bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2020‒11‒29
thirty-one papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Mol Biol Cell. 2020 Nov 25. mbcE20090605
      OPA1, a large GTPase of the dynamin superfamily, mediates fusion of the mitochondrial inner membranes, regulates cristae morphology, and maintains respiratory chain function. Inner-membrane-anchored long forms of OPA1 (l-OPA1) are proteolytically processed by the OMA1 or YME1L proteases, acting at cleavage sites S1 and S2 respectively, to produce short forms (s-OPA1). In both mouse and human, half of the mRNA splice forms of Opa1 are constitutively processed to yield exclusively s-OPA1. However, the function of s-OPA1 in mitochondrial fusion has been debated, because in some stress conditions, s-OPA1 is dispensable for fusion. By constructing cells in which the Opa1 locus no longer produces transcripts with S2 cleavage sites, we generated a simplified system to identify the new YME1L-dependent site S3 that mediates constitutive and complete cleavage of OPA1. We show that mitochondrial morphology is highly sensitive to the ratio of l-OPA1 to s-OPA1, indicating that s-OPA1 regulates mitochondrial fusion.
  2. Cell. 2020 Nov 25. pii: S0092-8674(20)31461-6. [Epub ahead of print]183(5): 1185-1201.e20
      Spaceflight is known to impose changes on human physiology with unknown molecular etiologies. To reveal these causes, we used a multi-omics, systems biology analytical approach using biomedical profiles from fifty-nine astronauts and data from NASA's GeneLab derived from hundreds of samples flown in space to determine transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and epigenetic responses to spaceflight. Overall pathway analyses on the multi-omics datasets showed significant enrichment for mitochondrial processes, as well as innate immunity, chronic inflammation, cell cycle, circadian rhythm, and olfactory functions. Importantly, NASA's Twin Study provided a platform to confirm several of our principal findings. Evidence of altered mitochondrial function and DNA damage was also found in the urine and blood metabolic data compiled from the astronaut cohort and NASA Twin Study data, indicating mitochondrial stress as a consistent phenotype of spaceflight.
    Keywords:  GeneLab; NASA; NASA Twin Study; Rodent Research Missions; lipids; microgravity; mitochondria; space radiation; spaceflight; transcriptomic
  3. Trends Cancer. 2020 Nov 24. pii: S2405-8033(20)30288-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ovarian cancer (OC) incidence and mortality rates differ between racial groups. Mitochondrial genetic factors are now emerging as determinants of racial disparities in OC. A comprehensive understanding of the role of mitochondria in OC health disparities will help in developing novel therapeutic strategies targeting mitochondria to reduce or eliminate racial health disparities.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; mitochondrial genetic factors; ovarian cancer; racial disparity; racial groups; therapeutic strategies
  4. iScience. 2020 Nov 20. 23(11): 101746
      Infants of diabetic mothers are at risk of cardiomyopathy at birth and myocardial infarction in adulthood, but prevention is hindered because mechanisms remain unknown. We previously showed that maternal glucolipotoxicity increases the risk of cardiomyopathy and mortality in newborn rats through fuel-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction. Here we demonstrate ongoing cardiometabolic consequences by cross-fostering and following echocardiography, cardiomyocyte bioenergetics, mitochondria-mediated turnover, and cell death following metabolic stress in aged adults. Like humans, cardiac function improves by weaning with no apparent differences in early adulthood but declines again in aged diabetes-exposed offspring. This is preceded by impaired oxidative phosphorylation, exaggerated age-related increase in mitochondrial number, and higher oxygen consumption. Prenatally exposed male cardiomyocytes have more mitolysosomes indicating high baseline turnover; when exposed to metabolic stress, mitophagy cannot increase and cardiomyocytes have faster mitochondrial membrane potential loss and mitochondria-mediated cell death. Details highlight age- and sex-specific roles of mitochondria in developmentally programmed adult heart disease.
