bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒05‒16
twenty-two papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Science. 2021 May 14. 372(6543): 716-721
      Transcription and metabolism both influence cell function, but dedicated transcriptional control of metabolic pathways that regulate cell fate has rarely been defined. We discovered, using a chemical suppressor screen, that inhibition of the pyrimidine biosynthesis enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) rescues erythroid differentiation in bloodless zebrafish moonshine (mon) mutant embryos defective for transcriptional intermediary factor 1 gamma (tif1γ). This rescue depends on the functional link of DHODH to mitochondrial respiration. The transcription elongation factor TIF1γ directly controls coenzyme Q (CoQ) synthesis gene expression. Upon tif1γ loss, CoQ levels are reduced, and a high succinate/α-ketoglutarate ratio leads to increased histone methylation. A CoQ analog rescues mon's bloodless phenotype. These results demonstrate that mitochondrial metabolism is a key output of a lineage transcription factor that drives cell fate decisions in the early blood lineage.
  2. Nature. 2021 May 12.
      Ferroptosis, a form of regulated cell death that is induced by excessive lipid peroxidation, is a key tumour suppression mechanism1-4. Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4)5,6 and ferroptosis suppressor protein 1 (FSP1)7,8 constitute two major ferroptosis defence systems. Here we show that treatment of cancer cells with GPX4 inhibitors results in acute depletion of N-carbamoyl-L-aspartate, a pyrimidine biosynthesis intermediate, with concomitant accumulation of uridine. Supplementation with dihydroorotate or orotate-the substrate and product of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH)-attenuates or potentiates ferroptosis induced by inhibition of GPX4, respectively, and these effects are particularly pronounced in cancer cells with low expression of GPX4 (GPX4low). Inactivation of DHODH induces extensive mitochondrial lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis in GPX4low cancer cells, and synergizes with ferroptosis inducers to induce these effects in GPX4high cancer cells. Mechanistically, DHODH operates in parallel to mitochondrial GPX4 (but independently of cytosolic GPX4 or FSP1) to inhibit ferroptosis in the mitochondrial inner membrane by reducing ubiquinone to ubiquinol (a radical-trapping antioxidant with anti-ferroptosis activity). The DHODH inhibitor brequinar selectively suppresses GPX4low tumour growth by inducing ferroptosis, whereas combined treatment with brequinar and sulfasalazine, an FDA-approved drug with ferroptosis-inducing activity, synergistically induces ferroptosis and suppresses GPX4high tumour growth. Our results identify a DHODH-mediated ferroptosis defence mechanism in mitochondria and suggest a therapeutic strategy of targeting ferroptosis in cancer treatment.
  3. Cancer Metab. 2021 May 10. 9(1): 22
      Human dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) is a flavin-dependent mitochondrial enzyme catalyzing the fourth step in the de novo pyrimidine synthesis pathway. It is originally a target for the treatment of the non-neoplastic diseases involving in rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, and is re-emerging as a validated therapeutic target for cancer therapy. In this review, we mainly unravel the biological function of DHODH in tumor progression, including its crucial role in de novo pyrimidine synthesis and mitochondrial respiratory chain in cancer cells. Moreover, various DHODH inhibitors developing in the past decades are also been displayed, and the specific mechanism between DHODH and its additional effects are illustrated. Collectively, we detailly discuss the association between DHODH and tumors in recent years here, and believe it will provide significant evidences and potential strategies for utilizing DHODH as a potential target in preclinical and clinical cancer therapies.
