bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒12‒19
five papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. J Cell Sci. 2021 Dec 15. pii: jcs258944. [Epub ahead of print]134(24):
      The dynamic nature of mitochondria, which can fuse, divide and move throughout the cell, allows these critical organelles to adapt their function in response to cellular demands, and is also important for regulating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). While it is established that impairments in mitochondrial fusion and fission impact the mitochondrial genome and can lead to mtDNA depletion, abnormal nucleoid organization or accumulation of deletions, it is not entirely clear how or why remodeling mitochondrial network morphology affects mtDNA. Here, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of how mitochondrial dynamics contribute to the regulation of mtDNA and discuss links to human disease.
    Keywords:  Fission; Fusion; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitophagy; mtDNA
  2. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Dec 17. pii: ddab360. [Epub ahead of print]
      The purpose of our study is to understand the impact of a partial dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) on cognitive behavior, mitophagy, autophagy, and mitochondrial and synaptic activities in transgenic Tau mice in Alzheimer's disease (ad). Our lab reported increased levels of Aβ and P-Tau, and abnormal interactions between Aβ and Drp1, P-Tau, and Drp1 induced increased mitochondrial fragmentation and reduced fusion and synaptic activities in ad. These abnormal interactions, result in the proliferation of dysfunctional mitochondria in ad neurons. Recent research on mitochondria revealed that fission protein Drp1 is largely implicated in mitochondrial dynamics in ad. To determine the impact of reduced Drp1 in ad, we recently crossed transgenic Tau mice with Drp1 heterozygote knockout (Drp1+/-) mice and generated double mutant (P301LDrp1+/-) mice. In the current study, we assessed cognitive behavior, mRNA and protein levels of mitophagy, autophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis, dynamics and synaptic genes, mitochondrial morphology & mitochondrial function, dendritic spines in Tau mice relative to double mutant mice. When compared to Tau mice, double mutant mice did better on Morris Maze (reduced latency to find hidden platform, increased swimming speed and time spent on quadrant) and rotarod (stayed a longer period of time) tests. Both mRNA and proteins levels autophagy, mitophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis and synaptic proteins were increased in double mutant mice compared to Tau (P301L) mice. Dendritic spines were significantly increased; mitochondrial number is reduced and length is increased in double mutant mice. Based on these observations, we conclude that reduced Drp1 is beneficial in a symptomatic-transgenic Tau (P301L) mice.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria Alzheimer’s disease Mitophagy Autophagy Dynamin-related protein 1 Oxidative stress Mitochondrial biogenesis
  3. Cell Calcium. 2021 Dec 10. pii: S0143-4160(21)00171-8. [Epub ahead of print]101 102517
      OPA1 and MICU1 are both involved in the regulation of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake and the stabilization of the cristae junction, which separates the inner mitochondrial membrane into the interboundary membrane and the cristae membrane. In this mini-review, we focus on the synergetic control of OPA1 and MICU1 on the cristae junction that serves as a fundamental regulator of multiple mitochondrial functions. In particular, we point to the critical role of an adaptive cristae junction permeability in mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling, spatial H+ gradients and mitochondrial membrane potential, metabolic activity, and apoptosis. These characteristics bear on a distinct localization of the oxidative phosphorylation machinery, the FoF1-ATPase, and mitochondrial Ca2+uniporter (MCU) within sections of the inner mitochondrial membrane isolated by the cristae junction and regulated by proteins like OPA1 and MICU1. We specifically focus on the impact of MICU1-regulated cristae junction on the activity and distribution of MCU within the complex ultrastructure of mitochondria.
  4. FEBS J. 2021 Dec 16.
      Electron transport chain (ETC) dysfunction is a common feature of mitochondrial diseases and induces severe cellular stresses, including mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm ) reduction, mitochondrial matrix acidification, metabolic derangements and proteostatic stresses. Extensive studies of ETC dysfunction in yeast, C. elegans, cultured cells and mouse models have revealed multiple mitochondrial stress response pathways. Here, we summarize the current understanding of the triggers, sensors, signaling mechanisms, and the functional outcomes of mitochondrial stress responses in different species. We highlight Δψm reduction as a major trigger of stress responses in different species, but the responses are species-specific and the outcomes are context-dependent. ETC dysfunction elicits a mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt ) to repair damaged mitochondria in C. elegans, and activates a global adaptive program to maintain Δψm in yeast. Yeast and C. elegans responses are remarkably similar at the downstream responses, although they are activated by different signaling mechanisms. UPRmt generally protects ETC-defective worms, but its constitutive activation is toxic for wildtype worms and worms carrying mutant mtDNA. In contrast to lower organisms, ETC dysfunction in mammals mainly activates a mitochondrial integrated stress response (ISRmt ) to reprogram metabolism and a PINK1-Parkin mitophagy pathway to degrade damaged mitochondria. Accumulating in vivo results suggest that the ATF4 branch of ISRmt exacerbates metabolic derangements to accelerate mitochondrial disease progression. The in vivo roles of mitophagy in mitochondrial diseases are also context-dependent. These results thus reveal the common and unique aspects of mitochondrial stress responses in different species and highlight their multifaceted roles in mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  ISRmt; Mitochondrial stress response; UPRmt; mitochondrial membrane potential; mitophagy
  5. Essays Biochem. 2021 Dec 13. pii: EBC20210036. [Epub ahead of print]
      PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) impacts cell health and human pathology through diverse pathways. The strict processing of full-length PINK1 on the outer mitochondrial membrane populates a cytoplasmic pool of cleaved PINK1 (cPINK1) that is constitutively degraded. However, despite rapid proteasomal clearance, cPINK1 still appears to exert quality control influence over the neuronal protein homeostasis network, including protein synthesis and degradation machineries. The cytoplasmic concentration and activity of this molecule is therefore a powerful sensor that coordinates aspects of mitochondrial and cellular health. In addition, full-length PINK1 is retained on the mitochondrial membrane following depolarisation, where it is a powerful inducer of multiple mitophagic pathways. This function is executed primarily through the phosphorylation of several ubiquitin ligases, including its most widely studied substrate Parkin. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of both pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins by mitochondrial PINK1 acts as a pro-cellular survival signal when faced with apoptotic stimuli. Through these varied roles PINK1 directly influences functions central to cell dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; Mitophagy; Neurodegneration; PTEN induced putative kinase 1; Parkinsons disease