bims-mitdis Biomed News
on Mitochondrial disorders
Issue of 2022‒03‒27
seventy papers selected by
Catalina Vasilescu
University of Helsinki

  1. HGG Adv. 2022 Apr 14. 3(2): 100097
      Mitochondrial disorders are clinically and genetically heterogeneous, with variants in mitochondrial or nuclear genes leading to varied clinical phenotypes. TAMM41 encodes a mitochondrial protein with cytidine diphosphate-diacylglycerol synthase activity: an essential early step in the biosynthesis of phosphatidylglycerol and cardiolipin. Cardiolipin is a mitochondria-specific phospholipid that is important for many mitochondrial processes. We report three unrelated individuals with mitochondrial disease that share clinical features, including lethargy at birth, hypotonia, developmental delay, myopathy, and ptosis. Whole exome and genome sequencing identified compound heterozygous variants in TAMM41 in each proband. Western blot analysis in fibroblasts showed a mild oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) defect in only one of the three affected individuals. In skeletal muscle samples, however, there was severe loss of subunits of complexes I-IV and a decrease in fully assembled OXPHOS complexes I-V in two subjects as well as decreased TAMM41 protein levels. Similar to the tissue-specific observations on OXPHOS, cardiolipin levels were unchanged in subject fibroblasts but significantly decreased in the skeletal muscle of affected individuals. To assess the functional impact of the TAMM41 missense variants, the equivalent mutations were modeled in yeast. All three mutants failed to rescue the growth defect of the Δtam41 strains on non-fermentable (respiratory) medium compared with wild-type TAM41, confirming the pathogenicity of the variants. We establish that TAMM41 is an additional gene involved in mitochondrial phospholipid biosynthesis and modification and that its deficiency results in a mitochondrial disorder, though unlike families with pathogenic AGK (Sengers syndrome) and TAFAZZIN (Barth syndrome) variants, there was no evidence of cardiomyopathy.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS defect; WES/WGS; cardiolipin; mitochondria; mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial phospholipid
  2. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 20. pii: 3353. [Epub ahead of print]23(6):
      Human mitochondrial disorders impact tissues with high energetic demands and can be associated with cardiac muscle disease (cardiomyopathy) and early mortality. However, the mechanistic link between mitochondrial disease and the development of cardiomyopathy is frequently unclear. In addition, there is often marked phenotypic heterogeneity between patients, even between those with the same genetic variant, which is also not well understood. Several of the mitochondrial cardiomyopathies are related to defects in the maintenance of mitochondrial protein homeostasis, or proteostasis. This essential process involves the importing, sorting, folding and degradation of preproteins into fully functional mature structures inside mitochondria. Disrupted mitochondrial proteostasis interferes with mitochondrial energetics and ATP production, which can directly impact cardiac function. An inability to maintain proteostasis can result in mitochondrial dysfunction and subsequent mitophagy or even apoptosis. We review the known mitochondrial diseases that have been associated with cardiomyopathy and which arise from mutations in genes that are important for mitochondrial proteostasis. Genes discussed include DnaJ heat shock protein family member C19 (DNAJC19), mitochondrial import inner membrane translocase subunit TIM16 (MAGMAS), translocase of the inner mitochondrial membrane 50 (TIMM50), mitochondrial intermediate peptidase (MIPEP), X-prolyl-aminopeptidase 3 (XPNPEP3), HtraA serine peptidase 2 (HTRA2), caseinolytic mitochondrial peptidase chaperone subunit B (CLPB) and heat shock 60-kD protein 1 (HSPD1). The identification and description of disorders with a shared mechanism of disease may provide further insights into the disease process and assist with the identification of potential therapeutics.
    Keywords:  cardiomyopathy; integrated stress response; mitochondria; protein homeostasis; protein import; unfolded protein response
  3. Life (Basel). 2022 Mar 10. pii: 401. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      The ATP synthase is a mitochondrial inner membrane complex whose function is essential for cell bioenergy, being responsible for the conversion of ADP into ATP and playing a role in mitochondrial cristae morphology organization. The enzyme is composed of 18 protein subunits, 16 nuclear DNA (nDNA) encoded and two mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encoded, organized in two domains, FO and F1. Pathogenetic variants in genes encoding structural subunits or assembly factors are responsible for fatal human diseases. Emerging evidence also underlines the role of ATP-synthase in neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and motor neuron diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Post-translational modification, epigenetic modulation of ATP gene expression and protein level, and the mechanism of mitochondrial transition pore have been deemed responsible for neuronal cell death in vivo and in vitro models for neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we will explore ATP synthase assembly and function in physiological and pathological conditions by referring to the recent cryo-EM studies and by exploring human disease models.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; cell death; mitochondria; neurodegenerative diseases
  4. Cells. 2022 Mar 12. pii: 974. [Epub ahead of print]11(6):
      Endonuclease G (ENDOG) is a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial-localized nuclease. Although its precise biological function remains unclear, its proximity to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) makes it an excellent candidate to participate in mtDNA replication, metabolism and maintenance. Indeed, several roles for ENDOG have been hypothesized, including maturation of RNA primers during mtDNA replication, splicing of polycistronic transcripts and mtDNA repair. To date, ENDOG has been deemed as a determinant of cardiac hypertrophy, but no pathogenic variants or genetically defined patients linked to this gene have been described. Here, we report biallelic ENDOG variants identified by NGS in a patient with progressive external ophthalmoplegia, mitochondrial myopathy and multiple mtDNA deletions in muscle. The absence of the ENDOG protein in the patient's muscle and fibroblasts indicates that the identified variants are pathogenic. The presence of multiple mtDNA deletions supports the role of ENDOG in mtDNA maintenance; moreover, the patient's clinical presentation is very similar to mitochondrial diseases caused by mutations in other genes involved in mtDNA homeostasis. Although the patient's fibroblasts did not present multiple mtDNA deletions or delay in the replication process, interestingly, we detected an accumulation of low-level heteroplasmy mtDNA point mutations compared with age-matched controls. This may indicate a possible role of ENDOG in mtDNA replication or repair. Our report provides evidence of the association of ENDOG variants with mitochondrial myopathy.
    Keywords:  ENDOG; endonuclease G; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial myopathy; multiple mtDNA deletions
  5. BMC Biol. 2022 Mar 21. 20(1): 68
      BACKGROUND: Functional complexity of the eukaryotic mitochondrial proteome is augmented by independent gene acquisition from bacteria since its endosymbiotic origins. Mammalian homologs of many ancestral mitochondrial proteins have uncharacterized catalytic activities. Recent forward genetic approaches attributed functions to proteins in established metabolic pathways, thereby limiting the possibility of identifying novel biology relevant to human disease. We undertook a bottom-up biochemistry approach to discern evolutionarily conserved mitochondrial proteins with catalytic potential.RESULTS: Here, we identify a Parkinson-associated DJ-1/PARK7-like protein-glutamine amidotransferase-like class 1 domain-containing 3A (GATD3A), with bacterial evolutionary affinities although not from alphaproteobacteria. We demonstrate that GATD3A localizes to the mitochondrial matrix and functions as a deglycase. Through its amidolysis domain, GATD3A removes non-enzymatic chemical modifications produced during the Maillard reaction between dicarbonyls and amines of nucleotides and amino acids. GATD3A interacts with factors involved in mitochondrial mRNA processing and translation, suggestive of a role in maintaining integrity of important biomolecules through its deglycase activity. The loss of GATD3A in mice is associated with accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and altered mitochondrial dynamics.
    CONCLUSIONS: An evolutionary perspective helped us prioritize a previously uncharacterized but predicted mitochondrial protein GATD3A, which mediates the removal of early glycation intermediates. GATD3A restricts the formation of AGEs in mitochondria and is a relevant target for diseases where AGE deposition is a pathological hallmark.
    Keywords:  Advanced glycation end product; Aging; DJ-1; Deglycase; Glutamine amidotransferase; Mitochondria; Molecular evolution; PARK7
  6. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Mar 29. 119(13): e2115566119
      SignificanceMitochondria are double-membraned eukaryotic organelles that house the proteins required for generation of ATP, the energy currency of cells. ATP generation within mitochondria is performed by five multisubunit complexes (complexes I to V), the assembly of which is an intricate process. Mutations in subunits of these complexes, or the suite of proteins that help them assemble, lead to a severe multisystem condition called mitochondrial disease. We show that SFXN4, a protein that causes mitochondrial disease when mutated, assists with the assembly of complex I. This finding explains why mutations in SFXN4 cause mitochondrial disease and is surprising because SFXN4 belongs to a family of amino acid transporter proteins, suggesting that it has undergone a dramatic shift in function through evolution.
    Keywords:  complex assembly; mitochondria; respiratory chain; sideroflexins
  7. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 24. 13(1): 1582
      Mitochondrial fission is critically important for controlling mitochondrial morphology, function, quality and transport. Drp1 is the master regulator driving mitochondrial fission, but exactly how Drp1 is regulated remains unclear. Here, we identified Drosophila Clueless and its mammalian orthologue CLUH as key regulators of Drp1. As with loss of drp1, depletion of clueless or CLUH results in mitochondrial elongation, while as with drp1 overexpression, clueless or CLUH overexpression leads to mitochondrial fragmentation. Importantly, drp1 overexpression rescues adult lethality, tissue disintegration and mitochondrial defects of clueless null mutants in Drosophila. Mechanistically, Clueless and CLUH promote recruitment of Drp1 to mitochondria from the cytosol. This involves CLUH binding to mRNAs encoding Drp1 receptors MiD49 and Mff, and regulation of their translation. Our findings identify a crucial role of Clueless and CLUH in controlling mitochondrial fission through regulation of Drp1.
