mitochondrial DNA replication. Replication maps built on linearized mitochondrial genomes and optimized rotary shadowing conditions enable clear visualization of the progression of the mitochondrial DNA synthesis and visualization of replication intermediates carrying long single-strand DNA stretches. One variant of this technique, called denaturing spreading, allowed the inspection of the fine chromatin structure of the mitochondrial genome and was applied to visualize the in vivo three-strand DNA structure of the human mitochondrial D-loop intermediate with unprecedented clarity.
  2. Nat Metab. 2021 Sep 09.
      Mitochondria are the main site for generating reactive oxygen species, which are key players in diverse biological processes. However, the molecular pathways of redox signal transduction from the matrix to the cytosol are poorly defined. Here we report an inside-out redox signal of mitochondria. Cysteine oxidation of MIC60, an inner mitochondrial membrane protein, triggers the formation of disulfide bonds and the physical association of MIC60 with Miro, an outer mitochondrial membrane protein. The oxidative structural change of this membrane-crossing complex ultimately elicits cellular responses that delay mitophagy, impair cellular respiration and cause oxidative stress. Blocking the MIC60-Miro interaction or reducing either protein, genetically or pharmacologically, extends lifespan and health-span of healthy fruit flies, and benefits multiple models of Parkinson's disease and Friedreich's ataxia. Our discovery provides a molecular basis for common treatment strategies against oxidative stress.
  3. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 09. 12(1): 5354
      Mitochondrial division is not an autonomous event but involves multiple organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and lysosomes. Whereas the ER drives the constriction of mitochondrial membranes, the role of lysosomes in mitochondrial division is not known. Here, using super-resolution live-cell imaging, we investigate the recruitment of lysosomes to the site of mitochondrial division. We find that the ER recruits lysosomes to the site of division through the interaction of VAMP-associated proteins (VAPs) with the lysosomal lipid transfer protein ORP1L to induce a three-way contact between the ER, lysosome, and the mitochondrion. We also show that ORP1L might transport phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI(4)P) from lysosomes to mitochondria, as inhibiting its transfer or depleting PI(4)P at the mitochondrial division site impairs fission, demonstrating a direct role for PI(4)P in the division process. Our findings support a model where the ER recruits lysosomes to act in concert at the fission site for the efficient division of mitochondria.
  4. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 14. pii: e2025834118. [Epub ahead of print]118(37):
      Regulation of apoptosis is tightly linked with the targeting of numerous Bcl-2 proteins to the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM), where their activation or inhibition dictates cell death or survival. According to the traditional view of apoptotic regulation, BH3-effector proteins are indispensable for the cytosol-to-MOM targeting and activation of proapoptotic and antiapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 protein family. This view is challenged by recent studies showing that these processes can occur in cells lacking BH3 effectors by as yet to be determined mechanism(s). Here, we exploit a model membrane system that recapitulates key features of MOM to demonstrate that the proapoptotic Bcl-2 protein BAX and antiapoptotic Bcl-xL have an inherent ability to interact with membranes in the absence of BH3 effectors, but only in the presence of cellular concentrations of Mg2+/Ca2+ Under these conditions, BAX and Bcl-xL are selectively targeted to membranes, refolded, and activated in the presence of anionic lipids especially the mitochondrial-specific lipid cardiolipin. These results provide a mechanistic explanation for the mitochondrial targeting and activation of Bcl-2 proteins in cells lacking BH3 effectors. At cytosolic Mg2+ levels, the BH3-independent activation of BAX could provide localized amplification of apoptotic signaling at regions enriched in cardiolipin (e.g., contact sites between MOM and mitochondrial inner membrane). Increases in MOM cardiolipin, as well as cytosolic [Ca2+] during apoptosis could further contribute to its MOM targeting and activity. Meanwhile, the BH3-independent targeting and activation of Bcl-xL to the MOM is expected to counter the action of proapoptotic BAX, thereby preventing premature commitment to apoptosis.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; divalent cations; membrane protein folding; mitochondria permeabilization; protein–lipid interactions
  5. Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 06. 11(1): 17733
      Macroautophagic recycling of dysfunctional mitochondria, known as mitophagy, is essential for mitochondrial homeostasis and cell viability. Accumulation of defective mitochondria and impaired mitophagy have been widely implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases, and loss-of-function mutations of PINK1 and Parkin, two key regulators of mitophagy, are amongst the most common causes of heritable parkinsonism. This has led to the hypothesis that pharmacological stimulation of mitophagy may be a feasible approach to combat neurodegeneration. Toward this end, we screened ~ 45,000 small molecules using a high-throughput, whole-organism, phenotypic screen that monitored accumulation of PINK-1 protein, a key event in mitophagic activation, in a Caenorhabditis elegans strain carrying a Ppink-1::PINK-1::GFP reporter. We obtained eight hits that increased mitochondrial fragmentation and autophagosome formation. Several of the compounds also reduced ATP production, oxygen consumption, mitochondrial mass, and/or mitochondrial membrane potential. Importantly, we found that treatment with two compounds, which we named PS83 and PS106 (more commonly known as sertraline) reduced neurodegenerative disease phenotypes, including delaying paralysis in a C. elegans β-amyloid aggregation model in a PINK-1-dependent manner. This report presents a promising step toward the identification of compounds that will stimulate mitochondrial turnover.
