bims-mitlys Biomed News
on Mitochondria and Lysosomes
Issue of 2021‒05‒16
fourteen papers selected by
Nicoletta Plotegher
University of Padua

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 May 18. pii: e2018770118. [Epub ahead of print]118(20):
      There is a tight association between mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases and axons that are particularly vulnerable to degeneration, but how mitochondria are maintained in axons to support their physiology remains poorly defined. In an in vivo forward genetic screen for mutants altering axonal mitochondria, we identified tsg101 Neurons mutant for tsg101 exhibited an increase in mitochondrial number and decrease in mitochondrial size. TSG101 is best known as a component of the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) complexes; however, loss of most other ESCRT components did not affect mitochondrial numbers or size, suggesting TSG101 regulates mitochondrial biology in a noncanonical, ESCRT-independent manner. The TSG101-mutant phenotype was not caused by lack of mitophagy, and we found that autophagy blockade was detrimental only to the mitochondria in the cell bodies, arguing mitophagy and autophagy are dispensable for the regulation of mitochondria number in axons. Interestingly, TSG101 mitochondrial phenotypes were instead caused by activation of PGC-1ɑ/Nrf2-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis, which was mTOR independent and TFEB dependent and required the mitochondrial fission-fusion machinery. Our work identifies a role for TSG101 in inhibiting mitochondrial biogenesis, which is essential for the maintenance of mitochondrial numbers and sizes, in the axonal compartment.
    Keywords:  ESCRT; TSG101; mitochondria; mitochondrial biogenesis; neurodegeneration
  2. Autophagy. 2021 May 09. 1-20
      Initiation of PINK1- and PRKN-dependent mitophagy is a highly regulated process involving the activity of the AAA-ATPase VCP/p97, a cofactor-guided multifunctional protein central to handling ubiquitinated client proteins. Removal of ubiquitinated substrates such as the mitofusin MFN2 from the outer mitochondrial membrane by VCP is critical for PRKN accumulation on mitochondria, which drives mitophagy. Here we characterize the role of the UBA and UBX-domain containing VCP cofactor UBXN1/SAKS1 during mitophagy. Following mitochondrial depolarization and depending on PRKN, UBXN1 translocated alongside VCP to mitochondria. Prior to mitophagy, loss of UBXN1 led to mitochondrial fragmentation, diminished ATP production, and impaired ER-mitochondrial apposition. When mitophagy was induced in cells lacking UBXN1, mitochondrial translocation of VCP and PRKN was impaired, diminishing mitophagic flux. In addition, UBXN1 physically interacted with PRKN in a UBX-domain depending manner. Interestingly, ectopic expression of the pro-mitophagic VCP cofactor UBXN6/UBXD1 fully reversed impaired PRKN recruitment in UBXN1-/- cells. Mechanistically, UBXN1 acted downstream of PINK1 by facilitating MFN2 removal from mitochondria. In UBXN1-/- cells exposed to mitochondrial stress, MFN2 formed para-mitochondrial blobs likely representing blocked intermediates of the MFN2 removal process partly reversible by expression of UBXN6. Presence of these MFN2 blobs strongly correlated with impaired PRKN translocation to depolarized mitochondria. Our observations connect the VCP cofactor UBXN1 to the initiation and maintenance phase of PRKN-dependent mitophagy, and indicate that, upon mitochondrial stress induction, MFN2 removal from mitochondria occurs through a specialized process.
