bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒10‒31
nineteen papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Nature. 2021 Oct 27.
      Glutathione (GSH) is a small-molecule thiol that is abundant in all eukaryotes and has key roles in oxidative metabolism1. Mitochondria, as the major site of oxidative reactions, must maintain sufficient levels of GSH to perform protective and biosynthetic functions2. GSH is synthesized exclusively in the cytosol, yet the molecular machinery involved in mitochondrial GSH import remains unknown. Here, using organellar proteomics and metabolomics approaches, we identify SLC25A39, a mitochondrial membrane carrier of unknown function, as a regulator of GSH transport into mitochondria. Loss of SLC25A39 reduces mitochondrial GSH import and abundance without affecting cellular GSH levels. Cells lacking both SLC25A39 and its paralogue SLC25A40 exhibit defects in the activity and stability of proteins containing iron-sulfur clusters. We find that mitochondrial GSH import is necessary for cell proliferation in vitro and red blood cell development in mice. Heterologous expression of an engineered bifunctional bacterial GSH biosynthetic enzyme (GshF) in mitochondria enables mitochondrial GSH production and ameliorates the metabolic and proliferative defects caused by its depletion. Finally, GSH availability negatively regulates SLC25A39 protein abundance, coupling redox homeostasis to mitochondrial GSH import in mammalian cells. Our work identifies SLC25A39 as an essential and regulated component of the mitochondrial GSH-import machinery.
  2. Nat Metab. 2021 Oct 25.
      We have previously suggested a central role for mitochondria in the observed sex differences in metabolic traits. However, the mechanisms by which sex differences affect adipose mitochondrial function and metabolic syndrome are unclear. Here we show that in both mice and humans, adipose mitochondrial functions are elevated in females and are strongly associated with adiposity, insulin resistance and plasma lipids. Using a panel of diverse inbred strains of mice, we identify a genetic locus on mouse chromosome 17 that controls mitochondrial mass and function in adipose tissue in a sex- and tissue-specific manner. This locus contains Ndufv2 and regulates the expression of at least 89 mitochondrial genes in females, including oxidative phosphorylation genes and those related to mitochondrial DNA content. Overexpression studies indicate that Ndufv2 mediates these effects by regulating supercomplex assembly and elevating mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production, which generates a signal that increases mitochondrial biogenesis.
  3. Mol Cell. 2021 Oct 15. pii: S1097-2765(21)00800-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cell state changes are associated with proteome remodeling to serve newly emergent cell functions. Here, we show that NGN2-driven conversion of human embryonic stem cells to induced neurons (iNeurons) is associated with increased PINK1-independent mitophagic flux that is temporally correlated with metabolic reprogramming to support oxidative phosphorylation. Global multiplex proteomics during neurogenesis revealed large-scale remodeling of functional modules linked with pluripotency, mitochondrial metabolism, and proteostasis. Differentiation-dependent mitophagic flux required BNIP3L and its LC3-interacting region (LIR) motif, and BNIP3L also promoted mitophagy in dopaminergic neurons. Proteomic analysis of ATG12-/- iNeurons revealed accumulation of endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi, and mitochondria during differentiation, indicative of widespread organelle remodeling during neurogenesis. This work reveals broad organelle remodeling of membrane-bound organelles during NGN2-driven neurogenesis via autophagy, identifies BNIP3L's central role in programmed mitophagic flux, and provides a proteomic resource for elucidating how organelle remodeling and autophagy alter the proteome during changes in cell state.
    Keywords:  autophagy; iNeurons; mitophagy; proteomics
  4. Dev Cell. 2021 Oct 22. pii: S1534-5807(21)00809-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      In order to combat molecular damage, most cellular proteins undergo rapid turnover. We have previously identified large nuclear protein assemblies that can persist for years in post-mitotic tissues and are subject to age-related decline. Here, we report that mitochondria can be long lived in the mouse brain and reveal that specific mitochondrial proteins have half-lives longer than the average proteome. These mitochondrial long-lived proteins (mitoLLPs) are core components of the electron transport chain (ETC) and display increased longevity in respiratory supercomplexes. We find that COX7C, a mitoLLP that forms a stable contact site between complexes I and IV, is required for complex IV and supercomplex assembly. Remarkably, even upon depletion of COX7C transcripts, ETC function is maintained for days, effectively uncoupling mitochondrial function from ongoing transcription of its mitoLLPs. Our results suggest that modulating protein longevity within the ETC is critical for mitochondrial proteome maintenance and the robustness of mitochondrial function.
