bims-mireme Biomed News
on Mitochondria in regenerative medicine
Issue of 2021‒05‒02
seventeen papers selected by
Brian Spurlock
University of Alabama at Birmingham

  1. Cell Prolif. 2021 May 01. e13034
      OBJECTIVES: Dysfunction of autophagy results in accumulation of depolarized mitochondria and breakdown of self-renewal and pluripotency in ESCs. However, the regulators that control how mitochondria are degraded by autophagy for pluripotency regulation remains largely unknown. This study aims to dissect the molecular mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial homeostasis for pluripotency regulation in mouse ESCs.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Parkin+/+ and parkin-/- ESCs were established from E3.5 blastocysts of parkin+/- x parkin+/- mating mice. The pink1-/- , optn-/- and ndp52-/- ESCs were generated by CRISPR-Cas9. shRNAs were used for function loss assay of target genes. Mito-Keima, ROS and ATP detection were used to investigate the mitophagy and mitochondrial function. Western blot, Q-PCR, AP staining and teratoma formation assay were performed to evaluate the PSC stemness.
    RESULTS: PINK1 or OPTN depletion impairs the degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria during reprogramming, and reduces the reprogramming efficiency and quality. In ESCs, PINK1 or OPTN deficiency leads to accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria and compromised pluripotency. The defective mitochondrial homeostasis and pluripotency in pink1-/- ESCs can be compensated by gain expression of phosphomimetic Ubiquitin (Ub-S65D) together with WT or a constitutively active phosphomimetic OPTN mutant (S187D, S476D, S517D), rather than constitutively inactive OPTN (S187A, S476A, S517A) or a Ub-binding dead OPTN mutant (D477N).
    CONCLUSIONS: The mitophagy receptor OPTN guards ESC mitochondrial homeostasis and pluripotency by scavenging damaged mitochondria through TBK1-activated OPTN binding of PINK1-phosphorylated Ubiquitin.
    Keywords:  OPTN; PINK1; embryonic stem cells; mitochondria; mitophagy; reprogramming
  2. Development. 2021 Apr 15. pii: dev199026. [Epub ahead of print]148(8):
      Mammalian heart development relies on cardiomyocyte mitochondrial maturation and metabolism. Embryonic cardiomyocytes make a metabolic shift from anaerobic glycolysis to oxidative metabolism by mid-gestation. VHL-HIF signaling favors anaerobic glycolysis but this process subsides by E14.5. Meanwhile, oxidative metabolism becomes activated but its regulation is largely elusive. Here, we first pinpointed a crucial temporal window for mitochondrial maturation and metabolic shift, and uncovered the pivotal role of the SRCAP chromatin remodeling complex in these processes in mouse. Disruption of this complex massively suppressed the transcription of key genes required for the tricarboxylic acid cycle, fatty acid β-oxidation and ubiquinone biosynthesis, and destroyed respirasome stability. Furthermore, we found that the SRCAP complex functioned through H2A.Z deposition to activate transcription of metabolic genes. These findings have unveiled the important physiological functions of the SRCAP complex in regulating mitochondrial maturation and promoting oxidative metabolism during heart development, and shed new light on the transcriptional regulation of ubiquinone biosynthesis.
    Keywords:  H2A.Z; Heart development; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Mouse; SRCAP chromatin remodeling complex; Znhit1
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 28. pii: 4627. [Epub ahead of print]22(9):
      Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in a hypoxic microenvironment that enables glycolysis-fueled metabolism and reduces oxidative stress. Nonetheless, metabolic regulation in organelles such as the mitochondria and lysosomes as well as autophagic processes have been implicated as essential for the determination of HSC cell fate. This review encompasses the current understanding of anaerobic metabolism in HSCs as well as the emerging roles of mitochondrial metabolism and lysosomal regulation for hematopoietic homeostasis.
