bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒08‒15
fifteen papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Cell. 2021 Aug 03. pii: S0092-8674(21)00880-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Emerging evidence supports that mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathogenesis. Here we show that programmed mitochondrial removal, a hallmark of mammalian erythropoiesis, is defective in SLE. Specifically, we demonstrate that during human erythroid cell maturation, a hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-mediated metabolic switch is responsible for the activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), which precedes and is necessary for the autophagic removal of mitochondria. A defect in this pathway leads to accumulation of red blood cells (RBCs) carrying mitochondria (Mito+ RBCs) in SLE patients and in correlation with disease activity. Antibody-mediated internalization of Mito+ RBCs induces type I interferon (IFN) production through activation of cGAS in macrophages. Accordingly, SLE patients carrying both Mito+ RBCs and opsonizing antibodies display the highest levels of blood IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) signatures, a distinctive feature of SLE.
    Keywords:  CANDLE syndrome; HIF2a; autoimmunity; cGAS; human erythropoiesis; interferon; mitochondrial DNA; mitophagy; proteasome; systemic lupus erythematosus
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Aug 17. pii: e2021175118. [Epub ahead of print]118(33):
      Death receptor-mediated apoptosis requires the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway in many mammalian cells. In response to death receptor signaling, the truncated BH3-only protein BID can activate the proapoptotic BCL-2 proteins BAX and BAK and trigger the permeabilization of the mitochondria. BAX and BAK are inhibited by prosurvival BCL-2 proteins through retrotranslocation from the mitochondria into the cytosol, but a specific resistance mechanism to truncated BID-dependent apoptosis is unknown. Here, we report that hexokinase 1 and hexokinase 2 inhibit the apoptosis activator truncated BID as well as the effectors BAX and BAK by retrotranslocation from the mitochondria into the cytosol. BCL-2 protein shuttling and protection from TRAIL- and FasL-induced cell death requires mitochondrial hexokinase localization and interactions with the BH3 motifs of BCL-2 proteins but not glucose phosphorylation. Together, our work establishes hexokinase-dependent retrotranslocation of truncated BID as a selective protective mechanism against death receptor-induced apoptosis on the mitochondria.
    Keywords:  BCL-2 proteins; BH3-only proteins; apoptosis
  3. Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 13. 12(1): 4920
      Malignant mesothelioma (MpM) is an aggressive, invariably fatal tumour that is causally linked with asbestos exposure. The disease primarily results from loss of tumour suppressor gene function and there are no 'druggable' driver oncogenes associated with MpM. To identify opportunities for management of this disease we have carried out polysome profiling to define the MpM translatome. We show that in MpM there is a selective increase in the translation of mRNAs encoding proteins required for ribosome assembly and mitochondrial biogenesis. This results in an enhanced rate of mRNA translation, abnormal mitochondrial morphology and oxygen consumption, and a reprogramming of metabolic outputs. These alterations delimit the cellular capacity for protein biosynthesis, accelerate growth and drive disease progression. Importantly, we show that inhibition of mRNA translation, particularly through combined pharmacological targeting of mTORC1 and 2, reverses these changes and inhibits malignant cell growth in vitro and in ex-vivo tumour tissue from patients with end-stage disease. Critically, we show that these pharmacological interventions prolong survival in animal models of asbestos-induced mesothelioma, providing the basis for a targeted, viable therapeutic option for patients with this incurable disease.
  4. Nat Commun. 2021 08 12. 12(1): 4900
      Skeletal muscle subsarcolemmal mitochondria (SSM) and intermyofibrillar mitochondria subpopulations have distinct metabolic activity and sensitivity, though the mechanisms that localize SSM to peripheral areas of muscle fibers are poorly understood. A protein interaction study and complexome profiling identifies PERM1 interacts with the MICOS-MIB complex. Ablation of Perm1 in mice reduces muscle force, decreases mitochondrial membrane potential and complex I activity, and reduces the numbers of SSM in skeletal muscle. We demonstrate PERM1 interacts with the intracellular adaptor protein ankyrin B (ANKB) that connects the cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane. Moreover, we identify a C-terminal transmembrane helix that anchors PERM1 into the outer mitochondrial membrane. We conclude PERM1 functions in the MICOS-MIB complex and acts as an adapter to connect the mitochondria with the sarcolemma via ANKB.
