bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2020‒08‒16
sixty-nine papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 13. 11(1): 4046
      2-oxoglutarate (2-OG or α-ketoglutarate) relates mitochondrial metabolism to cell function by modulating the activity of 2-OG dependent dioxygenases involved in the hypoxia response and DNA/histone modifications. However, metabolic pathways that regulate these oxygen and 2-OG sensitive enzymes remain poorly understood. Here, using CRISPR Cas9 genome-wide mutagenesis to screen for genetic determinants of 2-OG levels, we uncover a redox sensitive mitochondrial lipoylation pathway, dependent on the mitochondrial hydrolase ABHD11, that signals changes in mitochondrial 2-OG metabolism to 2-OG dependent dioxygenase function. ABHD11 loss or inhibition drives a rapid increase in 2-OG levels by impairing lipoylation of the 2-OG dehydrogenase complex (OGDHc)-the rate limiting step for mitochondrial 2-OG metabolism. Rather than facilitating lipoate conjugation, ABHD11 associates with the OGDHc and maintains catalytic activity of lipoyl domain by preventing the formation of lipoyl adducts, highlighting ABHD11 as a regulator of functional lipoylation and 2-OG metabolism.
  2. Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 13. 11(1): 4056
      Autophagy has been associated with oncogenesis with one of its emerging key functions being its contribution to the metabolism of tumors. Therefore, deciphering the mechanisms of how autophagy supports tumor cell metabolism is essential. Here, we demonstrate that the inhibition of autophagy induces an accumulation of lipid droplets (LD) due to a decrease in fatty acid β-oxidation, that leads to a reduction of oxidative phosphorylation (OxPHOS) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but not in normal cells. Thus, the autophagic process participates in lipid catabolism that supports OxPHOS in AML cells. Interestingly, the inhibition of OxPHOS leads to LD accumulation with the concomitant inhibition of autophagy. Mechanistically, we show that the disruption of mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contact sites (MERCs) phenocopies OxPHOS inhibition. Altogether, our data establish that mitochondria, through the regulation of MERCs, controls autophagy that, in turn finely tunes lipid degradation to fuel OxPHOS supporting proliferation and growth in leukemia.
  3. Biol Chem. 2020 Aug 01. pii: /j/bchm.just-accepted/hsz-2020-0157/hsz-2020-0157.xml. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mitochondrial ATP synthase is a multi-subunit enzyme complex located in the inner mitochondrial membrane which is essential for oxidative phosphorylation under physiological conditions. In this review, we analyse the enzyme functions involved in cancer progression by dissecting specific conditions in which ATP synthase contributes to cancer development or metastasis. Moreover, we propose the role of ATP synthase in the formation of the permeability transition pore (PTP) as an additional mechanism which controls tumour cell death. We further describe transcriptional and translational modifications of the enzyme subunits and of the inhibitor protein IF1that may promote adaptations leading to cancer metabolism. Finally, we outline ATP synthase gene mutations and epigenetic modifications associated with cancer development or drug resistance, with the aim of highlighting this enzyme complex as a potential novel target for future anti-cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; cancer; mitochondria; permeability transition
  4. Biol Chem. 2020 Aug 01. pii: /j/bchm.just-accepted/hsz-2020-0254/hsz-2020-0254.xml. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mitochondrial complex I serves as entry point for NADH into the electron transport chain. In animals, fungi and plants, additional NADH dehydrogenases carry out the same electron transfer reaction, however they do not pump protons. The apoptosis inducing factor (AIF, AIFM1 in humans) is a famous member of this group as it was the first pro-apoptotic protein identified that can induce caspase-independent cell death. Recent studies on AIFM1 and the NADH dehydrogenase Nde1 of baker's yeast revealed two independent and experimentally separable activities of this class of enzymes: On the one hand, these proteins promote the functionality of mitochondrial respiration in different ways: They channel electrons into the respiratory chain and, at least in animals, promote the import of Mia40 (named MIA40 or CHCHD4 in humans) and the assembly of complex I. On the other hand, they can give rise to pro-apoptotic fragments that are released from the mitochondria to trigger cell death. Here we propose that AIFM1 and Nde1 serve as conserved redox switches which measure metabolic conditions on the mitochondrial surface and translate it into a binary life/death decision. This function is conserved among eukaryotic cells and apparently used to purge metabolically compromised cells from populations.
    Keywords:  MIA40; cell death; complex I; mitochondria; protein import; redox
  5. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2020 Aug 07. pii: S0005-2728(20)30137-7. [Epub ahead of print] 148287
      Respiratory complex I (NADH:quinone oxidoreductase) plays a central role in generating the proton electrochemical gradient in mitochondrial and bacterial membranes, which is needed to generate ATP. Several high-resolution structures of complex I have been determined, revealing its intricate architecture and complementing the biochemical and biophysical studies. However, the molecular mechanism of long-range coupling between ubiquinone (Q) reduction and proton pumping is not known. Computer simulations have been applied to decipher the dynamics of Q molecule in the ~30 Å long Q tunnel. In this short report, we discuss the binding and dynamics of Q at computationally predicted Q binding sites, many of which are supported by structural data on complex I. We suggest that the binding of Q at these sites is coupled to proton pumping by means of conformational rearrangements in the conserved loops of core subunits.
    Keywords:  Cell respiration; Electron-proton coupling; Mitochondria; Molecular dynamics; Ubiquinone
  6. Nat Chem Biol. 2020 Aug 10.
      Mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) is a universal selective indicator of mitochondrial function and is known to play a central role in many human pathologies, such as diabetes mellitus, cancer and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Here, we report the design, synthesis and several applications of mitochondria-activatable luciferin (MAL), a bioluminescent probe sensitive to ΔΨm, and partially to plasma membrane potential (ΔΨp), for non-invasive, longitudinal monitoring of ΔΨm in vitro and in vivo. We applied this new technology to evaluate the aging-related change of ΔΨm in mice and showed that nicotinamide riboside (NR) reverts aging-related mitochondrial depolarization, revealing another important aspect of the mechanism of action of this potent biomolecule. In addition, we demonstrated application of the MAL probe for studies of brown adipose tissue (BAT) activation and non-invasive in vivo assessment of ΔΨm in animal cancer models, opening exciting opportunities for understanding the underlying mechanisms and for discovery of effective treatments for many human pathologies.
  7. Elife. 2020 Aug 14. pii: e52558. [Epub ahead of print]9
      Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is composed of thermogenic cells that convert chemical energy into heat to help maintain a constant body temperature and counteract metabolic disease in mammals. The metabolic adaptations required for thermogenesis are not fully understood. Here we explore how steady state levels of metabolic intermediates are altered in brown adipose tissue in response to cold exposure. Transcriptome and metabolome analysis revealed changes in pathways involved in amino acid, glucose, and TCA cycle metabolism. Using isotopic labeling experiments, we found that activated brown adipocytes increased labeling of pyruvate and TCA cycle intermediates from U13C-glucose. Although glucose oxidation has been implicated as being essential for thermogenesis, its requirement for efficient thermogenesis has not been directly tested. Here we show that mitochondrial pyruvate uptake is essential for optimal thermogenesis, as conditional deletion of Mpc1 in brown adipocytes leads to impaired cold adaptation. Isotopic labeling experiments using U13C-glucose showed that loss of MPC1 led to impaired labeling of TCA cycle intermediates, while labeling of glycolytic intermediates was unchanged. Loss of MPC1 in BAT increased 3-hydroxybutyrate levels in blood and BAT in response to the cold, suggesting that ketogenesis provides an alternative fuel source to compensate for impaired mitochondrial oxidation of cytosolic pyruvate. Collectively, these studies highlight that complete glucose oxidation is essential for optimal brown fat thermogenesis.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; chemical biology; mouse
  8. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2020 Aug 08. pii: S0003-9861(20)30544-0. [Epub ahead of print] 108535
      NAD(P)+ transhydrogenase (NNT) is located in the inner mitochondrial membrane and catalyzes a reversible hydride transfer between NAD(H) and NADP(H) that is coupled to proton translocation between the intermembrane space and mitochondrial matrix. NNT activity has an essential role in maintaining the NADPH supply for antioxidant defense and biosynthetic pathways. In the present report, we evaluated the effects of chemical compounds used as inhibitors of NNT over the last five decades, namely, 4-chloro-7-nitrobenzofurazan (NBD-Cl), N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC), palmitoyl coenzyme A, palmitoyl-l-carnitine, and rhein, on NNT activity and mitochondrial respiratory function. Concentrations of these compounds that partially inhibited the forward and reverse NNT reactions in detergent-solubilized mouse liver mitochondria significantly impaired mitochondrial respiratory function, as estimated by ADP-stimulated and nonphosphorylating respiration. Among the tested compounds, NBD-Cl showed the best relationship between NNT inhibition and low impact on respiratory function. Despite this, NBD-Cl concentrations that partially inhibited NNT activity impaired mitochondrial respiratory function and significantly decreased the viability of cultured Nnt-/- mouse astrocytes. We conclude that even though the tested compounds indeed presented inhibitory effects on NNT activity, at effective concentrations, they cause important undesirable effects on mitochondrial respiratory function and cell viability.
    Keywords:  Antioxidant; Mitochondria; NAD(P)H; Reactive oxygen species; Redox balance
  9. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 08. pii: E2379. [Epub ahead of print]12(8):
      The ketogenic diet (KD), a high-lipid and low-carbohydrate diet, has been used in the treatment of epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders, inborn errors of metabolism and cancer; however, the exact mechanism/s of its therapeutic effect is not completely known. We hypothesized that sirtuins (SIRT)-a group of seven NAD-dependent enzymes and important regulators of energy metabolism may be altered under KD treatment. HT22 hippocampal murine neurons were incubated with two important KD metabolites-beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) (the predominant ketone body) and decanoic acid (C10), both accumulating under KD. Enzyme activity, protein, and gene expressions of SIRT 1-4, enzyme capacities of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes (MRC), citrate synthase (CS) and gene expression of monocarboxylate transporters were measured in control (untreated) and KD-treated cells. Incubation with both-BHB and C10 resulted in significant elevation of SIRT1 enzyme activity and an overall upregulation of the MRC. C10 incubation showed prominent increases in maximal activities of complexes I + III and complex IV of the MRC and ratios of their activities to that of CS, pointing towards a more efficient functioning of the mitochondria in C10-treated cells.
