bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒10‒17
seven papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. PLoS Pathog. 2021 Oct;17(10): e1009841
      In general, in mammalian cells, cytosolic DNA viruses are sensed by cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), and RNA viruses are recognized by retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptors, triggering a series of downstream innate antiviral signaling steps in the host. We previously reported that measles virus (MeV), which possesses an RNA genome, induces rapid antiviral responses, followed by comprehensive downregulation of host gene expression in epithelial cells. Interestingly, gene ontology analysis indicated that genes encoding mitochondrial proteins are enriched among the list of downregulated genes. To evaluate mitochondrial stress after MeV infection, we first observed the mitochondrial morphology of infected cells and found that significantly elongated mitochondrial networks with a hyperfused phenotype were formed. In addition, an increased amount of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the cytosol was detected during progression of infection. Based on these results, we show that cytosolic mtDNA released from hyperfused mitochondria during MeV infection is captured by cGAS and causes consequent priming of the DNA sensing pathway in addition to canonical RNA sensing. We also ascertained the contribution of cGAS to the in vivo pathogenicity of MeV. In addition, we found that other viruses that induce downregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis as seen for MeV cause similar mitochondrial hyperfusion and cytosolic mtDNA-priming antiviral responses. These findings indicate that the mtDNA-activated cGAS pathway is critical for full innate control of certain viruses, including RNA viruses that cause mitochondrial stress.
  2. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 13. 12(1): 5989
      Liquid-liquid phase separation promotes the formation of membraneless condensates that mediate diverse cellular functions, including autophagy of misfolded proteins. However, how phase separation participates in autophagy of dysfunctional mitochondria (mitophagy) remains obscure. We previously discovered that nuclear receptor Nur77 (also called TR3, NGFI-B, or NR4A1) translocates from the nucleus to mitochondria to mediate celastrol-induced mitophagy through interaction with p62/SQSTM1. Here, we show that the ubiquitinated mitochondrial Nur77 forms membraneless condensates capable of sequestrating damaged mitochondria by interacting with the UBA domain of p62/SQSTM1. However, tethering clustered mitochondria to the autophagy machinery requires an additional interaction mediated by the N-terminal intrinsically disordered region (IDR) of Nur77 and the N-terminal PB1 domain of p62/SQSTM1, which confers Nur77-p62/SQSTM1 condensates with the magnitude and liquidity. Our results demonstrate how composite multivalent interaction between Nur77 and p62/SQSTM1 coordinates to sequester damaged mitochondria and to connect targeted cargo mitochondria for autophagy, providing mechanistic insight into mitophagy.
  3. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 13. 12(1): 5977
      Muscle diseases and aging are associated with impaired myogenic stem cell self-renewal and fewer proliferating progenitors (MPs). Importantly, distinct metabolic states induced by glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation have been connected to MP proliferation and differentiation. However, how these energy-provisioning mechanisms cooperate remain obscure. Herein, we describe a mechanism by which mitochondrial-localized transcriptional co-repressor p107 regulates MP proliferation. We show p107 directly interacts with the mitochondrial DNA, repressing mitochondrial-encoded gene transcription. This reduces ATP production by limiting electron transport chain complex formation. ATP output, controlled by the mitochondrial function of p107, is directly associated with the cell cycle rate. Sirt1 activity, dependent on the cytoplasmic glycolysis product NAD+, directly interacts with p107, impeding its mitochondrial localization. The metabolic control of MP proliferation, driven by p107 mitochondrial function, establishes a cell cycle paradigm that might extend to other dividing cell types.
  4. J Cell Sci. 2021 Oct 15. pii: jcs.259188. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutation in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene, leading to the production of oncometabolite D-2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) from α-ketoglutarate, is associated with better prognosis in glioma. As Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) is an important regulator of tumor progression, its role in glioma expressing IDH1 R132H mutation was investigated. Diminished nuclear YAP1 in IDH1 mutant patient gliomas and cell lines was accompanied by decreased TFAM levels. Luciferase reporter assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation indicated the functionality of TEAD2 site on TFAM promoter in mediating its YAP1-dependent expression. YAP1-dependent mitochondrial fragmentation and ROS generation was accompanied by decreased TERT levels and increased mitochondrial TERT localization in IDH1 R132H cells. Treatment with Bosutinib that prevents extranuclear TERT shuttle, further elevated ROS in IDH1 R132H cells and triggered apoptosis. Importantly, Bosutinib elevated ROS levels and induced apoptosis in IDH1 WT cells upon concurrent depletion of YAP1. These findings highlight the involvement of YAP1 in coupling mitochondrial dysfunction with TERT mitochondrial shuttle to constitute an essential non-canonical function of YAP1 in regulating redox homeostasis.
    Keywords:  Glioma; IDH1; Mitochondria; TERT; TFAM; YAP1
  5. STAR Protoc. 2021 Dec 17. 2(4): 100850
      This protocol describes the assembly and use of MitoPunch to deliver mitochondria containing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) into cells lacking mtDNA (ρ0 cells). MitoPunch generates stable isolated mitochondrial recipient clones with restored mtDNA and recovered respiration, enabling investigation of mtDNA mutations and mtDNA-nuclear DNA interactions in a range of cell types. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Sercel et al. (2021) and Patananan et al. (2020).
    Keywords:  Biotechnology and bioengineering; Cell Biology; Cell culture; Cell-based Assays; Metabolism
  6. Aging Dis. 2021 Oct;12(7): 1753-1772
      Huntington's disease (HD) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease caused by a trinucleotide CAG repeat expansion in the HTT gene. While the pathogenesis of HD is incompletely understood, mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to be a key contributor. In this work, we used C. elegans models to elucidate the role of mitochondrial dynamics in HD. We found that expression of a disease-length polyglutamine tract in body wall muscle, either with or without exon 1 of huntingtin, results in mitochondrial fragmentation and mitochondrial network disorganization. While mitochondria in young HD worms form elongated tubular networks as in wild-type worms, mitochondrial fragmentation occurs with age as expanded polyglutamine protein forms aggregates. To correct the deficit in mitochondrial morphology, we reduced levels of DRP-1, the GTPase responsible for mitochondrial fission. Surprisingly, we found that disrupting drp-1 can have detrimental effects, which are dependent on how much expression is decreased. To avoid potential negative side effects of disrupting drp-1, we examined whether decreasing mitochondrial fragmentation by targeting other genes could be beneficial. Through this approach, we identified multiple genetic targets that rescue movement deficits in worm models of HD. Three of these genetic targets, pgp-3, F25B5.6 and alh-12, increased movement in the HD worm model and restored mitochondrial morphology to wild-type morphology. This work demonstrates that disrupting the mitochondrial fission gene drp-1 can be detrimental in animal models of HD, but that decreasing mitochondrial fragmentation by targeting other genes can be protective. Overall, this study identifies novel therapeutic targets for HD aimed at improving mitochondrial health.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; DRP1; Huntington’s disease; aggregation; animal model; genetics; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; neurodegeneration; neuroprotection