bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2023‒03‒12
fourteen papers selected by
Marco Tigano
Thomas Jefferson University

  1. EMBO Rep. 2023 Mar 06. e55678
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases are multi-systemic disorders caused by mutations affecting a fraction or the entirety of mtDNA copies. Currently, there are no approved therapies for the majority of mtDNA diseases. Challenges associated with engineering mtDNA have in fact hindered the study of mtDNA defects. Despite these difficulties, it has been possible to develop valuable cellular and animal models of mtDNA diseases. Here, we describe recent advances in base editing of mtDNA and the generation of three-dimensional organoids from patient-derived human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Together with already available modeling tools, the combination of these novel technologies could allow determining the impact of specific mtDNA mutations in distinct human cell types and might help uncover how mtDNA mutation load segregates during tissue organization. iPSC-derived organoids could also represent a platform for the identification of treatment strategies and for probing the in vitro effectiveness of mtDNA gene therapies. These studies have the potential to increase our mechanistic understanding of mtDNA diseases and may open the way to highly needed and personalized therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:  iPSCs; mitochondria; mitochondrial diseases; mitochondrial genome editing; organoids
  2. Nature. 2023 Mar 08.
      Mutations in fumarate hydratase (FH) cause hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma1. Loss of FH in the kidney elicits several oncogenic signalling cascades through the accumulation of the oncometabolite fumarate2. However, although the long-term consequences of FH loss have been described, the acute response has not so far been investigated. Here we generated an inducible mouse model to study the chronology of FH loss in the kidney. We show that loss of FH leads to early alterations of mitochondrial morphology and the release of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) into the cytosol, where it triggers the activation of the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS)-stimulator of interferon genes (STING)-TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) pathway and stimulates an inflammatory response that is also partially dependent on retinoic-acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I). Mechanistically, we show that this phenotype is mediated by fumarate and occurs selectively through mitochondrial-derived vesicles in a manner that depends on sorting nexin 9 (SNX9). These results reveal that increased levels of intracellular fumarate induce a remodelling of the mitochondrial network and the generation of mitochondrial-derived vesicles, which allows the release of mtDNAin the cytosol and subsequent activation of the innate immune response.
  3. Nature. 2023 Mar 08.
      Metabolic rewiring underlies the effector functions of macrophages1-3, but the mechanisms involved remain incompletely defined. Here, using unbiased metabolomics and stable isotope-assisted tracing, we show that an inflammatory aspartate-argininosuccinate shunt is induced following lipopolysaccharide stimulation. The shunt, supported by increased argininosuccinate synthase (ASS1) expression, also leads to increased cytosolic fumarate levels and fumarate-mediated protein succination. Pharmacological inhibition and genetic ablation of the tricarboxylic acid cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) further increases intracellular fumarate levels. Mitochondrial respiration is also suppressed and mitochondrial membrane potential increased. RNA sequencing and proteomics analyses demonstrate that there are strong inflammatory effects resulting from FH inhibition. Notably, acute FH inhibition suppresses interleukin-10 expression, which leads to increased tumour necrosis factor secretion, an effect recapitulated by fumarate esters. Moreover, FH inhibition, but not fumarate esters, increases interferon-β production through mechanisms that are driven by mitochondrial RNA (mtRNA) release and activation of the RNA sensors TLR7, RIG-I and MDA5. This effect is recapitulated endogenously when FH is suppressed following prolonged lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Furthermore, cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus also exhibit FH suppression, which indicates a potential pathogenic role for this process in human disease. We therefore identify a protective role for FH in maintaining appropriate macrophage cytokine and interferon responses.
  4. MicroPubl Biol. 2023 ;2023
      The mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) is packaged into discrete protein-DNA complexes called nucleoids. mtDNA packaging factor TFAM (mitochondrial transcription factor-A) promotes nucleoid compaction and is required for mtDNA replication. Here, we investigate how changing TFAM levels affects mtDNA in the Caenorhabditis elegans germ line. We show that increasing germline TFAM activity boosts mtDNA number and significantly increases the relative proportion of a selfish mtDNA mutant, uaDf5 . We conclude that TFAM levels must be tightly controlled to ensure appropriate mtDNA composition in the germ line.