    Keywords:  beta-hydroxybutyrate; decanoic acid; energy metabolism; ketogenic diet; mitochondria; sirtuins
  10. Mar Drugs. 2020 Aug 09. pii: E417. [Epub ahead of print]18(8):
      Tilapia piscidin (TP) 4 is an antimicrobial peptide derived from Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), which shows broad-spectrum antibacterial activity and excellent cancer-killing ability in vitro and in vivo. Like many other antimicrobial peptides, TP4 treatment causes mitochondrial toxicity in cancer cells. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying TP4 targeting of mitochondria remain unclear. In this study, we used a pull-down assay on A549 cell lysates combined with LC-MS/MS to discover that TP4 targets adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT) 2, a protein essential for adenine nucleotide exchange across the inner membrane. We further showed that TP4 accumulates in mitochondria and colocalizes with ANT2. Moreover, molecular docking studies showed that the interaction requires Phe1, Ile2, His3, His4, Ser11, Lys14, His17, Arg21, Arg24 and Arg25 residues in TP4 and key residues within the cavity of ANT2. These findings suggest a mechanism by which TP4 may induce mitochondrial dysfunction to disrupt cellular energy metabolism.
    Keywords:  adenine nucleotide translocator 2 (ANT2); antimicrobial peptide (AMP); tilapia piscidin 4 (TP4)
  11. Nat Biotechnol. 2020 Aug 12.
      Natural mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations enable the inference of clonal relationships among cells. mtDNA can be profiled along with measures of cell state, but has not yet been combined with the massively parallel approaches needed to tackle the complexity of human tissue. Here, we introduce a high-throughput, droplet-based mitochondrial single-cell assay for transposase-accessible chromatin with sequencing (scATAC-seq), a method that combines high-confidence mtDNA mutation calling in thousands of single cells with their concomitant high-quality accessible chromatin profile. This enables the inference of mtDNA heteroplasmy, clonal relationships, cell state and accessible chromatin variation in individual cells. We reveal single-cell variation in heteroplasmy of a pathologic mtDNA variant, which we associate with intra-individual chromatin variability and clonal evolution. We clonally trace thousands of cells from cancers, linking epigenomic variability to subclonal evolution, and infer cellular dynamics of differentiating hematopoietic cells in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our approach enables the study of cellular population dynamics and clonal properties in vivo.
  12. Redox Biol. 2020 Aug 03. pii: S2213-2317(20)30870-3. [Epub ahead of print]36 101665
      Parkinson's disease (PD) and cancer share common mutations in mitochondrial proteins: Parkin and PINK1. The overlapping of genes involved in PD and cancer implies that the two diseases might share a common pathogenic mechanism. There are other compelling rationales for a mechanistic link between these diseases. Mitochondria and autophagy/mitophagy are emerging as therapeutic targets in PD and cancer: Ongoing research in our laboratories has shown that, when administered early, mitochondria-targeted agents afford neuroprotection in preclinical mice models of PD. Also, we discovered that mitochondria-targeted drugs inhibit tumor cell proliferation. We propose that mitochondrial targeting stimulates conservation of cellular energy critical for neuronal cell survival, whereas the energy conservation mechanism inhibits proliferation of cancer cells by depriving the energy necessary for cancer cell growth. We propose a promising drug repurposing strategy involving mitochondria-targeted drugs synthesized from naturally occurring molecules and FDA-approved drugs that are relatively nontoxic in both PD and cancer. These compounds have been shown to induce various cellular signaling pathways for autophagy/mitophagy, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects that are implicated as therapeutic mechanisms in PD and cancer.
    Keywords:  Antitumor effects; Autophagy; Mitochondria-targeting drugs; Mitophagy; Neuroprotection; Parkinson's disease
  13. EMBO Rep. 2020 Aug 11. e48260
      IκB kinase ε (IKKε) is a key molecule at the crossroads of inflammation and cancer. Known to regulate cytokine secretion via NFκB and IRF3, the kinase is also a breast cancer oncogene, overexpressed in a variety of tumours. However, to what extent IKKε remodels cellular metabolism is currently unknown. Here, we used metabolic tracer analysis to show that IKKε orchestrates a complex metabolic reprogramming that affects mitochondrial metabolism and consequently serine biosynthesis independently of its canonical signalling role. We found that IKKε upregulates the serine biosynthesis pathway (SBP) indirectly, by limiting glucose-derived pyruvate utilisation in the TCA cycle, inhibiting oxidative phosphorylation. Inhibition of mitochondrial function induces activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), which in turn drives upregulation of the expression of SBP genes. Importantly, pharmacological reversal of the IKKε-induced metabolic phenotype reduces proliferation of breast cancer cells. Finally, we show that in a highly proliferative set of ER negative, basal breast tumours, IKKε and PSAT1 are both overexpressed, corroborating the link between IKKε and the SBP in the clinical context.
    Keywords:  ATF4; IKKε; breast cancer; mitochondrial metabolism; serine biosynthesis
  14. Mitochondrion. 2020 Aug 09. pii: S1567-7249(20)30170-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria play a central role in regulating cellular energy metabolism. However, the present understanding of mitochondria has changed from its unipotent functions to pluripotent and insists on understanding the role of mitochondria not only in regulating the life and death of cells, but in pathological conditions such as cancer. Unlike other cellular organelles, subtle alterations in mitochondrial organization may significantly influence the balance between metabolic networks and cellular behavior. Therefore, the delicate balance between the fusion and fission dynamics of mitochondrion can indicate cell fate. Here, we present mitochondrial chaperone TRAP1 influence on mitochondrial architecture and its correlation with tumor growth and metastasis. We show that TRAP1 overexpression (TRAP1 OE) promotes mitochondrial fission, whereas, TRAP1 knockdown (TRAP1 KD) promotes mitochondrial fusion. Interestingly, TRAP1 OE or KD had a negligible effect on mitochondrial integrity. However, TRAP1 OE cells exhibited enhanced proliferative potential, while TRAP1 KD cells showing increased doubling time. Further, TRAP1 dependent mitochondrial dynamic alterations appeared to be unique since mitochondrial localization of TRAP1 is a mandate for dynamic changes. The expression patterns of fusion and fission genes have failed to correlate with TRAP1 expression, indicating a possibility that the dynamic changes can be independent of these genes. In agreement with enhanced proliferative potential, TRAP1 OE cells also exhibited enhanced migration in vitro and tumor metastasis in vivo. Further, TRAP1 OE cells showed altered homing properties, which may challenge site-specific anticancer treatments. Our findings unravel the TRAP1 role in tumor metastasis, which is in addition to altered energy metabolism.
  15. Am J Transl Res. 2020 ;12(7): 3412-3428
      MPV17 is an inner mitochondrial membrane protein whose mutation results in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion diseases such as neurohepatopathy. MPV17 is expressed in several organs including the liver and kidneys. Here, we investigated its role and mechanism of action in cardiac ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Using isolated hearts from wild type and Mpv17 mutant (Mpv17mut) mice, we found that mtDNA levels and normal cardiac function were similar between the groups. Furthermore, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial morphology, and calcium levels required to trigger mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening were all similar in normal/non-ischemic animals. However, following I/R, we found that mutant mice had poorer cardiac functional recovery and exhibited more mitochondrial structural damage. We also found that after I/R, Mpv17mut heart mitochondria did not produce more ROS than wild type hearts but that calcium retention capacity was gravely compromised. Using immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, we identified ATP synthase, Cyclophilin D, MIC60 and GRP75 as proteins critical to mitochondrial cristae organization and calcium handling that interact with MPV17, and this interaction is reduced by I/R. Together our results suggest that MPV17 has a protective function in the heart and is necessary for recovery following insults to the heart.
    Keywords:  MPV17; ischemia/reperfusion; mPTP opening; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial calcium retention capacity; mitochondrial inner membrane proteins; reactive oxygen species
  16. Nat Immunol. 2020 Aug 10.
      Chronic inflammation is a common feature of obesity, with elevated cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) in the circulation and tissues. Here, we report an unconventional IL-1R-MyD88-IRAK2-PHB/OPA1 signaling axis that reprograms mitochondrial metabolism in adipocytes to exacerbate obesity. IL-1 induced recruitment of IRAK2 Myddosome to mitochondria outer membranes via recognition by TOM20, followed by TIMM50-guided translocation of IRAK2 into mitochondria inner membranes, to suppress oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid oxidation, thereby attenuating energy expenditure. Adipocyte-specific MyD88 or IRAK2 deficiency reduced high-fat-diet-induced weight gain, increased energy expenditure and ameliorated insulin resistance, associated with a smaller adipocyte size and increased cristae formation. IRAK2 kinase inactivation also reduced high-fat diet-induced metabolic diseases. Mechanistically, IRAK2 suppressed respiratory super-complex formation via interaction with PHB1 and OPA1 upon stimulation of IL-1. Taken together, our results suggest that the IRAK2 Myddosome functions as a critical link between inflammation and metabolism, representing a novel therapeutic target for patients with obesity.
  17. Eur J Clin Invest. 2020 Aug 11. e13375
      BACKGROUND: Changes in the nutritional environment in utero induced by maternal obesity (MO) lead to fetal metabolic dysfunction predisposing offspring to later-life metabolic diseases. Since mitochondria play a crucial role in hepatic metabolism and function, we hypothesized that MO prior to conception and throughout pregnancy programs fetal sheep liver mitochondrial phenotype.MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ewes ate an obesogenic diet (150% requirements; MO), or 100% requirements (CTR) from 60 d prior to conception. Fetal livers were removed at 0.9 gestation. We measured fetal liver mitochondrial DNA copy number, activity of superoxide dismutase, cathepsins B and D and selected proteins content, total phospholipids and cardiolipin and activity of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes.
    RESULTS: A significant decrease in activities of mitochondrial complexes I, II-III and IV, but not aconitase, was observed in MO. In the antioxidant machinery there was a significant increase in activity of total superoxide dismutase (SOD) and SOD2 in MO. However, no differences were found regarding autophagy-related proteins content (p62, beclin-I, LC3-I, LC3-II and Lamp2A) and cathepsins B and D activities. A 21.5% decrease in total mitochondrial phospholipid was observed in MO.
    CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that MO impairs fetal hepatic mitochondrial oxidative capacity and affects total mitochondrial phospholipids content. In addition, MO affects the regulation of fetal liver redox pathways, sindicating metabolic adaptations to the higher fetal lipid environment. Consequences of in utero programming of fetal hepatic metabolism may persist and compromise mitochondrial bioenergetics in later life, and increase susceptibility to metabolic diseases.