    Keywords:  ROS; autophagy; folliculin; hematopoietic stem cells; lysosome; mitochondria
  4. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 12. pii: 592. [Epub ahead of print]10(4):
      Mitochondria are critical for several cellular functions as they control metabolism, cell physiology, and cell death. The mitochondrial proteome consists of around 1500 proteins, the vast majority of which (about 99% of them) are encoded by nuclear genes, with only 13 polypeptides in human cells encoded by mitochondrial DNA. Therefore, it is critical for all the mitochondrial proteins that are nuclear-encoded to be targeted precisely and sorted specifically to their site of action inside mitochondria. These processes of targeting and sorting are catalysed by protein translocases that operate in each one of the mitochondrial sub-compartments. The main protein import pathway for the intermembrane space (IMS) recognises proteins that are cysteine-rich, and it is the only import pathway that chemically modifies the imported precursors by introducing disulphide bonds to them. In this manner, the precursors are trapped in the IMS in a folded state. The key component of this pathway is Mia40 (called CHCHD4 in human cells), which itself contains cysteine motifs and is subject to redox regulation. In this review, we detail the basic components of the MIA pathway and the disulphide relay mechanism that underpins the electron transfer reaction along the oxidative folding mechanism. Then, we discuss the key protein modulators of this pathway and how they are interlinked to the small redox-active molecules that critically affect the redox state in the IMS. We present also evidence that the mitochondrial redox processes that are linked to iron-sulfur clusters biogenesis and calcium homeostasis coalesce in the IMS at the MIA machinery. The fact that the MIA machinery and several of its interactors and substrates are linked to a variety of common human diseases connected to mitochondrial dysfunction highlight the potential of redox processes in the IMS as a promising new target for developing new treatments for some of the most complex and devastating human diseases.
    Keywords:  Mia40; intermembrane space; mitochondria; oxidative folding; redox signaling
  5. Biomolecules. 2021 Apr 10. pii: 558. [Epub ahead of print]11(4):
      Alpha tocopherol acetate (αTOA) is an analogue of alpha tocopherol (αTOC) that exists in the form of an injectable drug. In the context of the metabolic hypothesis of stem cells, we studied the impact of αTOA on the metabolic energetic profile and functional properties of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. In ex vivo experiments performed on cord blood CD34+ cells, we found that αTOA effectively attenuates oxidative phosphorylation without affecting the glycolysis rate. This effect concerns complex I and complex II of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and is related to the relatively late increase (3 days) in ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). The most interesting effect was the inhibition of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF)-2α (Hexpression, which is a determinant of the most pronounced biological effect-the accumulation of CD34+ cells in the G0 phase of the cell cycle. In parallel, better maintenance of the primitive stem cell activity was revealed by the expansion seen in secondary cultures (higher production of colony forming cells (CFC) and Severe Combined Immunodeficiency-mice (scid)-repopulating cells (SRC)). While the presence of αTOA enhanced the maintenance of Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSC) and contained their proliferation ex vivo, whether it could play the same role in vivo remained unknown. Creating αTOC deficiency via a vitamin E-free diet in mice, we found an accelerated proliferation of CFC and an expanded compartment of LSK (lineagenegative Sca-1+cKit+) and SLAM (cells expressing Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule family receptors) bone marrow cell populations whose in vivo repopulating capacity was decreased. These in vivo data are in favor of our hypothesis that αTOC may have a physiological role in the maintenance of stem cells. Taking into account that αTOC also exhibits an effect on proliferative capacity, it may also be relevant for the ex vivo manipulation of hematopoietic stem cells. For this purpose, low non-toxic doses of αTOA should be used.
    Keywords:  electron transport chain; energetic metabolism; hematopoietic progenitors; hematopoietic stem cells; oxidative phosphorylation; proliferative capacity; quiescence; α-tocopherol acetate
  6. EMBO J. 2021 Apr 28. e106771
      Chemical compounds have recently been introduced as alternative and non-integrating inducers of pluripotent stem cell fate. However, chemical reprogramming is hampered by low efficiency and the molecular mechanisms remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that inhibition of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) by R406 significantly promotes mouse chemical reprogramming. Mechanistically, R406 alleviates Syk / calcineurin (Cn) / nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) signaling-mediated suppression of glycine, serine, and threonine metabolic genes and dependent metabolites. Syk inhibition upregulates glycine level and downstream transsulfuration cysteine biosynthesis, promoting cysteine metabolism and cellular hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) production. This metabolic rewiring decreased oxidative phosphorylation and ROS levels, enhancing chemical reprogramming. In sum, our study identifies Syk-Cn-NFAT signaling axis as a new barrier of chemical reprogramming and suggests metabolic rewiring and redox homeostasis as important opportunities for controlling cell fates.
