bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒02‒07
eighteen papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2018355118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      The mammalian sperm midpiece has a unique double-helical structure called the mitochondrial sheath that wraps tightly around the axoneme. Despite the remarkable organization of the mitochondrial sheath, the molecular mechanisms involved in mitochondrial sheath formation are unclear. In the process of screening testis-enriched genes for functions in mice, we identified armadillo repeat-containing 12 (ARMC12) as an essential protein for mitochondrial sheath formation. Here, we engineered Armc12-null mice, FLAG-tagged Armc12 knock-in mice, and TBC1 domain family member 21 (Tbc1d21)-null mice to define the functions of ARMC12 in mitochondrial sheath formation in vivo. We discovered that absence of ARMC12 causes abnormal mitochondrial coiling along the flagellum, resulting in reduced sperm motility and male sterility. During spermiogenesis, sperm mitochondria in Armc12-null mice cannot elongate properly at the mitochondrial interlocking step which disrupts abnormal mitochondrial coiling. ARMC12 is a mitochondrial peripheral membrane protein and functions as an adherence factor between mitochondria in cultured cells. ARMC12 in testicular germ cells interacts with mitochondrial proteins MIC60, VDAC2, and VDAC3 as well as TBC1D21 and GK2, which are required for mitochondrial sheath formation. We also observed that TBC1D21 is essential for the interaction between ARMC12 and VDAC proteins in vivo. These results indicate that ARMC12 uses integral mitochondrial membrane proteins VDAC2 and VDAC3 as scaffolds to link mitochondria and works cooperatively with TBC1D21. Thus, our studies have revealed that ARMC12 regulates spatiotemporal mitochondrial dynamics to form the mitochondrial sheath through cooperative interactions with several proteins on the sperm mitochondrial surface.
    Keywords:  infertility; mitochondrial sheath formation; sperm mitochondrial dynamics; spermatogenesis
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2017774118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      Mitochondrial protein import requires outer membrane receptors that evolved independently in different lineages. Here we used quantitative proteomics and in vitro binding assays to investigate the substrate preferences of ATOM46 and ATOM69, the two mitochondrial import receptors of Trypanosoma brucei The results show that ATOM46 prefers presequence-containing, hydrophilic proteins that lack transmembrane domains (TMDs), whereas ATOM69 prefers presequence-lacking, hydrophobic substrates that have TMDs. Thus, the ATOM46/yeast Tom20 and the ATOM69/yeast Tom70 pairs have similar substrate preferences. However, ATOM46 mainly uses electrostatic, and Tom20 hydrophobic, interactions for substrate binding. In vivo replacement of T. brucei ATOM46 by yeast Tom20 did not restore import. However, replacement of ATOM69 by the recently discovered Tom36 receptor of Trichomonas hydrogenosomes, while not allowing for growth, restored import of a large subset of trypanosomal proteins that lack TMDs. Thus, even though ATOM69 and Tom36 share the same domain structure and topology, they have different substrate preferences. The study establishes complementation experiments, combined with quantitative proteomics, as a highly versatile and sensitive method to compare in vivo preferences of protein import receptors. Moreover, it illustrates the role determinism and contingencies played in the evolution of mitochondrial protein import receptors.
    Keywords:  Trichomonas; Trypanosoma; mitochondria; protein import; receptors
  3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2008778118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      Human mitochondria contain their own genome, mitochondrial DNA, that is expressed in the mitochondrial matrix. This genome encodes 13 vital polypeptides that are components of the multisubunit complexes that couple oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). The inner mitochondrial membrane that houses these complexes comprises the inner boundary membrane that runs parallel to the outer membrane, infoldings that form the cristae membranes, and the cristae junctions that separate the two. It is in these cristae membranes that the OXPHOS complexes have been shown to reside in various species. The majority of the OXPHOS subunits are nuclear-encoded and must therefore be imported from the cytosol through the outer membrane at contact sites with the inner boundary membrane. As the mitochondrially encoded components are also integral members of these complexes, where does protein synthesis occur? As transcription, mRNA processing, maturation, and at least part of the mitoribosome assembly process occur at the nucleoid and the spatially juxtaposed mitochondrial RNA granules, is protein synthesis also performed at the RNA granules close to these entities, or does it occur distal to these sites? We have adapted a click chemistry-based method coupled with stimulated emission depletion nanoscopy to address these questions. We report that, in human cells in culture, within the limits of our methodology, the majority of mitochondrial protein synthesis is detected at the cristae membranes and is spatially separated from the sites of RNA processing and maturation.