  5. Nature. 2023 Mar 08.
    Keywords:  Cell biology; Immunology; Metabolism
  6. Elife. 2023 Mar 07. pii: e68047. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Malonyl-CoA-acyl carrier protein transacylase (MCAT) is an enzyme involved in mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis (mtFAS) and catalyzes the transfer of the malonyl moiety of malonyl-CoA to the mitochondrial acyl carrier protein (ACP). Previously, we showed that loss-of-function of mtFAS genes, including Mcat, is associated with severe loss of electron transport chain (ETC) complexes in mouse immortalized skeletal myoblasts (Nowinski et al., 2020). Here, we report a proband presenting with hypotonia, failure to thrive, nystagmus, and abnormal brain MRI findings. Using whole exome sequencing, we identified biallelic variants in MCAT. Protein levels for NDUFB8 and COXII, subunits of complex I and IV respectively, were markedly reduced in lymphoblasts and fibroblasts, as well as SDHB for complex II in fibroblasts. ETC enzyme activities were decreased in parallel. Re-expression of wild-type MCAT rescued the phenotype in patient fibroblasts. This is the first report of a patient with MCAT pathogenic variants and combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency.
    Keywords:  MCAT; genetics; genomics; human; mitochondria; mitochondrial disease
  7. Cells. 2023 Feb 22. pii: 695. [Epub ahead of print]12(5):
      Adenosine 5' triphosphate (ATP) is the energy currency of life, which is produced in mitochondria (~90%) and cytosol (less than 10%). Real-time effects of metabolic changes on cellular ATP dynamics remain indeterminate. Here we report the design and validation of a genetically encoded fluorescent ATP indicator that allows for real-time, simultaneous visualization of cytosolic and mitochondrial ATP in cultured cells. This dual-ATP indicator, called smacATPi (simultaneous mitochondrial and cytosolic ATP indicator), combines previously described individual cytosolic and mitochondrial ATP indicators. The use of smacATPi can help answer biological questions regarding ATP contents and dynamics in living cells. As expected, 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG, a glycolytic inhibitor) led to substantially decreased cytosolic ATP, and oligomycin (a complex V inhibitor) markedly decreased mitochondrial ATP in cultured HEK293T cells transfected with smacATPi. With the use of smacATPi, we can also observe that 2-DG treatment modestly attenuates mitochondrial ATP and oligomycin reduces cytosolic ATP, indicating the subsequent changes of compartmental ATP. To evaluate the role of ATP/ADP carrier (AAC) in ATP trafficking, we treated HEK293T cells with an AAC inhibitor, Atractyloside (ATR). ATR treatment attenuated cytosolic and mitochondrial ATP in normoxia, suggesting AAC inhibition reduces ADP import from the cytosol to mitochondria and ATP export from mitochondria to cytosol. In HEK293T cells subjected to hypoxia, ATR treatment increased mitochondrial ATP along with decreased cytosolic ATP, implicating that ACC inhibition during hypoxia sustains mitochondrial ATP but may not inhibit the reversed ATP import from the cytosol. Furthermore, both mitochondrial and cytosolic signals decrease when ATR is given in conjunction with 2-DG in hypoxia. Thus, real-time visualization of spatiotemporal ATP dynamics using smacATPi provides novel insights into how cytosolic and mitochondrial ATP signals respond to metabolic changes, providing a better understanding of cellular metabolism in health and disease.
    Keywords:  ATP; biosensor; fluorescence; metabolism; mitochondria
  8. Blood. 2023 Mar 08. pii: blood.2022018711. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial damage-associated molecular patterns (mtDAMPs) include proteins, lipids, metabolites and DNA and have various context specific immunoregulatory functions. Cell-free mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is recognised via pattern recognition receptors and is a potent activator of the innate immune system. Cell-free mtDNA is elevated in the circulation of trauma and cancer patients, however the functional consequences of elevated mtDNA are largely undefined. Multiple myeloma (MM) relies upon cellular interactions within the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment for survival and progression. Here, using in-vivo models, we describe the role of MM cell derived mtDAMPs in the pro-tumoral BM microenvironment, and the mechanism and functional consequence of mtDAMPs in myeloma disease progression. Initially, we identified elevated levels of mtDNA in the peripheral blood serum of MM patients compared to healthy controls. Using the MM1S cells engrafted into NSG mice we established that elevated mtDNA was derived from MM cells. We further show that BM macrophages sense and respond to mtDAMPs through the STING pathway and inhibition of this pathway reduces MM tumor-burden in the KaLwRij-5TGM1 mouse model. Moreover, we found that MM derived mtDAMPs induced upregulation of chemokine signatures in BM macrophages and inhibition of this signature resulted in egress of MM cells from the BM. Here, we demonstrate that malignant plasma cells release mtDNA, a form of mtDAMPs, into the myeloma BM microenvironment, which in turn activates macrophages via STING signalling. We establish the functional role of these mtDAMP-activated macrophages in promoting disease progression and retaining MM cells in the pro-tumoral BM microenvironment.
