bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒01‒10
eighteen papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Nature. 2021 Jan 06.
      The mitochondrial outer membrane contains so-called β-barrel proteins, which allow communication between the cytosol and the mitochondrial interior1-3. Insertion of β-barrel proteins into the outer membrane is mediated by the multisubunit mitochondrial sorting and assembly machinery (SAM, also known as TOB)4-6. Here we use cryo-electron microscopy to determine the structures of two different forms of the yeast SAM complex at a resolution of 2.8-3.2 Å. The dimeric complex contains two copies of the β-barrel channel protein Sam50-Sam50a and Sam50b-with partially open lateral gates. The peripheral membrane proteins Sam35 and Sam37 cap the Sam50 channels from the cytosolic side, and are crucial for the structural and functional integrity of the dimeric complex. In the second complex, Sam50b is replaced by the β-barrel protein Mdm10. In cooperation with Sam50a, Sam37 recruits and traps Mdm10 by penetrating the interior of its laterally closed β-barrel from the cytosolic side. The substrate-loaded SAM complex contains one each of Sam50, Sam35 and Sam37, but neither Mdm10 nor a second Sam50, suggesting that Mdm10 and Sam50b function as placeholders for a β-barrel substrate released from Sam50a. Our proposed mechanism for dynamic switching of β-barrel subunits and substrate explains how entire precursor proteins can fold in association with the mitochondrial machinery for β-barrel assembly.
  2. Nat Metab. 2021 Jan 04.
      Organelles use specialized molecules to regulate their essential cellular processes. However, systematically elucidating the subcellular distribution and function of molecules such as long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in cellular homeostasis and diseases has not been fully achieved. Here, we reveal the diverse and abundant subcellular distribution of organelle-associated lncRNAs from mitochondria, lysosomes and endoplasmic reticulum. Among them, we identify the mitochondrially localized lncRNA growth-arrest-specific 5 (GAS5) as a tumour suppressor in maintaining cellular energy homeostasis. Mechanistically, energy-stress-induced GAS5 modulates mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid flux by disrupting metabolic enzyme tandem association of fumarate hydratase, malate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase, the canonical members of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. GAS5 negatively correlates with levels of its associated mitochondrial metabolic enzymes in tumours and benefits overall survival in individuals with breast cancer. Together, our detailed annotation of subcellular lncRNA distribution identifies a functional role for lncRNAs in regulating cellular metabolic homeostasis, highlighting organelle-associated lncRNAs as potential clinical targets to manipulate cellular metabolism and diseases.
  3. Nat Commun. 2021 01 04. 12(1): 26
      Mitochondrial oxidation-induced cell death, a physiological process triggered by various cancer therapeutics to induce oxidative stress on tumours, has been challenging to investigate owing to the difficulties in generating mitochondria-specific oxidative stress and monitoring mitochondrial responses simultaneously. Accordingly, to the best of our knowledge, the relationship between mitochondrial protein oxidation via oxidative stress and the subsequent cell death-related biological phenomena has not been defined. Here, we developed a multifunctional iridium(III) photosensitiser, Ir-OA, capable of inducing substantial mitochondrial oxidative stress and monitoring the corresponding change in viscosity, polarity, and morphology. Photoactivation of Ir-OA triggers chemical modifications in mitochondrial protein-crosslinking and oxidation (i.e., oxidative phosphorylation complexes and channel and translocase proteins), leading to microenvironment changes, such as increased microviscosity and depolarisation. These changes are strongly related to cell death by inducing mitochondrial swelling with excessive fission and fusion. We suggest a potential mechanism from mitochondrial oxidative stress to cell death based on proteomic analyses and phenomenological observations.
  4. Nat Commun. 2021 01 04. 12(1): 83
      Trafficking of mitochondria into dendrites and axons plays an important role in the physiology and pathophysiology of neurons. Mitochondrial outer membrane protein Miro and adaptor proteins TRAKs/Milton link mitochondria to molecular motors. Here we show that metaxins MTX-1 and MTX-2 contribute to mitochondrial transport into both dendrites and axons of C. elegans neurons. MTX1/2 bind to MIRO-1 and kinesin light chain KLC-1, forming a complex to mediate kinesin-1-based movement of mitochondria, in which MTX-1/2 are essential and MIRO-1 plays an accessory role. We find that MTX-2, MIRO-1, and TRAK-1 form another distinct adaptor complex to mediate dynein-based transport. Additionally, we show that failure of mitochondrial trafficking in dendrites causes age-dependent dendrite degeneration. We propose that MTX-2 and MIRO-1 form the adaptor core for both motors, while MTX-1 and TRAK-1 specify each complex for kinesin-1 and dynein, respectively. MTX-1 and MTX-2 are also required for mitochondrial transport in human neurons, indicative of their evolutionarily conserved function.