  6. Mitochondrion. 2021 Sep 06. pii: S1567-7249(21)00118-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Topoisomerases regulate DNA topology, organization of the intracellular DNA, the transmission of genetic materials, and gene expressions. Other than the nuclear genome, mitochondria also harbor the small, circular DNA (mtDNA) that encodes a critical subset of proteins for the production of cellular ATP; however, mitochondria are solely dependent on the nucleus for all the mitochondrial proteins necessary for mtDNA replication, repair, and maintenance. Mitochondrial genome compiles topological stress from bidirectional transcription and replication, therefore imports four nuclear encoded topoisomerases (Top1mt, Top2α, Top2β, and Top3α) in the mitochondria to relax mtDNA supercoiling generated during these processes. Trapping of topoisomerase on DNA results in the formation of protein-linked DNA adducts (PDAs), which are widely exploited by topoisomerase-targeting anticancer drugs. Intriguingly mtDNA is potentially exposed to DNA damage that has been attributed to a variety of human diseases, including neurodegeneration, cancer, and premature aging. In this review, we focus on the role of different topoisomerases in the mitochondria and our current understanding of the mitochondrial DNA damage through trapped protein-DNA complexes, and the progress in the molecular mechanisms of the repair for trapped topoisomerase covalent complexes (Topcc). Finally, we have discussed how the pathological DNA lesions that cause mtDNA damage,trigger mitochondrial fission and mitophagy, which serve as quality control events for clearing damaged mtDNA.
    Keywords:  DNA repair; Mitochondria; TDP1; TDP2; TFAM; Topoisomerase 1; Topoisomerase II; mitochondrial DNA; neurological diseases
  7. Virulence. 2021 Dec;12(1): 2273-2284
      Remodeling of mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondrial morphology plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis in response to pathogenic attacks or stress stimuli. In addition to their role in metabolism and energy production, mitochondria participate in diverse biological functions, including innate immune responses driven by macrophages in response to infections or inflammatory stimuli. Mitofusin-2 (MFN2), a mitochondria-shaping protein regulating mitochondrial fusion and fission, plays a crucial role in linking mitochondrial function and innate immune responses. In this article, we review the role of MFN2 in the regulation of innate immune responses during viral and bacterial infections. We also summarize the current knowledge on the role of MFN2 in coordinating inflammatory, atherogenic, and fibrotic responses. MFN2-mediated crosstalk between mitochondrial dynamics and innate immune responses may determine the outcomes of pathogenic infections.
    Keywords:  Mitofusin-2; infections; innate immunity; mitochondrial dynamics
  8. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 01. pii: 9502. [Epub ahead of print]22(17):
      The human mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) regulates its transcription products in specialised and distinct ways as compared to nuclear transcription. Thanks to its mtDNA mitochondria possess their own set of tRNAs, rRNAs and mRNAs that encode a subset of the protein subunits of the electron transport chain complexes. The RNA regulation within mitochondria is organised within specialised, membraneless, compartments of RNA-protein complexes, called the Mitochondrial RNA Granules (MRGs). MRGs were first identified to contain nascent mRNA, complexed with many proteins involved in RNA processing and maturation and ribosome assembly. Most recently, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) species, a hybrid of the two complementary mRNA strands, were found to form granules in the matrix of mitochondria. These RNA granules are therefore components of the mitochondrial post-transcriptional pathway and as such play an essential role in mitochondrial gene expression. Mitochondrial dysfunctions in the form of, for example, RNA processing or RNA quality control defects, or inhibition of mitochondrial fission, can cause the loss or the aberrant accumulation of these RNA granules. These findings underline the important link between mitochondrial maintenance and the efficient expression of its genome.
    Keywords:  RNA degradation; RNA processing; degradosome; dsRNA; liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS); mitochondrial RNA granules (MRGs); mitochondrial gene expression; nucleoids
  9. Autophagy. 2021 Sep 05. 1-3
      Among other mechanisms, mitochondrial membrane dynamics including mitochondrial fission and fusion, and the activity of the ubiquitin (Ub)-proteasome system (UPS) both are critical for maintaining mitochondrial function. To advance our knowledge of the role of mitochondrial fission, the UPS, and how they coordinatively affect mitochondrial response to proteotoxicity, we analyzed mitochondrial ubiquitination and mitochondria-specific autophagy (mitophagy) in E3 Ub ligase PRKN/parkin-expressing and -deficient cells. Through imaging, biochemical, and genetic analyses, we found that in a model of acute reduction of mitochondrial translation fidelity (MTF) some population of mitochondria within a single cell are enriched, while some showed reduced levels of CYCS (cytochrome c, somatic) and CPOX (coproporphyrinogen oxidase) proteins, both located in the intermembrane space (IMS); henceforth called "mosaic distribution". Formation of mosaic mitochondria requires mitochondrial fission and active mitochondrial translation. In cell lines deficient in PRKN activity, this process is followed by severing the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) and ubiquitination of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) proteins (including TRAP1 and CPOX), recruitment of autophagy receptors, and formation of mito-autophagosomes. In contrast, in PRKN-expressing cells, mitochondria with high CYCS and CPOX levels are preferentially targeted by PRKN, leading to OMM ubiquitination and canonical PRKN-PINK1-mediated autophagy.