  8. Cells. 2022 Mar 19. pii: 1049. [Epub ahead of print]11(6):
      Mitochondrial dynamics encompass mitochondrial fusion, fission, and movement. Mitochondrial fission and fusion are seemingly ubiquitous, whereas mitochondrial movement is especially important for organelle transport through neuronal axons. Here, we review the roles of different mitochondrial dynamic processes in mitochondrial quantity and quality control, emphasizing their impact on the neurological system in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Friedrich's ataxia, dominant optic atrophy, and Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases. In addition to mechanisms and concepts, we explore in detail different technical approaches for measuring mitochondrial dynamic dysfunction in vitro, describe how results from tissue culture studies may be applied to a better understanding of mitochondrial dysdynamism in human neurodegenerative diseases, and suggest how this experimental platform can be used to evaluate candidate therapeutics in different diseases or in individual patients sharing the same clinical diagnosis.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial dynamics; mitofusin; neurodegenerative diseases
  9. Mol Cell Biochem. 2022 Mar 25.
      The nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential redox cofactor, involved in various physiological and molecular processes, including energy metabolism, epigenetics, aging, and metabolic diseases. NAD+ repletion ameliorates muscular dystrophy and improves the mitochondrial and muscle stem cell function and thereby increase lifespan in mice. Accordingly, NAD+ is considered as an anti-oxidant and anti-aging molecule. NAD+ plays a central role in energy metabolism and the energy produced is used for movements, thermoregulation, and defense against foreign bodies. The dietary precursors of NAD+ synthesis is targeted to improve NAD+ biosynthesis; however, studies have revealed conflicting results regarding skeletal muscle-specific effects. Recent advances in the activation of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase in the NAD+ salvage pathway and supplementation of NAD+ precursors have led to beneficial effects in skeletal muscle pathophysiology and function during aging and associated metabolic diseases. NAD+ is also involved in the epigenetic regulation and post-translational modifications of proteins that are involved in various cellular processes to maintain tissue homeostasis. This review provides detailed insights into the roles of NAD+ along with molecular mechanisms during aging and disease conditions, such as the impacts of age-related NAD+ deficiencies on NAD+-dependent enzymes, including poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARPs), CD38, and sirtuins within skeletal muscle, and the most recent studies on the potential of nutritional supplementation and distinct modes of exercise to replenish the NAD+ pool.
    Keywords:  Aging; Diabetes; Epigenetics; Muscle diseases; NAD+; Redox
  10. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 ;9 843853
      Complement C1q binding protein (C1QBP, p32) is primarily localized in mitochondrial matrix and associated with mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylative function. C1QBP deficiency presents as a mitochondrial disorder involving multiple organ systems. Recently, disease associated C1QBP mutations have been identified in patients with a combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency taking an autosomal recessive inherited pattern. The clinical spectrum ranges from intrauterine growth restriction to childhood (cardio) myopathy and late-onset progressive external ophthalmoplegia. This review summarizes the physiological functions of C1QBP, its mutation-associated mitochondrial cardiomyopathy shown in the reported available patients and current experimental disease platforms modeling these conditions.
    Keywords:  C1QPB; combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency; disease models; mitochondrial cardiomyopathies; mutation; physiological functions
  11. Cells. 2022 Mar 21. pii: 1053. [Epub ahead of print]11(6):
      Mitochondrial fusion is essential to mitochondrial fitness and cellular health. Neurons of patients with genetic neurodegenerative diseases often exhibit mitochondrial fragmentation, reflecting an imbalance in mitochondrial fusion and fission (mitochondrial dysdynamism). Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease type 2A is the prototypical disorder of impaired mitochondrial fusion caused by mutations in the fusion protein mitofusin (MFN)2. Yet, cultured CMT2A patient fibroblast mitochondria are often reported as morphologically normal. Metabolic stress might evoke pathological mitochondrial phenotypes in cultured patient fibroblasts, providing a platform for the pre-clinical individualized evaluation of investigational therapeutics. Here, substitution of galactose for glucose in culture media was used to redirect CMT2A patient fibroblasts (MFN2 T105M, R274W, H361Y, R364W) from glycolytic metabolism to mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, which provoked characteristic mitochondrial fragmentation and depolarization and induced a distinct transcriptional signature. Pharmacological MFN activation of metabolically reprogrammed fibroblasts partially reversed the mitochondrial abnormalities in CMT2A and CMT1 and a subset of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease patients, implicating addressable mitochondrial dysdynamism in these illnesses.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial dynamics; mitofusin; neurodegenerative diseases
  12. J Neurosci Methods. 2022 Mar 20. pii: S0165-0270(22)00087-5. [Epub ahead of print]373 109560
      Mitochondrial calcium handling is a particularly active research area in the neuroscience field, as it plays key roles in the regulation of several functions of the central nervous system, such as synaptic transmission and plasticity, astrocyte calcium signaling, neuronal activity… In the last few decades, a panel of techniques have been developed to measure mitochondrial calcium dynamics, relying mostly on photonic microscopy, and including synthetic sensors, hybrid sensors and genetically encoded calcium sensors. The goal of this review is to endow the reader with a deep knowledge of the historical and latest tools to monitor mitochondrial calcium events in the brain, as well as a comprehensive overview of the current state of the art in brain mitochondrial calcium signaling. We will discuss the main calcium probes used in the field, their mitochondrial targeting strategies, their key properties and major drawbacks. In addition, we will detail the main roles of mitochondrial calcium handling in neuronal tissues through an extended report of the recent studies using mitochondrial targeted calcium sensors in neuronal and astroglial cells, in vitro and in vivo.
    Keywords:  Astrocytes; Genetically encoded calcium sensor; Glia; Live imaging; Mitochondria; Neurons; Synthetic calcium probes
  13. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 11. pii: 3025. [Epub ahead of print]23(6):
      Mitochondria are the sites of oxidative metabolism in eukaryotes where the metabolites of sugars, fats, and amino acids are oxidized to harvest energy. Notably, mitochondria store Ca2+ and work in synergy with organelles such as the endoplasmic reticulum and extracellular matrix to control the dynamic balance of Ca2+ concentration in cells. Mitochondria are the vital organelles in heart tissue. Mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis is particularly important for maintaining the physiological and pathological mechanisms of the heart. Mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis plays a key role in the regulation of cardiac energy metabolism, mechanisms of death, oxygen free radical production, and autophagy. The imbalance of mitochondrial Ca2+ balance is closely associated with cardiac remodeling. The mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (mtCU) protein complex is responsible for the uptake and release of mitochondrial Ca2+ and regulation of Ca2+ homeostasis in mitochondria and consequently, in cells. This review summarizes the mechanisms of mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis in physiological and pathological cardiac remodeling and the regulatory effects of the mitochondrial calcium regulatory complex on cardiac energy metabolism, cell death, and autophagy, and also provides the theoretical basis for mitochondrial Ca2+ as a novel target for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
    Keywords:  Ca2+ homeostasis; cardiac remodeling; cardiovascular diseases; mitochondria; mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter protein complex
  14. Hepatology. 2022 Mar 21.
      Sam50, a key component of the sorting and assembly machinery (SAM) complex, is also involved in bridging mitochondrial outer- and inner-membrane contacts. However, the physiological and pathological functions of Sam50 remain largely unknown. Here, we show that Sam50 interacts with MICOS and ATAD3 to form the Sam50-MICOS-ATAD3-mtDNA axis, which maintains mtDNA stability. Loss of Sam50 causes mtDNA aggregation. Furthermore, Sam50 cooperates with Mic60 to bind to cardiolipin, maintaining the integrity of mitochondrial membranes. Sam50 depletion leads to cardiolipin externalization, which causes mitochondrial outer- and inner-membrane (including crista membrane) remodeling, triggering Bax mitochondrial recruitment, mtDNA aggregation and release. Physiologically, acetaminophen (APAP, an effective antipyretic and analgesic)-caused Sam50 reduction or Sam50 liver-specific knockout induces mtDNA release, leading to activation of the cGAS-STING pathway and liver inflammation in mice. Moreover, exogenous expression of Sam50 remarkably attenuates APAP-induced liver hepatoxicity. Thus, our findings uncover the critical role of Sam50 in maintaining mitochondrial membrane integrity and mtDNA stability in hepatocytes, and reveal that Sam50 depletion-induced cardiolipin externalization is a new signal of mtDNA release and controls mtDNA-dependent innate immunity.
    Keywords:  Sam50; acetaminophen; cGAS-STING; cardiolipin; mtDNA release
  15. STAR Protoc. 2022 Jun 17. 3(2): 101262
      Mitochondria-lysosome contact sites are critical for maintaining cellular homeostasis by regulating mitochondrial and lysosomal network dynamics and mediating metabolite exchange. Here, we present a protocol to quantitatively analyze the formation and tethering duration of mitochondria-lysosome contact sites by using time-lapse live confocal microscopy of LAMP1 and TOMM20. Although this protocol focuses on mammalian HeLa cells, it can be applied to other cell types for further studies on mitochondria-lysosome contact regulation and function, and elucidation of their role in human disorders. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Wong et al. (2018) and Wong et al. (2019b).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell culture; Microscopy
  16. Function (Oxf). 2021 ;2(3): zqab012
      Mitochondria play a key role in cellular calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis. Dysfunction in the organelle Ca2+ handling appears to be involved in several pathological conditions, ranging from neurodegenerative diseases, cardiac failure and malignant transformation. In the past years, several targeted green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators (GECIs) have been developed to study Ca2+ dynamics inside mitochondria of living cells. Surprisingly, while there is a number of transgenic mice expressing different types of cytosolic GECIs, few examples are available expressing mitochondria-localized GECIs, and none of them exhibits adequate spatial resolution. Here we report the generation and characterization of a transgenic mouse line (hereafter called mt-Cam) for the controlled expression of a mitochondria-targeted, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based Cameleon, 4mtD3cpv. To achieve this goal, we engineered the mouse ROSA26 genomic locus by inserting the optimized sequence of 4mtD3cpv, preceded by a loxP-STOP-loxP sequence. The probe can be readily expressed in a tissue-specific manner upon Cre recombinase-mediated excision, obtainable with a single cross. Upon ubiquitous Cre expression, the Cameleon is specifically localized in the mitochondrial matrix of cells in all the organs and tissues analyzed, from embryos to aged animals. Ca2+ imaging experiments performed in vitro and ex vivo in brain slices confirmed the functionality of the probe in isolated cells and live tissues. This new transgenic mouse line allows the study of mitochondrial Ca2+ dynamics in different tissues with no invasive intervention (such as viral infection or electroporation), potentially allowing simple calibration of the fluorescent signals in terms of mitochondrial Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]).
