bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2020‒11‒22
sixteen papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. EMBO J. 2020 Nov 17. e105074
      The connectivity of mitochondria is regulated by a balance between fusion and division. Many human diseases are associated with excessive mitochondrial connectivity due to impaired Drp1, a dynamin-related GTPase that mediates division. Here, we report a mitochondrial stress response, named mitochondrial safeguard, that adjusts the balance of fusion and division in response to increased mitochondrial connectivity. In cells lacking Drp1, mitochondria undergo hyperfusion. However, hyperfusion does not completely connect mitochondria because Opa1 and mitofusin 1, two other dynamin-related GTPases that mediate fusion, become proteolytically inactivated. Pharmacological and genetic experiments show that the activity of Oma1, a metalloprotease that cleaves Opa1, is regulated by short pulses of the membrane depolarization without affecting the overall membrane potential in Drp1-knockout cells. Re-activation of Opa1 and Mitofusin 1 in Drp1-knockout cells further connects mitochondria beyond hyperfusion, termed extreme fusion, leading to bioenergetic deficits. These findings reveal an unforeseen safeguard mechanism that prevents extreme fusion of mitochondria, thereby maintaining mitochondrial function when the balance is shifted to excessive connectivity.
    Keywords:  Drp1; Oma1; Opa1; mitochondrial fusion; mitofusin
  2. Autophagy. 2020 Nov 20.
      Mitochondrial quality control, which is crucial for maintaining cellular homeostasis, has been considered to be achieved exclusively through mitophagy. Here we report an alternative mitochondrial quality control pathway mediated by extracellular mitochondria release. By performing time-lapse confocal imaging on a stable cell line with fluorescent-labeled mitochondria, we observed release of mitochondria from cells into the extracellular space. Correlative light-electron microscopy revealed that majority of the extracellular mitochondria are in free form and, on rare occasions, some are enclosed in membrane-surrounded vesicles. Rotenone- and carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone-induced mitochondrial quality impairment promotes the extracellular release of depolarized mitochondria. Overexpression of PRKN (parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase), which has a pivotal role in mitophagy regulation, suppresses the extracellular mitochondria release under basal and stress condition, whereas its knockdown exacerbates it. Correspondingly, overexpression of PRKN-independent mitophagy regulators, BNIP3 (BCL2 interacting protein 3) and BNIP3L/NIX (BCL2 interacting protein 3 like), suppress extracellular mitochondria release. Autophagy-deficient cell lines show elevated extracellular mitochondria release. These results imply that perturbation of mitophagy pathway prompts mitochondria expulsion. Presence of mitochondrial protein can also be detected in mouse sera. Sera of PRKN-deficient mice contain higher level of mitochondrial protein compared to that of wild-type mice. More importantly, fibroblasts and cerebrospinal fluid samples from Parkinson disease patients carrying loss-of-function PRKN mutations show increased extracellular mitochondria compared to control subjects, providing evidence in a clinical context. Taken together, our findings suggest that extracellular mitochondria release is a comparable yet distinct quality control pathway from conventional mitophagy.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; Parkinson disease; mitochondrial quality control; mitophagy; parkin
  3. J Cell Sci. 2020 Nov 16. pii: jcs.250944. [Epub ahead of print]
      Both functional and dysfunctional mitochondria are known to underlie tumor progression. Here, we establish use of the proto-oncogene Drosophila Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (Hipk) as a new tool to address this paradox. We find that, in Hipk-overexpressing tumor-like cells, mitochondria accumulate and switch from fragmented to highly fused interconnected morphologies. Moreover, elevated Hipk promotes mitochondrial membrane hyperpolarization. These mitochondrial changes are at least in part driven by the upregulation of Myc. Furthermore, we show that the altered mitochondrial energetics, but not morphology, is required for Hipk tumor-like growth as knockdown of pdsw (NDUFB10 in mammals; a Complex I subunit) abrogates the growth. Knockdown of ATPsynβ (a Complex V subunit), which produces higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) than pdsw knockdown, instead synergizes with Hipk to potentiate JNK activation and the downstream induction of Matrix metalloproteinases. Accordingly, ATPsynβ knockdown suppresses Hipk tumor-like growth only when ROS scavengers are co-expressed. Altogether, our work presents an in vivo tumor model featuring the accumulation of hyperfused and hyperpolarized mitochondria, and reveals respiratory Complex subunit-dependent, opposing effects on tumorigenic outcomes.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; Energetics; Hipk; Mitochondria; Myc; ROS
  4. iScience. 2020 Oct 23. 23(10): 101603
      Lipid composition varies among organelles, and the distinct lipid composition is important for specific functions of each membrane. Lipid transport between organelles, which is critical for the maintenance of membrane lipid composition, occurs by either vesicular or non-vesicular mechanisms. In yeast, ceramide synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is transported to the Golgi apparatus where inositolphosphorylceramide (IPC) is formed. Here we show that a fraction of Tcb3p, a yeast tricalbin protein, localizes to ER-Golgi contact sites. Tcb3p and their homologs Tcb1p and Tcb2p are required for formation of ER-Golgi contacts and non-vesicular ceramide transport. Absence of Tcb1p, Tcb2p, and Tcb3p increases acylceramide synthesis and subsequent lipid droplet (LD) formation. As LD can sequester excess lipids, we propose that tricalbins act as regulators of ceramide transport at ER-Golgi contact sites to help reduce a potentially toxic accumulation of ceramides.
