bims-mimbat Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in brown adipose tissue
Issue of 2023‒01‒29
eleven papers selected by
José Carlos de Lima-Júnior
Washington University

  1. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2023 Jan 24. e13938
      Exactly 50 years ago, I was a post-doc in the laboratory of Olov Lindberg in Stockholm measuring fatty acid oxidation by mitochondria isolated from thermogenic brown adipose tissue, when we noticed a curious non-linearity in the respiration rate. This initiated a convoluted chain of experiments revealing that the mitochondria were text-book demonstrations of the then novel and highly controversial 'chemiosmotic hypothesis' of Peter Mitchell, and that thermogenesis was regulated by a proton short-circuit, mediated by a 32kDa 'uncoupling protein', UCP1, activated by fatty acid. This review is a personal account of the research into the bioenergetics of isolated brown adipocytes and isolated mitochondria, which led, after fifteen years of investigation, to what is still accepted as the 'canonical' UCP1-mediated mechanism of non-shivering thermogenesis, uniting whole animal physiology with mitochondrial bioenergetics.
    Keywords:  adipocytes; bioenergetics; brown adipose tissue; chemiosmosis; mitochondria; uncoupling protein
  2. Cell Metab. 2023 Jan 14. pii: S1550-4131(22)00577-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Proteins are secreted from cells to send information to neighboring cells or distant tissues. Because of the highly integrated nature of energy balance systems, there has been particular interest in myokines and adipokines. These are challenging to study through proteomics because serum or plasma contains highly abundant proteins that limit the detection of proteins with lower abundance. We show here that extracellular fluid (EF) from muscle and fat tissues of mice shows a different protein composition than either serum or tissues. Mass spectrometry analyses of EFs from mice with physiological perturbations, like exercise or cold exposure, allowed the quantification of many potentially novel myokines and adipokines. Using this approach, we identify prosaposin as a secreted product of muscle and fat. Prosaposin expression stimulates thermogenic gene expression and induces mitochondrial respiration in primary fat cells. These studies together illustrate the utility of EF isolation as a discovery tool for adipokines and myokines.
    Keywords:  PGC1α; cold adaptation; exercise; extracellular fluid; prosaposin; proteomics; secreted proteins; secretome
  3. Science. 2023 Jan 27. 379(6630): 351-357
      The molecular mode of action of biguanides, including the drug metformin, which is widely used in the treatment of diabetes, is incompletely characterized. Here, we define the inhibitory drug-target interaction(s) of a model biguanide with mammalian respiratory complex I by combining cryo-electron microscopy and enzyme kinetics. We interpret these data to explain the selectivity of biguanide binding to different enzyme states. The primary inhibitory site is in an amphipathic region of the quinone-binding channel, and an additional binding site is in a pocket on the intermembrane-space side of the enzyme. An independent local chaotropic interaction, not previously described for any drug, displaces a portion of a key helix in the membrane domain. Our data provide a structural basis for biguanide action and enable the rational design of medicinal biguanides.
  4. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2023 Jan 16. pii: S0006-291X(23)00075-X. [Epub ahead of print]645 137-146
      Mitochondria play a substantial role in cytosolic Ca2+ buffering and energy metabolism. We recently demonstrated that mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) regulated Ca2+ signaling by tethering mitochondria and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), and thus, facilitated mitochondrial function and the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). However, the physiological role of mitofusin 1 (Mfn1) on Ca2+ signaling and mitochondrial function remains unclear. Herein, the roles of Mfn1 and Mfn2 in mitochondrial function underlying Ca2+ signaling, ATP production, and cell proliferation were examined in rat aortic smooth muscle A10 cells. Following an arginine vasopressin-induced increase in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]cyt), Mfn2 siRNA (siMfn2) reduced cytosolic Ca2+ removal and mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake. However, Mfn1 siRNA (siMfn1) attenuated mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, facilitated Ca2+ removal from mitochondria, and resulted in increased [Ca2+]cyt, which was mediated by the downregulation of mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) expression and the upregulation of mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCLX) expression. Furthermore, siMfn1 increased the mitochondrial membrane potential, ATP production by adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT), and cell proliferation, whereas siMfn2 exhibited the opposite responses. In conclusion, Mfn1 modulates the expressions of MCU, NCLX, and ANT, and Mfn2 tethers mitochondria to SR, which demonstrates their different mitochondrial functions for Ca2+ signaling, ATP production, and the proliferation of VSMCs.