    Keywords:  Maternal obesity; metabolic programming; mitochondrial bioenergetics; mitochondrial phospholipids; oxidative stress
  18. Front Pharmacol. 2020 ;11 1106
      Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) can cause skeletal muscle toxicity in patients, but the underlying mechanisms are mostly unclear. The goal of the current study was to better characterize the role of mitochondria in TKI-associated myotoxicity. We exposed C2C12 murine myoblasts and myotubes as well as human rhabdomyosarcoma cells (RD cells) for 24 h to imatinib (1-100 µM), erlotinib (1-20 µM), and dasatinib (0.001-100 µM). In C2C12 myoblasts, imatinib was membrane toxic at 50 µM and depleted the cellular ATP pool at 20 µM. In C2C12 myotubes exposed to imatinib, ATP depletion started at 50 µM whereas membrane toxicity was not detectable. In myoblasts and myotubes exposed to dasatinib, membrane toxicity started at 0.5 µM and 2 µM, respectively, and the ATP drop was visible at 0.1 µM and 0.2 µM, respectively. When RD cells were exposed to imatinib, ATP depletion started at 20 µM whereas membrane toxicity was not detectable. Dasatinib was membrane toxic at 20 µM and depleted the cellular ATP pool already at 0.5 µM. Erlotinib was not toxic in both cell models. Imatinib (20 µM) and dasatinib (1 µM) reduced complex I activity in both cell models. Moreover, the mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) was dissipated for both TKIs in myotubes. In RD cells, the Δψm was reduced only by dasatinib. Both TKIs increased mitochondrial superoxide accumulation and decreased the mitochondrial copy number in both cell lines. In consequence, they increased protein expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) 2 and thioredoxin 2 and cleavage of caspase 3, indicating apoptosis in C2C12 myotubes. Moreover, in both cell models, the mRNA expression of Sod1 and Sod2 increased when RD cells were exposed to dasatinib. Furthermore, dasatinib increased the mRNA expression of atrogin-1 and murf-1, which are important transcription factors involved in muscle atrophy. The mRNA expression of atrogin-1 increased also in RD cells exposed to imatinib. In conclusion, imatinib and dasatinib are mitochondrial toxicants in mouse C2C12 myotubes and human RD cells. Mitochondrial superoxide accumulation induced by these two TKIs is due to the inhibition of complex I and is probably related to impaired mitochondrial and myocyte proliferation.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; atrophy; dasatinib; electron transport chain (ETC); imatinib; myotoxicity; reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  19. Physiology (Bethesda). 2020 Sep 01. 35(5): 302-327
      Members of the mitochondrial carrier family (SLC25) transport a variety of compounds across the inner membrane of mitochondria. These transport steps provide building blocks for the cell and link the pathways of the mitochondrial matrix and cytosol. An increasing number of diseases and pathologies has been associated with their dysfunction. In this review, the molecular basis of these diseases is explained based on our current understanding of their transport mechanism.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; impaired transport mechanism; mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial physiology; pathological mutations
  20. Cell. 2020 Aug 04. pii: S0092-8674(20)30873-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Loss of the gene (Fmr1) encoding Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) causes increased mRNA translation and aberrant synaptic development. We find neurons of the Fmr1-/y mouse have a mitochondrial inner membrane leak contributing to a "leak metabolism." In human Fragile X syndrome (FXS) fibroblasts and in Fmr1-/y mouse neurons, closure of the ATP synthase leak channel by mild depletion of its c-subunit or pharmacological inhibition normalizes stimulus-induced and constitutive mRNA translation rate, decreases lactate and key glycolytic and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzyme levels, and triggers synapse maturation. FMRP regulates leak closure in wild-type (WT), but not FX synapses, by stimulus-dependent ATP synthase β subunit translation; this increases the ratio of ATP synthase enzyme to its c-subunit, enhancing ATP production efficiency and synaptic growth. In contrast, in FXS, inability to close developmental c-subunit leak prevents stimulus-dependent synaptic maturation. Therefore, ATP synthase c-subunit leak closure encourages development and attenuates autistic behaviors.
    Keywords:  Fragile X syndrome; autism; autism syndrome; glycolysis; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; permeability transition pore; protein synthesis; repetitive mouse behavior; synaptic development; synaptic plasticity
  21. Clin Sci (Lond). 2020 Aug 14. pii: CS20200530. [Epub ahead of print]
      Diabetes-associated cognitive impairment (DACI) can increase the risk of major cardiovascular events and death. Neuronal functionality is highly dependent on mitochondria and emerging evidence has shown that mitochondrial transplantation is a potential and effective strategy that can reduce brain injury and associated disorders. Platelets are abundant in blood and can be considered a readily available source of small-size mitochondria. These cells can be easily acquired from the peripheral blood with minimal invasion via simple venipuncture. The present study aimed to investigate whether transplantation of platelet-derived mitochondria (Mito-Plt) could improve DACI. Cognitive behaviors were assessed using the Morris water maze test in db/db mice. The results demonstrated that Mito-Plt was internalized into hippocampal neurons 24 h following intracerebroventricular injection. Importantly, one month following Mito-Plt transplantation, DACI was alleviated in db/db mice and the effect was accompanied with increased mitochondrial number, restored mitochondrial function, attenuated oxidative stress and neuronal apoptosis, as well as decreased accumulation of Aβ and Tau in the hippocampus. Taken together, the data demonstrated that transplantation of Mito-Plt attenuated cognitive impairment and mitochondrial dysfunction in db/db mice. This method may be a potential therapeutic application for the treatment of DACI.
    Keywords:  cognitive impairment; hippocampus; mitochondrial transplantation; oxidative stress; platelet; type 2 diabetes
  22. Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 07. 11(1): 3978
      Methionine restriction, a dietary regimen that protects against metabolic diseases and aging, represses cancer growth and improves cancer therapy. However, the response of different cancer cells to this nutritional manipulation is highly variable, and the molecular determinants of this heterogeneity remain poorly understood. Here we report that hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) dictates the sensitivity of liver cancer to methionine restriction. We show that hepatic sulfur amino acid (SAA) metabolism is under transcriptional control of HNF4α. Knocking down HNF4α or SAA enzymes in HNF4α-positive epithelial liver cancer lines impairs SAA metabolism, increases resistance to methionine restriction or sorafenib, promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and induces cell migration. Conversely, genetic or metabolic restoration of the transsulfuration pathway in SAA metabolism significantly alleviates the outcomes induced by HNF4α deficiency in liver cancer cells. Our study identifies HNF4α as a regulator of hepatic SAA metabolism that regulates the sensitivity of liver cancer to methionine restriction.
  23. Nature. 2020 Aug 12.
      Serine, glycine and other nonessential amino acids are critical for tumour progression, and strategies to limit their availability are emerging as potential therapies for cancer1-3. However, the molecular mechanisms driving this response remain unclear and the effects on lipid metabolism are relatively unexplored. Serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) catalyses the de novo biosynthesis of sphingolipids but also produces noncanonical 1-deoxysphingolipids when using alanine as a substrate4,5. Deoxysphingolipids accumulate in the context of mutations in SPTLC1 or SPTLC26,7-or in conditions of low serine availability8,9-to drive neuropathy, and deoxysphinganine has previously been investigated as an anti-cancer agent10. Here we exploit amino acid metabolism and the promiscuity of SPT to modulate the endogenous synthesis of toxic deoxysphingolipids and slow tumour progression. Anchorage-independent growth reprogrammes a metabolic network involving serine, alanine and pyruvate that drives the endogenous synthesis and accumulation of deoxysphingolipids. Targeting the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier promotes alanine oxidation to mitigate deoxysphingolipid synthesis and improve spheroid growth, similar to phenotypes observed with the direct inhibition of SPT or ceramide synthesis. Restriction of dietary serine and glycine potently induces the accumulation of deoxysphingolipids while decreasing tumour growth in xenograft models in mice. Pharmacological inhibition of SPT rescues xenograft growth in mice fed diets restricted in serine and glycine, and the reduction of circulating serine by inhibition of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) leads to the accumulation of deoxysphingolipids and mitigates tumour growth. The promiscuity of SPT therefore links serine and mitochondrial alanine metabolism to membrane lipid diversity, which further sensitizes tumours to metabolic stress.
  24. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2020 Aug 12.
      Accumulation of oxidative damage from excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) may contribute to skeletal aging and mediate adverse responses to physiological challenges. Wildtype (WT) and transgenic mice (male, 16 weeks of age) with human catalase targeted to the mitochondria (mCAT) were analyzed for skeletal responses to the remodeling stimuli of combined hindlimb unloading and exposure to ionizing radiation (137Cs, 2 Gy). Treatment for 2wk caused lipid peroxidation in WT bones but not mCAT, showing that transgene expression mitigated oxidative stress. Ex vivo osteoblast colony growth rate was 95% greater in mCAT mice than WT, and correlated with catalase activity levels (P<0.005, r=0.67), although terminal osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation were unaffected. Ambulatory control mCAT animals also displayed reduced cancellous and cortical structural properties compared to control WT. In mCAT but not WT mice, treatment caused an unexpectedly rapid radial expansion (+8% cortical area, +22% moment of inertia), reminiscent of compensatory bone growth during advancing age. In contrast, treatment caused similar structural deficits in cancellous tissue of mCAT and WT mice. In sum, mitochondrial ROS signaling via H2O2 was important for the acquisition of adult bone structure and catalase overexpression failed to protect cancellous tissue from treatment. In contrast, catabolic stimuli caused radial expansion in mCAT not WT mice, suggesting mitochondrial ROS in skeletal cells act to suppress tissue turnover in response to remodeling challenges.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; osteoblast; osteoclast; oxidative stress; skeletal tissue
  25. Ann Transl Med. 2020 Jul;8(14): 858
      Background: Prolactinoma is the most common hormone-secreting pituitary adenoma. Dopamine receptor agonists (DAs) are effective in reducing prolactin levels and tumor mass, but some prolactinoma patients are resistant to DAs. Treating patients with DA-resistant prolactinoma is challenging. In this study, we examined the anti-prolactinoma effect of artesunate (ART), a potential new treatment option for prolactinoma, and its mechanism of action.Methods: Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK8) and flow cytometry were used to detect the effect of ART on the proliferation, cycle, and apoptosis of rat pituitary adenoma cell line MMQ. The subcellular localization of ART was observed using confocal fluorescence microscopy. The JC-1 mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) detection and Seahorse assays were used to detect the effect of ART on mitochondrial function. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and Western blot analysis were used to detect the effect of ART on the expression of prolactin (PRL) and apoptosis-related proteins. A mouse xenograft model of prolactinoma was used to detect the inhibitory effect of ART on MMQ in vivo.
    Results: ART specifically inhibited MMQ proliferation and PRL synthesis, induced G0/G1 phase arrest and apoptosis in vitro. ART accumulated in the mitochondria of MMQ cells, inhibiting mitochondrial respiratory function and mediating apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway. ART also inhibited proliferation and activated the apoptosis of MMQ cells in vivo.
    Conclusions: ART has a strong inhibitory effect on prolactinoma both in vitro and in vivo, and its effects rely on high MMP to inhibit mitochondrial metabolism and induce apoptosis. Our results provide evidence for ART as a candidate drug for the treatment of prolactinoma.