  5. Nat Commun. 2021 08 10. 12(1): 4835
      F-ATP synthase is a leading candidate as the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP) but the mechanism(s) leading to channel formation remain undefined. Here, to shed light on the structural requirements for PTP formation, we test cells ablated for g, OSCP and b subunits, and ρ0 cells lacking subunits a and A6L. Δg cells (that also lack subunit e) do not show PTP channel opening in intact cells or patch-clamped mitoplasts unless atractylate is added. Δb and ΔOSCP cells display currents insensitive to cyclosporin A but inhibited by bongkrekate, suggesting that the adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT) can contribute to channel formation in the absence of an assembled F-ATP synthase. Mitoplasts from ρ0 mitochondria display PTP currents indistinguishable from their wild-type counterparts. In this work, we show that peripheral stalk subunits are essential to turn the F-ATP synthase into the PTP and that the ANT provides mitochondria with a distinct permeability pathway.
  6. iScience. 2021 Aug 20. 24(8): 102869
      Distinct sub-assemblies (modules) of mitochondrial complex I (CI) are assembled with the assistance of CI Assembly Factors (CIAFs) through mechanisms that are incompletely defined. Here, using genetic analyses in Drosophila, we report that when either of the CIAFs - NDUFAF3 or NDUFAF4 - is disrupted, biogenesis of the Q-, N-, and PP-b-modules of CI is impaired. This is due, at least in part, to the compromised integration of NDUFS3 and NDUFS5 into the Q-, and PP-b-modules, respectively, coupled with a destabilization of another CIAF, TIMMDC1, in assembly intermediates. Notably, forced expression of NDUFAF4 rescues the biogenesis defects in the Q-module and some aspects of the defects in the PP-b-module of CI when NDUFAF3 is disrupted. Altogether, our studies furnish new fundamental insights into the mechanism by which NDUFAF3 and NDUFAF4 regulate CI assembly and raises the possibility that certain point mutations in NDUFAF3 may be rescued by overexpression of NDUFAF4.
    Keywords:  metabolic engineering; molecular genetics; molecular mechanism of gene regulation
  7. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 10. pii: S2211-1247(21)00940-2. [Epub ahead of print]36(6): 109510
      lncRNA taurine-upregulated gene 1 (Tug1) is a promising therapeutic target in the progression of diabetic nephropathy (DN), but the molecular basis of its protection remains poorly understood. Here, we generate a triple-mutant diabetic mouse model coupled with metabolomic profiling data to interrogate whether Tug1 interaction with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α (PGC1α) is required for mitochondrial remodeling and progression of DN in vivo. We find that, compared with diabetic conditional deletion of Pgc1α in podocytes alone (db/db; Pgc1αPod-f/f), diabetic Pgc1α knockout combined with podocyte-specific Tug1 overexpression (db/db; TugPodTg; Pgc1αPod-f/f) reverses the protective phenotype of Tug1 overexpression, suggesting that PGC1α is required for the renoprotective effect of Tug1. Using unbiased metabolomic profiling, we find that altered urea cycle metabolites and mitochondrial arginase 2 play an important role in Tug1/PGC1α-induced mitochondrial remodeling. Our work identifies a functional role of the Tug1/PGC1α axis on mitochondrial metabolic homeostasis and urea cycle metabolites in experimental models of diabetes.
    Keywords:  PGC1α; RNA; Tug1; diabetic nephropathy; lncRNA; mitochondrial metabolites; podocytes
  8. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 10. pii: S2211-1247(21)00939-6. [Epub ahead of print]36(6): 109509
      The brain's ability to process complex information relies on the constant supply of energy through aerobic respiration by mitochondria. Neurons contain three anatomically distinct compartments-the soma, dendrites, and projecting axons-which have different energetic and biochemical requirements, as well as different mitochondrial morphologies in cultured systems. In this study, we apply quantitative three-dimensional electron microscopy to map mitochondrial network morphology and complexity in the mouse brain. We examine somatic, dendritic, and axonal mitochondria in the dentate gyrus and cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) of the mouse hippocampus, two subregions with distinct principal cell types and functions. We also establish compartment-specific differences in mitochondrial morphology across these cell types between young and old mice, highlighting differences in age-related morphological recalibrations. Overall, these data define the nature of the neuronal mitochondrial network in the mouse hippocampus, providing a foundation to examine the role of mitochondrial morpho-function in the aging brain.
    Keywords:  3D reconstruction; SBF-SEM; aging; hippocampus; microscopy; mitochondria; morphology; morphometry; three-dimensional; topology
  9. PLoS Genet. 2021 Aug 12. 17(8): e1009731
      A healthy population of mitochondria, maintained by proper fission, fusion, and degradation, is critical for the long-term survival and function of neurons. Here, our discovery of mitophagy intermediates in fission-impaired Drosophila neurons brings new perspective into the relationship between mitochondrial fission and mitophagy. Neurons lacking either the ataxia disease gene Vps13D or the dynamin related protein Drp1 contain enlarged mitochondria that are engaged with autophagy machinery and also lack matrix components. Reporter assays combined with genetic studies imply that mitophagy both initiates and is completed in Drp1 impaired neurons, but fails to complete in Vps13D impaired neurons, which accumulate compromised mitochondria within stalled mito-phagophores. Our findings imply that in fission-defective neurons, mitophagy becomes induced, and that the lipid channel containing protein Vps13D has separable functions in mitochondrial fission and phagophore elongation.