    Keywords:  DRP1; Parkin; mitochondria; mitochondrial translation; mitophagy; ubiquitin
  10. Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 2021 Sep 08. e1690
      Mitochondria play a pivotal role in numerous cellular processes. One of them is regulation of the innate immune pathway. In this instance, mitochondria function in two different aspects of regulatory mechanisms. First, mitochondria are part of the antiviral signaling cascade that is triggered in the cytoplasm and transmitted to effector proteins through mitochondria-localized proteins. Second, mitochondria can become an endogenous source of innate immune stimuli. Under some pathophysiological conditions, mitochondria release to the cytoplasm immunogenic factors, such as mitochondrial nucleic acids. Here, we focus on immunogenic mitochondrial double-stranded RNA (mt-dsRNA) and its origin and metabolism. We discuss factors that are responsible for regulating mt-dsRNA and its escape from mitochondria, emphasizing the contribution of polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase, PNPT1). Finally, we review current knowledge of the role of PNPase in human health and disease. This article is categorized under: RNA in Disease and Development > RNA in Disease.
    Keywords:  innate immunity; mitochondrial RNA decay and surveillance; mitochondrial dsRNA
  11. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 06. pii: 9655. [Epub ahead of print]22(17):
      Most mitochondrial proteins are synthesized in the cytosol and targeted to the mitochondrial surface in a post-translational manner. The surface of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays an active role in this targeting reaction. ER-associated chaperones interact with certain mitochondrial membrane protein precursors and transfer them onto receptor proteins of the mitochondrial surface in a process termed ER-SURF. ATP-driven proteins in the membranes of mitochondria (Msp1, ATAD1) and the ER (Spf1, P5A-ATPase) serve as extractors for the removal of mislocalized proteins. If the re-routing to mitochondria fails, precursors can be degraded by ER or mitochondria-associated degradation (ERAD or MAD respectively) in a proteasome-mediated reaction. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the cooperation of the ER and mitochondria in the targeting and quality control of mitochondrial precursor proteins.
    Keywords:  ER-SURF; chaperones; contact sites; endoplasmic reticulum; membrane extraction; mitochondria; protein targeting
  12. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2021 Sep 01. 33(9): 673-675
      ABSTRACT: The mitochondrial genome, which contains all of the hereditary information within human mitochondria, consists of 16,569 base pairs of double-stranded DNA that encode 37 genes. Pathogenic mutations of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cause dysfunction of the respiratory chain and the process of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), leading to impaired adenosine triphosphate synthesis. Nuclear DNA (nDNA) mutations can affect structural subunits or assembly factors of one of the five OXPHOS complexes. Mitochondrial diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders, ranging from mtDNA single-point mutations and large-scale deletions to mitochondrial depletion syndromes, resulting from nDNA pathogenic mutations. Manifestations of mitochondrial disease are multisystemic, and organs with substantial energy requirements are most typically affected. Mitochondrial disorders are progressive in nature, and prognosis is dependent on the organs involved and the rate and severity of disease progression. A multidisciplinary team approach is needed to monitor and manage disease sequelae.
  13. Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Sep 06. pii: S1568-1637(21)00205-1. [Epub ahead of print] 101458
      Cellular senescence is a stress response, which can be evoked in all type of somatic cells by different stimuli. Senescent cells accumulate in the body and participate in aging and aging-related diseases mainly by their secretory activity, commonly known as senescence-associated secretory phenotype-SASP. Senescence is typically described as cell cycle arrest. This definition stems from the original observation concerning limited cell division potential of human fibroblasts in vitro. At present, the process of cell senescence is attributed also to cancer cells and to non-proliferating post-mitotic cells. Many cellular signaling pathways and specific and unspecific markers contribute to the complex, dynamic and heterogeneous phenotype of senescent cells. Considering the diversity of cells that can undergo senescence upon different inducers and variety of mechanisms involved in the execution of this process, we ask if there is a common signature of cell senescence. It seems that cell cycle arrest in G0, G1 or G2 is indispensable for cell senescence; however, to ensure irreversibility of divisions, the exit from the cell cycle to the state, which we call a GS (Gero Stage), is necessary. The DNA damage, changes in nuclear architecture and chromatin rearrangement are involved in signaling pathways leading to altered gene transcription and secretion of SASP components. Thus, nuclear changes and SASP are vital features of cell senescence that, together with temporal arrest in the cell cycle (G1 or/and G2), which may be followed by polyploidisation/depolyploidisation or exit from the cell cycle leading to permanent proliferation arrest (GS), define the signature of cellular senescence.
    Keywords:  aging; atypical cell divisions; autophagy; cell cycle; cellular senescence; chromatin reorganization; nuclear structure, polyploidisation; senescence-associated secretory phenotype
  14. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Sep 08. mbcE21040191
      Mitochondria evolved from endosymbiotic bacteria to become essential organelles of eukaryotic cells. The unique lipid composition and structure of mitochondrial membranes are critical for the proper functioning of mitochondria. However, stress responses that help maintain the mitochondrial membrane integrity are not well understood. One reason for this lack of insight is the absence of efficient tools to specifically damage mitochondrial membranes. Here, through a compound screen, we found that two bis-biguanide compounds, Chlorhexidine and Alexidine, modified the activity of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM)-resident protease OMA1 by altering the integrity of the IMM. These compounds are well-known bactericides whose mechanism of action has centered on their damage-inducing activity on bacterial membranes. We found Alexidine binds to the IMM likely through the electrostatic interaction driven by the membrane potential as well as an affinity for anionic phospholipids. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that Alexidine severely perturbated the cristae structure. Notably, Alexidine evoked a specific transcriptional/proteostasis signature that was not induced by other typical mitochondrial stressors, highlighting the unique property of Alexidine as a novel mitochondrial membrane stressor. Our findings provide a chemical-biological tool that should enable the delineation of mitochondrial stress-signaling pathways required to maintain the mitochondrial membrane homeostasis.
