bims-mitlys Biomed News
on Mitochondria and Lysosomes
Issue of 2021‒03‒28
eight papers selected by
Nicoletta Plotegher
University of Padua

  1. Nat Commun. 2021 03 22. 12(1): 1807
      Mitochondria-lysosome contacts are recently identified sites for mediating crosstalk between both organelles, but their role in normal and diseased human neurons remains unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that mitochondria-lysosome contacts can dynamically form in the soma, axons, and dendrites of human neurons, allowing for their bidirectional crosstalk. Parkinson's disease patient derived neurons harboring mutant GBA1 exhibited prolonged mitochondria-lysosome contacts due to defective modulation of the untethering protein TBC1D15, which mediates Rab7 GTP hydrolysis for contact untethering. This dysregulation was due to decreased GBA1 (β-glucocerebrosidase (GCase)) lysosomal enzyme activity in patient derived neurons, and could be rescued by increasing enzyme activity with a GCase modulator. These defects resulted in disrupted mitochondrial distribution and function, and could be further rescued by TBC1D15 in Parkinson's patient derived GBA1-linked neurons. Together, our work demonstrates a potential role of mitochondria-lysosome contacts as an upstream regulator of mitochondrial function and dynamics in midbrain dopaminergic neurons in GBA1-linked Parkinson's disease.
  2. Autophagy. 2021 Mar 23.
      Mitochondria are the main cellular energy powerhouses and supply most of the energy in the form of ATP to fuel essential neuronal functions through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). In Alzheimer disease (AD), metabolic and mitochondrial disruptions are an early feature preceding any histopathological and clinical manifestations. Mitochondrial malfunction is also linked to synaptic defects in early AD. Mitophagy serves as a key cellular quality control mechanism involving sequestration of damaged mitochondria within autophagosomes and their subsequent degradation in lysosomes. However, it remains largely unknown whether mitophagy is involved in the regulation of energy metabolism in neurons, and if so, whether metabolic deficiency in AD is attributed to mitophagy dysfunction. Here we reveal that mitophagy is broadly activated in metabolically enhanced neurons upon OXPHOS stimulation, which sustains high energetic activity by increasing mitochondrial turnover and hence facilitating mitochondrial maintenance. Unexpectedly, in AD-related mutant HsAPP Tg mouse brains, early stimulation of OXPHOS activity fails to correct energy deficits but exacerbates synapse loss as a consequence of mitophagy failure. Excitingly, lysosomal enhancement in AD neurons restores impaired metabolic function by promoting elimination of damaged mitochondria, protecting against synaptic damage in AD mouse brains. Taken together, we propose a new mechanism by which mitophagy controls bioenergetic status in neurons, furthering our understanding of the direct impact of mitophagy defects on AD-linked metabolic deficits and shedding light on the development of novel therapeutic strategies to treat AD by the early stimulation of mitochondrial metabolism combined with elevation of lysosomal proteolytic activity.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer; bioenergetics; energy metabolism; lysosomal proteolysis; metabolic deficiency; mitochondrial stress; mitophagosome; neuronal mitophagy; retrograde transport; synapse loss
  3. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2021 Mar 22.
      Extensive work has characterized endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial stress responses. In contrast, very little has been published about stress responses in lysosomes; subcellular acidic organelles that are physiologically important and are of pathological relevance. The greater lysosomal system is dynamic and is comprised of endosomes, lysosomes, multivesicular bodies, autophagosomes, and autophagolysosomes. They are important regulators of cellular physiology, they represent about 5% of the total cellular volume, they are heterogeneous in their sizes and distribution patterns, they are electron dense, and their subcellular positioning within cells varies in response to stimuli, insults and pH. These organelles are also integral to the pathogenesis of lysosomal storage diseases and it is increasingly recognized that lysosomes play important roles in the pathogenesis of such diverse conditions as neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. The purpose of this review is to focus attention on lysosomal stress responses (LSR), compare LSR with better characterized stress responses in ER and mitochondria, and form a framework for future characterizations of LSR. We synthesized data into the concept of LSR and present it here such that the definition of LSR can be modified as new knowledge is added and specific therapeutics are developed.