    Keywords:  Animal Physiology; Biological Sciences; Cell Biology; Diabetology; Molecular Biology; Physiology
  5. Science. 2020 Nov 27. 370(6520): 1105-1110
      The human mitochondrial ribosome (mitoribosome) and associated proteins regulate the synthesis of 13 essential subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation complexes. We report the discovery of a mitoribosome-associated quality control pathway that responds to interruptions during elongation, and we present structures at 3.1- to 3.3-angstrom resolution of mitoribosomal large subunits trapped during ribosome rescue. Release factor homolog C12orf65 (mtRF-R) and RNA binding protein C6orf203 (MTRES1) eject the nascent chain and peptidyl transfer RNA (tRNA), respectively, from stalled ribosomes. Recruitment of mitoribosome biogenesis factors to these quality control intermediates suggests additional roles for these factors during mitoribosome rescue. We also report related cryo-electron microscopy structures (3.7 to 4.4 angstrom resolution) of elongating mitoribosomes bound to tRNAs, nascent polypeptides, the guanosine triphosphatase elongation factors mtEF-Tu and mtEF-G1, and the Oxa1L translocase.
  6. EMBO Rep. 2020 Nov 27. e50500
      The denitrosylase S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) has been suggested to sustain mitochondrial removal by autophagy (mitophagy), functionally linking S-nitrosylation to cell senescence and aging. In this study, we provide evidence that GSNOR is induced at the translational level in response to hydrogen peroxide and mitochondrial ROS. The use of selective pharmacological inhibitors and siRNA demonstrates that GSNOR induction is an event downstream of the redox-mediated activation of ATM, which in turn phosphorylates and activates CHK2 and p53 as intermediate players of this signaling cascade. The modulation of ATM/GSNOR axis, or the expression of a redox-insensitive ATM mutant influences cell sensitivity to nitrosative and oxidative stress, impairs mitophagy and affects cell survival. Remarkably, this interplay modulates T-cell activation, supporting the conclusion that GSNOR is a key molecular effector of the antioxidant function of ATM and providing new clues to comprehend the pleiotropic effects of ATM in the context of immune function.
    Keywords:  ATM; GSNOR; ROS; T cell; mitophagy
  7. Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 26. 11(1): 6008
      Respiratory complex I catalyzes electron transfer from NADH to ubiquinone (Q) coupled to vectorial proton translocation across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Despite recent progress in structure determination of this very large membrane protein complex, the coupling mechanism is a matter of ongoing debate and the function of accessory subunits surrounding the canonical core subunits is essentially unknown. Concerted rearrangements within a cluster of conserved loops of central subunits NDUFS2 (β1-β2S2 loop), ND1 (TMH5-6ND1 loop) and ND3 (TMH1-2ND3 loop) were suggested to be critical for its proton pumping mechanism. Here, we show that stabilization of the TMH1-2ND3 loop by accessory subunit LYRM6 (NDUFA6) is pivotal for energy conversion by mitochondrial complex I. We determined the high-resolution structure of inactive mutant F89ALYRM6 of eukaryotic complex I from the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica and found long-range structural changes affecting the entire loop cluster. In atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of the mutant, we observed conformational transitions in the loop cluster that disrupted a putative pathway for delivery of substrate protons required in Q redox chemistry. Our results elucidate in detail the essential role of accessory subunit LYRM6 for the function of eukaryotic complex I and offer clues on its redox-linked proton pumping mechanism.