  10. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Aug 13.
      Mitochondrial dysfunction and mitophagy are often hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases such as autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) caused by mutations in the key mitochondrial dynamics protein optic atrophy 1 (Opa1). However, the second messengers linking mitochondrial dysfunction to initiation of mitophagy remain poorly characterized. Here, we show in mammalian and nematode neurons that Opa1 mutations trigger Ca2+-dependent mitophagy. Deletion or expression of mutated Opa1 in mouse retinal ganglion cells and Caenorhabditis elegans motor neurons lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, increased cytosolic Ca2+ levels, and decreased axonal mitochondrial density. Chelation of Ca2+ restores mitochondrial density in neuronal processes, neuronal function, and viability. Mechanistically, sustained Ca2+ levels activate calcineurin and AMPK, placed in the same genetic pathway regulating axonal mitochondrial density. Our data reveal that mitophagy in ADOA depends on Ca2+-calcineurin-AMPK signaling cascade.
  11. FASEB J. 2021 Sep;35(9): e21752
      Aging, obesity, and insulin resistance are associated with low levels of PGC1α and PGC1β coactivators and defective mitochondrial function. We studied mice deficient for PGC1α and PGC1β [double heterozygous (DH)] to investigate their combined pathogenic contribution. Contrary to our hypothesis, DH mice were leaner, had increased energy dissipation, a pro-thermogenic profile in BAT and WAT, and improved carbohydrate metabolism compared to wild types. WAT showed upregulation of mitochondriogenesis/oxphos machinery upon allelic compensation of PGC1α4 from the remaining allele. However, DH mice had decreased mitochondrial OXPHOS and biogenesis transcriptomes in mitochondria-rich organs. Despite being metabolically healthy, mitochondrial defects in DH mice impaired muscle fiber remodeling and caused qualitative changes in the hepatic lipidome. Our data evidence first the existence of organ-specific compensatory allostatic mechanisms are robust enough to drive an unexpected phenotype. Second, optimization of adipose tissue bioenergetics is sufficient to maintain a healthy metabolic phenotype despite a broad severe mitochondrial dysfunction in other relevant metabolic organs. Third, the decrease in PGC1s in adipose tissue of obese and diabetic patients is in contrast with the robustness of the compensatory upregulation in the adipose of the DH mice.
    Keywords:  PGC-1alpha; adipose tissue; hepatic lipidome; lipotoxicity; mitochondrial dysfunction
  12. Autophagy. 2021 Aug 12. 1-2
      Temperature variations induce stressful conditions that challenge the ability of organisms to maintain cell homeostasis. The intensity and duration of heat stress affect cell response very differently, ranging from a beneficial effect - hormesis - to necrotic cell death. There is a strong interplay between the cell response to heat shock and macroautophagy/autophagy, which is induced to cope with stress. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, we developed a new paradigm to study adaptation to acute non-lethal heat-stress (aHS) during development. We found that aHS results in transient fragmentation of mitochondria, decreased cellular respiration, and delayed development. Moreover, an active autophagy flux associated with mitophagy events is triggered in many tissues, enables the rebuilding of the mitochondrial network and modulates the adaptive plasticity of the development, showing that the autophagic response is protective for C. elegans. Using genetic and cellular approaches, we showed that mitochondria are a major site for autophagosome biogenesis in the epidermis, under both standard and heat-stress conditions. We determined that DRP-1 (Dynamin-Related Protein 1) involved in mitochondrial fission, is an important player for the autophagy process and the adaptation to aHS. Our study suggests that DRP-1 is involved in coordinating mitochondrial fission and autophagosome biogenesis during stress.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; C. elegans; DRP-1; development plasticity; heat shock; mitochondria
  13. Mitochondrion. 2021 Aug 05. pii: S1567-7249(21)00103-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial adaptations to various environmental cues contribute to cellular and organismal adaptations across multiple model organisms. Due to increased complexity, a direct connection between mitochondrial integrity and oxygen fluctuations, and survival fitness was not demonstrated. Here, using C. elegans as a model system, we studied the role of HIF-1, Hsp90, and TRAP-1 in mitochondrial adaptations during chemical hypoxia. We show that Hsp90mt (Hsp90 mutant) but not HIF-1mt (HIF-1 mutant) affects hypoxia adaptation in nematodes. TRAP-1KD (TRAP-1 knockdown) worms interfered with the survival and fecundity of worms. Compared to Hsp90mt, TRAP-1KD has induced a significant decrease in mitochondrial integrity and oxygen consumption rate. The complex I inhibitor rotenone did not affect ATP levels in Hsp90mt worms. However, ATP levels were decreased in TRAP-1KD worms under similar conditions. The glucose restriction has reduced, and glucose supplementation has increased the survival rate in Hsp90mt worms. Neither glucose restriction nor glucose supplementation has significantly affected the survival of TRAP-1KD worms in response to hypoxia. However, TRAP-1 inhibition using a nanocarrier drug has dramatically reduced the survival rate in response to hypoxia. Our results suggest that Hsp90 and TRAP-1 independently regulate hypoxia adaptations and metabolic plasticity in C. elegans. Considering the emerging roles of TRAP-1 in altered energy metabolism and cellular adaptations, our findings gain importance.