  5. Autophagy. 2021 Jan 06.
      Retinal ganglion cell axons are heavily myelinated (98%) and myelin damage in the optic nerve (ON) severely affects vision. Understanding the molecular mechanism of oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) differentiation into mature oligodendrocytes will be essential for developing new therapeutic approaches for ON demyelinating diseases. To this end, we developed a new method for isolation and culture of ON-derived oligodendrocyte lineage cells and used it to study OPC differentiation. A critical aspect of cellular differentiation is macroautophagy/autophagy, a catabolic process that allows for cell remodeling by degradation of excess or damaged cellular molecules and organelles. Knockdown of ATG9A and BECN1 (pro-autophagic proteins involved in the early stages of autophagosome formation) led to a significant reduction in proliferation and survival of OPCs. We also found that autophagy flux (a measure of autophagic degradation activity) is significantly increased during progression of oligodendrocyte differentiation. Additionally, we demonstrate a significant change in mitochondrial dynamics during oligodendrocyte differentiation, which is associated with a significant increase in programmed mitophagy (selective autophagic clearance of mitochondria). This process is mediated by the mitophagy receptor BNIP3L (BCL2/adenovirus E1B interacting protein 3-like). BNIP3L-mediated mitophagy plays a crucial role in the regulation of mitochondrial network formation, mitochondrial function and the viability of newly differentiated oligodendrocytes. Our studies provide novel evidence that proper mitochondrial dynamics is required for establishment of functional mitochondria in mature oligodendrocytes. These findings are significant because targeting BNIP3L-mediated programmed mitophagy may provide a novel therapeutic approach for stimulating myelin repair in ON demyelinating diseases.
    Keywords:  ATG9A; autophagy; autophagy flux; co-culture; demyelinating diseases; glial cells; mitochondrial dynamics; myelin; oligodendrocyte lineage cells; retinal ganglion cell axons
  6. Autophagy. 2021 Jan 06.
      We investigated in larval and adult Drosophila models whether loss of the mitochondrial chaperone Hsc70-5 is sufficient to cause pathological alterations commonly observed in Parkinson disease. At affected larval neuromuscular junctions, no effects on terminal size, bouton size or number, synapse size, or number were observed, suggesting that we studied an early stage of pathogenesis. At this stage, we noted a loss of synaptic vesicle proteins and active zone components, delayed synapse maturation, reduced evoked and spontaneous excitatory junctional potentials, increased synaptic fatigue, and cytoskeleton rearrangements. The adult model displayed ATP depletion, altered body posture, and susceptibility to heat-induced paralysis. Adult phenotypes could be suppressed by knockdown of dj-1β, Lrrk, DCTN2-p50, DCTN1-p150, Atg1, Atg101, Atg5, Atg7, and Atg12. The knockdown of components of the macroautophagy/autophagy machinery or overexpression of human HSPA9 broadly rescued larval and adult phenotypes, while disease-associated HSPA9 variants did not. Overexpression of Pink1 or promotion of autophagy exacerbated defects.
    Keywords:   Atg1 ; Hsc70-5 ; microtubule; mitochondria; mitophagy; rapamycin; synapse
  7. Autophagy. 2021 Jan 08.
      Mitochondrial quality control (MQC) balances organelle adaptation and elimination, and mechanistic crosstalk between the underlying molecular processes affects subsequent stress outcomes. FUNDC1 (FUN14 domain containing 1) is a mammalian mitophagy receptor that responds to hypoxia-reoxygenation (HR) stress. Here, we provide evidence that FNDC-1 is the C. elegans ortholog of FUNDC1, and that its loss protects against injury in a worm model of HR. This protection depends upon ATFS-1, a transcription factor that is central to the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt). Global mRNA and metabolite profiling suggest that atfs-1-dependent stress responses and metabolic remodeling occur in response to the loss of fndc-1. These data support a role for FNDC-1 in non-hypoxic MQC, and further suggest that these changes are prophylactic in relation to subsequent HR. Our results highlight functional coordination between mitochondrial adaptation and elimination that organizes stress responses and metabolic rewiring to protect against HR injury.
    Keywords:   C. elegans ; hypoxia-reoxygenation (HR); metabolism; mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt); mitophagy
  8. Org Biomol Chem. 2021 Jan 07.
      Mitochondria are an indispensable organelle for energy production and regulation of cellular metabolism. The structural and functional alterations to mitochondria instigate pathological conditions of cancer, and aging-associated and neurodegenerative disorders. The normal functioning of mitochondria is maintained by quality control mechanisms involving dynamic fission, fusion, biogenesis and mitophagy. Under conditions of mitophagy and neurodegenerative diseases, mitochondria are exposed to different acidic environments and high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Therefore stable molecular tools and methods are required to monitor the pathways linked to mitochondrial dysfunction and disease conditions. Herein, we report a far-red fluorescent probe (Mito-TG) with excellent biocompatibility, biostability, photostability, chemical stability and turn on emission for selective targeting of the mitochondrial matrix in different live cells. The probe was successfully employed for monitoring dynamic processes of mitophagy and amyloid beta (Aβ) induced mitochondrial structural changes.
