bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒08‒08
eighteen papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Cell Metab. 2021 Jul 27. pii: S1550-4131(21)00324-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Appropriate cristae remodeling is a determinant of mitochondrial function and bioenergetics and thus represents a crucial process for cellular metabolic adaptations. Here, we show that mitochondrial cristae architecture and expression of the master cristae-remodeling protein OPA1 in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, which are key metabolic sensors implicated in energy balance control, is affected by fluctuations in nutrient availability. Genetic inactivation of OPA1 in POMC neurons causes dramatic alterations in cristae topology, mitochondrial Ca2+ handling, reduction in alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) in target areas, hyperphagia, and attenuated white adipose tissue (WAT) lipolysis resulting in obesity. Pharmacological blockade of mitochondrial Ca2+ influx restores α-MSH and the lipolytic program, while improving the metabolic defects of mutant mice. Chemogenetic manipulation of POMC neurons confirms a role in lipolysis control. Our results unveil a novel axis that connects OPA1 in POMC neurons with mitochondrial cristae, Ca2+ homeostasis, and WAT lipolysis in the regulation of energy balance.
    Keywords:  OPA-1; POMC neurons; cristae; hypothalamus; lipolysis; mitochondria; obesity
  2. J Cell Biol. 2021 Oct 04. pii: e201912077. [Epub ahead of print]220(10):
      Mitochondrial movement and distribution are fundamental to their function. Here we report a mechanism that regulates mitochondrial movement by anchoring mitochondria to the F-actin cytoskeleton. This mechanism is activated by an increase in glucose influx and the consequent O-GlcNAcylation of TRAK (Milton), a component of the mitochondrial motor-adaptor complex. The protein four and a half LIM domains protein 2 (FHL2) serves as the anchor. FHL2 associates with O-GlcNAcylated TRAK and is both necessary and sufficient to drive the accumulation of F-actin around mitochondria and to arrest mitochondrial movement by anchoring to F-actin. Disruption of F-actin restores mitochondrial movement that had been arrested by either TRAK O-GlcNAcylation or forced direction of FHL2 to mitochondria. This pathway for mitochondrial immobilization is present in both neurons and non-neuronal cells and can thereby adapt mitochondrial dynamics to changes in glucose availability.
  3. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Aug 04. mbcE21040224
      Mitochondrial division is an important cellular process in both normal and pathological conditions. The dynamin GTPase Drp1 is a central mitochondrial division protein, driving constriction of the outer mitochondrial membrane. In mammals, the outer mitochondrial membrane protein Mff is a key receptor for recruiting Drp1 from the cytosol to the mitochondrion. Actin filaments are also important in Drp1 recruitment and activation. The manner in which Mff and actin work together in Drp1 activation is unknown. Here, we show that Mff is an oligomer (most likely a trimer) that dynamically associates and disassociates through its C-terminal coiled-coil, with a Kd in the range of 10 µM. Dynamic Mff oligomerization is required for Drp1 activation. While not binding Mff directly, actin filaments enhance Mff-mediated Drp1 activation by lowering the effective Mff concentration 10-fold. Total internal reflection microscopy assays using purified proteins show that Mff interacts with Drp1 on actin filaments in a manner dependent on Mff oligomerization. In U2OS cells, oligomerization-defective Mff does not effectively rescue three defects in Mff knock-out cells: mitochondrial division, mitochondrial Drp1 recruitment, and peroxisome division. The ability of Mff to assemble into puncta on mitochondria depends on its oligomerization, as well as on actin filaments and Drp1.
  4. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Aug 10. pii: e2101675118. [Epub ahead of print]118(32):
      Viruses modulate mitochondrial processes during infection to increase biosynthetic precursors and energy output, fueling virus replication. In a surprising fashion, although it triggers mitochondrial fragmentation, the prevalent pathogen human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) increases mitochondrial metabolism through a yet-unknown mechanism. Here, we integrate molecular virology, metabolic assays, quantitative proteomics, and superresolution confocal microscopy to define this mechanism. We establish that the previously uncharacterized viral protein pUL13 is required for productive HCMV replication, targets the mitochondria, and functions to increase oxidative phosphorylation during infection. We demonstrate that pUL13 forms temporally tuned interactions with the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) complex, a critical regulator of cristae architecture and electron transport chain (ETC) function. Stimulated emission depletion superresolution microscopy shows that expression of pUL13 alters cristae architecture. Indeed, using live-cell Seahorse assays, we establish that pUL13 alone is sufficient to increase cellular respiration, not requiring the presence of other viral proteins. Our findings address the outstanding question of how HCMV targets mitochondria to increase bioenergetic output and expands the knowledge of the intricate connection between mitochondrial architecture and ETC function.