    Keywords:  age mosaicism; aging; electron transport chain; heterogeneity; long-lived proteins; mitochondria; muscle; neurons; protein homeostasis; supercomplexes
  5. Cell Chem Biol. 2021 Oct 22. pii: S2451-9456(21)00441-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Efforts to target glucose metabolism in cancer have been limited by the poor potency and specificity of existing anti-glycolytic agents and a poor understanding of the glucose dependence of cancer subtypes in vivo. Here, we present an extensively characterized series of potent, orally bioavailable inhibitors of the class I glucose transporters (GLUTs). The representative compound KL-11743 specifically blocks glucose metabolism, triggering an acute collapse in NADH pools and a striking accumulation of aspartate, indicating a dramatic shift toward oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria. Disrupting mitochondrial metabolism via chemical inhibition of electron transport, deletion of the malate-aspartate shuttle component GOT1, or endogenous mutations in tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes, causes synthetic lethality with KL-11743. Patient-derived xenograft models of succinate dehydrogenase A (SDHA)-deficient cancers are specifically sensitive to KL-11743, providing direct evidence that TCA cycle-mutant tumors are vulnerable to GLUT inhibitors in vivo.
    Keywords:  GLUT inhibitor; PDX models; electron transport chain inhibitors; glycolysis; imaging; malate-aspartate shuttle; mitochondrial inhibitors; pharmacology; redox biology; toxicology
  6. J Cell Biol. 2021 Nov 01. pii: e202104100. [Epub ahead of print]220(11):
      Mitochondrial functions are tightly regulated by nuclear activity, requiring extensive communication between these organelles. One way by which organelles can communicate is through contact sites, areas of close apposition held together by tethering molecules. While many contacts have been characterized in yeast, the contact between the nucleus and mitochondria was not previously identified. Using fluorescence and electron microscopy in S. cerevisiae, we demonstrate specific areas of contact between the two organelles. Using a high-throughput screen, we uncover a role for the uncharacterized protein Ybr063c, which we have named Cnm1 (contact nucleus mitochondria 1), as a molecular tether on the nuclear membrane. We show that Cnm1 mediates contact by interacting with Tom70 on mitochondria. Moreover, Cnm1 abundance is regulated by phosphatidylcholine, enabling the coupling of phospholipid homeostasis with contact extent. The discovery of a molecular mechanism that allows mitochondrial crosstalk with the nucleus sets the ground for better understanding of mitochondrial functions in health and disease.
  7. J Cell Biol. 2021 Nov 01. pii: e202109021. [Epub ahead of print]220(11):
      Few membrane contact sites have been defined at the molecular level. By using a high-throughput, microscopy-based screen, Eisenberg-Bord, Zung et al. (2021. J. Cell Biol. identify Cnm1 as a novel tethering protein that mediates contact between mitochondria and the nuclear ER in response to phospholipid levels.
  8. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Oct 27. mbcE21060286
      Drp1 is a key regulator of mitochondrial fission, a large cytoplasmic GTPase recruited to the mitochondrial surface via transmembrane adaptors to initiate scission. While Brownian motion likely accounts for the local interactions between Drp1 and the mitochondrial adaptors, how this essential enzyme is targeted from more distal regions like the cell periphery remains unknown. Based on proteomic interactome screening and cell-based studies, we report that GIPC mediates the actin-based retrograde transport of Drp1 towards the perinuclear mitochondria to enhance fission. Drp1 interacts with GIPC through its atypical C-terminal PDZ-binding motif. Loss of this interaction abrogates Drp1 retrograde transport resulting in cytoplasmic mislocalization and reduced fission despite retaining normal intrinsic GTPase activity. Functionally, we demonstrate that GIPC potentiates the Drp1-driven proliferative and migratory capacity in cancer cells. Together, these findings establish a direct molecular link between altered GIPC expression and Drp1 function in cancer progression and metabolic disorders.
  9. Cell Rep. 2021 Oct 26. pii: S2211-1247(21)01358-9. [Epub ahead of print]37(4): 109888
      Dysregulated inflammation dominated by chemokine expression is a key feature of disease following infection with the globally important human pathogens Zika virus (ZIKV) and dengue virus, but a mechanistic understanding of how pro-inflammatory responses are initiated is lacking. Mitophagy is a quality-control mechanism that regulates innate immune signaling and cytokine production through selective degradation of damaged mitochondria. Here, we demonstrate that ZIKV nonstructural protein 5 (NS5) antagonizes mitophagy by binding to the host protein Ajuba and preventing its translocation to depolarized mitochondria where it is required for PINK1 activation and downstream signaling. Consequent mitophagy suppression amplifies the production of pro-inflammatory chemokines through protein kinase R (PKR) sensing of mitochondrial RNA. In Ajuba-/- mice, ZIKV induces early expression of pro-inflammatory chemokines associated with significantly enhanced dissemination to tissues. This work identifies Ajuba as a critical regulator of mitophagy and demonstrates a role for mitophagy in limiting systemic inflammation following infection by globally important human viruses.