    Keywords:  Cameleon; Cre/loxP; FRET; GECI; ROSA26; calcium imaging; mitochondria; mt-Cam; transgenic mouse
  17. iScience. 2022 Apr 15. 25(4): 103996
      Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a most common chronic liver disease that is manifested by steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, and tissue damage. Hepatocytes produce giant mitochondria termed megamitochondria in patients with NASH. It has been shown that gene knockout of OPA1, a mitochondrial dynamin-related GTPase that mediates mitochondrial fusion, prevents megamitochondria formation and liver damage in a NASH mouse model induced by a methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diet. However, it is unknown whether blocking mitochondrial fusion mitigates NASH pathologies. Here, we acutely depleted OPA1 using antisense oligonucleotides in the NASH mouse model before or after megamitochondria formation. When OPA1 ASOs were applied at the disease onset, they effectively prevented megamitochondria formation and liver pathologies in the MCD model. Notably, even when applied after mice robustly developed NASH pathologies, OPA1 targeting effectively regressed megamitochondria and the disease phenotypes. Thus, our data show the efficacy of mitochondrial dynamics as a unique therapy for megamitochondria-associated liver disease.
    Keywords:  Cell biology; Hepatology
  18. Healthcare (Basel). 2022 Mar 19. pii: 574. [Epub ahead of print]10(3):
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is considered to be a major cause of primary mitochondrial myopathy in children and adults, as reduced mitochondrial respiration and morphological changes such as ragged red fibers (RRFs) are observed in muscle biopsies. However, it is also possible to hypothesize the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in aging muscle or in secondary mitochondrial dysfunctions. The recognition of true histological patterns of mitochondrial myopathy can avoid unnecessary genetic investigations. The aim of our study was to develop and validate machine-learning methods for RRF detection in light microscopy images of skeletal muscle tissue. We used image sets of 489 color images captured from representative areas of Gomori's trichrome-stained tissue retrieved from light microscopy images at a 20× magnification. We compared the performance of random forest, gradient boosting machine, and support vector machine classifiers. Our results suggested that the advent of scanning technologies, combined with the development of machine-learning models for image classification, make neuromuscular disorders' automated diagnostic systems a concrete possibility.
    Keywords:  computer-aided diagnosis; image recognition; machine learning; muscle biopsy; ragged red fibers
  19. PLoS Biol. 2022 Mar;20(3): e3001576
      Mitochondria and the complex endomembrane system are hallmarks of eukaryotic cells. To date, it has been difficult to manipulate organelle structures within single live cells. We developed a FluidFM-based approach to extract, inject, and transplant organelles from and into living cells with subcellular spatial resolution. The technology combines atomic force microscopy, optical microscopy, and nanofluidics to achieve force and volume control with real-time inspection. We developed dedicated probes that allow minimally invasive entry into cells and optimized fluid flow to extract specific organelles. When extracting single or a defined number of mitochondria, their morphology transforms into a pearls-on-a-string phenotype due to locally applied fluidic forces. We show that the induced transition is calcium independent and results in isolated, intact mitochondria. Upon cell-to-cell transplantation, the transferred mitochondria fuse to the host cells mitochondrial network. Transplantation of healthy and drug-impaired mitochondria into primary keratinocytes allowed monitoring of mitochondrial subpopulation rescue. Fusion with the mitochondrial network of recipient cells occurred 20 minutes after transplantation and continued for over 16 hours. After transfer of mitochondria and cell propagation over generations, donor mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was replicated in recipient cells without the need for selection pressure. The approach opens new prospects for the study of organelle physiology and homeostasis, but also for therapy, mechanobiology, and synthetic biology.
  20. Free Radic Biol Med. 2022 Mar 19. pii: S0891-5849(22)00107-1. [Epub ahead of print]183 75-88
      Myocardial dysfunction is associated with an imbalance in mitochondrial fusion/fission dynamics in patients with diabetes. However, effective strategies to regulate mitochondrial dynamics in the diabetic heart are still lacking. Nicotinamide riboside (NR) supplementation ameliorated mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in both cardiovascular and aging-related diseases. This study investigated whether NR protects against diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction by regulating mitochondrial fusion/fission and further explored the underlying mechanisms. Here, we showed an evident decrease in NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) levels and mitochondrial fragmentation in the hearts of leptin receptor-deficient diabetic (db/db) mouse models. NR supplementation significantly increased NAD+ content in the diabetic hearts and promoted mitochondrial fusion by elevating Mfn2 level. Furthermore, NR-induced mitochondrial fusion suppressed mitochondrial H2O2 and O2•- production and reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis in both db/db mice hearts and neonatal primary cardiomyocytes. Mechanistically, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and luciferase reporter assay analyses revealed that PGC1α and PPARα interdependently regulated Mfn2 transcription by binding to its promoter region. NR treatment elevated NAD+ levels and activated SIRT1, resulting in the deacetylation of PGC1α and promoting the transcription of Mfn2. These findings suggested the promotion of mitochondrial fusion via oral supplementation of NR as a potential strategy for delaying cardiac complications in patients with diabetes.
    Keywords:  Diabetic cardiomyopathy; Mfn2; Mitochondrial dynamics; Nicotinamide riboside; Oxidative stress
  21. Genes (Basel). 2022 Mar 08. pii: 478. [Epub ahead of print]13(3):
      Optic atrophy 1 (MIM #165500) is caused by pathogenic variants in the gene OPA1 (OPA1 MITOCHONDRIAL DYNAMIN-LIKE GTPase, MIM *605290) and is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. We describe a 6-year-old male patient with severe early onset manifestation of optic atrophy, whose parents are subjectively asymptomatic. OPA1-sequence analysis revealed the heterozygous missense variant NM_015560.3:c.806C>T, p.(Ser269Phe) in the patient. Segregation analysis of the parents showed that the mother carried a low-grade postzygotic mosaic of this variant, which apparently also involves germline cells. In line with this, ophthalmological investigation of the mother showed subclinical manifestation of optic atrophy 1. This is the first report of an OPA1 postzygotic mosaic that was inherited to offspring.
    Keywords:  ADOA; OPA1; optic atrophy; postzygotic mosaic
  22. Cureus. 2022 Feb;14(2): e22143
      Mitochondrial rescue drugs, such as vitamin B2, are a treatment modality which can be considered in unexplained cases of cardiac arrest or impaired consciousness in which mitochondrial diseases are considered in the differential. Although case reports exist of children developing a drop in their blood pressure following administration of intravenous flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) sodium as vitamin B2, we present the first reported case of a child requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) following FAD sodium infusion for severe bradycardia and hypotension. Intravenous infusion of FAD sodium should be administered as slowly as possible, with careful monitoring of blood pressure and heart rate.
    Keywords:  adverse event; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; flavin adenine dinucleotide; mitochondrial disease; vitamin b2
  23. Vitam Horm. 2022 ;pii: S0083-6729(22)00010-3. [Epub ahead of print]119 355-376
      Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is required for activity of the enzymes methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase in human cells. Inborn errors affecting cobalamin uptake or metabolism are characterized by accumulation of the substrates for these enzymes, methylmalonic acid and homocysteine, in blood and urine. Inborn errors affecting synthesis of the adenosylcobalamin coenzyme required by methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (cblA and cblB) result in isolated methylmalonic aciduria; inborn errors affecting synthesis of the methylcobalamin coenzyme required by methionine synthase (cblE and cblG) result in isolated homocystinuria. Combined methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria is seen in patients with impaired intestinal cobalamin absorption (intrinsic factor deficiency, Imerslund-Gräsbeck syndrome) and with defects affecting synthesis of both cobalamin coenzymes (cblC, cblD, cblF and cblJ). A series of disorders caused by pathogenic variant mutations affecting gene regulators (transcription factors) of the MMACHC gene have recently been described (HCFC1 [cblX disorder] and deficiencies of THAP11, and ZNF143 [the cblK disorder]).
    Keywords:  Cobalamin; Homocysteine; Inborn errors; Inherited metabolic disease; Methylmalonic acid; Vitamin B12
  24. J Biol Chem. 2022 Mar 22. pii: S0021-9258(22)00298-8. [Epub ahead of print] 101858
      The mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP) is a Ca2+-dependent megachannel that plays an important role in mitochondrial physiology and cell fate. Cyclophilin D (CyPD) is a well-characterized PTP regulator, and its binding to the PTP favors pore opening. It has previously been shown that p53 physically interacts with CyPD and opens the PTP during necrosis. Accumulating studies also suggest that the F-ATP synthase contributes to the regulation and formation of the PTP. F-ATP synthase inhibitory factor 1 (IF1) is a natural inhibitor of F-ATP synthase activity; however, whether IF1 participates in the modulation of PTP opening is basically unknown. Here, we demonstrate using calcium retention capacity assay that IF1 overexpression promotes mitochondrial permeability transition via opening of the PTP. Intriguingly, we show that IF1 can interact with the p53-CyPD complex and facilitate cell death. We also demonstrate that the presence of IF1 is necessary for the formation of p53-CyPD complex. Therefore, we suggest that IF1 regulates the PTP via interaction with the p53-CyPD complex, and that IF1 is necessary for the inducing effect of p53-CyPD complex on PTP opening.
    Keywords:  F-ATP synthase inhibitory factor 1; cyclophilin D; mitochondria; mitochondrial permeability transition; p53
  25. Front Neurol. 2022 ;13 815523
      Background: Multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD) is an autosomal recessive disorder of fatty acid oxidation due to deficiency of the mitochondrial electron transfer chain. The late-onset form is characterized by exercise intolerance, muscle weakness, and lipid storage in myofibers. Most MADD patients greatly benefit from riboflavin supplementation.Patients and methods: A retrospective study was conducted on patients with a diagnosis of vacuolar myopathy with lipid storage followed in our neuromuscular unit in the last 20 years. We selected 10 unrelated patients with the diagnosis of MADD according to clinical, morphological, and biochemical aspects. Clinical features, blood tests including serum acylcarnitines, EMG, and ENG were revised. Muscle biopsy was performed in all, and one individual underwent also a sural nerve biopsy. Gene sequencing of ETFA, ETFB, and ETFDH was performed as a first-tier genetic analysis followed by next-generation sequencing of an hyperCKemia gene panel in patients with undefined genotypes.