    Keywords:  HCMV; metabolism; mitochondria; pUL13; proteomics
  5. Mol Cell. 2021 Jul 27. pii: S1097-2765(21)00583-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      The emerging role of mitochondria as signaling organelles raises the question of whether individual mitochondria can initiate heterotypic communication with neighboring organelles. Using fluorescent probes targeted to the endoplasmic-reticulum-mitochondrial interface, we demonstrate that single mitochondria generate oxidative bursts, rapid redox oscillations, confined to the nanoscale environment of the interorganellar contact sites. Using probes fused to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs), we show that Ca2+ channels directly sense oxidative bursts and respond with Ca2+ transients adjacent to active mitochondria. Application of specific mitochondrial stressors or apoptotic stimuli dramatically increases the frequency and amplitude of the oxidative bursts by enhancing transient permeability transition pore openings. Conversely, blocking interface Ca2+ transport via elimination of IP3Rs or mitochondrial calcium uniporter channels suppresses ER-mitochondrial Ca2+ feedback and cell death. Thus, single mitochondria initiate local retrograde signaling by miniature oxidative bursts and, upon metabolic or apoptotic stress, may also amplify signals to the rest of the cell.
    Keywords:  Ca2+ microdomain; Inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor; Mitochondrial retrograde signaling; Organelle contacts; Redox nanodomain
  6. EMBO Rep. 2021 Aug 02. e53086
      Mitochondria are dynamic organelles whose architecture changes depending on the cell's energy requirements and other signalling events. These structural changes are collectively known as mitochondrial dynamics. Mitochondrial dynamics are crucial for cellular functions such as differentiation, energy production and cell death. Importantly, it has become clear in recent years that mitochondrial dynamics are a critical control point for immune cell function. Mitochondrial remodelling allows quiescent immune cells to rapidly change their metabolism and become activated, producing mediators, such as cytokines, chemokines and even metabolites to execute an effective immune response. The importance of mitochondrial dynamics in immunity is evident, as numerous pathogens have evolved mechanisms to manipulate host cell mitochondrial remodelling in order to promote their own survival. In this review, we comprehensively address the roles of mitochondrial dynamics in immune cell function, along with modulation of host cell mitochondrial morphology during viral and bacterial infections to facilitate either pathogen survival or host immunity. We also speculate on what the future may hold in terms of therapies targeting mitochondrial morphology for bacterial and viral control.
    Keywords:  bacteria; immune response; mitochondrial dynamics; therapy; virus
  7. Sci Adv. 2021 Aug;pii: eabf6580. [Epub ahead of print]7(32):
      Altered mitochondrial quality control and dynamics may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, but we understand little about these processes in neurons. We combined time-lapse microscopy and correlative light and electron microscopy to track individual mitochondria in neurons lacking the fission-promoting protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) and delineate the kinetics of PINK1-dependent pathways of mitochondrial quality control. Depolarized mitochondria recruit Parkin to the outer mitochondrial membrane, triggering autophagosome formation, rapid lysosomal fusion, and Parkin redistribution. Unexpectedly, these mitolysosomes are dynamic and persist for hours. Some are engulfed by healthy mitochondria, and others are deacidified before bursting. In other cases, Parkin is directly recruited to the matrix of polarized mitochondria. Loss of PINK1 blocks Parkin recruitment, causes LC3 accumulation within mitochondria, and exacerbates Drp1KO toxicity to dopamine neurons. These results define a distinct neuronal mitochondrial life cycle, revealing potential mechanisms of mitochondrial recycling and signaling relevant to neurodegeneration.
