bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒11‒14
eight papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Cell Rep. 2021 Nov 09. pii: S2211-1247(21)01468-6. [Epub ahead of print]37(6): 109989
      Mutations in mitochondrial genes impairing energy production cause mitochondrial diseases (MDs), and clinical studies have shown that MD patients are prone to bacterial infections. However, the relationship between mitochondrial (dys)function and infection remains largely unexplored, especially in epithelial cells, the first barrier to many pathogens. Here, we generate an epithelial cell model for one of the most common mitochondrial diseases, Leigh syndrome, by deleting surfeit locus protein 1 (SURF1), an assembly factor for respiratory chain complex IV. We use this genetic model and a complementary, nutrient-based approach to modulate mitochondrial respiration rates and show that impaired mitochondrial respiration favors entry of the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, a well-established bacterial infection model. Reversely, enhanced mitochondrial energy metabolism decreases infection efficiency. We further demonstrate that endocytic recycling is reduced in mitochondrial respiration-dependent cells, dampening L. monocytogenes infection by slowing the recycling of its host cell receptor c-Met, highlighting a previously undescribed role of mitochondrial respiration during infection.
    Keywords:  (13)C isotopologue profiling; Listeria monocytogenes; Rab11; endocytic recycling; infection; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial disease; respiration
  2. FASEB J. 2021 Dec;35(12): e22023
      B lymphocytes are responsible for humoral immunity and play a key role in the immune response. Optimal mitochondrial function is required to support B cell activity during activation. We examined how deficiency of tafazzin, a cardiolipin remodeling enzyme required for mitochondrial function, alters the metabolic activity of B cells and their response to activation by lipopolysaccharide in mice. B cells were isolated from 3-month-old wild type or tafazzin knockdown mice and incubated for up to 72 h with lipopolysaccharide and cell proliferation, expression of cell surface markers, secretion of antibodies and chemokines, proteasome and immunoproteasome activities, and metabolic function determined. In addition, proteomic analysis was performed to identify altered levels of proteins involved in survival, immunogenic, proteasomal and mitochondrial processes. Compared to wild type lipopolysaccharide activated B cells, lipopolysaccharide activated tafazzin knockdown B cells exhibited significantly reduced proliferation, lowered expression of cluster of differentiation 86 and cluster of differentiation 69 surface markers, reduced secretion of immunoglobulin M antibody, reduced secretion of keratinocytes-derived chemokine and macrophage-inflammatory protein-2, reduced proteasome and immunoproteasome activities, and reduced mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis. Proteomic analysis revealed significant alterations in key protein targets that regulate cell survival, immunogenicity, proteasomal processing and mitochondrial function consistent with the findings of the above functional studies. The results indicate that the cardiolipin transacylase enzyme tafazzin plays a key role in regulating mouse B cell function and metabolic activity during activation through modulation of mitochondrial function.
    Keywords:  B lymphocyte activation; cardiolipin; cell proliferation and survival; cytokines; immunoglobulin synthesis and secretion; immunoproteasome; lipopolysaccharide; mitochondria; proteasome; tafazzin
  3. FASEB J. 2021 Dec;35(12): e21991
      Mitochondria are intimately connected to cell fate and function. Here, we review how these intracellular organelles participate in the induction and maintenance of the senescent state. In particular, we discuss how alterations in mitochondrial metabolism, quality control and dynamics are all involved in various aspects of cellular senescence. Together, these observations suggest that mitochondria are active participants and are mechanistically linked to the unique biology of senescence. We further describe how these insights can be potentially exploited for therapeutic benefit.
    Keywords:  aging; metabolism; mitophagy; reactive oxygen species; senolytic
  4. Biol Direct. 2021 Nov 07. 16(1): 22
      BACKGROUND: Rab32 is a small GTPase associated with multiple organelles but is particularly enriched at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Here, it controls targeting to mitochondria-ER contacts (MERCs), thus influencing composition of the mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM). Moreover, Rab32 regulates mitochondrial membrane dynamics via its effector dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Rab32 has also been reported to induce autophagy, an essential pathway targeting intracellular components for their degradation. However, no autophagy-specific effectors have been identified for Rab32. Similarly, the identity of the intracellular membrane targeted by this small GTPase and the type of autophagy it induces are not known yet.RESULTS: To investigate the target of autophagic degradation mediated by Rab32, we tested a large panel of organellar proteins. We found that a subset of MERC proteins, including the thioredoxin-related transmembrane protein TMX1, are specifically targeted for degradation in a Rab32-dependent manner. We also identified the long isoform of reticulon-3 (RTN3L), a known ER-phagy receptor, as a Rab32 effector.
    CONCLUSIONS: Rab32 promotes degradation of mitochondrial-proximal ER membranes through autophagy with the help of RTN3L. We propose to call this type of selective autophagy "MAM-phagy".