    Keywords:  Cancer metabolism; DHODH inhibitors; De novo pyrimidine biosynthesis; Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase; Mitochondria
  4. Nature. 2021 May 12.
      Adaptive thermogenesis has attracted much attention because of its ability to increase systemic energy expenditure and to counter obesity and diabetes1-3. Recent data have indicated that thermogenic fat cells use creatine to stimulate futile substrate cycling, dissipating chemical energy as heat4,5. This model was based on the super-stoichiometric relationship between the amount of creatine added to mitochondria and the quantity of oxygen consumed. Here we provide direct evidence for the molecular basis of this futile creatine cycling activity in mice. Thermogenic fat cells have robust phosphocreatine phosphatase activity, which is attributed to tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP). TNAP hydrolyses phosphocreatine to initiate a futile cycle of creatine dephosphorylation and phosphorylation. Unlike in other cells, TNAP in thermogenic fat cells is localized to the mitochondria, where futile creatine cycling occurs. TNAP expression is powerfully induced when mice are exposed to cold conditions, and its inhibition in isolated mitochondria leads to a loss of futile creatine cycling. In addition, genetic ablation of TNAP in adipocytes reduces whole-body energy expenditure and leads to rapid-onset obesity in mice, with no change in movement or feeding behaviour. These data illustrate the critical role of TNAP as a phosphocreatine phosphatase in the futile creatine cycle.
  5. Dev Cell. 2021 May 11. pii: S1534-5807(21)00357-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      PI5P4Ks are a class of phosphoinositide kinases that phosphorylate PI-5-P to PI-4,5-P2. Distinct localization of phosphoinositides is fundamental for a multitude of cellular functions. Here, we identify a role for peroxisomal PI-4,5-P2 generated by the PI5P4Ks in maintaining energy balance. We demonstrate that PI-4,5-P2 regulates peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation by mediating trafficking of lipid droplets to peroxisomes, which is essential for sustaining mitochondrial metabolism. Using fluorescent-tagged lipids and metabolite tracing, we show that loss of the PI5P4Ks significantly impairs lipid uptake and β-oxidation in the mitochondria. Further, loss of PI5P4Ks results in dramatic alterations in mitochondrial structural and functional integrity, which under nutrient deprivation is further exacerbated, causing cell death. Notably, inhibition of the PI5P4Ks in cancer cells and mouse tumor models leads to decreased cell viability and tumor growth, respectively. Together, these studies reveal an unexplored role for PI5P4Ks in preserving metabolic homeostasis, which is necessary for tumorigenesis.
    Keywords:  PI-4,5-P(2); PI-5-P; PI5P4Ks; cancer; fatty acid; lipid; lipid droplet; metabolism; mitochondria; peroxisome; phosphoinositide; phosphoinositide kinase; sarcoma; β-oxidation
  6. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 May 18. pii: e2018770118. [Epub ahead of print]118(20):
      There is a tight association between mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases and axons that are particularly vulnerable to degeneration, but how mitochondria are maintained in axons to support their physiology remains poorly defined. In an in vivo forward genetic screen for mutants altering axonal mitochondria, we identified tsg101 Neurons mutant for tsg101 exhibited an increase in mitochondrial number and decrease in mitochondrial size. TSG101 is best known as a component of the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) complexes; however, loss of most other ESCRT components did not affect mitochondrial numbers or size, suggesting TSG101 regulates mitochondrial biology in a noncanonical, ESCRT-independent manner. The TSG101-mutant phenotype was not caused by lack of mitophagy, and we found that autophagy blockade was detrimental only to the mitochondria in the cell bodies, arguing mitophagy and autophagy are dispensable for the regulation of mitochondria number in axons. Interestingly, TSG101 mitochondrial phenotypes were instead caused by activation of PGC-1ɑ/Nrf2-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis, which was mTOR independent and TFEB dependent and required the mitochondrial fission-fusion machinery. Our work identifies a role for TSG101 in inhibiting mitochondrial biogenesis, which is essential for the maintenance of mitochondrial numbers and sizes, in the axonal compartment.