  8. Elife. 2021 Aug 03. pii: e67604. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Parkinson's disease (PD) is a major and progressive neurodegenerative disorder, yet the biological mechanisms involved in its aetiology are poorly understood. Evidence links this disorder with mitochondrial dysfunction and/or impaired lysosomal degradation - key features of the autophagy of mitochondria, known as mitophagy. Here, we investigated the role of LRRK2, a protein kinase frequently mutated in PD, in this process in vivo. Using mitophagy and autophagy reporter mice, bearing either knockout of LRRK2 or expressing the pathogenic kinase-activating G2019S LRRK2 mutation, we found that basal mitophagy was specifically altered in clinically relevant cells and tissues. Our data show that basal mitophagy inversely correlates with LRRK2 kinase activity in vivo. In support of this, use of distinct LRRK2 kinase inhibitors in cells increased basal mitophagy, and a CNS penetrant LRRK2 kinase inhibitor, GSK3357679A, rescued the mitophagy defects observed in LRRK2 G2019S mice. This study provides the first in vivo evidence that pathogenic LRRK2 directly impairs basal mitophagy, a process with strong links to idiopathic Parkinson's disease, and demonstrates that pharmacological inhibition of LRRK2 is a rational mitophagy-rescue approach and potential PD therapy.
    Keywords:  LRRK2; Mitophagy; cell biology; kinase inhibitor; mito-QC; mouse; neuroscience; parkinson's disease
  9. EMBO Rep. 2021 Aug 05. e51991
      Peroxisomal biogenesis disorders (PBDs) are genetic disorders of peroxisome biogenesis and metabolism that are characterized by profound developmental and neurological phenotypes. The most severe class of PBDs-Zellweger spectrum disorder (ZSD)-is caused by mutations in peroxin genes that result in both non-functional peroxisomes and mitochondrial dysfunction. It is unclear, however, how defective peroxisomes contribute to mitochondrial impairment. In order to understand the molecular basis of this inter-organellar relationship, we investigated the fate of peroxisomal mRNAs and proteins in ZSD model systems. We found that peroxins were still expressed and a subset of them accumulated on the mitochondrial membrane, which resulted in gross mitochondrial abnormalities and impaired mitochondrial metabolic function. We showed that overexpression of ATAD1, a mitochondrial quality control factor, was sufficient to rescue several aspects of mitochondrial function in human ZSD fibroblasts. Together, these data suggest that aberrant peroxisomal protein localization is necessary and sufficient for the devastating mitochondrial morphological and metabolic phenotypes in ZSDs.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; mitochondrial quality control; peroxisomal biogenesis disorder; peroxisomal import; peroxisomes
  10. Development. 2021 Aug 06. pii: dev.199686. [Epub ahead of print]
      Male germline development involves choreographed changes to mitochondrial number, morphology, and organization. Mitochondrial reorganization during spermatogenesis was recently shown to require mitochondrial fusion and fission. Mitophagy, the autophagic degradation of mitochondria, is another mechanism for controlling mitochondrial number and physiology, but its role during spermatogenesis is largely unknown. During post-meiotic spermatid development, restructuring of the mitochondrial network results in packing of mitochondria into a tight array in the sperm midpiece to fuel motility. Here, we show that disruption of mouse Fis1 in the male germline results in early spermatid arrest that is associated with increased mitochondrial content. Mutant spermatids coalesce into multinucleated giant cells (GCs) that accumulate mitochondria of aberrant ultrastructure and numerous mitophagic and autophagic intermediates, suggesting a defect in mitophagy. We conclude that Fis1 regulates mitochondrial morphology and turnover to promote spermatid maturation.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitophagy; Spermatid; Spermatogenesis
  11. Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 06. 12(1): 4769
      Beyond its role in mitochondrial bioenergetics, Coenzyme Q (CoQ, ubiquinone) serves as a key membrane-embedded antioxidant throughout the cell. However, how CoQ is mobilized from its site of synthesis on the inner mitochondrial membrane to other sites of action remains a longstanding mystery. Here, using a combination of Saccharomyces cerevisiae genetics, biochemical fractionation, and lipid profiling, we identify two highly conserved but poorly characterized mitochondrial proteins, Ypl109c (Cqd1) and Ylr253w (Cqd2), that reciprocally affect this process. Loss of Cqd1 skews cellular CoQ distribution away from mitochondria, resulting in markedly enhanced resistance to oxidative stress caused by exogenous polyunsaturated fatty acids, whereas loss of Cqd2 promotes the opposite effects. The activities of both proteins rely on their atypical kinase/ATPase domains, which they share with Coq8-an essential auxiliary protein for CoQ biosynthesis. Overall, our results reveal protein machinery central to CoQ trafficking in yeast and lend insights into the broader interplay between mitochondria and the rest of the cell.