    Results: Clinical evaluation at onset in all our patients showed fatigue and muscle weakness; four patients showed difficulties in chewing, three patients complained of dysphagia, two patients had a dropped head, and a patient had an unexpected ataxia with numbness and dysesthesia. Laboratory blood tests revealed a variable increase in serum CK (266-6,500) and LDH levels (500-2,000). Plasma acylcarnitine profile evidenced increased levels of different chains intermediates. EMG was either normal or showed myogenic or neurogenic patterns. NCS demonstrated sensory neuropathy in two patients. Muscle biopsies showed a vacuolar myopathy with a variable increase in lipid content. Nerve biopsy evidenced an axonal degeneration with the loss of myelinated fibers. ETFDH genetic analysis identifies 14 pathogenic variants. Patients were treated with high doses of riboflavin (400 mg/die). All of them showed a rapid muscle strength improvement and normalization of abnormal values in laboratory tests. Neuropathic symptoms did not improve.
    Conclusion: Our data confirmed that clinical features in MADD patients are extremely variable in terms of disease onset and symptoms making diagnosis difficult. Laboratory investigations, such as serum acylcarnitine profile and muscle biopsy evaluation, may strongly address to a correct diagnosis. The favorable response to riboflavin supplementation strengthens the importance of an early diagnosis of these disorders among the spectrum of metabolic myopathies.
    Keywords:  ETFDH; acylcarnitines; lipid storage myopathies; muscle biopsy; riboflavin
  26. Adv Clin Chem. 2022 ;pii: S0065-2423(21)00075-5. [Epub ahead of print]107 79-138
      Metabolism is a highly regulated process that provides nutrients to cells and essential building blocks for the synthesis of protein, DNA and other macromolecules. In healthy biological systems, metabolism maintains a steady state in which the concentrations of metabolites are relatively constant yet are subject to metabolic demands and environmental stimuli. Rare genetic disorders, such as inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), cause defects in regulatory enzymes or proteins leading to metabolic pathway disruption and metabolite accumulation or deficiency. Traditionally, the laboratory diagnosis of IEMs has been limited to analytical methods that target specific metabolites such as amino acids and acyl carnitines. This approach is effective as a screening method for the most common IEM disorders but lacks the comprehensive coverage of metabolites that is necessary to identify rare disorders that present with nonspecific clinical symptoms. Fortunately, advancements in technology and data analytics has introduced a new field of study called metabolomics which has allowed scientists to perform comprehensive metabolite profiling of biological systems to provide insight into mechanism of action and gene function. Since metabolomics seeks to measure all small molecule metabolites in a biological specimen, it provides an innovative approach to evaluating disease in patients with rare genetic disorders. In this review we provide insight into the appropriate application of metabolomics in clinical settings. We discuss the advantages and limitations of the method and provide details related to the technology, data analytics and statistical modeling required for metabolomic profiling of patients with IEMs.
    Keywords:  Clinical metabolomics; Inborn errors of metabolism; Mass spectrometry; Rare disease; Small molecule biomarkers
  27. EMBO J. 2022 Mar 23. e109049
      Cellular metabolism must adapt to changing demands to enable homeostasis. During immune responses or cancer metastasis, cells leading migration into challenging environments require an energy boost, but what controls this capacity is unclear. Here, we study a previously uncharacterized nuclear protein, Atossa (encoded by CG9005), which supports macrophage invasion into the germband of Drosophila by controlling cellular metabolism. First, nuclear Atossa increases mRNA levels of Porthos, a DEAD-box protein, and of two metabolic enzymes, lysine-α-ketoglutarate reductase (LKR/SDH) and NADPH glyoxylate reductase (GR/HPR), thus enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics. Then Porthos supports ribosome assembly and thereby raises the translational efficiency of a subset of mRNAs, including those affecting mitochondrial functions, the electron transport chain, and metabolism. Mitochondrial respiration measurements, metabolomics, and live imaging indicate that Atossa and Porthos power up OxPhos and energy production to promote the forging of a path into tissues by leading macrophages. Since many crucial physiological responses require increases in mitochondrial energy output, this previously undescribed genetic program may modulate a wide range of cellular behaviors.
    Keywords:  immune cell infiltration; mitochondrial bioenergetics; oxidative phosphorylation; protein translation; transcription factor
  28. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Mar 07. pii: 510. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      We analyzed the effects of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) deficiency, as well as those of an exercise training intervention on autophagy across tissues (heart, skeletal muscle, cerebellum and brain), that are primarily affected by mitochondrial diseases, using a preclinical model of these conditions, the Harlequin (Hq) mouse. Autophagy markers were analyzed in: (i) 2, 3 and 6 month-old male wild-type (WT) and Hq mice, and (ii) WT and Hq male mice that were allocated to an exercise training or sedentary group. The exercise training started upon onset of the first symptoms of ataxia in Hq mice and lasted for 8 weeks. Higher content of autophagy markers and free amino acids, and lower levels of sarcomeric proteins were found in the skeletal muscle and heart of Hq mice, suggesting increased protein catabolism. Leupeptin-treatment demonstrated normal autophagic flux in the Hq heart and the absence of mitophagy. In the cerebellum and brain, a lower abundance of Beclin 1 and ATG16L was detected, whereas higher levels of the autophagy substrate p62 and LAMP1 levels were observed in the cerebellum. The exercise intervention did not counteract the autophagy alterations found in any of the analyzed tissues. In conclusion, AIF deficiency induces tissue-specific alteration of autophagy in the Hq mouse, with accumulation of autophagy markers and free amino acids in the heart and skeletal muscle, but lower levels of autophagy-related proteins in the cerebellum and brain. Exercise intervention, at least if starting when muscle atrophy and neurological symptoms are already present, is not sufficient to mitigate autophagy perturbations.
    Keywords:  Harlequin; OXPHOS; autophagy; brain; cerebellum; heart; mitochondrial diseases; skeletal muscle
  29. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 832356
      Mitochondria are well known as the centre of energy metabolism in eukaryotic cells. However, they can not only generate ATP through the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation but also control the mode of cell death through various mechanisms, especially regulated cell death (RCD), such as apoptosis, mitophagy, NETosis, pyroptosis, necroptosis, entosis, parthanatos, ferroptosis, alkaliptosis, autosis, clockophagy and oxeiptosis. These mitochondria-associated modes of cell death can lead to a variety of diseases. During cell growth, these modes of cell death are programmed, meaning that they can be induced or predicted. Mitochondria-based treatments have been shown to be effective in many trials. Therefore, mitochondria have great potential for the treatment of many diseases. In this review, we discuss how mitochondria are involved in modes of cell death, as well as basic research and the latest clinical progress in related fields. We also detail a variety of organ system diseases related to mitochondria, including nervous system diseases, cardiovascular diseases, digestive system diseases, respiratory diseases, endocrine diseases, urinary system diseases and cancer. We highlight the role that mitochondria play in these diseases and suggest possible therapeutic directions as well as pressing issues that need to be addressed today. Because of the key role of mitochondria in cell death, a comprehensive understanding of mitochondria can help provide more effective strategies for clinical treatment.
    Keywords:  ferroptosis; mitochondria; mitochondrial diseases; parthanatos; regulated cell death
  30. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2468 257-269
      Geneticists approach biology with a simple question: which genes are required for the pathway or process of interest? Classical genetic screens (aka forward genetics) in model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans have been the method of choice for answering that question. Next-generation sequencing provides the means to generate a comprehensive list of sequence variants, including the mutation of interest. Herein is described a workflow for sample preparation and data analysis to allow the simultaneous mapping and identification of candidate mutations by whole-genome sequencing in Caenorhabditis elegans.
    Keywords:  Mutation analysis; NGS library construction; Polymorphism mapping; Sequence variant; Whole-genome sequencing
  31. Biosci Rep. 2022 Mar 22. pii: BSR20211813. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are central to the physiology and survival of nearly all eukaryotic cells and house diverse metabolic processes including oxidative phosphorylation, reactive oxygen species buffering, metabolite synthesis/exchange, and Ca2+ sequestration. Mitochondria are phenotypically heterogeneous and this variation is essential to the complexity of physiological function among cells, tissues, and organ systems. As a consequence of mitochondrial integration with so many physiological processes, small molecules that modulate mitochondrial metabolism induce complex systemic effects. In the case of many common prescribed drugs, these interactions may contribute to drug therapeutic mechanisms, induce adverse drug reactions, or both. The purpose of this article is to review historical and recent advances in the understanding of the effects of prescription drugs on mitochondrial metabolism. Specific 'modes' of xenobiotic-mitochondria interactions are discussed to provide a set of qualitative models that aid in conceptualizing how the mitochondrial energy transduction system may be affected. Findings of recent in vitro high-throughput screening studies are reviewed, and a few candidate drug classes are chosen for additional brief discussion (i.e. antihyperglycemics, antidepressants, antibiotics, and antihyperlipidemics). Finally, recent improvements in pharmacokinetic models that aid in quantifying systemic effects of drug-mitochondria interactions are briefly considered.
    Keywords:  Metabolism; Pharmacology; Prescription Drugs; Xenobiotics; mitochondria
  32. Metabolites. 2022 Mar 09. pii: 233. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of the upper and lower motor neurons. Despite the increasing effort in understanding the etiopathology of ALS, it still remains an obscure disease, and no therapies are currently available to halt its progression. Following the discovery of the first gene associated with familial forms of ALS, Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase, it appeared evident that mitochondria were key elements in the onset of the pathology. However, as more and more ALS-related genes were discovered, the attention shifted from mitochondria impairment to other biological functions such as protein aggregation and RNA metabolism. In recent years, mitochondria have again earned central, mechanistic roles in the pathology, due to accumulating evidence of their derangement in ALS animal models and patients, often resulting in the dysregulation of the energetic metabolism. In this review, we first provide an update of the last lustrum on the molecular mechanisms by which the most well-known ALS-related proteins affect mitochondrial functions and cellular bioenergetics. Next, we focus on evidence gathered from human specimens and advance the concept of a cellular-specific mitochondrial "metabolic threshold", which may appear pivotal in ALS pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; bioenergetic; metabolism; mitochondria; motor neuron disease
  33. Metabolites. 2022 Feb 25. pii: 210. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      Fatty acids (FAs) have structural and functional diversity. FAs in the heart are closely associated with cardiac function, and their qualitative or quantitative abnormalities lead to the onset and progression of cardiac disease. FAs are important as an energy substrate for the heart, but when in excess, they exhibit cardio-lipotoxicity that causes cardiac dysfunction or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. FAs also play a role as part of phospholipids that compose cell membranes, and the changes in mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin and the FA composition of plasma membrane phospholipids affect cardiomyocyte survival. In addition, FA metabolites exert a wide variety of bioactivities in the heart as lipid mediators. Recent advances in measurement using mass spectrometry have identified trace amounts of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)-derived bioactive metabolites associated with heart disease. n-3 PUFAs have a variety of cardioprotective effects and have been shown in clinical trials to be effective in cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure. This review outlines the contributions of FAs to cardiac function and pathogenesis of heart diseases from the perspective of three major roles and proposes therapeutic applications and new medical perspectives of FAs represented by n-3 PUFAs.
