bims-mitdis Biomed News
on Mitochondrial Disorders
Issue of 2021‒04‒11
forty-six papers selected by
Catalina Vasilescu
University of Helsinki

  1. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 06. pii: S2211-1247(21)00250-3. [Epub ahead of print]35(1): 108936
      Most mitochondrial proteins are synthesized as precursors in the cytosol and post-translationally transported into mitochondria. The mitochondrial surface protein Tom70 acts at the interface of the cytosol and mitochondria. In vitro import experiments identified Tom70 as targeting receptor, particularly for hydrophobic carriers. Using in vivo methods and high-content screens, we revisit the question of Tom70 function and considerably expand the set of Tom70-dependent mitochondrial proteins. We demonstrate that the crucial activity of Tom70 is its ability to recruit cytosolic chaperones to the outer membrane. Indeed, tethering an unrelated chaperone-binding domain onto the mitochondrial surface complements most of the defects caused by Tom70 deletion. Tom70-mediated chaperone recruitment reduces the proteotoxicity of mitochondrial precursor proteins, particularly of hydrophobic inner membrane proteins. Thus, our work suggests that the predominant function of Tom70 is to tether cytosolic chaperones to the outer mitochondrial membrane, rather than to serve as a mitochondrion-specifying targeting receptor.
    Keywords:  Tom70; chaperones; mitochondria; outer membrane; protein translocation; proteostasis; prototoxicity
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Mar 16. pii: e2019046118. [Epub ahead of print]118(11):
      The brain requires continuously high energy production to maintain ion gradients and normal function. Mitochondria critically undergird brain energetics, and mitochondrial abnormalities feature prominently in neuropsychiatric disease. However, many unique aspects of brain mitochondria composition and function are poorly understood. Developing improved neuroprotective therapeutics thus requires more comprehensively understanding brain mitochondria, including accurately delineating protein composition and channel-transporter functional networks. However, obtaining pure mitochondria from the brain is especially challenging due to its distinctive lipid and cell structure properties. As a result, conflicting reports on protein localization to brain mitochondria abound. Here we illustrate this problem with the neuropsychiatric disease-associated L-type calcium channel Cav1.2α1 subunit previously observed in crude mitochondria. We applied a dual-process approach to obtain functionally intact versus compositionally pure brain mitochondria. One branch utilizes discontinuous density gradient centrifugation to isolate semipure mitochondria suitable for functional assays but unsuitable for protein localization because of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contamination. The other branch utilizes self-forming density gradient ultracentrifugation to remove ER and yield ultrapure mitochondria that are suitable for investigating protein localization but functionally compromised. Through this process, we evaluated brain mitochondria protein content and observed the absence of Cav1.2α1 and other previously reported mitochondrial proteins, including the NMDA receptor, ryanodine receptor 1, monocarboxylate transporter 1, excitatory amino acid transporter 1, and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Conversely, we confirmed mitochondrial localization of several plasma membrane proteins previously reported to also localize to mitochondria. We expect this dual-process isolation procedure will enhance understanding of brain mitochondria in both health and disease.
    Keywords:  channel; mitochondria; neuropsychiatric disease; solute carrier; transporter
  3. FEBS Lett. 2021 Apr 10.
      Mitochondria play a key role in cellular signalling, metabolism and energetics. Proper architecture and remodelling of the inner mitochondrial membrane are essential for efficient respiration, apoptosis and quality control in the cell. Several protein complexes including mitochondrial contact site and cristae organising system (MICOS), F1 FO -ATP synthase, and Optic Atrophy 1 (OPA1), facilitate formation, maintenance and stability of cristae membranes. MICOS, the F1 FO -ATP synthase, OPA1 and inner membrane phospholipids such as cardiolipin and phosphatidylethanolamine interact with each other to organise the inner membrane ultra-structure and remodel cristae in response to the cell's demands. Functional alterations in these proteins or in the biosynthesis pathway of cardiolipin and phosphatidylethanolamine result in an aberrant inner membrane architecture and impair mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormalities hallmark several human conditions and diseases including neurodegeneration, cardiomyopathies and diabetes mellitus. Yet, they have long been regarded as secondary pathological effects. This review discusses emerging evidence of a direct relationship between protein- and lipid-dependent regulation of the inner mitochondrial membrane morphology and diseases such as fatal encephalopathy, Leigh syndrome, Parkinson's disease, and cancer.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; MICOS; Mitochondria; Opa1; membrane dynamics; membrane morphology; mitochondrial morphology; mitochondrial ultra-structure
  4. Nat Commun. 2021 04 08. 12(1): 2103
      Mitochondrial diseases impair oxidative phosphorylation and ATP production, while effective treatment is still lacking. Defective complex III is associated with a highly variable clinical spectrum. We show that pyocyanin, a bacterial redox cycler, can replace the redox functions of complex III, acting as an electron shunt. Sub-μM pyocyanin was harmless, restored respiration and increased ATP production in fibroblasts from five patients harboring pathogenic mutations in TTC19, BCS1L or LYRM7, involved in assembly/stabilization of complex III. Pyocyanin normalized the mitochondrial membrane potential, and mildly increased ROS production and biogenesis. These in vitro effects were confirmed in both DrosophilaTTC19KO and in Danio rerioTTC19KD, as administration of low concentrations of pyocyanin significantly ameliorated movement proficiency. Importantly, daily administration of pyocyanin for two months was not toxic in control mice. Our results point to utilization of redox cyclers for therapy of complex III disorders.
  5. Nat Metab. 2021 Apr 08.
      Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+) is vital to produce NADPH, a principal supplier of reducing power for biosynthesis of macromolecules and protection against oxidative stress. NADPH exists in separate pools, in both the cytosol and mitochondria; however, the cellular functions of mitochondrial NADPH are incompletely described. Here, we find that decreasing mitochondrial NADP(H) levels through depletion of NAD kinase 2 (NADK2), an enzyme responsible for production of mitochondrial NADP+, renders cells uniquely proline auxotrophic. Cells with NADK2 deletion fail to synthesize proline, due to mitochondrial NADPH deficiency. We uncover the requirement of mitochondrial NADPH and NADK2 activity for the generation of the pyrroline-5-carboxylate metabolite intermediate as the bottleneck step in the proline biosynthesis pathway. Notably, after NADK2 deletion, proline is required to support nucleotide and protein synthesis, making proline essential for the growth and proliferation of NADK2-deficient cells. Thus, we highlight proline auxotrophy in mammalian cells and discover that mitochondrial NADPH is essential to enable proline biosynthesis.
  6. Sci Adv. 2021 Apr;pii: eabg4544. [Epub ahead of print]7(15):
      The serine/threonine kinase ULK1 mediates autophagy initiation in response to various cellular stresses, and genetic deletion of ULK1 leads to accumulation of damaged mitochondria. Here we identify Parkin, the core ubiquitin ligase in mitophagy, and PARK2 gene product mutated in familial Parkinson's disease, as a ULK1 substrate. Recent studies uncovered a nine residue ("ACT") domain important for Parkin activation, and we demonstrate that AMPK-dependent ULK1 rapidly phosphorylates conserved serine108 in the ACT domain in response to mitochondrial stress. Phosphorylation of Parkin Ser108 occurs maximally within five minutes of mitochondrial damage, unlike activation of PINK1 and TBK1, which is observed thirty to sixty minutes later. Mutation of the ULK1 phosphorylation sites in Parkin, genetic AMPK or ULK1 depletion, or pharmacologic ULK1 inhibition, all lead to delays in Parkin activation and defects in assays of Parkin function and downstream mitophagy events. These findings reveal an unexpected first step in the mitophagy cascade.