    Keywords:  PINK1; PKR; Parkin; Zika virus; chemokines; flavivirus; mitochondria; mitophagy; mtRNA; pathogenesis
  10. Cell Metab. 2021 Oct 25. pii: S1550-4131(21)00482-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Wound healing is a coordinated process that initially relies on pro-inflammatory macrophages, followed by a pro-resolution function of these cells. Changes in cellular metabolism likely dictate these distinct activities, but the nature of these changes has been unclear. Here, we profiled early- versus late-stage skin wound macrophages in mice at both the transcriptional and functional levels. We found that glycolytic metabolism in the early phase is not sufficient to ensure productive repair. Instead, by combining conditional disruption of the electron transport chain with deletion of tgcqmitochondrial aspartyl-tRNA synthetase, followed by single-cell sequencing analysis, we found that a subpopulation of early-stage wound macrophages are marked by mitochondrial ROS (mtROS) production and HIF1α stabilization, which ultimately drives a pro-angiogenic program essential for timely healing. In contrast, late-phase, pro-resolving wound macrophages are marked by IL-4Rα-mediated mitochondrial respiration and mitohormesis. Collectively, we identify changes in mitochondrial metabolism as a critical control mechanism for macrophage effector functions during wound healing.
    Keywords:  metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial repurposing; mitohormesis; monocyte/macrophage; tissue repair; type 2 immunity; wound healing
  11. J Biol Chem. 2021 Oct 21. pii: S0021-9258(21)01145-5. [Epub ahead of print] 101339
      Mitochondria are important organelles in eukaryotes. Turnover and quality control of mitochondria are regulated at the transcriptional and post-translational level by several cellular mechanisms. Removal of defective mitochondrial proteins is mediated by mitochondria resident proteases or by proteasomal degradation of individual proteins. Clearance of bulk mitochondria occurs via a selective form of autophagy termed mitophagy. In yeast and some developing metazoan cells (e.g. oocytes and reticulocytes), mitochondria are largely removed by ubiquitin-independent mechanisms. In such cases the regulation of mitophagy is mediated via phosphorylation of mitochondria-anchored autophagy receptors. On the other hand, ubiquitin-dependent recruitment of cytosolic autophagy receptors occurs in situations of cellular stress or disease, where dysfunctional mitochondria would cause oxidative damage. In mammalian cells, a well-studied ubiquitin-dependent mitophagy pathway induced by mitochondrial depolarization is regulated by the mitochondrial protein kinase PINK1 that upon activation recruits the ubiquitin ligase parkin. Here we review mechanisms of mitophagy with an emphasis on post-translational modifications that regulate various mitophagy pathways. We describe the autophagy components involved with particular emphasis on post-translational modifications. We detail the phosphorylations mediated by PINK1 and parkin-mediated ubiquitylations of mitochondrial proteins that can be modulated by deubiquitylating enzymes. We also discuss the role of accessory factors regulating mitochondrial fission/fusion and the interplay with pro- and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members. Comprehensive knowledge of the processes of mitophagy is essential for the understanding of vital mitochondrial turnover in health and disease.
    Keywords:  autophagy; mitochondria; phosphorylation; protein kinase PINK1; ubiquitin ligase parkin; ubiquitylation
  12. J Biol Chem. 2021 Oct 26. pii: S0021-9258(21)01155-8. [Epub ahead of print] 101349
      Mitochondrial protein translocation is an intricately regulated process that requires dedicated translocases at the outer and inner membranes. The presequence translocase complex, TIM23, facilitates most of the import of preproteins containing presequences into the mitochondria, and its primary structural organization is highly conserved. As part of the translocase motor, two J-proteins DnaJC15 and DnaJC19, are recruited to form two independent translocation machineries (Translocase A and Translocase B, respectively). On the other hand, the J-like protein subunit of TIM23, Magmas (orthologous to the yeast subunit Pam16), can regulate human import motor activity by forming a heterodimer with DnaJC19 and DnaJC15. However, the precise coordinated regulation of two human import motors by a single Magmas protein is poorly understood. Here we report two additional Magmas variants (Magmas-1 and Magmas-2) constitutively expressed in the mammalian system. Both Magmas variants are functional orthologs of Pam16 with an evolutionarily conserved J-like domain critical for cell survival. Moreover, Magmas variants are peripherally associated with the inner membrane as part of the human import motor for translocation. Our results demonstrate that Magmas-1 is predominantly recruited to translocase B, while Magmas-2 is majorly associated with translocase A. Strikingly, both variants exhibit differential J-protein inhibitory activity in modulating import motor, thereby regulating overall translocase function. Based on our findings, we hypothesize that additional Magmas variants are of evolutionary significance in humans to maximize protein import in familial-linked pathological conditions.
