bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2022‒01‒02
eleven papers selected by
Marco Tigano
Thomas Jefferson University

  1. J Biol Chem. 2021 Dec 22. pii: S0021-9258(21)01333-8. [Epub ahead of print] 101523
      Oxidative stress, inflammation, and aberrant activation of microglia in the retina are commonly observed in ocular pathologies. In glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration, the chronic activation of microglia affects retinal ganglion cells and photoreceptors, respectively, contributing to gradual vision loss. However, the molecular mechanisms that cause activation of microglia in the retina are not fully understood. Here we show that exposure of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to chronic low-level oxidative stress induces mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-specific damage, and the subsequent translocation of damaged mtDNA to the cytoplasm results in the binding and activation of intracellular DNA receptor Z-DNA binding protein 1 (ZBP1). Activation of the mtDNA/ZBP1 pathway triggers the expression of pro-inflammatory markers in RPE cells. In addition, we show the enhanced release of extracellular vesicles (EVs) containing fragments of mtDNA derived from the apical site of RPE cells induces a pro-inflammatory phenotype of microglia via activation of ZBP1 signaling. Collectively, our report establishes oxidatively damaged mtDNA as an important signaling molecule with ZBP1 as its intracellular receptor in the development of an inflammatory response in the retina. We propose that this novel mtDNA-mediated autocrine and paracrine mechanism for triggering and maintaining inflammation in the retina may play an important role in ocular pathologies. Therefore, the molecular mechanisms identified in this report are potentially suitable therapeutic targets to ameliorate development of ocular pathologies.
    Keywords:  extracellular vesicles; microglia; mitochondrial DNA; oxidative stress; retinal pigment epithelial
  2. FEBS Open Bio. 2021 Dec 30.
      Cisplatin (DDP)-based chemotherapy is a preferred treatment for a broad spectrum of cancers, but the precise mechanisms of its hepatotoxicity are not yet clear. Recently, the role of voltage-dependent anion channel protein 1 (VDAC1) in mitochondrial activity and cell apoptosis has attracted much attention. Our aim was to investigate the effects of mitochondrial outer membrane protein VDAC1 oligomerization in DDP-induced hepatocyte apoptosis. L-02 hepatocytes were divided into 4 groups: (1) control group, (2) 4,4'diisothiocyanate-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS; 40 μM) group, (3) DDP (5μM) group, (4) DDP and DIDS combination group. Cell apoptosis was tested by annexin V/fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) assay, protein expression of caspase-3, γH2AX and NDUFB6 were observed by western blot assay, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial superoxide anion radical (O2 •- ) were detected by DCFH-DA and MitoSOX probe, and DNA damage was assessed by comet assay. Moreover, the activity of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I was determined by the colorimetry method. Compared with the control group, apoptosis rate and activated cleaved-caspase-3 protein, ROS and O2 •- generation, DNA damage marker comet tail length and γH2AX protein level increased in the DDP treatment group (P<0.05). Activity of mitochondrial COXI decreased after DDP treatment (P<0.05). DIDS, as a VDAC1 oligomerization inhibitor, antagonized DDP-induced apoptosis by diminishing oxidative stress and DNA damage, and protecting mitochondrial complex protein. These results show that VDAC1 oligomerization may play an important role in DDP-induced hepatocyte apoptosis by increasing ROS and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) leakage from VDAC1 pores, exacerbating oxidative stress and mtDNA damage.
    Keywords:  4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid; apoptosis; cisplatin; hepatocyte; oligomerization; voltage-dependent anion channel 1
  3. Elife. 2021 Dec 31. pii: e68213. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Human mitochondria express a genome that encodes thirteen core subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS). These proteins insert into the inner membrane co-translationally. Therefore, mitochondrial ribosomes engage with the OXA1L-insertase and membrane-associated proteins, which support membrane insertion of translation products and early assembly steps into OXPHOS complexes. To identify ribosome-associated biogenesis factors for the OXPHOS system, we purified ribosomes and associated proteins from mitochondria. We identified TMEM223 as a ribosome-associated protein involved in complex IV biogenesis. TMEM223 stimulates the translation of COX1 mRNA and is a constituent of early COX1 assembly intermediates. Moreover, we show that SMIM4 together with C12ORF73 interacts with newly synthesized cytochrome b to support initial steps of complex III biogenesis in complex with UQCC1 and UQCC2. Our analyses define the interactome of the human mitochondrial ribosome and reveal novel assembly factors for complex III and IV biogenesis that link early assembly stages to the translation machinery.
