bims-mitdis Biomed News
on Mitochondrial disorders
Issue of 2022‒06‒12
25 papers selected by
Catalina Vasilescu
University of Helsinki

  1. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 788516
      In this study, we examine the cause and progression of mitochondrial diseases linked to the loss of mtRNase P, a three-protein complex responsible for processing and cleaving mitochondrial transfer RNAs (tRNA) from their nascent transcripts. When mtRNase P function is missing, mature mitochondrial tRNA levels are decreased, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction. mtRNase P is composed of Mitochondrial RNase P Protein (MRPP) 1, 2, and 3. MRPP1 and 2 have their own enzymatic activity separate from MRPP3, which is the endonuclease responsible for cleaving tRNA. Human mutations in all subunits cause mitochondrial disease. The loss of mitochondrial function can cause devastating, often multisystemic failures. When mitochondria do not provide enough energy and metabolites, the result can be skeletal muscle weakness, cardiomyopathy, and heart arrhythmias. These symptoms are complex and often difficult to interpret, making disease models useful for diagnosing disease onset and progression. Previously, we identified Drosophila orthologs of each mtRNase P subunit (Roswell/MRPP1, Scully/MRPP2, Mulder/MRPP3) and found that the loss of each subunit causes lethality and decreased mitochondrial tRNA processing in vivo. Here, we use Drosophila to model mtRNase P mitochondrial diseases by reducing the level of each subunit in skeletal and heart muscle using tissue-specific RNAi knockdown. We find that mtRNase P reduction in skeletal muscle decreases adult eclosion and causes reduced muscle mass and function. Adult flies exhibit significant age-progressive locomotor defects. Cardiac-specific mtRNase P knockdowns reduce fly lifespan for Roswell and Scully, but not Mulder. Using intravital imaging, we find that adult hearts have impaired contractility and exhibit substantial arrhythmia. This occurs for roswell and mulder knockdowns, but with little effect for scully. The phenotypes shown here are similar to those exhibited by patients with mitochondrial disease, including disease caused by mutations in MRPP1 and 2. These findings also suggest that skeletal and cardiac deficiencies induced by mtRNase P loss are differentially affected by the three subunits. These differences could have implications for disease progression in skeletal and heart muscle and shed light on how the enzyme complex functions in different tissues.
    Keywords:  MRPP; arrythmia; cardiomyopathy; drosophila; intravital imaging; mitochondrial RNase P; mitochondrial disease; skeletal muscle
  2. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2022 Jun 06. 17(1): 217
      Mitochondrial diseases are a group of rare, heterogeneous diseases caused by gene mutations in both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes that result in defects in mitochondrial function. They are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality as they affect multiple organ systems and particularly those with high energy-utilizing tissues, such as the nervous system, skeletal muscle, and cardiac muscle. Virtually no effective treatments exist for these patients, despite the urgent need. As the majority of these conditions are monogenic and caused by mutations in nuclear genes, gene replacement is a highly attractive therapeutic strategy. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a well-characterized gene replacement vector, and its safety profile and ability to transduce quiescent cells nominates it as a potential gene therapy vehicle for several mitochondrial diseases. Indeed, AAV vector-based gene replacement is currently being explored in clinical trials for one mitochondrial disease (Leber hereditary optic neuropathy) and preclinical studies have been published investigating this strategy in other mitochondrial diseases. This review summarizes the preclinical findings of AAV vector-based gene replacement therapy for mitochondrial diseases including Leigh syndrome, Barth syndrome, ethylmalonic encephalopathy, and others.
    Keywords:  AAV; Gene therapy; Mitochondrial disease
  3. Mol Genet Metab Rep. 2022 Sep;32 100884
      Purpose: Mitochondrial trifunctional protein deficiency (TFPD) and isolated long chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (LCHADD) are two related defects of fatty acid β -oxidation. While NBS has decreased mortality, morbidity remains significant. Additionally, the relationship of genotype to clinical outcome remains unclear. To better understand these issues, we collected natural history data for these conditions by reviewing seven years of retrospective data from 45 cases of TFPD or LCHADD in the Inborn Errors of Metabolism - Information System.Methods: Available data included age at database entry, last datapoint, and development of various complications. Data were analyzed by clinical assigned diagnosis (LCHADD or TFPD), subdivided by method of ascertainment (newborn screening-NBS, or other than by newborn screening-NNBS), then re-analyzed based on four genotype groups: homozygous c.1528GC (p.E510Q) (common LCHAD variant); heterozygous c.1528GC (p.E510Q), other HADHA variants; and HADHB variants.
