bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒01‒03
fifteen papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Mol Cell. 2020 Dec 22. pii: S1097-2765(20)30904-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aerobic glycolysis, or preferential fermentation of glucose-derived pyruvate to lactate despite available oxygen, is associated with proliferation across many organisms and conditions. To better understand that association, we examined the metabolic consequence of activating the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDH) to increase pyruvate oxidation at the expense of fermentation. We find that increasing PDH activity impairs cell proliferation by reducing the NAD+/NADH ratio. This change in NAD+/NADH is caused by increased mitochondrial membrane potential that impairs mitochondrial electron transport and NAD+ regeneration. Uncoupling respiration from ATP synthesis or increasing ATP hydrolysis restores NAD+/NADH homeostasis and proliferation even when glucose oxidation is increased. These data suggest that when demand for NAD+ to support oxidation reactions exceeds the rate of ATP turnover in cells, NAD+ regeneration by mitochondrial respiration becomes constrained, promoting fermentation, despite available oxygen. This argues that cells engage in aerobic glycolysis when the demand for NAD+ is in excess of the demand for ATP.
    Keywords:  Aerobic Glycolysis; Cell Metabolism; Fermentation; NAD+; PDK; Warburg Effect
  2. Cell Metab. 2020 Dec 08. pii: S1550-4131(20)30655-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolic fuels regulate insulin secretion by generating second messengers that drive insulin granule exocytosis, but the biochemical pathways involved are incompletely understood. Here we demonstrate that stimulation of rat insulinoma cells or primary rat islets with glucose or glutamine + 2-aminobicyclo-(2,2,1)-heptane-2-carboxylic acid (Gln + BCH) induces reductive, "counter-clockwise" tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle flux of glutamine to citrate. Molecular or pharmacologic suppression of isocitrate dehydrogenase-2 (IDH2), which catalyzes reductive carboxylation of 2-ketoglutarate to isocitrate, results in impairment of glucose- and Gln + BCH-stimulated reductive TCA cycle flux, lowering of NADPH levels, and inhibition of insulin secretion. Pharmacologic suppression of IDH2 also inhibits insulin secretion in living mice. Reductive TCA cycle flux has been proposed as a mechanism for generation of biomass in cancer cells. Here we demonstrate that reductive TCA cycle flux also produces stimulus-secretion coupling factors that regulate insulin secretion, including in non-dividing cells.
    Keywords:  NADPH; anaplerosis; insulin secretion; isocitrate dehydrogenase-2; metabolic flux; pancreatic islet β cells; reductive TCA cycle; stable isotopes
  3. Cancer Discov. 2020 Dec 18. pii: CD-20-1065. [Epub ahead of print]
      During millions of years, endogenous retroelements have remained transcriptionally silent within mammalian genomes by epigenetic mechanisms. Modern anti-cancer therapies targeting the epigenetic machinery awaken retroelement expression, inducing anti-viral responses that eliminate tumors through mechanisms not completely understood. Here we find that massive binding of epigenetically-activated retroelements by RIG-I and MDA5 viral sensors promotes ATP hydrolysis and depletes intracellular energy, driving tumor killing independently of immune signaling. Energy depletion boosts compensatory ATP production by switching glycolysis to mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, thereby reversing the Warburg effect. However, hyperfunctional succinate dehydrogenase in mitochondrial electron transport chain generates excessive oxidative stress that unleashes RIP1-mediated necroptosis. To maintain ATP generation, hyperactive mitochondrial membrane blocks intrinsic apoptosis by increasing BCL2 dependency. Accordingly, drugs targeting BCL2-family proteins and epigenetic inhibitors yield synergistic responses in multiple cancer types. Thus, epigenetic therapy kills cancer cells by rewiring mitochondrial metabolism upon retroelement activation, which primes mitochondria to apoptosis by BH3-mimetics.
  4. Cell Rep. 2020 Dec 29. pii: S2211-1247(20)31551-5. [Epub ahead of print]33(13): 108562
      Generating mammalian cells with desired mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences is enabling for studies of mitochondria, disease modeling, and potential regenerative therapies. MitoPunch, a high-throughput mitochondrial transfer device, produces cells with specific mtDNA-nuclear DNA (nDNA) combinations by transferring isolated mitochondria from mouse or human cells into primary or immortal mtDNA-deficient (ρ0) cells. Stable isolated mitochondrial recipient (SIMR) cells isolated in restrictive media permanently retain donor mtDNA and reacquire respiration. However, SIMR fibroblasts maintain a ρ0-like cell metabolome and transcriptome despite growth in restrictive media. We reprogrammed non-immortal SIMR fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with subsequent differentiation into diverse functional cell types, including mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes. Remarkably, after reprogramming and differentiation, SIMR fibroblasts molecularly and phenotypically resemble unmanipulated control fibroblasts carried through the same protocol. Thus, our MitoPunch "pipeline" enables the production of SIMR cells with unique mtDNA-nDNA combinations for additional studies and applications in multiple cell types.