    Keywords:  Artesunate (ART); apoptosis; metabolism; mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP); prolactinoma
  26. Front Neurosci. 2020 ;14 783
      Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) are dietary components with a chain length ranging from 6 to 12 carbon atoms. MCFA can cross the blood-brain barrier and in the brain can be oxidized through mitochondrial β-oxidation. As components of ketogenic diets, MCFA have demonstrated beneficial effects on different brain diseases, such as traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, drug-resistant epilepsy, diabetes, and cancer. Despite the interest in MCFA effects, not much information is available about MCFA metabolism in the brain. In this study, with a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)-based metabolomics approach, coupled with multivariate data analyses, we followed the metabolic changes of U87MG glioblastoma cells after the addition of octanoic (C8), or decanoic (C10) acids for 24 h. Our analysis highlighted significant differences in the metabolism of U87MG cells after the addition of C8 or C10 and identified several metabolites whose amount changed between the two groups of treated cells. Overall, metabolic pathway analyses suggested the citric acid cycle, Warburg effect, glutamine/glutamate metabolism, and ketone body metabolism as pathways influenced by C8 or C10 addition to U87MG cells. Our data demonstrated that, while C8 affected mitochondrial metabolism resulting in increased ketone body production, C10 mainly influenced cytosolic pathways by stimulating fatty acid synthesis. Moreover, glutamine might be the main substrate to support fatty acids synthesis in C10-treated cells. In conclusion, we identified a metabolic signature associated with C8 or C10 addition to U87MG cells that can be used to decipher metabolic responses of glioblastoma cells to MCFA treatment.
    Keywords:  citric acid cycle; decanoic acid; lipid synthesis; metabolomics; octanoic acid
  27. Redox Biol. 2020 Jul 03. pii: S2213-2317(20)30827-2. [Epub ahead of print]36 101622
      To define the regulatory role of Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) during osteoblast (OB) differentiation of dental pulp-derived stem cell (DPSC)s, herein, we show that the levels of KLF2 and autophagy-related molecules were significantly increased in differentiated cells. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function approaches of KLF2 confirmed that KLF2 modulated autophagic and OB differentiation-related molecules. In addition, knockdown of the autophagic molecule (ATG7 or BECN1) in DPSCs resulted in reduced levels of KLF2 and OB differentiation-related molecules. Conversely, the induction of autophagy increased levels of KLF2 and OB differentiation-related molecules. Moreover, OB differentiation induced mitophagy and mitochondrial membrane potential-related molecules. In addition, OB differentiation reduced the generation of total and mitochondrial ROS productions and induced intracellular Ca2+ production. Measurements of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation simultaneously in live cells revealed that OB differentiation decreased the oxygen consumption rate, which is an indicator of mitochondrial respiration and reduced the level of ATP production. Furthermore, flux analysis also revealed that OB differentiation increased the extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) in the non-glycolytic acidification, and the glycolytic capacity conditions, increasing the lactate production and reducing the metabolic activity of the cells. Thus, a metabolic shift from mitochondrial respiration to the glycolytic pathway was observed during OB differentiation. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis confirmed that the KLF2 and active epigenetic marks (H3K27Ac and H3K4me3) were upregulated in the promoter region of ATG7 during OB differentiation. These results provide evidence that the mitophagy process is important during OB differentiation, and KLF2 critically regulates it.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; DPSC; Histone acetylation; Histone methylation; KLF2; Mitophagy; OB differentiation
  28. Cell Rep. 2020 Aug 11. pii: S2211-1247(20)31006-8. [Epub ahead of print]32(6): 108021
      Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) is the first enzyme in the serine synthesis pathway in which it is also the rate-limiting enzyme. It is significantly upregulated in many cancers, especially breast cancer. However, the posttranslational mechanism of PHGDH upregulation in breast cancer is unknown. In this study, we find that RNF5, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is essential for the degradation of PHGDH protein. PHGDH is degraded by RNF5 to prevent the proliferation of breast cancer cells. The acetylation of PHGDH at K58 is able to disrupt the interaction of RNF5-PHGDH and promote the proliferation of breast cancer cells. Tip60 and SIRT2 regulate the reversible acetylation modification of PHGDH in response to glucose alteration. Moreover, PHGDH is significantly upregulated in samples of human breast cancer and is associated with decreased RNF5 expression. This implies a potential therapeutic target through the interference interaction of PHGDH-RNF5 to degrade PHGDH in breast cancer.
  29. Cell Death Differ. 2020 Aug 07.
      Pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthase (P5CS) catalyzes the synthesis of pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C), a key precursor for the synthesis of proline and ornithine. P5CS malfunction leads to multiple human diseases; however, the molecular mechanism underlying these diseases is unknown. We found that P5CS localizes in mitochondria in rod- and ring-like patterns but diffuses inside the mitochondria upon cellular starvation or exposure to oxidizing agents. Some of the human disease-related mutant forms of P5CS also exhibit diffused distribution. Multimerization (but not the catalytic activity) of P5CS regulates its localization. P5CS mutant cells have a reduced proliferation rate and are sensitive to cellular stresses. Flies lacking P5CS have reduced eclosion rates. Lipid droplets accumulate in the eyes of the newly eclosed P5CS mutant flies, which degenerate with aging. The loss of P5CS in cells leads to abnormal purine metabolism and lipid-droplet accumulation. The reduced lipid-droplet consumption is likely due to decreased expression of the fatty acid transporter, CPT1, and few β-oxidation-related genes following P5CS knockdown. Surprisingly, we found that P5CS is required for mitochondrial respiratory complex organization and that the respiration defects in P5CS knockout cells likely contribute to the metabolic defects in purine synthesis and lipid consumption. This study links amino acid synthesis with mitochondrial respiration and other key metabolic processes, whose imbalance might contribute to P5CS-related disease conditions.
  30. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2020 Aug 13. 1-14
      Diazinon (DZN) is a broad-spectrum insecticide extensively used to control pests in crops and animals. Several investigators demonstrated that DZN produced tissue toxicity especially to the liver. In addition, the mitochondrion was implicated in DZN-induced toxicity, but the precise role of this organelle remains to be determined. The aim of this study was thus to examine the effects of DZN (50 to 150 μM) on the bioenergetics and mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) associated processes in isolated rat liver mitochondria. DZN inhibited state-3 respiration in mitochondria energized with glutamate plus malate, substrates of complex I, and succinate, substrate of complex II of the respiratory chain and decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential resulting in inhibition of ATP synthesis. MPT was estimated by the extent of mitochondrial swelling, in the presence of 10 µM Ca2+. DZN elicited MPT in a concentration-dependent manner, via a mechanism sensitive to cyclosporine A, EGTA, ruthenium red and N-ethylmaleimide, which was associated with mitochondrial Ca2+ efflux and cytochrome c release. DZN did not result in hydrogen peroxide accumulation or glutathione oxidation, but this insecticide oxidized endogenous NAD(P)H and protein thiol groups. Data suggest the involvement of mitochondria, via apoptosis, in the hepatic cytotoxicity attributed to DZN.
    Keywords:  Diazinon; liver; mitochondrial membrane permeability transition; oxidative phosphorylation; toxicity
  31. Nanoscale. 2020 Aug 11.
      Nanoparticles such as liposomes are able to overcome cancer treatment challenges such as multidrug resistance by increasing the bioavailability of the encapsulated drug, bypassing drug pumps or through targeting resistant cells. Here, we merge enhanced drug delivery by nanotechnology with tumor cell membrane modulation combined in a single formulation. This is achieved through the incorporation of Short chain sphingolipids (SCSs) in the liposomal composition, which permeabilizes cell membranes to amphiphilic drugs such as Doxorubicin (Dxr). To study the mechanism and capability of SCS-containing nanodevices to overcome Dxr resistance, a sensitive uterine sarcoma cell line, MES-SA, and a resistant derived cell line, MES-SA/MX2, were used. The mechanism of resistance was explored by lipidomics and flow cytometry, revealing significant differences in lipid composition and in P glycoprotein (Pgp) expression. In vitro assays show that SCS liposomes were able to reverse cell resistance, and importantly, display a higher net effect on resistant than sensitive cells. SCS lipids modulated the cell membrane of MES-SA/MX2 drug resistant cells, while Pgp expression was not affected. Furthermore, SCS-modified liposomes were evaluated in a sarcoma xenograft model on drug accumulation, pharmacokinetics and efficacy. SCS liposomes improved Dxr levels in tumor nuclei of MES-SA/MX2 tumor cells, which was accompanied by a delay in tumor growth of the resistant model. Here we show that Dxr accumulation in tumor cells by SCS-modified liposomes was especially improved in Dxr resistant cells, rendering Dxr as effective as in sensitive cells. Moreover, this phenomenon translated to improved efficacy when Dxr liposomes where modified with SCSs in the drug resistant tumor model, while no benefit was seen in the sensitive tumors.
  32. Nutr Cancer. 2020 Aug 10. 1-11
      The present study investigated the anticancer activity of citronellol (CT) by analyzing the mitochondrial-mediated activation of apoptosis in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human mammary tumor cell lines. Cytotoxicity, cell growth, and apoptosis were determined by measuring reactive oxygen species (ROS), the level of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), DNA damage, and changes in morphology and expression of proteins involved in apoptosis in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Our results indicate that CT induces apoptosis as evidenced by the loss of cell viability, increase ROS generation, altered ΔΨm, and enhanced DNA damage. Further, CT inhibits Bcl-2 expression with the up-regulation of Bax, caspase-9, and -7 in both cancer cells. CT induces apoptosis in MCF-7 human mammary tumor cells by inducing oxidative damage and modulating the expression of various pro and anti-apoptotic proteins. Hence, CT might be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of breast cancer.
  33. FEMS Yeast Res. 2020 Aug 13. pii: foaa048. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are semi-autonomous organelles with their own genome and crucial to cellular material and energy metabolism. Here we report the complete mitochondrial genome of a lipid-producing basidiomycetous yeast Rhodotorula toruloides NP11. The mitochondrial genome of R. toruloides NP11 was assembled into a circular DNA molecule of 125937 bp, encoding 15 proteins, 28 tRNAs, 2 rRNA subunits and 10 open reading frames with unknown function. The G + C content (41%) of the mitochondrial genome is substantially lower than that of the nuclear genome (62%) of R. toruloides NP11. Further reanalysis of the transcriptome data confirmed the transcription of 4 mitochondrial genes. The comparison of the mitochondrial genomes of R. toruloides NP11 and NBRC0880 revealed a significant genetic divergence. These data can complement our understanding of the genetic background of R. toruloides and provide fundamental information for further genetic engineering of this strain.