    Keywords:  MFN2; PRKN; UBXN1; UBXN6; VCP; mitophagy
  3. Autophagy. 2020 Dec 01. 1-16
      As a highly dynamic organelle, mitochondria undergo constant fission and fusion to change their morphology and function, coping with various stress conditions. Loss of the balance between fission and fusion leads to impaired mitochondria function, which plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). Yet the mechanisms behind mitochondria dynamics regulation remain to be fully illustrated. Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a lysosome-dependent process that selectively degrades proteins to maintain cellular proteostasis. In this study, we demonstrated that MARCHF5, an E3 ubiquitin ligase required for mitochondria fission, is a CMA substrate. MARCHF5 interacted with key CMA regulators and was degraded by lysosomes. Severe oxidative stress compromised CMA activity and stabilized MARCHF5, which facilitated DNM1L translocation and led to excessive fission. Increase of CMA activity promoted MARCHF5 turnover, attenuated DNM1L translocation, and reduced mitochondria fragmentation, which alleviated mitochondrial dysfunction under oxidative stress. Furthermore, we showed that conditional expression of LAMP2A, the key CMA regulator, in dopaminergic (DA) neurons helped maintain mitochondria morphology and protected DA neuronal viability in a rodent PD model. Our work uncovers a critical role of CMA in maintaining proper mitochondria dynamics, and loss of this regulatory control may occur in PD and underlie its pathogenic process.Abbreviations: CMA: chaperone-mediated autophagy; DA: dopaminergic; DNM1L: dynamin 1 like; FCCP: carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone; HSPA8: heat shock protein family A (Hsp70) member 8; LAMP2A: lysosomal associated membrane protein 2A; MARCHF5: membrane-associated ring-CH-type finger 5; MMP: mitochondria membrane potential; OCR: oxygen consumption rate; 6-OHDA: 6-hydroxydopamine; PD: Parkinson disease; SNc: substantia nigra pars compacta; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; TH: tyrosine hydroxylase; TMRE: tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester perchlorate; WT: wild type.
    Keywords:  Autophagy/mitochondria/oxidative stress/Parkinson disease/proteostasis
  4. FEBS J. 2021 May 10.
      To ensure correct function, mitochondria have developed several mechanisms of protein quality control (QC). Protein homeostasis highly relies on chaperones and proteases to maintain proper folding and remove damaged proteins that might otherwise form cell-toxic aggregates. Besides quality control, mitochondrial proteases modulate and regulate many essential functions, such as trafficking, processing, and activation of mitochondrial proteins, mitochondrial dynamics, mitophagy, and apoptosis. Therefore, the impaired function of mitochondrial proteases is associated with various pathological conditions, including cancer, metabolic syndromes, and neurodegenerative disorders. This review recapitulates and discusses the emerging roles of two major proteases of the mitochondrial matrix, LON and ClpXP. Although commonly acknowledge for their protein quality control role, recent advances have uncovered several highly regulated processes controlled by the LON and ClpXP connected to mitochondrial gene expression and respiratory chain function maintenance. Furthermore, both proteases have been lately recognized as potent targets for anti-cancer therapies, and we summarize those findings.
    Keywords:  ClpXP; LONP1; cancer; degradation; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial matrix; mtDNA; proteases; protein quality control; proteolysis; respiratory complexes
  5. Dev Cell. 2021 May 07. pii: S1534-5807(21)00359-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial functions across different tissues are regulated in a coordinated fashion to optimize the fitness of an organism. Mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) can be nonautonomously elicited by mitochondrial perturbation in neurons, but neuronal signals that propagate such response and its physiological significance remain incompletely understood. Here, we show that in C. elegans, loss of neuronal fzo-1/mitofusin induces nonautonomous UPRmt through multiple neurotransmitters and neurohormones, including acetylcholine, serotonin, glutamate, tyramine, and insulin-like peptides. Neuronal fzo-1 depletion also triggers nonautonomous mitochondrial fragmentation, which requires autophagy and mitophagy genes. Systemic activation of UPRmt and mitochondrial fragmentation in C. elegans via perturbing neuronal mitochondrial dynamics improves resistance to pathogenic Pseudomonas infection, which is supported by transcriptomic signatures of immunity and stress-response genes. We propose that C. elegans surveils neuronal mitochondrial dynamics to coordinate systemic UPRmt and mitochondrial connectivity for pathogen defense and optimized survival under bacterial infection.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; autophagy; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mitophagy; neurons; neuropeptides; neurotransmitters; pathogen defense; stress response