  9. Mitochondrion. 2021 Jan 04. pii: S1567-7249(20)30243-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      C-Src kinase is localized in several subcellular compartments, including mitochondria where it is involved in the regulation of organelle functions and overall metabolism. Surprisingly, the characterization of the intramitochondrial Src interactome has never been fully determined. Using in vitro proximity-dependent biotin identification (BioID) coupled to mass spectrometry, we identified 51 candidate proteins that may interact directly or indirectly with c-Src within the mitochondrial matrix. Pathway analysis suggests that these proteins are involved in a large array of mitochondrial functions such as protein folding and import, mitochondrial organization and transport, oxidative phosphorylation, tricarboxylic acid cycle and metabolism of amino and fatty acids. Among these proteins, we identified 24 tyrosine phosphorylation sites in 17 mitochondrial proteins (AKAP1, VDAC1, VDAC2, VDAC3, LonP1, Hsp90, SLP2, PHB2, MIC60, UBA1, EF-Tu, LRPPRC, ACO2, OAT, ACAT1, ETFβ and ATP5β) as potential substrates for intramitochondrial Src using in silico prediction of tyrosine phospho-sites. Interaction of c-Src with SLP2 and ATP5β was confirmed using coimmunoprecipitation. This study suggests that the intramitochondrial Src could target several proteins and regulate different mitochondrial functions.
    Keywords:  BioID2; Mitochondrial functions; c-Src kinase; protein-protein interactions; proteomics
  10. Nat Commun. 2021 01 05. 12(1): 120
      Mitochondrial ATP synthase plays a key role in inducing membrane curvature to establish cristae. In Apicomplexa causing diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis, an unusual cristae morphology has been observed, but its structural basis is unknown. Here, we report that the apicomplexan ATP synthase assembles into cyclic hexamers, essential to shape their distinct cristae. Cryo-EM was used to determine the structure of the hexamer, which is held together by interactions between parasite-specific subunits in the lumenal region. Overall, we identified 17 apicomplexan-specific subunits, and a minimal and nuclear-encoded subunit-a. The hexamer consists of three dimers with an extensive dimer interface that includes bound cardiolipins and the inhibitor IF1. Cryo-ET and subtomogram averaging revealed that hexamers arrange into ~20-megadalton pentagonal pyramids in the curved apical membrane regions. Knockout of the linker protein ATPTG11 resulted in the loss of pentagonal pyramids with concomitant aberrantly shaped cristae. Together, this demonstrates that the unique macromolecular arrangement is critical for the maintenance of cristae morphology in Apicomplexa.
  11. Cell Metab. 2021 Jan 05. pii: S1550-4131(20)30663-X. [Epub ahead of print]33(1): 128-144.e9
      The metabolic role of micropeptides generated from untranslated regions remains unclear. Here we describe MP31, a micropeptide encoded by the upstream open reading frame (uORF) of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) acting as a "circuit breaker" that limits lactate-pyruvate conversion in mitochondria by competing with mitochondrial lactate dehydrogenase (mLDH) for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). Knocking out the MP31 homolog in mice enhanced global lactate metabolism, manifesting as accelerated oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and increased lactate consumption and production. Conditional knockout (cKO) of MP31 homolog in mouse astrocytes initiated gliomagenesis and shortened the overall survival of the animals, establishing a tumor-suppressing role for MP31. Recombinant MP31 administered intraperitoneally penetrated the blood-brain barrier and inhibited mice GBM xenografts without neurological toxicity, suggesting the clinical implication and application of this micropeptide. Our findings reveal a novel mode of MP31-orchestrated lactate metabolism reprogramming in glioblastoma.
    Keywords:  LDH; MP31; OXPHOS; PTEN; glioblastoma; lactate oxidation; tumorigenesis; uORF
  12. Cancer Metab. 2021 Jan 07. 9(1): 2
      Tumor cellular metabolism exhibits distinguishing features that collectively enhance biomass synthesis while maintaining redox balance and cellular homeostasis. These attributes reflect the complex interactions between cell-intrinsic factors such as genomic-transcriptomic regulation and cell-extrinsic influences, including growth factor and nutrient availability. Alongside glucose and amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism supports tumorigenesis and disease progression through a range of processes including membrane biosynthesis, energy storage and production, and generation of signaling intermediates. Here, we highlight the complexity of cellular fatty acid metabolism in cancer, the various inputs and outputs of the intracellular free fatty acid pool, and the numerous ways that these pathways influence disease behavior.
