bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2021‒12‒12
nineteen papers selected by
Marco Tigano
Thomas Jefferson University

  1. Front Microbiol. 2021 ;12 770600
      Mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS), an adaptor protein, is activated by RIG-I, which is critical for an effective innate immune response to infection by various RNA viruses. Viral infection causes the RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) to recognize pathogen-derived dsRNA and then becomes activated to promote prion-like aggregation and activation of MAVS. Subsequently, through the recruitment of TRAF proteins, MAVS activates two signaling pathways mediated by TBK1-IRF3 and IKK- NF-κb, respectively, and turns on type I interferon and proinflammatory cytokines. This study discovered that NEDD4 binding protein 3 (N4BP3) is a positive regulator of the RLR signaling pathway by targeting MAVS. Overexpression of N4BP3 promoted virus-induced activation of the interferon-β (IFN-β) promoter and interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE). Further experiments showed that knockdown or knockout N4BP3 impaired RIG-I-like receptor (RLR)-mediated innate immune response, induction of downstream antiviral genes, and cellular antiviral responses. We also detected that N4BP3 could accelerate the interaction between MAVS and TRAF2. Related experiments revealed that N4BP3 could facilitate the ubiquitination modification of MAVS. These findings suggest that N4BP3 is a critical component of the RIG-I-like receptor (RLR)-mediated innate immune response by targeting MAVS, which also provided insight into the mechanisms of innate antiviral responses.
    Keywords:  MAVS; N4BP3; RLR antiviral signaling; TRAF2; innate immunity
  2. Front Neurosci. 2021 ;15 746873
      Many lines of evidence have indicated the therapeutic potential of rescuing mitochondrial integrity by targeting specific mitochondrial quality control pathways in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. In addition to ATP synthesis, mitochondria are critical regulators of ROS production, lipid metabolism, calcium buffering, and cell death. The mitochondrial unfolded protein response, mitochondrial dynamics, and mitophagy are the three main quality control mechanisms responsible for maintaining mitochondrial proteostasis and bioenergetics. The proper functioning of these complex processes is necessary to surveil and restore mitochondrial homeostasis and the healthy pool of mitochondria in cells. Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs early and causally in disease pathogenesis. A significant accumulation of mitochondrial damage resulting from compromised quality control pathways leads to the development of neuropathology. Moreover, genetic or pharmaceutical manipulation targeting the mitochondrial quality control mechanisms can sufficiently rescue mitochondrial integrity and ameliorate disease progression. Thus, therapies that can improve mitochondrial quality control have great promise for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the field that underscores the essential role of impaired mitochondrial quality control pathways in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. We also discuss the translational approaches targeting mitochondrial function, with a focus on the restoration of mitochondrial integrity, including mitochondrial dynamics, mitophagy, and mitochondrial proteostasis.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial proteostasis; mitochondrial quality control; mitophagy; neurodegenerative diseases
  3. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 742460
      Hypoxia is one of the main driving forces that results in poor outcomes and drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). As the critical cellular oxygen sensor, mitochondria respond to hypoxic stress by sending retrograde signals to the nucleus that initiate adaptive metabolic responses and maintain the survival of HCC cells. Increasing evidence suggested autophagy contributes to sustain mitochondrial metabolic and quality control. Understanding how mitochondria communicate with the nucleus and alter transcription may provide promising targets for HCC treatment. In this study, we found mitochondrial undergoes selective degradation by autophagy under hypoxia. Furthermore, autophagy-activated HDAC6 not only promoted the nuclear translocation of β-catenin but also increased the affinity of β-catenin to the transcription repressor chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factor 2 (COUP-TF II), which suppressed mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation-related genes transcription. Our data showed that autophagy served as a critical mediator of integrating mitochondrial energy metabolism and nuclear transcription. HDAC6 may be a potential target for reducing the survival of HCC cells by interrupting mitochondria-nucleus crosstalk.
