bims-mitlys Biomed News
on Mitochondria and Lysosomes
Issue of 2021‒05‒09
eleven papers selected by
Nicoletta Plotegher
University of Padua

  1. Autophagy. 2021 May 04. 1-3
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is behind several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease (AD). Accumulation of damaged mitochondria is already observed at the early stages of AD and has been linked to impaired mitophagy, but the mechanisms underlying this alteration are still not fully known. In our recent study, we show that intracellular cholesterol enrichment can downregulate amyloid beta (Aβ)-induced mitophagy. Mitochondrial glutathione depletion resulting from high cholesterol levels promotes PINK1 (PTEN induced kinase 1)-mediated mitophagosome formation; however, mitophagy flux is ultimately disrupted, most likely due to fusion deficiency of endosomes-lysosomes caused by cholesterol. Meanwhile, in APP-PSEN1-SREBF2 mice, an AD mouse model that overexpresses the cholesterol-related transcription factor SREBF2, cholesterol accumulation prompts an oxidative- and age-dependent cytosolic aggregation of the mitophagy adaptor OPTN (optineurin), which prevents mitophagosome formation despite enhanced PINK1-PRKN/parkin signaling. Hippocampal neurons from postmortem brain of AD individuals reproduce the progressive accumulation of OPTN in aggresome-like structures accompanied by high levels of mitochondrial cholesterol in advanced stages of the disease. Overall, these data provide new insights into the impairment of the PINK1-PRKN mitophagy pathway in AD and suggest the combination of mitophagy inducers with strategies focused on restoring the cholesterol homeostasis and mitochondrial redox balance as a potential disease-modifying therapy for AD.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer disease; Mitophagy; PINK1; aggresomes; autophagy; cholesterol; optineurin; parkin
  2. Parasitol Int. 2021 Apr 29. pii: S1383-5769(21)00090-8. [Epub ahead of print]83 102372
      A key characteristic of eukaryotic cells is the presence of organelles with discrete boundaries and functions. Such subcellular compartmentalization into organelles necessitates platforms for communication and material exchange between each other which often involves vesicular trafficking and associated processes. Another way is via the close apposition between organellar membranes, called membrane contact sites (MCSs). Apart from lipid transfer, MCSs have been implicated to mediate in various cellular processes including ion transport, apoptosis, and organelle dynamics. In mammalian and yeast cells, contact sites have been reported between the membranes of the following: the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the plasma membrane (PM), ER and the Golgi apparatus, ER and endosomes (i.e., vacuoles, lysosomes), ER and lipid droplets (LD), the mitochondria and vacuoles, the nucleus and vacuoles, and the mitochondria and lipid droplets, whereas knowledge of MCSs in non-model organisms such as protozoan parasites is extremely limited. Growing evidence suggests that MCSs play more general and conserved roles in cell physiology. In this mini review, we summarize and discuss representative MCSs in divergent parasitic protozoa, and highlight the universality, diversity, and the contribution of MCSs to parasitism.
    Keywords:  Acidocalcisome; Apicoplast; Endoplasmic reticulum; Lipid transport protein; Membrane contact sites; Mitochondrion; Mitosome; Organelle; Parasitic protozoa; Parasitophorous vacuole
  3. Nature. 2021 May 05.
      Mitochondrial fission is a highly regulated process that, when disrupted, can alter metabolism, proliferation and apoptosis1-3. Dysregulation has been linked to neurodegeneration3,4, cardiovascular disease3 and cancer5. Key components of the fission machinery include the endoplasmic reticulum6 and actin7, which initiate constriction before dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1)8 binds to the outer mitochondrial membrane via adaptor proteins9-11, to drive scission12. In the mitochondrial life cycle, fission enables both biogenesis of new mitochondria and clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria through mitophagy1,13. Current models of fission regulation cannot explain how those dual fates are decided. However, uncovering fate determinants is challenging, as fission is unpredictable, and mitochondrial morphology is heterogeneous, with ultrastructural features that are below the diffraction limit. Here, we used live-cell structured illumination microscopy to capture mitochondrial dynamics. By analysing hundreds of fissions in African green monkey Cos-7 cells and mouse cardiomyocytes, we discovered two functionally and mechanistically distinct types of fission. Division at the periphery enables damaged material to be shed into smaller mitochondria destined for mitophagy, whereas division at the midzone leads to the proliferation of mitochondria. Both types are mediated by DRP1, but endoplasmic reticulum- and actin-mediated pre-constriction and the adaptor MFF govern only midzone fission. Peripheral fission is preceded by lysosomal contact and is regulated by the mitochondrial outer membrane protein FIS1. These distinct molecular mechanisms explain how cells independently regulate fission, leading to distinct mitochondrial fates.