    Keywords:  cardiolipin; fatty acid; heart failure; lipid droplet; lipid dynamics; lipid mediator; lipotoxicity; n-3 PUFA
  34. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 24. 12(1): 5122
      Ocular cells are highly dependent on mitochondrial function due to their high demand of energy supply and their constant exposure to oxidative stress. Indeed, mitochondrial dysfunction is highly implicated in various acute, chronic, and genetic disorders of the visual system. It has recently been shown that mitochondrial transplantation (MitoPlant) temporarily protects retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) from cell death during ocular ischemia. Here, we characterized MitoPlant dynamics in retinal ganglion precursor-like cells, in steady state and under oxidative stress. We developed a new method for detection of transplanted mitochondria using qPCR, based on a difference in the mtDNA sequence of C57BL/6 and BALB/c mouse strains. Using this approach, we show internalization of exogenous mitochondria already three hours after transplantation, and a decline in mitochondrial content after twenty four hours. Interestingly, exposure of target cells to moderate oxidative stress prior to MitoPlant dramatically enhanced mitochondrial uptake and extended the survival of mitochondria in recipient cells by more than three fold. Understanding the factors that regulate the exogenous mitochondrial uptake and their survival may promote the application of MitoPlant for treatment of chronic and genetic mitochondrial diseases.
  35. Brain Commun. 2022 ;4(2): fcac030
      Spinocerebellar ataxias consist of a highly heterogeneous group of inherited movement disorders clinically characterized by progressive cerebellar ataxia variably associated with additional distinctive clinical signs. The genetic heterogeneity is evidenced by the myriad of associated genes and underlying genetic defects identified. In this study, we describe a new spinocerebellar ataxia subtype in nine members of a Spanish five-generation family from Menorca with affected individuals variably presenting with ataxia, nystagmus, dysarthria, polyneuropathy, pyramidal signs, cerebellar atrophy and distinctive cerebral demyelination. Affected individuals presented with horizontal and vertical gaze-evoked nystagmus and hyperreflexia as initial clinical signs, and a variable age of onset ranging from 12 to 60 years. Neurophysiological studies showed moderate axonal sensory polyneuropathy with altered sympathetic skin response predominantly in the lower limbs. We identified the c.1877C > T (p.Ser626Leu) pathogenic variant within the SAMD9L gene as the disease causative genetic defect with a significant log-odds score (Z max = 3.43; θ = 0.00; P < 3.53 × 10-5). We demonstrate the mitochondrial location of human SAMD9L protein, and its decreased levels in patients' fibroblasts in addition to mitochondrial perturbations. Furthermore, mutant SAMD9L in zebrafish impaired mobility and vestibular/sensory functions. This study describes a novel spinocerebellar ataxia subtype caused by SAMD9L mutation, SCA49, which triggers mitochondrial alterations pointing to a role of SAMD9L in neurological motor and sensory functions.
    Keywords:  SAMD9L; SCA49; mitochondria; spinocerebellar ataxia; zebrafish
  36. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 25. 12(1): 5196
      Aging in mammals leads to reduction in genes encoding the 45-subunit mitochondrial electron transport chain complex I. It has been hypothesized that normal aging and age-related diseases such as Parkinson's disease are in part due to modest decrease in expression of mitochondrial complex I subunits. By contrast, diminishing expression of mitochondrial complex I genes in lower organisms increases lifespan. Furthermore, metformin, a putative complex I inhibitor, increases healthspan in mice and humans. In the present study, we investigated whether loss of one allele of Ndufs2, the catalytic subunit of mitochondrial complex I, impacts healthspan and lifespan in mice. Our results indicate that Ndufs2 hemizygous mice (Ndufs2+/-) show no overt impairment in aging-related motor function, learning, tissue histology, organismal metabolism, or sensitivity to metformin in a C57BL6/J background. Despite a significant reduction of Ndufs2 mRNA, the mice do not demonstrate a significant decrease in complex I function. However, there are detectable transcriptomic changes in individual cell types and tissues due to loss of one allele of Ndufs2. Our data indicate that a 50% decline in mRNA of the core mitochondrial complex I subunit Ndufs2 is neither beneficial nor detrimental to healthspan.
  37. J Huntingtons Dis. 2022 Mar 15.
      BACKGROUND: Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by synaptic dysfunction and loss of white matter volume especially in the striatum of the basal ganglia and to a lesser extent in the cerebral cortex. Studies investigating heterogeneity between synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria have revealed a pronounced vulnerability of synaptic mitochondria, which may lead to synaptic dysfunction and loss.OBJECTIVE: As mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of HD pathogenesis, we investigated synaptic mitochondrial function from striatum and cortex of the transgenic R6/2 mouse model of HD.
    METHODS: We assessed mitochondrial volume, ROS production, and antioxidant levels as well as mitochondrial respiration at different pathological stages.
    RESULTS: Our results reveal that striatal synaptic mitochondria are more severely affected by HD pathology than those of the cortex. Striatal synaptosomes of R6/2 mice displayed a reduction in mitochondrial mass coinciding with increased ROS production and antioxidants levels indicating prolonged oxidative stress. Furthermore, synaptosomal oxygen consumption rates were significantly increased during depolarizing conditions, which was accompanied by a marked increase in mitochondrial proton leak of the striatal synaptosomes, indicating synaptic mitochondrial stress.
    CONCLUSION: Overall, our study provides new insight into the gradual changes of synaptic mitochondrial function in HD and suggests compensatory mitochondrial actions to maintain energy production in the HD brain, thereby supporting that mitochondrial dysfunction do indeed play a central role in early disease progression of HD.
    Keywords:  Huntington’s disease; cortex; mitochondria; oxygen consumption; striatum; synapses; synaptosomes
  38. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 23. 13(1): 1564
      Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) plays a major role in detecting pathogenic DNA. It produces cyclic dinucleotide cGAMP, which subsequently binds to the adaptor protein STING and further triggers antiviral innate immune responses. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating cGAS enzyme activity remain largely unknown. Here, we characterize the cGAS-interacting protein Poly(rC)-binding protein 2 (PCBP2), which plays an important role in controlling cGAS enzyme activity, thereby mediating appropriate cGAS-STING signaling transduction. We find that PCBP2 overexpression reduces cGAS-STING antiviral signaling, whereas loss of PCBP2 significantly increases cGAS activity. Mechanistically, we show that PCBP2 negatively regulates anti-DNA viral signaling by specifically interacting with cGAS but not other components. Moreover, PCBP2 decreases cGAS enzyme activity by antagonizing cGAS condensation, thus ensuring the appropriate production of cGAMP and balancing cGAS-STING signal transduction. Collectively, our findings provide insight into how the cGAS-mediated antiviral signaling is regulated.
  39. Biomolecules. 2022 Mar 10. pii: 427. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      Mitochondria, the cell's major energy producers, also act as signaling hubs, interacting with other organelles both directly and indirectly. Despite having its own circular genome, the majority of mitochondrial proteins are encoded by nuclear DNA. To respond to changes in cell physiology, the mitochondria must send signals to the nucleus, which can, in turn, upregulate gene expression to alter metabolism or initiate a stress response. This is known as retrograde signaling. A variety of stimuli and pathways fall under the retrograde signaling umbrella. Mitochondrial dysfunction has already been shown to have severe implications for human health. Disruption of retrograde signaling, whether directly associated with mitochondrial dysfunction or cellular environmental changes, may also contribute to pathological deficits. In this review, we discuss known signaling pathways between the mitochondria and the nucleus, examine the possibility of direct contacts, and identify pathological consequences of an altered relationship.
    Keywords:  MAMs; integrated stress response; mitochondria; nucleus; retrograde signaling
  40. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2022 Mar 23.
      Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a fatal disease, defined as a mean pulmonary artery pressure ≥ 25 mm Hg. It is caused, in part, by mitochondrial dysfunction. Among the various biological therapies proposed to rescue mitochondrial dysfunction, evidence going back as far as 2009, suggests that mitochondrial transplantation is an alternative. Although scant, recent PH findings and other literature supports a role for mitochondrial transplantation as a therapeutic approach in the context of PH. In experimental models of PH, it confers beneficial effects that include reduced pulmonary vasoconstriction, reduced pulmonary vascular remodelling, and improved right ventricular function. It also reduces the proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. However, first, we must understand that more research is needed before mitochondrial transplantation can be considered an effective therapy in the clinical setting, as many of the mechanisms or potential long-term risks are still unknown. Second, the current challenges of mitochondrial transplantation are surmountable and should not deter researchers from further investigating its effectiveness and trying to overcome these challenges in creative ways.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial transplantation; novel therapeutic approaches; personalised medicine; pulmonary hypertension
  41. Mol Cell. 2022 Mar 14. pii: S1097-2765(22)00166-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The product of hexokinase (HK) enzymes, glucose-6-phosphate, can be metabolized through glycolysis or directed to alternative metabolic routes, such as the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) to generate anabolic intermediates. HK1 contains an N-terminal mitochondrial binding domain (MBD), but its physiologic significance remains unclear. To elucidate the effect of HK1 mitochondrial dissociation on cellular metabolism, we generated mice lacking the HK1 MBD (ΔE1HK1). These mice produced a hyper-inflammatory response when challenged with lipopolysaccharide. Additionally, there was decreased glucose flux below the level of GAPDH and increased upstream flux through the PPP. The glycolytic block below GAPDH is mediated by the binding of cytosolic HK1 with S100A8/A9, resulting in GAPDH nitrosylation through iNOS. Additionally, human and mouse macrophages from conditions of low-grade inflammation, such as aging and diabetes, displayed increased cytosolic HK1 and reduced GAPDH activity. Our data indicate that HK1 mitochondrial binding alters glucose metabolism through regulation of GAPDH.