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Functional Aspects of Cell Biology
  5. iScience. 2020 Nov 20. 23(11): 101684
      Cancer cells alter their nutrition metabolism to cope the stressful environment. One important metabolism adjustment is that cancer cells activate glutaminolysis in response to the reduced carbon from glucose entering into the TCA cycle due to inactivation of several enzymes in glycolysis. An important question is how the cancer cells coordinate the changes of glycolysis and glutaminolysis. In this report, we demonstrate that the pyruvate kinase inactive dimer PKM2 facilitates activation of glutaminolysis. Our experiments show that growth stimulations promote PKM2 dimer. The dimer PKM2 plays a role in regulation of glutaminolysis by upregulation of mitochondrial glutaminase I (GLS-1). PKM2 dimer regulates the GLS-1 expression by controlling internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-dependent c-myc translation. Growth stimulations promote PKM2 interacting with c-myc IRES-RNA, thus facilitating c-myc IRES-dependent translation. Our study reveals an important linker that coordinates the metabolism adjustment in cancer cells.
    Keywords:  Biological Sciences; Cancer; Cell Biology
  6. J Immunol. 2020 Nov 20. pii: ji2000306. [Epub ahead of print]
      Viral RNA in the cytoplasm of mammalian host cells is recognized by retinoic acid-inducible protein-I-like receptors (RLRs), which localize to cytoplasmic stress granules (SGs). Activated RLRs associate with the mitochondrial adaptor protein IPS-1, which activates antiviral host defense mechanisms, including type I IFN induction. It has remained unclear, however, how RLRs in SGs and IPS-1 in the mitochondrial outer membrane associate physically and engage in information transfer. In this study, we show that NUDT21, an RNA-binding protein that regulates alternative transcript polyadenylation, physically associates with IPS-1 and mediates its localization to SGs in response to transfection with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)], a mimic of viral dsRNA. We found that despite its well-established function in the nucleus, a fraction of NUDT21 localizes to mitochondria in resting cells and becomes localized to SGs in response to poly(I:C) transfection. NUDT21 was also found to be required for efficient type I IFN induction in response to viral infection in both human HeLa cells and mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7 cells. Our results together indicate that NUDT21 links RLRs in SGs to mitochondrial IPS-1 and thereby activates host defense responses to viral infection.
  7. Cell Stem Cell. 2020 Nov 09. pii: S1934-5909(20)30509-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Astrocyte-to-neuron conversion is a promising avenue for neuronal replacement therapy. Neurons are particularly dependent on mitochondrial function, but how well mitochondria adapt to the new fate is unknown. Here, we determined the comprehensive mitochondrial proteome of cortical astrocytes and neurons, identifying about 150 significantly enriched mitochondrial proteins for each cell type, including transporters, metabolic enzymes, and cell-type-specific antioxidants. Monitoring their transition during reprogramming revealed late and only partial adaptation to the neuronal identity. Early dCas9-mediated activation of genes encoding mitochondrial proteins significantly improved conversion efficiency, particularly for neuron-enriched but not astrocyte-enriched antioxidant proteins. For example, Sod1 not only improves the survival of the converted neurons but also elicits a faster conversion pace, indicating that mitochondrial proteins act as enablers and drivers in this process. Transcriptional engineering of mitochondrial proteins with other functions improved reprogramming as well, demonstrating a broader role of mitochondrial proteins during fate conversion.