  12. J Clin Invest. 2021 Aug 03. pii: 146415. [Epub ahead of print]
      Decreased skeletal muscle strength and mitochondrial dysfunction are characteristic of diabetes. Action of insulin and IGF-1 through insulin receptor (IR) and IGF-1 receptor (IGF1R) maintain muscle mass via suppression of FoxOs, but whether FoxO activation coordinates atrophy in concert with mitochondrial dysfunction is unknown. We show that mitochondrial respiration and complex-I activity were decreased in streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic muscle, but these defects were reversed following muscle-specific FoxO1/3/4 triple knockout in STZ-FoxO TKO. In the absence of systemic glucose or lipid abnormalities, muscle-specific IR knockout (M-IR-/-) or combined IR/IGF1R knockout (MIGIRKO) impaired mitochondrial respiration, decreased ATP production, and increased ROS. These mitochondrial abnormalities were not present in muscle-specific IR/IGF1R and FoxO1/3/4 quintuple knockout mice (M-QKO). Acute tamoxifen-inducible deletion of IR/IGF1R also decreased muscle pyruvate respiration, complex-I activity, and supercomplex assembly. Although autophagy was increased when IR/IGF1R were deleted in muscle, mitophagy was not increased. Mechanistically, RNA-seq revealed that complex-I core subunits were decreased in STZ-diabetic and MIGIRKO muscle, and these changes were not present with FoxO knockout in STZ-FoxO TKO and M-QKO. Thus, insulin-deficient diabetes or loss of insulin/IGF-1 action in muscle decreases complex-I driven mitochondrial respiration and supercomplex assembly, in part by FoxO-mediated repression of Complex-I subunit expression.
    Keywords:  Endocrinology; Insulin; Mitochondria; Muscle
  13. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 03. pii: S2211-1247(21)00905-0. [Epub ahead of print]36(5): 109478
      Oxidative stress is a ubiquitous cellular challenge implicated in aging, neurodegeneration, and cancer. By studying pathogenic mutations in the tumor suppressor BRCA2, we identify a general mechanism by which oxidative stress restricts mitochondrial (mt)DNA replication. BRCA2 inactivation induces R-loop accumulation in the mtDNA regulatory region and diminishes mtDNA replication initiation. In BRCA2-deficient cells, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) are elevated, and ROS scavengers suppress the mtDNA defects. Conversely, wild-type cells exposed to oxidative stress by pharmacologic or genetic manipulation phenocopy these defects. Mechanistically, we find that 8-oxoguanine accumulation in mtDNA caused by oxidative stress suffices to impair recruitment of the mitochondrial enzyme RNaseH1 to sites of R-loop accrual, restricting mtDNA replication initiation. Thus, oxidative stress impairs RNaseH1 function to cripple mtDNA maintenance. Our findings highlight a molecular mechanism that links oxidative stress to mitochondrial dysfunction and is elicited by the inactivation of genes implicated in neurodegeneration and cancer.
    Keywords:  BRCA2; PRPF8; R-loops; RNaseH1; SETX; cancer; mitochondrial DNA replication; neurodegeneration; oxidative stress
  14. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 03. pii: S2211-1247(21)00915-3. [Epub ahead of print]36(5): 109488
      Hyperglycemia affects over 400 million individuals worldwide. The detrimental health effects are well studied at the tissue level, but the in vivo effects at the organelle level are poorly understood. To establish such an in vivo model, we used mice lacking TXNIP, a negative regulator of glucose uptake. Examining mitochondrial function in brown adipose tissue, we find that TXNIP KO mice have a lower content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in their membrane lipids, which affects mitochondrial integrity and electron transport chain efficiency and ultimately results in lower mitochondrial heat output. This phenotype can be rescued by a ketogenic diet, confirming the usefulness of this model and highlighting one facet of early cellular damage caused by excess glucose influx.
