bims-mitdyn Biomed News
on Mitochondrial dynamics: mechanisms
Issue of 2023‒03‒26
fifteen papers selected by
Edmond Chan
Queen’s University, School of Medicine

  1. Nature. 2023 Mar 22.
      Mitochondrial energy conversion requires an intricate architecture of the inner mitochondrial membrane1. Here we show that a supercomplex containing all four respiratory chain components contributes to membrane curvature induction in ciliates. We report cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-tomography structures of the supercomplex that comprises 150 different proteins and 311 bound lipids, forming a stable 5.8-MDa assembly. Owing to subunit acquisition and extension, complex I associates with a complex IV dimer, generating a wedge-shaped gap that serves as a binding site for complex II. Together with a tilted complex III dimer association, it results in a curved membrane region. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we demonstrate that the divergent supercomplex actively contributes to the membrane curvature induction and tubulation of cristae. Our findings highlight how the evolution of protein subunits of respiratory complexes has led to the I-II-III2-IV2 supercomplex that contributes to the shaping of the bioenergetic membrane, thereby enabling its functional specialization.
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Mar 28. 120(13): e2214949120
      Oxidative phosphorylation, the combined activity of the electron transport chain (ETC) and adenosine triphosphate synthase, has emerged as a valuable target for the treatment of infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacteria. The mycobacterial ETC is highly branched with multiple dehydrogenases transferring electrons to a membrane-bound pool of menaquinone and multiple oxidases transferring electrons from the pool. The proton-pumping type I nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) dehydrogenase (Complex I) is found in low abundance in the plasma membranes of mycobacteria in typical in vitro culture conditions and is often considered dispensable. We found that growth of Mycobacterium smegmatis in carbon-limited conditions greatly increased the abundance of Complex I and allowed isolation of a rotenone-sensitive preparation of the enzyme. Determination of the structure of the complex by cryoEM revealed the "orphan" two-component response regulator protein MSMEG_2064 as a subunit of the assembly. MSMEG_2064 in the complex occupies a site similar to the proposed redox-sensing subunit NDUFA9 in eukaryotic Complex I. An apparent purine nucleoside triphosphate within the NuoG subunit resembles the GTP-derived molybdenum cofactor in homologous formate dehydrogenase enzymes. The membrane region of the complex binds acyl phosphatidylinositol dimannoside, a characteristic three-tailed lipid from the mycobacterial membrane. The structure also shows menaquinone, which is preferentially used over ubiquinone by gram-positive bacteria, in two different positions along the quinone channel, comparable to ubiquinone in other structures and suggesting a conserved quinone binding mechanism.
    Keywords:  complex I; membrane protein; mycobacteria; respiration; structure
  3. Elife. 2023 Mar 23. pii: e84415. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Respiratory complex I is a proton-pumping oxidoreductase key to bioenergetic metabolism. Biochemical studies have found a divide in the behavior of complex I in metazoans that aligns with the evolutionary split between Protostomia and Deuterostomia. Complex I from Deuterostomia including mammals can adopt a biochemically defined off-pathway 'deactive' state, whereas complex I from Protostomia cannot. The presence of off-pathway states complicates the interpretation of structural results and has led to considerable mechanistic debate. Here, we report the structure of mitochondrial complex I from the thoracic muscles of the model protostome Drosophila melanogaster. We show that although D. melanogaster complex I (Dm-CI) does not have a NEM-sensitive deactive state, it does show slow activation kinetics indicative of an off-pathway resting state. The resting-state structure of Dm-CI from the thoracic muscle reveals multiple conformations. We identify a helix-locked state in which an N-terminal α-helix on the NDUFS4 subunit wedges between the peripheral and membrane arms. Comparison of the Dm-CI structure and conformational states to those observed in bacteria, yeast, and mammals provides insight into the roles of subunits across organisms, explains why the Dm-CI off-pathway resting state is NEM insensitive, and raises questions regarding current mechanistic models of complex I turnover.
    Keywords:  complex I; drosophila melanogaster; electron transport chain; mitochondria; molecular biophysics; respiration; single particle cryoEM; structural biology
  4. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 22. 14(1): 1595
      The regulation of the informational flow from the mitochondria to the nucleus (mitonuclear communication) is not fully characterized in the heart. We have determined that mitochondrial ribosomal protein S5 (MRPS5/uS5m) can regulate cardiac function and key pathways to coordinate this process during cardiac stress. We demonstrate that loss of Mrps5 in the developing heart leads to cardiac defects and embryonic lethality while postnatal loss induces cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. The structure and function of mitochondria is disrupted in Mrps5 mutant cardiomyocytes, impairing mitochondrial protein translation and OXPHOS. We identify Klf15 as a Mrps5 downstream target and demonstrate that exogenous Klf15 is able to rescue the overt defects and re-balance the cardiac metabolome. We further show that Mrps5 represses Klf15 expression through c-myc, together with the metabolite L-phenylalanine. This critical role for Mrps5 in cardiac metabolism and mitonuclear communication highlights its potential as a target for heart failure therapies.