  15. J Biol Chem. 2021 Sep 01. pii: S0021-9258(21)00957-1. [Epub ahead of print] 101155
      Acylation modifications, such as the succinylation of lysine, are post-translational modifications and a powerful means of regulating protein activity. Some acylations occur nonenzymatically, driven by an increase in the concentration of acyl group donors. Lysine succinylation has a profound effect on the corresponding site within the protein, as it dramatically changes the charge of the residue. In eukaryotes, it predominantly affects mitochondrial proteins because the donor of succinate, succinyl-coenzyme A, is primarily generated in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Although numerous succinylated mitochondrial proteins have been identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a more detailed characterization of the yeast mitochondrial succinylome is still lacking. Here we performed a proteomic mass spectrometry analysis of purified yeast mitochondria and detected 314 succinylated mitochondrial proteins with 1763 novel succinylation sites. The mitochondrial nucleoid, a complex of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and mitochondrial proteins, is one of the structures whose protein components are affected by succinylation. We found that Abf2p, the principal component of mt-nucleoids responsible for compacting mtDNA in S. cerevisiae, can be succinylated in vivo on at least thirteen lysine residues. Abf2p succinylation in vitro inhibits its DNA-binding activity and reduces its sensitivity to digestion by the ATP-dependent ScLon protease. We conclude that changes in the metabolic state of a cell resulting in an increase in concentration of TCA intermediates may affect mitochondrial functions.
    Keywords:  DNA-protein interaction; lysine succinylation; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial nucleoid; post-translational modification (PTM); proteomics; succinylome; yeast
  16. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2021 Sep 03. pii: S1369-5266(21)00106-0. [Epub ahead of print]63 102106
      Maintaining the integrity of organelles despite the cellular disturbances that arise during stress is essential for life. To ensure organelle proteostasis (protein homeostasis), plants have evolved multitiered quality control mechanisms that work together to repair or recycle the damaged organelles. Despite recent advances, our understanding of plant organelle quality control mechanisms is far from complete. Especially, the crosstalk between different quality control pathways remains elusive. Here, we highlight recent advances on organelle quality control, focusing on the targeted protein degradation pathways that maintain the homeostasis of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), chloroplast, and mitochondria. We discuss how plant cells decide to employ different degradation pathways and propose tools that could be used to discover the missing components in organelle quality control.
    Keywords:  CDC48; Model substrates; Organelle quality control; Proteasome; Selective autophagy; Unfolded protein response; Viral replication
  17. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 14. pii: e2025932118. [Epub ahead of print]118(37):
      Mitochondria form a complex, interconnected reticulum that is maintained through coordination among biogenesis, dynamic fission, and fusion and mitophagy, which are initiated in response to various cues to maintain energetic homeostasis. These cellular events, which make up mitochondrial quality control, act with remarkable spatial precision, but what governs such spatial specificity is poorly understood. Herein, we demonstrate that specific isoforms of the cellular bioenergetic sensor, 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPKα1/α2/β2/γ1), are localized on the outer mitochondrial membrane, referred to as mitoAMPK, in various tissues in mice and humans. Activation of mitoAMPK varies across the reticulum in response to energetic stress, and inhibition of mitoAMPK activity attenuates exercise-induced mitophagy in skeletal muscle in vivo. Discovery of a mitochondrial pool of AMPK and its local importance for mitochondrial quality control underscores the complexity of sensing cellular energetics in vivo that has implications for targeting mitochondrial energetics for disease treatment.
    Keywords:  AMPK; exercise; mitochondria; mitophagy; skeletal muscle
  18. Cell Rep. 2021 Sep 07. pii: S2211-1247(21)01033-0. [Epub ahead of print]36(10): 109595
      Psychological stress (PS) is associated with systemic inflammation and accelerates inflammatory disease progression (e.g., atherosclerosis). The mechanisms underlying stress-mediated inflammation and future health risk are poorly understood. Monocytes are key in sustaining systemic inflammation, and recent studies demonstrate that they maintain the memory of inflammatory insults, leading to a heightened inflammatory response upon rechallenge. We show that PS induces remodeling of the chromatin landscape and transcriptomic reprogramming of monocytes, skewing them to a primed hyperinflammatory phenotype. Monocytes from stressed mice and humans exhibit a characteristic inflammatory transcriptomic signature and are hyperresponsive upon stimulation with Toll-like receptor ligands. RNA and ATAC sequencing reveal that monocytes from stressed mice and humans exhibit activation of metabolic pathways (mTOR and PI3K) and reduced chromatin accessibility at mitochondrial respiration-associated loci. Collectively, our findings suggest that PS primes the reprogramming of myeloid cells to a hyperresponsive inflammatory state, which may explain how PS confers inflammatory disease risk.
    Keywords:  inflammation; metabolism; monocytes; priming; psychological stress; women
  19. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Sep 06.