    Keywords:  ESCRT; TSG101; mitochondria; mitochondrial biogenesis; neurodegeneration
  7. Autophagy. 2021 May 09. 1-20
      Initiation of PINK1- and PRKN-dependent mitophagy is a highly regulated process involving the activity of the AAA-ATPase VCP/p97, a cofactor-guided multifunctional protein central to handling ubiquitinated client proteins. Removal of ubiquitinated substrates such as the mitofusin MFN2 from the outer mitochondrial membrane by VCP is critical for PRKN accumulation on mitochondria, which drives mitophagy. Here we characterize the role of the UBA and UBX-domain containing VCP cofactor UBXN1/SAKS1 during mitophagy. Following mitochondrial depolarization and depending on PRKN, UBXN1 translocated alongside VCP to mitochondria. Prior to mitophagy, loss of UBXN1 led to mitochondrial fragmentation, diminished ATP production, and impaired ER-mitochondrial apposition. When mitophagy was induced in cells lacking UBXN1, mitochondrial translocation of VCP and PRKN was impaired, diminishing mitophagic flux. In addition, UBXN1 physically interacted with PRKN in a UBX-domain depending manner. Interestingly, ectopic expression of the pro-mitophagic VCP cofactor UBXN6/UBXD1 fully reversed impaired PRKN recruitment in UBXN1-/- cells. Mechanistically, UBXN1 acted downstream of PINK1 by facilitating MFN2 removal from mitochondria. In UBXN1-/- cells exposed to mitochondrial stress, MFN2 formed para-mitochondrial blobs likely representing blocked intermediates of the MFN2 removal process partly reversible by expression of UBXN6. Presence of these MFN2 blobs strongly correlated with impaired PRKN translocation to depolarized mitochondria. Our observations connect the VCP cofactor UBXN1 to the initiation and maintenance phase of PRKN-dependent mitophagy, and indicate that, upon mitochondrial stress induction, MFN2 removal from mitochondria occurs through a specialized process.
    Keywords:  MFN2; PRKN; UBXN1; UBXN6; VCP; mitophagy
  8. Autophagy. 2020 Dec 01. 1-16
      As a highly dynamic organelle, mitochondria undergo constant fission and fusion to change their morphology and function, coping with various stress conditions. Loss of the balance between fission and fusion leads to impaired mitochondria function, which plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). Yet the mechanisms behind mitochondria dynamics regulation remain to be fully illustrated. Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a lysosome-dependent process that selectively degrades proteins to maintain cellular proteostasis. In this study, we demonstrated that MARCHF5, an E3 ubiquitin ligase required for mitochondria fission, is a CMA substrate. MARCHF5 interacted with key CMA regulators and was degraded by lysosomes. Severe oxidative stress compromised CMA activity and stabilized MARCHF5, which facilitated DNM1L translocation and led to excessive fission. Increase of CMA activity promoted MARCHF5 turnover, attenuated DNM1L translocation, and reduced mitochondria fragmentation, which alleviated mitochondrial dysfunction under oxidative stress. Furthermore, we showed that conditional expression of LAMP2A, the key CMA regulator, in dopaminergic (DA) neurons helped maintain mitochondria morphology and protected DA neuronal viability in a rodent PD model. Our work uncovers a critical role of CMA in maintaining proper mitochondria dynamics, and loss of this regulatory control may occur in PD and underlie its pathogenic process.Abbreviations: CMA: chaperone-mediated autophagy; DA: dopaminergic; DNM1L: dynamin 1 like; FCCP: carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone; HSPA8: heat shock protein family A (Hsp70) member 8; LAMP2A: lysosomal associated membrane protein 2A; MARCHF5: membrane-associated ring-CH-type finger 5; MMP: mitochondria membrane potential; OCR: oxygen consumption rate; 6-OHDA: 6-hydroxydopamine; PD: Parkinson disease; SNc: substantia nigra pars compacta; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; TH: tyrosine hydroxylase; TMRE: tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester perchlorate; WT: wild type.
    Keywords:  Autophagy/mitochondria/oxidative stress/Parkinson disease/proteostasis
  9. Dev Cell. 2021 May 07. pii: S1534-5807(21)00359-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial functions across different tissues are regulated in a coordinated fashion to optimize the fitness of an organism. Mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) can be nonautonomously elicited by mitochondrial perturbation in neurons, but neuronal signals that propagate such response and its physiological significance remain incompletely understood. Here, we show that in C. elegans, loss of neuronal fzo-1/mitofusin induces nonautonomous UPRmt through multiple neurotransmitters and neurohormones, including acetylcholine, serotonin, glutamate, tyramine, and insulin-like peptides. Neuronal fzo-1 depletion also triggers nonautonomous mitochondrial fragmentation, which requires autophagy and mitophagy genes. Systemic activation of UPRmt and mitochondrial fragmentation in C. elegans via perturbing neuronal mitochondrial dynamics improves resistance to pathogenic Pseudomonas infection, which is supported by transcriptomic signatures of immunity and stress-response genes. We propose that C. elegans surveils neuronal mitochondrial dynamics to coordinate systemic UPRmt and mitochondrial connectivity for pathogen defense and optimized survival under bacterial infection.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; autophagy; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mitophagy; neurons; neuropeptides; neurotransmitters; pathogen defense; stress response
  10. J Cell Biol. 2021 Jul 05. pii: e202010006. [Epub ahead of print]220(7):
      The ER tethers tightly to mitochondria and the mitochondrial protein FUNDC1 recruits Drp1 to ER-mitochondria contact sites, subsequently facilitating mitochondrial fission and preventing mitochondria from undergoing hypoxic stress. However, the mechanisms by which the ER modulates hypoxia-induced mitochondrial fission are poorly understood. Here, we show that USP19, an ER-resident deubiquitinase, accumulates at ER-mitochondria contact sites under hypoxia and promotes hypoxia-induced mitochondrial division. In response to hypoxia, USP19 binds to and deubiquitinates FUNDC1 at ER-mitochondria contact sites, which facilitates Drp1 oligomerization and Drp1 GTP-binding and hydrolysis activities, thereby promoting mitochondrial division. Our findings reveal a unique hypoxia response pathway mediated by an ER protein that regulates mitochondrial dynamics.
  11. Nat Commun. 2021 May 10. 12(1): 2616
      FUN14 domain-containing protein 1 (FUNDC1) is an integral mitochondrial outer-membrane protein, and mediates the formation of mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membranes (MAMs). This study aims to determine the contributions of FUNDC1-mediated MAMs to angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. In cultured endothelial cells, VEGF significantly increases the formation of MAMs and MAM-related proteins, including FUNDC1. Endothelial cell-specific deletion of FUNDC1, which disrupts MAM formation in endothelial cells, lowers VEGFR2 expression and reduces tube formation, spheroid-sprouting, and functional blood vessel formation in vitro and in vivo. Conversely, increased MAM formation using MAM linkers mimics the effects of VEGF and promotes endothelial angiogenesis. Mechanistically, increased MAMs formation led to increased levels of Ca2+ in cytosol, promoted the phosphorylation of serum response factor (SRF) and enhanced the binding of SRF to VEGFR2 promoter, resulting in increased VEGFR2 production, with consequent angiogenesis. Moreover, blocking FUNDC1-related MAM formation with a cell-penetrating inhibitory peptide significantly suppresses the expressions of downstream angiogenic genes and inhibits tumor angiogenesis. We conclude that decreased MAMs formation by silencing FUNDC1 can inhibit angiogenesis by decreasing VEGFR2 expression, and targeting FUNDC1-dependent MAMs might be a promising approach for treating human disorders characterized by defective angiogenesis.
  12. Sci Adv. 2021 May;pii: eabg4000. [Epub ahead of print]7(20):
      Mitochondrial complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase), a major contributor of free energy for oxidative phosphorylation, is increasingly recognized as a promising drug target for ischemia-reperfusion injury, metabolic disorders, and various cancers. Several pharmacologically relevant but structurally unrelated small molecules have been identified as specific complex I inhibitors, but their modes of action remain unclear. Here, we present a 3.0-Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of mammalian complex I inhibited by a derivative of IACS-010759, which is currently in clinical development against cancers reliant on oxidative phosphorylation, revealing its unique cork-in-bottle mechanism of inhibition. We combine structural and kinetic analyses to deconvolute cross-species differences in inhibition and identify the structural motif of a "chain" of aromatic rings as a characteristic that promotes inhibition. Our findings provide insights into the importance of π-stacking residues for inhibitor binding in the long substrate-binding channel in complex I and a guide for future biorational drug design.
