bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2022‒01‒23
nine papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Neuron. 2022 Jan 13. pii: S0896-6273(21)01046-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Neurons depend on autophagy to maintain cellular homeostasis, and defects in autophagy are pathological hallmarks of neurodegenerative disease. To probe the role of basal autophagy in the maintenance of neuronal health, we isolated autophagic vesicles from mouse brain tissue and used proteomics to identify the major cargos engulfed within autophagosomes, validating our findings in rodent primary and human iPSC-derived neurons. Mitochondrial proteins were identified as a major cargo in the absence of mitophagy adaptors such as OPTN. We found that nucleoid-associated proteins are enriched compared with other mitochondrial components. In the axon, autophagic engulfment of nucleoid-enriched mitochondrial fragments requires the mitochondrial fission machinery Drp1. We proposed that localized Drp1-dependent fission of nucleoid-enriched fragments in proximity to the sites of autophagosome biogenesis enhances their capture. The resulting efficient autophagic turnover of nucleoids may prevent accumulation of mitochondrial DNA in the neuron, thus mitigating activation of proinflammatory pathways that contribute to neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  Drp1; TFAM; autophagy; mitochondria; mitochondrial division; mitochondrial nucleoids; mitophagy; neurodegeneration; neuronal homeostasis
  2. Cell. 2022 Jan 14. pii: S0092-8674(21)01563-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tau (MAPT) drives neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer disease (AD) and other tauopathies. To dissect the underlying mechanisms, we combined an engineered ascorbic acid peroxidase (APEX) approach with quantitative affinity purification mass spectrometry (AP-MS) followed by proximity ligation assay (PLA) to characterize Tau interactomes modified by neuronal activity and mutations that cause frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons. We established interactions of Tau with presynaptic vesicle proteins during activity-dependent Tau secretion and mapped the Tau-binding sites to the cytosolic domains of integral synaptic vesicle proteins. We showed that FTD mutations impair bioenergetics and markedly diminished Tau's interaction with mitochondria proteins, which were downregulated in AD brains of multiple cohorts and correlated with disease severity. These multimodal and dynamic Tau interactomes with exquisite spatial resolution shed light on Tau's role in neuronal function and disease and highlight potential therapeutic targets to block Tau-mediated pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  APEX; Tau; Tau secretion; affinity purification mass spectrometry; interactome; mitochondria; neurodegeneration; protein-protein interaction; synapse; tauopathies
  3. Cell Rep. 2022 Jan 18. pii: S2211-1247(21)01766-6. [Epub ahead of print]38(3): 110254
      Cancer heterogeneity and evolution are not fully understood. Here, we show that mitochondrial DNA of the normal liver shapes tumor progression, histology, and immune environment prior to the acquisition of oncogenic mutation. Using conplastic mice, we show that mtDNA dictates the expression of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) in the normal liver. Activation of oncogenic mutations in UPRmt-positive liver increases tumor incidence and histological heterogeneity. Further, in a subset of UPRmt-positive mice, invasive liver cancers develop. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of the normal liver reveals that, in this subset, the PAPP-A/DDR2/SNAIL axis of invasion pre-exists along with elevated collagen. Since PAPP-A promotes immune evasion, we analyzed the immune signature and found that their livers are immunosuppressed. Further, the PAPP-A signature identifies the immune exhausted subset of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in humans. Our data suggest that mtDNA of normal liver shapes the entire liver cancer portrait upon acquisition of oncogenic mutations.
    Keywords:  DDR2; PAPP-A; UPRmt; collagen; conplastic mice; estrogen receptor; immune exhausted; liver cancer; mitochondrial UPR; sexual dimorphism
  4. Nat Commun. 2022 Jan 20. 13(1): 424
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in skeletal muscle insulin resistance. Syntaxin 4 (STX4) levels are reduced in human diabetic skeletal muscle, and global transgenic enrichment of STX4 expression improves insulin sensitivity in mice. Here, we show that transgenic skeletal muscle-specific STX4 enrichment (skmSTX4tg) in mice reverses established insulin resistance and improves mitochondrial function in the context of diabetogenic stress. Specifically, skmSTX4tg reversed insulin resistance caused by high-fat diet (HFD) without altering body weight or food consumption. Electron microscopy of wild-type mouse muscle revealed STX4 localisation at or proximal to the mitochondrial membrane. STX4 enrichment prevented HFD-induced mitochondrial fragmentation and dysfunction through a mechanism involving STX4-Drp1 interaction and elevated AMPK-mediated phosphorylation at Drp1 S637, which favors fusion. Our findings challenge the dogma that STX4 acts solely at the plasma membrane, revealing that STX4 localises at/proximal to and regulates the function of mitochondria in muscle. These results establish skeletal muscle STX4 enrichment as a candidate therapeutic strategy to reverse peripheral insulin resistance.