    Keywords:  assembly; biochemistry; cell biology; chemical biology; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; ribosome; translation
  4. J Hered. 2021 Dec 29. pii: esab066. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria evolved from a union of microbial cells belonging to distinct lineages that were likely anaerobic. The evolution of eukaryotes required a massive reorganization of the 2 genomes and eventual adaptation to aerobic environments. The nutrients and oxygen that sustain eukaryotic metabolism today are processed in mitochondria through coordinated expression of 37 mitochondrial genes and over 1000 nuclear genes. This puts mitochondria at the nexus of gene-by-gene (G×G) and gene-by-environment (G×E) interactions that sustain life. Here we use a Drosophila model of mitonuclear genetic interactions to explore the notion that mitochondria are environments for the nuclear genome, and vice versa. We construct factorial combinations of mtDNA and nuclear chromosomes to test for epistatic interactions (G×G), and expose these mitonuclear genotypes to altered dietary environments to examine G×E interactions. We use development time and genome-wide RNAseq analyses to assess the relative contributions of mtDNA, nuclear chromosomes, and environmental effects on these traits (mitonuclear G×G×E). We show that the nuclear transcriptional response to alternative mitochondrial "environments" (G×G) has significant overlap with the transcriptional response of mitonuclear genotypes to altered dietary environments. These analyses point to specific transcription factors (e.g., giant) that mediated these interactions, and identified coexpressed modules of genes that may account for the overlap in differentially expressed genes. Roughly 20% of the transcriptome includes G×G genes that are concordant with G×E genes, suggesting that mitonuclear interactions are part of an organism's environment.
    Keywords:  coevolution; epistasis; gene expression module
  5. Life Sci. 2021 Dec 22. pii: S0024-3205(21)01213-3. [Epub ahead of print] 120226
      The multi-factorial Parkinson's disease (PD) is known to be associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, endoplasmic reticulum stress, alpha synuclein aggregation and dopaminergic neuronal death, with oxidative stress being a common denominator to these underlying processes. The perception of mitochondria being 'just ATP producing compartments' have been counterpoised as studies, particularly related to PD, have underlined their strong role in cause and progression of the disease. During PD pathogenesis, neurons encounter chronic stress conditions mainly due to failure of Mitochondrial Quality Control (MQC) machinery. To dissect the regulatory understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction during neurological disease progression, we endeavored to identify key regulatory endpoints that control multiple facets of MQC machinery. Our studies, employing transgenic C. elegans strain expressing human α-synuclein, led us to identification of mitochondrial genes nuo-5 (involved in oxidative phosphorylation), F25B4.7 (exhibits ATP transmembrane transporter activity) and C05D11.9 (having ribonuclease activity), which form predicted downstream targets of most elevated and down-regulated mi-RNA molecules. RNAi mediated silencing, gene ontology and functional genomics analysis studies demonstrated their role in modulating major MQC pathways. The attenuated MQC pathways mainly affected clearance of misfolded and aggregated proteins, redox homeostasis and longevity with compromised dopaminergic functions. Overexpression of the mitochondrial genes by 3 beta-hydroxyl steroid, Tomatidine, was found to curtail the redox imbalance thus leading to amelioration of effects associated with PD and an increase in the lifespan of treated nematodes. Therefore, this study unveils the regulatory role of mitochondrial genes as critical modulators of stress control involved in effects associated with PD pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  Mitochondrial quality control (MQC); Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs); Parkinson's disease (PD); Unfolded protein response (UPR)
  6. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Dec 06. pii: S0006-291X(21)01646-6. [Epub ahead of print]588 90-96
      Here we investigated the gender difference in murine cholangitis resembling human primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) caused by synthetic double-stranded RNA, and underlying hepatic innate immune responses. Female C57Bl/6 mice given repeated injections of polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) for 24 weeks developed overt cholangitis with positive serum anti-mitochondria-M2 antibody, whereas male mice showed minimal pathological changes without induction in autoantibody. Poly I:C induced hepatic inflammatory cytokines and type-I interferons predominantly in females. Hepatic expression levels of toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 and melanoma differentiation-associated protein (MDA) 5 were equivalent in both genders; however, both mRNA and protein levels of retinoic acid-inducible gene (RIG)-I were nearly doubled in female livers. Following 4-week injections of poly I:C, not only hepatic RIG-I, but also TLR3 and MDA5 showed female-predominance. Moreover, hepatic RIG-I levels were 25% lower in ovariectomized mice, whereas supplementation of 17 β-estradiol enhanced hepatic RIG-I expression, as well as cytokine induction. These results clearly indicate that hepatic RIG-I expression is potentiated by estrogen, and triggers gender-dependent hepatic innate immune response against double-stranded RNA, which most likely play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune cholangiopathies including PBC.
