bims-mireme Biomed News
on Mitochondria in regenerative medicine
Issue of 2021‒03‒14
six papers selected by
Brian Spurlock
University of Alabama at Birmingham

  1. Blood Adv. 2021 Mar 23. 5(6): 1605-1616
      Hematopoietic cell transplantation is a critical curative approach for many blood disorders. However, obtaining grafts with sufficient numbers of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that maintain long-term engraftment remains challenging; this is due partly to metabolic modulations that restrict the potency of HSCs outside of their native environment. To address this, we focused on mitochondria. We found that human HSCs are heterogeneous in their mitochondrial activity as measured by mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) even within the highly purified CD34+CD38-CD45RA-CD90+CD49f+ HSC population. We further found that the most potent HSCs exhibit the lowest mitochondrial activity in the population. We showed that the frequency of long-term culture initiating cells in MMP-low is significantly greater than in MMP-high CD34+CD38-CD45RA-CD90+ (CD90+) HSCs. Notably, these 2 populations were distinct in their long-term repopulating capacity when transplanted into immunodeficient mice. The level of chimerism 7 months posttransplantation was >50-fold higher in the blood of MMP-low relative to MMP-high CD90+ HSC recipients. Although more than 90% of both HSC subsets were in G0, MMP-low CD90+ HSCs exhibited delayed cell-cycle priming profile relative to MMP-high HSCs. These functional differences were associated with distinct mitochondrial morphology; MMP-low in contrast to MMP-high HSCs contained fragmented mitochondria. Our findings suggest that the lowest MMP level selects for the most potent, likely dormant, stem cells within the highly purified HSC population. These results identify a new approach for isolating highly potent human HSCs for further clinical applications. They also implicate mitochondria in the intrinsic regulation of human HSC quiescence and potency.
  2. Redox Biol. 2021 Feb 28. pii: S2213-2317(21)00069-0. [Epub ahead of print]41 101921
      Mitochondria participate in various metabolic pathways, and their dysregulation results in multiple disorders, including aging-related diseases. However, the metabolic changes and mechanisms of mitochondrial disorders are not fully understood. Here, we found that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a patient with mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) showed attenuated proliferation and survival when glycolysis was inhibited. These deficits were rescued by taurine administration. Metabolomic analyses showed that the ratio of the reduced (GSH) to oxidized glutathione (GSSG) was decreased; whereas the levels of cysteine, a substrate of GSH, and oxidative stress markers were upregulated in MELAS iPSCs. Taurine normalized these changes, suggesting that MELAS iPSCs were affected by the oxidative stress and taurine reduced its influence. We also analyzed the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) differentiated from MELAS iPSCs by using a three-dimensional culture system and found that it showed epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was suppressed by taurine. Therefore, mitochondrial dysfunction caused metabolic changes, accumulation of oxidative stress that depleted GSH, and EMT in the RPE that could be involved in retinal pathogenesis. Because all these phenomena were sensitive to taurine treatment, we conclude that administration of taurine may be a potential new therapeutic approach for mitochondria-related retinal diseases.
    Keywords:  Epithelial mesenchymal transition; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Metabolomics; Mitochondria; Retinal pigment epithelium; Taurine
  3. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2021 Mar 12. 12(1): 177
      Current methods to differentiate cardiomyocytes from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) inadequately recapitulate complete development and result in PSC-derived cardiomyocytes (PSC-CMs) with an immature or fetal-like phenotype. Embryonic and fetal development are highly dynamic periods during which the developing embryo or fetus is exposed to changing nutrient, oxygen, and hormone levels until birth. It is becoming increasingly apparent that these metabolic changes initiate developmental processes to mature cardiomyocytes. Mitochondria are central to these changes, responding to these metabolic changes and transitioning from small, fragmented mitochondria to large organelles capable of producing enough ATP to support the contractile function of the heart. These changes in mitochondria may not simply be a response to cardiomyocyte maturation; the metabolic signals that occur throughout development may actually be central to the maturation process in cardiomyocytes. Here, we review methods to enhance maturation of PSC-CMs and highlight evidence from development indicating the key roles that mitochondria play during cardiomyocyte maturation. We evaluate metabolic transitions that occur during development and how these affect molecular nutrient sensors, discuss how regulation of nutrient sensing pathways affect mitochondrial dynamics and function, and explore how changes in mitochondrial function can affect metabolite production, the cell cycle, and epigenetics to influence maturation of cardiomyocytes.