  7. Nature. 2021 Apr 07.
      Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified thousands of noncoding loci that are associated with human diseases and complex traits, each of which could reveal insights into the mechanisms of disease1. Many of the underlying causal variants may affect enhancers2,3, but we lack accurate maps of enhancers and their target genes to interpret such variants. We recently developed the activity-by-contact (ABC) model to predict which enhancers regulate which genes and validated the model using CRISPR perturbations in several cell types4. Here we apply this ABC model to create enhancer-gene maps in 131 human cell types and tissues, and use these maps to interpret the functions of GWAS variants. Across 72 diseases and complex traits, ABC links 5,036 GWAS signals to 2,249 unique genes, including a class of 577 genes that appear to influence multiple phenotypes through variants in enhancers that act in different cell types. In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), causal variants are enriched in predicted enhancers by more than 20-fold in particular cell types such as dendritic cells, and ABC achieves higher precision than other regulatory methods at connecting noncoding variants to target genes. These variant-to-function maps reveal an enhancer that contains an IBD risk variant and that regulates the expression of PPIF to alter the membrane potential of mitochondria in macrophages. Our study reveals principles of genome regulation, identifies genes that affect IBD and provides a resource and generalizable strategy to connect risk variants of common diseases to their molecular and cellular functions.
  8. Neuromuscul Disord. 2021 Feb 21. pii: S0960-8966(21)00059-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Reversible infantile respiratory chain deficiency is a severe neonatal mitochondrial myopathy that resolves spontaneously. It is caused by the homoplasmic m.14674T>C mtDNA mutation and additional nuclear variants in genes interacting with mt-tRNAGlu have been detected in some patients. We present detailed clinical, imaging, and muscle biopsy findings in a boy and a girl with neonatal hypotonia, feeding difficulties, lactic acidosis, and ragged red fibers. Both patients show fat replacement on muscle imaging, which was mild in the boy, but severe in the girl, affecting mostly the posterior leg muscles. In addition to the homoplasmic m.14674T>C, both patients carried heterozygous variants in QRSL1 (c. 686T>G; p.Val299Gly) and EARS2 (c.358C>T; p.Arg120Trp), respectively. It is very important to recognize the clinical and morphological signs of reversible infantile respiratory chain deficiency as patients should receive intensive supportive care in the first 6 months of life. Understanding the mechanism of the spontaneous recovery may lead to novel therapeutic perspectives in other mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  Digenic inheritance; Imaging; Mitochondrial myopathy; Muscle biopsy; Ragged red fibers; Reversible infantile respiratory chain deficiency
  9. Elife. 2021 Apr 09. pii: e65158. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Chronic loss of Augmenter of Liver Regeneration (ALR) results in mitochondrial myopathy with cataracts, however, the mechanism for this disorder remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that loss of ALR, a principal component of the MIA40/ALR protein import pathway, results in impaired cytosolic Fe/S cluster biogenesis in mammalian cells. Mechanistically, MIA40/ALR facilitates the mitochondrial import of ATP binding cassette (ABC)-B8, an inner mitochondrial membrane protein required for cytoplasmic Fe/S cluster maturation, through physical interaction with ABCB8. Downregulation of ALR impairs mitochondrial ABCB8 import, reduces cytoplasmic Fe/S cluster maturation, and increases cellular iron through the iron regulatory protein-iron response element system. Our finding provides a mechanistic link between MIA40/ALR import machinery and cytosolic Fe/S cluster maturation through the mitochondrial import of ABCB8, and offers a potential explanation for the pathology seen in patients with ALR mutations.
    Keywords:  cell biology; human; medicine
  10. Ophthalmic Genet. 2021 Apr 08. 1-11
      Purpose: The mitochondrial DNA A3243G (m.3243A>G) variant causes a wide spectrum of phenotypes, with pigmentary retinopathy as the most common ocular finding. We undertook this meta-analysis to investigate the clinical course of visual acuity (VA) in patients with m.3243A>G variant and provide key clinical correlations with systemic manifestations.Methods: A PubMed literature search was performed and studies were selected after satisfying pre-set inclusion criteria. Demographic and clinical data, including retinal findings and systemic manifestations were recorded. Cross-sectional and linear regression analyses were used to investigate the relationship between VA and age, as well as between the age at diagnosis of retinopathy and the mean ages at diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss or diabetes. The age and prevalence of systemic manifestations among patients with and without retinopathy were studied using t-tests and Mann-Whitney U-tests (performed on binarized data). Likelihood ratios were computed.Results: The mean VA (average of both eyes) of 90 patients (72.2% female; 65/90) were collected from 18 studies published between 1990 and 2018. The baseline mean age was 45.2 years (range 17 to 92). The mean logMAR VA was 0.10 (- 0.12 to 1.39). There was a statistically significant linear correlation between the logMAR VA and age (p = .008). The VA of patients less than or equal to 50 years of age was significantly better than that of patients older than 50 years (0.06 vs.0.18 logMAR, p = .002). 67 patients (74.4%) showed a characteristic pigmentary retinopathy with a mean age at diagnosis of 47.9 years (17 to 92) and VA of 0.14 logMAR (- 0.12 to 1.24). Age at diagnosis of retinopathy was linearly correlated with age at diagnosis of hearing loss or diabetes (p < .001). Patients with retinopathy were more likely to have hearing loss (83.6% vs. 56.5%, p = .03) or diabetes (56.7% vs. 17.4%, p = .001) than those without retinopathy. Those with both hearing loss and diabetes had an earlier onset of retinopathy than those without (46.4 vs. 60.4 years, p = .01). Patients without both hearing loss and diabetes were 5.3-fold less likely to develop a retinopathy.Conclusions: Patients with m.3243A>G variant pigmentary retinopathy maintain highly functional VA until around the fifth decade of life, after which significant visual decline ensues. Patients without hearing loss and diabetes have a lower likelihood of exhibiting a retinopathy, which tends to appear about one decade after hearing loss and diabetes are diagnosed.
    Keywords:  clinical course; m.3243A>G associated retinopathy; meta-analysis; systemic manifestations; visual acuity
  11. PLoS Biol. 2021 Apr 07. 19(4): e3001166
      Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation induces recovery in animal models of central nervous system (CNS) diseases. Although the replacement of lost endogenous cells was originally proposed as the primary healing mechanism of NSC grafts, it is now clear that transplanted NSCs operate via multiple mechanisms, including the horizontal exchange of therapeutic cargoes to host cells via extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are membrane particles trafficking nucleic acids, proteins, metabolites and metabolic enzymes, lipids, and entire organelles. However, the function and the contribution of these cargoes to the broad therapeutic effects of NSCs are yet to be fully understood. Mitochondrial dysfunction is an established feature of several inflammatory and degenerative CNS disorders, most of which are potentially treatable with exogenous stem cell therapeutics. Herein, we investigated the hypothesis that NSCs release and traffic functional mitochondria via EVs to restore mitochondrial function in target cells. Untargeted proteomics revealed a significant enrichment of mitochondrial proteins spontaneously released by NSCs in EVs. Morphological and functional analyses confirmed the presence of ultrastructurally intact mitochondria within EVs with conserved membrane potential and respiration. We found that the transfer of these mitochondria from EVs to mtDNA-deficient L929 Rho0 cells rescued mitochondrial function and increased Rho0 cell survival. Furthermore, the incorporation of mitochondria from EVs into inflammatory mononuclear phagocytes restored normal mitochondrial dynamics and cellular metabolism and reduced the expression of pro-inflammatory markers in target cells. When transplanted in an animal model of multiple sclerosis, exogenous NSCs actively transferred mitochondria to mononuclear phagocytes and induced a significant amelioration of clinical deficits. Our data provide the first evidence that NSCs deliver functional mitochondria to target cells via EVs, paving the way for the development of novel (a)cellular approaches aimed at restoring mitochondrial dysfunction not only in multiple sclerosis, but also in degenerative neurological diseases.