    Keywords:  click chemistry; human mitochondria; mitoribosomes; protein synthesis
  4. Cell Metab. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S1550-4131(21)00005-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      The haploinsufficiency of C9orf72 is implicated in the most common forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), but the full spectrum of C9orf72 functions remains to be established. Here, we report that C9orf72 is a mitochondrial inner-membrane-associated protein regulating cellular energy homeostasis via its critical role in the control of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). The translocation of C9orf72 from the cytosol to the inter-membrane space is mediated by the redox-sensitive AIFM1/CHCHD4 pathway. In mitochondria, C9orf72 specifically stabilizes translocase of inner mitochondrial membrane domain containing 1 (TIMMDC1), a crucial factor for the assembly of OXPHOS complex I. C9orf72 directly recruits the prohibitin complex to inhibit the m-AAA protease-dependent degradation of TIMMDC1. The mitochondrial complex I function is impaired in C9orf72-linked ALS/FTD patient-derived neurons. These results reveal a previously unknown function of C9orf72 in mitochondria and suggest that defective energy metabolism may underlie the pathogenesis of relevant diseases.
    Keywords:  ALS; C9orf72; FTD; OXPHOS; TIMMDC1; complex I; mitochondrial import; mitochondrion; neurodegeneration; oxidative phosphorylation
  5. Nature. 2021 Feb;590(7844): 57-66
      Mitochondria form dynamic networks in the cell that are balanced by the flux of iterative fusion and fission events of the organelles. It is now appreciated that mitochondrial fission also represents an end-point event in a signalling axis that allows cells to sense and respond to external cues. The fission process is orchestrated by membrane-associated adaptors, influenced by organellar and cytoskeletal interactions and ultimately executed by the dynamin-like GTPase DRP1. Here we invoke the framework of the 'mitochondrial divisome', which is conceptually and operationally similar to the bacterial cell-division machinery. We review the functional and regulatory aspects of the mitochondrial divisome and, within this framework, parse the core from the accessory machinery. In so doing, we transition from a phenomenological to a mechanistic understanding of the fission process.
  6. Cell Rep. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S2211-1247(21)00002-4. [Epub ahead of print]34(5): 108689
      The epidermis regenerates continually to maintain a protective barrier at the body's surface composed of differentiating keratinocytes. Maturation of this stratified tissue requires that keratinocytes undergo wholesale organelle degradation upon reaching the outermost tissue layers to form compacted, anucleate cells. Through live imaging of organotypic cultures of human epidermis, we find that regulated breakdown of mitochondria is critical for epidermal development. Keratinocytes in the upper layers initiate mitochondrial fragmentation, depolarization, and acidification upon upregulating the mitochondrion-tethered autophagy receptor NIX. Depleting NIX compromises epidermal maturation and impairs mitochondrial elimination, whereas ectopic NIX expression accelerates keratinocyte differentiation and induces premature mitochondrial fragmentation via the guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) DRP1. We further demonstrate that inhibiting DRP1 blocks NIX-mediated mitochondrial breakdown and disrupts epidermal development. Our findings establish mitochondrial degradation as a key step in terminal keratinocyte differentiation and define a pathway operating via the mitophagy receptor NIX in concert with DRP1 to drive epidermal morphogenesis.
    Keywords:  autophagy; cornification; differentiation; epidermis; epithelial morphogenesis; fission; keratinocyte; live microscopy; mitochondria; mitophagy
  7. Cell Rep. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S2211-1247(21)00036-X. [Epub ahead of print]34(5): 108723
      The metabolic changes controlling the stepwise differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) to mature erythrocytes are poorly understood. Here, we show that HSPC development to an erythroid-committed proerythroblast results in augmented glutaminolysis, generating alpha-ketoglutarate (αKG) and driving mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). However, sequential late-stage erythropoiesis is dependent on decreasing αKG-driven OXPHOS, and we find that isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) plays a central role in this process. IDH1 downregulation augments mitochondrial oxidation of αKG and inhibits reticulocyte generation. Furthermore, IDH1 knockdown results in the generation of multinucleated erythroblasts, a morphological abnormality characteristic of myelodysplastic syndrome and congenital dyserythropoietic anemia. We identify vitamin C homeostasis as a critical regulator of ineffective erythropoiesis; oxidized ascorbate increases mitochondrial superoxide and significantly exacerbates the abnormal erythroblast phenotype of IDH1-downregulated progenitors, whereas vitamin C, scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reprogramming mitochondrial metabolism, rescues erythropoiesis. Thus, an IDH1-vitamin C crosstalk controls terminal steps of human erythroid differentiation.