      Respiratory chain complex I deficiency elicits mitochondrial dysfunction and reactive oxidative species (ROS), which plays a crucial role in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. However, it remains unclear whether the impairment in other complexes in the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation chain is also sufficient to trigger PD onset. Here we show that inhibition of Complex II or III in the electron transport chain (ETC) induces the motor disorder and PD pathologies in neuronal Thy1-C/EBPβ transgenic mice. Through a cell-based screening of mitochondrial respiratory chain inhibitors, we identified TTFA (complex II inhibitor) and Atovaquone (complex III inhibitor), which robustly block the oxidative phosphorylation functions, strongly escalate ROS, and activate C/EBPβ/AEP pathway that triggers dopaminergic neuronal cell death. Oral administration of these inhibitors to Thy1-C/EBPβ mice elicits constipation and motor defects, associated with Lewy body-like inclusions. Deletion of SDHD (Succinate dehydrogenase) gene from the complex II in the Substantia Nigra of Thy1-C/EBPβ mice triggers ROS and PD pathologies, resulting in motor disorders. Hence, our findings demonstrate that mitochondrial ETC inactivation triggers PD pathogenesis via activating C/EBPβ/AEP pathway.
  20. Mol Aspects Med. 2021 Sep 07. pii: S0098-2997(21)00080-7. [Epub ahead of print] 101020
      Aging is associated with many deleterious changes at the cellular level, including the accumulation of potentially toxic components that can have devastating effects on health. A key protective mechanism to this end is the cellular recycling process called autophagy. During autophagy, damaged or surplus cellular components are delivered to acidic vesicles called lysosomes, that secure degradation and recycling of the components. Numerous links between autophagy and aging exist. Autophagy declines with age, and increasing evidence suggests that this reduction plays important roles in both physiological aging and the development of age-associated disorders. Studies in pharmacologically and genetically manipulated model organisms indicate that defects in autophagy promote age-related diseases, and conversely, that enhancement of autophagy has beneficial effects on both healthspan and lifespan. Here, we review our current understanding of the role of autophagy in different physiological processes and their molecular links with aging and age-related diseases. We also highlight some recent advances in the field that could accelerate the development of autophagy-based therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:  AMPK; Aging; Autophagy; C. elegans; Healthspan; Lifespan; Neurodegeneration; mTOR
  21. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Sep 04. pii: 4457. [Epub ahead of print]13(17):
      The voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3 is a potential therapeutic target for obesity and diabetes. The genetic ablation and pharmacological inhibition of Kv1.3 lead to a lean phenotype in rodents. The mechanism of regulation of body weight and energy homeostasis involves Kv1.3 expression in different organs, including white and brown adipose tissues. Here, we show that Kv1.3 promotes the proliferation of preadipocytes through the control of mitochondrial dynamics. Kv1.3 is expressed in mitochondria exhibiting high affinity for the perinuclear population. The mitochondrial network is highly dynamic during the cell cycle, showing continuous fusion-fission events. The formation of a hyperfused mitochondrial network at the G1/S phase of the cell cycle is dependent on Kv1.3 expression. Our results demonstrate that Kv1.3 promotes preadipocyte proliferation and differentiation by controlling mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial dynamics at the G1 phase of the cell cycle.
    Keywords:  adipocytes; fusion/fission; mitochondria; potassium channels; proliferation
  22. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 14. pii: e2011226118. [Epub ahead of print]118(37):
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Impaired neuronal bioenergetics and neuroinflammation are thought to play key roles in the progression of AD, but their interplay is not clear. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an important metabolite in all human cells in which it is pivotal for multiple processes including DNA repair and mitophagy, both of which are impaired in AD neurons. Here, we report that levels of NAD+ are reduced and markers of inflammation increased in the brains of APP/PS1 mutant transgenic mice with beta-amyloid pathology. Treatment of APP/PS1 mutant mice with the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide riboside (NR) for 5 mo increased brain NAD+ levels, reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines, and decreased activation of microglia and astrocytes. NR treatment also reduced NLRP3 inflammasome expression, DNA damage, apoptosis, and cellular senescence in the AD mouse brains. Activation of cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and stimulator of interferon genes (STING) are associated with DNA damage and senescence. cGAS-STING elevation was observed in the AD mice and normalized by NR treatment. Cell culture experiments using microglia suggested that the beneficial effects of NR are, in part, through a cGAS-STING-dependent pathway. Levels of ectopic (cytoplasmic) DNA were increased in APP/PS1 mutant mice and human AD fibroblasts and down-regulated by NR. NR treatment induced mitophagy and improved cognitive and synaptic functions in APP/PS1 mutant mice. Our findings suggest a role for NAD+ depletion-mediated activation of cGAS-STING in neuroinflammation and cellular senescence in AD.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; DNA repair; NAD supplementation; inflammation; neurodegeneration