    Keywords:  R406; Syk; chemical reprogramming; hydrogen sulfide; metabolism
  7. Biosensors (Basel). 2021 Apr 23. pii: 131. [Epub ahead of print]11(5):
      Regenerative medicine and stem cells could prove to be an effective solution to the problem of treating heart failure caused by ischemic heart disease. However, further studies on the understanding of the processes which occur during the regeneration of damaged tissue are needed. Microfluidic systems, which provide conditions similar to in vivo, could be useful tools for the development of new therapies using stem cells. We investigated how mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) affect the metabolic activity of cardiac cells (rat cardiomyoblasts and human cardiomyocytes) incubated with a potent uncoupler of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation under microfluidic conditions. A cyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP) was used to mimic disfunctions of mitochondria of cardiac cells. The study was performed in a microfluidic system integrated with nanofiber mats made of poly-l-lactid acid (PLLA) or polyurethane (PU). The microsystem geometry allows four different cell cultures to be conducted under different conditions (which we called: normal, abnormal-as both a mono- and co-culture). Metabolic activity of the cells, based on the bioluminescence assay, was assessed in the culture's performed in the microsystem. It was proved that stem cells increased metabolic activity of cardiac cells maintained with FCCP.
    Keywords:  cardiovascular diseases; heart-on-a-chip; microfluidics; stem cells
  8. Exp Eye Res. 2021 Apr 22. pii: S0014-4835(21)00141-X. [Epub ahead of print]207 108576
      We have reported previously that retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) generated from fibroblasts of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) exhibit a retinal degenerative disease phenotype and a distinct transcriptome compared to age-matched controls. Since the genetic composition of the iPSC and RPE are inherited from fibroblasts, we investigated whether differential behavior was present in the parental fibroblasts and iPSC prior to differentiation of the cell lines into RPE. Principal component analyses revealed significant overlap (essentially no differences) in the transcriptome of fibroblasts between AMD and controls. After reprogramming, there was no significant difference in the transcriptome of iPSC generated from AMD versus normal donors. In contrast, the transcriptome of RPE derived from iPSC segregated into two distinct clusters of AMD-derived cells versus controls. Interestingly, mitochondrial dysfunction in AMD-derived RPE was evident after approximately two months in culture. Moreover, these differences in mitochondrial dysfunction were not evident in the parental fibroblasts and iPSC. This study demonstrates an altered transcriptome and impaired mitochondrial function in RPE derived from AMD patients versus controls, and demonstrates these differences are not present in the original fibroblasts or iPSC. These results suggest that pathology in AMD is triggered upon differentiation of parent cells into RPE. More study of this phenomenon could advance the current understandings of the etiology of AMD and the development of novel therapeutic targets.
    Keywords:  Age-related macular degeneration; Differentiation; Fibroblast; Gene expression; Human induced pluripotent stem cells; Mitochondria; Retinal pigment epithelium; Transcriptome
  9. DNA Cell Biol. 2021 Apr 26.
      Mitochondria play a critical role in cell function and embryo development. Recently, increasing studies have investigated whether mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) can be used as a predictive biomarker of embryo implantation. However, the results of its effect on implantation are still controversial. To further understand the clinical application value of mtDNA content for reproductive potential, we analyzed the influence of relative mtDNA quantity on embryo quality and transfer outcomes based on the results of second-generation sequencing of preimplantation genetic testing patients in our center. Biopsied trophectoderm (TE) from aneuploid blastocysts contained much larger amounts of mtDNA than those from euploid blastocysts (p < 0.000). In an analysis of only euploid blastocysts (n = 769), female age had no effect on mtDNA content (p = 0.216). TE cells biopsied on day 5 (n = 355) contained significantly higher amounts of mtDNA compared to those biopsied on day 6 (n = 388) or day 7 (n = 26) (p < 0.000). Higher quality trophoblast was associated with lower mtDNA content (p = 0.026), but quality of inner cell mass was not correlated with quantity of mtDNA (p = 0.112). For transferred embryos, the biopsied date and mtDNA content were significantly associated with embryo implantation and live birth outcomes. Day-5 euploid blastocysts with lower quantities of mtDNA exhibited higher implantation rate and live birth rate. However, our data indicated that mtDNA content may not be considered an independent predictive marker, it may be a useful reference for the selection of day-5 transferred euploid blastocysts.
    Keywords:  implantation rate; mitochondrial DNA; next-generation sequencing; preimplantation genetic testing
  10. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 653308
      Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are widely used clinically due to their versatile roles in multipotency, immunomodulation, and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche function. However, cellular heterogeneity limits MSCs in the consistency and efficacy of their clinical applications. Metabolism regulates stem cell function and fate decision; however, how metabolites regulate the functional heterogeneity of MSCs remains elusive. Here, using single-cell RNA sequencing, we discovered that fatty acid pathways are involved in the regulation of lineage commitment and functional heterogeneity of MSCs. Functional assays showed that a fatty acid metabolite, butyrate, suppressed the self-renewal, adipogenesis, and osteogenesis differentiation potential of MSCs with increased apoptosis. Conversely, butyrate supplement significantly promoted HSC niche factor expression in MSCs, which suggests that butyrate supplement may provide a therapeutic approach to enhance their HSC niche function. Overall, our work demonstrates that metabolites are essential to regulate the functional heterogeneity of MSCs.