    Keywords:  HDAC6; autophagy; hepatocellular carcinoma; hypoxia; mitochondrial energy metabolism; β-catenin
  4. BMC Immunol. 2021 Dec 07. 22(1): 74
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) is associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases and also with asthma. TFAM deficiency-induced mitochondrial DNA stress primes the antiviral innate immune response in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. However, the role of TFAM in asthma related inflammation remains obscure. The purpose of this study was to investigate the regulatory mechanism of TFAM in asthma.RESULTS: In this study, we overexpressed TFAM in human lung epithelial cells (A549), then obtained the TFAM-regulated transcriptome by Illumina sequencing technology. Transcriptome analysis revealed that TFAM overexpression down-regulated and up-regulated the expression of 642 and 169 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), respectively. The TFAM-repressed genes were strongly enriched in cytokine-mediated signaling pathway, type I interferon- and INF-γ-mediated signaling pathways, and viral response pathways. We also revealed that 2563 alternative splicing events in 1796 alternative splicing genes (ASGs) were de-regulated upon TFAM overexpression. These TFAM-responding ASGs were enriched in DNA repair, nerve growth factor receptor signaling pathway, and also transcription regulation. Further analysis revealed that the promoters of TFAM-repressed DEGs were enriched by DNA binding motifs of transcription factors whose alternative splicing was regulated by TFAM.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that TFAM regulates not only immune response gene expression in human lung epithelial cells, but also pre-mRNA alternative splicing which may mediate transcriptional regulation; this TFAM-centered gene regulation network could be targeted in developing therapies against various diseases.
    Keywords:  A549; Alternative splicing; TFAM; Transcription factors; Viral response pathway gene expression
  5. Cell Death Discov. 2021 Dec 09. 7(1): 381
      Alleviating odontoblast inflammation is crucial to control the progression of pulpitis. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a vital driver of inflammation when it leaks from mitochondria of inflamed odontoblasts into the cytosol. Bacteria-induced inflammation leads to a novel type of cell death named pyroptosis. The canonical pyroptosis is a gasdermin (GSDM)-dependent cytolytic programmed cell death characterized by cell swelling and pore formation in the plasma membrane. To date, whether odontoblast cytosolic mtDNA regulates dental pulp inflammation through the canonical pyroptosis pathway remains to be elucidated. In this study, high gasdermin D (GSDMD) expression was detected in human pulpitis. We found that LPS stimulation of mDPC6T cells promoted BAX translocation from the cytosol to the mitochondrial membrane, leading to mtDNA release. Moreover, overexpression of isolated mtDNA induced death in a large number of mDPC6T cells, which had the typical appearance of pyroptotic cells. Secretion of the inflammatory cytokines CXCL10 and IFN-β was also induced by mtDNA. These results suggest that cytosolic mtDNA participates in the regulation of odontoblast inflammation through GSDMD-mediated pyroptosis in vitro. Interestingly, after overexpression of mtDNA, the expression of inflammatory cytokines CXCL10 and IFN-β was increased and not decreased in GSDMD knockdown mDPC6T cells. We further proposed a novel model in which STING-dependent inflammation in odontoblast-like cell is a compensatory mechanism to control GSDMD-mediated pyroptosis, jointly promoting the immune inflammatory response of odontoblasts. Collectively, these findings provide the first demonstration of the role of the mtDNA-GSDMD-STING in controlling odontoblast inflammation and a detailed description of the underlying interconnected relationship.
  6. Mol Cell. 2021 Nov 26. pii: S1097-2765(21)00991-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in PINK1 cause autosomal-recessive Parkinson's disease. Mitochondrial damage results in PINK1 import arrest on the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM) complex, resulting in the activation of its ubiquitin kinase activity by autophosphorylation and initiation of Parkin-dependent mitochondrial clearance. Herein, we report crystal structures of the entire cytosolic domain of insect PINK1. Our structures reveal a dimeric autophosphorylation complex targeting phosphorylation at the invariant Ser205 (human Ser228). The dimer interface requires insert 2, which is unique to PINK1. The structures also reveal how an N-terminal helix binds to the C-terminal extension and provide insights into stabilization of PINK1 on the core TOM complex.