  13. JCI Insight. 2021 May 10. pii: 134340. [Epub ahead of print]6(9):
      Lipin 1 is a bifunctional protein that is a transcriptional regulator and has phosphatidic acid (PA) phosphohydrolase activity, which dephosphorylates PA to generate diacylglycerol. Human lipin 1 mutations lead to episodic rhabdomyolysis, and some affected patients exhibit cardiac abnormalities, including exercise-induced cardiac dysfunction and cardiac triglyceride accumulation. Furthermore, lipin 1 expression is deactivated in failing heart, but the effects of lipin 1 deactivation in myocardium are incompletely understood. We generated mice with cardiac-specific lipin 1 KO (cs-Lpin1-/-) to examine the intrinsic effects of lipin 1 in the myocardium. Cs-Lpin1-/- mice had normal systolic cardiac function but mild cardiac hypertrophy. Compared with littermate control mice, PA content was higher in cs-Lpin1-/- hearts, which also had an unexpected increase in diacylglycerol and triglyceride content. Cs-Lpin1-/- mice exhibited diminished cardiac cardiolipin content and impaired mitochondrial respiration rates when provided with pyruvate or succinate as metabolic substrates. After transverse aortic constriction-induced pressure overload, loss of lipin 1 did not exacerbate cardiac hypertrophy or dysfunction. However, loss of lipin 1 dampened the cardiac ionotropic response to dobutamine and exercise endurance in association with reduced protein kinase A signaling. These data suggest that loss of lipin 1 impairs cardiac functional reserve, likely due to effects on glycerolipid homeostasis, mitochondrial function, and protein kinase A signaling.
    Keywords:  Cardiology; Cardiovascular disease; Intermediary metabolism; Metabolism; Mitochondria
  14. Nat Commun. 2021 May 14. 12(1): 2804
      Chemotherapy remains the standard of care for most cancers worldwide, however development of chemoresistance due to the presence of the drug-effluxing ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters remains a significant problem. The development of safe and effective means to overcome chemoresistance is critical for achieving durable remissions in many cancer patients. We have investigated the energetic demands of ABC transporters in the context of the metabolic adaptations of chemoresistant cancer cells. Here we show that ABC transporters use mitochondrial-derived ATP as a source of energy to efflux drugs out of cancer cells. We further demonstrate that the loss of methylation-controlled J protein (MCJ) (also named DnaJC15), an endogenous negative regulator of mitochondrial respiration, in chemoresistant cancer cells boosts their ability to produce ATP from mitochondria and fuel ABC transporters. We have developed MCJ mimetics that can attenuate mitochondrial respiration and safely overcome chemoresistance in vitro and in vivo. Administration of MCJ mimetics in combination with standard chemotherapeutic drugs could therefore become an alternative strategy for treatment of multiple cancers.
  15. Nat Commun. 2021 May 12. 12(1): 2736
      Endothelial barrier integrity is ensured by the stability of the adherens junction (AJ) complexes comprised of vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin as well as accessory proteins such as β-catenin and p120-catenin. Disruption of the endothelial barrier due to disassembly of AJs results in tissue edema and the influx of inflammatory cells. Using three-dimensional structured illumination microscopy, we observe that the mitochondrial protein Mitofusin-2 (Mfn2) co-localizes at the plasma membrane with VE-cadherin and β-catenin in endothelial cells during homeostasis. Upon inflammatory stimulation, Mfn2 is sulfenylated, the Mfn2/β-catenin complex disassociates from the AJs and Mfn2 accumulates in the nucleus where Mfn2 negatively regulates the transcriptional activity of β-catenin. Endothelial-specific deletion of Mfn2 results in inflammatory activation, indicating an anti-inflammatory role of Mfn2 in vivo. Our results suggest that Mfn2 acts in a non-canonical manner to suppress the inflammatory response by stabilizing cell-cell adherens junctions and by binding to the transcriptional activator β-catenin.