  9. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2023 Mar 05. pii: S0003-9861(23)00057-7. [Epub ahead of print]738 109558
      Ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation causes skin inflammation and apoptosis. Mitochondria are highly dynamic and undergo constant fusion and fission that are essential for maintaining physiological functions of cells. Although dysfunction of mitochondria has been implicated in skin damages, little is known about the roles of mitochondrial dynamics in these processes. UVB irradiation increases abnormal mitochondrial content but decreases mitochondrial volume in immortalized human keratinocyte HaCaT cells. UVB irradiation resulted in marked upregulation of mitochondrial fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) and downregulation of mitochondrial outer membrane fusion proteins 1 and 2 (MFN1 and MFN2) in HaCaT cells. Mitochondrial dynamics was discovered to be crucial for NLRP3 inflammasome and cGAS-STING pathway activation, as well as the induction of apoptosis. Inhibition of mitochondrial fission by treatments with a DRP1 inhibitor, mdivi-1, or with DRP1-targeted siRNA, efficiently prevented UVB-induced NLRP3/cGAS-STING mediated pro-inflammatory pathways or apoptosis in the HaCaT cells, whereas inhibition of mitochondrial fusion with MFN1and 2 siRNA increased these pro-inflammatory pathways or apoptosis. The enhanced mitochondrial fission and reduced fusion caused the up-regulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Application of an antioxidant, N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), which scavenges excessive ROS, attenuated inflammatory responses through suppressing NLRP3 inflammasome and cGAS-STING pathway activation, and rescued cells from apoptosis caused by UVB-irradiation. Together, our findings revealed the regulation of NLRP3/cGAS-STING inflammatory pathways and apoptosis by mitochondrial fission/fusion dynamics in UVB-irradiated HaCaT cells, providing a new strategy for the therapy of UVB skin injury.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; DRP1; Inflammation; MFN1 and MFN2; Mitochondrial fission; ROS; UVB
  10. Science. 2023 Mar 10. 379(6636): 1023-1030
      Cell-cell interactions in the central nervous system play important roles in neurologic diseases. However, little is known about the specific molecular pathways involved, and methods for their systematic identification are limited. Here, we developed a forward genetic screening platform that combines CRISPR-Cas9 perturbations, cell coculture in picoliter droplets, and microfluidic-based fluorescence-activated droplet sorting to identify mechanisms of cell-cell communication. We used SPEAC-seq (systematic perturbation of encapsulated associated cells followed by sequencing), in combination with in vivo genetic perturbations, to identify microglia-produced amphiregulin as a suppressor of disease-promoting astrocyte responses in multiple sclerosis preclinical models and clinical samples. Thus, SPEAC-seq enables the high-throughput systematic identification of cell-cell communication mechanisms.
  11. Nat Aging. 2023 Feb;3(2): 157-161
      Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role in aging but the exact biological causes are still being determined. Here, we show that optogenetically increasing mitochondrial membrane potential during adulthood using a light-activated proton pump improves age-associated phenotypes and extends lifespan in C. elegans. Our findings provide direct causal evidence that rescuing the age-related decline in mitochondrial membrane potential is sufficient to slow the rate of aging and extend healthspan and lifespan.
  12. Nature. 2023 Mar 08.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's disease; Immunology; Neurodegeneration
  13. EMBO J. 2023 Mar 06. e113576
      The fate of unimported mitochondrial precursors has been increasingly studied in recent years, mostly focusing on protein degradation. In this issue of the EMBO journal, Krämer et al discovered MitoStores, a new protective mechanism that temporarily stores mitochondrial proteins in cytosolic deposits.
  14. Bioconjug Chem. 2023 Mar 08.
      Advances in peroxidase and biotin ligase-mediated signal amplification have enabled high-resolution subcellular mapping of endogenous RNA localization and protein-protein interactions. Application of these technologies has been limited to RNA and proteins because of the reactive groups required for biotinylation in each context. Here we report several novel methods for proximity biotinylation of exogenous oligodeoxyribonucleotides by application of well-established and convenient enzymatic tools. We describe approaches using simple and efficient conjugation chemistries to modify deoxyribonucleotides with "antennae" that react with phenoxy radicals or biotinoyl-5'-adenylate. In addition, we report chemical details of a previously undescribed adduct between tryptophan and a phenoxy radical group. These developments have potential application in the selection of exogenous nucleic acids capable of unaided entry into living cells.