  6. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 667311
      Folliculin (FLCN) is a tumor suppressor gene responsible for the inherited Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome, which affects kidneys, skin and lungs. FLCN is a highly conserved protein that forms a complex with folliculin interacting proteins 1 and 2 (FNIP1/2). Although its sequence does not show homology to known functional domains, structural studies have determined a role of FLCN as a GTPase activating protein (GAP) for small GTPases such as Rag GTPases. FLCN GAP activity on the Rags is required for the recruitment of mTORC1 and the transcriptional factors TFEB and TFE3 on the lysosome, where mTORC1 phosphorylates and inactivates these factors. TFEB/TFE3 are master regulators of lysosomal biogenesis and function, and autophagy. By this mechanism, FLCN/FNIP complex participates in the control of metabolic processes. AMPK, a key regulator of catabolism, interacts with FLCN/FNIP complex. FLCN loss results in constitutive activation of AMPK, which suggests an additional mechanism by which FLCN/FNIP may control metabolism. AMPK regulates the expression and activity of the transcriptional cofactors PGC1α/β, implicated in the control of mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative metabolism. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge of the interplay between mTORC1, FLCN/FNIP, and AMPK and their implications in the control of cellular homeostasis through the transcriptional activity of TFEB/TFE3 and PGC1α/β. Other pathways and cellular processes regulated by FLCN will be briefly discussed.
    Keywords:  AMPK; PGC1α; TFE3; TFEB; folliculin; mTORC1; metabolism; transcriptional regulation
  7. Autophagy. 2021 May 10. 1-3
      Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, which has been found associated with dysfunctional mitochondria. In order to advance our understanding of the complex molecular mechanisms underlying this disease, we analyzed mitophagy, a process fundamental for the elimination of damaged mitochondria through the autophagic process, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of MS patients. Through a genetic analysis carried out on 203 MS patients and 1000 healthy controls, we identified a natural variant of CALCOCO2/NDP52, a well-known autophagic receptor, associated with and protective in MS. Structural modeling of the CALCOCO2 variant and functional studies highlighted an amino acid substitution (G140E) located near the LC3-interacting region (LIR) motif of CALCOCO2, crucial in controlling mitophagy. In addition, we found that among PBMCs, CALCOCO2 is mainly expressed in B cells and, by mediating mitophagy, it reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine production following stimulation of these cells. Here we summarize these recent findings, discuss the putative protective roles of CALCOCO2 in B cells and its novel association with an autoimmune disease such as MS.
    Keywords:  B cells; CALCOCO2; inflammation; mitochondria; mitophagy; multiple sclerosis
  8. J Nanobiotechnology. 2021 May 13. 19(1): 136
      SLC25A46 mutations have been found to lead to mitochondrial hyper-fusion and reduced mitochondrial respiratory function, which results in optic atrophy, cerebellar atrophy, and other clinical symptoms of mitochondrial disease. However, it is generally believed that mitochondrial fusion is attributable to increased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), which is inconsistent with the decreased OXPHOS of highly-fused mitochondria observed in previous studies. In this paper, we have used the live-cell nanoscope to observe and quantify the structure of mitochondrial cristae, and the behavior of mitochondria and lysosomes in patient-derived SLC25A46 mutant fibroblasts. The results show that the cristae have been markedly damaged in the mutant fibroblasts, but there is no corresponding increase in mitophagy. This study suggests that severely damaged mitochondrial cristae might be the predominant cause of reduced OXPHOS in SLC25A46 mutant fibroblasts. This study demonstrates the utility of nanoscope-based imaging for realizing the sub-mitochondrial morphology, mitophagy and mitochondrial dynamics in living cells, which may be particularly valuable for the quick evaluation of pathogenesis of mitochondrial morphological abnormalities.