  16. Elife. 2021 May 11. pii: e65192. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Sigma 1 receptor (S1R) is a 223-amino-acid-long transmembrane endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein. S1R modulates activity of multiple effector proteins and is a well-established drug target. However, signaling functions of S1R in cells are poorly understood. Here, we test the hypothesis that biological activity of S1R in cells can be explained by its ability to interact with cholesterol and to form cholesterol-enriched microdomains in the ER membrane. By performing experiments in reduced reconstitution systems, we demonstrate direct effects of cholesterol on S1R clustering. We identify a novel cholesterol-binding motif in the transmembrane region of human S1R. Mutations of this motif impair association of recombinant S1R with cholesterol beads, affect S1R clustering in vitro and disrupt S1R subcellular localization. We demonstrate that S1R-induced membrane microdomains have increased local membrane thickness and that increased local cholesterol concentration and/or membrane thickness in these microdomains can modulate signaling of inositol-requiring enzyme 1α in the ER. Further, S1R agonists cause disruption of S1R clusters, suggesting that biological activity of S1R agonists is linked to remodeling of ER membrane microdomains. Our results provide novel insights into S1R-mediated signaling mechanisms in cells.
    Keywords:  cell biology; cholesterol; endoplasmic reticulum; human; lipid microdomains; mitochondria-associated membranes; neurodegeneration; neuroscience; sigma-1 receptor
  17. Cell Death Dis. 2021 May 12. 12(5): 475
      Mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy are constitutive and complex systems that ensure a healthy mitochondrial network through the segregation and subsequent degradation of damaged mitochondria. Disruption of these systems can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and has been established as a central mechanism of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Emerging evidence suggests that mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy are integrated systems; however, the role of this relationship in the context of I/R injury remains unclear. To investigate this concept, we utilized primary cortical neurons isolated from the novel dual-reporter mitochondrial quality control knockin mice (C57BL/6-Gt(ROSA)26Sortm1(CAG-mCherry/GFP)Ganl/J) with conditional knockout (KO) of Drp1 to investigate changes in mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagic flux during in vitro I/R injury. Mitochondrial dynamics was quantitatively measured in an unbiased manner using a machine learning mitochondrial morphology classification system, which consisted of four different classifications: network, unbranched, swollen, and punctate. Evaluation of mitochondrial morphology and mitophagic flux in primary neurons exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) and reoxygenation (OGD/R) revealed extensive mitochondrial fragmentation and swelling, together with a significant upregulation in mitophagic flux. Furthermore, the primary morphology of mitochondria undergoing mitophagy was classified as punctate. Colocalization using immunofluorescence as well as western blot analysis revealed that the PINK1/Parkin pathway of mitophagy was activated following OGD/R. Conditional KO of Drp1 prevented mitochondrial fragmentation and swelling following OGD/R but did not alter mitophagic flux. These data provide novel evidence that Drp1 plays a causal role in the progression of I/R injury, but mitophagy does not require Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission.
  18. Curr Biol. 2021 May 05. pii: S0960-9822(21)00541-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Gregarines are an early-diverging lineage of apicomplexan parasites that hold many clues into the origin and evolution of the group, a remarkable transition from free-living phototrophic algae into obligate parasites of animals.1 Using single-cell transcriptomics targeting understudied lineages to complement available sequencing data, we characterized the mitochondrial metabolic repertoire across the tree of apicomplexans. In contrast to the large suite of proteins involved in aerobic respiration in well-studied parasites like Toxoplasma or Plasmodium,2 we find that gregarine trophozoites have significantly reduced energy metabolism: most lack respiratory complexes III and IV, and some lack the electron transport chains (ETCs) and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle entirely. Phylogenomic analyses show that these reductions took place several times in parallel, resulting in a functional range from fully aerobic organelles to extremely reduced "mitosomes" restricted to Fe-S cluster biosynthesis. The mitochondrial genome has also been lost repeatedly: in species with severe functional reduction simply by gene loss but in one species with a complete ETC by relocating cox1 to the nuclear genome. Severe functional reduction of mitochondria is generally associated with structural reduction, resulting in small, nondescript mitochondrial-related organelles (MROs).3 By contrast, gregarines retain distinctive mitochondria with tubular cristae, even the most functionally reduced cases that also lack genes associated with cristae formation. Overall, the parallel, severe reduction of gregarine mitochondria expands the diversity of organisms that contain MROs and further emphasizes the role of parallel transitions in apicomplexan evolution.