    Keywords:  CRISPR-a; antioxidant; direct reprogramming; metabolism; mitochondria; proteome
  8. Commun Biol. 2020 Nov 17. 3(1): 682
      Methamphetamine-associated cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of death linked with illicit drug use. Here we show that Sigmar1 is a therapeutic target for methamphetamine-associated cardiomyopathy and defined the molecular mechanisms using autopsy samples of human hearts, and a mouse model of "binge and crash" methamphetamine administration. Sigmar1 expression is significantly decreased in the hearts of human methamphetamine users and those of "binge and crash" methamphetamine-treated mice. The hearts of methamphetamine users also show signs of cardiomyopathy, including cellular injury, fibrosis, and enlargement of the heart. In addition, mice expose to "binge and crash" methamphetamine develop cardiac hypertrophy, fibrotic remodeling, and mitochondrial dysfunction leading to contractile dysfunction. Methamphetamine treatment inhibits Sigmar1, resulting in inactivation of the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), decreased expression of mitochondrial fission 1 protein (FIS1), and ultimately alteration of mitochondrial dynamics and function. Therefore, Sigmar1 is a viable therapeutic agent for protection against methamphetamine-associated cardiomyopathy.
  9. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2020 Dec;24 100824
      Mitochondria oscillate along a morphological continuum from fragmented individual units to hyperfused tubular networks. Their position at the junction of catabolic and anabolic metabolism couples this morphological plasticity, called mitochondrial dynamics, to larger cellular metabolic programs, which in turn implicate mitochondria in a number of disease states. In many cancers, fragmented mitochondria engage the cell with the biosynthetic capacity of aerobic glycolysis in service of proliferation and progression. Chemo-resistant cancers, however, favor remodeling dynamics that yield fused mitochondrial assemblies utilizing oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) through the electron transport chain (ETC). In this study, expression of Mitofusin-2 (MFN-2), a GTPase protein mediator of mitochondrial fusion, was found to closely correlate to Jurkat leukemia cell survival post doxorubicin (DxR) assault. Moreover, this was accompanied by dramatically increased expression of OXPHOS respiratory complexes and ATP Synthase, as well as a commensurate escalation of state III respiration and respiratory control ratio (RCR). Importantly, CRISPR knockout of MFN-2 resulted in a considerable decrease of doxorubicin (DxR) median lethal dose compared to a treated wildtype control, suggesting an important role of mitochondrial fusion in chemotherapy sensitivity and acute resistance.
    Keywords:  Doxorubicin; MFN-2; Mitochondrial fusion; OXPHOS; Sensitivity
  10. Cell Death Differ. 2020 Nov 18.
      Most cellular stress responses converge on the mitochondria. Consequently, the mitochondria must rapidly respond to maintain cellular homeostasis and physiological demands by fine-tuning a plethora of mitochondria-associated processes. The outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) proteins are central to mediating mitochondrial dynamics, coupled with continuous fission and fusion. These OMM proteins also have vital roles in controlling mitochondrial quality and serving as mitophagic receptors for autophagosome enclosure during mitophagy. Mitochondrial fission segregates impaired mitochondria in smaller sizes from the mother mitochondria and may favor mitophagy for eliminating damaged mitochondria. Conversely, mitochondrial fusion mixes dysfunctional mitochondria with healthy ones to repair the damage by diluting the impaired components and consequently prevents mitochondrial clearance via mitophagy. Despite extensive research efforts into deciphering the interplay between fission-fusion and mitophagy, it is still not clear whether mitochondrial fission essentially precedes mitophagy. In this review, we summarize recent breakthroughs concerning OMM research, and dissect the functions of these proteins in mitophagy from their traditional roles in fission-fusion dynamics, in response to distinct context, at the intersection of the OMM platform. These insights into the OMM proteins in mechanistic researches would lead to new aspects of mitochondrial quality control and better understanding of mitochondrial homeostasis intimately tied to pathological impacts.