  12. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Apr 09. pii: gkab228. [Epub ahead of print]
      Deficient maturations of mitochondrial transcripts are linked to clinical abnormalities but their pathophysiology remains elusive. Previous investigations showed that pathogenic variants in MTO1 for the biosynthesis of τm5U of tRNAGlu, tRNAGln, tRNALys, tRNATrp and tRNALeu(UUR) were associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Using mto1 knock-out(KO) zebrafish generated by CRISPR/Cas9 system, we demonstrated the pleiotropic effects of Mto1 deficiency on mitochondrial RNA maturations. The perturbed structure and stability of tRNAs caused by mto1 deletion were evidenced by conformation changes and sensitivity to S1-mediated digestion of tRNAGln, tRNALys, tRNATrp and tRNALeu(UUR). Notably, mto1KO zebrafish exhibited the global decreases in the aminoacylation of mitochondrial tRNAs with the taurine modification. Strikingly, ablated mto1 mediated the expression of MTPAP and caused the altered polyadenylation of cox1, cox3, and nd1 mRNAs. Immunoprecipitation assay indicated the interaction of MTO1 with MTPAP related to mRNA polyadenylation. These alterations impaired mitochondrial translation and reduced activities of oxidative phosphorylation complexes. These mitochondria dysfunctions caused heart development defects and hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes and myocardial fiber disarray in ventricles. These cardiac defects in the mto1KO zebrafish recapitulated the clinical phenotypes in HCM patients carrying the MTO1 mutation(s). Our findings highlighted the critical role of MTO1 in mitochondrial transcript maturation and their pathological consequences in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  13. Liver Int. 2021 Apr 08.
      Recently, we read with great interest the article published in Cell by Yu et al, which reported that TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) overexpression stimulated the released of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) into the cytoplasm through mitochondrial permeability transition pore. Then, mtDNA bound to cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) to activate the cGAS/STING pathway, which caused the inflammation of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
    Keywords:  Liver fibrosis; Mitochondria; TDP-43
  14. Life Sci Alliance. 2021 Jun;pii: e202000806. [Epub ahead of print]4(6):
      Epithelial and haematologic tumours often show the overexpression of the serine/threonine kinase AURKA. Recently, AURKA was shown to localise at mitochondria, where it regulates mitochondrial dynamics and ATP production. Here we define the molecular mechanisms of AURKA in regulating mitochondrial turnover by mitophagy. AURKA triggers the degradation of Inner Mitochondrial Membrane/matrix proteins by interacting with core components of the autophagy pathway. On the inner mitochondrial membrane, the kinase forms a tripartite complex with MAP1LC3 and the mitophagy receptor PHB2, which triggers mitophagy in a PARK2/Parkin-independent manner. The formation of the tripartite complex is induced by the phosphorylation of PHB2 on Ser39, which is required for MAP1LC3 to interact with PHB2. Last, treatment with the PHB2 ligand xanthohumol blocks AURKA-induced mitophagy by destabilising the tripartite complex and restores normal ATP production levels. Altogether, these data provide evidence for a role of AURKA in promoting mitophagy through the interaction with PHB2 and MAP1LC3. This work paves the way to the use of function-specific pharmacological inhibitors to counteract the effects of the overexpression of AURKA in cancer.
  15. Redox Biol. 2021 Mar 31. pii: S2213-2317(21)00099-9. [Epub ahead of print]41 101951
      Sulforaphane (SFN) is a phytochemical compound extracted from cruciferous plants, like broccoli or cauliflower. Its isothiocyanate group renders SFN reactive, thus allowing post-translational modification of cellular proteins to regulate their function with the potential for biological and therapeutic actions. SFN and stabilized variants recently received regulatory approval for clinical studies in humans for the treatment of neurological disorders and cancer. Potential unwanted side effects of SFN on heart function have not been investigated yet. The present study characterizes the impact of SFN on cardiomyocyte contractile function in cardiac preparations from neonatal rat, adult mouse and human induced-pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. This revealed a SFN-mediated negative inotropic effect, when administered either acutely or chronically, with an impairment of the Frank-Starling response to stretch activation. A direct effect of SFN on myofilament function was excluded in chemically permeabilized mouse trabeculae. However, SFN pretreatment increased lactate formation and enhanced the mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species accompanied by a significant reduction in the mitochondrial membrane potential. Transmission electron microscopy revealed disturbed sarcomeric organization and inflated mitochondria with whorled membrane shape in response to SFN exposure. Interestingly, administration of the alternative energy source l-glutamine to the medium that bypasses the uptake route of pyruvate into the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle improved force development in SFN-treated EHTs, suggesting indeed mitochondrial dysfunction as a contributor of SFN-mediated contractile dysfunction. Taken together, the data from the present study suggest that SFN might impact negatively on cardiac contractility in patients with cardiovascular co-morbidities undergoing SFN supplementation therapy. Therefore, cardiac function should be monitored regularly to avoid the onset of cardiotoxic side effects.
    Keywords:  Contractile and mitochondrial function; Engineered heart tissue; Sulforaphane
  16. Nat Metab. 2021 Apr 08.
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes protein subunits and translational machinery required for oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Using repurposed whole-exome sequencing data, in the present study we demonstrate that pathogenic mtDNA mutations arise in tumours at a rate comparable to those in the most common cancer driver genes. We identify OXPHOS complexes as critical determinants shaping somatic mtDNA mutation patterns across tumour lineages. Loss-of-function mutations accumulate at an elevated rate specifically in complex I and often arise at specific homopolymeric hotspots. In contrast, complex V is depleted of all non-synonymous mutations, suggesting that impairment of ATP synthesis and mitochondrial membrane potential dissipation are under negative selection. Common truncating mutations and rarer missense alleles are both associated with a pan-lineage transcriptional programme, even in cancer types where mtDNA mutations are comparatively rare. Pathogenic mutations of mtDNA are associated with substantial increases in overall survival of colorectal cancer patients, demonstrating a clear functional relationship between genotype and phenotype. The mitochondrial genome is therefore frequently and functionally disrupted across many cancers, with major implications for patient stratification, prognosis and therapeutic development.