    Keywords:  HSC niche; butyrate; cell heterogeneity; mesenchymal stem cells; single-cell RNA-seq
  11. Clin Sci (Lond). 2021 Apr 26. pii: CS20201339. [Epub ahead of print]
      Poor maternal nutrition in pregnancy affects fetal development, predisposing offspring to cardiometabolic diseases. The role of mitochondria during fetal development on later-life cardiac dysfunction caused by maternal nutrient reduction (MNR) remains unexplored. We hypothesized that MNR during gestation causes fetal cardiac bioenergetic deficits, compromising cardiac mitochondrial metabolism and reserve capacity. To enable human translation, we developed a primate baboon model (Papio spp) of moderate MNR in which mothers receive 70% of control nutrition during pregnancy, resulting in intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) offspring and later exhibiting myocardial remodeling and heart failure at human equivalent ~25years. Term control and MNR baboon offspring were necropsied following cesarean-section, and left ventricle (LV) samples were collected. MNR adversely impacted fetal cardiac LV mitochondria in a sex-dependent fashion. Increased maternal plasma aspartate aminotransferase, creatine phosphokinase, and elevated cortisol levels in MNR concomitant with decreased blood insulin in male fetal MNR were measured. MNR resulted in a two-fold increase in fetal LV mtDNA. NMR resulted in increased transcripts for several respiratory chain (NDUFB8, UQCRC1, and cytochrome c) and ATP synthase proteins However, MNR fetal LV mitochondrial complex I and complex II/III activities were significantly decreased, possibly contributing to the 73% decreased ATP content and increased lipid peroxidation. MNR fetal LV showed mitochondria with sparse and disarranged cristae dysmorphology. Conclusions: MNR disruption of fetal cardiac mitochondrial fitness likely contributes to the documented developmental programming of adult cardiac dysfunction, indicating a programmed mitochondrial inability to deliver sufficient energy to cardiac tissues as a chronic mechanism for later-life heart failure.
    Keywords:  cardiac metabolic flexibility; cardiometabolic disease; heart; maternal nutrition & fetal development; sexual dimorphism
  12. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 07. pii: 3827. [Epub ahead of print]22(8):
      Mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) synthesize a small subset of proteins, which are essential components of the oxidative phosphorylation machinery. Therefore, their function is of fundamental importance to cellular metabolism. The assembly of mitoribosomes is a complex process that progresses through numerous maturation and protein-binding events coordinated by the actions of several assembly factors. Dysregulation of mitoribosome production is increasingly recognized as a contributor to metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, mutations in multiple components of the mitoribosome assembly machinery have been associated with a range of human pathologies, highlighting their importance to cell function and health. Here, we provide a review of our current understanding of mitoribosome biogenesis, highlighting the key factors involved in this process and the growing number of mutations in genes encoding mitoribosomal RNAs, proteins, and assembly factors that lead to human disease.