    Keywords:  cell engineering; differentiation, MitoPunch, mitochondrial transplantation, mitochondrial replacement, mitonuclear communication, isolated mitochondria; mitochondrial transfer; mtDNA; reprogramming
  5. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jan 05. pii: e2015632118. [Epub ahead of print]118(1):
      The balance between NLRP3 inflammasome activation and mitophagy is essential for homeostasis and cellular health, but this relationship remains poorly understood. Here we found that interleukin-1α (IL-1α)-deficient macrophages have reduced caspase-1 activity and diminished IL-1β release, concurrent with reduced mitochondrial damage, suggesting a role for IL-1α in regulating this balance. LPS priming of macrophages induced pro-IL-1α translocation to mitochondria, where it directly interacted with mitochondrial cardiolipin (CL). Computational modeling revealed a likely CL binding motif in pro-IL-1α, similar to that found in LC3b. Thus, binding of pro-IL-1α to CL in activated macrophages may interrupt CL-LC3b-dependent mitophagy, leading to enhanced Nlrp3 inflammasome activation and more robust IL-1β production. Mutation of pro-IL-1α residues predicted to be involved in CL binding resulted in reduced pro-IL-1α-CL interaction, a reduction in NLRP3 inflammasome activity, and increased mitophagy. These data identify a function for pro-IL-1α in regulating mitophagy and the potency of NLRP3 inflammasome activation.
    Keywords:  IL-1α; autophagy; cardiolipin; inflammasome; mitochondria
  6. Science. 2021 Jan 01. pii: eabb6896. [Epub ahead of print]371(6524):
      Tissue homeostasis is perturbed in a diversity of inflammatory pathologies. These changes can elicit endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, protein misfolding, and cell death. ER stress triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR), which can promote recovery of ER proteostasis and cell survival or trigger programmed cell death. Here, we leveraged single-cell RNA sequencing to define dynamic transcriptional states associated with the adaptive versus terminal UPR in the mouse intestinal epithelium. We integrated these transcriptional programs with genome-scale CRISPR screening to dissect the UPR pathway functionally. We identified QRICH1 as a key effector of the PERK-eIF2α axis of the UPR. QRICH1 controlled a transcriptional program associated with translation and secretory networks that were specifically up-regulated in inflammatory pathologies. Thus, QRICH1 dictates cell fate in response to pathological ER stress.
  7. Cell Rep. 2020 Dec 29. pii: S2211-1247(20)31552-7. [Epub ahead of print]33(13): 108563
      Misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) activate IRE1α endoribonuclease in mammalian cells, which mediates XBP1 mRNA splicing to produce an active transcription factor. This promotes the expression of specific genes to alleviate ER stress, thereby attenuating IRE1α. Although sustained activation of IRE1α is linked to human diseases, it is not clear how IRE1α is attenuated during ER stress. Here, we identify that Sec63 is a subunit of the previously identified IRE1α/Sec61 translocon complex. We find that Sec63 recruits and activates BiP ATPase through its luminal J-domain to bind onto IRE1α. This leads to inhibition of higher-order oligomerization and attenuation of IRE1α RNase activity during prolonged ER stress. In Sec63-deficient cells, IRE1α remains activated for a long period of time despite the presence of excess BiP in the ER. Thus, our data suggest that the Sec61 translocon bridges IRE1α with Sec63/BiP to regulate the dynamics of IRE1α signaling in cells.