    Keywords:  BAT; PUFA; TXNIP; cold stress; glucose; ketogenic diet; lipid; mitochondria
  15. Sci Signal. 2021 Aug 03. pii: eabe0387. [Epub ahead of print]14(694):
      Noncanonical inflammasome activation by cytosolic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a critical component of the host response to Gram-negative bacteria. Cytosolic LPS recognition in macrophages is preceded by a Toll-like receptor (TLR) priming signal required to induce transcription of inflammasome components and facilitate the metabolic reprograming that fuels the inflammatory response. Using a genome-scale arrayed siRNA screen to find inflammasome regulators in mouse macrophages, we identified the mitochondrial enzyme nucleoside diphosphate kinase D (NDPK-D) as a regulator of both noncanonical and canonical inflammasomes. NDPK-D was required for both mitochondrial DNA synthesis and cardiolipin exposure on the mitochondrial surface in response to inflammasome priming signals mediated by TLRs, and macrophages deficient in NDPK-D had multiple defects in LPS-induced inflammasome activation. In addition, NDPK-D was required for the recruitment of TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) to mitochondria, which was critical for reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the metabolic reprogramming that supported the TLR-induced gene program. NDPK-D knockout mice were protected from LPS-induced shock, consistent with decreased ROS production and attenuated glycolytic commitment during priming. Our findings suggest that, in response to microbial challenge, NDPK-D-dependent TRAF6 mitochondrial recruitment triggers an energetic fitness checkpoint required to engage and maintain the transcriptional program necessary for inflammasome activation.
  16. Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 06. 12(1): 4773
      The relationship between the age-associated decline in mitochondrial function and its effect on skeletal muscle physiology and function remain unclear. In the current study, we examined to what extent physical activity contributes to the decline in mitochondrial function and muscle health during aging and compared mitochondrial function in young and older adults, with similar habitual physical activity levels. We also studied exercise-trained older adults and physically impaired older adults. Aging was associated with a decline in mitochondrial capacity, exercise capacity and efficiency, gait stability, muscle function, and insulin sensitivity, even when maintaining an adequate daily physical activity level. Our data also suggest that a further increase in physical activity level, achieved through regular exercise training, can largely negate the effects of aging. Finally, mitochondrial capacity correlated with exercise efficiency and insulin sensitivity. Together, our data support a link between mitochondrial function and age-associated deterioration of skeletal muscle.
  17. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2021 Jul 28. pii: S1535-9476(21)00099-2. [Epub ahead of print] 100127
      Aging is associated with increased risk of ocular disease, suggesting that age-associated molecular changes in the eye increase its vulnerability to damage. Although there are common pathways involved in aging at an organismal level, different tissues and cell types exhibit specific changes in gene expression with advanced age. Drosophila melanogaster is an established model system for studying aging and neurodegenerative disease, that also provides a valuable model for studying age-associated ocular disease. Flies, like humans, exhibit decreased visual function and increased risk of retinal degeneration with age. Here, we profiled the aging proteome and metabolome of the Drosophila eye, and compared these data with age-associated transcriptomic changes from both eyes and photoreceptors to identify alterations in pathways that could lead to age-related phenotypes in the eye. Notably, the proteomic and metabolomic changes observed in the aging eye are distinct from those observed in the head or whole fly, suggesting that tissue-specific changes in protein abundance and metabolism occur in the aging fly. Our integration of the proteomic, metabolomic and transcriptomic data reveals that changes in metabolism, potentially due to decreases in availability of B vitamins, together with chronic activation of the immune response, may underpin many of the events observed in the aging Drosophila eye. We propose that targeting these pathways in the genetically tractable Drosophila system may help to identify potential neuroprotective approaches for neurodegenerative and age-related ocular diseases. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD027090.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; aging; eye; metabolomic; proteomic