  4. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2021 Apr 30. pii: S0959-4388(21)00036-2. [Epub ahead of print]69 139-148
      The study of autophagy in the nervous system has predominantly centered on degeneration. Evidence is now cementing crucial roles for autophagy in neuronal development and growth, especially in axonal and presynaptic compartments. A picture is emerging that autophagy typically promotes the growth of axons and reduces presynaptic stability. Nonetheless, these are not rigid principles, and it remains unclear why autophagy does not always display these relationships during axonal and presynaptic development. Recent progress has identified mechanisms underlying spatiotemporal control of autophagy in neurons and begun to unravel how autophagy is integrated with other cellular processes, such as proteasomal degradation and axon guidance. Ultimately, understanding how autophagy is regulated and its role in the developing nervous system is key to comprehending how the nervous system assembles its stereotyped yet plastic configuration. It is also likely to inform how we think about neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
  5. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 669492
      Beta-cell destruction in type 1 diabetes (T1D) results from the combined effect of inflammation and recurrent autoimmunity. In response to inflammatory signals, beta-cells engage adaptive mechanisms where the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria act in concert to restore cellular homeostasis. In the recent years it has become clear that this adaptive phase may trigger the development of autoimmunity by the generation of autoantigens recognized by autoreactive CD8 T cells. The participation of the ER stress and the unfolded protein response to the increased visibility of beta-cells to the immune system has been largely described. However, the role of the other cellular organelles, and in particular the mitochondria that are central mediator for beta-cell survival and function, remains poorly investigated. In this review we will dissect the crosstalk between the ER and mitochondria in the context of T1D, highlighting the key role played by this interaction in beta-cell dysfunctions and immune activation, especially through regulation of calcium homeostasis, oxidative stress and generation of mitochondrial-derived factors.
    Keywords:  ER stress; Type 1 diabetes (T1D); beta-cell; cytokines; endoplasmic reticulum; inflammation; mitochondria
  6. Cells. 2021 Apr 29. pii: 1054. [Epub ahead of print]10(5):
      Sarcopenia is the loss of both muscle mass and function with age. Although the molecular underpinnings of sarcopenia are not fully understood, numerous pathways are implicated, including autophagy, in which defective cargo is selectively identified and degraded at the lysosome. The specific tagging and degradation of mitochondria is termed mitophagy, a process important for the maintenance of an organelle pool that functions efficiently in energy production and with relatively low reactive oxygen species production. Emerging data, yet insufficient, have implicated various steps in this pathway as potential contributors to the aging muscle atrophy phenotype. Included in this is the lysosome, the end-stage organelle possessing a host of proteolytic and degradative enzymes, and a function devoted to the hydrolysis and breakdown of defective molecular complexes and organelles. This review provides a summary of our current understanding of how the autophagy-lysosome system is regulated in aging muscle, highlighting specific areas where knowledge gaps exist. Characterization of the autophagy pathway with a particular focus on the lysosome will undoubtedly pave the way for the development of novel therapeutic strategies to combat age-related muscle loss.
    Keywords:  aging; autophagy; lysosomes; mitophagy; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle
  7. Biochem Pharmacol. 2021 May 03. pii: S0006-2952(21)00194-5. [Epub ahead of print] 114588
      Bladder cancer is one of the most common malignancy in the urinary tract with high recurrence and drug resistance in clinics. Alternative treatments from existing drugs might be a promising strategy. Nitazoxanide (NTZ), an FDA-approved antiprotozoal drug, has got increasingly noticed because of its favorable safety profile and antitumor potential, yet the effects in bladder cancer and underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Herein, we find that NTZ induces mitochondrial damage and mitophagy initiation through PINK1-generated phospho-ubiquitin(pS65-Ub) and autophagy receptor-mediated pathway even in the absence of Atg5/Beclin1. Meanwhile, NTZ inhibits lysosomal degradation activity, leading to mitophagy flux impairment at late stage. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production is critical in this process, as eliminating ROS with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) efficiently inhibits PINK1 signaling-mediated mitophagy initiation and alleviates lysosomal dysfunction. Co-treatment with NTZ and autophagy inhibitor Chloroquine (CQ) to aggravate mitophagy flux impairment promotes NTZ-induced apoptosis, while alleviation of mitophagy flux impairment with ROS scavenger reduces cell death. Moreover, we also discover a similar signaling response in the 3D bladder tumor spheroid after NTZ exposure. In vivo study reveals a significant inhibition of orthotopic bladder tumors with no obvious systemic toxicity. Together, our results uncover the anti-tumor activities of NTZ with the involvement of ROS-mediated mitophagy modulation at different stages and demonstrate it as a potential drug candidate for fighting against bladder tumors.