    Keywords:   Rhodotorula toruloides ; comparative genomics; genome annotation; mitochondrial genome; transcriptomic analysis
  34. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(8): e0237400
      Metformin, a biguanide agent, is the first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus due to its glucose-lowering effect. Despite its wide application in the treatment of multiple health conditions, the glycemic response to metformin is highly variable, emphasizing the need for reliable biomarkers. We chose the RNA-Seq-based comparative transcriptomics approach to evaluate the systemic effect of metformin and highlight potential predictive biomarkers of metformin response in drug-naïve volunteers with type 2 diabetes in vivo. The longitudinal blood-derived transcriptome analysis revealed metformin-induced differential expression of novel and previously described genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis (SLC46A1 and LRP1), cancer development (CYP1B1, STAB1, CCR2, TMEM176B), and immune responses (CD14, CD163) after administration of metformin for three months. We demonstrate for the first time a transcriptome-based molecular discrimination between metformin responders (delta HbA1c ≥ 1% or 12.6 mmol/mol) and non-responders (delta HbA1c < 1% or 12.6 mmol/mol), that is determined by expression levels of 56 genes, explaining 13.9% of the variance in the therapeutic efficacy of the drug. Moreover, we found a significant upregulation of IRS2 gene (log2FC 0.89) in responders compared to non-responders before the use of metformin. Finally, we provide evidence for the mitochondrial respiratory complex I as one of the factors related to the high variability of the therapeutic response to metformin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  35. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2020 ;13(7): 1500-1505
      OBJECTIVE: This project investigated the inhibitory effect of Fraxetin on endometrial cancer cell proliferation, and explored the possibility of applying Fraxetin in the treatment of endometrial cancer.METHODS: Human endometrial cancer RL95-2 cell line was cultured in vitro, and the cells were administered different concentrations of Fraxetin. MTS was used to detect the inhibitory effect of Fraxetin on proliferation. Flow cytometry was applied to detect the effect of Fraxetin on RL95-2 cell cycle. Western blot was employed to determine the expression of apoptosis-related proteins, such as caspase-3, caspase-9, p-AMPK, AMPK, p-mTOR, and mTOR. JC-1 staining was used to measure the mitochondrial membrane potential changes in the cells before and after the administration. The glucose oxidase method and the lactate oxidase method were used to detect changes in glucose consumption and lactic acid production in endometrial cancer cells before and after drug intervention, respectively.
    RESULTS: Fraxetin inhibited cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis. The expressions of caspase-3 and caspase-9 increased significantly, p-AMPK gradually increased, and mitochondrial membrane potential weakened. Glucose consumption and lactic acid production increased significantly.
    CONCLUSION: Fraxetin can inhibit the proliferation of RL95-2 cells, promote apoptosis, inhibit mitochondrial oxidation of endometrial cancer cells, promote anaerobic metabolism of cells, and exert an inhibitory effect on endometrial cancer cells by inhibiting mitochondria.
    Keywords:  Fraxetin; RL95-2 cells; apoptosis; mitochondria
  36. Stem Cell Reports. 2020 Jul 30. pii: S2213-6711(20)30290-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations and loss of activity in PARKIN, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, play a role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). PARKIN regulates many aspects of mitochondrial quality control including mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) and mitochondrial biogenesis. Defects in mitophagy have been hypothesized to play a predominant role in the loss of dopamine (DA) neurons in PD. Here, we show that although there are defects in mitophagy in human DA neurons lacking PARKIN, the mitochondrial deficits are primarily due to defects in mitochondrial biogenesis that are driven by the upregulation of PARIS and the subsequent downregulation of PGC-1α. CRISPR/Cas9 knockdown of PARIS completely restores the mitochondrial biogenesis defects and mitochondrial function without affecting the deficits in mitophagy. These results highlight the importance mitochondrial biogenesis versus mitophagy in the pathogenesis of PD due to inactivation or loss of PARKIN in human DA neurons.
    Keywords:  PARIS; PARKIN; PGC-1α; Parkinson’s disease; ZNF746; dopamine; human IPSC; isogenic; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitophagy
  37. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2020 Aug 03.
      Oxidative stress is a hallmark of several aging and trauma related neurological disorders, but the precise details of how altered neuronal activity elicits subcellular redox changes have remained difficult to resolve. Current redox sensitive dyes and fluorescent proteins can quantify spatially distinct changes in reactive oxygen species levels, but multicolor probes are needed to accurately analyze compartment-specific redox dynamics in single cells that can be masked by population averaging. We previously engineered genetically-encoded red-shifted redox-sensitive fluorescent protein sensors using a Förster resonance energy transfer relay strategy. Here, we developed a second-generation excitation ratiometric sensor called rogRFP2 with improved red emission for quantitative live-cell imaging. Using this sensor to measure activity-dependent redox changes in individual cultured neurons, we observed an anticorrelation in which mitochondrial oxidation was accompanied by a concurrent reduction in the cytosol. This behavior was dependent on the activity of Complex I of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and could be modulated by the presence of co-cultured astrocytes. We also demonstrated that the red fluorescent rogRFP2 facilitates ratiometric one and two-photon redox imaging in rat brain slices and Drosophila retinas. Overall, the proof-of-concept studies reported here demonstrate that this new rogRFP2 redox sensor can be a powerful tool for understanding redox biology both in vitro and in vivo across model organisms.
  38. EMBO J. 2020 Aug 13. e104285
      The MICU1-MICU2 heterodimer regulates the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) and mitochondrial calcium uptake. Herein, we present two crystal structures of the MICU1-MICU2 heterodimer, in which Ca2+ -free and Ca2+ -bound EF-hands are observed in both proteins, revealing both electrostatic and hydrophobic interfaces. Furthermore, we show that MICU1 interacts with EMRE, another regulator of MCU, through a Ca2+ -dependent alkaline groove. Ca2+ binding strengthens the MICU1-EMRE interaction, which in turn facilitates Ca2+ uptake. Conversely, the MICU1-MCU interaction is favored in the absence of Ca2+ , thus inhibiting the channel activity. This Ca2+ -dependent switch illuminates how calcium signals are transmitted from regulatory subunits to the calcium channel and the transition between gatekeeping and activation channel functions. Furthermore, competition with an EMRE peptide alters the uniporter threshold in resting conditions and elevates Ca2+ accumulation in stimulated mitochondria, confirming the gatekeeper role of the MICU1-MICU2 heterodimer. Taken together, these structural and functional data provide new insights into the regulation of mitochondrial calcium uptake.
    Keywords:   EMRE ; MICU1-MICU2; mitochondria; uniporter
  39. Cell Calcium. 2020 Jul 28. pii: S0143-4160(20)30099-3. [Epub ahead of print]91 102257
      New cryo-electron microscopy structures of the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter ion channel complex in various conformations reveal channel gating regulation by Ca2+-dependent unblock of the channel pore by MICU1.
    Keywords:  Cryo-EM; EMRE; Ion channel; MCU; MICU1; Mitochondria; Structure
  40. Pharmaceutics. 2020 Aug 11. pii: E756. [Epub ahead of print]12(8):
      Mitochondrial dysfunction may cause cancer and metabolic syndrome. Ellagic acid (abbreviated as E), a phytochemical, possesses anticancer activity. MicroRNA 125 (miR-125) may regulate metabolism. However, E has low aqueous solubility, and miR-125 is unstable in a biological fluid. Hence, this study aimed to develop nanoparticle formulations for the co-treatment of miR-125 and E. These nanoparticles were modified with one mitochondrion-directed peptide and a tumor-targeted ligand, and their modulating effects on mitochondrial dysfunction, antitumor efficacy, and safety in head and neck cancer (HNC) were evaluated. Results revealed that miR-125- and E-loaded nanoparticles effectively targeted cancer cells and intracellular mitochondria. The co-treatment significantly altered cellular bioenergetics, lipid, and glucose metabolism in human tongue squamous carcinoma SAS cells. This combination therapy also regulated protein expression associated with bioenergenesis and mitochondrial dynamics. These formulations also modulated multiple pathways of tumor metabolism, apoptosis, resistance, and metastasis in SAS cells. In vivo mouse experiments showed that the combined treatment of miR-125 and E nanoparticles exhibited significant hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects. The combinatorial therapy of E and miR-125 nanoparticles effectively reduced SAS tumor growth. To our best knowledge, this prospective study provided a basis for combining miRNA with a natural compound in nanoformulations to regulate mitochondrial dysfunction and energy metabolism associated with cancer.
    Keywords:  EGFR targeting; cancer; microRNA; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrion-directed nanoparticles; natural compound
  41. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2020 Aug 12. pii: gmaa081. [Epub ahead of print]
      As a major type of immune cells with heterogeneity and plasticity, macrophages are classically divided into inflammatory (M1) and alternative/anti-inflammatory (M2) types and play a crucial role in the progress of the inflammatory diseases. Recent studies have shown that metabolism is an important determinant of macrophage phenotype. Mitochondria, one of the most important compartments involving cell metabolism, are closely associated with the regulation of cell functions. In most types of cell, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) is the primary mode of cellular energy production. However, mitochondrial OXPHOS is inhibited in activated M1 macrophages, rendering them unable to be converted into M2 phenotype. Thus, mitochondrial metabolism is a crucial regulator in macrophage functions. This review summarizes the roles of mitochondria in macrophage polarization and analyzes the molecular mechanisms underlying mitochondrial metabolism and function, which may provide new approaches for the treatment of metabolic inflammatory diseases.
    Keywords:  inflammation; macrophage polarization; metabolism; mitochondria
  42. Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 13. 11(1): 4055
      Although metastasis is the most common cause of cancer deaths, metastasis-intrinsic dependencies remain largely uncharacterized. We previously reported that metastatic pancreatic cancers were dependent on the glucose-metabolizing enzyme phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (PGD). Surprisingly, PGD catalysis was constitutively elevated without activating mutations, suggesting a non-genetic basis for enhanced activity. Here we report a metabolic adaptation that stably activates PGD to reprogram metastatic chromatin. High PGD catalysis prevents transcriptional up-regulation of thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP), a gene that negatively regulates glucose import. This allows glucose consumption rates to rise in support of PGD, while simultaneously facilitating epigenetic reprogramming through a glucose-fueled histone hyperacetylation pathway. Restoring TXNIP normalizes glucose consumption, lowers PGD catalysis, reverses hyperacetylation, represses malignant transcripts, and impairs metastatic tumorigenesis. We propose that PGD-driven suppression of TXNIP allows pancreatic cancers to avidly consume glucose. This renders PGD constitutively activated and enables metaboloepigenetic selection of additional traits that increase fitness along glucose-replete metastatic routes.
  43. Cells. 2020 Aug 06. pii: E1842. [Epub ahead of print]9(8):
      We have undertaken a study towards understanding the effect of ectopic expression of testis proteins in the soma in Drosophila. Here, we show that in the larval neuroepithelium, ectopic expression of the germline-specific component of the inner mitochondrial translocation complex tiny tim 2 (ttm2) brings about cell autonomous hyperplasia and extension of G2 phase. In the wing discs, cells expressing ectopic ttm2 upregulate Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling, present extended G2, become invasive, and elicit non-cell autonomous G2 extension and overgrowth of the wild-type neighboring tissue. Ectopic tomboy20, a germline-specific member of the outer mitochondrial translocation complex is also tumorigenic in wing discs. Our results demonstrate the tumorigenic potential of unscheduled expression of these two testis proteins in the soma. They also show that a unique tumorigenic event may trigger different tumor growth pathways depending on the tissular context.