    Keywords:  Magmas; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial translocase of inner membrane; Protein import; Protein translocation
  13. Leuk Lymphoma. 2021 Oct 27. 1-8
      Cancer cells reprogram their metabolism to maintain sustained proliferation, which creates unique metabolic dependencies between malignant and healthy cells that can be exploited for therapy. In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), mitochondrial inhibitors that block tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes or electron transport chain complexes have recently shown clinical promise. The isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 inhibitor ivosidenib, the isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 inhibitor enasidenib, and the BH3 mimetic venetoclax received FDA approval for treatment of AML in the last few years. Other mitochondrial inhibitors including CPI-613, CB-839, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase inhibitors, IACS-010759, and mubritinib, have shown encouraging preclinical efficacy and are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. In this review, we summarize recent metabolism-based therapies and their ability to target altered cancer metabolism in AML.
    Keywords:  Targeted therapy; acute myeloid leukemia; mitochondrial metabolism
  14. Nucleic Acid Ther. 2021 Oct 25.
      Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that produce ATP and maintain metabolic, catabolic, and redox homeostasis. Mitochondria owe this dynamic nature to their constant fission and fusion-processes that are regulated, in part, by fusion factors (MFN1 and MFN2) and fission factors (DRP1, FIS1, MFF, MIEF1, MIEF2) located on the outer mitochondrial membrane. While mitochondrial fusion and fission are known to influence mitochondrial morphology and function, a key question is whether rebalancing mitochondrial morphology can ameliorate mitochondrial dysfunction in the context of mitochondrial pathology. In this study, we used antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) to systematically evaluate the effects of fusion and fission factors in vitro. Free uptake by cells of fusion or fission factor ASOs caused robust decreases in target gene expression and altered a variety of mitochondrial parameters, including mitochondrial size and respiration, which were dose dependent. In Mfn1 knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and MFN2-R94Q (Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 2 Disease-associated mutation) MEFs, two cellular models of mitochondrial dysfunction, we found that ASO-mediated silencing of only Drp1 restored mitochondrial morphology and enhanced mitochondrial respiration. Together, these data demonstrate in vitro proof-of-concept for rebalancing mitochondrial morphology to rescue function using ASOs and suggest that ASO-mediated modulation of mitochondrial dynamics may be a viable therapeutic approach to restore mitochondrial homeostasis in diseases driven by mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Keywords:  antisense; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; oligonucleotides
  15. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2021 Oct 28.
      Mitochondria, the only semiautonomous organelles in mammalian cells, possess a circular, double-stranded genome termed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). While nuclear genomic DNA compaction, chromatin compartmentalization and transcription are known to be regulated by phase separation, how the mitochondrial nucleoid, a highly compacted spherical suborganelle, is assembled and functions is unknown. Here we assembled mitochondrial nucleoids in vitro and show that mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) undergoes phase separation with mtDNA to drive nucleoid self-assembly. Moreover, nucleoid droplet formation promotes recruitment of the transcription machinery via a special, co-phase separation that concentrates transcription initiation, elongation and termination factors, and retains substrates to facilitate mtDNA transcription. We propose a model of mitochondrial nucleoid self-assembly driven by phase separation, and a pattern of co-phase separation involved in mitochondrial transcriptional regulation, which orchestrates the roles of TFAM in both mitochondrial nucleoid organization and transcription.
  16. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2021 Oct 26.
      The accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) leads to ER stress, resulting in activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) that aims to restore protein homeostasis. However, the UPR also plays an important pathological role in many diseases, including metabolic disorders, cancer and neurological disorders. Over the last decade, significant effort has been invested in targeting signalling proteins involved in the UPR and an array of drug-like molecules is now available. However, these molecules have limitations, the understanding of which is crucial for their development into therapies. Here, we critically review the existing ER stress and UPR-directed drug-like molecules, highlighting both their value and their limitations.
