bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒12‒12
ten papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Nat Cell Biol. 2021 Dec 06.
      Mitochondrial-derived vesicles (MDVs) are implicated in diverse physiological processes-for example, mitochondrial quality control-and are linked to various neurodegenerative diseases. However, their specific cargo composition and complex molecular biogenesis are still unknown. Here we report the proteome and lipidome of steady-state TOMM20+ MDVs. We identified 107 high-confidence MDV cargoes, which include all β-barrel proteins and the TOM import complex. MDV cargoes are delivered as fully assembled complexes to lysosomes, thus representing a selective mitochondrial quality control mechanism for multi-subunit complexes, including the TOM machinery. Moreover, we define key biogenesis steps of phosphatidic acid-enriched MDVs starting with the MIRO1/2-dependent formation of thin membrane protrusions pulled along microtubule filaments, followed by MID49/MID51/MFF-dependent recruitment of the dynamin family GTPase DRP1 and finally DRP1-dependent scission. In summary, we define the function of MDVs in mitochondrial quality control and present a mechanistic model for global GTPase-driven MDV biogenesis.
  2. Nat Metab. 2021 Dec 06.
      White to brown/beige adipocytes conversion is a possible therapeutic strategy to tackle the current obesity epidemics. While mitochondria are key for energy dissipation in brown fat, it is unknown if they can drive adipocyte browning. Here, we show that the mitochondrial cristae biogenesis protein optic atrophy 1 (Opa1) facilitates cell-autonomous adipocyte browning. In two cohorts of patients with obesity, including weight discordant monozygotic twin pairs, adipose tissue OPA1 levels are reduced. In the mouse, Opa1 overexpression favours white adipose tissue expandability as well as browning, ultimately improving glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Transcriptomics and metabolomics analyses identify the Jumanji family chromatin remodelling protein Kdm3a and urea cycle metabolites, including fumarate, as effectors of Opa1-dependent browning. Mechanistically, the higher cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels in Opa1 pre-adipocytes activate cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), which transcribes urea cycle enzymes. Flux analyses in pre-adipocytes indicate that Opa1-dependent fumarate accumulation depends on the urea cycle. Conversely, adipocyte-specific Opa1 deletion curtails urea cycle and beige differentiation of pre-adipocytes, and is rescued by fumarate supplementation. Thus, the urea cycle links the mitochondrial dynamics protein Opa1 to white adipocyte browning.
  3. EMBO J. 2021 Dec 07. e106837
      Mitochondria depend on the import of phospholipid precursors for the biosynthesis of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and cardiolipin, yet the mechanism of their transport remains elusive. A dynamic lipidomics approach revealed that mitochondria preferentially import di-unsaturated phosphatidylserine (PS) for subsequent conversion to PE by the mitochondrial PS decarboxylase Psd1p. Several protein complexes tethering mitochondria to the endomembrane system have been implicated in lipid transport in yeast, including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondrial encounter structure (ERMES), ER-membrane complex (EMC), and the vacuole and mitochondria patch (vCLAMP). By limiting the availability of unsaturated phospholipids, we created conditions to investigate the mechanism of lipid transfer and the contributions of the tethering complexes in vivo. Under these conditions, inactivation of ERMES components or of the vCLAMP component Vps39p exacerbated accumulation of saturated lipid acyl chains, indicating that ERMES and Vps39p contribute to the mitochondrial sink for unsaturated acyl chains by mediating transfer of di-unsaturated phospholipids. These results support the concept that intermembrane lipid flow is rate-limited by molecular species-dependent lipid efflux from the donor membrane and driven by the lipid species' concentration gradient between donor and acceptor membrane.
    Keywords:  lipid transport; membrane contact sites; membrane lipid homeostasis; membrane lipid unsaturation; mitochondria
  4. Mol Cell. 2021 Nov 26. pii: S1097-2765(21)00991-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in PINK1 cause autosomal-recessive Parkinson's disease. Mitochondrial damage results in PINK1 import arrest on the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM) complex, resulting in the activation of its ubiquitin kinase activity by autophosphorylation and initiation of Parkin-dependent mitochondrial clearance. Herein, we report crystal structures of the entire cytosolic domain of insect PINK1. Our structures reveal a dimeric autophosphorylation complex targeting phosphorylation at the invariant Ser205 (human Ser228). The dimer interface requires insert 2, which is unique to PINK1. The structures also reveal how an N-terminal helix binds to the C-terminal extension and provide insights into stabilization of PINK1 on the core TOM complex.
    Keywords:  PINK1; Parkin; Parkinson; TOM; X-ray crystallography; kinase; mass spectrometry; mitochondria; phosphorylation; ubiquitin
  5. Nat Commun. 2021 Dec 06. 12(1): 6997
      Pathological variants of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) typically co-exist with wild-type molecules, but the factors driving the selection of each are not understood. Because mitochondrial fitness does not favour the propagation of functional mtDNAs in disease states, we sought to create conditions where it would be advantageous. Glucose and glutamine consumption are increased in mtDNA dysfunction, and so we targeted the use of both in cells carrying the pathogenic m.3243A>G variant with 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2DG), or the related 5-thioglucose. Here, we show that both compounds selected wild-type over mutant mtDNA, restoring mtDNA expression and respiration. Mechanistically, 2DG selectively inhibits the replication of mutant mtDNA; and glutamine is the key target metabolite, as its withdrawal, too, suppresses mtDNA synthesis in mutant cells. Additionally, by restricting glucose utilization, 2DG supports functional mtDNAs, as glucose-fuelled respiration is critical for mtDNA replication in control cells, when glucose and glutamine are scarce. Hence, we demonstrate that mitochondrial fitness dictates metabolite preference for mtDNA replication; consequently, interventions that restrict metabolite availability can suppress pathological mtDNAs, by coupling mitochondrial fitness and replication.