    Keywords:  Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Endosomes; Inter-organellar signaling; Lysosomes; Mitochondrial stress
  4. Front Cell Neurosci. 2021 ;15 619777
      Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) with neurological involvement are inherited genetic diseases of the metabolism characterized by lysosomal dysfunction and the accumulation of undegraded substrates altering glial and neuronal function. Often, patients with neurological manifestations present with damage to the gray and white matter and irreversible neuronal decline. The use of animal models of LSDs has greatly facilitated studying and identifying potential mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction, including alterations in availability and function of synaptic proteins, modifications of membrane structure, deficits in docking, exocytosis, recycling of synaptic vesicles, and inflammation-mediated remodeling of synapses. Although some extrapolations from findings in adult-onset conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease have been reported, the pathogenetic mechanisms underpinning cognitive deficits in LSDs are still largely unclear. Without being fully inclusive, the goal of this mini-review is to present a discussion on possible mechanisms leading to synaptic dysfunction in LSDs.
    Keywords:  GABA; LTD; LTP; cholesterol; glutamate receptors; lysosomes; sphingolipids; synapses
  5. Physiol Rep. 2021 Mar;9(6): e14807
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a key mediator of energy metabolism, cell growth, and survival. While previous studies using transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of mTOR (mTOR-Tg) demonstrated the protective effects of cardiac mTOR against ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury in both ex vivo and in vivo models, the mechanisms underlying the role of cardiac mTOR in cardiac function following I/R injury are not well-understood. Torin1, a pharmacological inhibitor of mTOR complex (mTORC) 1 and mTORC2, significantly decreased functional recovery of LV developed pressure in ex vivo I/R models (p < 0.05). To confirm the role of mTOR complexes in I/R injury, we generated cardiac-specific mTOR-knockout (CKO) mice. In contrast to the effects of Torin1, CKO hearts recovered better after I/R injury than control hearts (p < 0.05). Interestingly, the CKO hearts had exhibited irregular contractions during the reperfusion phase. Calcium is a major factor in Excitation-Contraction (EC) coupling via Sarcoplasmic Reticulum (SR) calcium release. Calcium is also key in opening the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) and cell death following I/R injury. Caffeine-induced SR calcium release in isolated CMs showed that total SR calcium content was lower in CKO than in control CMs. Western blotting showed that a significant amount of mTOR localizes to the SR/mitochondria and that GSK3-β phosphorylation, a key factor in SR calcium mobilization, was decreased. These findings suggest that cardiac mTOR located to the SR/mitochondria plays a vital role in EC coupling and cell survival in I/R injury.
    Keywords:  calcium; cardiomyocyte; ischemia-reperfusion; mTOR
  6. Front Pharmacol. 2021 ;12 620812
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is often closely linked to autophagy, hypoxia signaling, mitochondrial biogenesis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) responses. Understanding the interaction between ER stress, mitochondrial function and autophagy is of great importance to provide new mechanisms for the pathology, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Our previous study has reported that Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) protection against thapsigargin (TG)-induced ER stress response and associated cell apoptosis in cardiac myocytes is calcium dependent and mediated by ER Ca2+ release through RyR2. However, whether its protection upon ER stress and associated apoptosis is related to mitochondrial function and autophagy remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the roles of PNS played in TG-induced mitochondrial function, ROS accumulation and autophagy. We also assessed its effects on Ca2+ homeostasis, ER stress response and associated cell death in the presence of autophagy inhibition. PNS-pretreated primary cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were stimulated with TG to induce ER stress response. Mitochondrial potential (Δψm) was measured by JC-1. The general and mitochondrial ROS were measured by DCFH-DA and MitoSOX Red, respectively. Autophagy was evaluated by immunofluorescence of LC3, and immunoblots of LC3, p62, ATG7 and PINK1. In addition, mRFP-GFP-LC3 labeling was used to assess the autophagic influx. SiATG7 transfected H9c2 cells were generated to inhibit autophagy. Cytosolic and ER Ca2+ dynamics were investigated by calcium imaging. RyR2 oxidation was tested by oxyblot. Cell viability was examined by TUNEL assay. ER stress response and cell apoptosis were detected by immunoblots of BiP, CHOP, Cleaved Caspase-3 and Caspase-12. The results demonstrated that firstly, PNS protects against TG-induced mitochondrial injury and ROS accumulation. Secondly, PNS enhances autophagy in TG-induced cardiac myocytes. Thirdly, inhibition of autophagy diminishes PNS prevention of TG-induced mitochondrial injury, ROS accumulation and disruption of Ca2+ homeostasis. Last but not least, inhibition of autophagy abolishes PNS protection against TG-induced ER stress response and associated apoptosis. In summary, PNS protection against ER stress response and associated apoptosis is related to the regulation of mitochondrial injury and ROS overproduction via modulation of autophagy. These data provide new insights for molecular mechanisms of PNS as a potential preventive approach to the management of cardiovascular diseases.