  17. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2021 Oct 27.
      Mitochondria are considered to be the powerhouse of the cell. Normal functioning of the mitochondria is not only essential for cellular energy production but also for several immunomodulatory processes. Macrophages operate in metabolic niches and rely on rapid adaptation to specific metabolic conditions such as hypoxia, nutrient limitations or reactive oxygen species to neutralize pathogens. In this regard, the fast reprogramming of mitochondrial metabolism is indispensable to provide the cells with the necessary energy and intermediates to efficiently mount the inflammatory response. Moreover, mitochondria act as a physical scaffold for several proteins involved in immune signaling cascades and their dysfunction is immediately associated with a dampened immune response. In this review, we put special focus on mitochondrial function in macrophages and highlight how mitochondrial metabolism is involved in macrophage activation.
    Keywords:  Itaconic acid; Macrophages; Metabolism; Mitochondira
  18. Autophagy. 2021 Oct 25. 1-18
      Mitochondrial remodeling is dysregulated in metabolic diseases but the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. We report here that BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) provokes mitochondrial fission and clearance in skeletal muscle via the PRKAA/AMPK-PINK1-PRKN/Parkin and PRKAA-DNM1L/DRP1-MFF pathways. Depleting Bdnf expression in myotubes reduced fatty acid-induced mitofission and mitophagy, which was associated with mitochondrial elongation and impaired lipid handling. Muscle-specific bdnf knockout (MBKO) mice displayed defective mitofission and mitophagy, and accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria in the muscle when they were fed with a high-fat diet (HFD). These animals also have exacerbated body weight gain, increased intramyocellular lipid deposition, reduced energy expenditure, poor metabolic flexibility, and more insulin resistance. In contrast, consuming a BDNF mimetic (7,8-dihydroxyflavone) increased mitochondrial content, and enhanced mitofission and mitophagy in the skeletal muscles. Hence, BDNF is an essential myokine to maintain mitochondrial quality and function, and its repression in obesity might contribute to impaired metabolism.Abbreviation: 7,8-DHF: 7,8-dihydroxyflavone; ACACA/ACC: acetyl Coenzyme A carboxylase alpha; ACAD: acyl-Coenzyme A dehydrogenase family; ACADVL: acyl-Coenzyme A dehydrogenase, very long chain; ACOT: acyl-CoA thioesterase; CAMKK2: calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase 2, beta; BDNF: brain derived neurotrophic factor; BNIP3: BCL2/adenovirus E1B interacting protein 3; BNIP3L/NIX: BCL2/adenovirus E1B interacting protein 3-like; CCL2/MCP-1: chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2; CCL5: chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5; CNS: central nervous system; CPT1B: carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1b, muscle; Cpt2: carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2; CREB: cAMP responsive element binding protein; DNM1L/DRP1: dynamin 1-like; E2: estrogen; EHHADH: enoyl-CoenzymeA hydratase/3-hydroxyacyl CoenzymeA dehydrogenase; ESR1/ER-alpha: estrogen receptor 1 (alpha); FA: fatty acid; FAO: fatty acid oxidation; FCCP: carbonyl cyanide-4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone; FFA: free fatty acids; FGF21: fibroblast growth factor 21; FUNDC1: FUN14 domain containing 1; HADHA: hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase trifunctional multienzyme complex subunit alpha; HFD: high-fat diet; iWAT: inguinal white adipose tissues; MAP1LC3A/LC3A: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 alpha; MBKO; muscle-specific bdnf knockout; IL6/IL-6: interleukin 6; MCEE: methylmalonyl CoA epimerase; MFF: mitochondrial fission factor; NTRK2/TRKB: neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor, type 2; OPTN: optineurin; PA: palmitic acid; PARL: presenilin associated, rhomboid-like; PDH: pyruvate dehydrogenase; PINK1: PTEN induced putative kinase 1; PPARGC1A/PGC-1α: peroxisome proliferative activated receptor, gamma, coactivator 1 alpha; PRKAA/AMPK: protein kinase, AMP-activated, alpha 2 catalytic subunit; ROS: reactive oxygen species; TBK1: TANK-binding kinase 1; TG: triacylglycerides; TNF/TNFα: tumor necrosis factor; TOMM20: translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 20; ULK1: unc-51 like kinase 1.
    Keywords:  BDNF; mitochondria; mitophagy; muscle; obesity