    Keywords:  PINK1; Parkin; Parkinson; TOM; X-ray crystallography; kinase; mass spectrometry; mitochondria; phosphorylation; ubiquitin
  7. Nat Commun. 2021 Dec 06. 12(1): 6997
      Pathological variants of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) typically co-exist with wild-type molecules, but the factors driving the selection of each are not understood. Because mitochondrial fitness does not favour the propagation of functional mtDNAs in disease states, we sought to create conditions where it would be advantageous. Glucose and glutamine consumption are increased in mtDNA dysfunction, and so we targeted the use of both in cells carrying the pathogenic m.3243A>G variant with 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2DG), or the related 5-thioglucose. Here, we show that both compounds selected wild-type over mutant mtDNA, restoring mtDNA expression and respiration. Mechanistically, 2DG selectively inhibits the replication of mutant mtDNA; and glutamine is the key target metabolite, as its withdrawal, too, suppresses mtDNA synthesis in mutant cells. Additionally, by restricting glucose utilization, 2DG supports functional mtDNAs, as glucose-fuelled respiration is critical for mtDNA replication in control cells, when glucose and glutamine are scarce. Hence, we demonstrate that mitochondrial fitness dictates metabolite preference for mtDNA replication; consequently, interventions that restrict metabolite availability can suppress pathological mtDNAs, by coupling mitochondrial fitness and replication.
  8. Nat Cell Biol. 2021 Dec 06.
      Mitochondrial-derived vesicles (MDVs) are implicated in diverse physiological processes-for example, mitochondrial quality control-and are linked to various neurodegenerative diseases. However, their specific cargo composition and complex molecular biogenesis are still unknown. Here we report the proteome and lipidome of steady-state TOMM20+ MDVs. We identified 107 high-confidence MDV cargoes, which include all β-barrel proteins and the TOM import complex. MDV cargoes are delivered as fully assembled complexes to lysosomes, thus representing a selective mitochondrial quality control mechanism for multi-subunit complexes, including the TOM machinery. Moreover, we define key biogenesis steps of phosphatidic acid-enriched MDVs starting with the MIRO1/2-dependent formation of thin membrane protrusions pulled along microtubule filaments, followed by MID49/MID51/MFF-dependent recruitment of the dynamin family GTPase DRP1 and finally DRP1-dependent scission. In summary, we define the function of MDVs in mitochondrial quality control and present a mechanistic model for global GTPase-driven MDV biogenesis.
  9. J Am Chem Soc. 2021 Dec 06.
      The mitochondrial DNA G-quadruplex (mtDNA G4) is a potential regulatory element for the regulation of mitochondrial functions; however, its relevance and specific roles in diseases remain largely unknown. Here, we engineered a set of chemical probes, including MitoISCH, an mtDNA G4-specific fluorescent probe, together with MitoPDS, a mitochondria-targeted G4-stabilizing agent, to thoroughly investigate mtDNA G4s. Using MitoISCH to monitor previously intractable dynamics of mtDNA G4s, we surprisingly found that their formation was prevalent only in endothelial and cancer cells that rely on glycolysis for energy production. Consistent with this, promotion of mtDNA G4 folding by MitoPDS in turn caused glycolysis-related gene activation and glycolysis enhancement. Remarkably, this close relationship among mtDNA G4s, glycolysis, and cancer cells further allowed MitoISCH to accumulate in tumors and label them in vivo. Our work reveals an unprecedented link between mtDNA G4s and cell glycolysis, suggesting that mtDNA G4s may be a novel cancer biomarker and therapeutic target deserving further exploration.
  10. Commun Biol. 2021 Dec 09. 4(1): 1360
      Late-onset retinal degeneration (L-ORD) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by a missense substitution in CTRP5. Distinctive clinical features include sub-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) deposits, choroidal neovascularization, and RPE atrophy. In induced pluripotent stem cells-derived RPE from L-ORD patients (L-ORD-iRPE), we show that the dominant pathogenic CTRP5 variant leads to reduced CTRP5 secretion. In silico modeling suggests lower binding of mutant CTRP5 to adiponectin receptor 1 (ADIPOR1). Downstream of ADIPOR1 sustained activation of AMPK renders it insensitive to changes in AMP/ATP ratio resulting in defective lipid metabolism, reduced Neuroprotectin D1(NPD1) secretion, lower mitochondrial respiration, and reduced ATP production. These metabolic defects result in accumulation of sub-RPE deposits and leave L-ORD-iRPE susceptible to dedifferentiation. Gene augmentation of L-ORD-iRPE with WT CTRP5 or modulation of AMPK, by metformin, re-sensitize L-ORD-iRPE to changes in cellular energy status alleviating the disease cellular phenotypes. Our data suggests a mechanism for the dominant behavior of CTRP5 mutation and provides potential treatment strategies for L-ORD patients.