    Keywords:  alpha-ketoglutarate; enucleation; erythropoiesis; hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell; human; isocitrate dehydrogenase; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; redox stress; vitamin C
  8. Cell Metab. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S1550-4131(21)00003-6. [Epub ahead of print]33(2): 334-349.e6
      Low-grade mitochondrial stress can promote health and longevity, a phenomenon termed mitohormesis. Here, we demonstrate the opposing metabolic effects of low-level and high-level mitochondrial ribosomal (mitoribosomal) stress in hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. POMC neuron-specific severe mitoribosomal stress due to Crif1 homodeficiency causes obesity in mice. By contrast, mild mitoribosomal stress caused by Crif1 heterodeficiency in POMC neurons leads to high-turnover metabolism and resistance to obesity. These metabolic benefits are mediated by enhanced thermogenesis and mitochondrial unfolded protein responses (UPRmt) in distal adipose tissues. In POMC neurons, partial Crif1 deficiency increases the expression of β-endorphin (β-END) and mitochondrial DNA-encoded peptide MOTS-c. Central administration of MOTS-c or β-END recapitulates the adipose phenotype of Crif1 heterodeficient mice, suggesting these factors as potential mediators. Consistently, regular running exercise at moderate intensity stimulates hypothalamic MOTS-c/β-END expression and induces adipose tissue UPRmt and thermogenesis. Our findings indicate that POMC neuronal mitohormesis may underlie exercise-induced high-turnover metabolism.
    Keywords:  adipose; exercise; hypothalamus; metabolism; mitochondria; obesity; proopiomelanocortin; ribosome; stress; thermogenesis
  9. EMBO J. 2021 Feb 02. e105268
      Mitochondrial translation dysfunction is associated with neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Cells eliminate defective mitochondria by the lysosomal machinery via autophagy. The relationship between mitochondrial translation and lysosomal function is unknown. In this study, mitochondrial translation-deficient hearts from p32-knockout mice were found to exhibit enlarged lysosomes containing lipofuscin, suggesting impaired lysosome and autolysosome function. These mice also displayed autophagic abnormalities, such as p62 accumulation and LC3 localization around broken mitochondria. The expression of genes encoding for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ ) biosynthetic enzymes-Nmnat3 and Nampt-and NAD+ levels were decreased, suggesting that NAD+ is essential for maintaining lysosomal acidification. Conversely, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) administration or Nmnat3 overexpression rescued lysosomal acidification. Nmnat3 gene expression is suppressed by HIF1α, a transcription factor that is stabilized by mitochondrial translation dysfunction, suggesting that HIF1α-Nmnat3-mediated NAD+ production is important for lysosomal function. The glycolytic enzymes GAPDH and PGK1 were found associated with lysosomal vesicles, and NAD+ was required for ATP production around lysosomal vesicles. Thus, we conclude that NAD+ content affected by mitochondrial dysfunction is essential for lysosomal maintenance.
    Keywords:  GAPDH; NAD+; Nmnat3; lysosome; mitochondria
  10. Cell Stem Cell. 2021 Feb 01. pii: S1934-5909(21)00002-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      The adipose tissue stroma is a rich source of molecularly distinct stem and progenitor cell populations with diverse functions in metabolic regulation, adipogenesis, and inflammation. The ontology of these populations and the mechanisms that govern their behaviors in response to stimuli, such as overfeeding, however, are unclear. Here, we show that the developmental fates and functional properties of adipose platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRβ)+ progenitor subpopulations are tightly regulated by mitochondrial metabolism. Reducing the mitochondrial β-oxidative capacity of PDGFRβ+ cells via inducible expression of MitoNEET drives a pro-inflammatory phenotype in adipose progenitors and alters lineage commitment. Furthermore, disrupting mitochondrial function in PDGFRβ+ cells rapidly induces alterations in immune cell composition in lean mice and impacts expansion of adipose tissue in diet-induced obesity. The adverse effects on adipose tissue remodeling can be reversed by restoring mitochondrial activity in progenitors, suggesting therapeutic potential for targeting energy metabolism in these cells.