    Keywords:  cancer/testis genes; drosophila cancer model; hyperplasia
  44. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Aug 10.
      Mitochondrial-derived peptides (MDPs) are small bioactive peptides encoded by short open reading frames (sORF) in mitochondrial DNA that do not necessarily have traditional hallmarks of protein-coding genes. To date, eight MDPs have been identified, all of which have been shown to have various cyto- or metabolo-protective properties. The 12S ribosomal RNA (MT-RNR1) gene harbors the sequence for MOTS-c, while the other seven MDPs, [humanin and small humanin-like peptides (SHLP) 1-6] are encoded by the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. Here we review the evidence that endogenous MDPs are sensitive to changes in metabolism, showing that metabolic conditions like obesity, diabetes and aging are associated with lower circulating MDPs. Whereas, in humans, muscle MDP expression is upregulated in response to stress that perturbs the mitochondria like exercise, some mtDNA mutation-associated diseases, and healthy aging, which potentially suggests a tissue-specific response aimed at restoring cellular or mitochondrial homeostasis. Consistent with this, treatment of rodents with humanin, MOTS-c and SHLP2 can enhance insulin sensitivity and offer protection against a range of age-associated metabolic disorders. Further, assessing how mtDNA variants alter the functions of MDPs is beginning to provide evidence that MDPs are metabolic signal transducers in humans. Taken together, MDPs appear to form an important aspect of a retrograde signaling network that communicates mitochondrial status with the wider cell, and to distal tissues, to modulate adaptative responses to metabolic stress. It remains to be fully determined whether the metabolo-protective properties of MDPs can be harnessed into therapies for metabolic disease.
    Keywords:  MOTS-c; Mitokine; ageing; mitochondria; mitochondrial derived peptides
  45. Aging Cell. 2020 Aug 11. e13213
      The effects of two different mitochondrial-targeted drugs, SS-31 and NMN, were tested on Old mouse hearts. After treatment with the drugs, individually or Combined, heart function was examined by echocardiography. SS-31 partially reversed an age-related decline in diastolic function while NMN fully reversed an age-related deficiency in systolic function at a higher workload. Metabolomic analysis revealed that both NMN and the Combined treatment increased nicotinamide and 1-methylnicotinamide levels, indicating greater NAD+ turnover, but only the Combined treatment resulted in significantly greater steady-state NAD(H) levels. A novel magnetic resonance spectroscopy approach was used to assess how metabolite levels responded to changing cardiac workload. PCr/ATP decreased in response to increased workload in Old Control, but not Young, hearts, indicating an age-related decline in energetic capacity. Both drugs were able to normalize the PCr/ATP dynamics. SS-31 and NMN treatment also increased mitochondrial NAD(P)H production under the higher workload, while only NMN increased NAD+ in response to increased work. These measures did not shift in hearts given the Combined treatment, which may be owed to the enhanced NAD(H) levels in the resting state after this treatment. Overall, these results indicate that both drugs are effective at restoring different aspects of mitochondrial and heart health and that combining them results in a synergistic effect that rejuvenates Old hearts and best recapitulates the Young state.
    Keywords:  NMN; SS-31; aging; heart; magnetic resonance spectroscopy; metabolomics
  46. Toxicol In Vitro. 2020 Aug 10. pii: S0887-2333(20)30515-4. [Epub ahead of print] 104965
      Cervical cancer is the fourth most common female cancer worldwide, and drug targeted therapy plays a crucial role in delaying the progression of cervical carcinoma. Chelerythrine hydrochloride (CHE) is a natural alkaloid, which is a focal point in anti-tumor research. In this study, we investigated the effect of CHE on HeLa cells by using MTT assay, RTCA, and colony formation assay. In addition, the flow cytometric analysis, immunofluorescence staining assay and western blot analysis were performed to study the mechanism of CHE. The results showed that CHE exhibited a significant inhibitory effect in HeLa cells, and it could suppress the expression of PI3K subunits in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, we found that the treatment of CHE further restrained the downstream AKT/mTOR and PKCα signaling. In addition, CHE induced mitochondrial apoptosis of HeLa cells by regulating the BCL-2 family member's expression. Immunofluorescence staining assay indicated that AIF and Cytochrome C were translocated from mitochondria to cytoplasm or nucleus, and notable changes in mitochondrial morphology of HeLa cells were also observed. Finally, the aberrant expression of CHE led to the mitochondrial apoptosis by upregulating the expression of APAF1, Cleaved-Caspase9, Cleaved-Caspase3, and Cleaved-PARP. In summary, CHE suppresses the proliferation of HeLa cells by trigging the mitochondrial apoptosis through the PI3K/BAD signaling pathway.
    Keywords:  Cervical cancer; Chelerythrine hydrochloride; Mitochondrial apoptosis; PI3K/AKT/mTOR; Targeted therapy
  47. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2020 Aug 10. pii: S0003-9861(20)30524-5. [Epub ahead of print] 108515
      Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) is a flavoprotein and essential partner of the CHCHD4 redox protein during the mitochondrial intermembrane space import machinery. Mammalian AIF has three cysteine residues, which have received little attention. Previous reports have evidenced a redox interaction between AIF and thioredoxin 1 (Trx1), particularly after oxidant conditions. Therefore, we asked whether the cysteine residues of the human AIF could be oxidized. Our data showed that endogenous AIF could be oxidized to disulfide-linked conjugates (DLC). Overexpressed WT AIF in HEK293T cells, as well as recombinant WT AIF, formed DLC. Expression of C256S, C317S or C441S AIF mutants severely inhibited DLC formation in cells exposed to oxidants. In vitro, DLC formation was completely precluded with C256S and C441S AIF mutants and partially inhibited with the C317S mutant. DLC was shown to enhance cellular susceptibility to apoptosis induced by staurosporine, likely by preventing AIF to maintain mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Cells with decreased expression of Trx1 produced more AIF DLC than those with normal Trx1 levels, and in vitro, Trx1 was able to decrease the amount of AIF DLC. Finally, confocal analysis, as well as immunoblotting of mitochondrial fraction, indicated that a fraction of Trx1 is present in mitochondria. Overall, these data provide evidence that all three cysteine residues of AIF can be oxidized to DLC, which can be disrupted by mitochondrial Trx1.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis-inducing factor 1 (AIF); Diamide; Disulfide; Mitochondria; Thioredoxin 1 (Trx1)
  48. Transl Oncol. 2020 Aug 08. pii: S1936-5233(20)30334-X. [Epub ahead of print]13(11): 100842
      Most cancer cells exacerbate the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) to enhance biosynthetic precursors and antioxidant defenses. Metformin, which is used as a first-line oral drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, has been proposed to inhibit the malignant progression of different types of cancers. However, metformin has shown poor efficacy as single agent in several clinical trials. Thus, the aim of the present work was to investigate whether the pharmacological inhibition of G6PDH, the first and rate-limiting enzyme of the PPP, by 6-amino nicotinamide (6-AN) potentiates the antitumoral activity of metformin on different human melanoma cell lines. Our results showed that 6-AN has sensitizing properties to metformin cytotoxicity. The combination of metformin and 6-AN decreased glucose consumption and lactate production, altered the mitochondrial potential and redox balance, and thereby blocked melanoma cell progression, directing cells to apoptosis and necrosis. To our knowledge, this is the first study describing the effect of this combination. Future preclinical studies should be performed to reveal the biological relevance of this finding.
    Keywords:  6-Aminonicotinamide (6-AN); Metformin; NADPH; Pentose phosphate pathway (PPP)
  49. Hum Gene Ther. 2020 Aug 12.
      Cardiac hypertrophy is a major risk factor for congestive heart failure, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Abrogating hypertrophic progression is a well-recognized therapeutic goal. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of numerous human diseases, including cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. F1Fo-ATP synthase catalyzes the final step of oxidative energy production in mitochondria. Oligomycin-sensitivity conferring protein (OSCP), a key component of the F1Fo-ATP synthase, plays an essential role in mitochondrial energy metabolism. However, the effects of OSCP targeted therapy on cardiac hypertrophy remain unknown. In the present study, we found that impaired cardiac expression of OSCP is concomitant with mitochondrial dysfunction in the hypertrophied heart. We employed cardiac-specific, AAV-mediated gene therapy of OSCP to treat mice subjected to pressure overload-induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). OSCP gene therapy protected the TAC-mice from cardiac dysfunction, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, and fibrosis. OSCP gene therapy also enhanced mitochondrial respiration capacities in TAC-mice. Consistently, OSCP gene therapy attenuated reactive oxygen species and opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) in the hypertrophied heart. Together, AAV9-mediated, cardiac-specific OSCP overexpression can protect the heart via improving mitochondrial function. This result may provide insights into a novel therapy for cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
  50. Nat Cancer. 2020 Mar;1(3): 315-328
      Doxorubicin remains an essential component of many cancer regimens, but its use is limited by lethal cardiomyopathy, which has been difficult to target, owing to pleiotropic mechanisms leading to apoptotic and necrotic cardiac cell death. Here we show that BAX is rate-limiting in doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy and identify a small-molecule BAX inhibitor that blocks both apoptosis and necrosis to prevent this syndrome. By allosterically inhibiting BAX conformational activation, this compound blocks BAX translocation to mitochondria, thereby abrogating both forms of cell death. When co-administered with doxorubicin, this BAX inhibitor prevents cardiomyopathy in zebrafish and mice. Notably, cardioprotection does not compromise the efficacy of doxorubicin in reducing leukemia or breast cancer burden in vivo, primarily due to increased priming of mitochondrial death mechanisms and higher BAX levels in cancer cells. This study identifies BAX as an actionable target for doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy and provides a prototype small-molecule therapeutic.