  8. JCI Insight. 2020 Nov 24. pii: 141138. [Epub ahead of print]
      Inflammatory damage contributes to β-cell failure in type 1 and 2 diabetes (T1D and T2D). Mitochondria are damaged by inflammatory signaling in β-cells, resulting in impaired bioenergetics and initiation of pro-apoptotic machinery. Hence, the identification of protective responses to inflammation could lead to new therapeutic targets. Here we report that mitophagy serves as a protective response to inflammatory stress in both human and rodent β-cells. Utilizing in vivo mitophagy reporters, we observed that diabetogenic pro-inflammatory cytokines induced mitophagy in response to nitrosative/oxidative mitochondrial damage. Mitophagy-deficient β-cells were sensitized to inflammatory stress, leading to the accumulation of fragmented dysfunctional mitochondria, increased β-cell death, and hyperglycemia. Overexpression of CLEC16A, a T1D gene and mitophagy regulator whose expression in islets is protective against T1D, ameliorated cytokine-induced human β-cell apoptosis. Thus, mitophagy promotes β-cell survival and prevents diabetes by countering inflammatory injury. Targeting this pathway has the potential to prevent β-cell failure in diabetes and may be beneficial in other inflammatory conditions.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis survival pathways; Diabetes; Endocrinology; Mitochondria
  9. Cell Rep. 2020 Nov 24. pii: S2211-1247(20)31412-1. [Epub ahead of print]33(8): 108423
      In many tissues, stem cell (SC) proliferation is dynamically adjusted to regenerative needs. How SCs adapt their metabolism to meet the demands of proliferation and how changes in such adaptive mechanisms contribute to age-related dysfunction remain poorly understood. Here, we identify mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake as a central coordinator of SC metabolism. Live imaging of genetically encoded metabolite sensors in intestinal SCs (ISCs) of Drosophila reveals that mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake transiently adapts electron transport chain flux to match energetic demand upon proliferative activation. This tight metabolic adaptation is lost in ISCs of old flies, as declines in mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake promote a "Warburg-like" metabolic reprogramming toward aerobic glycolysis. This switch mimics metabolic reprogramming by the oncogene RasV12 and enhances ISC hyperplasia. Our data identify a critical mechanism for metabolic adaptation of tissue SCs and reveal how its decline sets aging SCs on a metabolic trajectory reminiscent of that seen upon oncogenic transformation.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; Warburg; aging; calcium; cancer; intestine; metabolism; mitochondria; stem cell; tissue homeostasis
  10. Cell Rep. 2020 Nov 24. pii: S2211-1247(20)31400-5. [Epub ahead of print]33(8): 108411
      Phagocytes reallocate metabolic resources to kill engulfed pathogens, but the intracellular signals that rapidly switch the immunometabolic program necessary to fuel microbial killing are not understood. We report that macrophages use a fast two-step Ca2+ relay to meet the bioenergetic demands of phagosomal killing. Upon detection of a fungal pathogen, macrophages rapidly elevate cytosolic Ca2+ (phase 1), and by concurrently activating the mitochondrial Ca2+ (mCa2+) uniporter (MCU), they trigger a rapid influx of Ca2+ into the mitochondria (phase 2). mCa2+ signaling reprograms mitochondrial metabolism, at least in part, through the activation of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH). Deprived of mCa2+ signaling, Mcu-/- macrophages are deficient in phagosomal reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and defective at killing fungi. Mice lacking MCU in their myeloid cells are highly susceptible to disseminated candidiasis. In essence, this study reveals an elegant design principle that MCU-dependent Ca2+ signaling is an electrometabolic switch to fuel phagosome killing.
    Keywords:  MCU; NADPH; calcium; citrate; electrometabolic; immunometabolism; mitochondria, Ca(2+); phagosome; pyruvate dehydrogenase
  11. Cancer Res. 2020 Nov 25. pii: canres.1865.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lung cancer is a prevalent and lethal cancer type that leads to more deaths than the next four major cancer types combined. Metastatic cancer spread is responsible for most cancer deaths but the cellular changes that enable cancer cells to leave the primary tumor and establish inoperable and lethal metastases remain poorly understood. To uncover genes that are specifically required to sustain metastasis survival or growth, we performed a genome-scale pooled lentiviral-shRNA library screen in cells that represent non-metastatic and metastatic states of lung adenocarcinoma. Mitochondrial ribosome and mitochondria-associated genes were identified as top gene sets associated with metastasis-specific lethality. Metastasis-derived cell lines in vitro and metastases analyzed ex vivo from an autochthonous lung cancer mouse model had lower mitochondrial membrane potential and reduced mitochondrial functionality than non-metastatic primary tumors. Electron microscopy of metastases uncovered irregular mitochondria with bridging and loss of normal membrane structure. Consistent with these findings, compounds that inhibit mitochondrial translation or replication had a greater effect on the growth of metastasis-derived cells. Finally, mice with established tumors developed fewer metastases upon treatment with phenformin in vivo. These results suggest that the metastatic cell state in lung adenocarcinoma is associated with a specifically altered mitochondrial functionality that can be therapeutically exploited.