    Results: Forty-five patients from birth to 34 years of age were analyzed by assigned diagnosis (30 LCHADD and 15 TFPD) and method of ascertainment. Thirty had further analysis by genotype (22 biallelic HADHA variants and 8 biallelic HADHB variants). With regards to maternal complications, retinopathy, cardiomyopathy and hypoglycemia, patients with biallelic HADHA variants (with or without the common LCHAD variant) manifest a traditional LCHADD phenotype, while those with HADHB gene variants more commonly reported neuromusculoskeletal type TFPD phenotype. While retinopathy, rhabdomyolysis and peripheral neuropathy tended to present later in childhood, many features including initial report of cardiomyopathy and hypoglycemia presented across a wide age spectrum.
    Conclusion: This study demonstrates the utility of genotypic confirmation of patients identified with LCHADD/TFPD as variants in the HADHA and HADHB genes lead to different symptom profiles. In our data, biallelic HAHDA variants conferred a LCHADD phenotype, regardless of the presence of the common LCHAD variant.
    Keywords:  Fatty acid oxidation disorders; Genetics; Inborn errors of metabolism; LCHAD; MTFP; Mitochondrial trifunctional protein; Pediatrics; TFP; Trifunctional protein
  4. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2487 73-92
      Enzyme clustering is a phenomenon that involves partitioning of proteins that function together in a common subcellular or sub-organellar compartment. Traditional genetic, biochemical, and biophysical approaches for studying protein-protein interactions in complexes with defined stoichiometry yield inconclusive results when applied to clustered proteins. This chapter describes a combination of approaches to study clustered proteins including co-immunoprecipitation, biochemical co-localization in purified mitochondria, and super resolution imaging of endogenous proteins in situ. These approaches can be used to study interactions among proteins that form clusters. We will illustrate this approach by using the urea cycle enzymes that localize in the mitochondrial matrix, and form clusters at the inner mitochondrial membrane.
    Keywords:  Co-immunoprecipitation; Confocal microscopy; Immunofluorescence; Inner mitochondrial membrane; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial fractionation; Protein cluster; Protein–protein interactions; Super resolution microscopy; Urea cycle; gSTED
  5. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 25. pii: 5933. [Epub ahead of print]23(11):
      Dysfunctional mitochondria are linked to several neurodegenerative diseases. Metabolic defects, a symptom which can result from dysfunctional mitochondria, are also present in spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), also known as Machado-Joseph disease, the most frequent, dominantly inherited neurodegenerative ataxia worldwide. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been reported for several neurodegenerative disorders and ataxin-3 is known to deubiquitinylate parkin, a key protein required for canonical mitophagy. In this study, we analyzed mitochondrial function and mitophagy in a patient-derived SCA3 cell model. Human fibroblast lines isolated from SCA3 patients were immortalized and characterized. SCA3 patient fibroblasts revealed circular, ring-shaped mitochondria and featured reduced OXPHOS complexes, ATP production and cell viability. We show that wildtype ataxin-3 deubiquitinates VDAC1 (voltage-dependent anion channel 1), a member of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and a parkin substrate. In SCA3 patients, VDAC1 deubiquitination and parkin recruitment to the depolarized mitochondria is inhibited. Increased p62-linked mitophagy, autophagosome formation and autophagy is observed under disease conditions, which is in line with mitochondrial fission. SCA3 fibroblast lines demonstrated a mitochondrial phenotype and dysregulation of parkin-VDAC1-mediated mitophagy, thereby promoting mitochondrial quality control via alternative pathways.