  23. Mol Ther. 2021 Jun 08. pii: S1525-0016(21)00313-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cardiolipin is a mitochondrial signature phospholipid that plays a pivotal role in maintaining cardiac health. A loss of tetralinoleoyl cardiolipin (TLCL), the predominant cardiolipin species in the healthy mammalian heart, is implicated in the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease (CHD) through poorly defined mechanisms. Here, we identified acyl-coenzyme A:lysocardiolipin acyltransferase-1 (ALCAT1) as the missing link between hypoxia and CHD in an animal model of myocardial infarction (MI). ALCAT1 is an acyltransferase that promotes mitochondrial dysfunction in aging-related diseases by catalyzing pathological remodeling of cardiolipin. In support of a causative role of ALCAT1 in CHD, we showed that ALCAT1 expression was potently upregulated by MI, linking myocardial hypoxia to oxidative stress, TLCL depletion, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Accordingly, ablation of the ALCAT1 gene or pharmacological inhibition of the ALCAT1 enzyme by Dafaglitapin (Dafa), a potent and highly specific ALCAT1 inhibitor, not only restored TLCL levels but also mitochondrial respiration by attenuating signal transduction pathways mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α). Consequently, ablation or pharmacological inhibition of ALCAT1 by Dafa effectively mitigated CHD and its underlying pathogenesis, including dilated cardiomyopathy, left ventricle dysfunction, myocardial inflammation, fibrosis, and apoptosis. Together, the findings have provided the first proof-of-concept studies for targeting ALCAT1 as an effective treatment for CHD.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; cardiac function; cardiolipin; inflammation; mitochondrial dysfunction; myocardial infarction
  24. BMB Rep. 2021 Sep 07. pii: 5388. [Epub ahead of print]
      Inflammation is one of the body's natural responses to injury and illness as part of the healing process. However, persistent inflammation can lead to chronic inflammatory diseases and multi-organ failure. Altered mitochondrial function has been implicated in several acute and chronic inflammatory diseases by inducing an abnormal inflammatory response. Therefore, treating inflammatory diseases by recovering mitochondrial function may be a potential therapeutic approach. Recently, mitochondrial transplantation has been proven to be beneficial in hyperinflammatory animal models. However, it is unclear how mitochondrial transplantation attenuates inflammatory responses induced by external stimuli. Here, we isolated mitochondria from umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells, referred as to PN-101. We found that PN-101 could significantly reduce LPS-induced mortality in mice. In addition, in phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-treated THP-1 macrophages, PN-101 attenuated LPS-induced increase production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effect of PN-101 was mediated by blockade of phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and trans-activity of NFκB. Taken together, our results demonstrate that PN-101 has therapeutic potential to attenuate pathological inflammatory responses.
  25. Blood Adv. 2021 Sep 10. pii: bloodadvances.2020003661. [Epub ahead of print]
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells are highly dependent on oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) for survival and continually adapt to fluctuations in nutrient and oxygen availability in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment. We investigated how the BM microenvironment affects the response to OxPhos inhibition in AML by using a novel complex I OxPhos inhibitor, IACS-010759. Cellular adhesion, growth, and apoptosis assays, along with measurements of mtDNA expression and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation, indicated that direct interactions with BM stromal cells triggered compensatory activation of mitochondrial respiration and resistance to OxPhos inhibition in AML cells. Mechanistically, OxPhos inhibition induced (1) transfer of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived mitochondria to AML cells via tunneling nanotubes under direct-contact coculture conditions, and (2) mitochondrial fission with an increase in functional mitochondria and mitophagy in AML cells. Mitochondrial fission is known to enhance cell migration, and we observed mitochondrial transport to the leading edge of protrusions of migrating AML cells toward MSCs by electron microscopy analysis. We further demonstrated that cytarabine, a commonly used antileukemia agent, increased OxPhos inhibition-triggered mitochondrial transfer from MSCs to AML cells. Our findings indicate an important role of exogenous mitochondrial trafficking from BM stromal cells to AML cells as well as endogenous mitochondrial fission and mitophagy in the compensatory adaptation of leukemia cells to energetic stress in the BM microenvironment.
  26. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2021 Sep 06.
      Human mitochondrial transcripts contain messenger and ribosomal RNAs flanked by transfer RNAs (tRNAs), which are excised by mitochondrial RNase (mtRNase) P and Z to liberate all RNA species. In contrast to nuclear or bacterial RNase P, mtRNase P is not a ribozyme but comprises three protein subunits that carry out RNA cleavage and methylation by unknown mechanisms. Here, we present the cryo-EM structure of human mtRNase P bound to precursor tRNA, which reveals a unique mechanism of substrate recognition and processing. Subunits TRMT10C and SDR5C1 form a subcomplex that binds conserved mitochondrial tRNA elements, including the anticodon loop, and positions the tRNA for methylation. The endonuclease PRORP is recruited and activated through interactions with its PPR and nuclease domains to ensure precise pre-tRNA cleavage. The structure provides the molecular basis for the first step of RNA processing in human mitochondria.
  27. J Immunol. 2021 Sep 08. pii: ji2100342. [Epub ahead of print]
      Retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs), including RIG-I (encoded by Ddx58) and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) (encoded by Ifih1), are crucial for initiating antiviral responses. Endogenous retroviral elements (ERVs) are transposable elements derived from exogenous retroviruses that are integrated into the genome. KRAB-associated protein 1 (KAP1) is a key epigenetic suppressor of ERVs that protects cells from detrimental genome instability. Increased ERV transcripts are sensed by RLRs and trigger innate immune signaling. However, whether KAP1 directly controls RLRs activity remains unclear. In this study, we show that KAP1 attenuates RNA viral infection-induced type I IFNs and facilitates viral replication by inhibiting RIG-I/MDA5 expression in primary peritoneal macrophages (PMs) of C57BL/6J mice. Kap1 deficiency increases IFN-β expression and inhibits vesicular stomatitis virus replication in C57BL/6J mice in vivo. Mechanistically, KAP1 binds to the promoter regions of Ddx58 and Ifih1 and promotes the establishment of repressive histone marks in primary PMs of C57BL/6J mice. Concordantly, KAP1 suppresses the expression of RIG-I and MDA5 at the transcriptional level in primary PMs of C57BL/6J mice. Our results establish that KAP1 epigenetically suppresses host antiviral responses by directly targeting RIG-1 and MDA5, thus facilitating the immune escape of RNA viruses.