  12. Nat Commun. 2020 11 23. 11(1): 5927
      Mitochondrial acyl-coenzyme A species are emerging as important sources of protein modification and damage. Succinyl-CoA ligase (SCL) deficiency causes a mitochondrial encephalomyopathy of unknown pathomechanism. Here, we show that succinyl-CoA accumulates in cells derived from patients with recessive mutations in the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) gene succinyl-CoA ligase subunit-β (SUCLA2), causing global protein hyper-succinylation. Using mass spectrometry, we quantify nearly 1,000 protein succinylation sites on 366 proteins from patient-derived fibroblasts and myotubes. Interestingly, hyper-succinylated proteins are distributed across cellular compartments, and many are known targets of the (NAD+)-dependent desuccinylase SIRT5. To test the contribution of hyper-succinylation to disease progression, we develop a zebrafish model of the SCL deficiency and find that SIRT5 gain-of-function reduces global protein succinylation and improves survival. Thus, increased succinyl-CoA levels contribute to the pathology of SCL deficiency through post-translational modifications.
  13. Cell Death Dis. 2020 Nov 23. 11(11): 1004
      Neuronal stress-adaptation combines multiple molecular responses. We have previously reported that thorax trauma induces a transient loss of hippocampal excitatory synapses mediated by the local release of the stress-related hormone corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). Since a physiological synaptic activity relies also on mitochondrial functionality, we investigated the direct involvement of mitochondria in the (mal)-adaptive changes induced by the activation of neuronal CRH receptors 1 (CRHR1). We observed, in vivo and in vitro, a significant shift of mitochondrial dynamics towards fission, which correlated with increased swollen mitochondria and aberrant cristae. These morphological changes, which are associated with increased NF-kB activity and nitric oxide concentrations, correlated with a pronounced reduction of mitochondrial activity. However, ATP availability was unaltered, suggesting that neurons maintain a physiological energy metabolism to preserve them from apoptosis under CRH exposure. Our findings demonstrate that stress-induced CRHR1 activation leads to strong, but reversible, modifications of mitochondrial dynamics and morphology. These alterations are accompanied by bioenergetic defects and the reduction of neuronal activity, which are linked to increased intracellular oxidative stress, and to the activation of the NF-kB/c-Abl/DRP1 axis.
  14. Elife. 2020 Nov 23. pii: e56612. [Epub ahead of print]9
      Systemic oxygen restriction (SOR) is prevalent in numerous clinical conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),and is associated with increased susceptibility to viral infections. However, the influence of SOR on T cell immunity remains uncharacterized. Here we show the detrimental effect of hypoxia on mitochondrial-biogenesis in activated mouse CD8+ T cells. We find that low oxygen level diminishes CD8+ T cell viral response in vivo. We reveal that respiratory restriction inhibits ATP-dependent matrix processes that are critical for mitochondrial biogenesis. This respiratory restriction-mediated effect could be rescued by TCA cycle re-stimulation, which yielded increased mitochondrial matrix-localized ATP via substrate-level phosphorylation. Finally, we demonstrate that the hypoxia-arrested CD8+ viral response could be rescued in vivo through brief exposure to atmospheric oxygen pressure. Overall, these findings elucidate the detrimental effect of hypoxia on mitochondrial-biogenesis in activated CD8+ T cells, and suggest a new approach for reducing viral infections in COPD.