    Keywords:  Machado–Joseph disease; VDAC1 ubiquitination; ataxin-3; mitochondria dysfunction; spinocerebellar ataxia type 3
  6. Elife. 2022 Jun 08. pii: e75426. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Nearly all mitochondrial proteins need to be targeted for import from the cytosol. For the majority, the first port of call is the translocase of the outer membrane (TOM complex), followed by a procession of alternative molecular machines, conducting transport to their final destination. The pre-sequence translocase of the inner-membrane (TIM23-complex) imports proteins with cleavable pre-sequences. Progress in understanding these transport mechanisms has been hampered by the poor sensitivity and time-resolution of import assays. However, with the development of an assay based on split NanoLuc luciferase, we can now explore this process in greater detail. Here, we apply this new methodology to understand how ∆ψ and ATP hydrolysis, the two main driving forces for import into the matrix, contribute to the transport of pre-sequence-containing precursors (PCPs) with varying properties. Notably, we found that two major rate-limiting steps define PCP import time: passage of PCP across the outer membrane and initiation of inner membrane transport by the pre-sequence - the rates of which are influenced by PCP properties such as size and net charge. The apparent distinction between transport through the two membranes (passage through TOM is substantially complete before PCP-TIM engagement) is in contrast with the current view that import occurs through TOM and TIM in a single continuous step. Our results also indicate that PCPs spend very little time in the TIM23 channel - presumably rapid success or failure of import is critical for maintaining mitochondrial fitness.
    Keywords:  S. cerevisiae; biochemistry; chemical biology
  7. Cell. 2022 May 30. pii: S0092-8674(22)00590-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mitochondrial genome encodes 13 components of the oxidative phosphorylation system, and altered mitochondrial transcription drives various human pathologies. A polyadenylated, non-coding RNA molecule known as 7S RNA is transcribed from a region immediately downstream of the light strand promoter in mammalian cells, and its levels change rapidly in response to physiological conditions. Here, we report that 7S RNA has a regulatory function, as it controls levels of mitochondrial transcription both in vitro and in cultured human cells. Using cryo-EM, we show that POLRMT dimerization is induced by interactions with 7S RNA. The resulting POLRMT dimer interface sequesters domains necessary for promoter recognition and unwinding, thereby preventing transcription initiation. We propose that the non-coding 7S RNA molecule is a component of a negative feedback loop that regulates mitochondrial transcription in mammalian cells.
    Keywords:  7S RNA; POLRMT; SUV3; cryo-EM; dimer; mitochondria; mtDNA; mtEXO; non-coding RNA; transcription
  8. FEBS Lett. 2022 Jun 03.
      Mitochondria are involved in many cellular activities, including energy metabolism and biosynthesis of nucleotides, fatty acids, and amino acids. Mitochondrial morphology is a key factor in dictating mitochondrial functions. Here, we report that the acyl-CoA binding protein Acb1 in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is required for the maintenance of tubular mitochondrial morphology and proper mitochondrial respiration. The absence of Acb1 causes severe mitochondrial fragmentation in a dynamin-related protein Dnm1-dependent manner and impairs mitochondrial respiration. Moreover, Acb1 regulates the remodeling of lipid droplets in nutrient-rich conditions. Importantly, Acb1 promotes cell survival when cells are cultured in nutrient-rich medium. Hence, our findings establish roles of acyl-CoA binding proteins in regulating mitochondria, lipid droplets, and cell viability.