    Keywords:  Ca2+ homeostasis; ER stress; PNS; ROS; RyR2 oxidation; apoptosis; autophagy; mitochondrial injury
  7. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 604210
      Glutathione is an important antioxidant that regulates cellular redox status and is disordered in many disease states. Glutaredoxin 2 (Grx2) is a glutathione-dependent oxidoreductase that plays a pivotal role in redox control by catalyzing reversible protein deglutathionylation. As oxidized glutathione (GSSG) can stimulate mitochondrial fusion, we hypothesized that Grx2 may contribute to the maintenance of mitochondrial dynamics and ultrastructure. Here, we demonstrate that Grx2 deletion results in decreased GSH:GSSG, with a marked increase of GSSG in primary muscle cells isolated from C57BL/6 Grx2-/- mice. The altered glutathione redox was accompanied by increased mitochondrial length, consistent with a more fused mitochondrial reticulum. Electron microscopy of Grx2-/- skeletal muscle fibers revealed decreased mitochondrial surface area, profoundly disordered ultrastructure, and the appearance of multi-lamellar structures. Immunoblot analysis revealed that autophagic flux was augmented in Grx2-/- muscle as demonstrated by an increase in the ratio of LC3II/I expression. These molecular changes resulted in impaired complex I respiration and complex IV activity, a smaller diameter of tibialis anterior muscle, and decreased body weight in Grx2 deficient mice. Together, these are the first results to show that Grx2 regulates skeletal muscle mitochondrial structure, and autophagy.
    Keywords:  autophagy; disulfide relay system; glutaredoxin 2; glutathione; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics
  8. Cardiovasc Res. 2021 Mar 22. pii: cvab112. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: Autophagy protects against the development of cardiac hypertrophy and failure. While aberrant Ca2+ handling promotes myocardial remodelling and contributes to contractile dysfunction, the role of autophagy in maintaining Ca2+ homeostasis remains elusive. Here, we examined whether Atg5 deficiency-mediated autophagy promotes early changes in subcellular Ca2+ handling in ventricular cardiomyocytes, and whether those alterations associate with compromised cardiac reserve capacity, which commonly precedes the onset of heart failure.METHODS AND RESULTS: RT-qPCR and immunoblotting demonstrated reduced Atg5 gene and protein expression and decreased abundancy of autophagy markers in hypertrophied and failing human hearts. The function of ATG5 was examined using cardiomyocyte-specific Atg5-knockout mice (Atg5-/-). Before manifesting cardiac dysfunction, Atg5-/- mice showed compromised cardiac reserve in response to β-adrenergic stimulation. Consequently, effort intolerance and maximal oxygen consumption were reduced during treadmill-based exercise tolerance testing. Mechanistically, cellular imaging revealed that Atg5 deprivation did not alter spatial and functional organization of intracellular Ca2+ stores or affect Ca2+ cycling in response to slow pacing or upon acute isoprenaline administration. However, high frequency stimulation exposed stunted amplitude of Ca2+ transients, augmented nucleoplasmic Ca2+ load and increased CaMKII activity, especially in the nuclear region of hypertrophied Atg5-/- cardiomyocytes. These changes in Ca2+ cycling were recapitulated in hypertrophied human cardiomyocytes. Finally, ultrastructural analysis revealed accumulation of mitochondria with reduced volume and size distribution, meanwhile functional measurements showed impaired redox balance in Atg5-/- cardiomyocytes, implying energetic unsustainability due to overcompensation of single mitochondria, particularly under increased workload.
    CONCLUSION: Loss of cardiac Atg5-dependent autophagy reduces mitochondrial abundance and causes subtle alterations in subcellular Ca2+ cycling upon increased workload in mice. Autophagy-related impairment of Ca2+ handling is progressively worsened by β-adrenergic signalling in ventricular cardiomyocytes, thereby leading to energetic exhaustion and compromised cardiac reserve.
    Keywords:  autophagy; beta-adrenergic signalling; calcium; cardiomyocytes; mitochondria