  11. Cell Signal. 2020 Nov 16. pii: S0898-6568(20)30315-6. [Epub ahead of print] 109838
      Sphingolipids are a unique class of lipids owing to their non-glycerol-containing backbone, ceramide, that is constructed from a long-chain aliphatic amino alcohol, sphinganine, to which a fatty acid is attached via an amide bond. Ceramide plays a star role in the initiation of apoptosis by virtue of its interactions with mitochondria, a control point for a downstream array of signaling cascades culminating in apoptosis. Many pathways converge on mitochondria to elicit mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP), a step that corrupts bioenergetic service. Although much is known regarding ceramides interaction with mitochondria and the ensuing cell signal transduction cascades, how ceramide impacts the elements of mitochondrial bioenergetic function is poorly understood. The objective of this review is to introduce the reader to sphingolipid metabolism, present a snapshot of mitochondrial respiration, elaborate on ceramides convergence on mitochondria and the upstream players that collaborate to elicit MOMP, and introduce a mitochondrial phenotyping platform that can be of utility in dissecting the fine-points of ceramide impact on cellular bioenergetics.
    Keywords:  Bioenergetics; Cancer; Ceramide; Mitochondria; Sphingolipids
  12. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 1776
      Elevated mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism represent key features of breast cancer stem cells (CSCs), whose propagation is conducive to disease onset and progression. Therefore, interfering with mitochondria biology and function may be regarded as a useful approach to eradicate CSCs. Here, we used the breast cancer cell line MCF7 as a model system to interrogate how mitochondrial fission contributes to the development of mitochondrial dysfunction toward the inhibition of metabolic flux and stemness. We generated an isogenic MCF7 cell line transduced with Mitochondrial Fission Factor (MCF7-MFF), which is primarily involved in mitochondrial fission. We evaluated the biochemical, molecular and functional properties of MCF7-MFF cells, as compared to control MCF7 cells transduced with the empty vector (MCF7-Control). We observed that MFF over-expression reduces both mitochondrial mass and activity, as evaluated using the mitochondrial probes MitroTracker Red and MitoTracker Orange, respectively. The analysis of metabolic flux using the Seahorse XFe96 revealed the inhibition of OXPHOS and glycolysis in MCF7-MFF cells, suggesting that increased mitochondrial fission may impair the biochemical properties of these organelles. Notably, CSCs activity, assessed by 3D-tumorsphere assays, was reduced in MCF7-MFF cells. A similar trend was observed for the activity of ALDH, a well-established marker of stemness. We conclude that enhanced mitochondrial fission may compromise CSCs propagation, through the impairment of mitochondrial function, possibly leading to a quiescent cell phenotype. Unbiased proteomic analysis revealed that proteins involved in mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress-response, fatty acid metabolism and hypoxia signaling are among the most highly up-regulated in MCF7-MFF cells. Of note, integrated analysis of top regulatory networks obtained from unbiased proteomics in MCF7-MFF cells predicts that this cell phenotype activates signaling systems and effectors involved in the inhibition of cell survival and adhesion, together with the activation of specific breast cancer cell death programs. Overall, our study shows that unbalanced and abnormal activation of mitochondrial fission may drive the impairment of mitochondrial metabolic function, leading to inhibition of CSC propagation, and the activation of quiescence programs. Exploiting the potential of mitochondria to control pivotal events in tumor biology may, therefore, represent a useful tool to prevent disease progression.
    Keywords:  CSCs; breast cancer; metabo-stemness; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial fission factor; mitochondrial mass; mitochondrial metabolism; oxidative metabolism