  5. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jan 18. pii: e2114710118. [Epub ahead of print]119(3):
      Mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) play a central role in synthesizing mitochondrial inner membrane proteins responsible for oxidative phosphorylation. Although mitoribosomes from different organisms exhibit considerable structural variations, recent insights into mitoribosome assembly suggest that mitoribosome maturation follows common principles and involves a number of conserved assembly factors. To investigate the steps involved in the assembly of the mitoribosomal small subunit (mt-SSU) we determined the cryoelectron microscopy structures of middle and late assembly intermediates of the Trypanosoma brucei mitochondrial small subunit (mt-SSU) at 3.6- and 3.7-Å resolution, respectively. We identified five additional assembly factors that together with the mitochondrial initiation factor 2 (mt-IF-2) specifically interact with functionally important regions of the rRNA, including the decoding center, thereby preventing premature mRNA or large subunit binding. Structural comparison of assembly intermediates with mature mt-SSU combined with RNAi experiments suggests a noncanonical role of mt-IF-2 and a stepwise assembly process, where modular exchange of ribosomal proteins and assembly factors together with mt-IF-2 ensure proper 9S rRNA folding and protein maturation during the final steps of assembly.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; ribosome assembly; structural biology; translation
  6. Open Biol. 2022 Jan;12(1): 210255
      Mutations in Parkin and PINK1 cause early-onset familial Parkinson's disease. Parkin is a RING-In-Between-RING E3 ligase that transfers ubiquitin from an E2 enzyme to a substrate in two steps: (i) thioester intermediate formation on Parkin and (ii) acyl transfer to a substrate lysine. The process is triggered by PINK1, which phosphorylates ubiquitin on damaged mitochondria, which in turn recruits and activates Parkin. This leads to the ubiquitination of outer mitochondrial membrane proteins and clearance of the organelle. While the targets of Parkin on mitochondria are known, the factors determining substrate selectivity remain unclear. To investigate this, we examined how Parkin catalyses ubiquitin transfer to substrates. We found that His433 in the RING2 domain contributes to the catalysis of acyl transfer. In cells, the mutation of His433 impairs mitophagy. In vitro ubiquitination assays with isolated mitochondria show that Mfn2 is a kinetically preferred substrate. Using proximity-ligation assays, we show that Mfn2 specifically co-localizes with PINK1 and phospho-ubiquitin (pUb) in U2OS cells upon mitochondrial depolarization. We propose a model whereby ubiquitination of Mfn2 is efficient by virtue of its localization near PINK1, which leads to the recruitment and activation of Parkin via pUb at these sites.
    Keywords:  Mfn2; PINK1; Parkin; mitochondria; ubiquitin
  7. Open Biol. 2022 Jan;12(1): 210264
      Autosomal recessive mutations in the PINK1 gene are causal for Parkinson's disease (PD). PINK1 encodes a mitochondrial localized protein kinase that is a master-regulator of mitochondrial quality control pathways. Structural studies to date have elaborated the mechanism of how mutations located within the kinase domain disrupt PINK1 function; however, the molecular mechanism of PINK1 mutations located upstream and downstream of the kinase domain is unknown. We have employed mutagenesis studies to define the minimal region of human PINK1 required for optimal ubiquitin phosphorylation, beginning at residue Ile111. Inspection of the AlphaFold human PINK1 structure model predicts a conserved N-terminal α-helical extension (NTE) domain forming an intramolecular interaction with the C-terminal extension (CTE), which we corroborate using hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry of recombinant insect PINK1 protein. Cell-based analysis of human PINK1 reveals that PD-associated mutations (e.g. Q126P), located within the NTE : CTE interface, markedly inhibit stabilization of PINK1; autophosphorylation at Serine228 (Ser228) and Ubiquitin Serine65 (Ser65) phosphorylation. Furthermore, we provide evidence that NTE and CTE domain mutants disrupt PINK1 stabilization at the mitochondrial Translocase of outer membrane complex. The clinical relevance of our findings is supported by the demonstration of defective stabilization and activation of endogenous PINK1 in human fibroblasts of a patient with early-onset PD due to homozygous PINK1 Q126P mutations. Overall, we define a functional role of the NTE : CTE interface towards PINK1 stabilization and activation and show that loss of NTE : CTE interactions is a major mechanism of PINK1-associated mutations linked to PD.