    Keywords:  ER stress; IRE1; Sec61 translocon; endoplasmic reticulum; protein translocation; unfolded protein response
  8. PLoS Biol. 2020 Dec 28. 18(12): e3001045
      Host-pathogen conflicts leave genetic signatures in genes that are critical for host defense functions. Using these "molecular scars" as a guide to discover gene functions, we discovered a vertebrate-specific MItochondrial STress Response (MISTR) circuit. MISTR proteins are associated with electron transport chain (ETC) factors and activated by stress signals such as interferon gamma (IFNγ) and hypoxia. Upon stress, ultraconserved microRNAs (miRNAs) down-regulate MISTR1(NDUFA4) followed by replacement with paralogs MItochondrial STress Response AntiViral (MISTRAV) and/or MItochondrial STress Response Hypoxia (MISTRH). While cells lacking MISTR1(NDUFA4) are more sensitive to chemical and viral apoptotic triggers, cells lacking MISTRAV or expressing the squirrelpox virus-encoded vMISTRAV exhibit resistance to the same insults. Rapid evolution signatures across primate genomes for MISTR1(NDUFA4) and MISTRAV indicate recent and ongoing conflicts with pathogens. MISTR homologs are also found in plants, yeasts, a fish virus, and an algal virus indicating ancient origins and suggesting diverse means of altering mitochondrial function under stress. The discovery of MISTR circuitry highlights the use of evolution-guided studies to reveal fundamental biological processes.
  9. Sci Adv. 2020 Dec;pii: eabc9955. [Epub ahead of print]6(51):
      Mitochondria drive cellular adaptation to stress by retro-communicating with the nucleus. This process is known as mitochondrial retrograde response (MRR) and is induced by mitochondrial dysfunction. MRR results in the nuclear stabilization of prosurvival transcription factors such as the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB). Here, we demonstrate that MRR is facilitated by contact sites between mitochondria and the nucleus. The translocator protein (TSPO) by preventing the mitophagy-mediated segregation o mitochonria is required for this interaction. The complex formed by TSPO with the protein kinase A (PKA), via the A-kinase anchoring protein acyl-CoA binding domain containing 3 (ACBD3), established the tethering. The latter allows for cholesterol redistribution of cholesterol in the nucleus to sustain the prosurvival response by blocking NF-κB deacetylation. This work proposes a previously unidentified paradigm in MRR: the formation of contact sites between mitochondria and nucleus to aid communication.
  10. Hum Mol Genet. 2020 Nov 06. pii: ddaa243. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in the GDAP1 gene cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) neuropathy. GDAP1 is an atypical glutathione S-transferase (GST) of the outer mitochondrial membrane and the mitochondrial membrane contacts with the endoplasmic reticulum (MAMs). Here, we investigate the role of this GST in the autophagic flux and the membrane contact sites (MCSs) between mitochondria and lysosomes in the cellular pathophysiology of GDAP1 deficiency. We demonstrate that GDAP1 participates in basal autophagy and that its depletion affects LC3 and PI3P biology in autophagosome biogenesis and membrane trafficking from MAMs. GDAP1 also contributes to the maturation of lysosome by interacting with PYKfyve kinase, a pH-dependent master lysosomal regulator. GDAP1 deficiency causes giant lysosomes with hydrolytic activity, a delay in the autophagic lysosome reformation, and TFEB activation. Notably, we found that GDAP1 interacts with LAMP-1, which supports that GDAP1-LAMP-1 is a new tethering pair of mitochondria and lysosome membrane contacts. We observed mitochondria-lysosome MCSs in soma and axons of cultured mouse embryonic motor neurons and human neuroblastoma cells. GDAP1 deficiency reduces the MCSs between these organelles, causes mitochondrial network abnormalities, and decreases levels of cellular glutathione (GSH). The supply of GSH-MEE suffices to rescue the lysosome membranes and the defects of the mitochondrial network, but not the interorganelle MCSs nor early autophagic events. Overall, we show that GDAP1 enables the proper function of mitochondrial MCSs in both degradative and nondegradative pathways, which could explain primary insults in GDAP1-related CMT pathophysiology, and highlights new redox-sensitive targets in axonopathies where mitochondria and lysosomes are involved.
  11. Trends Biochem Sci. 2020 Dec 12. pii: S0968-0004(20)30278-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) for over 30 years. Despite this, the role of mitochondrial dysfunction as an initiator, propagator, or bystander remains undetermined. The discovery of the role of the PD familial genes PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and parkin (PRKN) in mediating mitochondrial degradation (mitophagy) reaffirmed the importance of this process in PD aetiology. Recently, progress has been made in understanding the upstream and downstream regulators of canonical PINK1/parkin-mediated mitophagy, alongside noncanonical PINK1/parkin mitophagy, in response to mitochondrial damage. Progress has also been made in understanding the role of PD-associated genes, such as SNCA, LRRK2, and CHCHD2, in mitochondrial dysfunction and their overlap with sporadic PD (sPD), opening opportunities for therapeutically targeting mitochondria in PD.