    Keywords:  Autoimmunity; Innate immunity; Melanoma differentiation-associated protein (MDA) 5; Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC); Retinoic acid-inducible gene (RIG)-I; Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3
  7. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 724104
      Despite the promising activity of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors (PARPi) in many cancer types with defects in the DNA damage response the majority of the treated patients acquire PARPi resistance and succumb to their diseases. Consequently, there is an urgent need to identify the mechanisms of PARPi resistance. Here, we show that PARPi treatment promotes STAT3 activation in ovarian cancer cells, tumor-associated immune cells and fibroblasts, resulting in PARPi resistance and immunosuppression. Comparison of ovarian cancer patient-matched tumor biopsies before and after PARPi therapy revealed that STAT3 activity was significantly higher in tumor cells and tumor-associated immune cells and fibroblasts post PARPi treatment. Moreover, one-time PARPi treatment activated STAT3 both in tumor cells as well as diverse immune subsets and fibroblasts. PARPi-treated immune cells exhibited decreased expression of immunostimulatory interferon (IFN)-γ and Granzyme B while increasing immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10. Finally, we demonstrate that the acquisition of PARPi resistance in ovarian cancer cells was accompanied by increased STAT3 activity. Ablating STAT3 inhibited PARPi-resistant ovarian tumor cell growth and/or restored PARPi sensitivity. Therefore, our study has identified a critical mechanism intrinsic to PARPi that promotes resistance to PARPi and induces immunosuppression during PARPi treatment by activating STAT3 in tumor cells and tumor-associated immune cells/fibroblasts.
    Keywords:  PARP inhibition; STAT3; immunosuppression; ovarian cancer; therapy resistance
  8. Am J Transl Res. 2021 ;13(11): 12395-12409
      The participation of STAT3 and its upstream inhibitors, PIAS3 and SOCS1, in the oxidative response of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells was uncertain. Here, the expression of PIAS3 and SOCS1 in HCC tissues and cell lines was explored, and we sought to determine whether oxidative stress epigenetically regulated PIAS3 and SOCS1 expression and STAT3 activation in HCC cells. The expression of PIAS3 and SOCS1 was markedly decreased in HCC cell lines and tissues compared to normal hepatic cells and tissues. In HCC patients, low PIAS3 and SOCS1 expression were associated with poor survival. Oxidative stress induced by H2O2 in HepG2 cells was indicated by low antioxidant levels and high protein carbonyl content. Moreover, oxidative stress in HepG2 cells contributed to reduced proliferation but increased apoptosis, migration, and invasion capacity, which might be counteracted by antioxidants, such as tocopheryl acetate (TA). PIAS3 and SOCS1 expression was markedly decreased, while STAT3 was activated in HepG2 cells in response to H2O2 exposure. Co-treatment with antioxidant TA effectively increased the expression of PIAS3 and SOCS1, but it dephosphorylated STAT3 in H2O2-treated cells. PIAS1 or SOCS1 overexpression in HepG2 cells after H2O2 treatment restored cell viability and anti-oxidative responses and decreased apoptosis, migration, and invasion ability, and dephosphorylated STAT3 levels. Co-administration of the STAT3 activator, colivelin, partially abolished the effect of PIAS3 and SOCS1 overexpression in these processes. Therefore, oxidative stress in HCC cells may improve their migration and reduce proliferation through STAT3 activation through the repression of PIAS3 and SOCS1 expression.