    Keywords:  immunology; inflammation; mouse
  15. Sci Adv. 2020 Nov;pii: eabb7719. [Epub ahead of print]6(48):
      Mitochondria are essential for animal and plant immunity. Here, we report that the effector MoCDIP4 of the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae targets the mitochondria-associated OsDjA9-OsDRP1E protein complex to reduce rice immunity. The DnaJ protein OsDjA9 interacts with the dynamin-related protein OsDRP1E and promotes the degradation of OsDRP1E, which functions in mitochondrial fission. By contrast, MoCDIP4 binds OsDjA9 to compete with OsDRP1E, resulting in OsDRP1E accumulation. Knockout of OsDjA9 or overexpression of OsDRP1E or MoCDIP4 in transgenic rice results in shortened mitochondria and enhanced susceptibility to M. oryzae Overexpression of OsDjA9 or knockout of OsDRP1E in transgenic rice, in contrast, leads to elongated mitochondria and enhanced resistance to M. oryzae Our study therefore reveals a previously unidentified pathogen-infection strategy in which the pathogen delivers an effector into plant cells to target an HSP40-DRP complex; the targeting leads to the perturbation of mitochondrial dynamics, thereby inhibiting mitochondria-mediated plant immunity.
  16. Mol Metab. 2020 Nov 20. pii: S2212-8778(20)30197-6. [Epub ahead of print] 101123
      The dorsal vagal complex (DVC) senses insulin and controls glucose homeostasis, feeding behaviour and bodyweight. Three-days of high-fat diet (HFD) in rats are sufficient to induce insulin resistance in the DVC and impair its ability to regulate feeding behaviour. HFD-feeding is associated with increased dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1)-dependent mitochondrial fission in the DVC. Higher Drp1 activity inhibits insulin signalling, although the exact mechanisms controlling bodyweight remain elusive. We show that Drp1 activation in DVC increases weight gain in rats and Drp1 inhibition in HFD-fed rats reduced food intake, weight gain and adipose tissue. Rats expressing active Drp1 in the DVC had higher levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and knockdown of DVC iNOS in HFD-fed rats led to a reduction in food intake, weight gain and adipose tissue. Finally, inhibiting mitochondrial fission in DVC astrocytes was sufficient to protect rats from HFD-dependent insulin resistance, hyperphagia, weight gain and fat deposition. We uncovered new molecular and cellular targets for brain regulation of whole-body metabolism, which could inform new strategies to combat obesity and diabetes.
    Keywords:  DRP1; Dorsal Vagal Complex-Astrocytes; Insulin Resistance; food intake; iNOS; mitochondrial dynamics
  17. Cells. 2020 Nov 19. pii: E2507. [Epub ahead of print]9(11):
      The inner membranes of mitochondria contain several types of K+ channels, which modulate the membrane potential of the organelle and contribute in this way to cytoprotection and the regulation of cell death. To better study the causal relationship between K+ channel activity and physiological changes, we developed an optogenetic platform for a light-triggered modulation of K+ conductance in mitochondria. By using the light-sensitive interaction between cryptochrome 2 and the regulatory protein CIB1, we can trigger the transcription of a small and highly selective K+ channel, which is in mammalian cells targeted into the inner membrane of mitochondria. After exposing cells to very low intensities (≤0.16 mW/mm2) of blue light, the channel protein is detectable as an accumulation of its green fluorescent protein (GFP) tag in the mitochondria less than 1 h after stimulation. This system allows for an in vivo monitoring of crucial physiological parameters of mitochondria, showing that the presence of an active K+ channel causes a substantial depolarization compatible with the effect of an uncoupler. Elevated K+ conductance also results in a decrease in the Ca2+ concentration in the mitochondria but has no impact on apoptosis.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; mitochondrial Ca2+ manipulation; mitochondrial K+ channel; optogenetic platform
  18. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020 Nov 23. e017820