  28. Cell Stress Chaperones. 2021 Sep 08.
      Human periodontal ligament fibroblast (HPDLF) is a major component of the resident cells in the periodontal microenvironment, and plays important roles in periodontitis through multiple mechanisms. Although lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been shown to cause endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activate the unfolded protein response (UPR) in HPDLF, the mechanisms governing HPDLF function in periodontitis are unclear. In this study, we tested the ability of unfolded protein response (UPR) to regulate HPDLF in vitro and examined the underlying mechanisms. We found LPS-pretreated HPDLF induced macrophage polarization toward M1 phenotype. UPR activation reduced the inflammatory cytokine production and downregulated the expression of TLR4 in HPDLF. The phosphorylation of NF-κB p65 and I-κB was also inhibited by UPR activation. Our findings demonstrate that the connection of LPS, UPR, and HPDLF may represent a new concrete theory of innate immunity regulation in periodontal diseases, and suggest that targeting of UPR in HPDLF may be developed as a potent therapy for periodontitis.
    Keywords:  HPDLF; LPS; Macrophage; Periodontitis; UPR
  29. Trends Neurosci. 2021 Sep 03. pii: S0166-2236(21)00161-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Neurons continuously adapt to external cues and challenges, including stimulation, plasticity-inducing signals and aging. These adaptations are critical for neuronal physiology and extended survival. Proteostasis is the process by which cells adjust their protein content to achieve the specific protein repertoire necessary for cellular function. Due to their complex morphology and polarized nature, neurons possess unique proteostatic requirements. Proteostatic control in axons and dendrites must be implemented through regulation of protein synthesis and degradation in a decentralized fashion, but at the same time, it requires integration, at least in part, in the soma. Here, we discuss current understanding of neuronal proteostasis, as well as open questions and future directions requiring further exploration.
    Keywords:  mRNA; post-translational modifications; proteasome; protein degradation; protein synthesis
  30. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 26. pii: 9233. [Epub ahead of print]22(17):
      SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is the causative agent of the COVID19 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes for a small accessory protein termed Orf9b, which targets the mitochondrial outer membrane protein TOM70 in infected cells. TOM70 is involved in a signaling cascade that ultimately leads to the induction of type I interferons (IFN-I). This cascade depends on the recruitment of Hsp90-bound proteins to the N-terminal domain of TOM70. Binding of Orf9b to TOM70 decreases the expression of IFN-I; however, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. We show that the binding of Orf9b to TOM70 inhibits the recruitment of Hsp90 and chaperone-associated proteins. We characterized the binding site of Orf9b within the C-terminal domain of TOM70 and found that a serine in position 53 of Orf9b and a glutamate in position 477 of TOM70 are crucial for the association of both proteins. A phosphomimetic variant Orf9bS53E showed drastically reduced binding to TOM70 and did not inhibit Hsp90 recruitment, suggesting that Orf9b-TOM70 complex formation is regulated by phosphorylation. Eventually, we identified the N-terminal TPR domain of TOM70 as a second binding site for Orf9b, which indicates a so far unobserved contribution of chaperones in the mitochondrial targeting of the viral protein.
    Keywords:  B.1.1.7; COVID19; Hsp90; Orf9b; SARS-CoV-2; TOM70; interferon; mitochondria; variant of concern
  31. BMC Genomics. 2021 Sep 04. 22(1): 640
      BACKGROUND: Fatty liver disease prevalently occurs in commercial postpartum dairies, resulting in a worldwide high culling rate because of their subsequent limitations of production and reproduction performance.RESULTS: Fatty liver-specific proteome and acetylome analysis revealed that energy metabolism suppression closely associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation activation were shown to be remarkable biological processes underlying the development of fatty liver disease, furthermore, acetylation modification of proteins could be one of the main means to modulate these processes. Twenty pivotal genetic factors/genes that differentially expressing and being acetylation modified in liver were identified and proposed to regulate the pathogenesis of fatty liver dairies. These proteins were confirmed to be differentially expressing in individual liver tissue, eight of which being validated via immunohistochemistry assay.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provided a comprehensive proteome and acetylome profile of fatty liver of dairy cows, and revealed potential important biological processes and essential regulators in the pathogenesis of fatty liver disease. Expectantly, understanding the molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of fatty liver disease in dairies, as an animal model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in human beings, which is a clinico-pathologically defined process associated with metabolic syndrome, could inspire and facilitate the development of efficacious therapeutic drugs on NAFLD.
    Keywords:  Animal model; Inflammation activation; Metabolic disorder; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  32. Front Mol Biosci. 2021 ;8 711227
      Copper is essential for life processes like energy metabolism, reactive oxygen species detoxification, iron uptake, and signaling in eukaryotic organisms. Mitochondria gather copper for the assembly of cuproenzymes such as the respiratory complex IV, cytochrome c oxidase, and the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase 1. In this regard, copper plays a role in mitochondrial function and signaling involving bioenergetics, dynamics, and mitophagy, which affect cell fate by means of metabolic reprogramming. In mammals, copper homeostasis is tightly regulated by the liver. However, cellular copper levels are tissue specific. Copper imbalances, either overload or deficiency, have been associated with many diseases, including anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia, as well as tumor development and cancer aggressivity. Consistently, new pharmacological developments have been addressed to reduce or exacerbate copper levels as potential cancer therapies. This review goes over the copper source, distribution, cellular uptake, and its role in mitochondrial function, metabolic reprograming, and cancer biology, linking copper metabolism with the field of regenerative medicine and cancer.