  17. Enzymes. 2020 ;pii: S1874-6047(20)30028-7. [Epub ahead of print]48 175-206
      In all eukaryotic cells, protein synthesis occurs not only in the cytosol, but also in the mitochondria. Translation of mitochondrial genes requires a set of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, many of which are often specialized for organellar function. These enzymes have evolved unique mechanisms for tRNA recognition and for ensuring fidelity of translation. Mutations of human mitochondrial synthetases are associated with a wide range of pathogenic phenotypes, both highlighting the importance of their role in maintaining the cellular "powerhouse" and suggesting additional cellular roles.
    Keywords:  Evolution; Mitochondria; Pathogenesis; RNA recognition
  18. Front Cell Neurosci. 2021 ;15 641264
      Mutations in the MPV17 gene are associated with hepatocerebral form of mitochondrial depletion syndrome. The mechanisms through which MPV17 mutations cause respiratory chain dysfunction and mtDNA depletion is still unclear. The MPV17 gene encodes an inner membrane mitochondrial protein that was recently described to function as a non-selective channel. Although its exact function is unknown, it is thought to be important in the maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm). To obtain more information about the role of MPV17 in human disease, we investigated the effect of MPV17 knockdown and of selected known MPV17 mutations associated with MPV17 disease in vitro. We used different approaches in order to evaluate the cellular consequences of MPV17 deficiency. We found that lower levels of MPV17 were associated with impaired mitochondrial respiration and with a quiescent energetic metabolic profile. All the mutations studied destabilized the protein, resulting in reduced protein levels. We also demonstrated that different mutations caused different cellular abnormalities, including increased ROS production, decreased oxygen consumption, loss of ΔΨm, and mislocalization of MPV17 protein. Our study provides novel insight into the molecular effects of MPV17 mutations and opens novel possibilities for testing therapeutic strategies for a devastating group of disorders.
    Keywords:  Mpv17 mutations; mitochondrial depletion syndrome; mitochondrial dysfunction; neurode generation; protein mislocation
  19. Clin Chim Acta. 2021 Apr 04. pii: S0009-8981(21)00114-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Biallelic missense variants in PPA2 gene cause infantile sudden cardiac failure (SCFI; OMIM #617222) characterized by sudden cardiac failure, sudden cardiac death in infants. Here, we present an unusual survivor with one inherited plus one de novo variant in PPA2. Since next-generation sequencing (NGS) fails to resolve variant phasing, which require long-read sequencing to clarify the diagnosis.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Whole exome and Sanger sequencing were initially performed to identify the causative variants. PCR-based short tandem repeats (STRs) analysis and long-read single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing were further implemented for paternity testing and variant phasing. Pathogenicity evaluation of the biallelic variants in PPA2 was conducted according to the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) and the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) guidelines based on VarSome.
    RESULTS: Whole exome and Sanger sequencing revealed two variants in PPA2, with one novel nonsense variant (c.524C>G; p.Ser175*) inherited from the mother and one de novo missense variant (c.379C>T; p.Arg127Cys). PCR-based STRs analysis verified the paternity. And long-read SMRT sequencing phased the two variants in trans and identified the paternal origin of the de novo variant. The genetic diagnosis clarified the genetic etiology of the proband and assisted in patient management and counseling.
    CONCLUSION: We identified a rare combination of one inherited plus one de novo variant of PPA2 in a patient with autosomal recessive SCFI, which expanded the mutation spectrum of PPA2 and demonstrated the power of target long-read sequencing to make up the diagnostic gap of prevailing NGS.
    Keywords:  PPA2 gene; de novo variant; infantile sudden cardiac failure (SCFI); long-read SMRT sequencing; mitochondrial disease; variant phasing
  20. J Clin Invest. 2021 Apr 06. pii: 145546. [Epub ahead of print]
      The protein kinases IKK-epsilon and TBK1 are activated in liver and fat in mouse models of obesity. We have previously demonstrated that treatment with the IKK-epsilon/TBK1 inhibitor, amlexanox, produces weight loss and relieves insulin resistance in obese animals and patients. While amlexanox treatment caused a transient reduction in food intake, long-term weight loss was attributable to increased energy expenditure via FGF21-dependent beiging of WAT. Amlexanox increased FGF21 synthesis and secretion in several tissues. Interestingly, while hepatic secretion determined circulating levels, it was dispensable for regulating energy expenditure. In contrast, adipocyte-secreted FGF21 may have acted as an autocrine factor that leads to adipose tissue browning and weight loss in obese mice. Moreover, increased energy expenditure was an important determinant of improved insulin sensitivity by amlexanox. Conversely, the immediate reductions in fasting blood glucose observed with acute amlexanox treatment were mediated by suppression of hepatic glucose production via the activation of STAT3 by adipocyte-secreted IL-6. These findings demonstrate that amlexanox improved metabolic health via FGF21 action in adipocytes to increase energy expenditure via WAT beiging, and an endocrine role of adipocyte-derived IL-6 to decrease gluconeogenesis via hepatic STAT3 activation, thereby producing a coordinated improvement in metabolic parameters.
    Keywords:  Adipose tissue; Diabetes; Metabolism; Obesity
  21. Nat Cell Biol. 2021 Apr;23(4): 424-436
      Although high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has greatly advanced small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) discovery, the currently widely used complementary DNA library construction protocol generates biased sequencing results. This is partially due to RNA modifications that interfere with adapter ligation and reverse transcription processes, which prevent the detection of sncRNAs bearing these modifications. Here, we present PANDORA-seq (panoramic RNA display by overcoming RNA modification aborted sequencing), employing a combinatorial enzymatic treatment to remove key RNA modifications that block adapter ligation and reverse transcription. PANDORA-seq identified abundant modified sncRNAs-mostly transfer RNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) and ribosomal RNA-derived small RNAs (rsRNAs)-that were previously undetected, exhibiting tissue-specific expression across mouse brain, liver, spleen and sperm, as well as cell-specific expression across embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and HeLa cells. Using PANDORA-seq, we revealed unprecedented landscapes of microRNA, tsRNA and rsRNA dynamics during the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells. Importantly, tsRNAs and rsRNAs that are downregulated during somatic cell reprogramming impact cellular translation in ESCs, suggesting a role in lineage differentiation.
  22. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 09. 12(1): 2130
      Mito-SEPs are small open reading frame-encoded peptides that localize to the mitochondria to regulate metabolism. Motivated by an intriguing negative association between mito-SEPs and inflammation, here we screen for mito-SEPs that modify inflammatory outcomes and report a mito-SEP named "Modulator of cytochrome C oxidase during Inflammation" (MOCCI) that is upregulated during inflammation and infection to promote host-protective resolution. MOCCI, a paralog of the NDUFA4 subunit of cytochrome C oxidase (Complex IV), replaces NDUFA4 in Complex IV during inflammation to lower mitochondrial membrane potential and reduce ROS production, leading to cyto-protection and dampened immune response. The MOCCI transcript also generates miR-147b, which targets the NDUFA4 mRNA with similar immune dampening effects as MOCCI, but simultaneously enhances RIG-I/MDA-5-mediated viral immunity. Our work uncovers a dual-component pleiotropic regulation of host inflammation and immunity by MOCCI (C15ORF48) for safeguarding the host during infection and inflammation.