    Keywords:  Cristae; Mitochondrial disease; Mitophagy; Nanoscope; SLC25A46
  9. Dev Cell. 2021 May 11. pii: S1534-5807(21)00357-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      PI5P4Ks are a class of phosphoinositide kinases that phosphorylate PI-5-P to PI-4,5-P2. Distinct localization of phosphoinositides is fundamental for a multitude of cellular functions. Here, we identify a role for peroxisomal PI-4,5-P2 generated by the PI5P4Ks in maintaining energy balance. We demonstrate that PI-4,5-P2 regulates peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation by mediating trafficking of lipid droplets to peroxisomes, which is essential for sustaining mitochondrial metabolism. Using fluorescent-tagged lipids and metabolite tracing, we show that loss of the PI5P4Ks significantly impairs lipid uptake and β-oxidation in the mitochondria. Further, loss of PI5P4Ks results in dramatic alterations in mitochondrial structural and functional integrity, which under nutrient deprivation is further exacerbated, causing cell death. Notably, inhibition of the PI5P4Ks in cancer cells and mouse tumor models leads to decreased cell viability and tumor growth, respectively. Together, these studies reveal an unexplored role for PI5P4Ks in preserving metabolic homeostasis, which is necessary for tumorigenesis.
    Keywords:  PI-4,5-P(2); PI-5-P; PI5P4Ks; cancer; fatty acid; lipid; lipid droplet; metabolism; mitochondria; peroxisome; phosphoinositide; phosphoinositide kinase; sarcoma; β-oxidation
  10. Cell Death Dis. 2021 May 12. 12(5): 475
      Mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy are constitutive and complex systems that ensure a healthy mitochondrial network through the segregation and subsequent degradation of damaged mitochondria. Disruption of these systems can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and has been established as a central mechanism of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Emerging evidence suggests that mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy are integrated systems; however, the role of this relationship in the context of I/R injury remains unclear. To investigate this concept, we utilized primary cortical neurons isolated from the novel dual-reporter mitochondrial quality control knockin mice (C57BL/6-Gt(ROSA)26Sortm1(CAG-mCherry/GFP)Ganl/J) with conditional knockout (KO) of Drp1 to investigate changes in mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagic flux during in vitro I/R injury. Mitochondrial dynamics was quantitatively measured in an unbiased manner using a machine learning mitochondrial morphology classification system, which consisted of four different classifications: network, unbranched, swollen, and punctate. Evaluation of mitochondrial morphology and mitophagic flux in primary neurons exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) and reoxygenation (OGD/R) revealed extensive mitochondrial fragmentation and swelling, together with a significant upregulation in mitophagic flux. Furthermore, the primary morphology of mitochondria undergoing mitophagy was classified as punctate. Colocalization using immunofluorescence as well as western blot analysis revealed that the PINK1/Parkin pathway of mitophagy was activated following OGD/R. Conditional KO of Drp1 prevented mitochondrial fragmentation and swelling following OGD/R but did not alter mitophagic flux. These data provide novel evidence that Drp1 plays a causal role in the progression of I/R injury, but mitophagy does not require Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission.
  11. J Cell Biol. 2021 Jul 05. pii: e202010006. [Epub ahead of print]220(7):
      The ER tethers tightly to mitochondria and the mitochondrial protein FUNDC1 recruits Drp1 to ER-mitochondria contact sites, subsequently facilitating mitochondrial fission and preventing mitochondria from undergoing hypoxic stress. However, the mechanisms by which the ER modulates hypoxia-induced mitochondrial fission are poorly understood. Here, we show that USP19, an ER-resident deubiquitinase, accumulates at ER-mitochondria contact sites under hypoxia and promotes hypoxia-induced mitochondrial division. In response to hypoxia, USP19 binds to and deubiquitinates FUNDC1 at ER-mitochondria contact sites, which facilitates Drp1 oligomerization and Drp1 GTP-binding and hydrolysis activities, thereby promoting mitochondrial division. Our findings reveal a unique hypoxia response pathway mediated by an ER protein that regulates mitochondrial dynamics.