    Keywords:  ROS; cancer; copper; differentiation; hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs); metabolic reprograming; mitochondria; proliferation
  33. Biogerontology. 2021 Sep 06.
      An intricate relationship between impaired immune functions and the age-related accumulation of tissue senescent cells is rapidly emerging. The immune system is unique as it undergoes mutually inclusive and deleterious processes of immunosenescence and cellular senescence with advancing age. While factors inducing immunosenescence and cellular senescence may be shared, however, both these processes are fundamentally different which holistically influence the aging immune system. Our understanding of the biological impact of immunosenescence is relatively well-understood, but such knowledge regarding cellular senescence in immune cells, especially in the innate immune cells such as macrophages, is only beginning to be elucidated. Tissue-resident macrophages are long-lived, and while functioning in tissue-specific and niche-specific microenvironments, senescence in macrophages can be directly influenced by senescent host cells which may impact organismal aging. In addition, evidence of age-associated immunometabolic changes as drivers of altered macrophage phenotype and functions such as inflamm-aging is also emerging. The present review describes the emerging impact of cellular senescence vis-à-vis immunosenescence in aging macrophages, its biological relevance with other senescent non-immune cells, and known immunometabolic regulators. Gaps in our present knowledge, as well as strategies aimed at understanding cellular senescence and its therapeutics in the context of macrophages, have been reviewed.
    Keywords:  Aging; Immunometabolism; Immunosenescence; Macrophages; Senescence
  34. Mitochondrion. 2021 Sep 02. pii: S1567-7249(21)00116-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      In memoriam of Bernhard Kadenbach: Although the main focus of his research was the structure, function, and regulation of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (CytOx), he earlier studied the mitochondrial phosphate carrier and found an essential role of cardiolipin. Later, he discovered tissue-specific and developmental-specific protein isoforms of CytOx. Defective activity of CytOx is found with increasing age in human muscle and neuronal cells resulting in mitochondrial diseases. Kadenbach proposed a theory on the cause of oxidative stress, aging, and associated diseases stating that allosteric feedback inhibition of CytOx at high mitochondrial ATP/ADP ratios is essential for healthy living while stress-induced reversible dephosphorylation of CytOx results in the formation of excessive reactive oxygen species that trigger degenerative diseases. This article summarizes the main discoveries of Kadenbach related to mammalian CytOx and discusses their implications for human disease.
  35. IUBMB Life. 2021 Sep 09.
      The induction of type I interferons (IFN) is critical for antiviral innate immune response. The rapid activation of antiviral innate immune responses is the key to successful clearance of evading pathogens. To achieve this, a series of proteins, including the pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs), the adaptor proteins, the accessory proteins, kinases, and the transcription factors, are all involved and finely orchestrated. The magnitude and latitude of type I IFN induction however are distinctly regulated in different tissues. A set of interferon simulated genes (ISGs) are then expressed in response to type I IFN signaling to set the cells in the antiviral state. In this review, how type I IFN is induced by viral infections by intracellular PRRs and how type I IFN triggers the expression of downstream effectors will be discussed.
    Keywords:  MDA5; RIG-I; STING; cGAS; cytosolic DNA sensing; cytosolic RNA sensing; type I interferon
  36. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 27. pii: 9283. [Epub ahead of print]22(17):
      Since its discovery, mitophagy has been viewed as a protective mechanism used by cancer cells to prevent the induction of mitochondrial apoptosis. Most cancer treatments directly or indirectly cause mitochondrial dysfunction in order to trigger signals for cell death. Elimination of these dysfunctional mitochondria by mitophagy could thus prevent the initiation of the apoptotic cascade. In breast cancer patients, resistance to doxorubicin (DOX), one of the most widely used cancer drugs, is an important cause of poor clinical outcomes. However, the role played by mitophagy in the context of DOX resistance in breast cancer cells is not well understood. We therefore tried to determine whether an increase in mitophagic flux was associated with the resistance of breast cancer cells to DOX. Our first objective was to explore whether DOX-resistant breast cancer cells were characterized by conditions that favor mitophagy induction. We next tried to determine whether mitophagic flux was increased in DOX-resistant cells in response to DOX treatment. For this purpose, the parental (MCF-7) and DOX-resistant (MCF-7dox) breast cancer cell lines were used. Our results show that mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1 alpha) expression are higher in MCF-7dox in a basal condition compared to MCF-7, suggesting DOX-resistant breast cancer cells are prone to stimuli to induce a mitophagy-related event. Our results also showed that, in response to DOX, autophagolysosome formation is induced in DOX-resistant breast cancer cells. This mitophagic step following DOX treatment seems to be partly due to mitochondrial ROS production as autophagolysosome formation is moderately decreased by the mitochondrial antioxidant mitoTEMPO.
    Keywords:  breast cancer; doxorubicin; mitochondria; mitophagy; reactive oxygen species