  5. Cell Rep. 2023 Mar 20. pii: S2211-1247(23)00190-0. [Epub ahead of print]42(3): 112179
      The cGAS-STING pathway is central to the interferon response against DNA viruses. However, recent studies are increasingly demonstrating its role in the restriction of some RNA viruses. Here, we show that the cGAS-STING pathway also contributes to the interferon response against noroviruses, currently the commonest causes of infectious gastroenteritis worldwide. We show a significant reduction in interferon-β induction and a corresponding increase in viral replication in norovirus-infected cells after deletion of STING, cGAS, or IFI16. Further, we find that immunostimulatory host genome-derived DNA and mitochondrial DNA accumulate in the cytosol of norovirus-infected cells. Lastly, overexpression of the viral NS4 protein is sufficient to drive the accumulation of cytosolic DNA. Together, our data find a role for cGAS, IFI16, and STING in the restriction of noroviruses and show the utility of host genomic DNA as a damage-associated molecular pattern in cells infected with an RNA virus.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; CP: Molecular biology; DNA leakage; IFI16; NS4; STING; VF1; cGAS; cytosolic DNA; genomic DNA; interferon response; mitochondrial DNA; norovirus; p204
  6. Nat Immunol. 2023 Mar 20.
      Upon detecting pathogens or cell stress, several NOD-like receptors (NLRs) form inflammasome complexes with the adapter ASC and caspase-1, inducing gasdermin D (GSDMD)-dependent cell death and maturation and release of IL-1β and IL-18. The triggers and activation mechanisms of several inflammasome-forming sensors are not well understood. Here we show that mitochondrial damage activates the NLRP10 inflammasome, leading to ASC speck formation and caspase-1-dependent cytokine release. While the AIM2 inflammasome can also sense mitochondrial demise by detecting mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the cytosol, NLRP10 monitors mitochondrial integrity in an mtDNA-independent manner, suggesting the recognition of distinct molecular entities displayed by the damaged organelles. NLRP10 is highly expressed in differentiated human keratinocytes, in which it can also assemble an inflammasome. Our study shows that this inflammasome surveils mitochondrial integrity. These findings might also lead to a better understanding of mitochondria-linked inflammatory diseases.
  7. Nat Metab. 2023 Mar 23.
      Astrocytes provide key neuronal support, and their phenotypic transformation is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. Metabolically, astrocytes possess low mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) activity, but its pathophysiological role in neurodegeneration remains unclear. Here, we show that the brain critically depends on astrocytic OxPhos to degrade fatty acids (FAs) and maintain lipid homeostasis. Aberrant astrocytic OxPhos induces lipid droplet (LD) accumulation followed by neurodegeneration that recapitulates key features of Alzheimer's disease (AD), including synaptic loss, neuroinflammation, demyelination and cognitive impairment. Mechanistically, when FA load overwhelms astrocytic OxPhos capacity, elevated acetyl-CoA levels induce astrocyte reactivity by enhancing STAT3 acetylation and activation. Intercellularly, lipid-laden reactive astrocytes stimulate neuronal FA oxidation and oxidative stress, activate microglia through IL-3 signalling, and inhibit the biosynthesis of FAs and phospholipids required for myelin replenishment. Along with LD accumulation and impaired FA degradation manifested in an AD mouse model, we reveal a lipid-centric, AD-resembling mechanism by which astrocytic mitochondrial dysfunction progressively induces neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.