  51. Gene. 2020 Aug 09. pii: S0378-1119(20)30716-2. [Epub ahead of print] 145047
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and mitochondrial DNA haplogroups have been associated with different types of cancer, including breast cancer, because they alter cellular energy metabolism. However, whether mtDNA copy number or haplogroups are predictors of oxidative stress-related risks in human breast cancer tissue in Mexican patients remains to be determined. Using quantitative real-time PCR assays and sequencing of the mtDNA hypervariable region, analysis of mtDNA copy numbers in 82 breast cancer tissues (BCT) and matched normal adjacent tissues (NAT) was performed to determine if copy number correlated with clinical features and Amerindian haplogroups (A2, B2, B4, C1 and D1) . The results showed that the mtDNA copy number was significantly decreased in BCT compared with NAT (p = 0.010); it was significantly decreased in BCT and NAT in women > 50 years of age, compared with NAT in women < 50 years of age (p = 0.032 and p = 0.037, respectively); it was significantly decreased in NAT and BCT in the postmenopausal group and in BCT in the premenopausal group compared with NAT in the premenopausal group (p = 0.011, p = 0.010 and, p = 0.018; respectively); and it was also significantly decrease in members of the BCT group classified as having invasive ductal carcinoma I-III (IDC-I, IDC-II and IDC-III) and IDC-II for NAT compared to IDC-I of NAT (p = 0.025, p = 0.022 and p = 0.031 and p = 0.020; respectively). The mtDNA copy number for BCT from patients with haplogroup B2 was decreased compared to patients with haplogroup D1 (p = 0.01); for BCT from patients with haplogroup C1 was also decreased compare with their NAT counterpart (p = 0.006) and with BCT patients belonging to haplogroups A2 and D1 (p = 0.01 and p = 0.03; respectively). In addition, the mtDNA copy number was decrease in the sequences with three deletions relative to the rCRS at nucleotide positions A249del, A290del and A291del, or C16327T polymorphism with the same p = 0.019 for all four variants. Contrary, the copy number increased in sequences containing C16111T, G16319A or T16362C polymorphisms (p = 0.021, =0.048, and =0.001; respectively). In conclusion, a decrease in the copy number of mtDNA in BCT compared with NAT was shown by the results, which suggests an imbalance in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) that can affect the apoptosis pathway and cancer progression. It was also observed an increase of the copy number in samples with specific polymorphisms, which may be a good sign of favourable prognosis.
    Keywords:  Amerindian haplogroup; clinical features; mtDNA copy number; polymorphisms
  52. Cell Metab. 2020 Jul 31. pii: S1550-4131(20)30366-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Dysregulated metabolism is a key driver of maladaptive tumor-reactive T lymphocytes within the tumor microenvironment. Actionable targets that rescue the effector activity of antitumor T cells remain elusive. Here, we report that the Sirtuin-2 (Sirt2) NAD+-dependent deacetylase inhibits T cell metabolism and impairs T cell effector functions. Remarkably, upregulation of Sirt2 in human tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) negatively correlates with response to TIL therapy in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. Mechanistically, Sirt2 suppresses T cell metabolism by targeting key enzymes involved in glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid-cycle, fatty acid oxidation, and glutaminolysis. Accordingly, Sirt2-deficient murine T cells exhibit increased glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, resulting in enhanced proliferation and effector functions and subsequently exhibiting superior antitumor activity. Importantly, pharmacologic inhibition of Sirt2 endows human TILs with these superior metabolic fitness and effector functions. Our findings unveil Sirt2 as an unexpected actionable target for reprogramming T cell metabolism to augment a broad spectrum of cancer immunotherapies.
    Keywords:  FAO; OxPhos; Sirt2; T cells; antitumor immunity; deacetylase; dysregulated metabolism; glutaminolysis; glycolysis; metabolic checkpoint
  53. Mitochondrion. 2020 Aug 08. pii: S1567-7249(20)30171-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Intact cell-free mitochondria have been reported in microparticles (MPs) in murine and human bodily fluids under disease conditions. However, cellular origins of circulating extracellular mitochondria have not been characterized. We hypothesize that intact, cell-free mitochondria from heterogeneous cellular sources are present in the circulation under physiological conditions. To test this, circulating MPs were analyzed using flow cytometry and proteomics. Murine and human platelet-depleted plasma showed a cluster of MPs positive for the mitochondrial probe MitoTracker. Transgenic mice expressing mitochondrial-GFP showed GFP positivity in plasma MPs. Murine and human mitochondria-containing MPs were positive for the platelet marker CD41 and the endothelial cell marker CD144, while hematopoietic CD45 labeling was low. Both murine and human circulating cell-free mitochondria maintained a transmembrane potential. Circulating mitochondria were able to enter rho-zero cells, and were visualized using immunoelectron microscopic imaging. Proteomics analysis identified mitochondria specific and extracellular vesicle associated proteins in sorted circulating cell-free human mitochondria. Together the data provide multiple lines of evidence that intact and functional mitochondria originating from several cell types are present in the blood circulation.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; circulation; extracellular vesicles; microparticles
  54. Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Jul 01. pii: S0753-3322(20)30653-3. [Epub ahead of print]129 110460
      Radiation is a current standard treatment of glioma. The fractionated radiotherapy with low dose of radiation over weeks has been employed in glioma patients, while radiotherapy can only offer palliation due to the radioresistance. We cumulatively radiated a glioblastoma cell line, U87MG, and screened radioresistant glioma cells. A transcriptome sequencing was performed to analyze the transcription differences between the raidoresistant and control cells, which showed the mitochondria NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (Complex I) subunits were up-regulated in the radioresistant cells. The copy numbers of mitochondria were increased in the radioresistant glioma cells. After using mitochondria Complex I inhibitors, rotenone and metformin, to treat glioma cells, we found the resistant glioma cells re-sensitized to radiation. These results demonstrate that Complex I is associated with the fractioned radiation-induced radioresistance of glioma and would be a potent target for clinical radiotherapy of glioma.
    Keywords:  Complex I; Glioma; Metformin; Mitochondria metabolism; Radioresistance; Rotenone
  55. J Clin Invest. 2020 Aug 13. pii: 138538. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: While mitochondria play an important role in innate immunity, the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation in heart failure (HF) is poorly understood. In this study we aimed to investigate the mechanistic link between mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammatory activation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and the potential anti-inflammatory effect of boosting NAD level.METHODS: We compared the PBMC mitochondrial respiration of 19 hospitalized Stage D HF patients with 19 healthy participants. We then created an in vitro model of sterile inflammation by treating healthy PBMC with MitoDAMP (Mitochondrial Damage-Associated Molecular Patterns) isolated from human heart tissue. Lastly, we enrolled Stage D HF patients and sampled their blood before and after taking 5-9 days of oral nicotinamide riboside, an NAD precursor.
    RESULTS: We demonstrated that HF is associated with both reduced respiratory capacity and elevated proinflammatory cytokine gene expressions. In our in vitro model, MitoDAMP-treated PBMCs secreted IL-6 that impaired mitochondrial respiration by reducing Complex I activity. Last, oral NR administration enhanced PBMC respiration and reduced proinflammatory cytokine gene expression in 4 HF subjects.
    CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that systemic inflammation in HF patients is causally linked to mitochondrial function of the PBMC. Increasing NAD levels may have the potential to improve mitochondrial respiration and attenuate proinflammatory activation of PBMC in HF. FundingThis study is funded by NIH R21 HL126209 (to RT and KO), NIH R01 HL144937 (to KO and RT) and University of Washington ITHS Catalyst Award (to DDW). Both BZ (18POST33990352) and DDW (18POST34030098) are funded by the AHA Postdoctoral Fellowships.
    Keywords:  Cardiology; Cardiovascular disease; Drug therapy; Inflammation; Mitochondria
  56. Cell Metab. 2020 Aug 10. pii: S1550-4131(20)30371-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mammalian organs are nourished by nutrients carried by the blood circulation. These nutrients originate from diet and internal stores, and can undergo various interconversions before their eventual use as tissue fuel. Here we develop isotope tracing, mass spectrometry, and mathematical analysis methods to determine the direct sources of circulating nutrients, their interconversion rates, and eventual tissue-specific contributions to TCA cycle metabolism. Experiments with fifteen nutrient tracers enabled extensive accounting for both circulatory metabolic cycles and tissue TCA inputs, across fed and fasted mice on either high-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet. We find that a majority of circulating carbon flux is carried by two major cycles: glucose-lactate and triglyceride-glycerol-fatty acid. Futile cycling through these pathways is prominent when dietary content of the associated nutrients is low, rendering internal metabolic activity robust to food choice. The presented in vivo flux quantification methods are broadly applicable to different physiological and disease states.
    Keywords:  TCA cycle; circulating metabolites; energy metabolism; in vivo flux quantification; isotope tracing; ketogenic diet; metabolic cycling
  57. Life Sci Alliance. 2020 Oct;pii: e202000711. [Epub ahead of print]3(10):
      Homologous apolipoproteins of MICOS complex, MIC26 and MIC27, show an antagonistic regulation of their protein levels, making it difficult to deduce their individual functions using a single gene deletion. We obtained single and double knockout (DKO) human cells of MIC26 and MIC27 and found that DKO show more concentric onion-like cristae with loss of CJs than any single deletion indicating overlapping roles in formation of CJs. Using a combination of complexome profiling, STED nanoscopy, and blue-native gel electrophoresis, we found that MIC26 and MIC27 are dispensable for the stability and integration of the remaining MICOS subunits into the complex suggesting that they assemble late into the MICOS complex. MIC26 and MIC27 are cooperatively required for the integrity of respiratory chain (super) complexes (RCs/SC) and the F1Fo-ATP synthase complex and integration of F1 subunits into the monomeric F1Fo-ATP synthase. While cardiolipin was reduced in DKO cells, overexpression of cardiolipin synthase in DKO restores the stability of RCs/SC. Overall, we propose that MIC26 and MIC27 are cooperatively required for global integrity and stability of multimeric OXPHOS complexes by modulating cardiolipin levels.
  58. Elife. 2020 Aug 14. pii: e58573. [Epub ahead of print]9
      Alkb homolog 7 (ALKBH7) is a mitochondrial α-ketoglutarate dioxygenase required for DNA alkylation induced necrosis, but its function and substrates remain unclear. Herein we show ALKBH7 regulates dialdehyde metabolism, which impacts the cardiac response to ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. Using a multi-omics approach, we find no evidence ALKBH7 functions as a prolyl-hydroxylase, but we do find Alkbh7-/- mice have elevated glyoxalase I (GLO-1), a dialdehyde detoxifying enzyme. Metabolic pathways related to the glycolytic by-product methylglyoxal (MGO) are rewired in Alkbh7-/- mice, along with elevated levels of MGO protein adducts. Despite greater glycative stress, hearts from Alkbh7-/- mice are protected against IR injury, in a manner blocked by GLO-1 inhibition. Integrating these observations, we propose ALKBH7 regulates glyoxal metabolism, and that protection against necrosis and cardiac IR injury bought on by ALKBH7 deficiency originates from the signaling response to elevated MGO stress.
    Keywords:  cell biology; mouse
  59. Ann Transl Med. 2020 Jul;8(14): 904
      Metastasis is regarded as the most important cause of cancer-related deaths around the world. During the complicated metastatic cascade, altered mitochondrial metabolism adapts to serve distinct conditions and microenvironments. In this review, we discuss how cells regulate their mitochondria metabolism to adapt to environmental cues during the metastasis, as well as how cancer cells and their tumor micro-environment (TME) are metabolically coupled during the metastatic cascade. We place a strong emphasis on how mitochondrial proline metabolism and extracellular matrix (ECM) are coupled.