  23. FASEB J. 2021 May;35(5): e21544
      Serine-rich splicing factor 3 (SRSF3) was recently reported as being necessary to preserve RNA stability via an mTOR mechanism in a cardiac mouse model in adulthood. Here, we demonstrate the link between Srsf3 and mitochondrial integrity in an embryonic cardiomyocyte-specific Srsf3 conditional knockout (cKO) mouse model. Fifteen-day-old Srsf3 cKO mice showed dramatically reduced (below 50%) survival and reduced the left ventricular systolic performance, and histological analysis of these hearts revealed a significant increase in cardiomyocyte size, confirming the severe remodeling induced by Srsf3 deletion. RNA-seq analysis of the hearts of 5-day-old Srsf3 cKO mice revealed early changes in expression levels and alternative splicing of several transcripts related to mitochondrial integrity and oxidative phosphorylation. Likewise, the levels of several protein complexes of the electron transport chain decreased, and mitochondrial complex I-driven respiration of permeabilized cardiac muscle fibers from the left ventricle was impaired. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy analysis showed disordered mitochondrial length and cristae structure. Together with its indispensable role in the physiological maintenance of mouse hearts, these results highlight the previously unrecognized function of Srsf3 in regulating the mitochondrial integrity.
    Keywords:  Srsf3; cardiomyocyte; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; respiratory chain complex I
  24. Aging Pathobiol Ther. 2020 ;2(1): 45-51
      Objective: Mitochondrial dysfunction comprises part of the etiology of myriad health issues, particularly those that occur with advancing age. Methionine sulfoxide reductase A (MsrA) is a ubiquitous protein oxidation repair enzyme that specifically and catalytically reduces a specific epimer of oxidized methionine: methionine sulfoxide. In this study, we tested the ways in which mitochondrial bioenergetic functions are affected by increasing MsrA expression in different cellular compartments.Methods: In this study, we tested the function of isolated mitochondria, including free radical generation, ATP production, and respiration, from the skeletal muscle of two lines of transgenic mice with increased MsrA expression: mitochondria-targeted MsrA overexpression or cytosol-targeted MsrA overexpression.
    Results: Surprisingly, in the samples from mice with mitochondrial-targeted MsrA overexpression, we found dramatically increased free radical production though no specific defect in respiration, ATP production, or membrane potential. Among the electron transport chain complexes, we found the activity of complex I was specifically reduced in mitochondrial MsrA transgenic mice. In mice with cytosolic-targeted MsrA overexpression, we found no significant alteration made to any of these parameters of mitochondrial energetics.
    Conclusions: There is also a growing amount of evidence that MsrA is a functional requirement for sustaining optimal mitochondrial respiration and free radical generation. MsrA is also known to play a partial role in maintaining normal protein homeostasis by specifically repairing oxidized proteins. Our studies highlight a potential novel role for MsrA in regulating the activity of mitochondrial function through its interaction with the mitochondrial proteome.
    Keywords:  Superoxide; electron transport chain; mitochondria; oxidative stress; protein homeostasis
  25. Nat Commun. 2021 04 06. 12(1): 2079
      Human manganese superoxide dismutase is a critical oxidoreductase found in the mitochondrial matrix. Concerted proton and electron transfers are used by the enzyme to rid the mitochondria of O2•-. The mechanisms of concerted transfer enzymes are typically unknown due to the difficulties in detecting the protonation states of specific residues and solvent molecules at particular redox states. Here, neutron diffraction of two redox-controlled manganese superoxide dismutase crystals reveal the all-atom structures of Mn3+ and Mn2+ enzyme forms. The structures deliver direct data on protonation changes between oxidation states of the metal. Observations include glutamine deprotonation, the involvement of tyrosine and histidine with altered pKas, and four unusual strong-short hydrogen bonds, including a low barrier hydrogen bond. We report a concerted proton and electron transfer mechanism for human manganese superoxide dismutase from the direct visualization of active site protons in Mn3+ and Mn2+ redox states.
  26. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Mar 16. pii: e2021073118. [Epub ahead of print]118(11):
      White adipose tissue (WAT) is a key regulator of systemic energy metabolism, and impaired WAT plasticity characterized by enlargement of preexisting adipocytes associates with WAT dysfunction, obesity, and metabolic complications. However, the mechanisms that retain proper adipose tissue plasticity required for metabolic fitness are unclear. Here, we comprehensively showed that adipocyte-specific DNA methylation, manifested in enhancers and CTCF sites, directs distal enhancer-mediated transcriptomic features required to conserve metabolic functions of white adipocytes. Particularly, genetic ablation of adipocyte Dnmt1, the major methylation writer, led to increased adiposity characterized by increased adipocyte hypertrophy along with reduced expansion of adipocyte precursors (APs). These effects of Dnmt1 deficiency provoked systemic hyperlipidemia and impaired energy metabolism both in lean and obese mice. Mechanistically, Dnmt1 deficiency abrogated mitochondrial bioenergetics by inhibiting mitochondrial fission and promoted aberrant lipid metabolism in adipocytes, rendering adipocyte hypertrophy and WAT dysfunction. Dnmt1-dependent DNA methylation prevented aberrant CTCF binding and, in turn, sustained the proper chromosome architecture to permit interactions between enhancer and dynamin-1-like protein gene Dnm1l (Drp1) in adipocytes. Also, adipose DNMT1 expression inversely correlated with adiposity and markers of metabolic health but positively correlated with AP-specific markers in obese human subjects. Thus, these findings support strategies utilizing Dnmt1 action on mitochondrial bioenergetics in adipocytes to combat obesity and related metabolic pathology.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; adiposity; chromosome structure; metabolic disease; mitochondria
  27. EMBO Rep. 2021 Apr 06. e51532
      Ferroptosis has recently attracted much interest because of its relevance to human diseases such as cancer and ischemia-reperfusion injury. We have reported that prolonged severe cold stress induces lipid peroxidation-dependent ferroptosis, but the upstream mechanism remains unknown. Here, using genome-wide CRISPR screening, we found that a mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake regulator, mitochondrial calcium uptake 1 (MICU1), is required for generating lipid peroxide and subsequent ferroptosis under cold stress. Furthermore, the gatekeeping activity of MICU1 through mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) is suggested to be indispensable for cold stress-induced ferroptosis. MICU1 is required for mitochondrial Ca2+ increase, hyperpolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and subsequent lipid peroxidation under cold stress. Collectively, these findings suggest that the MICU1-dependent mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis-MMP hyperpolarization axis is involved in cold stress-induced lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis.
    Keywords:  CRISPR screening; Ca2+; MICU1; cold stress-induced ferroptosis; mitochondria
  28. Enzymes. 2020 ;pii: S1874-6047(20)30002-0. [Epub ahead of print]48 243-275
      Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) are a family of essential "housekeeping" enzymes ubiquitous in the three major domains of life. ARSs uniquely connect the essential minimal units of both major oligomer classes-the 3-nucleotide codons of oligonucleotides and the amino acids of proteins. They catalyze the esterification of amino acids to the 3'-end of cognate transfer RNAs (tRNAs) bearing the correct anticodon triplet to ensure accurate transfer of information from mRNA to protein according to the genetic code. As an essential translation factor responsible for the first biochemical reaction in protein biosynthesis, ARSs control protein production by catalyzing aminoacylation, and by editing of mischarged aminoacyl-tRNAs to maintain translational fidelity. In addition to their primary enzymatic activities, many ARSs have noncanonical functions unrelated to their catalytic activity in protein synthesis. Among the ARSs with "moonlighting" activities, several, including GluProRS (or EPRS), LeuRS, LysRS, SerRS, TyrRS, and TrpRS, exhibit cell signaling-related activities that sense environmental signals, regulate gene expression, and modulate cellular functions. ARS signaling functions generally depend on catalytically-inactive, appended domains not present in ancient enzyme forms, and are activated by stimulus-dependent post-translational modification. Activation often results in cellular re-localization and gain of new interacting partners. The newly formed ARS-bearing complexes conduct a host of signal transduction functions, including immune response, mTORC1 pathway signaling, and fibrogenic and angiogenic signaling, among others. Because noncanonical functions of ARSs in signal transduction are uncoupled from canonical aminoacylation functions, function-specific inhibitors can be developed, thus providing promising opportunities and therapeutic targets for treatment of human disease.
    Keywords:  Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase; Antiviral response; Cell signaling; Fibrosis; GluProRS; LeuRS; LysRS; Metabolism; Noncanonical function; mTORC1
  29. Bioconjug Chem. 2021 Apr 07.
      Herein, we have designed and synthesized unsymmetrical visible Cy-3 and near-infrared (NIR) Cy-5 chromophores anchoring mitochondria targeting functional group conjugated with a Phe-Phe dipeptide by a microwave-assisted Fmoc solid phase peptide synthesis method on Wang resin. These dipeptide-based Cy-3-TPP/FF as well as Cy-5-TPP/FF molecules self-assemble to form fluorescent nanotubes in solution, and it has been confirmed by TEM, SEM, and AFM. The Cy-3-TPP/FF and Cy-5-TPP/FF molecules in solution exhibit narrow excitation as well as emission bands in the visible and NIR region, respectively. These lipophilic cationic fluorescent peptide molecules spontaneously and selectively accumulate inside the mitochondria of human carcinoma cells that have been experimentally validated by live cell confocal laser scanning microscopy and display a high Pearson's correlation coefficient in a colocalization assay. Live cell multicolor confocal imaging using the NIR Cy-5-TPP/FF in combination with other organelle specific dye is also accomplished. Moreover, these lipophilic dipeptide-based cationic molecules reach the critical aggregation concentration inside the mitochondria because of the extremely negative inner mitochondrial membrane potential [(ΔΨm)cancer ≈ -220 mV] and form supramolecular nanotubes which are accountable for malignant mitochondria targeted early apoptosis. The early apoptosis is arrested using Cy-5-TPP/FF and confirmed by annexin V-FITC/PI apoptosis detection assay.
  30. Mitochondrion. 2021 Mar 31. pii: S1567-7249(21)00044-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Deficiency of the proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction. Polyribonucleotide nucleotidyltransferase 1 (PNPT1) is one of the genes involved in the OXPHOS and encodes the mitochondrial polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) which is implicated in RNA-processing exoribonuclease activity. Herein, we report a 34-month-old boy who presented with global developmental delay, muscular hypotonia, hearing impairment, and movement disorders including chorea and dystonia. Mitochondrial genome sequencing and whole-exome sequencing (WES) were performed and a variant in PNPT1:c.1453A>G; p. (Met485Val) was identified. A number of patient's neurologic problems had been already reported in previous studies, however, lower limbs spasticity and bulbar dysfunction were novel phenotypic findings. In addition, delayed myelination during infancy, progressive basal ganglia atrophy, and brain stem abnormal signals including transverse pontine fibers and superior colliculus involvement were also novel neuroimaging findings in this case. Different crystallographic modeling and stereochemical analysis of the c.1453A>G; p. (Met485Val) variant showed this variant affects the active site of the protein and disrupts the normal protein function.
    Keywords:  Crystallographic Modeling; Deafness; Leukoencephalopathy; Mitochondrial Dysfunction; PNPT1 Missense Variant
  31. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2021 Apr 10.
      Despite increasing awareness of the biological impacts of long-chain fatty acyl-CoA esters (LCACoAs), our knowledge about the subcellular distribution and regulatory functions of these acyl-CoA molecules is limited by a lack of methods for detecting LCACoAs in living cells. Here, we report development of a genetically encoded fluorescent sensor that enables ratiometric quantification of LCACoAs in living cells and subcellular compartments. We demonstrate how this FadR-cpYFP fusion "LACSer sensor" undergoes LCACoA-induced conformational changes reflected in easily detectable fluorescence responses, and show proof-of-concept for real-time monitoring of LCACoAs in human cells. Subsequently, we applied LACSer to investigate how disruption of ACSL enzymes differentially reduces cytosolic and mitochondrial LCACoA levels, and show how genetic disruption of an acyl-CoA binding protein (ACBP) alters mitochondrial accumulation of LCACoAs. Thus, our LACSer sensor achieves spatiotemporally precise detection of dynamic changes in endogenous LCACoA levels in living cells and yields mechanistic insights about metabolism and cellular regulation .
    Keywords:  long-chain fatty acyl-CoA biosensor cell imaging protein engineering LC acyl-CoA metabolism
  32. J Neurogenet. 2021 Apr 06. 1-6
      The SLC25A22 (Solute Carrier Family 25, Member 22) gene encodes for a mitochondrial glutamate/H+ symporter and is involved in the mitochondrial transport of metabolites across the mitochondrial membrane. We hereby report a 12-year-old girl presenting with early-onset epileptic encephalopathy, hypotonia, and global developmental delay. Whole exome sequencing identified a novel homozygous missense mutation in SLC25A22 gene (c.97A>G; p.Lys33Glu), as the likely cause of the disease. The phenotype of our patient and EEG recordings do not completely overlap with the phenotypes previously described, leading to a new and more complex form of disease associated with SLC25A22 variants, characterized by dyskinetic movements and oculogyric crisis.
    Keywords:  Dyskinetic movements; SLC25A22 gene; epileptic encephalopathy; glutamate; oculogyric crisis
  33. Nat Commun. 2021 04 07. 12(1): 2091
      Complex animals build specialised muscles to match specific biomechanical and energetic needs. Hence, composition and architecture of sarcomeres and mitochondria are muscle type specific. However, mechanisms coordinating mitochondria with sarcomere morphogenesis are elusive. Here we use Drosophila muscles to demonstrate that myofibril and mitochondria morphogenesis are intimately linked. In flight muscles, the muscle selector spalt instructs mitochondria to intercalate between myofibrils, which in turn mechanically constrain mitochondria into elongated shapes. Conversely in cross-striated leg muscles, mitochondria networks surround myofibril bundles, contacting myofibrils only with thin extensions. To investigate the mechanism causing these differences, we manipulated mitochondrial dynamics and found that increased mitochondrial fusion during myofibril assembly prevents mitochondrial intercalation in flight muscles. Strikingly, this causes the expression of cross-striated muscle specific sarcomeric proteins. Consequently, flight muscle myofibrils convert towards a partially cross-striated architecture. Together, these data suggest a biomechanical feedback mechanism downstream of spalt synchronizing mitochondria with myofibril morphogenesis.