    Keywords:  Acyl-CoA-Binding Protein; Cell proliferation; Lipid droplets; Mitochondria; Schizosaccharomyces pombe
  9. Neural Regen Res. 2022 Dec;17(12): 2563-2575
      Neuronal disorders are associated with a profound loss of mitochondrial functions caused by various stress conditions, such as oxidative and metabolic stress, protein folding or import defects, and mitochondrial DNA alteration. Cells engage in different coordinated responses to safeguard mitochondrial homeostasis. In this review, we will explore the contribution of mitochondrial stress responses that are activated by the organelle to perceive these dangerous conditions, keep them under control and rescue the physiological condition of nervous cells. In the sections to come, particular attention will be dedicated to analyzing how compensatory mitochondrial hyperfusion, mitophagy, mitochondrial unfolding protein response, and apoptosis impact human neuronal diseases. Finally, we will discuss the relevance of the new concept: the "mito-inflammation", a mitochondria-mediated inflammatory response that is recently found to cover a relevant role in the pathogenesis of diverse inflammatory-related diseases, including neuronal disorders.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; UPR mt; apoptosis; mito-inflammation; mitochondrial dynamics; mitophagy; multiple sclerosis; neurodegeneration
  10. Commun Biol. 2022 Jun 03. 5(1): 541
      Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease 4A is an autosomal-recessive polyneuropathy caused by mutations of ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein 1 (GDAP1), a putative glutathione transferase, which affects mitochondrial shape and alters cellular Ca2+ homeostasis. Here, we identify the underlying mechanism. We found that patient-derived motoneurons and GDAP1 knockdown SH-SY5Y cells display two phenotypes: more tubular mitochondria and a metabolism characterized by glutamine dependence and fewer cytosolic lipid droplets. GDAP1 interacts with the actin-depolymerizing protein Cofilin-1 and beta-tubulin in a redox-dependent manner, suggesting a role for actin signaling. Consistently, GDAP1 loss causes less F-actin close to mitochondria, which restricts mitochondrial localization of the fission factor dynamin-related protein 1, instigating tubularity. GDAP1 silencing also disrupts mitochondria-ER contact sites. These changes result in lower mitochondrial Ca2+ levels and inhibition of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, explaining the metabolic changes upon GDAP1 loss of function. Together, our findings reconcile GDAP1-associated phenotypes and implicate disrupted actin signaling in CMT4A pathophysiology.
  11. Mol Genet Metab. 2022 May 28. pii: S1096-7192(22)00323-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: In patients with primary mitochondrial disease (MD), screening with electrocardiogram (ECG) and transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is warranted according to current guidelines as structural cardiac abnormalities are frequent. This study aims to evaluate the cardiac phenotype of a large Dutch cohort of patients with MD and investigates whether ECG alone is sufficient for predicting structural cardiac abnormalities on TTE.METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, genetically confirmed MD patients >18 years old with an available ECG and TTE were included. Newcastle Mitochondrial Disease Scale for Adults (NMDAS) scores were assessed. ECG's were evaluated for rhythm and conduction disorders, voltage criteria for left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and repolarization disorders. Echocardiographic evaluation included left and right ventricular volumes and function, and presence of LVH or concentric remodeling.
    RESULTS: In total, 200 MD patients were included with a median age of 45 years (IQR; 37-57) of whom 36% were male. Of all MD patients, 35% had abnormalities on ECG and 61% on TTE. Most frequent structural cardiac abnormalities on TTE were: global longitudinal strain > - 18% (54%), concentric remodeling (27%) and left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction <52% (14%). Patients with maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD) and mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) had the highest prevalence of ECG abnormalities (50% and 47%). TTE abnormalities were most prevalent in patients with MIDD (75%), followed by mitochondrial myopathy (MM) (55%), MELAS (47%) and Mitochondrial Epilepsy and Ragged Red Fibers (MERRF) (47%). MD patients with a high disease severity (NMDAS ≥21) had a higher prevalence of ECG abnormalities (44%, p = 0.039) and structural cardiac abnormalities (72%, p = 0.004) compared to patients with a NMDAS score of 11-20 and ≤ 10 (ECG: 34% and 19%; TTE: 63% and 39%). ECG abnormalities had a positive predictive value of 74% and a negative predictive value of 53% for structural cardiac abnormalities on TTE.
    CONCLUSION: MD patients frequently have cardiac involvement especially patients with MIDD, MELAS or high NMDAS score. ECG as sole screening parameter is insufficient to detect structural cardiac abnormalities.