    Keywords:  PINK1; Parkin; bioenergetics; deubiquitylase; neurodegeneration; α-synuclein
  12. J Cell Sci. 2020 Dec 29. pii: jcs249136. [Epub ahead of print]133(24):
      Calcium is the third most abundant metal on earth, and the fundaments of its homeostasis date back to pre-eukaryotic life forms. In higher organisms, Ca2+ serves as a cofactor for a wide array of (enzymatic) interactions in diverse cellular contexts and constitutes the most important signaling entity in excitable cells. To enable responsive behavior, cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations are kept low through sequestration into organellar stores, particularly the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but also mitochondria and lysosomes. Specific triggers are then used to instigate a local release of Ca2+ on demand. Here, communication between organelles comes into play, which is accomplished through intimate yet dynamic contacts, termed membrane contact sites (MCSs). The field of MCS biology in relation to cellular Ca2+ homeostasis has exploded in recent years. Taking advantage of this new wealth of knowledge, in this Review, we invite the reader on a journey of Ca2+ flux through the ER and its associated MCSs. New mechanistic insights and technological advances inform the narrative on Ca2+ acquisition and mobilization at these sites of communication between organelles, and guide the discussion of their consequences for cellular physiology.
    Keywords:  Calcium; ER; Endosome; Membrane contact sites; Mitochondria
  13. J Biol Chem. 2020 12 18. pii: jbc.REV120.014294. [Epub ahead of print]
      The genetics and pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) strongly implicate mitochondria in disease aetiology. Elegant studies over the last two decades have elucidated complex molecular signalling governing the identification and removal of dysfunctional mitochondria from the cell, a process of mitochondrial quality control known as mitophagy. Mitochondrial deficits and specifically reduced mitophagy are evident in both sporadic and familial PD. Mendelian genetics attributes loss-of-function mutations in key mitophagy regulators PINK1 and Parkin to early-onset PD. Pharmacologically enhancing mitophagy and accelerating the removal of damaged mitochondria are of interest for developing a disease-modifying PD therapeutic. However, despite significant understanding of both PINK1/Parkin-dependent and -independent mitochondrial quality control pathways, the therapeutic potential of targeting mitophagy remains to be fully explored. Here, we provide a summary of the genetic evidence supporting the role for mitophagy-failure as a pathogenic mechanism in PD. We assess the tractability of mitophagy pathways and prospects for drug discovery and consider intervention points for mitophagy enhancement. We explore the numerous hit molecules beginning to emerge from high-content/high-throughput screening as well as the biochemical and phenotypic assays that enabled these screens. The chemical and biological properties of these reference compounds suggest many could be used to interrogate and perturb mitochondrial biology to validate promising drug targets. Finally, we address key considerations and challenges in achieving pre-clinical proof-of-concept, including in vivo mitophagy reporter methodologies and disease models, as well as patient stratification and biomarker development for mitochondrial forms of the disease.
    Keywords:  PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1); Parkinson disease; biomarker; drug discovery; mitochondria; mitophagy; parkin
  14. STAR Protoc. 2020 Dec 18. 1(3): 100160
      The redox state of mitochondria is one indicator of the functional state of the organelles. Mitochondria are also the primary endogenous source of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Therefore, the redox state of the organelles also reflects their function in ROS production. Here, we provide step-by-step protocols for live-cell imaging and quantification of mitochondrial redox state using the genetically encoded fluorescent biosensor, mitochondria-targeted redox sensing GFP (mito-roGFP), and mitochondrial ROS using the membrane-permeant small molecule dihydroethidium (DHE) in budding yeast cells. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Liao et al. (2020c).
  15. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 23. pii: E91. [Epub ahead of print]22(1):
      Sarcopenia is a chronic disease characterized by the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass, force, and function during aging. It is an emerging public problem associated with poor quality of life, disability, frailty, and high mortality. A decline in mitochondria quality control pathways constitutes a major mechanism driving aging sarcopenia, causing abnormal organelle accumulation over a lifetime. The resulting mitochondrial dysfunction in sarcopenic muscles feedbacks systemically by releasing the myomitokines fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) and growth and differentiation factor 15 (GDF15), influencing the whole-body homeostasis and dictating healthy or unhealthy aging. This review describes the principal pathways controlling mitochondrial quality, many of which are potential therapeutic targets against muscle aging, and the connection between mitochondrial dysfunction and the myomitokines FGF21 and GDF15 in the pathogenesis of aging sarcopenia.
    Keywords:  FGF21; GDF15; fission; fusion; mitochondrial dynamics; mitokines; mitophagy; myokines; sarcopenia