    Keywords:  Cardiomyocytes; Maturation; Metabolic regulation; Mitochondria; Stem cells
  4. J Am Chem Soc. 2021 Mar 12.
      Mitochondria are the site of aerobic respiration, producing ATP via oxidative phosphorylation as protons flow down their electrochemical gradient through ATP synthase. This negative membrane potential across the inner mitochondrial membrane (ΔΨm) represents a fundamental biophysical parameter central to cellular life. Traditional, electrode-based methods for recording membrane potential are impossible to implement on mitochondria within intact cells. Fluorescent ΔΨm indicators based on cationic, lipophilic dyes are a common alternative, but these indicators are complicated by concentration-dependent artifacts and the requirement to maintain dye in the extracellular solution to visualize reversible ΔΨm dynamics. Here, we report the first example of a fluorescent ΔΨm reporter that does not rely on ΔΨm-dependent accumulation. We redirected the localization of a photoinduced electron transfer (PeT)-based indicator, Rhodamine Voltage Reporter (RhoVR), to mitochondria by masking the carboxylate of RhoVR 1 as an acetoxymethyl (AM) ester. Once within mitochondria, esterases remove the AM ester, trapping RhoVR inside of the mitochondrial matrix, where it can incorporate within the inner membrane and reversibly report on changes in ΔΨm. We show that this Small molecule, Permeable, Internally Redistributing for Inner membrane Targeting Rhodamine Voltage Reporter, or SPIRIT RhoVR, localizes to mitochondria across a number of different cell lines and responds reversibly to changes in ΔΨm induced by exceptionally low concentrations of the uncoupler FCCP without the need for exogenous pools of dye (unlike traditional, accumulation-based rhodamine esters). SPIRIT RhoVR is compatible with multi-color imaging, enabling simultaneous, real-time observation of cytosolic Ca2+, plasma membrane potential, and reversible ΔΨm dynamics.
  5. Biophys J. 2021 Mar 08. pii: S0006-3495(21)00206-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      The microenvironment provides both active and passive mechanical cues that regulate cell morphology, adhesion, migration, and metabolism. While the cellular response to those mechanical cues often requires energy-intensive actin cytoskeletal remodeling and actomyosin contractility, it remains unclear how cells dynamically adapt their metabolic activity to altered mechanical cues to support migration. Here, we investigated the changes in cellular metabolic activity in response to different 2D and 3D microenvironmental conditions, and how these changes relate to cytoskeletal activity and migration. Utilizing collagen micropatterning on polyacrylamide gels, intracellular energy levels and oxidative phosphorylation were found to be correlated with cell elongation and spreading and necessary for membrane ruffling. To determine whether this relationship holds in more physiological 3D matrices, collagen matrices were used to show that intracellular energy state was also correlated with protrusive activity and increased with matrix density. Pharmacological inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation revealed that cancer cells rely on oxidative phosphorylation to meet the elevated energy requirements for protrusive activity and migration in denser matrices. Together, these findings suggest that mechanical regulation of cytoskeletal activity during spreading and migration by the physical microenvironment is driven by an altered metabolic profile.
    Keywords:  cell metabolism; cell migration; collagen density; micropatterns; oxidative phosphorylation
  6. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2020 Dec;85(12): 1484-1498
      In 1999 V. P. Skulachev proposed the term "mitoptosis" to refer to the programmed elimination of mitochondria in living cells. According to the initial thought, mitoptosis serves to protect cells from malfunctioning of the damaged mitochondria. At the same time, a new mechanism of the complete mitochondria elimination was found under the conditions of massive mitochondrial damage associated with oxidative stress. In this experimental model, mitochondrial cluster formation in the perinuclear region leads to the formation of "mitoptotic body" surrounded by a single-layer membrane and subsequent release of mitochondria from the cell. Later, it was found that mitoptosis plays an important role in various normal and pathological processes that are not necessarily associated with the mitochondrial damage. It was found that mitoptosis takes place during cell differentiation, self-maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells, metabolic remodelling, and elimination of the paternal mitochondria in organisms with the maternal inheritance of the mitochondrial DNA. Moreover, the associated with mitoptosis release of mitochondrial components into the blood may be involved in the transmission of signals between cells, but also leads to the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Mitoptosis can be attributed to the asymmetric inheritance of mitochondria in the division of yeast and some animal cells, when the defective mitochondria are transferred to one of the newly formed cells. Finally, a specific form of mitoptosis appears to be selective elimination of mitochondria with deleterious mutations in whole follicular ovarian cells in mammals. During formation of the primary follicle, the mitochondrial DNA copy number is significantly reduced. After division, the cells that receive predominantly mitochondria with deleterious mutations in their mtDNA die, thereby reducing the likelihood of transmission of these mutations to offspring. Further study of the mechanisms of mitoptosis in normal and pathological conditions is important both for understanding the processes of development and aging, and for designing therapeutic approaches for inflammatory, neurodegenerative and other diseases.