  8. iScience. 2023 Mar 17. 26(3): 106270
      Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A (CMT2A), the most common inherited peripheral axonal neuropathy, is associated with more than 100 dominant mutations, including R94Q as the most abundant mutation in the Mitofusin2 (MFN2) gene. CMT2A is characterized by progressive motor and sensory loss, color-vision defects, and progressive loss of visual acuity. We used a well-established transgenic mouse model of CMT2A with R94Q mutation on MFN2 gene (MFN2 R94Q ) to investigate the functional and morphological changes in retina. We documented extensive vision loss due to photoreceptor degeneration, retinal ganglion cell and their axonal loss, retinal secondary neuronal and synaptic alternation, and Müller cell gliosis in the retina of MFN2 R94Q mice. Imbalanced MFN1/MFN2 ratio and dysregulated mitochondrial fusion/fission result in retinal degeneration via P62/LC3B-mediated mitophagy/autophagy in MFN2 R94Q mice. Finally, transgenic MFN1 augmentation (MFN2 R94Q :MFN1) rescued vision and retinal morphology to wild-type level via restoring homeostasis in mitochondrial MFN1/MFN2 ratio, fusion/fission cycle, and PINK1-dependent, Parkin-independent mitophagy.
    Keywords:  Biological sciences; Molecular neuroscience; Neuroscience; Sensory neuroscience
  9. J Cell Sci. 2023 Mar 21. pii: jcs.260049. [Epub ahead of print]
      Glucose sensing in pancreatic beta-cells depends on oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondria-derived signals that promote insulin secretion. Using mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomics to search for down-stream effectors of glucose dependent signal transduction in INS-1E insulinoma cells, we identified the outer mitochondrial membrane protein SLC25A46. Under resting glucose concentrations, SLC25A46 was phosphorylated on a pair of threonine residues (T44/T45) and was dephosphorylated in response to glucose-induced calcium signals. Overexpression of SLC25A46 in INS-1E cells caused complete mitochondrial fragmentation, resulting in a mild mitochondrial defect associated with lowered glucose-induced insulin secretion. In contrast, inactivation of the SLC25A46 gene resulted in dramatic mitochondrial hyperfusion but without affecting respiratory activity or insulin secretion. Consequently, SLC25A46 is not essential for metabolism-secretion coupling under normal nutrient conditions. Importantly, insulin secreting cells lacking SLC25A46 had an exacerbated sensitivity to lipotoxic conditions undergoing massive apoptosis when exposed to palmitate. Therefore, in addition to its role in mitochondrial dynamics, SLC25A46 plays a role in preventing mitochondria-induced apoptosis in INS-E cells exposed to nutrient stress. By protecting mitochondria, SLC25A46 may help to maintain beta-cell mass essential for blood glucose control.
    Keywords:  Beta-cell; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial dynamics
  10. J Clin Invest. 2023 Mar 23. pii: e162957. [Epub ahead of print]
      Sphingolipids function as membrane constituents and signaling molecules, with crucial roles in human diseases, from neurodevelopmental to cancer, best exemplified in the inborn errors of sphingolipid metabolism in lysosomes. The dihydroceramide desaturase DEGS1 acts in the last step of a sector of the sphingolipid pathway, de novo ceramide biosynthesis. Defects in DEGS1 cause the recently described hypomyelinating leukodystrophy-18 (HLD18, OMIM #618404). Here, we reveal that DEGS1 is a mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane (MAM)-resident enzyme, refining previous reports locating DEGS1 at the endoplasmic reticulum only. Using patient fibroblasts, multi-omics and enzymatic assays, we show that DEGS1 deficiency disrupts the main core functions of the MAM: i) mitochondrial dynamics, with a hyperfused mitochondrial network associated with decreased activation of dynamin-related protein 1; ii) cholesterol metabolism, with impaired sterol O-acyltransferase activity and decreased cholesteryl esters; iii) phospholipid metabolism, with increased phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine and decreased phosphatidylethanolamine; iv) biogenesis of lipid droplets, with increased size and numbers. Moreover, we detected increased mitochondrial superoxide species production in fibroblasts and mitochondrial respiration impairment in patient muscle biopsy tissues. Our findings shed light on the pathophysiology of HLD18 and broaden our understanding of the role of sphingolipid metabolism in MAMs function.
    Keywords:  Bioenergetics; Demyelinating disorders; Lipid rafts; Metabolism; Neuroscience
  11. J Biol Chem. 2023 Mar 17. pii: S0021-9258(23)00266-1. [Epub ahead of print] 104624
      Cancer cells experience increased levels of oxidant stress as a consequence of oncogene activation, nucleotide biosynthesis, and growth factor receptor signaling. Mitochondria contribute to this redox stress by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) along the electron transport chain (ETC), which are released to the matrix and the intermembrane space (IMS). Assessing the contribution of mitochondrial ROS in cancer cells is technically difficult, as ETC inhibitors can increase or decrease ROS generation, while they also block oxidative phosphorylation and ATP synthesis. Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant compounds can scavenge ROS in the matrix compartment, but do not act on ROS released to the intermembrane space. We assessed the importance of mitochondrial ROS for tumor cell proliferation, survival, and for tumor xenograft growth by stably expressing a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) scavenger, peroxiredoxin-5, in the mitochondrial IMS (IMS-Prdx5) in 143B osteosarcoma and HCT116 colorectal cancer cell lines. IMS-Prdx5 attenuates hypoxia-induced ROS signaling as assessed independently in cytosol and IMS, HIF-1α stabilization and activity, and cellular proliferation under normoxic and hypoxic culture conditions. It also suppressed tumor growth in vivo. Stable expression of non-degradable HIF-1α only partially rescued proliferation in IMS-Prdx5-expressing cells, indicating that mitochondrial H2O2 signaling contributes to tumor cell proliferation and survival through HIF-dependent and HIF-independent mechanisms.