    Keywords:  anaerobic; apicomplexans; electron transport chain; mitochondria; mitosomes
  19. PLoS Biol. 2021 May 13. 19(5): e3001252
      The mitochondrial ATP synthase emerges as key hub of cellular functions controlling the production of ATP, cellular signaling, and fate. It is regulated by the ATPase inhibitory factor 1 (IF1), which is highly abundant in neurons. Herein, we ablated or overexpressed IF1 in mouse neurons to show that IF1 dose defines the fraction of active/inactive enzyme in vivo, thereby controlling mitochondrial function and the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS). Transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses indicate that IF1 dose regulates mitochondrial metabolism, synaptic function, and cognition. Ablation of IF1 impairs memory, whereas synaptic transmission and learning are enhanced by IF1 overexpression. Mechanistically, quenching the IF1-mediated increase in mtROS production in mice overexpressing IF1 reduces the increased synaptic transmission and obliterates the learning advantage afforded by the higher IF1 content. Overall, IF1 plays a key role in neuronal function by regulating the fraction of ATP synthase responsible for mitohormetic mtROS signaling.
  20. FEBS J. 2021 May 10.
      To ensure correct function, mitochondria have developed several mechanisms of protein quality control (QC). Protein homeostasis highly relies on chaperones and proteases to maintain proper folding and remove damaged proteins that might otherwise form cell-toxic aggregates. Besides quality control, mitochondrial proteases modulate and regulate many essential functions, such as trafficking, processing, and activation of mitochondrial proteins, mitochondrial dynamics, mitophagy, and apoptosis. Therefore, the impaired function of mitochondrial proteases is associated with various pathological conditions, including cancer, metabolic syndromes, and neurodegenerative disorders. This review recapitulates and discusses the emerging roles of two major proteases of the mitochondrial matrix, LON and ClpXP. Although commonly acknowledge for their protein quality control role, recent advances have uncovered several highly regulated processes controlled by the LON and ClpXP connected to mitochondrial gene expression and respiratory chain function maintenance. Furthermore, both proteases have been lately recognized as potent targets for anti-cancer therapies, and we summarize those findings.
    Keywords:  ClpXP; LONP1; cancer; degradation; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial matrix; mtDNA; proteases; protein quality control; proteolysis; respiratory complexes
  21. J Nanobiotechnology. 2021 May 13. 19(1): 136
      SLC25A46 mutations have been found to lead to mitochondrial hyper-fusion and reduced mitochondrial respiratory function, which results in optic atrophy, cerebellar atrophy, and other clinical symptoms of mitochondrial disease. However, it is generally believed that mitochondrial fusion is attributable to increased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), which is inconsistent with the decreased OXPHOS of highly-fused mitochondria observed in previous studies. In this paper, we have used the live-cell nanoscope to observe and quantify the structure of mitochondrial cristae, and the behavior of mitochondria and lysosomes in patient-derived SLC25A46 mutant fibroblasts. The results show that the cristae have been markedly damaged in the mutant fibroblasts, but there is no corresponding increase in mitophagy. This study suggests that severely damaged mitochondrial cristae might be the predominant cause of reduced OXPHOS in SLC25A46 mutant fibroblasts. This study demonstrates the utility of nanoscope-based imaging for realizing the sub-mitochondrial morphology, mitophagy and mitochondrial dynamics in living cells, which may be particularly valuable for the quick evaluation of pathogenesis of mitochondrial morphological abnormalities.
    Keywords:  Cristae; Mitochondrial disease; Mitophagy; Nanoscope; SLC25A46