      Background The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical for cerebrovascular health. Although aging impairs the integrity of the BBB, the mechanisms behind this phenomenon are not clear. As mitochondrial components activate inflammation as mitochondria become dysfunctional, we examined how aging impacts cerebrovascular mitochondrial function, mitophagy, and inflammatory signaling; and whether any alterations correlate with BBB function. Methods and Results We isolated cerebral vessels from young (2-3 months of age) and aged (18-19 months of age) mice and found that aging led to increases in the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 senescence marker with impaired mitochondrial function, which correlated with aged mice exhibiting increased BBB leak compared with young mice. Cerebral vessels also exhibited increased expression of mitophagy proteins Parkin and Nix with aging. Using mitophagy reporter (mtKeima) mice, we found that the capacity to increase mitophagy from baseline within the cerebral vessels on rotenone treatment was reduced with aging. Aging within the cerebral vessels also led to the upregulation of the stimulator of interferon genes and increased interleukin 6 (IL-6), a cytokine that alters mitochondrial function. Importantly, exogenous IL-6 treatment of young cerebral vessels upregulated mitophagy and Parkin and impaired mitochondrial function; whereas inhibiting IL-6 in aged cerebral vessels reduced Parkin expression and increased mitochondrial function. Furthermore, treating cerebral vessels of young mice with mitochondrial N-formyl peptides upregulated IL-6, increased Parkin, and reduced Claudin-5, a tight junction protein integral to BBB integrity. Conclusions Aging alters the cerebral vasculature to impair mitochondrial function and mitophagy and increase IL-6 levels. These alterations may impair BBB integrity and potentially reduce cerebrovascular health with aging.
    Keywords:  aging; cerebrovascular inflammation; interleukin 6; mitophagy
  19. Mol Cell Oncol. 2020 ;7(6): 1832420
      How ER exit sites disassemble during mitosis is not well understood. Transport ANd Golgi Organization 1 (TANGO1, also known as MIA3), a cargo receptor originally identified for collagens, acts as a hub for ER exit site disassembly under the control of Casein Kinase 1 (CK1)-mediated phosphorylation and Protein Phosphatase 1 (PP1)-mediated dephosphorylation. Impaired dephosphorylation during mitosis induces ER exit site disassembly.
    Keywords:  CK1; COPII; PP1; Sec16; Secretion; TANGO1; mitosis
  20. FASEB J. 2020 Nov 27.
      Mutations in any of the genes encoding the four subunits of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), a mitochondrial membrane-bound enzyme complex that is involved in both the tricarboxylic acid cycle and the electron transport chain, can lead to a variety of disorders. Recognized conditions with such mutations include Leigh syndrome and hereditary tumors such as pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL), renal cell carcinoma, and gastrointestinal stromal tumor. Tumors appear in SDH mutation carriers with dominant inheritance due to loss of heterozygosity in susceptible cells. Here, we describe a mouse model intended to reproduce hereditary PPGL through Cre-mediated loss of SDHC in cells that express tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a compartment where PPGL is known to originate. We report that while there is modest expansion of TH+ glomus cells in the carotid body upon SDHC loss, PPGL is not observed in such mice, even in the presence of a conditional dominant negative p53 protein and chronic hypoxia. Instead, we report an unexpected phenotype of nondiabetic obesity beginning at about 20 weeks of age. We hypothesize that this obesity is caused by TH+ cell loss or altered phenotype in key compartments of the central nervous system responsible for regulating feeding behavior, coupled with metabolic changes due to loss of peripheral catecholamine production.
    Keywords:  catecholamines; dopaminergic cells; familial paraganglioma; mitochondrial disease; mouse; obesity; succinate dehydrogenase; tyrosine hydroxylase
  21. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 269-285
      Complexome profiling combines blue native gel electrophoresis (BNE) and quantitative mass spectrometry to define an entire protein interactome of a cell, an organelle, or a biological membrane preparation. The method allows the identification of protein assemblies with low abundance and detects dynamic processes of protein complex assembly. Applications of complexome profiling range from the determination of complex subunit compositions, assembly of single protein complexes, and supercomplexes to comprehensive differential studies between patients or disease models. This chapter describes the workflow of complexome profiling from sample preparation, mass spectrometry to data analysis with a bioinformatics tool.