    Keywords:  GAPDH; S-nitrosylation; hexokinase; inflammation; innate immunity; macrophage; metabolism; mitochondria; pentose phosphate pathway; subcellular localization
  42. Cell Stem Cell. 2022 Mar 22. pii: S1934-5909(22)00097-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes (PSC-CMs) provide an unprecedented opportunity to study human heart development and disease, but they are functionally and structurally immature. Here, we induce efficient human PSC-CM (hPSC-CM) maturation through metabolic-pathway modulations. Specifically, we find that peroxisome-proliferator-associated receptor (PPAR) signaling regulates glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation (FAO) in an isoform-specific manner. While PPARalpha (PPARa) is the most active isoform in hPSC-CMs, PPARdelta (PPARd) activation efficiently upregulates the gene regulatory networks underlying FAO, increases mitochondrial and peroxisome content, enhances mitochondrial cristae formation, and augments FAO flux. PPARd activation further increases binucleation, enhances myofibril organization, and improves contractility. Transient lactate exposure, which is frequently used for hPSC-CM purification, induces an independent cardiac maturation program but, when combined with PPARd activation, still enhances oxidative metabolism. In summary, we investigate multiple metabolic modifications in hPSC-CMs and identify a role for PPARd signaling in inducing the metabolic switch from glycolysis to FAO in hPSC-CMs.
    Keywords:  PPAR signaling; cardiac maturation; fatty acid oxidation; metabolism; stem cells
  43. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2022 ;12 835181
      Mitochondria are intracellular organelles that are instrumental in the creation of energy, metabolism, apoptosis, and intrinsic immunity. Mitochondria exhibit an extraordinarily high degree of flexibility, and are constantly undergoing dynamic fusion and fission changes. Chlamydia is an intracellular bacterium that causes serious health problems in both humans and animals. Due to a deficiency of multiple metabolic enzymes, these pathogenic bacteria are highly dependent on their eukaryotic host cells, resulting in a close link between Chlamydia infection and host cell mitochondria. Indeed, Chlamydia increase mitochondrial fusion by inhibiting the activation of dynein-related protein 1 (DRP1), which can regulate host cell metabolism for extra energy. Additionally, Chlamydia can inhibit mitochondrial fission by blocking DRP1 oligomerization, preventing host cell apoptosis. These mechanisms are critical for maintaining a favorable environment for reproduction and growth of Chlamydia. This review discusses the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial fusion and fission, as well as the mechanisms by which Chlamydia infection alters the mitochondrial dynamics and the prospects of limiting chlamydial development by altering mitochondrial dynamics.
    Keywords:  ATP; Chlamydia; DRP1; P53; mitochondrial dynamics
  44. Biochem Soc Trans. 2022 Mar 21. pii: BST20211107. [Epub ahead of print]
      Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterised by cardinal motor symptoms and a diverse range of non-motor disorders in patients. Parkinson's disease is the fastest growing neurodegenerative condition and was described for the first time over 200 years ago, yet there are still no reliable diagnostic markers and there are only treatments that temporarily alleviate symptoms in patients. Early-onset Parkinson's disease is often linked to defects in specific genes, including PINK1 and Parkin, that encode proteins involved in mitophagy, the process of selective autophagic elimination of damaged mitochondria. Impaired mitophagy has been associated with sporadic Parkinson's and agents that damage mitochondria are known to induce Parkinson's-like motor symptoms in humans and animal models. Thus, modulating mitophagy pathways may be an avenue to treat a subset of early-onset Parkinson's disease that may additionally provide therapeutic opportunities in sporadic disease. The PINK1/Parkin mitophagy pathway, as well as alternative mitophagy pathways controlled by BNIP3L/Nix and FUNDC1, are emerging targets to enhance mitophagy to treat Parkinson's disease. In this review, we report the current state of the art of mitophagy-targeted therapeutics and discuss the approaches being used to overcome existing limitations to develop innovative new therapies for Parkinson's disease. Key approaches include the use of engineered mouse models that harbour pathogenic mutations, which will aid in the preclinical development of agents that can modulate mitophagy. Furthermore, the recent development of chimeric molecules (AUTACs) that can bypass mitophagy pathways to eliminate damaged mitochondria thorough selective autophagy offer new opportunities.
    Keywords:  PTEN induced putative kinase 1; Parkin; Parkinsons disease; mitochondria; mitophagy; ubiquitin
  45. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 ;9 783426
      Myocardial infarction is one of the most severe heart diseases, leading to sudden death. Currently, angiography and stenting are widely performed in clinics, yet more effective treatment is still needed. Herein, we presented that dioscin, a natural product, showed protective effect on infarcted hearts via mitochondrial maintenance. Upon dioscin treatment, cardiac dysfunction was alleviated, and remodeling is prevented. Mechanistically, disocin maintains mitochondria function through the maintenance of Kreb's cycle, and suppresion of ROS accumulation. In this way, by targeting mitochondrial dysfunction, dioscin is a potential drug for infarcted hearts.
    Keywords:  KREB'S cycle; ROS; dioscin; mitochondrial dysfunction; myocardial infarction
  46. Adv Genet (Hoboken). 2022 Mar;pii: 2100047. [Epub ahead of print]3(1):
      Primary mitochondrial diseases (PMD) are genetic disorders with extensive clinical and molecular heterogeneity where therapeutic development efforts have faced multiple challenges. Clinical trial design, outcome measure selection, lack of reliable biomarkers, and deficiencies in long-term natural history data sets remain substantial challenges in the increasingly active PMD therapeutic development space. Developing "FAIR" (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) data standards to make data sharable and building a more transparent community data sharing paradigm to access clinical research metadata are the first steps to address these challenges. This collaborative community effort describes the current landscape of PMD clinical research data resources available for sharing, obstacles, and opportunities, including ways to incentivize and encourage data sharing among diverse stakeholders. This work highlights the importance of, and challenges to, developing a unified system that enables clinical research structured data sharing and supports harmonized data deposition standards across clinical consortia and research groups. The goal of these efforts is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of drug development and improve understanding of the natural history of PMD. This initiative aims to maximize the benefit for PMD patients, research, industry, and other stakeholders while acknowledging challenges related to differing needs and international policies on data privacy, security, management, and oversight.
    Keywords:  FAIR standards; clinical trials; data sharing; primary mitochondrial disease; therapeutic developments
  47. Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Feb 22. pii: 328. [Epub ahead of print]58(3):
      This report describes a rare case of fetal anemia, confirmed as a mitochondrial disease after birth, treated with intrauterine transfusion (IUT). Although mitochondrial diseases have been described in newborns, research on their prenatal features is lacking. A patient was referred to our institution at 32 gestational weeks owing to fetal hydrops. Fetal anemia was confirmed by cordocentesis. After IUT had been performed three times, the anemia and associated fetal hydrops showed improvement. However, after birth, the neonate had recurrent pancytopenia and lactic acidosis. He was eventually diagnosed with Pearson syndrome and died 2 months after birth. This is the first case report of fetal anemia associated with mitochondrial disease managed with IUT.
    Keywords:  Pearson syndrome; anemia; blood transfusion; case report; hydrops fetalis; mitochondrial diseases
  48. Cell Metab. 2022 Mar 15. pii: S1550-4131(22)00088-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Recent findings have demonstrated that mitochondria can be transferred between cells to control metabolic homeostasis. Although the mitochondria of brown adipocytes comprise a large component of the cell volume and undergo reorganization to sustain thermogenesis, it remains unclear whether an intercellular mitochondrial transfer occurs in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and regulates adaptive thermogenesis. Herein, we demonstrated that thermogenically stressed brown adipocytes release extracellular vesicles (EVs) that contain oxidatively damaged mitochondrial parts to avoid failure of the thermogenic program. When re-uptaken by parental brown adipocytes, mitochondria-derived EVs reduced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ signaling and the levels of mitochondrial proteins, including UCP1. Their removal via the phagocytic activity of BAT-resident macrophages is instrumental in preserving BAT physiology. Depletion of macrophages in vivo causes the abnormal accumulation of extracellular mitochondrial vesicles in BAT, impairing the thermogenic response to cold exposure. These findings reveal a homeostatic role of tissue-resident macrophages in the mitochondrial quality control of BAT.
    Keywords:  adipose tissue; brown adipocytes; extracellular vesicles; homeostasis; immunometabolism; macrophages; mitochondria; mitochondrial quality control; thermogenesis
  49. Front Aging Neurosci. 2022 ;14 785761
      Mitochondrial dysfunction has been regarded as one of the major contributors of ischemic neuronal death after stroke. Recently, intercellular mitochondrial transfer between different cell types has been widely studied and suggested as a potential therapeutic approach. However, whether mitochondria are involved in the neuron-glia cross-talk following ischemic stroke and the underlying mechanisms have not been explored yet. In this study, we demonstrated that under physiological condition, neurons release few mitochondria into the extracellular space, and the mitochondrial release increased when subjected to the challenges of acidosis, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), or glutamate. Acidosis reduced the mitochondrial basal respiration and lowered the membrane potential in primary-cultured mouse cortical neurons. These defective mitochondria were prone to be expelled to the extracellular space by the injured neurons, and were engulfed by adjacent astrocytes, leading to increased astrocytic expressions of mitochondrial Rho GTPase 1 (Miro 1) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) at mRNA level. In mice subjected to transient focal cerebral ischemia, the number of defective mitochondria in the cerebrospinal fluid increased. Our results suggested that the neuron-derived mitochondria may serve as a "help-me" signaling and mediate the neuron-astrocyte cross-talk following ischemic stroke. Promoting the intercellular mitochondrial transfer by accelerating the neuronal releasing or astrocytic engulfing might be a potential and attractive therapeutic strategy for the treatment of ischemic stroke in the future.
    Keywords:  ischemic stroke; metabolic stress; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial release; neuron-glial crosstalk
  50. Nutrients. 2022 Mar 09. pii: 1158. [Epub ahead of print]14(6):
      Gestational low-protein (LP) diet leads to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in adult offspring. We had earlier demonstrated that LP programming affects glucose disposal in females. Mitochondrial health is crucial for normal glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle. In this study, we sought to analyze mitochondrial structure, function, and associated genes in skeletal muscles to explore the molecular mechanism of insulin resistance LP-programmed female offspring. On day four of pregnancy, rats were assigned to a control diet containing 20% protein or an isocaloric 6% protein-containing diet. Standard laboratory diet was given to the dams after delivery until the end of weaning and to pups after weaning. Gestational LP diet led to changes in mitochondrial ultrastructure in the gastrocnemius muscles, including a nine-fold increase in the presence of giant mitochondria along with unevenly formed cristae. Further, functional analysis showed that LP programming caused impaired mitochondrial functions. Although the mitochondrial copy number did not show significant changes, key genes involved in mitochondrial structure and function such as Fis1, Opa1, Mfn2, Nrf1, Nrf2, Pgc1b, Cox4b, Esrra, and Vdac were dysregulated. Our study shows that prenatal LP programming induced disruption in mitochondrial ultrastructure and function in the skeletal muscle of female offspring.
