bims-mireme Biomed News
on Mitochondria in regenerative medicine
Issue of 2021‒04‒04
twelve papers selected by
Brian Spurlock
University of Alabama at Birmingham

  1. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 18. pii: 3099. [Epub ahead of print]22(6):
      The effectiveness of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in mammals seems to be still characterized by the disappointingly low rates of cloned embryos, fetuses, and progeny generated. These rates are measured in relation to the numbers of nuclear-transferred oocytes and can vary depending on the technique applied to the reconstruction of enucleated oocytes. The SCNT efficiency is also largely affected by the capability of donor nuclei to be epigenetically reprogrammed in a cytoplasm of reconstructed oocytes. The epigenetic reprogrammability of donor nuclei in SCNT-derived embryos appears to be biased, to a great extent, by the extranuclear (cytoplasmic) inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) fractions originating from donor cells. A high frequency of mtDNA heteroplasmy occurrence can lead to disturbances in the intergenomic crosstalk between mitochondrial and nuclear compartments during the early embryogenesis of SCNT-derived embryos. These disturbances can give rise to incorrect and incomplete epigenetic reprogramming of donor nuclei in mammalian cloned embryos. The dwindling reprogrammability of donor nuclei in the blastomeres of SCNT-derived embryos can also be impacted by impaired epigenetic rearrangements within terminal ends of donor cell-descended chromosomes (i.e., telomeres). Therefore, dysfunctions in epigenetic reprogramming of donor nuclei can contribute to the enhanced attrition of telomeres. This accelerates the processes of epigenomic aging and replicative senescence in the cells forming various tissues and organs of cloned fetuses and progeny. For all the above-mentioned reasons, the current paper aims to overview the state of the art in not only molecular mechanisms underlying intergenomic communication between nuclear and mtDNA molecules in cloned embryos but also intrinsic determinants affecting unfaithful epigenetic reprogrammability of telomeres. The latter is related to their abrasion within somatic cell-inherited chromosomes.
    Keywords:  SCNT-derived progeny; cloned mammalian embryo; epigenetic reprogrammability; mtDNA; nuclear–mitochondrial interaction; telomere shortening/attrition
  2. Bio Protoc. 2021 Mar 05. 11(5): e3939
      The high attrition rate in drug development processes calls for additional human-based model systems. However, in the context of brain disorders, sampling live neuronal cells for compound testing is not applicable. The use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has revolutionized the field of neuronal disease modeling and drug discovery. Thanks to the development of iPSC-based neuronal differentiation protocols, including tridimensional cerebral organoids, it is now possible to molecularly dissect human neuronal development and human brain disease pathogenesis in a dish. These approaches may allow dissecting patient-specific treatment efficacy in a disease-relevant cellular context. For drug discovery approaches, however, a highly reproducible and cost-effective cell model is desirable. Here, we describe a step-by-step process for generating robust and expandable neural progenitor cells (NPCs) from human iPSCs. NPCs generated with this protocol are homogeneous and highly proliferative. These features make NPCs suitable for the development of high-throughput compound screenings for drug discovery. Human iPSC-derived NPCs show a metabolism dependent on mitochondrial activity and can therefore be used also to investigate neurological disorders in which mitochondrial function is affected. The protocol covers all steps necessary for the preparation, culture, and characterization of human iPSC-derived NPCs. Graphic abstract: Schematic of the protocol for the generation of human iPSC-derived NPCs.
    Keywords:  Drug discovery; Human iPSCs; Mitochondrial disorders; Neural progenitor cells; Neuronal disease modeling; Stem cell differentiation
  3. Curr Stem Cell Rep. 2020 Dec;6(4): 119-125
      Purpose of Review: Diet has profound impacts on health and longevity. Evidence is emerging to suggest that diet impinges upon the metabolic pathways in tissue-specific stem cells to influence health and disease. Here, we review the similarities and differences in the metabolism of stem cells from several tissues, and highlight the mitochondrial metabolic checkpoint in stem cell maintenance and aging. We discuss how diet engages the nutrient sensing metabolic pathways and impacts stem cell maintenance. Finally, we explore the therapeutic implications of dietary and metabolic regulation of stem cells.Recent findings: Stem Cell transition from quiescence to proliferation is associated with a metabolic switch from glycolysis to mitochondrial OXPHOS and the mitochondrial metabolic checkpoint is critically controlled by the nutrient sensors SIRT2, SIRT3, and SIRT7 in hematopoietic stem cells. Intestine stem cell homeostasis during aging and in response to diet is critically dependent on fatty acid metabolism and ketone bodies and is influenced by the niche mediated by the nutrient sensor mTOR.
    Summary: Nutrient sensing metabolic pathways critically regulate stem cell maintenance during aging and in response to diet. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying dietary and metabolic regulation of stem cells provides novel insights for stem cell biology and may be targeted therapeutically to reverse stem cell aging and tissue degeneration.