    Keywords:  Assembly; Blue native electrophoresis; Complexome profiling; Mass spectrometry; Membrane protein complexes; Mitochondria
  22. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 243-268
      Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) enables the three-dimensional (3D) visualization of macromolecular complexes in their native environment (in situ). The ability to visualize macromolecules in situ is in particular advantageous for complex, membrane-associated processes, such as mitochondrial translation. Mitochondrial translation occurs almost exclusively associated with the inner mitochondrial membrane, giving rise to the mitochondrial DNA-encoded subunits of oxidative phosphorylation machinery. In cryo-ET, the 3D volume is reconstructed from a set of 2D projections of a frozen-hydrated specimen, which is sequentially tilted and imaged at different angles in a transmission electron microscope. In combination with subtomogram analysis, cryo-ET enables the structure determination of macromolecular complexes and their 3D organization. In this chapter, we summarize all steps required for structural characterization of mitochondrial ribosomes in situ, ranging from data acquisition to tomogram reconstruction and subtomogram analysis.
    Keywords:  Cryo-electron tomography; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial ribosomes; Translation
  23. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 159-181
      Human mitochondria contain their own DNA (mtDNA) that encodes 13 proteins all of which are core subunits of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes. To form functional complexes, these 13 components need to be correctly assembled with approximately 70 nuclear-encoded subunits that are imported following synthesis in the cytosol. How this complicated coordinated translation and assembly is choreographed is still not clear. Methods are being developed to determine whether all members of a particular complex are translated in close proximity, whether protein synthesis is clustered in submitochondrial factories, whether these align with incoming polypeptides, and if there is evidence for co-translational translation that is regulated and limited by the interaction of the incoming proteins with synthesis of their mtDNA-encoded partners. Two methods are described in this chapter to visualize the distribution of mitochondrial ribosomal RNAs in conjunction with newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins. The first combines RNA Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH) and super-resolution immunocytochemistry to pinpoint mitochondrial ribosomal RNA. The second localizes nascent translation within the mitochondrial network through non-canonical amino acid labeling, click chemistry and fluorescent microscopy.
    Keywords:  Click chemistry; Fluorescence microscopy; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial RNA; Mitoribosome; Single-molecule RNA FISH; Stimulated emission depletion microscopy; Super-resolution microscopy; Translation
  24. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 35-41
      In vitro assay based on a reconstituted mitochondrial transcription system serves as a method of choice to probe the functional importance of proteins and their structural motifs. Here we describe protocols for transcription assays designed to probe activity of the human mitochondrial RNA polymerase and the transcription initiation complex using RNA-DNA scaffold and synthetic promoter templates.
    Keywords:  Mitochondrial transcription; POLRTM; Promoter; RNAP; TFAM; TFB2M
  25. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 183-196
      Ribosome profiling (Ribo-Seq) is a technique that allows genome-wide, quantitative analysis of translation. In recent years, it has found multiple applications in studies of translation in diverse organisms, tracking protein synthesis with single codon resolution. Traditional protocols applied for generating Ribo-Seq libraries from mammalian cell cultures are not suitable to study mitochondrial translation due to differences between eukaryotic cytosolic and mitochondrial ribosomes. Here, we present an adapted protocol enriching for mitoribosome footprints. In addition, we describe the preparation of small RNA sequencing libraries from the resultant mitochondrial ribosomal protected fragments (mtRPFs).
    Keywords:  MitoRibo-Seq; Mitochondria; Mitoribosome; Ribosome profiling
  26. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 21-34
      Single molecule analysis of replicating DNA (SMARD) is a powerful methodology that allows in vivo analysis of replicating DNA; identification of origins of replication, assessment of fork directionality, and measurement of replication fork speed. SMARD, which has been extensively used to study replication of nuclear DNA, involves incorporation of thymidine analogs to nascent DNA chains and their subsequent visualization through immune detection. Here, we adapt and fine-tune the SMARD technique to the specifics of human and mouse mitochondrial DNA. The mito-SMARD protocol allows researchers to gain in vivo insight into mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication at the single molecule level and with high resolution.