    Keywords:  adipocyte; adipogenesis; inflammation; metabolism; mitochondria; stem cells
  11. J Biol Chem. 2020 May 22. pii: S0021-9258(17)50259-8. [Epub ahead of print]295(21): 7235-7248
      The mitochondrion of malaria parasites contains several clinically validated drug targets. Within Plasmodium spp., the causative agents of malaria, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is only 6 kb long, being the smallest mitochondrial genome among all eukaryotes. The mtDNA encodes only three proteins of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and ∼27 small, fragmented rRNA genes having lengths of 22-195 nucleotides. The rRNA fragments are thought to form a mitochondrial ribosome (mitoribosome), together with ribosomal proteins imported from the cytosol. The mitoribosome of Plasmodium falciparum is essential for maintenance of the mitochondrial membrane potential and parasite viability. However, the role of the mitoribosome in sustaining the metabolic status of the parasite mitochondrion remains unclear. The small ribosomal subunit in P. falciparum has 14 annotated mitoribosomal proteins, and employing a CRISPR/Cas9-based conditional knockdown tool, here we verified the location and tested the essentiality of three candidates (PfmtRPS12, PfmtRPS17, and PfmtRPS18). Using immuno-EM, we provide evidence that the P. falciparum mitoribosome is closely associated with the mitochondrial inner membrane. Upon knockdown of the mitoribosome, parasites became hypersensitive to inhibitors targeting mitochondrial Complex III (bc1), dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHOD), and the F1F0-ATP synthase complex. Furthermore, the mitoribosome knockdown blocked the pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway and reduced the cellular pool of pyrimidine nucleotides. These results suggest that disruption of the P. falciparum mitoribosome compromises the metabolic capacity of the mitochondrion, rendering the parasite hypersensitive to a panel of inhibitors that target mitochondrial functions.
    Keywords:  CRISPR/Cas; S12; S17; S18; malaria; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial ribosome; mtDNA; plasmodium; ribosome
  12. J Biol Chem. 2020 Apr 24. pii: S0021-9258(17)50290-2. [Epub ahead of print]295(17): 5588-5601
      Accumulating evidence suggests that brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a potential therapeutic target for managing obesity and related diseases. PGAM family member 5, mitochondrial serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PGAM5), is a protein phosphatase that resides in the mitochondria and regulates many biological processes, including cell death, mitophagy, and immune responses. Because BAT is a mitochondria-rich tissue, we have hypothesized that PGAM5 has a physiological function in BAT. We previously reported that PGAM5-knockout (KO) mice are resistant to severe metabolic stress. Importantly, lipid accumulation is suppressed in PGAM5-KO BAT, even under unstressed conditions, raising the possibility that PGAM5 deficiency stimulates lipid consumption. However, the mechanism underlying this observation is undetermined. Here, using an array of biochemical approaches, including quantitative RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and oxygen consumption assays, we show that PGAM5 negatively regulates energy expenditure in brown adipocytes. We found that PGAM5-KO brown adipocytes have an enhanced oxygen consumption rate and increased expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), a protein that increases energy consumption in the mitochondria. Mechanistically, we found that PGAM5 phosphatase activity and intramembrane cleavage are required for suppression of UCP1 activity. Furthermore, utilizing a genome-wide siRNA screen in HeLa cells to search for regulators of PGAM5 cleavage, we identified a set of candidate genes, including phosphatidylserine decarboxylase (PISD), which catalyzes the formation of phosphatidylethanolamine at the mitochondrial membrane. Taken together, these results indicate that PGAM5 suppresses mitochondrial energy expenditure by down-regulating UCP1 expression in brown adipocytes and that its phosphatase activity and intramembrane cleavage are required for UCP1 suppression.
    Keywords:  PGAM family member 5 mitochondrial serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PGAM5); adipocyte; brown adipocyte; brown adipose tissue; energy metabolism; intramembrane proteolysis; lipid metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial homeostasis; obesity; phosphatidylserine decarboxylase (PISD); protein phosphatase; uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)
  13. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 03. pii: S0021-9258(17)50322-1. [Epub ahead of print]295(27): 8988-8998
      DEAD-box helicase 5 (DDX5) is a founding member of the DEAD-box RNA helicase family, a group of enzymes that regulate ribonucleoprotein formation and function in every aspect of RNA metabolism, ranging from synthesis to decay. Our laboratory previously found that DDX5 is involved in energy homeostasis, a process that is altered in many cancers. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an understudied cancer type for which effective treatments are currently unavailable. Using an array of methods, including short hairpin RNA-mediated gene silencing, RNA and ChIP sequencing analyses, and metabolite profiling, we show here that DDX5 is overexpressed in SCLC cell lines and that its down-regulation results in various metabolic and cellular alterations. Depletion of DDX5 resulted in reduced growth and mitochondrial dysfunction in the chemoresistant SCLC cell line H69AR. The latter was evidenced by down-regulation of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation and by impaired oxygen consumption. Interestingly, DDX5 depletion specifically reduced intracellular succinate, a TCA cycle intermediate that serves as a direct electron donor to mitochondrial complex II. We propose that the oncogenic role of DDX5, at least in part, manifests as up-regulation of respiration supporting the energy demands of cancer cells.