  12. PLoS Biol. 2021 May 13. 19(5): e3001252
      The mitochondrial ATP synthase emerges as key hub of cellular functions controlling the production of ATP, cellular signaling, and fate. It is regulated by the ATPase inhibitory factor 1 (IF1), which is highly abundant in neurons. Herein, we ablated or overexpressed IF1 in mouse neurons to show that IF1 dose defines the fraction of active/inactive enzyme in vivo, thereby controlling mitochondrial function and the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS). Transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses indicate that IF1 dose regulates mitochondrial metabolism, synaptic function, and cognition. Ablation of IF1 impairs memory, whereas synaptic transmission and learning are enhanced by IF1 overexpression. Mechanistically, quenching the IF1-mediated increase in mtROS production in mice overexpressing IF1 reduces the increased synaptic transmission and obliterates the learning advantage afforded by the higher IF1 content. Overall, IF1 plays a key role in neuronal function by regulating the fraction of ATP synthase responsible for mitohormetic mtROS signaling.
  13. Food Funct. 2021 May 11. 12(9): 3842-3854
      For alcoholic liver disease (ALD), mitophagy has been reported as a promising therapeutic strategy to alleviate the hepatic lesion elicited by ethanol. This study was conducted to investigate the regulatory effects of fucoidan on mitophagy induced by chronic ethanol administration in rats. Here, 20 male rats in each group were treated with fucoidan (150 and 300 mg per kg body weight) by gavage once daily. Up to 56% liquor (7 to 9 mL per kg body weight) was orally administered 1 h after the fucoidan treatment for 20 weeks. The results showed that chronic ethanol consumption elevated the levels of hepatic enzymes (ALT, AST, and GGT) and triglyceride (TG) contents, with liver antioxidant enzymes being decreased and lipid peroxidation products increased and thus initiating the mitochondria-induced endogenous apoptotic pathway. Furthermore, ethanol-induced excessive oxidative stress inhibited the function of mitochondria and promoted damaged mitochondria accumulation which stimulated the PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and Parkin associated mitophagic pathway in the liver. In contrast, the fucoidan pretreatment alleviated ethanol-induced histopathological changes, disorders of lipid metabolism, and oxidative damage with mitophagy related proteins and mitochondrial dynamics-related proteins namely mitochondrial E3 ubiquitin ligase 1 (Mul1), mitofusin2 (Mfn2) and dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) being restored to a normal level. In summary, our findings suggest that fucoidan pretreatment protects against ethanol-induced damaged mitochondria accumulation and over-activated mitophagy, which plays a pivotal role in maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis and ensuring mitochondrial quality.
  14. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 May 15.
      Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative motor disorder which is largely sporadic; however, some familial forms have been identified. Genetic PD can be inherited by autosomal, dominant or recessive mutations. While the dominant mutations mirror the prototype of PD with adult-onset and L-dopa-responsive cases, autosomal recessive PD (ARPD) exhibit atypical phenotypes with additional clinical manifestations. Young-onset PD is also very common with mutations in recessive gene loci. The main genes associated with ARPD are Parkin, PINK1, DJ-1, ATP13A2, FBXO7 and PLA2G6. Calcium dyshomeostasis is a mainstay in all types of PD, be it genetic or sporadic. Intriguingly, calcium imbalances manifesting as altered Store-Operated Calcium Entry (SOCE) is suggested in PLA2G6-linked PARK 14 PD. The common pathways underlying ARPD pathology, including mitochondrial abnormalities and autophagic dysfunction, can be investigated ex vivo using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology and are discussed here. PD pathophysiology is not faithfully replicated by animal models, and, therefore, nigral dopaminergic neurons generated from iPSC serve as improved human cellular models. With no cure to date and treatments aiming at symptomatic relief, these in vitro models derived through midbrain floor-plate induction provide a platform to understand the molecular and biochemical pathways underlying PD etiology in a patient-specific manner.
    Keywords:  Autophagic–lysosomal pathway; Calcium; Cellular reprogramming; Dopaminergic neurons; Lewy bodies; Mitophagy; PARK-14; Phospholipase A2; SOCE