    Keywords:  Cellular membrane; De novo synthesis; Fatty acid; Lipid; Lipid droplets; Mitochondria; Oxidation; Peroxisome
  13. Nat Metab. 2021 Jan 04.
      Metabolic transformation is a hallmark of cancer and a critical target for cancer therapy. Cancer metabolism and behaviour are regulated by cell-intrinsic factors as well as metabolite availability in the tumour microenvironment (TME). This metabolic niche within the TME is shaped by four tiers of regulation: (1) intrinsic tumour cell metabolism, (2) interactions between cancer cells and non-cancerous cells, (3) tumour location and heterogeneity and (4) whole-body metabolic homeostasis. Here, we define these modes of metabolic regulation and review how distinct cell types contribute to the metabolite composition of the TME. Finally, we connect these insights to understand how each of these tiers offers unique therapeutic potential to modulate the metabolic profile and function of all cells inhabiting the TME.
  14. J Biol Chem. 2020 Dec 23. pii: S0021-9258(20)00205-7. [Epub ahead of print] 100209
      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.
    Keywords:  Biomarker; Parkinson’s disease; drug discovery; mitochondria; mitophagy
  15. Mitochondrion. 2021 Jan 04. pii: S1567-7249(20)30242-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      The puzzling traits related to the evolutionary aspect of mitochondria, still positions the mitochondrion at the center of the research. The theory of endosymbiosis popularized by Lynn Margulis in 1967 gained prominence wherein the mitochondrion is believed to have emerged as a prokaryote and later integrated into the eukaryotic system. This semi-autonomous organelle has bagged two responsible but perilous cellular functions: a) energy metabolism, and b) calcium buffering, though both are interdependent. While most of the mitochondrial functions are saliently regulated by calcium ions, the calcium buffering role of mitochondria decides the cellular fate. Though calcium overload in few mitochondria makes them dysfunctional at the early stage of cellular stress, this doesn't lead to sudden cell death due to critical checkpoints like mitophagy, mitochondrial fusion, etc. Thus, mitochondrion juggles with multiple crucial cellular functions with its calcium buffering skill.
    Keywords:  Cellular homeostasis; MCU, apoptosis; mitochondrial calcium
  16. Cell Calcium. 2021 Jan 02. pii: S0143-4160(20)30185-8. [Epub ahead of print]94 102343
      In the last decades, the communication between the Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria has obtained great attention: mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs), which represent the contact sites between the two organelles, have indeed emerged as central hub involved in different fundamental cell processes, such as calcium signalling, apoptosis, autophagy and lipid biosynthesis. Consistently, dysregulation of ER-mitochondria crosstalk has been associated with different pathological conditions, ranging from diabetes to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we will try to summarize the current knowledge on MAMs' structure and functions in health and their relevance for human diseases.
    Keywords:  Calcium signaling; MAMs; Mitochondria; Neurodegeneration; Organelle contact sites
  17. Trends Cell Biol. 2021 Jan 05. pii: S0962-8924(20)30254-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitoribosomes catalyze essential protein synthesis within mitochondria. Mitoribosome biogenesis is assisted by an increasing number of assembly factors, among which guanosine triphosphate hydrolases (GTPases) are the most abundant class. Here, we review recent progress in our understanding of mitoribosome assembly GTPases. We describe their shared and specific features and mechanisms of action, compare them with their bacterial counterparts, and discuss their possible roles in the assembly of small or large mitoribosomal subunits and the formation of the monosome by establishing quality-control checkpoints during these processes. Furthermore, following the recent unification of the nomenclature for the mitoribosomal proteins, we also propose a unified nomenclature for mitoribosome assembly GTPases.
    Keywords:  GTPBP; OXPHOS deficiency; mitochondrial diseases; mitochondrial ribosome; mitoribosome assembly GTPase; quality control of mitoribosome maturation
  18. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2261 411-419
      In-depth analysis of the mitochondrial proteome can be greatly improved by analyzing isolated mitochondria instead of whole cells. However, isolation of sufficient amounts of mitochondria from cell culture has proven to be notoriously difficult due to small sample size. Thus, we have developed a reproducible, controllable, and highly customizable method to isolate high microgram to low milligram amounts of intact mitochondria from cell culture samples along with an optional density gradient purification. This chapter provides a methodological update of our approach and underlines the excellent quality and coverage of the mitochondrial proteome of crude and purified mitochondria from cultured liver cancer cell lines.
    Keywords:  Balch homogenizer; Cell culture; Mitochondria; Proteomics