    Keywords:  Autophagy; ER-phagy; Mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM); Rab32
  5. J Biol Chem. 2021 Oct 28. pii: S0021-9258(21)01174-1. [Epub ahead of print] 101368
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria are structurally connected with each other at specific sites termed mitochondria-associated membranes (MAM). These physical links are composed of several tethering proteins and are important during varied cellular processes, such as calcium homeostasis, lipid metabolism and transport, membrane biogenesis and organelle remodeling. However, the attributes of specific tethering proteins in these cellular functions remain debatable. Here, we present data to show that one such tether protein, GRP75, is essential in increasing ER-mitochondria contact during palmitate-induced apoptosis in pancreatic insulinoma cells. We demonstrate that palmitate increased GRP75 levels in mouse and rat pancreatic insulinoma cells as well as in mouse primary islet cells. This was associated with increased mitochondrial Ca2+ transfer, impaired mitochondrial membrane potential, increased ROS production, and enhanced physical coupling between the ER and mitochondria. Interestingly, GRP75 inhibition prevented these palmitate-induced cellular aberrations. Additionally, GRP75 overexpression alone was sufficient to impair mitochondrial membrane potential, increase mitochondrial Ca2+ levels and ROS generation, augment ER-mitochondria contact, and induce apoptosis in these cells. In vivo injection of palmitate induced hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia, as well as impaired glucose and insulin tolerance in mice. These animals also exhibited elevated GRP75 levels accompanied by enhanced apoptosis within the pancreatic islets. Our findings suggest that GRP75 is critical in mediating palmitate-induced ER-mitochondrial interaction leading to apoptosis in pancreatic islet cells.
    Keywords:  ER-mitochondria contact; GRP75; calcium apoptosis; palmitate
  6. Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 11. 11(1): 22106
      O-GlcNAcylation is a prevalent form of glycosylation that regulates proteins within the cytosol, nucleus, and mitochondria. The O-GlcNAc modification can affect protein cellular localization, function, and signaling interactions. The specific impact of O-GlcNAcylation on mitochondrial morphology and function has been elusive. In this manuscript, the role of O-GlcNAcylation on mitochondrial fission, oxidative phosphorylation (Oxphos), and the activity of electron transport chain (ETC) complexes were evaluated. In a cellular environment with hyper O-GlcNAcylation due to the deletion of O-GlcNAcase (OGA), mitochondria showed a dramatic reduction in size and a corresponding increase in number and total mitochondrial mass. Because of the increased mitochondrial content, OGA knockout cells exhibited comparable coupled mitochondrial Oxphos and ATP levels when compared to WT cells. However, we observed reduced protein levels for complex I and II when comparing normalized mitochondrial content and reduced linked activity for complexes I and III when examining individual ETC complex activities. In assessing mitochondrial fission, we observed increased amounts of O-GlcNAcylated dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) in cells genetically null for OGA and in glioblastoma cells. Individual regions of Drp1 were evaluated for O-GlcNAc modifications, and we found that this post-translational modification (PTM) was not limited to the previously characterized residues in the variable domain (VD). Additional modification sites are predicted in the GTPase domain, which may influence enzyme activity. Collectively, these results highlight the impact of O-GlcNAcylation on mitochondrial dynamics and ETC function and mimic the changes that may occur during glucose toxicity from hyperglycemia.
  7. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 670338
      Proteins controlling mitochondrial fission have been recognized as essential regulators of mitochondrial functions, mitochondrial quality control and cell apoptosis. In the present study, we identified the critical B cell survival regulator TRAF3 as a novel binding partner of the key mitochondrial fission factor, MFF, in B lymphocytes. Elicited by our unexpected finding that the majority of cytoplasmic TRAF3 proteins were localized at the mitochondria in resting splenic B cells after ex vivo culture for 2 days, we found that TRAF3 specifically interacted with MFF as demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation and GST pull-down assays. We further found that in the absence of stimulation, increased protein levels of mitochondrial TRAF3 were associated with altered mitochondrial morphology, decreased mitochondrial respiration, increased mitochondrial ROS production and membrane permeabilization, which eventually culminated in mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in resting B cells. Loss of TRAF3 had the opposite effects on the morphology and function of mitochondria as well as mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in resting B cells. Interestingly, co-expression of TRAF3 and MFF resulted in decreased phosphorylation and ubiquitination of MFF as well as decreased ubiquitination of TRAF3. Moreover, lentivirus-mediated overexpression of MFF restored mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in TRAF3-deficient malignant B cells. Taken together, our findings provide novel insights into the apoptosis-inducing mechanisms of TRAF3 in B cells: as a result of survival factor deprivation or under other types of stress, TRAF3 is mobilized to the mitochondria through its interaction with MFF, where it triggers mitochondria-dependent apoptosis. This new role of TRAF3 in controlling mitochondrial homeostasis might have key implications in TRAF3-mediated regulation of B cell transformation in different cellular contexts. Our findings also suggest that mitochondrial fission is an actionable therapeutic target in human B cell malignancies, including those with TRAF3 deletion or relevant mutations.
    Keywords:  B cell malignancies; B lymphocytes; MFF; TRAF3; apoptosis; mitochondria
  8. Cell. 2021 Nov 11. pii: S0092-8674(21)01235-6. [Epub ahead of print]184(23): 5693-5695
      The mitochondrial genome encodes proteins central to mitochondrial function; however, transcript-specific mechanistic studies of mitochondrial gene products have been difficult because of challenges in their experimental manipulation. Cruz-Zaragoza et al. provide a solution to this challenge, introducing an elegant system for efficient translational silencing of transcripts in human mitochondria.