  11. Nat Commun. 2021 Dec 07. 12(1): 7102
      Various stressors such as viral infection lead to the suppression of cap-dependent translation and the activation of the integrated stress response (ISR), since the stress-induced phosphorylated eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 [eIF2(αP)] tightly binds to eIF2B to prevent it from exchanging guanine nucleotide molecules on its substrate, unphosphorylated eIF2. Sandfly fever Sicilian virus (SFSV) evades this cap-dependent translation suppression through the interaction between its nonstructural protein NSs and host eIF2B. However, its precise mechanism has remained unclear. Here, our cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) analysis reveals that SFSV NSs binds to the α-subunit of eIF2B in a competitive manner with eIF2(αP). Together with SFSV NSs, eIF2B retains nucleotide exchange activity even in the presence of eIF2(αP), in line with the cryo-EM structures of the eIF2B•SFSV NSs•unphosphorylated eIF2 complex. A genome-wide ribosome profiling analysis clarified that SFSV NSs expressed in cultured human cells attenuates the ISR triggered by thapsigargin, an endoplasmic reticulum stress inducer. Furthermore, SFSV NSs introduced in rat hippocampal neurons and human induced-pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived motor neurons exhibits neuroprotective effects against the ISR-inducing stress. Since ISR inhibition is beneficial in various neurological disease models, SFSV NSs may be a promising therapeutic ISR inhibitor.
  12. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2021 Dec 07.
      Mitochondria are involved in a variety of critical cellular functions, and their impairment drives cell injury. The mitochondrial ribosome (mitoribosome) is responsible for the protein synthesis of mitochondrial DNA encoded genes. These proteins are involved in oxidative phosphorylation, respiration, and ATP production required in the cell. Mitoribosome components originate from both mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Their dysfunction can be caused by impaired mitochondrial protein synthesis or mitoribosome misassembly, leading to a decline in mitochondrial translation. This decrease can trigger mitochondrial ribosomal stress and contribute to pulmonary cell injury, death, and diseases. This review focuses on the contribution of the impaired mitoribosome structural components and function to respiratory disease pathophysiology. We present recent findings in the fields of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease, and asthma. We also include reports on the mitoribosome dysfunction in pulmonary hypertension, high altitude pulmonary edema, bacterial and viral infections. Studies of the mitoribosome alterations in respiratory diseases can lead to novel therapeutic targets.
    Keywords:  disease; lung; mitochondria; mitoribosome
  13. Nat Commun. 2021 Dec 07. 12(1): 7103
      Viral infection triggers activation of the integrated stress response (ISR). In response to viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR) phosphorylates the translation initiation factor eIF2, converting it from a translation initiator into a potent translation inhibitor and this restricts the synthesis of viral proteins. Phosphorylated eIF2 (eIF2-P) inhibits translation by binding to eIF2's dedicated, heterodecameric nucleotide exchange factor eIF2B and conformationally inactivating it. We show that the NSs protein of Sandfly Fever Sicilian virus (SFSV) allows the virus to evade the ISR. Mechanistically, NSs tightly binds to eIF2B (KD = 30 nM), blocks eIF2-P binding, and rescues eIF2B GEF activity. Cryo-EM structures demonstrate that SFSV NSs and eIF2-P directly compete, with the primary NSs contacts to eIF2Bα mediated by five 'aromatic fingers'. NSs binding preserves eIF2B activity by maintaining eIF2B's conformation in its active A-State.