    Keywords:  DEAD-box helicase 5 (DDX5); Krebs cycle; RNA helicase; TCA cycle; bioenergetics; cell proliferation; energy homeostasis; gene expression; mitochondrial metabolism; respiration; small cell lung cancer
  14. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 03. pii: S0021-9258(17)50318-X. [Epub ahead of print]295(27): 8928-8944
      Translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 34 (TOMM34) orchestrates heat shock protein 70 (HSP70)/HSP90-mediated transport of mitochondrial precursor proteins. Here, using in vitro phosphorylation and refolding assays, analytical size-exclusion chromatography, and hydrogen/deuterium exchange MS, we found that TOMM34 associates with 14-3-3 proteins after its phosphorylation by protein kinase A (PKA). PKA preferentially targeted two serine residues in TOMM34: Ser93 and Ser160, located in the tetratricopeptide repeat 1 (TPR1) domain and the interdomain linker, respectively. Both of these residues were necessary for efficient 14-3-3 protein binding. We determined that phosphorylation-induced structural changes in TOMM34 are further augmented by binding to 14-3-3, leading to destabilization of TOMM34's secondary structure. We also observed that this interaction with 14-3-3 occludes the TOMM34 interaction interface with ATP-bound HSP70 dimers, which leaves them intact and thereby eliminates an inhibitory effect of TOMM34 on HSP70-mediated refolding in vitro. In contrast, we noted that TOMM34 in complex with 14-3-3 could bind HSP90. Both TOMM34 and 14-3-3 participated in cytosolic precursor protein transport mediated by the coordinated activities of HSP70 and HSP90. Our results provide important insights into how PKA-mediated phosphorylation and 14-3-3 binding regulate the availability of TOMM34 for its interaction with HSP70.
    Keywords:  14-3-3 protein; 70-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp70); HSP70; Hsp70; Tomm34; dimerization; hydrogen-deuterium exchange; molecular chaperone; phosphorylation; protein folding; protein import; protein kinase A (PKA); protein-nucleic acid interaction; protein–protein interaction; translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 34 (TOMM34)
  15. Mol Metab. 2021 Jan 28. pii: S2212-8778(21)00013-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101173
      OBJECTIVE: Brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis offers the potential to improve metabolic health in mice and men. However, humans predominantly live under thermoneutral conditions, leading to BAT whitening - a reduction in BAT mitochondrial content and metabolic activity. Recent studies have established mitophagy as a major driver of mitochondrial degradation in the whitening of thermogenic brite/beige adipocytes, yet the pathways mediating mitochondrial breakdown in whitening of classical BAT remain largely elusive. The transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy belonging to the MIT family of transcription factors, is the only member of this family that is upregulated during whitening, pointing towards a role of TFEB in whitening-associated mitochondrial breakdown.METHODS: We generated brown adipocyte-specific TFEB knockout mice, and induced BAT whitening by thermoneutral housing. We characterized gene and protein expression patterns, BAT metabolic activity, systemic metabolism as well as mitochondrial localization using in vivo and in vitro approaches.
    RESULTS: Under conditions of low thermogenic activation, deletion of TFEB preserved mitochondrial mass independently of mitochondriogenesis in BAT and primary brown adipocytes. This did however not translate into elevated thermogenic capacity or protection from diet-induced obesity. Autophagosomal/lysosomal marker levels were altered in TFEB-deficient BAT and primary adipocytes, and lysosomal markers co-localized and co-purified with mitochondria in TFEB-deficient BAT, indicating trapping of mitochondria in late stages of mitophagy.
    CONCLUSION: We here identify TFEB as a driver of BAT whitening, mediating mitochondrial degradation via the autophagosomal and lysosomal machinery. This study provides proof of concept that interfering with the mitochondrial degradation machinery can increase mitochondrial mass in classical BAT under human-relevant conditions. It must however be considered that interfering with autophagy may result in accumulation of non-functional mitochondria. Future studies targeting earlier steps of mitophagy or target recognition are therefore warranted.