    Keywords:  Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1; Reactive oxygen species; cancer; mitochondrial intermembrane space; peroxiredoxin-5; redox signaling
  12. EMBO Rep. 2023 Mar 20. e55760
      Mitochondria play central roles in cellular energy production and metabolism. Most proteins required to carry out these functions are synthesized in the cytosol and imported into mitochondria. A growing number of metabolic disorders arising from mitochondrial dysfunction can be traced to errors in mitochondrial protein import. The mechanisms underlying the import of precursor proteins are commonly studied using radioactively labeled precursor proteins imported into purified mitochondria. Here, we establish a fluorescence-based import assay to analyze protein import into mitochondria. We show that fluorescently labeled precursors enable import analysis with similar sensitivity to those using radioactive precursors, yet they provide the advantage of quantifying import with picomole resolution. We adapted the import assay to a 96-well plate format allowing for fast analysis in a screening-compatible format. Moreover, we show that fluorescently labeled precursors can be used to monitor the assembly of the F1 F0 ATP synthase in purified mitochondria. Thus, we provide a sensitive fluorescence-based import assay that enables quantitative and fast import analysis.
    Keywords:  fluorescent precursor; in vitro import; mitochondria; presequence pathway; protein import
  13. Biochem Soc Trans. 2023 Mar 24. pii: BST20220317. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial calcium (Ca2+) signaling has long been known to regulate diverse cellular functions, ranging from ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation, to cytoplasmic Ca2+ signaling to apoptosis. Central to mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling is the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter complex (MCUC) which enables Ca2+ flux from the cytosol into the mitochondrial matrix. Several pivotal discoveries over the past 15 years have clarified the identity of the proteins comprising MCUC. Here, we provide an overview of the literature on mitochondrial Ca2+ biology and highlight recent findings on the high-resolution structure, dynamic regulation, and new functions of MCUC, with an emphasis on publications from the last five years. We discuss the importance of these findings for human health and the therapeutic potential of targeting mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling.
    Keywords:  calcium signaling; mitochondria; mitochondrial calcium uniporter; mitochondrial signaling
  14. PLoS Comput Biol. 2023 Mar 23. 19(3): e1010953
      Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles, containing vital populations of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) distributed throughout the cell. Mitochondria form diverse physical structures in different cells, from cell-wide reticulated networks to fragmented individual organelles. These physical structures are known to influence the genetic makeup of mtDNA populations between cell divisions, but their influence on the inheritance of mtDNA at divisions remains less understood. Here, we use statistical and computational models of mtDNA content inside and outside the reticulated network to quantify how mitochondrial network structure can control the variances of inherited mtDNA copy number and mutant load. We assess the use of moment-based approximations to describe heteroplasmy variance and identify several cases where such an approach has shortcomings. We show that biased inclusion of one mtDNA type in the network can substantially increase heteroplasmy variance (acting as a genetic bottleneck), and controlled distribution of network mass and mtDNA through the cell can conversely reduce heteroplasmy variance below a binomial inheritance picture. Network structure also allows the generation of heteroplasmy variance while controlling copy number inheritance to sub-binomial levels, reconciling several observations from the experimental literature. Overall, different network structures and mtDNA arrangements within them can control the variances of key variables to suit a palette of different inheritance priorities.
  15. Trends Immunol. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1471-4906(23)00045-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) is crucial for the cytosolic accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) species that are required to jumpstart innate and adaptive immunity. Recent data reported by Ghosh et al. suggest that tumor protein p53 regulates MOMP-dependent type I interferon (IFN) production, not only via MOMP-promoting effects, but also by directing mtDNA-degrading exonucleases to proteasomal processing.
    Keywords:  BAX; BCL2; DNA-damage response; TRIM24; apoptosis