    Keywords:  assembly factors; mitochondria; mitochondrial disease; mitoribosome; rRNA
  13. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 28. pii: 696. [Epub ahead of print]10(5):
      Tendinopathy is a common musculoskeletal condition causing pain and dysfunction. Conventional treatment and surgical procedures for tendinopathy are insufficient; accordingly, recent research has focused on tendon-healing regenerative approaches. Tendon injuries usually occur in the hypoxic critical zone, characterized by increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction; thus, exogenous intact mitochondria may be therapeutic. We aimed to assess whether mitochondrial transplantation could induce anti-inflammatory activity and modulate the metabolic state of a tendinopathy model. Exogenous mitochondria were successfully delivered into damaged tenocytes by centrifugation. Levels of Tenomodulin and Collagen I in damaged tenocytes were restored with reductions in nuclear factor-κB and matrix metalloproteinase 1. The dysregulation of oxidative stress and mitochondrial membrane potential was attenuated by mitochondrial transplantation. Activated mitochondrial fission markers, such as fission 1 and dynamin-related protein 1, were dose-dependently downregulated. Apoptosis signaling pathway proteins were restored to the pre-damage levels. Similar changes were observed in a collagenase injection-induced rat model of tendinopathy. Exogenous mitochondria incorporated into the Achilles tendon reduced inflammatory and fission marker levels. Notably, collagen production was restored. Our results demonstrate the therapeutic effects of direct mitochondrial transplantation in tendinopathy. These effects may be explained by alterations in anti-inflammatory and apoptotic processes via changes in mitochondrial dynamics.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; inflammation; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial transplantation; tendinopathy; tenocyte
  14. Cells. 2021 Apr 02. pii: 789. [Epub ahead of print]10(4):
      Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, is characterized by loss of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). While the disease mechanism remains unclear, prior studies have linked AMD with RPE mitochondrial defects and genetic polymorphisms in the complement pathway. This study used RPE generated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC-RPE), which were derived from human donors with or without AMD and genotyped for the complement factor H (CFH) AMD high-risk allele (rs1061170, Y402H) to investigate whether donor disease state or genotype had a detrimental effect on mitochondrial function and inflammation. Results show that cells derived from donors with AMD display decreased mitochondrial function under conditions of stress and elevated expression of inflammatory markers compared to iPSC-RPE from individuals without AMD. A more pronounced reduction in mitochondrial function and increased inflammatory markers was observed in CFH high-risk cells, irrespective of disease state. These results provide evidence for a previously unrecognized link between CFH and mitochondrial function that could contribute to RPE loss in AMD patients harboring the CFH high-risk genotype.
    Keywords:  age-related macular degeneration; complement factor H; induced pluripotent stem cell; inflammation; mitochondrial function; retinal pigment epithelium
  15. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 653322
      The phenomenon of mitochondria donation is found in various tissues of humans and animals and is attracting increasing attention. To date, numerous studies have described the transfer of mitochondria from stem cells to injured cells, leading to increased ATP production, restoration of mitochondria function, and rescue of recipient cells from apoptosis. Mitochondria transplantation is considered as a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of mitochondrial diseases and mitochondrial function deficiency. Mitochondrial dysfunction affects cells with high energy needs such as neural, skeletal muscle, heart, and liver cells and plays a crucial role in type 2 diabetes, as well as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's diseases, ischemia, stroke, cancer, and age-related disorders. In this review, we summarize recent findings in the field of mitochondria donation and mechanism of mitochondria transfer between cells. We review the existing clinical trials and discuss advantages and disadvantages of mitochondrial transplantation strategies based on the injection of stem cells, isolated functional mitochondria, or EVs containing mitochondria.
    Keywords:  cell fusion; extracellular vesicles; isolated mitochondria; mitochondria donation; mitochondria transplantation; tunneling nanotubes
  16. Sensors (Basel). 2021 Apr 25. pii: 3017. [Epub ahead of print]21(9):
      Electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) has been used as a real-time impedance-based method to quantify cell behavior in tissue culture. The method is capable of measuring both the resistance and capacitance of a cell-covered microelectrode at various AC frequencies. In this study, we demonstrate the application of high-frequency capacitance measurement (f = 40 or 64 kHz) for the sensitive detection of both the micromotion and wound-healing migration of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Impedance measurements of cell-covered electrodes upon the challenge of various concentrations of carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone (FCCP), from 0.1 to 30 μM, were conducted using ECIS. FCCP is an uncoupler of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), thereby reducing mitochondrial ATP production. By numerically analyzing the time-series capacitance data, a dose-dependent decrease in hMSC micromotion and wound-healing migration was observed, and the effect was significantly detected at levels as low as 0.1 μM. While most reported works with ECIS use the resistance/impedance time series, our results suggest the potential use of high-frequency capacitance time series for assessing migratory cell behavior such as micromotion and wound-healing migration.
    Keywords:  ECIS; capacitance; high frequency; micromotion; mitochondria; wound-healing migration
  17. Front Neurol. 2021 ;12 641259
      Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy (ADOA) is an ophthalmological condition associated primarily with mutations in the OPA1 gene. It has variable onset, sometimes juvenile, but in other patients, the disease does not manifest until adult middle age despite the presence of a pathological mutation. Thus, individuals carrying mutations are considered healthy before the onset of clinical symptoms. Our research, nonetheless, indicates that on the cellular level pathology is evident from birth and mutant cells are different from controls. We argue that the adaptation and early recruitment of cytoprotective responses allows normal development and functioning but leads to an exhaustion of cellular reserves, leading to premature cellular aging, especially in neurons and skeletal muscle cells. The appearance of clinical symptoms, thus, indicates the overwhelming of natural cellular defenses and break-down of native protective mechanisms.
    Keywords:  OPA1; aging; cellular adaptation; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics