bims-mitdis Biomed News
on Mitochondrial disorders
Issue of 2021‒08‒15
thirty-one papers selected by
Catalina Vasilescu
University of Helsinki

  1. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Aug 13.
      Mitochondrial dysfunction and mitophagy are often hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases such as autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) caused by mutations in the key mitochondrial dynamics protein optic atrophy 1 (Opa1). However, the second messengers linking mitochondrial dysfunction to initiation of mitophagy remain poorly characterized. Here, we show in mammalian and nematode neurons that Opa1 mutations trigger Ca2+-dependent mitophagy. Deletion or expression of mutated Opa1 in mouse retinal ganglion cells and Caenorhabditis elegans motor neurons lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, increased cytosolic Ca2+ levels, and decreased axonal mitochondrial density. Chelation of Ca2+ restores mitochondrial density in neuronal processes, neuronal function, and viability. Mechanistically, sustained Ca2+ levels activate calcineurin and AMPK, placed in the same genetic pathway regulating axonal mitochondrial density. Our data reveal that mitophagy in ADOA depends on Ca2+-calcineurin-AMPK signaling cascade.
  2. Eur J Clin Invest. 2021 Sep;51(9): e13574
      BACKGROUND: Freezing human biopsies is common in clinical practice for storage. However, this technique disrupts mitochondrial membranes, hampering further analyses of respiratory function. To contribute to laboratorial diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases, this study sought to develop a respirometry approach using O2k (Oroboros Ins.) to measure the whole electron transport chain (ETC) activity in homogenates of frozen skeletal muscle biopsies.PATIENTS AND METHODS: We enrolled 16 patients submitted to muscle biopsy in the process of routine diagnostic investigation: four with mitochondrial disease and severe mitochondrial dysfunction; seven with exercise intolerance and multiple deletions of mitochondrial DNA, presenting mild to moderate mitochondrial dysfunction; five without mitochondrial disease, as controls. Whole homogenates of muscle fragments were prepared using grinder-type equipment. O2 consumption rates were normalized using citrate synthase activity.
    RESULTS: Transmission electron microscopy confirmed mitochondrial membrane discontinuation, indicating increased permeability of mitochondrial membranes in homogenates from frozen biopsies. O2 consumption rates in the presence of acetyl-CoA lead to maximum respiratory rates sensitive to rotenone, malonate and antimycin. This protocol of acetyl-CoA-driven respiration (ACoAR), applied in whole homogenates of frozen muscle, was sensitive enough to identify ETC abnormality, even in patients with mild to moderate mitochondrial dysfunction. We demonstrated adequate repeatability of ACoAR and found significant correlation between O2 consumption rates and enzyme activity assays of individual ETC complexes.
    CONCLUSIONS: We present preliminary data on a simple, low cost and reliable procedure to measure respiratory function in whole homogenates of frozen skeletal muscle biopsies, contributing to diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases in humans.
    Keywords:  acetyl-CoA-driven respiration; electron transport chain; frozen skeletal muscle biopsy; high-resolution respirometry; mitochondrial diseases; oxygen consumption rate
  3. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 720490
      Mitochondria are master regulators of metabolism and have emerged as key signalling organelles of the innate immune system. Each mitochondrion harbours potent agonists of inflammation, including mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which are normally shielded from the rest of the cell and extracellular environment and therefore do not elicit detrimental inflammatory cascades. Mitochondrial damage and dysfunction can lead to the cytosolic and extracellular exposure of mtDNA, which triggers inflammation in a number of diseases including autoimmune neurodegenerative disorders. However, recent research has revealed that the extra-mitochondrial exposure of mtDNA is not solely a negative consequence of mitochondrial damage and pointed to an active role of mitochondria in innate immunity. Metabolic cues including nucleotide imbalance can stimulate the release of mtDNA from mitochondria in order to drive a type I interferon response. Moreover, important effectors of the innate immune response to pathogen infection, such as the mitochondrial antiviral signalling protein (MAVS), are located at the mitochondrial surface and modulated by the cellular metabolic status and mitochondrial dynamics. In this review, we explore how and why metabolism and innate immunity converge at the mitochondria and describe how mitochondria orchestrate innate immune signalling pathways in different metabolic scenarios. Understanding how cellular metabolism and metabolic programming of mitochondria are translated into innate immune responses bears relevance to a broad range of human diseases including cancer.
    Keywords:  CGAS; MAVS; STING; innate immunity; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA
  4. Pharmacol Res. 2021 Aug 05. pii: S1043-6618(21)00386-8. [Epub ahead of print]172 105802
      Heart failure (HF) is still the leading cause of death worldwide, occurring with a variety of complex mechanisms. However, most intervention for HF do not directly target the pathological mechanisms underlying cell damage in failing cardiomyocytes. Mitochondria are involved in many physiological processes, which is an important guarantee for normal heart function. Mitochondrial dysfunction is considered to be the critical node of the development of HF. Strict modulation of the mitochondrial function can ameliorate the myocardial injury and protect cardiac function. Acetylation plays an important role in mitochondrial protein homeostasis, and SIRT3, the most important deacetylation protein in mitochondria, is involved in the maintenance of mitochondrial function. SIRT3 can delay the progression of HF by improving mitochondrial function. Herein we summarize the interaction between SIRT3 and proteins related to mitochondrial function including oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), fatty acid oxidation (FAO), mitochondrial biosynthesis, mitochondrial quality control. In addition, we also sum up the effects of this interaction on HF and the research progress of treatments targeting SIRT3, so as to find potential HF therapeutic for clinical use in the future.
    Keywords:  Deacetylation; Heart failure; Mitochondria; SIRT3
  5. Mitochondrion. 2021 Aug 04. pii: S1567-7249(21)00102-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Current knowledge of mitochondrial biology and function has provided with tools and technologies that helped a better understanding of the molecular etiology of complex mitochondrial disorders. Dual genetic control of this subcellular organelle function regulates various signaling mechanisms which are essential for metabolism, bioenergetics, fatty acid biosynthesis, and DNA replication & repair. Understanding nuclear mitochondrial crosstalk through advanced genomics as well as clinical perspectives is the overall basis of mitochondrial research and medicine, also the sole objective of Society for Mitochondrial Medicine and Research (SMRM) - India. The eighth virtual international conference on 'Advances in Mitochondrial Medicine and Translational Research' was organized at the Manipal School of Life Sciences, MAHE, Manipal, India, during 6 - 7 November 2020. The aim of the virtual conference was to highlight the recent advances and future perspectives that represent comprehensive clinical and fundamental research interests in the area of mitochondrial biology of human diseases. To systematically present the various findings in mitochondrial biology, the meeting was themed with specific aspects comprising (a) mitochondrial disorders: clinical & genomic perspectives, (b) mitochondria in cancer, (c) mitochondrial metabolism & disorders, and (d) mitochondrial diseases & therapy. This report provides an overview of the recent advancements in the area of mitochondrial biology and medicine that was discussed at the conference.
    Keywords:  Anterograde and retrograde signaling; Cancer and mitochondria; Mitochondrial disorders; Mitochondrial metabolism; Therapeutics and mitochondria; miRNAs and mitochondria
  6. Nat Commun. 2021 08 12. 12(1): 4900
      Skeletal muscle subsarcolemmal mitochondria (SSM) and intermyofibrillar mitochondria subpopulations have distinct metabolic activity and sensitivity, though the mechanisms that localize SSM to peripheral areas of muscle fibers are poorly understood. A protein interaction study and complexome profiling identifies PERM1 interacts with the MICOS-MIB complex. Ablation of Perm1 in mice reduces muscle force, decreases mitochondrial membrane potential and complex I activity, and reduces the numbers of SSM in skeletal muscle. We demonstrate PERM1 interacts with the intracellular adaptor protein ankyrin B (ANKB) that connects the cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane. Moreover, we identify a C-terminal transmembrane helix that anchors PERM1 into the outer mitochondrial membrane. We conclude PERM1 functions in the MICOS-MIB complex and acts as an adapter to connect the mitochondria with the sarcolemma via ANKB.
  7. J Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Oct;pii: S1347-8613(21)00070-0. [Epub ahead of print]147(2): 200-207
      Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is caused by mitochondrial DNA mutations and is the most common inherited mitochondrial disease. It is responsible for central vision loss in young adulthood. However, the precise mechanisms of onset are unknown. This study aimed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying LHON pathology and to discover new therapeutic agents. First, we assessed whether rotenone, a mitochondrial complex Ⅰ inhibitor, induced retinal degeneration such as that in LHON in a mouse model. Rotenone decreased the thickness of the inner retina and increased the expression levels of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and immunoglobulin heavy-chain binding protein (BiP). Second, we assessed whether rotenone reproduces LHON pathologies on RGC-5, a neural progenitor cell derived from the retina. Rotenone increased the cell death rate, ROS production and the expression levels of ER stress markers. During chemical compounds screening, we used anti-oxidative compounds, ER stress inhibitors and anti-inflammatory compounds in a rotenone-induced in vitro model. We found that SUN N8075, an ER stress inhibitor, reduced mitochondrial ROS production and improved the mitochondrial membrane potential. Consequently, the ER stress response is strongly related to the pathologies of LHON, and ER stress inhibitors may have a protective effect against LHON.
    Keywords:  Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Leber hereditary optic neuropathy; Mitochondria; Retinal ganglion cells; Rotenone
  8. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 10. pii: S2211-1247(21)00939-6. [Epub ahead of print]36(6): 109509
      The brain's ability to process complex information relies on the constant supply of energy through aerobic respiration by mitochondria. Neurons contain three anatomically distinct compartments-the soma, dendrites, and projecting axons-which have different energetic and biochemical requirements, as well as different mitochondrial morphologies in cultured systems. In this study, we apply quantitative three-dimensional electron microscopy to map mitochondrial network morphology and complexity in the mouse brain. We examine somatic, dendritic, and axonal mitochondria in the dentate gyrus and cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) of the mouse hippocampus, two subregions with distinct principal cell types and functions. We also establish compartment-specific differences in mitochondrial morphology across these cell types between young and old mice, highlighting differences in age-related morphological recalibrations. Overall, these data define the nature of the neuronal mitochondrial network in the mouse hippocampus, providing a foundation to examine the role of mitochondrial morpho-function in the aging brain.
    Keywords:  3D reconstruction; SBF-SEM; aging; hippocampus; microscopy; mitochondria; morphology; morphometry; three-dimensional; topology
  9. J Nutr. 2021 Aug 12. pii: nxab211. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Adequate cellular thymidylate (dTMP) pools are essential for preservation of nuclear and mitochondrial genome stability. Previous studies have indicated that disruption in nuclear dTMP synthesis leads to increased uracil misincorporation into DNA, affecting genome stability. To date, the effects of impaired mitochondrial dTMP synthesis in nontransformed tissues have been understudied.OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine the effects of decreased serine hydroxymethyltransferase 2 (Shmt2) expression and dietary folate deficiency on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) integrity and mitochondrial function in mouse tissues.
    METHODS: Liver mtDNA content, and uracil content in liver mtDNA, were measured in Shmt2+/- and Shmt2+/+ mice weaned onto either a folate-sufficient control diet (2 mg/kg folic acid; C) or a modified diet lacking folic acid (0 mg/kg folic acid) for 7 wk. Shmt2+/- and Shmt2+/+ mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells were cultured in defined culture medium containing either 0 or 25 nM folate (6S-5-formyl-tetrahydrofolate, folinate) to assess proliferative capacity and mitochondrial function. Chi-square tests, linear mixed models, and 2-factor ANOVA with Tukey post hoc analyses were used to analyze data.
    RESULTS: Shmt2 +/- mice exhibited a 48%-67% reduction in SHMT2 protein concentrations in tissues. Interestingly, Shmt2+/- mice consuming the folate-sufficient C diet exhibited a 25% reduction in total folate in liver mitochondria. There was also a >20-fold increase in uracil in liver mtDNA in Shmt2+/- mice consuming the C diet, and dietary folate deficiency also increased uracil content in mouse liver mtDNA from both Shmt2+/+ and Shmt2+/- mice. Furthermore, decreased Shmt2 expression in MEF cells reduced cell proliferation, mitochondrial membrane potential, and oxygen consumption rate.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that Shmt2 heterozygosity and dietary folate deficiency impair mitochondrial dTMP synthesis in mice, as evidenced by the increased uracil in mtDNA. In addition, Shmt2 heterozygosity impairs mitochondrial function in MEF cells. These findings suggest that elevated uracil in mtDNA may impair mitochondrial function.
    Keywords:  SHMT2; folate; one-carbon metabolism; oxygen consumption rate; thymidylate; uracil
  10. PLoS Genet. 2021 Aug 12. 17(8): e1009731
      A healthy population of mitochondria, maintained by proper fission, fusion, and degradation, is critical for the long-term survival and function of neurons. Here, our discovery of mitophagy intermediates in fission-impaired Drosophila neurons brings new perspective into the relationship between mitochondrial fission and mitophagy. Neurons lacking either the ataxia disease gene Vps13D or the dynamin related protein Drp1 contain enlarged mitochondria that are engaged with autophagy machinery and also lack matrix components. Reporter assays combined with genetic studies imply that mitophagy both initiates and is completed in Drp1 impaired neurons, but fails to complete in Vps13D impaired neurons, which accumulate compromised mitochondria within stalled mito-phagophores. Our findings imply that in fission-defective neurons, mitophagy becomes induced, and that the lipid channel containing protein Vps13D has separable functions in mitochondrial fission and phagophore elongation.
  11. FASEB J. 2021 Sep;35(9): e21752
      Aging, obesity, and insulin resistance are associated with low levels of PGC1α and PGC1β coactivators and defective mitochondrial function. We studied mice deficient for PGC1α and PGC1β [double heterozygous (DH)] to investigate their combined pathogenic contribution. Contrary to our hypothesis, DH mice were leaner, had increased energy dissipation, a pro-thermogenic profile in BAT and WAT, and improved carbohydrate metabolism compared to wild types. WAT showed upregulation of mitochondriogenesis/oxphos machinery upon allelic compensation of PGC1α4 from the remaining allele. However, DH mice had decreased mitochondrial OXPHOS and biogenesis transcriptomes in mitochondria-rich organs. Despite being metabolically healthy, mitochondrial defects in DH mice impaired muscle fiber remodeling and caused qualitative changes in the hepatic lipidome. Our data evidence first the existence of organ-specific compensatory allostatic mechanisms are robust enough to drive an unexpected phenotype. Second, optimization of adipose tissue bioenergetics is sufficient to maintain a healthy metabolic phenotype despite a broad severe mitochondrial dysfunction in other relevant metabolic organs. Third, the decrease in PGC1s in adipose tissue of obese and diabetic patients is in contrast with the robustness of the compensatory upregulation in the adipose of the DH mice.
    Keywords:  PGC-1alpha; adipose tissue; hepatic lipidome; lipotoxicity; mitochondrial dysfunction
  12. Cell. 2021 Aug 03. pii: S0092-8674(21)00880-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Emerging evidence supports that mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathogenesis. Here we show that programmed mitochondrial removal, a hallmark of mammalian erythropoiesis, is defective in SLE. Specifically, we demonstrate that during human erythroid cell maturation, a hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-mediated metabolic switch is responsible for the activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), which precedes and is necessary for the autophagic removal of mitochondria. A defect in this pathway leads to accumulation of red blood cells (RBCs) carrying mitochondria (Mito+ RBCs) in SLE patients and in correlation with disease activity. Antibody-mediated internalization of Mito+ RBCs induces type I interferon (IFN) production through activation of cGAS in macrophages. Accordingly, SLE patients carrying both Mito+ RBCs and opsonizing antibodies display the highest levels of blood IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) signatures, a distinctive feature of SLE.
    Keywords:  CANDLE syndrome; HIF2a; autoimmunity; cGAS; human erythropoiesis; interferon; mitochondrial DNA; mitophagy; proteasome; systemic lupus erythematosus
  13. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2021 Aug 09.
      Mutation of the gene Tafazzin (TAZ) causes Barth syndrome, an X-linked disorder characterized by cardiomyopathy, skeletal muscle weakness, and neutropenia. TAZ is an acyltransferase that catalyzes the remodeling of cardiolipin, the signature phospholipid of the inner mitochondrial membrane. Here we review the major model systems that have been established to study the role of cardiolipin remodeling in mitochondrial function and the pathogenesis of Barth syndrome. We summarize key features of each model and provide examples of how each has contributed to advance our understanding of TAZ function and Barth syndrome pathophysiology. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  14. J Exp Med. 2021 Oct 04. pii: e20201560. [Epub ahead of print]218(10):
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been suggested to drive immune system activation, but the induction of interferon signaling by mtDNA has not been demonstrated in a Mendelian mitochondrial disease. We initially ascertained two patients, one with a purely neurological phenotype and one with features suggestive of systemic sclerosis in a syndromic context, and found them both to demonstrate enhanced interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression in blood. We determined each to harbor a previously described de novo dominant-negative heterozygous mutation in ATAD3A, encoding ATPase family AAA domain-containing protein 3A (ATAD3A). We identified five further patients with mutations in ATAD3A and recorded up-regulated ISG expression and interferon α protein in four of them. Knockdown of ATAD3A in THP-1 cells resulted in increased interferon signaling, mediated by cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and stimulator of interferon genes (STING). Enhanced interferon signaling was abrogated in THP-1 cells and patient fibroblasts depleted of mtDNA. Thus, mutations in the mitochondrial membrane protein ATAD3A define a novel type I interferonopathy.
  15. Immunohorizons. 2021 Aug 10. 5(8): 615-626
      Microglia act as sensors of injury in the brain, favoring its homeostasis. Their activation and polarization toward a proinflammatory phenotype are associated with injury and disease. These processes are linked to a metabolic reprogramming of the cells, characterized by high rates of glycolysis and suppressed oxidative phosphorylation. This metabolic switch can be reproduced in vitro by microglial stimulation with LPS plus IFN-γ. To understand the mechanisms regulating mitochondrial respiration abolishment, we examined potential alterations in mitochondrial features during this switch using rat primary microglia. Cells did not show any change in mitochondrial membrane potential, suggesting a limited impact in the mitochondrial viability. We provide evidence that reverse operation of F0F1-ATP synthase contributes to mitochondrial membrane potential. In addition, we studied the possible implication of mitochondrial dynamics in the metabolic switch using the mitochondrial division inhibitor-1 (Mdivi-1), which blocks dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1)-dependent mitochondrial fission. Mdivi-1 significantly reduced the expression of proinflammatory markers in LPS plus IFN-γ-treated microglia. However, this inhibition did not lead to a recovery of the oxidative phosphorylation ablation by LPS plus IFN-γ or to a microglia repolarization. Altogether, these results suggest that Drp1-dependent mitochondrial fission, although potentially involved in microglial activation, does not play an essential role in metabolic reprogramming and repolarization of microglia.
  16. Adv Biol (Weinh). 2021 Aug 11. e2100663
      Mitochondria are the main suppliers of neuronal adenosine triphosphate and play a critical role in brain energy metabolism. Mitochondria also serve as Ca2+ sinks and anabolic factories and are therefore essential for neuronal function and survival. Dysregulation of neuronal bioenergetics is increasingly implicated in neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Parkinson's disease. This review describes the role of mitochondria in energy metabolism under resting conditions and during synaptic transmission, and presents evidence for the contribution of neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction to Parkinson's disease.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS; glycolysis; neurodegeneration; synaptic transmission
  17. Life Sci. 2021 Aug 10. pii: S0024-3205(21)00863-8. [Epub ahead of print] 119876
      Mitochondria are biosynthetic, bioenergetic, and signaling organelles which are critical for physiological adaptations and cellular stress responses to the environment. Various endogenous and environmental stress affects critical processes in mitochondrial homeostasis such as oxidative phosphorylation, biogenesis, mitochondrial redox system which leads to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals. The state of function of the mitochondrion is particularly dependent on the dynamic balance between mitochondrial biogenesis, fusion and fission, and degradation of damaged mitochondria by mitophagy. Increasing evidence has suggested a prominent role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the onset and progression of various lung pathologies, ranging from acute to chronic disorders. In this comprehensive review, we discuss the emerging findings of multifaceted regulations of mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy in normal lung homeostasis as well as the prominence of mitochondrial dysfunction as a determining factor in different lung disorders such as lung cancer, COPD, IPF, ALI/ARDS, BPD, and asthma. The review will contribute to the existing understanding of critical molecular machinery regulating mitochondrial dynamic state during these pathological states. Furthermore, we have also highlighted various molecular checkpoints involved in mitochondrial dynamics, which may serve as hopeful therapeutic targets for the development of potential therapies for these lung disorders.
    Keywords:  Lung disorders; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitochondrial fission; Mitochondrial fusion; Mitophagy
  18. Mitochondrion. 2021 Aug 07. pii: S1567-7249(21)00106-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      ATP11p and ATP12p are two nuclear-encoded mitochondrial chaperone proteins required for assembling the F1Fo-ATP synthase F1 sector. ATPAF1 and ATPAF2 are the mammalian homologs of ATP11p and ATP12p. However, the biochemical and physiological relevance of ATPAF1 and ATPAF2 in animal tissues with high energy-dependence remains unclear. To explore the in vivo role of ATP assembly and the effects of ATP synthase deficiency in animals, we have generated knockout (KO) mouse models of these assembly factors using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. While the Atpaf2-KO mice were embryonically lethal, Atpaf1-KO mice grew to adulthood but with smaller body sizes and elevated blood lactate later in life. We specifically investigated how ATPAF1 deficiency may affect ATP synthase biogenesis and mitochondrial respiration in the mouse heart, an organ highly energy-dependent. Western blots and Blue-Native electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) demonstrated a decreased F1 content and ATP synthase dimers in the Atpaf1-KO heart. Mitochondria from ATPAF1-deficient hearts showed ultrastructural abnormalities with condensed degenerated mitochondria, loss of cristae, and impaired respiratory capacity. ATP synthase deficiency also leads to impaired autophagy and mitochondrial dynamic. Consequently, decreased cardiac function was exhibited in adult Atpaf1-KO mice. The results provide strong support that ATPAF1 is essential for ATP synthase assembly and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, thus playing a crucial role in maintaining cardiac structure and function in animals.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase assembly; mitochondria; mitochondrial dysfunction; oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS)
  19. Front Neurosci. 2021 ;15 705277
      Objectives: Mitofusin 2 and ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein 1 are two main mitochondrial dynamics-related proteins. Dysfunction of these two proteins leads to different subtypes of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A (CMT2A) and CMT2K. This study aims to report the pathological difference between CMT2A and CMT2K in a large cohort.Methods: Thirty patients with molecularly confirmed CMT2A and nine with CMT2K were identified by next-generation sequencing. Sural nerve biopsies were performed in 29 patients.
    Results: The patients with both diseases showed length-dependent neuropathy with distal weakness, sensory loss, and no deep tendon reflex. Optic neuropathy appeared in 3/30 (10%) patients with CMT2A. Tendon contracture appeared in 4/9 (50.0%) patients with CMT2K. Sural biopsy revealed the loss of both myelinated and unmyelinated nerve fibers. Closely packed, irregularly oriented neurofilaments were observed in axons of unmyelinated nerve fibers in both diseases. Another important finding was the ubiquitous presence of smaller, rounded, and fragmented mitochondria in CMT2A and elongated mitochondria in CMT2K in the myelinated and unmyelinated axons.
    Conclusion: This study confirmed large diversity in phenotypes between CMT2A and CMT2K. Mitochondrial dynamics-related variations can induce different mitochondrial morphological changes and neurofilament accumulation in axons.
    Keywords:  Charcot–Marie–Tooth Disease; GDAP1; MFN2; mitochondrial dynamics; sural biopsy
  20. Nat Commun. 2021 08 10. 12(1): 4835
      F-ATP synthase is a leading candidate as the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP) but the mechanism(s) leading to channel formation remain undefined. Here, to shed light on the structural requirements for PTP formation, we test cells ablated for g, OSCP and b subunits, and ρ0 cells lacking subunits a and A6L. Δg cells (that also lack subunit e) do not show PTP channel opening in intact cells or patch-clamped mitoplasts unless atractylate is added. Δb and ΔOSCP cells display currents insensitive to cyclosporin A but inhibited by bongkrekate, suggesting that the adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT) can contribute to channel formation in the absence of an assembled F-ATP synthase. Mitoplasts from ρ0 mitochondria display PTP currents indistinguishable from their wild-type counterparts. In this work, we show that peripheral stalk subunits are essential to turn the F-ATP synthase into the PTP and that the ANT provides mitochondria with a distinct permeability pathway.
  21. Genome Med. 2021 Aug 09. 13(1): 126
      BACKGROUND: Screening for short tandem repeat (STR) expansions in next-generation sequencing data can enable diagnosis, optimal clinical management/treatment, and accurate genetic counseling of patients with repeat expansion disorders. We aimed to develop an efficient computational workflow for reliable detection of STR expansions in next-generation sequencing data and demonstrate its clinical utility.METHODS: We characterized the performance of eight STR analysis methods (lobSTR, HipSTR, RepeatSeq, ExpansionHunter, TREDPARSE, GangSTR, STRetch, and exSTRa) on next-generation sequencing datasets of samples with known disease-causing full-mutation STR expansions and genomes simulated to harbor repeat expansions at selected loci and optimized their sensitivity. We then used a machine learning decision tree classifier to identify an optimal combination of methods for full-mutation detection. In Burrows-Wheeler Aligner (BWA)-aligned genomes, the ensemble approach of using ExpansionHunter, STRetch, and exSTRa performed the best (precision = 82%, recall = 100%, F1-score = 90%). We applied this pipeline to screen 301 families of children with suspected genetic disorders.
    RESULTS: We identified 10 individuals with full-mutations in the AR, ATXN1, ATXN8, DMPK, FXN, or HTT disease STR locus in the analyzed families. Additional candidates identified in our analysis include two probands with borderline ATXN2 expansions between the established repeat size range for reduced-penetrance and full-penetrance full-mutation and seven individuals with FMR1 CGG repeats in the intermediate/premutation repeat size range. In 67 probands with a prior negative clinical PCR test for the FMR1, FXN, or DMPK disease STR locus, or the spinocerebellar ataxia disease STR panel, our pipeline did not falsely identify aberrant expansion. We performed clinical PCR tests on seven (out of 10) full-mutation samples identified by our pipeline and confirmed the expansion status in all, showing absolute concordance between our bioinformatics and molecular findings.
    CONCLUSIONS: We have successfully demonstrated the application of a well-optimized bioinformatics pipeline that promotes the utility of genome-wide sequencing as a first-tier screening test to detect expansions of known disease STRs. Interrogating clinical next-generation sequencing data for pathogenic STR expansions using our ensemble pipeline can improve diagnostic yield and enhance clinical outcomes for patients with repeat expansion disorders.
    Keywords:  Clinical bioinformatics; Machine learning; Next-generation sequencing; Repeat expansion; Short tandem repeats
  22. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2021 Aug 11.
      Barth syndrome is an X-linked disorder characterized by cardiomyopathy, skeletal myopathy and neutropenia, caused by deleterious variants in TAFAZZIN. This gene encodes a phospholipid-lysophospholipid transacylase that is required for the remodeling of the mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin (CL). Biochemically, individuals with Barth syndrome have a deficiency of mature CL and accumulation of the remodeling intermediate monolysocardiolipin (MLCL). Diagnosis typically relies on mass spectrometric measurement of CL and MLCL in cells or tissues, and we previously described a method in blood spot that uses a specific MLCL/CL ratio as diagnostic biomarker. Here, we describe the evolution of our blood spot assay that is based on the implementation of reversed phase-UHPLC separation followed by full scan high resolution mass spectrometry. In addition to the MLCL/CL ratio, our improved method also generates a complete CL spectrum allowing the interrogation of the CL fatty acid composition, which considerably enhances the diagnostic reliability. This addition negates the need for a confirmatory test in lymphocytes thereby providing a shorter turn-around-time while achieving a more certain test result. As one of the few laboratories that offer this assay we also evaluated the diagnostic yield and performance from 2006-2021 encompassing the use of both the original and improved assay. In this period we performed 796 diagnostic analyses of which 117 (15%) were characteristic of Barth syndrome. In total we diagnosed 93 unique individuals with Barth syndrome, including three females, which together amounts to about 40% of all reported individuals with Barth syndrome in the world. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Barth Syndrome; Biomarkers; Cardiolipins; Dried Blood Spot Testing; Inborn errors of metabolism; Mass spectrometry
  23. iScience. 2021 Aug 20. 24(8): 102869
      Distinct sub-assemblies (modules) of mitochondrial complex I (CI) are assembled with the assistance of CI Assembly Factors (CIAFs) through mechanisms that are incompletely defined. Here, using genetic analyses in Drosophila, we report that when either of the CIAFs - NDUFAF3 or NDUFAF4 - is disrupted, biogenesis of the Q-, N-, and PP-b-modules of CI is impaired. This is due, at least in part, to the compromised integration of NDUFS3 and NDUFS5 into the Q-, and PP-b-modules, respectively, coupled with a destabilization of another CIAF, TIMMDC1, in assembly intermediates. Notably, forced expression of NDUFAF4 rescues the biogenesis defects in the Q-module and some aspects of the defects in the PP-b-module of CI when NDUFAF3 is disrupted. Altogether, our studies furnish new fundamental insights into the mechanism by which NDUFAF3 and NDUFAF4 regulate CI assembly and raises the possibility that certain point mutations in NDUFAF3 may be rescued by overexpression of NDUFAF4.
    Keywords:  metabolic engineering; molecular genetics; molecular mechanism of gene regulation
  24. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. 2021 Aug 09. pii: S0005-2736(21)00173-5. [Epub ahead of print] 183725
      Certain amphiphilic copolymers form lipid-bilayer nanodiscs from artificial and natural membranes, thereby rendering incorporated membrane proteins optimal for structural analysis. Recent studies have shown that the amphiphilicity of a copolymer strongly determines its solubilization efficiency. This is especially true for highly negatively charged membranes, which experience pronounced Coulombic repulsion with polyanionic polymers. Here, we present a systematic study on the solubilization of artificial multicomponent lipid vesicles that mimic inner mitochondrial membranes, which harbor essential membrane-protein complexes. In particular, we compared the lipid-solubilization efficiencies of established anionic with less densely charged or zwitterionic and even cationic copolymers in low- and high-salt concentrations. The nanodiscs formed under these conditions were characterized by dynamic light scattering and negative-stain electron microscopy, pointing to a bimodal distribution of nanodisc diameters with a considerable fraction of nanodiscs engaging in side-by-side interactions through their polymer rims. Overall, our results show that some recent, zwitterionic copolymers are best suited to solubilize negatively charged membranes at high ionic strengths even at low polymer/lipid ratios.
    Keywords:  DIBMA; Inner mitochondrial vesicles; Polymer nanodiscs; SMA; Transmission electron microscopy
  25. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Aug 13. pii: ddab228. [Epub ahead of print]
      Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) is a commonly inherited, non-fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects sensory and motor neurons in patients. More than 90 genes are known to cause axonal and demyelinating forms of CMT. The p.R158H mutation in the pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 3 (PDK3) gene is the genetic cause for an X linked form of axonal CMT (CMTX6). In vitro studies using patient fibroblasts and iPSC-derived motor neurons have shown that this mutation causes deficits in energy metabolism and mitochondrial function. Animal models that recapitulate pathogenic in vivo events in patients are crucial for investigating mechanisms of axonal degeneration and developing therapies for CMT. We have developed a C. elegans model of CMTX6 by knocking-in the p.R158H mutation in pdhk-2, the ortholog of PDK3. In addition, we have developed animal models overexpressing the wild type and mutant form of human PDK3 specifically in the GABAergic motor neurons of C. elegans. CMTX6 mutants generated in this study exhibit synaptic transmission deficits, locomotion defects and show signs of progressive neurodegeneration. Furthermore, the CMTX6 in vivo models display energy deficits that recapitulate the phenotype observed in patient fibroblasts and iPSC-derived motor neurons. Our CMTX6 animals represent the first in vivo model for this form of CMT and have provided novel insights into the cellular function and metabolic pathways perturbed by the p.R158H mutation, all the while closely replicating the clinical presentation observed in CMTX6 patients.
  26. Ir J Med Sci. 2021 Aug 10.
      BACKGROUND: Mutations in NARS2 (MIM: 612803) are associated with combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency 24 (COXPD24; MIM: 616239) that is a rare mitochondrial and a multisystem autosomal recessive disorder.AIMS: We aimed to detect the underlying genetic factors in two siblings with progressive ataxia, epilepsy, and severe-to-profound hearing impairment.
    METHODS: After doing medical assessments and pertinent tests (i.e., auditory brainstem responses, pure tone otoacoustic emission test, cardiac examinations, computed tomography, and electroencephalogram), because of the clinical and probable genetic heterogeneity, whole-exome sequencing was performed, and co-segregation analysis was confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Biological impacts of the novel variant were evaluated using sequence-to-function bioinformatics tools.
    RESULTS: A novel homozygous missense variant, NM_024678.6:c.545 T > A; p.(Ile182Lys), in exon 5 of NARS2 was identified in both patients and verified by Sanger sequencing. In silico analyses introduced this variant as pathogenic. Mitral valve prolapses with mild regurgitation, brachymetatarsia, severe hallux valgus, and clubbed fingers were reported as novel manifestations in association with NARS2 gene. By doing a literature review, we also underscored the high heterogeneity of disease phenotype.
    CONCLUSIONS: Herein, we report some novel phenotype and genotype features of two female patients in an Iranian consanguineous family with COXPD24, caused by a variant in NARS2-NM_024678.6: c.545 T > A; p.(Ile182Lys). Moreover, our data expanded the phenotype and genotype spectrum of NARS2-related disorder and confirmed an unpredictable nature of genotype-phenotype correlation in COXPD24.
    Keywords:  Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases; Ataxia; Brachymetatarsia; COXPD24; NARS2; Whole-exome sequencing
  27. Elife. 2021 Aug 12. pii: e70619. [Epub ahead of print]10
      N1-methylation of G37 is required for a subset of tRNAs to maintain the translational reading-frame. While loss of m1G37 increases ribosomal +1 frameshifting, whether it incurs additional translational defects is unknown. Here we address this question by applying ribosome profiling to gain a genome-wide view of the effects of m1G37 deficiency on protein synthesis. Using E. coli as a model, we show that m1G37 deficiency induces ribosome stalling at codons that are normally translated by m1G37-containing tRNAs. Stalling occurs during decoding of affected codons at the ribosomal A site, indicating a distinct mechanism than that of +1 frameshifting, which occurs after the affected codons leave the A site. Enzyme- and cell-based assays show that m1G37 deficiency reduces tRNA aminoacylation and in some cases peptide-bond formation. We observe changes of gene expression in m1G37 deficiency similar to those in the stringent response that is typically induced by deficiency of amino acids. This work demonstrates a previously unrecognized function of m1G37 that emphasizes its role throughout the entire elongation cycle of protein synthesis, providing new insight into its essentiality for bacterial growth and survival.
    Keywords:  E. coli; infectious disease; microbiology
  28. Autophagy. 2021 Aug 12. 1-17
      Lipid accumulation often leads to lipotoxic injuries to hepatocytes, which can cause nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. The association of inflammation with lipid accumulation in liver tissue has been studied for decades; however, key mechanisms have been identified only recently. In particular, it is still unknown how hepatic inflammation regulates lipid metabolism in hepatocytes. Herein, we found that PA treatment or direct stimulation of STING1 promoted, whereas STING1 deficiency impaired, MTORC1 activation, suggesting that STING1 is involved in PA-induced MTORC1 activation. Mechanistic studies revealed that STING1 interacted with several components of the MTORC1 complex and played an important role in the complex formation of MTORC1 under PA treatment. The involvement of STING1 in MTORC1 activation was dependent on SQSTM1, a key regulator of the MTORC1 pathway. In SQSTM1-deficient cells, the interaction of STING1 with the components of MTORC1 was weak. Furthermore, the impaired activity of MTORC1 via rapamycin treatment or STING1 deficiency decreased the numbers of LDs in cells. PA treatment inhibited lipophagy, which was not observed in STING1-deficient cells or rapamycin-treated cells. Restoration of MTORC1 activity via treatment with amino acids blocked lipophagy and LDs degradation. Finally, increased MTORC1 activation concomitant with STING1 activation was observed in liver tissues of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients, which provided clinical evidence for the involvement of STING1 in MTORC1 activation. In summary, we identified a novel regulatory loop of STING1-MTORC1 and explain how hepatic inflammation regulates lipid accumulation. Our findings may facilitate the development of new strategies for clinical treatment of hepatic steatosis.Abbreviations: AA: amino acid; ACTB: actin beta; cGAMP: cyclic GMP-AMP; CGAS: cyclic GMP-AMP synthase; DEPTOR: DEP domain containing MTOR interacting protein; EIF4EBP1: eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein 1; FFAs: free fatty acids; GFP: green fluorescent protein; HFD: high-fat diet; HT-DNA: herring testis DNA; IL1B: interleukin 1 beta; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; LDs: lipid droplets; MAP1LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MAP1LC3B: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MEFs: mouse embryonic fibroblasts; MLST8: MTOR associated protein, LST8 homolog; MT-ND1: mitochondrially encoded NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductase core subunit 1; mtDNA: mitochondrial DNA; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; MTORC1: MTOR complex 1; NAFL: nonalcoholic fatty liver; NAFLD: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; NASH: nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; NPCs: non-parenchymal cells; PA: palmitic acid; PLIN2: perilipin 2; RD: regular diet; RELA: RELA proto-oncogene, NF-kB subunit; RPS6: ribosomal protein S6; RPS6KB1: ribosomal protein S6 kinase B1; RPTOR: regulatory associated protein of MTOR complex 1; RRAGA: Ras related GTP binding A; RRAGC: Ras related GTP binding C; SQSTM1: sequestosome 1; STING1: stimulator of interferon response cGAMP interactor 1; TBK1: TANK binding kinase 1; TGs: triglycerides; TREX1: three prime repair exonuclease 1.
    Keywords:  Lipophagy; MTORC1; NAFLD; STING1; TBK1
  29. Mitochondrion. 2021 Aug 09. pii: S1567-7249(21)00109-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      The size and morphology of mitochondria are very heterogeneous and correlates well with their healthy functioning. In many pathological conditions, mitochondrial morphology is altered due to impaired mitochondrial dynamics (a collective term for mitochondrial fusion and fission) and dysfunction. The current study aimed at identifying the role of microRNA-128 (miR-128) in regulating mitochondrial biogenesis. Previously, peroxisome proliferator activator receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC1α) has been shown to co-activate key intermediates of mitochondrial biogenesis, function, and dynamics; however, the upstream regulatory network remains largely unknown. We, herein using in silico analysis followed by in vitro experiments in C2C12 myoblasts, showed that miR-128 reduces mitochondrial biogenesis by directly targeting PGC1α. The expression of downstream genes, nuclear respiratory factors 1 and 2 (NRF1 and NRF2, respectively), and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) were decreased in C2C12 myoblasts upon overexpression of miR-128. Also, miR-128 is shown to promote mitochondrial dysfunction by directly targeting NADH Dehydrogenase (Ubiquinone) Fe-S Protein 4 (NDUFS4). The mitochondrial dynamics and morphology were impaired post miR-128 overexpression, as revealed by downregulation of fusion proteins (mitofusin1 and 2, i.e., MFN1 and MFN2, respectively) and upregulation of fission protein (dynamin-related protein 1, i.e., DRP1). Conversely, inhibition of miR-128 expression improved mitochondrial biogenesis, function, and dynamics, as evidenced by increased mitochondrial mass and ATP production after antimiR-128 treatment. Our findings reveal that inhibition of miR-128 can be a new potential target for reversing the effects of metabolic disorders of skeletal muscle as observed during many pathophysiological conditions such as obesity and type II diabetes.
    Keywords:  MiR-128; NDUFS4; PGC1α; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial dysfunction
  30. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 10. pii: S2211-1247(21)00942-6. [Epub ahead of print]36(6): 109512
      Actinins are strain-sensing actin cross-linkers that are ubiquitously expressed and harbor mutations in human diseases. We utilize CRISPR, pluripotent stem cells, and BioID to study actinin interactomes in human cardiomyocytes. We identify 324 actinin proximity partners, including those that are dependent on sarcomere assembly. We confirm 19 known interactors and identify a network of RNA-binding proteins, including those with RNA localization functions. In vivo and biochemical interaction studies support that IGF2BP2 localizes electron transport chain transcripts to actinin neighborhoods through interactions between its K homology (KH) domain and actinin's rod domain. We combine alanine scanning mutagenesis and metabolic assays to disrupt and functionally interrogate actinin-IGF2BP2 interactions, which reveal an essential role in metabolic responses to pathological sarcomere activation using a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy model. This study expands our functional knowledge of actinin, uncovers sarcomere interaction partners, and reveals sarcomere crosstalk with IGF2BP2 for metabolic adaptation relevant to human disease.
    Keywords:  BioID; IGF2BP2; RNA-binding proteins; Z-disc; actinin; mRNA localization; oxidative phosphorylation; protein-protein interactions; quantitative proteomics; sarcomere