    Keywords:  SIRT2; SIRT3; SIRT7; calorie restriction; mTOR; stem cell metabolism
  4. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 11. pii: 2835. [Epub ahead of print]22(6):
      In the last decades, the therapeutic potential of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has acquired a primary role in the management of a broad spectrum of diseases including cancer, hematologic conditions, immune system dysregulations, and inborn errors of metabolism. The different types of HSCT, autologous and allogeneic, include risks of severe complications including acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) complications, hepatic veno-occlusive disease, lung injury, and infections. Despite being a dangerous procedure, it improved patient survival. Hence, its use was extended to treat autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, malignant infantile disorders, and hereditary skeletal dysplasia. HSCT is performed to restore or treat various congenital conditions in which immunologic functions are compromised, for instance, by chemo- and radiotherapy, and involves the administration of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in patients with depleted or dysfunctional bone marrow (BM). Since HSCs biology is tightly regulated by oxidative stress (OS), the control of reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels is important to maintain their self-renewal capacity. In quiescent HSCs, low ROS levels are essential for stemness maintenance; however, physiological ROS levels promote HSC proliferation and differentiation. High ROS levels are mainly involved in short-term repopulation, whereas low ROS levels are associated with long-term repopulating ability. In this review, we aim summarize the current state of knowledge about the role of β3-adrenoreceptors (β3-ARs) in regulating HSCs redox homeostasis. β3-ARs play a major role in regulating stromal cell differentiation, and the antagonist SR59230A promotes differentiation of different progenitor cells in hematopoietic tumors, suggesting that β3-ARs agonism and antagonism could be exploited for clinical benefit.
    Keywords:  antioxidant activity; hematopoietic stem cells; β3-adrenoreceptor
  5. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 03. pii: 2526. [Epub ahead of print]22(5):
      Histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) is a major HDAC protein in the adult brain and has been shown to regulate many neuronal genes. The aberrant expression of HDAC2 and subsequent dysregulation of neuronal gene expression is implicated in neurodegeneration and brain aging. Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons (hiPSC-Ns) are widely used models for studying neurodegenerative disease mechanisms, but the role of HDAC2 in hiPSC-N differentiation and maturation has not been explored. In this study, we show that levels of HDAC2 progressively decrease as hiPSCs are differentiated towards neurons. This suppression of HDAC2 inversely corresponds to an increase in neuron-specific isoforms of Endophilin-B1, a multifunctional protein involved in mitochondrial dynamics. Expression of neuron-specific isoforms of Endophilin-B1 is accompanied by concomitant expression of a neuron-specific alternative splicing factor, SRRM4. Manipulation of HDAC2 and Endophilin-B1 using lentiviral approaches shows that the knock-down of HDAC2 or the overexpression of a neuron-specific Endophilin-B1 isoform promotes mitochondrial elongation and protects against cytotoxic stress in hiPSC-Ns, while HDAC2 knock-down specifically influences genes regulating mitochondrial dynamics and synaptogenesis. Furthermore, HDAC2 knock-down promotes enhanced mitochondrial respiration and reduces levels of neurotoxic amyloid beta peptides. Collectively, our study demonstrates a role for HDAC2 in hiPSC-neuronal differentiation, highlights neuron-specific isoforms of Endophilin-B1 as a marker of differentiating hiPSC-Ns and demonstrates that HDAC2 regulates key neuronal and mitochondrial pathways in hiPSC-Ns.
    Keywords:  endophilin-B1; hiPSCs; histone deacetylase 2; mitochondria; neuronal differentiation
  6. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2021 Apr 01. 2021(4): pdb.prot106807
      Notable for producing ATP via oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondria also control calcium homeostasis, lipogenesis, the regulation of reactive oxygen species, and apoptosis. Even within relatively simple cells, mitochondria are heterogeneous with regard to their shape, abundance, movement, and subcellular locations. They exist as interconnected, tubular networks and as motile organelles that are transported along the cytoskeleton for distribution throughout cells. These spatial and morphological features reflect variability in the organelle's capacity to synthesize ATP and support cells. Changes to mitochondria are believed to support cell function and fate, and mitochondrial dysfunction underlies disease in the nervous system. Here we describe an in vivo time-lapse imaging approach to monitor and measure the movement and position of the mitochondria in cells of the developing brain in albino Xenopus laevis tadpoles. The unparalleled benefit of using Xenopus for these experiments is that measurements of mitochondrial morphology and distribution in cells can be measured in vivo, where the surrounding neural circuitry and other inputs that influence these critical organelles remain intact. This protocol draws together techniques to label brain cells and capture the morphology of the cells and their mitochondria with 3D time-lapse confocal microscopy. We describe open-source methods to reconstruct cells in order to quantify the features of their mitochondria.