  13. J Mol Med (Berl). 2020 Nov 17.
      Mitochondria are recognized as the main source of ATP to meet the energy demands of the cell. ATP production occurs by oxidative phosphorylation when electrons are transported through the electron transport chain (ETC) complexes and develop the proton motive force across the inner mitochondrial membrane that is used for ATP synthesis. Studies since the 1960s have been concentrated on the two models of structural organization of ETC complexes known as "solid-state" and "fluid-state" models. However, advanced new techniques such as blue-native gel electrophoresis, mass spectroscopy, and cryogenic electron microscopy for analysis of macromolecular protein complexes provided new data in favor of the solid-state model. According to this model, individual ETC complexes are assembled into macromolecular structures known as respiratory supercomplexes (SCs). A large number of studies over the last 20 years proposed the potential role of SCs to facilitate substrate channeling, maintain the integrity of individual ETC complexes, reduce electron leakage and production of reactive oxygen species, and prevent excessive and random aggregation of proteins in the inner mitochondrial membrane. However, many other studies have challenged the proposed functional role of SCs. Recently, a third model known as the "plasticity" model was proposed that partly reconciles both "solid-state" and "fluid-state" models. According to the "plasticity" model, respiratory SCs can co-exist with the individual ETC complexes. To date, the physiological role of SCs remains unknown, although several studies using tissue samples of patients or animal/cell models of human diseases revealed an associative link between functional changes and the disintegration of SC assembly. This review summarizes and discusses previous studies on the mechanisms and regulation of SC assembly under physiological and pathological conditions.
    Keywords:  Electron transport chain complexes; Human diseases; Inner mitochondrial membrane; Mitochondria; Respiratory Supercomplexes
  14. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(11): e0242700
      Mitochondrial fusion and fission are dynamic processes regulated by the cellular microenvironment. Under nutrient starvation conditions, mitochondrial fusion is strengthened for energy conservation. We have previously shown that newborns of Ubl4A-deficient mice were more sensitive to starvation stress with a higher rate of mortality than their wild-type littermates. Ubl4A binds with the actin-related protein Arp2/3 complex to synergize the actin branching process. Here, we showed that deficiency in Ubl4A resulted in mitochondrial fragmentation and apoptosis. A defect in the fusion process was the main cause of the mitochondrial fragmentation and resulted from a shortage of primed Arp2/3 complex pool around the mitochondria in the Ubl4A-deficient cells compared to the wild-type cells. As a result, the mitochondrial fusion process was not undertaken quickly enough to sustain starvation stress-induced cell death. Consequently, fragmented mitochondria lost their membrane integrity and ROS was accumulated to trigger caspase 9-dependent apoptosis before autophagic rescue. Furthermore, the wild-type Ubl4A, but not the Arp2/3-binding deficient mutant, could rescue the starvation-induced mitochondrial fragmentation phenotype. These results suggest that Ubl4A promotes the mitochondrial fusion process via Arp2/3 complex during the initial response to nutrient deprivation for cell survival.
  15. FASEB J. 2020 Nov 16.
      Mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) is a global indicator of mitochondrial function. Previous reports on heterogeneity of ΔΨm were qualitative or semiquantitative. Here, we quantified intercellular differences in ΔΨm in unsynchronized human cancer cells, cells synchronized in G1, S, and G2, and human fibroblasts. We assessed ΔΨm using a two-pronged microscopy approach to measure relative fluorescence of tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester (TMRM) and absolute values of ΔΨm. We showed that ΔΨm is more heterogeneous in cancer cells compared to fibroblasts, and it is maintained throughout the cell cycle. The effect of chemical inhibition of the respiratory chain and ATP synthesis differed between basal, low and high ΔΨm cells. Overall, our results showed that intercellular heterogeneity of ΔΨm is mainly modulated by intramitochondrial factors, it is independent of the ΔΨm indicator and it is not correlated with intercellular heterogeneity of plasma membrane potential or the phases of the cell cycle.
    Keywords:  HepG2 cells; TMRM; cancer; cell cycle; fibroblasts; heterogeneity; mitochondria; mitochondrial membrane potential; plasma membrane potential
  16. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 571554
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria are essential intracellular organelles that actively communicate via temporally and spatially formed contacts called mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs). These mitochondria-ER contacts are not only necessary for the physiological function of the organelles and their coordination with each other, but they also control the intracellular lipid exchange, calcium signaling, cell survival, and homeostasis in cellular metabolism. Growing evidence strongly supports the role of the mitochondria-ER connection in the insulin resistance of peripheral tissues, pancreatic β cell dysfunction, and the consequent development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In this review, we summarize current advances in the understanding of the mitochondria-ER connection and specifically focus on addressing a new perspective of the alterations in mitochondria-ER communication in insulin signaling and β cell maintenance.
    Keywords:  diabetes; endoplasmic reticulum; insulin resistance; mitochondria; mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membranes; pancreatic β cell