    Keywords:  developmental programming; glucose intolerance; insulin resistance; low-protein diet; mitochondria
  51. Elife. 2022 Mar 21. pii: e70881. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Technologies for detecting cell-cell contacts are powerful tools for studying a wide range of biological processes, from neuronal signaling to cancer-immune interactions within the tumor microenvironment. Here, we report TRACC (Transcriptional Readout Activated by Cell-cell Contacts), a GPCR-based transcriptional recorder of cellular contacts, which converts contact events into stable transgene expression. TRACC is derived from our previous protein-protein interaction recorders, SPARK (Kim et al., 2017) and SPARK2 (Kim et al., 2019), reported in this journal. TRACC incorporates light gating via the light-oxygen-voltage-sensing (LOV) domain, which provides user-defined temporal control of tool activation and reduces background. We show that TRACC detects cell-cell contacts with high specificity and sensitivity in mammalian cell culture and that it can be used to interrogate interactions between neurons and glioma, a form of brain cancer.
    Keywords:  cell biology; cell contacts; none; synthetic biology; transcriptional reporter
  52. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 09. pii: 2951. [Epub ahead of print]23(6):
      Cardiovascular disease has been, and remains, one of the leading causes of death in the modern world. The elderly are a particularly vulnerable group. The aging of the body is inevitably accompanied by the aging of all its systems, and the cardiovascular system is no exception. The aging of the cardiovascular system is a significant risk factor for the development of various diseases and pathologies, from atherosclerosis to ischemic stroke. Mitochondria, being the main supplier of energy necessary for the normal functioning of cells, play an important role in the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. The functioning of each individual cell and the organism as a whole depends on their number, structure, and performance, as well as the correct operation of the system in removing non-functional mitochondria. In this review, we examine the role of mitochondria in the aging of the cardiovascular system, as well as in diseases (for example, atherosclerosis and ischemic stroke). We pay special attention to changes in mitochondrial dynamics since the shift in the balance between fission and fusion is one of the main factors associated with various cardiovascular pathologies.
    Keywords:  atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; ischemic stroke; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics
  53. STAR Protoc. 2022 Jun 17. 3(2): 101261
      Astrocytes are an essential component of the central nervous system for neuronal support and response to injury and disease. Here, we present a protocol to generate glial progenitor cells (GPCs) from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that can be further differentiated into inflammation-responsive astrocytes. This two-step protocol has the advantage of reducing the time of astrocyte differentiation since GPCs can be frozen and stored. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Santos et al. (2017) and Vadodaria et al. (2021).
    Keywords:  Cell Differentiation; Cell culture; Neuroscience; Stem Cells
  54. Elife. 2022 Mar 22. pii: e76389. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a progressive, debilitating visual disorder caused by mutations in a diverse set of genes. In both humans with RP and mouse models of RP, rod photoreceptor dysfunction leads to loss of night vision, and is followed by secondary cone photoreceptor dysfunction and degeneration, leading to loss of daylight color vision. A strategy to prevent secondary cone death could provide a general RP therapy to preserve daylight color vision regardless of the underlying mutation. In mouse models of RP, cones in the peripheral retina survive long-term, despite complete rod loss. The mechanism for such peripheral cone survival had not been explored. Here, we found that active retinoic acid (RA) signaling in peripheral Muller glia is necessary for the abnormally long survival of these peripheral cones. RA depletion by conditional knockout of RA synthesis enzymes, or overexpression of an RA degradation enzyme, abrogated the extended survival of peripheral cones. Conversely, constitutive activation of RA signaling in the central retina promoted long-term cone survival. These results indicate that RA signaling mediates the prolonged peripheral cone survival in the rd1 mouse model of retinal degeneration, and provide a basis for a generic strategy for cone survival in the many diseases that lead to loss of cone-mediated vision.
    Keywords:  cones; degeneration; developmental biology; mouse; neuroscience; photoreceptor; retina; retinitis pigmentosa
  55. J Clin Invest. 2022 Mar 22. pii: e154491. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pregnancy is associated with substantial physiological changes of the heart, and disruptions in these processes can lead to peripartum-cardiomyopathy (PPCM). The molecular processes that cause physiological and pathological changes in the heart during pregnancy are not well characterized. Here, we show that mTORc1 was activated in pregnancy to facilitate cardiac enlargement that was reversed after delivery in mice. mTORc1 activation in pregnancy was negatively regulated by the mRNA-destabilizing-protein ZFP36L2 through its degradation of Mdm2 mRNA and P53 stabilization, leading to increased SESN2 and REDD1 expression. This pathway impeded uncontrolled cardiomyocytes hypertrophy during pregnancy, and mice with cardiac-specific Zfp36l2 deletion developed rapid cardiac dysfunction after delivery, while prenatal treatment of these mice with rapamycin improved post-partum cardiac function. Collectively, these data provide a novel pathway for the regulation of mTORc1 through mRNA stabilization of a P53 ubiquitin ligase. This pathway was critical for normal cardiac growth during pregnancy, and its reduction led to PPCM-like adverse remodeling in mice.
    Keywords:  Cardiology; Cardiovascular disease; Cell Biology; Heart failure; p53
  56. Neurotherapeutics. 2022 Mar 25.
      Leigh syndrome (LS) is one of the most common mitochondrial encephalopathy diseases in infants. To date, there is still an absence of effective therapy. Bezafibrate (BEZ), a pan-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonist, ameliorates the phenotype of the mouse model of mitochondrial disease via an unclear mechanism. Here, we applied it to Ndufs4 knockout (KO) mice, a widely used LS animal model, to observe the therapeutic effects and metabolic changes associated with BEZ treatment to explore the therapeutic strategies for mitochondrial diseases. Administration of BEZ significantly enhances survival and attenuates disease progression in Ndufs4 KO mice. Decreased oxidative stress and stunted growth were also observed. As a PPAR agonist, we did not find mitochondrial biogenesis or enhanced metabolism upon BEZ treatment. On the contrary, mice with dietary BEZ showed daily torpor bouts and lower metabolic rates. We speculate that activating energy-saving metabolism in mice may be associated with the therapeutic effects of BEZ, but the exact mechanism of action requires further study.
    Keywords:  Bezafibrate; Leigh syndrome; Ndufs4 knockout mice; Torpor
  57. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 ;9 791700
      Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DbCM) occurs independently of cardiovascular diseases or hypertension, leading to heart failure and increased risk for death in diabetic patients. To investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in DbCM, we performed a quantitative proteomic profiling analysis in the left ventricle (LV) of type 2 diabetic mice. Six-month-old C57BL/6J-lepr/lepr (db/db) mice exhibited DbCM associated with diastolic dysfunction and cardiac hypertrophy. Using quantitative shotgun proteomic analysis, we identified 53 differentially expressed proteins in the LVs of db/db mice, majorly associated with the regulation of energy metabolism. The subunits of ATP synthase that form the F1 domain, and Cytochrome c1, a catalytic core subunit of the complex III primarily responsible for electron transfer to Cytochrome c, were upregulated in diabetic LVs. Upregulation of these key proteins may represent an adaptive mechanism by diabetic heart, resulting in increased electron transfer and thereby enhancement of mitochondrial ATP production. Conversely, diabetic LVs also showed a decrease in peptide levels of NADH dehydrogenase 1β subcomplex subunit 11, a subunit of complex I that catalyzes the transfer of electrons to ubiquinone. Moreover, the atypical kinase COQ8A, an essential lipid-soluble electron transporter involved in the biosynthesis of ubiquinone, was also downregulated in diabetic LVs. Our study indicates that despite attempts by hearts from diabetic mice to augment mitochondrial ATP energetics, decreased levels of key components of the electron transport chain may contribute to impaired mitochondrial ATP production. Preserved basal mitochondrial respiration along with the markedly reduced maximal respiratory capacity in the LVs of db/db mice corroborate the association between altered mitochondrial metabolic profile and cardiac dysfunction in DbCM.
    Keywords:  diabetes; diabetic cardiomyopathy; diastolic dysfunction; electron transport chain; shotgun proteomics
  58. ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2022 Mar 22.
      Cardiovascular disorders remain a critical health issue worldwide. While animals have been used extensively as experimental models to investigate heart disease mechanisms and develop drugs, their inherent drawbacks have shifted focus to more human-relevant alternatives. Human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (hESCs and hiPSCs, collectively called hPSCs) have been identified as a source of different cardiac cells, but to date, they have rarely offered functional and structural maturity of the adult human heart. However, the combination of patient derived hPSCs with microphysiological tissue engineering approaches has presented new opportunities to study heart development and disease and identify drug targets. These models often closely mimic specific aspects of the native heart tissue including intercellular crosstalk and microenvironmental cues such that maturation occurs and relevant disease phenotypes are revealed. Most recently, organ-on-chip technology based on microfluidic devices has been combined with stem cell derived organoids and microtissues to create vascularized structures that can be subjected to fluidic flow and to which immune cells can be added to mimic inflammation of tissue postinjury. Similarly, the integration of nerve cells in these models can provide insight into how the cardiac nervous system affects heart pathology, for example, after myocardial infarction. Here, we consider these models and approaches in the context of cardiovascular disease together with their applications and readouts. We reflect on perspectives for their future implementation in understanding disease mechanisms and the drug discovery pipeline.
    Keywords:  cardiac microtissues; engineered heart tissue; human induced pluripotent stem cells; pluripotent stem cells
  59. Chem Sci. 2022 Feb 16. 13(7): 1982-1991
      Among various protein posttranslational modifiers, poly-ADP-ribose polymerase 1 (PARP1) is a key player for regulating numerous cellular processes and events through enzymatic attachments of target proteins with ADP-ribose units donated by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). Human PARP1 is involved in the pathogenesis and progression of many diseases. PARP1 inhibitors have received approvals for cancer treatment. Despite these successes, our understanding about PARP1 remains limited, partially due to the presence of various ADP-ribosylation reactions catalyzed by other PARPs and their overlapped cellular functions. Here we report a synthetic NAD+ featuring an adenosyl 3'-azido substitution. Acting as an ADP-ribose donor with high activity and specificity for human PARP1, this compound enables labelling and profiling of possible protein substrates of endogenous PARP1. It provides a unique and valuable tool for studying PARP1 in biology and pathology and may shed light on the development of PARP isoform-specific modulators.