  7. JACC Basic Transl Sci. 2021 Mar;6(3): 255-256
    Keywords:  cardiac regeneration; cell therapy; heart failure; human induced pluripotent stem cells
  8. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2021 Mar 29. pii: S0003-9861(21)00104-1. [Epub ahead of print] 108854
      Infertility affects around 8% of couples with a slight change in percentage in the last years. Despite the significant efforts made in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in handling this disorder, oocyte quality remains a crucial factor for a positive outcome. A better understanding of the dynamics underlying oocyte maturation, fertilization, and embryo development remains one of the main areas for progress in the ARTs field. Mitochondria are believed to play an essential role in these processes. Mitochondria have a crucial part in producing energy for oocyte maturation and embryo development throughout precise cellular functions comprising Ca2+ homeostasis regulation, glycolysis, amino acid, and fatty acid metabolism, and regulation of apoptosis. Recent studies suggest that mitochondrial structure, content, and function may be related to oocyte competence, embryo viability, and implantation success during ARTs. Their defects could lead to low fertilization rates and embryonic development failure. This review aimed to provide an overview of the available literature data surrounding the correlation between changes at ultrastructural level of mitochondria or correlated-mitochondrial aggregates and oocyte quality and ARTs treatments. Our reported data demonstrated that oocyte mitochondrial ultrastructural alterations could be partial or complete recovery during the early embryo stages. However, these changes could persist as quiescent during the pre-implantation embryo development, causing abnormalities that become evident only during fetal and postnatal life. These factors led to consider the mitochondria as a crucial marker of oocyte and embryo quality, as well as a strategic target for further prospective therapeutical approaches.
    Keywords:  Assisted reproductive technologies; Mitochondria; Oocyte; Transmission electron microscopy; Ultrastructure
  9. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Mar 11. pii: 1229. [Epub ahead of print]13(6):
      Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has revolutionized adoptive cell therapy with impressive therapeutic outcomes of >80% complete remission (CR) rates in some haematological malignancies. Despite this, CAR T cell therapy for the treatment of solid tumours has invariably been unsuccessful in the clinic. Immunosuppressive factors and metabolic stresses in the tumour microenvironment (TME) result in the dysfunction and exhaustion of CAR T cells. A growing body of evidence demonstrates the importance of the mitochondrial and metabolic state of CAR T cells prior to infusion into patients. The different T cell subtypes utilise distinct metabolic pathways to fulfil their energy demands associated with their function. The reprogramming of CAR T cell metabolism is a viable approach to manufacture CAR T cells with superior antitumour functions and increased longevity, whilst also facilitating their adaptation to the nutrient restricted TME. This review discusses the mitochondrial and metabolic state of T cells, and describes the potential of the latest metabolic interventions to maximise CAR T cell efficacy for solid tumours.
    Keywords:  CAR T cell therapy; T cell metabolism; memory T cell; metabolic reprogramming; mitochondria
  10. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 05. pii: 2621. [Epub ahead of print]22(5):
      Inside the adult CNS, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCS) are able to proliferate, migrate and differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes (OLs) which are responsible for the production of myelin sheet and energy supply for neurons. Moreover, in demyelinating diseases, OPCs are recruited to the lesion areas where they undergo differentiation and myelin synthesis. Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is involved in OLs' development and myelination, but so far the molecular mechanisms involved or the effects of 5-HT on mitochondria function have not yet been well documented. Our data show that 5-HT inhibits migration and proliferation committing cells toward differentiation in an immortalized human oligodendrocyte precursor cell line, M03-13. Migration blockage is mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation since antioxidants, such as Vit C and Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase, prevent the inhibitory effects of 5-HT on cell migration. 5-HT inhibits OPC migration and proliferation and increases OL phenotypic markers myelin basic protein (MBP) and Olig-2 via protein kinase C (PKC) activation since the inhibitor of PKC, bis-indolyl-maleimide (BIM), counteracts 5-HT effects. NOX inhibitors as well, reverse the effects of 5-HT, indicating that 5-HT influences the maturation process of OPCs by NOX-dependent ROS production. Finally, 5-HT increases mitochondria function and antioxidant activity. The identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of 5-HT on maturation and energy metabolism of OPCs could pave the way for the development of new treatments for autoimmune demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis where oligodendrocytes are the primary target of immune attack.
    Keywords:  5-hydroxytryptamine; NOX; differentiation; migration; mitochondria; oligodendrocyte precursor cells; proliferation; reactive oxygen species
  11. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 25. pii: 3381. [Epub ahead of print]22(7):
      Human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have the potential to give rise to a new era in Parkinson's disease (PD) research. As a unique source of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons, iPS cells provide unparalleled capabilities for investigating the pathogenesis of PD, the development of novel anti-parkinsonian drugs, and personalized therapy design. Significant progress in developmental biology of midbrain DA neurons laid the foundation for their efficient derivation from iPS cells. The introduction of 3D culture methods to mimic the brain microenvironment further expanded the vast opportunities of iPS cell-based research of the neurodegenerative diseases. However, while the benefits for basic and applied studies provided by iPS cells receive widespread coverage in the current literature, the drawbacks of this model in its current state, and in particular, the aspects of differentiation protocols requiring further refinement are commonly overlooked. This review summarizes the recent data on general and subtype-specific features of midbrain DA neurons and their development. Here, we review the current protocols for derivation of DA neurons from human iPS cells and outline their general weak spots. The associated gaps in the contemporary knowledge are considered and the possible directions for future research that may assist in improving the differentiation conditions and increase the efficiency of using iPS cell-derived neurons for PD drug development are discussed.
    Keywords:  differentiation; dopamine neurons; drug screening; induced pluripotent stem cells; parkinson’s disease