    Keywords:  Lysosomal dysfunction; Mitophagy flux impairment; Mitophagy initiation; Nitazoxanide; PINK1; Reactive oxygen species
  8. Adv Geriatr Med Res. 2021 ;pii: e210010. [Epub ahead of print]3(2):
      The health of a cell requires proper functioning, regulation, and quality control of its organelles, the membrane-enclosed compartments inside the cell that carry out its essential biochemical tasks. Aging commonly perturbs organelle homeostasis, causing problems to cellular health that can spur the initiation and progression of degenerative diseases and related pathologies. Here, we discuss emerging evidence indicating that age-related defects in organelle homeostasis stem in part from dysfunction of the autophagy-lysosome system, a pivotal player in cellular quality control and damage clearance. We also highlight natural examples from biology where enhanced activity of the autophagy-lysosome system might be harnessed to erase age-related organelle damage, raising potential implications for cellular rejuvenation.
    Keywords:  aging; autophagy; cell biology; organelles; rejuvenation
  9. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2021 Apr 28. pii: S0955-0674(21)00038-7. [Epub ahead of print]71 148-157
      Membrane contact sites (MCSs) in addition to impacting the functions of membrane-limited organelles also have a role in the spatial and functional organization of cells, tissues and whole organisms. MCSs have been identified between all organelles and the identification of their molecular composition has progressed significantly in recent years. Equally important is how MCSs respond dynamically to physiological stimuli, how this is regulated, and the physiological roles of MCSs in tissues and at the organismal level, an area that still remains relatively unexplored. In the present review, we focus on the regulation of MCSs, considerations of their function at the organismal level, and how mutations of MCS components linked to genetic diseases might inform us about their physiological relevance.
  10. J Physiol. 2021 May 01.
      Metabolic diseases (MetD) embrace a series of pathologies characterize by abnormal body glucose usage. The known diseases included in this group are metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2, all of them are chronic pathologies that present metabolic disturbances and are classified as multi-organ diseases. Cardiomyopathy has been extensively described in diabetic patients without overt macrovascular complications. The heart is severely damaged during the progression of the disease, in fact, diabetic cardiomyopathies are the main cause of death in MetD. Insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and increased free fatty acid metabolism promote cardiac damage through mitochondria. These organelles supply most of the energy that the heart needs to beat and control essential cellular functions, including Ca2+ signaling modulation, reactive oxygen species production, and apoptotic cell death regulation. Several aspects of the common mitochondrial functions have been described to be altered in diabetic cardiomyopathies include impairments of energy metabolism, compromises of mitochondrial dynamics, deficiencies in the Ca2+ handling, increases in ROS production, and a higher probability of mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening. Therefore, the mitochondrial role in MetD mediated heart dysfunction has been studied extensively to identify potential therapeutic targets for improving cardiac performance. Herein we review the cardiac pathology in metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, and diabetes mellitus, focusing on the role of mitochondrial dysfunctions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  11. Toxicol Lett. 2021 May 01. pii: S0378-4274(21)00119-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aconitine, a highly toxic alkaloid derived from Aconitum L., affects the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. However, the underlying mechanism of aconitine-induced neurotoxicity remains unclear. This study investigates the effects and mechanism of aconitine on mitochondrial energy metabolism in SH-SY5Y cells. Results demonstrated that aconitine exposure suppressed cell proliferation and led to an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and excessive lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Aconitine (400 μmol/L) induced abnormal mitochondrial energy metabolism that quantified by the significant decrease in ATP production, basal respiration, proton leak, maximal respiration, and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity. Phosphorylation of AMPK was significantly reduced in aconitine-treated SH-SY5Y cells. The AMPK activator AIACR pretreatment effectively promoted ATP production to ameliorate mitochondrial energy metabolism disorder caused by aconitine. Mitochondrial biosynthesis was inhibited after treatment with 400 µmol/L aconitine, which was characterized by mitochondria number, TFAM expression, and mtDNA copy number. Moreover, aconitine prompted the down-regulation of mitochondrial fusion proteins OPA1, Mfn1 and Mfn2, and the up-regulation of mitochondrial fission proteins p-Drp1 and p-Mff. These results suggest that aconitine induces mitochondrial energy metabolism dysfunction in SH-SY5Y cells, which may involve the inhibition of AMPK signaling and abnormal mitochondrial dynamics.
    Keywords:  AMPK signaling; aconitine; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial energy metabolism; neurotoxicity