    Keywords:  HCC; PIAS3; SOCS1; STAT3; colivelin; oxidative stress
  9. Ann Neurol. 2021 Dec 26.
      OBJECTIVE: ATP synthase (ATPase) is responsible for the majority of ATP production. Nevertheless, disease phenotypes associated with mutations in ATPase subunits are extremely rare. We aimed at expanding the spectrum of ATPase-related diseases.METHODS: Whole-exome sequencing in cohorts with 2,962 mitochondrial-disease- and/or dystonia-diagnosed individuals and international collaboration were used to identify deleterious variants in ATPase-encoding genes. Findings were complemented by transcriptional and proteomic profiling of patient fibroblasts. ATPase integrity and activity were assayed using cells and tissues from five patients.
    RESULTS: We present ten total individuals with biallelic or de-novo monoallelic variants in nuclear ATPase subunit genes. Three unrelated patients showed the same homozygous missense ATP5F1E mutation (including one published case). An intronic splice-disrupting alteration in compound heterozygosity with a nonsense variant in ATP5PO was found in one patient. Three patients had de-novo heterozygous missense variants in ATP5F1A, whereas another three were heterozygous for ATP5MC3 de-novo missense changes. Bioinformatics methods and populational data supported the variants` pathogenicity. Immunohistochemistry, proteomics, and/or immunoblotting revealed significantly reduced ATPase amounts in association to ATP5F1E and ATP5PO mutations. Diminished activity and/or defective assembly of ATPase was demonstrated by enzymatic assays and/or immunoblotting in cells bearing ATP5F1A-p.Arg207His, ATP5MC3-p.Gly79Val, and ATP5MC3-p.Asn106Lys. The associated clinical profiles were heterogeneous, ranging from hypotonia with spontaneous resolution (1/10) to epilepsy with early death (1/10) or variable persistent abnormalities including movement disorders, developmental delay, intellectual disability, hyperlactatemia, and other neurologic and systemic features. Although potentially reflecting an ascertainment bias, dystonia was common (7/10).
    INTERPRETATION: Our results establish evidence for a previously unrecognized role of ATPase nuclear-gene defects in phenotypes characterized by neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative features. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  10. Mol Microbiol. 2021 Dec 28.
      Type I toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems typically consist of a protein toxin that imbeds in the inner membrane where it can oligomerize and form pores that change membrane permeability, and an RNA antitoxin that interacts directly with toxin mRNA to inhibit its translation. In Escherichia coli, symE/symR is annotated as a type I TA system with a non-canonical toxin. SymE was initially suggested to be an endoribonuclease, but has predicted structural similarity to DNA binding proteins. To better understand SymE function, we used RNA-seq to examine cells ectopically producing it. Although SymE drives major changes in gene expression, we do not find strong evidence of endoribonucleolytic activity. Instead, our biochemical and cell biological studies indicate that SymE binds DNA. We demonstrate that the toxicity of symE overexpression likely stems from its ability to drive severe nucleoid condensation, which disrupts DNA and RNA synthesis and leads to DNA damage, similar to the effects of overproducing the nucleoid-associated protein H-NS. Collectively, our results suggest that SymE represents a new class of nucleoid-associated proteins that is widely distributed in bacteria.
  11. J Cell Mol Med. 2021 Dec 28.
      Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a primary tumour of the central nervous system (CNS) that exhibits the highest degree of malignancy. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are essential to prolong the survival time of patients. However, clinical work has demonstrated that sensitivity of GBM to chemotherapy decreases with time. The phenomenon of multi-drug resistance (MDR) reminds us that there may exist some fundamental mechanisms in the process of chemo-resistance. We tried to explore the mechanism of GBM chemo-resistance from the perspective of energy metabolism. First, we found that the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) level of SHG44 and U87 cells increased under TMZ treatment. In further studies, it was found that the expression of PINK1 and mitophagy flux downstream was downregulated in GBM cells, which were secondary to the upregulation of TP53 in tumour cells under TMZ treatment. At the same time, we examined the mitochondrial morphology in tumour cells and found that the size of mitochondria in tumour cells increased under the treatment of TMZ, which originated from the regulation of AMPK on the subcellular localization of Drp1 under the condition of unbalanced energy supply and demand in tumour cells. The accumulation of mitochondrial mass and the optimization of mitochondrial quality accounted for the increased oxidative phosphorylation, and interruption of the mitochondrial fusion process downregulated the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation and sensitized GBM cells to TMZ, which was also confirmed in the in vivo experiment. What is more, interfering with this process is an innovative strategy to overcome the chemo-resistance of GBM cells.
    Keywords:  AMPK; TP53; glioblastoma multiforme; mitochondrial dynamics; temozolomide