    Keywords:  Metastasis; extracellular matrix (ECM); mitochondrial metabolism; proline metabolism; tumor micro-environment (TME)
  60. Oncol Lett. 2020 Oct;20(4): 57
      Erastin is a small molecular compound that induces ferroptosis by binding to voltage-dependent anion-selective channel protein (VDAC)2, VDAC3 and solute carrier family 7 member 5 inhibiting the cystine/glutamate antiporter. However, to the best of our knowledge, the mechanism of erastin-induced breast cancer cell death remains unclear. In present study aimed to explore the underlying mechanisms of the antitumor effects of erastin on breast cancer cells. Cellular viability was assessed using an MTT assay, a lactate dehydrogenase cytotoxicity assay kit was used to determine the cell death rate, the intracellular Fe2+ levels were determined using an iron colorimetric assay kit and western blotting was used to estimate the changes of autophagy-associated proteins levels. The present study demonstrated that erastin inhibited the viability of breast cancer cells and induced breast cancer cell death in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, autophagy was activated by erastin, as demonstrated by upregulated expression levels of autophagy-associated proteins in breast cancer cells. Bafilomycin A1, 3-methyladenine and knockdown of autophagy related (ATG)5 with small interfering RNA prevented erastin-induced breast cancer cell death and inhibited the erastin-induced changes in the expression levels of the autophagy-associated proteins beclin1, ATG5, ATG12, microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3B) and P62. Furthermore, erastin-induced breast cancer cell death was inhibited by an iron chelator, deferoxamine, which inhibited the increases of erastin-induced iron levels and inhibited the erastin-induced changes in the expression levels of the autophagy-related proteins beclin1, ATG5, ATG12, LC3B and P62. In summary, erastin triggered autophagic death in breast cancer cells by increasing intracellular iron levels.
    Keywords:  autophagy; breast carcinoma; erastin; ferroptosis
  61. N Engl J Med. 2020 Aug 12.
      Many mitochondrial diseases are caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Patients' cells contain a mixture of mutant and nonmutant mtDNA (a phenomenon called heteroplasmy). The proportion of mutant mtDNA varies across patients and among tissues within a patient. We simultaneously assayed single-cell heteroplasmy and cell state in thousands of blood cells obtained from three unrelated patients who had A3243G-associated mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokelike episodes. We observed a broad range of heteroplasmy across all cell types but also found markedly reduced heteroplasmy in T cells, a finding consistent with purifying selection within this lineage. We observed this pattern in six additional patients who had heteroplasmic A3243G without strokelike episodes. (Funded by the Marriott Foundation and others.).
  62. Nat Chem Biol. 2020 Aug 10.
      Cancer cells rewire their metabolism and rely on endogenous antioxidants to mitigate lethal oxidative damage to lipids. However, the metabolic processes that modulate the response to lipid peroxidation are poorly defined. Using genetic screens, we compared metabolic genes essential for proliferation upon inhibition of cystine uptake or glutathione peroxidase-4 (GPX4). Interestingly, very few genes were commonly required under both conditions, suggesting that cystine limitation and GPX4 inhibition may impair proliferation via distinct mechanisms. Our screens also identify tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) biosynthesis as an essential metabolic pathway upon GPX4 inhibition. Mechanistically, BH4 is a potent radical-trapping antioxidant that protects lipid membranes from autoxidation, alone and in synergy with vitamin E. Dihydrofolate reductase catalyzes the regeneration of BH4, and its inhibition by methotrexate synergizes with GPX4 inhibition. Altogether, our work identifies the mechanism by which BH4 acts as an endogenous antioxidant and provides a compendium of metabolic modifiers of lipid peroxidation.
  63. Immunometabolism. 2020 ;2(3): e200026
      Aging is a complex process that involves dysfunction on multiple levels, all of which seem to converge on inflammation. Macrophages are intimately involved in initiating and resolving inflammation, and their dysregulation with age is a primary contributor to inflammaging-a state of chronic, low-grade inflammation that develops during aging. Among the age-related changes that occur to macrophages are a heightened state of basal inflammation and diminished or hyperactive inflammatory responses, which seem to be driven by metabolic-dependent epigenetic changes. In this review article we provide a brief overview of mitochondrial functions and age-related changes that occur to macrophages, with an emphasis on how the inflammaging environment, senescence, and NAD decline can affect their metabolism, promote dysregulation, and contribute to inflammaging and age-related pathologies.
    Keywords:  CD38; NAD; SASP; aging; immunometabolism; inflammaging; macrophage; mitochondria; monocyte; senescence
  64. Cancer Med. 2020 Aug 11.
      Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most deadly malignancies at global scale, and is particularly common in eastern Asia. MicroRNA-5683 (miR-5683) was confirmed to be downregulated in GC by analyzing data from the Cancer Genome Atlas. We packaged miR-5683-mimics and miR-5683-inhibitors into lentivirus vectors and transfected them into GC cells. MiR-5683 expression and possible target genes were detected by employing quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. In vitro, cell proliferation and apoptosis were analyzed using CCK-8, colony formation assay, and flow cytometric assay. We verified the direct interaction between miR-5683 and the possible downstream target gene pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) through luciferase reporter assay. The role of miR-5683 in vivo was explored by injecting stably transfected GC cells subcutaneously into nude mice. Here we show that miR-5683 was downregulated in GC and the decreased level of miR-5683 enhances GC cell proliferation and impairs apoptosis. Tumor oncogene PDK4, which is associated with GC overall survival and disease-free survival, has been identified as the target gene of miR-5683. Besides, we demonstrate that the inhibition of miR-5683 promotes glycolysis by upregulating the PDK4 expression, thus leading to GC progression. Our study determines that miR-5683 represses GC glycolysis and progression through targeting PDK4. MiR-5683 overexpression may thus become a new treatment strategy for GC.
    Keywords:  gastric cancer; glycolysis; miR-5683; proliferation; pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4
  65. Oncol Lett. 2020 Sep;20(3): 2820-2828
      Emerging evidence has revealed that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is encapsulated in plasma extracellular vesicles (EVs). However, the characteristics of mtDNA in EVs from patients with cancer remain largely unexplored, which greatly limits its clinical application. Whole genome and capture-based sequencing found that EV mtDNA covered the whole mitochondrial genome. The medium fragment size in EV mtDNA was significantly larger compared with that in cell-free mtDNA [cfmtDNA; 159 vs. 109 base pairs (bp); P<0.001]. EV DNA appeared to have a higher mtDNA copy number compared with cfDNA. Of note, patients with hepatitis had >300-bp fragments in EV mtDNA compared with patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and healthy controls. EV mtDNA fragments >300 bp in length exhibited a significantly higher proportion of EV mtDNA fragment ends than those that were ≤300 bp in length in patients with hepatitis. The EV mtDNA copy number in patients with HCC and hepatitis were significantly lower compared with those in healthy controls. Furthermore, inconsistencies in the mtDNA heteroplasmic variant were observed among HCC tissues, plasma and EVs. In conclusion, EV mtDNA exhibited different characteristics among patients with HCC, hepatitis and healthy controls, indicating the potential value of EV mtDNA as a diagnostic biomarker that complements cfmtDNA.
    Keywords:  extracellular vesicles; hepatocellular carcinoma; liquid biopsy; mitochondrial DNA
  66. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 1197
      Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) targeting immune checkpoint proteins, such as CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1, have demonstrated remarkable and durable clinical responses in various cancer types. However, a considerable number of patients receiving ICIs eventually experience a relapse due to diverse resistance mechanisms. As a result, there have been increasing research efforts to elucidate the molecular mechanisms behind resistance to ICIs and improve patient outcomes. There is growing evidence that the dysregulated metabolic activity of tumor cells generates an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) that orchestrates an impaired anti-tumor immune response. Notably, the immunosuppressive TME is characterized by nutrient shortage, hypoxia, an acidic extracellular milieu, and abundant immunosuppressive molecules. A detailed understanding of the TME remains a major challenge in mounting a more effective anti-tumor immune response. Herein, we discuss how tumor cells reprogram metabolism to modulate a pro-tumor TME, driving disease progression and immune evasion; in particular, we highlight potential approaches to target metabolic vulnerabilities in the context of anti-tumor immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  cancer cell metabolite; cancer metabolism; immune checkpoint inhibitors; immune evasion; tumor microenvironment
  67. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Aug 11. pii: 202009364. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) is a multisubunit protein complex that is essential for the proper architecture of the mitochondrial inner membrane. MICOS plays a key role in establishing and maintaining crista junctions, tubular or slit-like structures that connect the cristae membrane with the inner boundary membrane, thereby ensuring a contiguous inner membrane. MICOS is enriched at crista junctions, but the detailed distribution of its subunits around crista junctions is unclear because such small length scales are inaccessible with established fluorescence microscopy. By targeting individually activated fluorophores with an excitation beam featuring a central zero-intensity point, the nanoscopy method called MINFLUX delivers single-digit nanometer-scale three-dimensional (3D) resolution and localization precision. We employed MINFLUX nanoscopy to investigate the submitochondrial localization of the core MICOS subunit Mic60 in relation to two other MICOS proteins, Mic10 and Mic19. We demonstrate that dual-color 3D MINFLUX nanoscopy is applicable to the imaging of organellar substructures, yielding a 3D localization precision of ∼5 nm in human mitochondria. This isotropic precision facilitated the development of an analysis framework that assigns localization clouds to individual molecules, thus eliminating a source of bias when drawing quantitative conclusions from single-molecule localization microscopy data. MINFLUX recordings of Mic60 indicate ringlike arrangements of multiple molecules with a diameter of 40 to 50 nm, suggesting that Mic60 surrounds individual crista junctions. Statistical analysis of dual-color MINFLUX images demonstrates that Mic19 is generally in close proximity to Mic60, whereas the spatial coordination of Mic10 with Mic60 is less regular, suggesting structural heterogeneity of MICOS.
    Keywords:  MICOS; MINFLUX; cluster analysis; mitochondria; superresolution microscopy
  68. Biomolecules. 2020 08 08. pii: E1162. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      As a nodal mediator of pyruvate metabolism, the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) plays a pivotal role in many physiological and pathological processes across the human lifespan, from embryonic development to aging-associated neurodegeneration. Emerging research highlights the importance of the MPC in diverse conditions, such as immune cell activation, cancer cell stemness, and dopamine production in Parkinson's disease models. Whether MPC function ameliorates or contributes to disease is highly specific to tissue and cell type. Cell- and tissue-specific differences in MPC content and activity suggest that MPC function is tightly regulated as a mechanism of metabolic, cellular, and organismal control. Accordingly, recent studies on cancer and diabetes have identified protein-protein interactions, post-translational processes, and transcriptional factors that modulate MPC function. This growing body of literature demonstrates that the MPC and other mitochondrial carriers comprise a versatile and dynamic network undergirding the metabolism of health and disease.
    Keywords:  MPC; lifespan; mitochondrial pyruvate carrier; mitochondrial transport; pyruvate metabolism