    Keywords:  Cardiac abnormalities; MELAS; MIDD; Mitochondrial disease; Newcastle mitochondrial disease scale for adults; Transthoracic echocardiography
  12. Front Genet. 2022 ;13 887644
      Background: Sequencing quality has improved over the last decade for long-reads, allowing for more accurate detection of somatic low-frequency variants. In this study, we used mixtures of mitochondrial samples with different haplogroups (i.e., a specific set of mitochondrial variants) to investigate the applicability of nanopore sequencing for low-frequency single nucleotide variant detection. Methods: We investigated the impact of base-calling, alignment/mapping, quality control steps, and variant calling by comparing the results to a previously derived short-read gold standard generated on the Illumina NextSeq. For nanopore sequencing, six mixtures of four different haplotypes were prepared, allowing us to reliably check for expected variants at the predefined 5%, 2%, and 1% mixture levels. We used two different versions of Guppy for base-calling, two aligners (i.e., Minimap2 and Ngmlr), and three variant callers (i.e., Mutserve2, Freebayes, and Nanopanel2) to compare low-frequency variants. We used F1 score measurements to assess the performance of variant calling. Results: We observed a mean read length of 11 kb and a mean overall read quality of 15. Ngmlr showed not only higher F1 scores but also higher allele frequencies (AF) of false-positive calls across the mixtures (mean F1 score = 0.83; false-positive allele frequencies < 0.17) compared to Minimap2 (mean F1 score = 0.82; false-positive AF < 0.06). Mutserve2 had the highest F1 scores (5% level: F1 score >0.99, 2% level: F1 score >0.54, and 1% level: F1 score >0.70) across all callers and mixture levels. Conclusion: We here present the benchmarking for low-frequency variant calling with nanopore sequencing by identifying current limitations.
    Keywords:  benchmarking; haplogroups; heteroplasmy; long-read; low-frequency variant; mixtures; mtDNA; nanopore sequencing
  13. Neurosci Res. 2022 Jun 07. pii: S0168-0102(22)00172-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      BAX is a Bcl-2 family protein acting on apoptosis. It also promotes mitochondrial fusion by interacting with the mitochondrial fusion protein Mitofusin (Mfn1 and Mfn2). Neuronal mitochondria are important for the development and modification of dendritic spines, which are subcellular compartments accommodating excitatory synapses in postsynaptic neurons. The abundance of dendritic mitochondria influences dendritic spine development. Mitochondrial fusion is essential for mitochondrial homeostasis. Here, we show that in the hippocampal neuron of BAX knockout mice, mitochondrial fusion is impaired, leading to decreases in mitochondrial length and total mitochondrial mass in dendrites. Notably, BAX knockout mice also have fewer dendritic spines and less cellular Adenosine 5'triphosphate (ATP) in dendrites. The spine and ATP changes are abolished by restoring mitochondria fusion via overexpressing Mfn1 and Mfn2. These findings indicate that BAX-mediated mitochondrial fusion in neurons is crucial for the development of dendritic spines and the maintenance of cellular ATP levels.
    Keywords:  ATP; Mfn; mitochondria; spine
  14. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 Jun 07. e15851
      Aberrant localization of proteins to mitochondria disturbs mitochondrial function and contributes to the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease (HD). However, the crucial factors and the molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we found that heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) accumulates in the mitochondria of HD cell models, a YAC128 mouse model, and human striatal organoids derived from HD induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Overexpression of mitochondria-targeting HSF1 (mtHSF1) in the striatum causes neurodegeneration and HD-like behavior in mice. Mechanistically, mtHSF1 facilitates mitochondrial fission by activating dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) phosphorylation at S616. Moreover, mtHSF1 suppresses single-stranded DNA-binding protein 1 (SSBP1) oligomer formation, which results in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletion. The suppression of HSF1 mitochondrial localization by DH1, a unique peptide inhibitor, abolishes HSF1-induced mitochondrial abnormalities and ameliorates deficits in an HD animal model and human striatal organoids. Altogether, our findings describe an unsuspected role of HSF1 in contributing to mitochondrial dysfunction, which may provide a promising therapeutic target for HD.
    Keywords:  Huntington's disease; heat shock transcription factor 1; human striatal organoids; mitochondrial DNA; single-stranded DNA-binding protein 1
  15. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 ;9 905072
      The heart is dependent on ATP production in mitochondria, which is closely associated with cardiovascular disease because of the oxidative stress produced by mitochondria. Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that constantly change their morphology to elongated (fusion) or small and spherical (fission). These mitochondrial dynamics are regulated by various small GTPases, Drp1, Fis1, Mitofusin, and Opa1. Mitochondrial fission and fusion are essential to maintain a balance between mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial turnover. Recent studies have demonstrated that mitochondrial dynamics play a crucial role in the development of cardiovascular diseases and senescence. Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics affect mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiomyocyte survival leading to cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury, cardiomyopathy, and heart failure. Mitochondrial dynamics and reactive oxygen species production have been associated with endothelial dysfunction, which in turn causes the development of atherosclerosis, hypertension, and even pulmonary hypertension, including pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Here, we review the association between cardiovascular diseases and mitochondrial dynamics, which may represent a potential therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  atherosclerosis; fission and fusion; heart failure; hypertension; ischemia-reperfusion; mitochondrial dynamics; pulmonary hypertension; senescence
  16. Mol Genet Metab. 2022 May 25. pii: S1096-7192(22)00321-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      The integration of metabolomics data with sequencing data is a key step towards improving the diagnostic process for finding the disease-causing genetic variant(s) in patients suspected of having an inborn error of metabolism (IEM). The measured metabolite levels could provide additional phenotypical evidence to elucidate the degree of pathogenicity for variants found in genes associated with metabolic processes. We present a computational approach, called Reafect, that calculates for each reaction in a metabolic pathway a score indicating whether that reaction is deficient or not. When calculating this score, Reafect takes multiple factors into account: the magnitude and sign of alterations in the metabolite levels, the reaction distances between metabolites and reactions in the pathway, and the biochemical directionality of the reactions. We applied Reafect to untargeted metabolomics data of 72 patient samples with a known IEM and found that in 81% of the cases the correct deficient enzyme was ranked within the top 5% of all considered enzyme deficiencies. Next, we integrated Reafect with Combined Annotation Dependent Depletion (CADD) scores (a measure for gene variant deleteriousness) and ranked the metabolic genes of 27 IEM patients. We observed that this integrated approach significantly improved the prioritization of the genes containing the disease-causing variant when compared with the two approaches individually. For 15/27 IEM patients the correct affected gene was ranked within the top 0.25% of the set of potentially affected genes. Together, our findings suggest that metabolomics data improves the identification of affected genes in patients suffering from IEM.
    Keywords:  CADD scores; Data integration; ES; Inborn errors of metabolism; Metabolic pathways; Untargeted metabolomics
  17. Cell Rep. 2022 Jun 07. pii: S2211-1247(22)00689-1. [Epub ahead of print]39(10): 110912
      To elucidate the function of oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) during B cell differentiation, we employ CD23Cre-driven expression of the dominant-negative K320E mutant of the mitochondrial helicase Twinkle (DNT). DNT-expression depletes mitochondrial DNA during B cell maturation, reduces the abundance of respiratory chain protein subunits encoded by mitochondrial DNA, and, consequently, respiratory chain super-complexes in activated B cells. Whereas B cell development in DNT mice is normal, B cell proliferation, germinal centers, class switch to IgG, plasma cell maturation, and T cell-dependent as well as T cell-independent humoral immunity are diminished. DNT expression dampens OxPhos but increases glycolysis in lipopolysaccharide and B cell receptor-activated cells. Lipopolysaccharide-activated DNT-B cells exhibit altered metabolites of glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle and a lower amount of phosphatidic acid. Consequently, mTORC1 activity and BLIMP1 induction are curtailed, whereas HIF1α is stabilized. Hence, mitochondrial DNA controls the metabolism of activated B cells via OxPhos to foster humoral immunity.
    Keywords:  B lymphocyte; CP: Immunology; HIF1; TCA cycle; class switch recombination; germinal center; hypoxia inducible factor 1; mTOR; mammalian target of Rapamycin; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial respiration; oxidative phosphorylation; phosphatidic acid; plasma cell
  18. Nature. 2022 Jun 08.
      Mitoribosomes are essential for the synthesis and maintenance of bioenergetic proteins. Here we use cryo-electron microscopy to determine a series of the small mitoribosomal subunit (SSU) intermediates in complex with auxiliary factors, revealing a sequential assembly mechanism. The methyltransferase TFB1M binds to partially unfolded rRNA h45 that is promoted by RBFA, while the mRNA channel is blocked. This enables binding of METTL15 that promotes further rRNA maturation and a large conformational change of RBFA. The new conformation allows initiation factor mtIF3 to already occupy the subunit interface during the assembly. Finally, the mitochondria-specific ribosomal protein mS37 (ref. 1) outcompetes RBFA to complete the assembly with the SSU-mS37-mtIF3 complex2 that proceeds towards mtIF2 binding and translation initiation. Our results explain how the action of step-specific factors modulate the dynamic assembly of the SSU, and adaptation of a unique protein, mS37, links the assembly to initiation to establish the catalytic human mitoribosome.