    Keywords:  TFEB; UCP1; brown adipose tissue; mitophagy; thermogenesis; whitening
  16. Autophagy. 2021 Feb 02.
      Mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) selectively degrades mitochondria and plays an important role in mitochondrial homeostasis. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the phosphorylation of the mitophagy receptor Atg32 by casein kinase 2 is essential for mitophagy, whereas this phosphorylation is counteracted by the protein phosphatase Ppg1. Although Ppg1 functions cooperatively with the Far complex (Far3, Far7, Far8, Vps64/Far9, Far10 and Far11), their relationship and the underlying phosphoregulatory mechanism of Atg32 remain unclear. Our recent study revealed: (i) the Far complex plays its localization-dependent roles, regulation of mitophagy and target of rapamycin complex 2 (TORC2) signaling, via the mitochondria- and endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized Far complexes, respectively; (ii) Ppg1 and Far11 form a subcomplex, and Ppg1 activity is required to assemble the sub- and core-Far complexes; (iii) association and dissociation between the Far complex and Atg32 are crucial determinants for mitophagy regulation. Here, we summarize our findings and discuss unsolved issues.
    Keywords:  Atg32; Far complex; Ppg1; mitochondria; mitophagy; yeast
  17. J Cell Sci. 2021 Feb 03. pii: jcs.256255. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitophagy, the selective recycling of mitochondria through autophagy, is a crucial metabolic process induced by cellular stress, and defects are linked to aging, sarcopenia, and neurodegenerative diseases. To therapeutically target mitophagy, the fundamental in vivo dynamics and molecular mechanisms must be fully understood. Here, we generated mitophagy biosensor zebrafish lines expressing mitochondrially targeted, pH-sensitive, fluorescent probes mito-Keima and mito-EGFP-mCherry and used quantitative intravital imaging to illuminate mitophagy during physiological stresses-embryonic development, fasting and hypoxia. In fasted muscle, volumetric mitolysosome size analyses documented organelle stress-response dynamics, and time-lapse imaging revealed mitochondrial filaments undergo piecemeal fragmentation and recycling rather than the wholesale turnover observed in cultured cells. Hypoxia-inducible factor (Hif) pathway activation through physiological hypoxia or chemical or genetic modulation also provoked mitophagy. Intriguingly, mutation of a single mitophagy receptor bnip3 prevented this effect, whereas disruption of other putative hypoxia-associated mitophagy genes bnip3la (nix), fundc1, pink1 or prkn (Parkin) had no effect. This in vivo imaging study establishes fundamental dynamics of fasting-induced mitophagy and identifies bnip3 as the master regulator of Hif-induced mitophagy in vertebrate muscle.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Fasting; Hypoxia; Lysosome; Mitochondria
  18. FASEB J. 2021 Feb;35(2): e21361
      Bcl-2-associated athanogen-6 (BAG6) is a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein involved in protein quality control. We previously demonstrated that BAG6 is essential for autophagy by regulating the intracellular localization of the acetyltransferase EP300, and thus, modifying accessibility to its substrates (TP53 in the nucleus and autophagy-related proteins in the cytoplasm). Here, we investigated BAG6 localization and function in the cytoplasm. First, we demonstrated that BAG6 is localized in the mitochondria. Specifically, BAG6 is expressed in the mitochondrial matrix under basal conditions, and translocates to the outer mitochondrial membrane after mitochondrial depolarization with carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazine, a mitochondrial uncoupler that induces mitophagy. In SW480 cells, the deletion of BAG6 expression abrogates its ability to induce mitophagy and PINK1 accumulation. On the reverse, its ectopic expression in LoVo colon cancer cells, which do not express endogenous BAG6, reduces the size of the mitochondria, induces mitophagy, leads to the activation of the PINK1/PARKIN pathway and to the phospho-ubiquitination of mitochondrial proteins. Finally, BAG6 contains two LIR (LC3-interacting Region) domains specifically found in receptors for selective autophagy and responsible for the interaction with LC3 and for autophagosome selectivity. Site-directed mutagenesis showed that BAG6 requires wild-type LIRs domains for its ability to stimulate mitophagy. In conclusion, we propose that BAG6 is a novel mitophagy receptor or adaptor that induces PINK1/PARKIN signaling and mitophagy in a LIR-dependent manner.
    Keywords:  BAG6; mitophagy; receptor; signaling