    Keywords:  DNA combing; DNA fibers; Mitochondrial DNA; Thymidine analogs; mtDNA; mtDNA FISH; mtDNA replication
  27. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 1-20
      Human mitochondrial DNA is a small circular double-stranded molecule that is essential for cellular energy production. A specialized protein machinery replicates the mitochondrial genome, with DNA polymerase γ carrying out synthesis of both strands. According to the prevailing mitochondrial DNA replication model, the two strands are replicated asynchronously, with the leading heavy-strand initiating first, followed by the lagging light-strand. By using purified recombinant forms of the replication proteins and synthetic DNA templates, it is possible to reconstitute mitochondrial DNA replication in vitro. Here we provide details on how to differentially reconstitute replication of the leading- and lagging-strands.
    Keywords:  DNA polymerase; In vitro; Mitochondria; Replication; mtDNA
  28. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 89-101
      Mitochondrial RNAs are modified posttranscriptionally. These modifications are required for proper functioning of RNA molecules, and thereby contribute to essential mitochondrial processes. Herein, we describe our latest mass spectrometry-based platform for analysis of posttranscriptional modifications of mitochondrial tRNAs, and measuring the in vitro activity of mitochondrial RNA-modifying enzymes.
    Keywords:  Mass spectrometry; Mitochondrial tRNA; RNA modification
  29. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 287-311
      Blue-native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) is a technique optimized for the analysis of the five components of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system. BN-PAGE is based on the preservation of the interactions between the individual subunits within the integral complexes. To achieve this, the complexes are extracted from the mitochondrial inner membrane using mild detergents and separated by electrophoresis in the absence of denaturing agents. The electrophoretic procedures can then be combined with a variety of downstream detection techniques. Since its development in the 1990s, BN-PAGE has been applied in the study of mitochondria from all kinds of organisms and extensive amounts of data have been produced using this technique, being key for the understanding of many aspects of OXPHOS physiopathology.
    Keywords:  Blue-native gel electrophoresis; First-dimension BN-PAGE; In gel activity assays; Mitochondrial complexes I, II, III, IV, and V; Oxidative phosphorylation system; Second-dimension BN-PAGE
  30. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 103-115
      RNA modifications are present in most cellular RNAs and are formed posttranscriptionally by enzymatic machineries that involve hundreds of enzymes and cofactors. RNA modifications impact the life cycle of the RNA, its stability, folding, cellular localization, as well as interactions with RNA and protein partners. RNA modifications are important for mitochondrial function and are required for proper processing and function of mitochondrial (mt) tRNA and rRNA. Underscoring their importance, several mitochondrial diseases are caused by defects in mt-RNA modifications, stemming from mutations in mtDNA at or near mt-RNA modification sites or in nuclear-encoded mt-RNA modifying enzymes. A highly abundant RNA modification, involved in mitochondrial physiology and pathology is pseudouridylation (Ψ), which is catalyzed by enzymes of the Pseudouridine Synthase (PUS) family. Although some Ψ sites in mt-rRNA and mt-tRNA have been identified, little is known about the functional role of these modifications. Furthermore, it is unknown which enzyme facilitates the modification of each site and it is likely that many yet undiscovered mt-RNA modifications exist, as is evidenced by recent work showing some Ψ sites on mRNA. Here, we present mito-Ψ-Seq, a high-throughput method for semiquantitative mapping of Ψ in mt-RNA.
    Keywords:  Epitranscriptome; Misincorporation signatures; Mitochondria; Next-generation sequencing; Pseudouridine; RNA modification; Reverse-transcription arrest
  31. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2192 197-210
      Mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) are specialized machineries that carry out the synthesis of a limited number of proteins encoded in the mitochondrial genome, including components of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. They have incorporated several structural features distinguishing them from bacterial and eukaryotic cytosolic counterparts. Our current understanding of the assembly and functioning of mitoribosomes is limited, and recent developments in cryo-EM provide promising directions for detailed investigation. Here we describe methods to purify mitoribosomes from human embryonic kidney cells for cryo-EM studies.
    Keywords:  Cryo-EM; Mitochondria; Mitoribosome; Translation