  6. Nat Commun. 2021 Dec 08. 12(1): 7115
      Lactic acidosis, the extracellular accumulation of lactate and protons, is a consequence of increased glycolysis triggered by insufficient oxygen supply to tissues. Macrophages are able to differentiate from monocytes under such acidotic conditions, and remain active in order to resolve the underlying injury. Here we show that, in lactic acidosis, human monocytes differentiating into macrophages are characterized by depolarized mitochondria, transient reduction of mitochondrial mass due to mitophagy, and a significant decrease in nutrient absorption. These metabolic changes, resembling pseudostarvation, result from the low extracellular pH rather than from the lactosis component, and render these cells dependent on autophagy for survival. Meanwhile, acetoacetate, a natural metabolite produced by the liver, is utilized by monocytes/macrophages as an alternative fuel to mitigate lactic acidosis-induced pseudostarvation, as evidenced by retained mitochondrial integrity and function, retained nutrient uptake, and survival without the need of autophagy. Our results thus show that acetoacetate may increase tissue tolerance to sustained lactic acidosis.
  7. J Cell Sci. 2021 Dec 06. pii: jcs.257808. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in Mitofusin2 (MFN2), associated with the pathology of the debilitating neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2A (CMT2A) are known to alter mitochondrial morphology. One such abundant MFN2 mutant, R364W results in the generation of elongated, interconnected mitochondria. However, the mechanism leading to this mitochondrial aberration remains poorly understood. Here we show that mitochondrial hyperfusion in the presence of R364W-MFN2 is due to increased degradation of DRP1. The Ubiquitin E3 ligase MITOL is known to ubiquitylate both MFN2 and DRP1. Interaction with and its subsequent ubiquitylation by MITOL is stronger in presence of WT-MFN2 than R364W-MFN2. This differential interaction of MITOL with MFN2 in the presence of R364W-MFN2 renders the ligase more available for DRP1 ubiquitylation. Multimonoubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation of DRP1 in R364W-MFN2 cells in the presence of MITOL eventually leads to mitochondrial hyperfusion. Here we provide a mechanistic insight into mitochondrial hyperfusion, while also reporting that MFN2 can indirectly modulate DRP1 - an effect not shown before.
    Keywords:  CMT2A-linked MFN2 mutant; DRP1; MITOL; Mitochondrial hyperfusion; Ubiquitylation
  8. iScience. 2021 Dec 17. 24(12): 103460
      Deficiency of the serine hydrolase prolyl endopeptidase-like (PREPL) causes a recessive metabolic disorder characterized by neonatal hypotonia, feeding difficulties, and growth hormone deficiency. The pathophysiology of PREPL deficiency and the physiological substrates of PREPL remain largely unknown. In this study, we connect PREPL with mitochondrial gene expression and oxidative phosphorylation by analyzing its protein interactors. We demonstrate that the long PREPLL isoform localizes to mitochondria, whereas PREPLS remains cytosolic. Prepl KO mice showed reduced mitochondrial complex activities and disrupted mitochondrial gene expression. Furthermore, mitochondrial ultrastructure was abnormal in a PREPL-deficient patient and Prepl KO mice. In addition, we reveal that PREPL has (thio)esterase activity and inhibition of PREPL by Palmostatin M suggests a depalmitoylating function. We subsequently determined the crystal structure of PREPL, thereby providing insight into the mechanism of action. Taken together, PREPL is a (thio)esterase rather than a peptidase and PREPLL is involved in mitochondrial homeostasis.
    Keywords:  Molecular biology; Molecular medicine; Structural biology
  9. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2021 Dec 08.
      Mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT) is a phenomenon that abruptly causes the flux of low molecular weight solutes (molecular weight up to 1,500) across the generally impermeable inner mitochondrial membrane. The mPT is mediated by the so-called mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), a supramolecular entity assembled at the interface of the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes. In contrast to mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization, which mostly activates apoptosis, mPT can trigger different cellular responses, from the physiological regulation of mitophagy to the activation of apoptosis or necrosis. Although there are several molecular candidates for the mPTP, its molecular nature remains contentious. This lack of molecular data was a significant setback that prevented mechanistic insight into the mPTP, pharmacological targeting and the generation of informative animal models. In recent years, experimental evidence has highlighted mitochondrial F1Fo ATP synthase as a participant in mPTP formation, although a molecular model for its transition to the mPTP is still lacking. Recently, the resolution of the F1Fo ATP synthase structure by cryogenic electron microscopy led to a model for mPTP gating. The elusive molecular nature of the mPTP is now being clarified, marking a turning point for understanding mitochondrial biology and its pathophysiological ramifications. This Review provides an up-to-date reference for the understanding of the mammalian mPTP and its cellular functions. We review current insights into the molecular mechanisms of mPT and validated observations - from studies in vivo or in artificial membranes - on mPTP activity and functions. We end with a discussion of the contribution of the mPTP to human disease. Throughout the Review, we highlight the multiple unanswered questions and, when applicable, we also provide alternative interpretations of the recent discoveries.