  34. J Neurochem. 2021 Apr 08.
      Levels of nicotine adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) are known to decline with age and have been associated with impaired mitochondrial function leading to neurodegeneration, a key facet of Alzheimer's disease (AD). NAD+ synthesis is sustained via tryptophan-kynurenine (Trp-Kyn) pathway as de novo synthesis route, and salvage pathways dependent on the availability of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Whilst being currently investigated as a multifactorial disease with a strong metabolic component, AD remains without curative treatment and important sex differences were reported in relation to disease onset and progression. The aim of this study was to reveal the potential deregulation of NAD+ metabolism in AD with the direct analysis of NAD+ precursors in the mouse brain tissue (wild type (WT) vs. triple transgenic (3xTg) AD), using a sex-balanced design. To this end, we developed a quantitative liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method, which allowed for the measurement of the full spectrum of NAD+ precursors and intermediates in all three pathways. In brain tissue of mice with developed AD symptoms, a decrease in kynurenine (Kyn) vs. increase in kynurenic acid (KA) levels were observed in both sexes with a significantly higher increment of KA in males. These alterations in Trp-Kyn pathway might be a consequence of neuroinflammation and a compensatory production of neuroprotective kynurenic acid. In the NAD+ salvage pathway, significantly lower levels of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) were measured in the AD brain of males and females. Depletion of NMN implies the deregulation of salvage pathway critical for maintaining optimal NAD+ levels and mitochondrial and neuronal function.
    Keywords:  3xTg AD mice model; Alzheimer’s disease; LC-MS; NAD+ metabolism; brain; targeted metabolomics
  35. Nat Metab. 2021 Apr 05.
      Tissue integrity is contingent on maintaining stem cells. Intestinal stem cells (ISCs) over-proliferate during ageing, leading to tissue dysplasia in Drosophila melanogaster. Here we describe a role for white, encoding the evolutionarily conserved ATP-binding cassette transporter subfamily G, with a particularly well-characterized role in eye colour pigmentation, in ageing-induced ISC proliferation in the midgut. ISCs increase expression of white during ageing. ISC-specific inhibition of white suppresses ageing-induced ISC dysregulation and prolongs lifespan. Of the proteins that form heterodimers with White, Brown mediates ISC dysregulation during ageing. Metabolomics analyses reveal previously unappreciated, profound metabolic impacts of white inhibition on organismal metabolism. Among the metabolites affected by White, tetrahydrofolate is transported by White, is accumulated in ISCs during ageing and is indispensable for ageing-induced ISC over-proliferation. Since Thomas Morgan's isolation of a white mutant as the first Drosophila mutant, white mutants have been used extensively as genetic systems and often as controls. Our findings provide insights into metabolic regulation of stem cells mediated by the classic gene white.
  36. J Mol Neurosci. 2021 Apr 06.
      Mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE) is a multi-system disorder caused by several homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations, mostly in the nuclear gene of TYMP. Our current knowledge on the underlying pathology of the disease is derived through the study of about 200 cases of different ethnicities. Clinical presentations include severe cachexia, weakness, ptosis, diplopia, abdominal cramps or digestive tract disorders, hearing impairment, and paresthesia.Herein, we aim to present five novel mutations of the nuclear gene of TYMP in six Iranian patients diagnosed with MNGIE. In our population, age at the time of diagnosis was 18 to 49 years, while the onset of the symptoms varied from 13 to 20 years. We detected two pathogenic non-frameshift nonsense premature stop codon mutations (c.1013C > A, and c.130C > T), one variant of uncertain significance (VUS) non-frameshift missense mutation (c.345G > T), one likely pathogenic frameshift insertion (c.801_802insCGCG), and one likely benign homozygous non-frameshift deletion (c.1176_1187del) from two siblings. Our findings also confirm the autosomal recessive inheritance pattern of MNGIE in the Iranian population. The lack of knowledge in the area of nuclear gene-modifier genes shadows the genotype-phenotype relationships of MNGIE.
    Keywords:  MNGIE; Mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy; Novel mutation; TYMP gene; Thymidine phosphorylase
  37. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 637852
      Nearly 2 decades since its discovery as one of the genes responsible for the Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome (WHS), the primary function of the leucine-zipper EF-hand containing transmembrane 1 (LETM1) protein in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) or the mechanism by which it regulates mitochondrial Ca2+ handling is unresolved. Meanwhile, LETM1 has been associated with the regulation of fundamental cellular processes, such as development, cellular respiration and metabolism, and apoptosis. This mini-review summarizes the diversity of cellular functions impacted by LETM1 and highlights the multiple roles of LETM1 in health and disease.
    Keywords:  Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome; bioenergetics; cancer biology; carboxy-terminal-modulator-protein; cell metabolism; leucine-zipper EF-hand containing transmembrane 1; mitochondrial calcium handling; mitochondrial calcium hydrogen exchanger; mitochondrial potassium hydrogen exchanger
  38. Hum Genet. 2021 Apr 09.
      We investigated the clinical, genetic, and pathological characteristics of a previously unknown severe juvenile brain disorder in several litters of Parson Russel Terriers. The disease started with epileptic seizures at 6-12 weeks of age and progressed rapidly to status epilepticus and death or euthanasia. Histopathological changes at autopsy were restricted to the brain. There was severe acute neuronal degeneration and necrosis diffusely affecting the grey matter throughout the brain with extensive intraneuronal mitochondrial crowding and accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ). Combined homozygosity mapping and genome sequencing revealed an in-frame 6-bp deletion in the nuclear-encoded pitrilysin metallopeptidase 1 (PITRM1) encoding for a mitochondrial protease involved in mitochondrial targeting sequence processing and degradation. The 6-bp deletion results in the loss of two amino acid residues in the N-terminal part of PITRM1, potentially affecting protein folding and function. Assessment of the mitochondrial function in the affected brain tissue showed a significant deficiency in respiratory chain function. The functional consequences of the mutation were modeled in yeast and showed impaired growth in permissive conditions and an impaired respiration capacity. Loss-of-function variants in human PITRM1 result in a childhood-onset progressive amyloidotic neurological syndrome characterized by spinocerebellar ataxia with behavioral, psychiatric and cognitive abnormalities. Homozygous Pitrm1-knockout mice are embryonic lethal, while heterozygotes show a progressive, neurodegenerative phenotype characterized by impairment in motor coordination and Aβ deposits. Our study describes a novel early-onset PITRM1-related neurodegenerative canine brain disorder with mitochondrial dysfunction, Aβ accumulation, and lethal epilepsy. The findings highlight the essential role of PITRM1 in neuronal survival and strengthen the connection between mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration.
  39. Clin Sci (Lond). 2021 Apr 07. pii: CS20210128. [Epub ahead of print]
      Exercise training improves muscle fitness in many aspects, including induction of mitochondrial biogenesis and maintenance of mitochondrial dynamics. The insulin-like growth factors were recently proposed as key regulators of myogenic factors to regulate muscle development. This study aimed to investigate the physical exercise impact on insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and analyzed its functions on skeletal muscle cells in vitro. Using online databases, we stated that IGF2 was relatively highly expressed in skeletal muscle cells and increased after exercise training. Then, IGF2 deficiency in myotubes from C2C12 and primary skeletal muscle cells (PMSCs) led to impaired mitochondrial function, reduced mitochondrial-related protein content, and decreased mitochondrial biogenesis. Furthermore, we explored the possible regulatory pathway and found that mitochondrial regulation in skeletal muscle cells might occur through IGF2-SIRT1-PGC1α signaling pathway. Therefore, this study first demonstrated the relationship between IGF2 and mitochondria in skeletal muscle.
    Keywords:  Insulin-like growth factor 2; Sirtuin 1; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial function; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ co-activator-1α; skeletal muscle
  40. Front Pediatr. 2021 ;9 606194
      Background: Long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCHAD) and mitochondrial trifunctional protein (MTP) deficiencies are rare autosomal recessive fatty acid β-oxidation disorders. Their clinical presentations are variable, and premature death is common. They are included in newborn blood spot screening programs in many countries around the world. The current process of screening, through the measurement of acylcarnitines (a metabolic by-product) in dried blood spots with tandem mass spectrometry, is subject to uncertainty regarding test accuracy. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of literature published up to 19th June 2018. We included studies that investigated newborn screening for LCHAD or MTP deficiencies by tandem mass spectrometry of acylcarnitines in dried blood spots. The reference standards were urine organic acids, blood acylcarnitine profiles, enzyme analysis in cultured fibroblasts or lymphocytes, mutation analysis, or at least 10-year follow-up. The outcomes of interest were sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV). Assessment of titles, abstracts, and full-text papers and quality appraisal were carried out independently by two reviewers. One reviewer extracted study data. This was checked by a second reviewer. Results: Ten studies provided data on test accuracy. LCHAD or MTP deficiencies were identified in 23 babies. No cases of LCHAD/MTP deficiencies were identified in four studies. PPV ranged from 0% (zero true positives and 28 false positives from 276,565 babies screened) to 100% (13 true positives and zero false positives from 2,037,824 babies screened). Sensitivity, specificity, and NPV could not be calculated as there was no systematic follow-up of babies who screened negative. Conclusions: Test accuracy estimates of screening for LCHAD and MTP deficiencies with tandem mass spectrometry measurement of acylcarnitines in dried blood were variable in terms of PPVs. Screening methods (including markers and thresholds) varied between studies, and sensitivity, specificity, and NPVs are unknown.
    Keywords:  LCHAD deficiency; MTP deficiency; newborn blood spot screening; systematic review; test accuracy
  41. Elife. 2021 Apr 07. pii: e62591. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Eukaryotes compartmentalize metabolic pathways into sub-cellular domains, but the role of inter-organelle contacts in organizing metabolic reactions remains poorly understood. Here, we show that in response to acute glucose restriction (AGR) yeast undergo metabolic remodeling of their mevalonate pathway that is spatially coordinated at nucleus-vacuole junctions (NVJs). The NVJ serves as a metabolic platform by selectively retaining HMG-CoA Reductases (HMGCRs), driving mevalonate pathway flux in an Upc2-dependent manner. Both spatial retention of HMGCRs and increased mevalonate pathway flux during AGR is dependent on NVJ tether Nvj1. Furthermore, we demonstrate that HMGCRs associate into high molecular weight assemblies during AGR in an Nvj1-dependent manner. Loss of Nvj1-mediated HMGCR partitioning can be bypassed by artificially multimerizing HMGCRs, indicating NVJ compartmentalization enhances mevalonate pathway flux by promoting the association of HMGCRs in high molecular weight assemblies. Loss of HMGCR compartmentalization perturbs yeast growth following glucose starvation, indicating it promotes adaptive metabolic remodeling. Collectively we propose a non-canonical mechanism regulating mevalonate metabolism via the spatial compartmentalization of rate-limiting HMGCR enzymes at an inter-organelle contact site.
    Keywords:  S. cerevisiae; cell biology
  42. JCI Insight. 2021 Apr 06. pii: 142254. [Epub ahead of print]
      Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) damages the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), the tissue that safeguards photoreceptor health, leading to irreversible vision loss. Polymorphisms in cholesterol and complement genes are implicated in AMD, yet mechanisms linking risk variants to RPE injury remain unclear. We sought to determine how allelic variants in the apolipoprotein E cholesterol transporter modulate RPE homeostasis and function. Using live-cell imaging, we show that inefficient cholesterol transport by the AMD risk-associated ApoE2 increases RPE ceramide, leading to autophagic defects and complement-mediated mitochondrial damage. Mitochondrial injury drives redox state-sensitive cysteine-mediated phase separation of ApoE2, forming biomolecular condensates that could nucleate drusen. The protective ApoE4 isoform lacks these cysteines and is resistant to phase separation and condensate formation. In Abca4-/- Stargardt macular degeneration mice, mitochondrial dysfunction induces liquid-liquid phase separation of p62/SQSTM1, a multifunctional protein that regulates autophagy. Drugs that decrease RPE cholesterol or ceramide prevent mitochondrial injury and phase separation in vitro and in vivo. In AMD donor RPE, mitochondrial fragmentation correlates with ApoE and p62 condensates. Our studies demonstrate that major AMD genetic and biological risk pathways converge upon RPE mitochondria, and identify mitochondrial stress-mediated protein phase separation as an important pathogenic mechanism and promising therapeutic target in AMD.
    Keywords:  Cholesterol; Complement; Ophthalmology; Retinopathy
  43. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2021 Apr 08.
      Mammalian folate-dependent one-carbon (1C) metabolism provides the building blocks essential during development via amino acid interconversion, methyl-donor production, regeneration of redox factors, and de novo purine and thymidylate synthesis. Folate supplementation prevents many neural tube defects (NTDs) that occur during the embryonic process of neurulation. The mechanism by which folate functions during neurulation is not well understood, and not all NTDs are preventable by folate supplementation. Mthfd1l is a mitochondrial 1C metabolism enzyme that produces formate, a 1C donor that fuels biosynthesis and the methyl cycle in the cytoplasm. Homozygous deletion of the Mthfd1l gene in mice (Mthfd1lz/z) causes embryonic lethality, developmental delay, and folate-resistant NTDs. These mice also have defects in cranial mesenchyme formation. In this work, mass spectrometry imaging was used to obtain ion maps of the cranial mesenchyme that identified the spatial distribution and relative abundance of metabolites in wild-type and Mthfd1lz/z embryos. The relative abundances of purine and thymidylate derivatives, as well as amino acids, were diminished in the cranial mesenchyme of Mthfd1lz/z embryos. Loss of Mthfd1l activity in this region also led to abnormal levels of methionine and dysregulated energy metabolism. These alterations in metabolism suggest possible approaches to preventing NTDs in humans.
    Keywords:  DESI; Folate; Imaging mass spectrometry; Metabolomics; Mitochondrial metabolism; Mthfd1l
  44. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Apr 13. pii: e1922305118. [Epub ahead of print]118(15):
      Interactions between genetic variants-epistasis-is pervasive in model systems and can profoundly impact evolutionary adaption, population disease dynamics, genetic mapping, and precision medicine efforts. In this work, we develop a model for structured polygenic epistasis, called coordinated epistasis (CE), and prove that several recent theories of genetic architecture fall under the formal umbrella of CE. Unlike standard epistasis models that assume epistasis and main effects are independent, CE captures systematic correlations between epistasis and main effects that result from pathway-level epistasis, on balance skewing the penetrance of genetic effects. To test for the existence of CE, we propose the even-odd (EO) test and prove it is calibrated in a range of realistic biological models. Applying the EO test in the UK Biobank, we find evidence of CE in 18 of 26 traits spanning disease, anthropometric, and blood categories. Finally, we extend the EO test to tissue-specific enrichment and identify several plausible tissue-trait pairs. Overall, CE is a dimension of genetic architecture that can capture structured, systemic forms of epistasis in complex human traits.
    Keywords:  epistasis; genetics; polygenic risk