    Keywords:  PINK1; Parkinson's disease; kinase; mitochondria; phosphorylation; translocase
  8. J Biol Chem. 2022 Jan 18. pii: S0021-9258(22)00042-4. [Epub ahead of print] 101602
      Mitochondrial complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase), a crucial enzyme in energy metabolism, captures the redox potential energy from NADH oxidation and ubiquinone reduction to create the proton motive force used to drive ATP synthesis in oxidative phosphorylation. Recent high-resolution cryo-EM analyses have provided detailed structural knowledge of the catalytic machinery of complex I, but not of the molecular principles of its energy transduction mechanism. Although ubiquinone is considered to bind in a long channel at the interface of the membrane-embedded and hydrophilic domains, and channel residues are likely involved in coupling substrate reduction to proton translocation, no structures with the channel fully occupied have yet been described. Here, we report the cryo-EM structure of mouse complex I with an extremely tight-binding natural-product acetogenin inhibitor, which resembles the native substrate, bound along the full length of the expected ubiquinone-binding channel. Our structure reveals the mode of acetogenin binding and the molecular basis for structure-activity relationships within the acetogenin family. It also shows that acetogenins are such potent inhibitors because they are highly hydrophobic molecules that contain two specific hydrophilic moieties ideally spaced to lock into two hydrophilic regions of the otherwise hydrophobic channel. The central hydrophilic section of the channel does not favor binding of the isoprenoid chain when the native substrate is fully bound, but stabilises the ubiquinone/ubiquinol headgroup as it transits to/from the active site. Therefore, the amphipathic nature of the channel supports both tight binding of the amphipathic inhibitor and rapid exchange of the ubiquinone/ubiquinol substrate and product.
    Keywords:  acetogenin; binding site; complex I; cryo-electron microscopy; inhibitor-bound structure
  9. Cell Signal. 2022 Jan 17. pii: S0898-6568(22)00009-2. [Epub ahead of print] 110249
      The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) is an adaptive transcriptional response involving the activation of proteases, chaperones, and antioxidant enzymes and serves to degrade abnormal or unfolded proteins and restore mitochondrial function. Although the cardioprotective action of the UPRmt has been verified in myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injuries, the upstream signals involved remain unclear. Here, we explored the regulatory mechanisms underlying UPRmt in the reperfused mouse heart. UPRmt was slightly activated by I/R injury. UPRmt activation (using oligomycin) and inhibition (with the protease inhibitor AEBSF) respectively alleviated and augmented the reperfusion-mediated myocardial damage. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that oxidative stress was partly inhibited by UPRmt through upregulation of mitochondria-localized, not cytoplasmic, antioxidant enzymes. Contributing to cardiomyocyte survival under I/R, the transcription of pro-apoptotic proteins Bcl2 and c-IAP was also stimulated by UPRmt. Moreover, UPRmt upregulated mitochondrial fusion-related, but not fission-related, genes and stimulated the expression of mitochondrial biogenesis markers in reperfused hearts. Finally, we found that FUN14 domain containing 1 (FUNDC1)-mediated mitophagy induces the mitochondrial DNA decrease, triggering UPRmt. These results demonstrate that FUNDC1 functions upstream of the UPRmt to maintain mitochondrial quality control during myocardial I/R injury.
    Keywords:  Cardiomyocyte; FUNDC1; Mitochondrial unfolded protein response; Mitophagy; Myocardial I/R injury