    Keywords:  Caenorhabditis elegans; HIF-1; Hsp90; TRAP-1; hypoxia; mitochondria
  14. Mitochondrion. 2021 Aug 07. pii: S1567-7249(21)00106-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      ATP11p and ATP12p are two nuclear-encoded mitochondrial chaperone proteins required for assembling the F1Fo-ATP synthase F1 sector. ATPAF1 and ATPAF2 are the mammalian homologs of ATP11p and ATP12p. However, the biochemical and physiological relevance of ATPAF1 and ATPAF2 in animal tissues with high energy-dependence remains unclear. To explore the in vivo role of ATP assembly and the effects of ATP synthase deficiency in animals, we have generated knockout (KO) mouse models of these assembly factors using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. While the Atpaf2-KO mice were embryonically lethal, Atpaf1-KO mice grew to adulthood but with smaller body sizes and elevated blood lactate later in life. We specifically investigated how ATPAF1 deficiency may affect ATP synthase biogenesis and mitochondrial respiration in the mouse heart, an organ highly energy-dependent. Western blots and Blue-Native electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) demonstrated a decreased F1 content and ATP synthase dimers in the Atpaf1-KO heart. Mitochondria from ATPAF1-deficient hearts showed ultrastructural abnormalities with condensed degenerated mitochondria, loss of cristae, and impaired respiratory capacity. ATP synthase deficiency also leads to impaired autophagy and mitochondrial dynamic. Consequently, decreased cardiac function was exhibited in adult Atpaf1-KO mice. The results provide strong support that ATPAF1 is essential for ATP synthase assembly and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, thus playing a crucial role in maintaining cardiac structure and function in animals.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase assembly; mitochondria; mitochondrial dysfunction; oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS)
  15. Mitochondrion. 2021 Aug 09. pii: S1567-7249(21)00109-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      The size and morphology of mitochondria are very heterogeneous and correlates well with their healthy functioning. In many pathological conditions, mitochondrial morphology is altered due to impaired mitochondrial dynamics (a collective term for mitochondrial fusion and fission) and dysfunction. The current study aimed at identifying the role of microRNA-128 (miR-128) in regulating mitochondrial biogenesis. Previously, peroxisome proliferator activator receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC1α) has been shown to co-activate key intermediates of mitochondrial biogenesis, function, and dynamics; however, the upstream regulatory network remains largely unknown. We, herein using in silico analysis followed by in vitro experiments in C2C12 myoblasts, showed that miR-128 reduces mitochondrial biogenesis by directly targeting PGC1α. The expression of downstream genes, nuclear respiratory factors 1 and 2 (NRF1 and NRF2, respectively), and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) were decreased in C2C12 myoblasts upon overexpression of miR-128. Also, miR-128 is shown to promote mitochondrial dysfunction by directly targeting NADH Dehydrogenase (Ubiquinone) Fe-S Protein 4 (NDUFS4). The mitochondrial dynamics and morphology were impaired post miR-128 overexpression, as revealed by downregulation of fusion proteins (mitofusin1 and 2, i.e., MFN1 and MFN2, respectively) and upregulation of fission protein (dynamin-related protein 1, i.e., DRP1). Conversely, inhibition of miR-128 expression improved mitochondrial biogenesis, function, and dynamics, as evidenced by increased mitochondrial mass and ATP production after antimiR-128 treatment. Our findings reveal that inhibition of miR-128 can be a new potential target for reversing the effects of metabolic disorders of skeletal muscle as observed during many pathophysiological conditions such as obesity and type II diabetes.
    Keywords:  MiR-128; NDUFS4; PGC1α; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial dysfunction