  14. Front Genet. 2021 ;12 769770
    Keywords:  case report; mitochondrial disorders; pathophysiology; reaction mechanism; treatment
  15. J Cell Sci. 2021 Dec 06. pii: jcs.257808. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in Mitofusin2 (MFN2), associated with the pathology of the debilitating neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2A (CMT2A) are known to alter mitochondrial morphology. One such abundant MFN2 mutant, R364W results in the generation of elongated, interconnected mitochondria. However, the mechanism leading to this mitochondrial aberration remains poorly understood. Here we show that mitochondrial hyperfusion in the presence of R364W-MFN2 is due to increased degradation of DRP1. The Ubiquitin E3 ligase MITOL is known to ubiquitylate both MFN2 and DRP1. Interaction with and its subsequent ubiquitylation by MITOL is stronger in presence of WT-MFN2 than R364W-MFN2. This differential interaction of MITOL with MFN2 in the presence of R364W-MFN2 renders the ligase more available for DRP1 ubiquitylation. Multimonoubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation of DRP1 in R364W-MFN2 cells in the presence of MITOL eventually leads to mitochondrial hyperfusion. Here we provide a mechanistic insight into mitochondrial hyperfusion, while also reporting that MFN2 can indirectly modulate DRP1 - an effect not shown before.
    Keywords:  CMT2A-linked MFN2 mutant; DRP1; MITOL; Mitochondrial hyperfusion; Ubiquitylation
  16. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Dec 03. pii: S0006-291X(21)01635-1. [Epub ahead of print]589 1-8
      BNIP3 is found to eliminate cancer cells via causing mitochondrial damage and endoplasmic reticulum stress, but it remains elusive of its role in regulating DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). In this study, we find that silibinin triggers DNA DSBs, ROS accumulation and expressional upregulation of BNIP3 in glioma cells. Mitigation of ROS with antioxidant GSH significantly inhibits silibinin-induced DNA DSBs and glioma cell death. Then, we find knockdown of BNIP3 with SiRNA obviously prevents silibinin-induced DNA DSBs and ROS accumulation. Mechanistically, BNIP3 knockdown not only reverses silibinin-triggered depletion of cysteine and GSH via maintaining xCT level, but also abrogates catalase decrease. Notably, silibinin-induced dephosphorylation of mTOR is also prevented when BNIP3 is knocked down. Given that activated mTOR could promote xCT expression and inhibit autophagic degradation of catalase, our data suggest that BNIP3 contributes to silibinin-induced DNA DSBs via improving intracellular ROS by inhibition of mTOR.
    Keywords:  BNIP3; DNA double Strand breaks; ROS; Silibinin; mTOR
  17. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Dec 04. pii: S0891-5849(21)00855-8. [Epub ahead of print]178 134-146
      Neuroinflammation following peripheral surgery is a pivotal pathogenic mechanism of postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). However, the key site of inflammation-mediated neural damage remains unclear. Impaired mitochondrial function is a vital feature of degenerated neurons. Dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), a crucial regulator of mitochondrial dynamics, has been shown to play an essential role in synapse formation. Here, we designed experiments to assess whether Drp1-regulated mitochondrial dynamics and function are involved in the pathological processes of POCD and elucidate its relationship with neuroinflammation. Aged mice were subjected to experimental laparotomy under isoflurane anesthesia. Primary neurons and SH-SY5Y cells were exposed to tumor necrosis factor (TNF). We found an increase in Drp1 activation as well as mitochondrial fragmentation both in the hippocampus of mice after surgery and primary neurons after TNF exposure. Pretreatment with Mdivi-1, a Drp1 specific inhibitor, reduced this mitochondrial fragmentation. Drp1 knockdown with small interfering RNA blocked TNF-induced mitochondrial fragmentation in SH-SY5Y cells. However, the application of Mdivi-1 exhibited a negative impact on mitochondrial function and neurite growth in primary neurons. Calcineurin activity was increased in primary neurons after TNF exposure and contributed to the Drp1 activation. The calcineurin inhibitor FK506 exhibited a Drp1-independent function that mitigated mitochondrial dysfunction. Finally, we found that FK506 pretreatment ameliorated the neurite growth in neurons treated with TNF and the learning ability of mice after surgery. Overall, our research indicated a crucial role of mitochondrial function in the pathological processes of POCD, and neuronal metabolic modulation may represent a novel and important target for POCD.
    Keywords:  Calcineurin; Drp1; Mitochondrial function; Neuroinflammation; POCD