  60. STAR Protoc. 2022 Jun 17. 3(2): 101187
      Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) show promise for studying diseases affecting cell populations that are not easily available, including sensory neurons (SNs). Here, we present a differentiation protocol in chemically defined conditions to generate peripheral SNs from hPSCs. We describe four main steps: expansion of hPSCs, neural crest cell (NCC) differentiation, NCC dissociation and replating, and sensory neuron (SN) differentiation. This protocol enables generation of a mechanoreceptor-enriched culture or a population containing all three SN subtypes (nociceptors, mechanoreceptors, and proprioceptors). For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Saito-Diaz et al. (2021).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell Differentiation; Cell culture; Neuroscience; Stem Cells
  61. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 15. pii: 3148. [Epub ahead of print]23(6):
      The cardiac autonomic nervous system (cANS) regulates cardiac function by innervating cardiac tissue with axons, and cardiomyocytes (CMs) and neurons undergo comaturation during the heart innervation in embryogenesis. As cANS is essential for cardiac function, its dysfunctions might be fatal; therefore, cardiac innervation models for studying embryogenesis, cardiac diseases, and drug screening are needed. However, previously reported neuron-cardiomyocyte (CM) coculture chips lack studies of functional neuron-CM interactions with completely human-based cell models. Here, we present a novel completely human cell-based and electrophysiologically functional cardiac innervation on a chip in which a compartmentalized microfluidic device, a 3D3C chip, was used to coculture human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons and CMs. The 3D3C chip enabled the coculture of both cell types with their respective culture media in their own compartments while allowing the neuronal axons to traverse between the compartments via microtunnels connecting the compartments. Furthermore, the 3D3C chip allowed the use of diverse analysis methods, including immunocytochemistry, RT-qPCR and video microscopy. This system resembled the in vivo axon-mediated neuron-CM interaction. In this study, the evaluation of the CM beating response during chemical stimulation of neurons showed that hiPSC-neurons and hiPSC-CMs formed electrophysiologically functional axon-mediated interactions.
    Keywords:  axon-mediated; cardiomyocyte; coculture; functional interaction; human-induced pluripotent stem cell; microfluidic chip; neuron; organ-on-chip
  62. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 832887
      Podocytes are a crucial cellular component in maintaining the glomerular filtration barrier, and their injury is the major determinant in the development of albuminuria and diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Podocytes are rich in mitochondria and heavily dependent on them for energy to maintain normal functions. Emerging evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction is a key driver in the pathogenesis of podocyte injury in DKD. Impairment of mitochondrial function results in an energy crisis, oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell death. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the molecular mechanisms that cause mitochondrial damage and illustrate the impact of mitochondrial injury on podocytes. The related mitochondrial pathways involved in podocyte injury in DKD include mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and oxidative stress, and mitochondrial protein quality control. Furthermore, we discuss the role of mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs) formation, which is intimately linked with mitochondrial function in podocytes. Finally, we examine the experimental evidence exploring the targeting of podocyte mitochondrial function for treating DKD and conclude with a discussion of potential directions for future research in the field of mitochondrial dysfunction in podocytes in DKD.
    Keywords:  diabetic kidney disease; injury; mitochondrial dysfunction; podocytes; therapeutic strategies
  63. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2022 Mar 22.
      AIMS: Brief episodes of sublethal hypoxia reprogram brain response to face possible subsequent lethal stimuli by triggering adaptive and pro-survival events - a phenomenon denominated hypoxic preconditioning (HP). To date, the potential therapeutic implications of HP to forestall sporadic Alzheimer's disease (sAD) pathology remain unexplored. Using a well-established protocol of HP and focusing on hippocampus as a first brain region affected in AD, the present study was undertaken to investigate the potential protective effects of HP in a sAD rat model induced by the intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of streptozotocin (STZ) and to uncover the mitochondrial adaptations underlying this non-pharmacological strategy.RESULTS: HP prevented memory and learning deficits as well as tau pathology in the icvSTZ rat model. HP also attenuated icvSTZ-related reactive astrogliosis, as noted by increased glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity and myo-inositol levels. Notably, HP abrogated the icvSTZ-related impaired energy metabolism and oxidative damage. Particularly, HP averted increased lactate, glutamate and succinate levels and decreased mitochondrial respiratory chain function and mitochondrial DNA content. Concerning mitochondrial adaptations underlying HP-triggered tolerance to icvSTZ, preconditioned hippocampal mitochondria displayed an enhanced complex II-energized mitochondrial respiration, which resulted from a coordinated interaction between mitochondrial biogenesis and fusion-fission events. Mitochondrial biogenesis was stimulated immediately after HP, whereas in a latter phase mitochondrial fusion-fission events are modulated favoring the generation of elongated mitochondria.
    INNOVATION AND CONCLUSION: Overall, these results demonstrate for the first time that HP prevents the sAD-like phenotype, in part by targeting mitochondria, emerging as potential preventive strategy in the context of AD.
  64. Mitochondrion. 2022 Mar 17. pii: S1567-7249(22)00022-8. [Epub ahead of print]64 59-72
      Respiratory Complex I is the site of a large fraction of the mutations that appear to cause mitochondrial disease. Seven of its subunits are mitochondrially encoded, and therefore, such mutants are particularly difficult to construct in cell-culture model systems. We have selected 13 human clinical mutations found in ND2, ND3, ND4, ND4L, ND5 and ND6 that are generally found at subunit interfaces, and not in critical residues. These mutations have been modeled in E. coli subunits of Complex I, nuoN, nuoA, nuoM, nuoK, nuoL, and nuoJ, respectively. All mutants were expressed from a plasmid encoding the entire nuo operon, and membrane vesicles were analyzed for deamino-NADH oxidase activity, and proton translocation activity. ND5 mutants were also analyzed using a time-delayed expression system, recently described by this lab. Other mutants were analyzed for the ability to associate in subcomplexes, after expression of subsets of the genes. For most mutants there was a positive correlation between those that were previously determined to be pathogenic, or likely to be pathogenic, and those that we found with compromised Complex I activity or subunit interactions in E. coli. In conclusion, this approach provides another way to explore the deleterious effects of human mitochondrial mutations, and it can contribute to molecular understanding of such mutations.
    Keywords:  Bioenergetics; Complex I; LHON; Mitochondria; Mutations; NADH dehydrogenase
  65. STAR Protoc. 2022 Jun 17. 3(2): 101244
      Genetic variants that affect neurological function will often produce changes visible at the level of gross morphology, either of the whole brain or of specific neuronal types. Here we describe how to perfuse and dissect the brain in preparation for Nissl staining. Then we outline steps for culturing mouse primary hippocampal neurons to evaluate dendritic arborization (Sholl analysis). For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Gennarino et al. (2018).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell culture; Cell isolation; Cell-based Assays; Genetics; Model Organisms; Neuroscience
  66. Annu Rev Chem Biomol Eng. 2022 Feb 23.
      The emergence of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) technology over the past two decades has provided a source of normal and diseased human cells for a wide variety of in vitro and in vivo applications. Notably, hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) are widely used to model human heart development and disease and are in clinical trials for treating heart disease. The success of hPSC-CMs in these applications requires robust, scalable approaches to manufacture large numbers of safe and potent cells. Although significant advances have been made over the past decade in improving the purity and yield of hPSC-CMs and scaling the differentiation process from 2D to 3D, efforts to induce maturation phenotypes during manufacturing have been slow. Process monitoring and closed-loop manufacturing strategies are just being developed. We discuss recent advances in hPSC-CM manufacturing, including differentiation process development and scaling and downstream processes as well as separation and stabilization. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Volume 13 is October 2022. Please see for revised estimates.
  67. Biomedicines. 2022 Feb 22. pii: 520. [Epub ahead of print]10(3):
      Mitochondria are key organelles for the maintenance of myocardial tissue homeostasis, playing a pivotal role in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, calcium signaling, redox homeostasis, and thermogenesis, as well as in the regulation of crucial pathways involved in cell survival. On this basis, it is not surprising that structural and functional impairments of mitochondria can lead to contractile dysfunction, and have been widely implicated in the onset of diverse cardiovascular diseases, including ischemic cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and stroke. Several studies support mitochondrial targets as major determinants of the cardiotoxic effects triggered by an increasing number of chemotherapeutic agents used for both solid and hematological tumors. Mitochondrial toxicity induced by such anticancer therapeutics is due to different mechanisms, generally altering the mitochondrial respiratory chain, energy production, and mitochondrial dynamics, or inducing mitochondrial oxidative/nitrative stress, eventually culminating in cell death. The present review summarizes key mitochondrial processes mediating the cardiotoxic effects of anti-neoplastic drugs, with a specific focus on anthracyclines (ANTs), receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (RTKIs) and proteasome inhibitors (PIs).
    Keywords:  anticancer therapy; cardiotoxicity; heart failure; mitochondrial function
  68. Cells. 2022 Mar 15. pii: 997. [Epub ahead of print]11(6):
      Much is known, but there is also much more to discover, about the actions that thyroid hormones (TH) exert on metabolism. Indeed, despite the fact that thyroid hormones are recognized as one of the most important regulators of metabolic rate, much remains to be clarified on which mechanisms control/regulate these actions. Given their actions on energy metabolism and that mitochondria are the main cellular site where metabolic transformations take place, these organelles have been the subject of extensive investigations. In relatively recent times, new knowledge concerning both thyroid hormones (such as the mechanisms of action, the existence of metabolically active TH derivatives) and the mechanisms of energy transduction such as (among others) dynamics, respiratory chain organization in supercomplexes and cristes organization, have opened new pathways of investigation in the field of the control of energy metabolism and of the mechanisms of action of TH at cellular level. In this review, we highlight the knowledge and approaches about the complex relationship between TH, including some of their derivatives, and the mitochondrial respiratory chain.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; iodothyronines; mitochondrial proteomics