  19. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 28. pii: 6076. [Epub ahead of print]23(11):
      Mitochondria play central roles in maintaining cellular metabolic homeostasis, cell survival and cell death, and generate most of the cell's energy. Mitochondria maintain their homeostasis by dynamic (fission and fusion) and quality control mechanisms, including mitophagy, the removal of damaged mitochondria that is mediated mainly by the Pink1/Parkin pathway. Pink1 is a serine/threonine kinase which regulates mitochondrial function, hitherto many molecular mechanisms underlying Pink1 activity in mitochondrial homeostasis and cell fate remain unknown. Peptides are vital biological mediators that demonstrate remarkable potency, selectivity, and low toxicity, yet they have two major limitations, low oral bioavailability and poor stability. Herein, we rationally designed a linear peptide that targets Pink1 and, using straightforward chemistry, we developed molecular probes with drug-like properties to further characterize Pink1. Initially, we conjugated a cell-penetrating peptide and a cross-linker to map Pink1's 3D structure and its interaction sites. Next, we conjugated a fluorescent dye for cell-imaging. Finally, we developed cyclic peptides with improved stability and binding affinity. Overall, we present a facile approach to converting a non-permeable linear peptide into a research tool possessing important properties for therapeutics. This is a general approach using straightforward chemistry that can be tailored for various applications by numerous laboratories.
    Keywords:  Pink1; backbone cyclization; bioactive peptides; mitochondria; mitophagy; molecular probes; peptidomimetics; protein-peptide interactions; protein-protein interactions; therapeutic peptides
  20. iScience. 2022 Jun 17. 25(6): 104468
      The sharp increase in obesity prevalence worldwide is mainly attributable to changes in physical activity and eating behavior but the metabolic and clinical impacts of these obesogenic conditions vary between sexes and genetic backgrounds. This warrants personalized treatments of obesity and its complications, which require a thorough understanding of the diversity of metabolic responses to high-fat diet intake. By analyzing nine genetically diverse mouse strains, we show that much like humans, mice exhibit a huge variety of physiological and biochemical responses to high-fat diet. The strains exhibit various degrees of alterations in their phenotypic makeup. At the transcriptome level, we observe dysregulations of immunity, translation machinery, and mitochondrial genes. At the biochemical level, the enzymatic activity of mitochondrial complexes is affected. The diversity across mouse strains, diets, and sexes parallels that found in humans and supports the use of diverse mouse populations in future mechanistic or preclinical studies on metabolic dysfunctions.
    Keywords:  Biological sciences; Endocrinology; Obesity medicine
  21. Cell Rep. 2022 Jun 07. pii: S2211-1247(22)00694-5. [Epub ahead of print]39(10): 110917
      Fumarate can be a surrogate for O2 as a terminal electron acceptor in the electron transport chain. Reduction of fumarate produces succinate, which can be exported. It is debated whether intact tissues can import and oxidize succinate produced by other tissues. In a previous report, we showed that mitochondria in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)-choroid preparations can use succinate to reduce O2 to H2O. However, cells in that preparation could have been disrupted during tissue isolation. We now use multiple strategies to quantify intactness of the isolated RPE-choroid tissue. We find that exogenous 13C4-succinate is oxidized by intact cells then exported as fumarate or malate. Unexpectedly, we also find that oxidation of succinate is different from oxidation of other substrates because it uncouples electron transport from ATP synthesis. Retinas produce and export succinate. Our findings imply that retina succinate may substantially increase O2 consumption by uncoupling adjacent RPE mitochondria.
    Keywords:  CP: metabolism; anion transport; cell metabolism; energy metabolism; mitochondrial respiratory chain; retinal metabolism; retinal pigment epithelium; succinate; uncoupling