    Keywords:  Calcium; Mitochondria; Mitofusin; Proliferation; Sarcoplasmic reticulum; Smooth muscle
  5. Biophys J. 2023 Jan 24. pii: S0006-3495(23)00039-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are chaperones that facilitate the transport of long-chain fatty acids within the cell and can provide cargo-dependent localization to specific cellular compartments. Understanding the nature of this transport is important because lipid signaling functions are associated with metabolic pathways impacting disease pathologies including cancer, autism, and schizophrenia. FABPs often associate with cell membranes to acquire and deliver their bound cargo as part of transport. We focus on brain fatty acid binding protein (FABP7), which demonstrates localization to the cytoplasm and nucleus, influencing transcription and fatty acid metabolism. We use a combined biophysical-computational approach to elucidate the interaction between FABP7 and model membranes. Specifically, we use multiple experiments to demonstrate that FABP7 can bind oleic acid (OA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) micelles. Data from NMR and multiscale molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the interaction with micelles is through FABP7's portal region residues. Simulations suggest that binding to membranes occurs through the same residues as micelles. Simulations also capture binding events where fatty acids dissociate from the membrane and enter FABP7's binding pocket. Overall, our data shed light on the interactions between FABP7 and OA or DHA micelles and provide insight into the transport of long-chain fatty acids.
  6. J Vis Exp. 2023 Jan 06.
      Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technology has prompted a revolution in biology, and recent tools have been applied far beyond the originally described gene editing. The CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) system combines the catalytically inactive Cas9 (dCas9) protein with distinct transcription modules to induce endogenous gene expression. SunTag-p65-HSF1 (SPH) is a recently developed CRISPRa technology that combines components of synergistic activation mediators (SAMs) with the SunTag activators. This system allows the overexpression of single or multiple genes by designing a customized single-guide RNA (sgRNA). In this study, a previously developed SPH mouse was used to generate a conditional mouse expressing SPH in adipocytes (adiponectin Cre lineage), named AdipoSPH. To induce a white-to-beige fat (browning) phenotype, an adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying sgRNA targeting the endogenous Prdm16 gene (a well-established transcription factor related to brown and beige fat development) was injected into the inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT). This mouse model induced the expression of endogenous Prdm16 and activated the thermogenic gene program. Moreover, in vitro SPH-induced Prdm16 overexpression enhanced the oxygen consumption of beige adipocytes, phenocopying the results of a previous Prdm16 transgenic mouse model. Thus, this protocol describes a versatile, cost-effective, and time-effective mouse model for investigating adipose tissue biology.
  7. Cell Rep. 2023 Jan 27. pii: S2211-1247(23)00052-9. [Epub ahead of print]42(2): 112041
      Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) is a heterotetrameric enzyme complex belonging to the mitochondrial respiratory chain and uniquely links the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle with oxidative phosphorylation. Cancer-related SDH mutations promote succinate accumulation, which is regarded as an oncometabolite. Post-translational modifications of SDH complex components are known to regulate SDH activity, although the contribution of SUMOylation remains unclear. Here, we show that SDHA is SUMOylated by PIAS3 and deSUMOylated by SENP2, events dictating the assembly and activity of the SDH complex. Moreover, CBP acetylation of SENP2 negatively regulates its deSUMOylation activity. Under glutamine deprivation, CBP levels decrease, and the ensuing SENP2 activation and SDHA deSUMOylation serve to concurrently dampen the TCA cycle and electron transport chain (ETC) activity. Along with succinate accumulation, this mechanism avoids excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production to promote cancer cell survival. This study elucidates a major function of mitochondrial-localized SENP2 and expands our understanding of the role of SUMOylation in resolving metabolic stress.
    Keywords:  CP: Cancer; CP: Metabolism; PTMs; SENP2; SUMOylation; TCA cycle; acetylation; metabolic stress; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; succinate dehydrogenase
  8. Nano Lett. 2023 Jan 23.
      The growing knowledge of the links between aberrant mitochondrial gene transcription and human diseases necessitates both an effective and dynamic approach to control mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transcription. To address this challenge, we developed a nanoparticle-based synthetic mitochondrial transcription regulator (MitoScript). MitoScript provides great colloidal stability, excellent biocompatibility, efficient cell uptake, and selective mitochondria targeting and can be monitored in live cells using near-infrared fluorescence. Notably, MitoScript controlled mtDNA transcription in a human cell line in an effective and selective manner. MitoScript targeting the light strand promoter region of mtDNA resulted in the downregulation of ND6 gene silencing, which eventually affected cell redox status, with considerably increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. In summary, we developed MitoScript for the efficient, nonviral modification of mitochondrial DNA transcription. Our platform technology can potentially contribute to understanding the fundamental mechanisms of mitochondrial disorders and developing effective treatments for mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  Artificial transcription factors; Mitochondria DNA (mtDNA) manipulations; Mitochondria-targeted delivery; Nanoclusters; Nanomedicine
  9. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 25. 14(1): 312
      Aerobic muscle activities predominantly depend on fuel energy supply by mitochondrial respiration, thus, mitochondrial activity enhancement may become a therapeutic intervention for muscle disturbances. The assembly of mitochondrial respiratory complexes into higher-order "supercomplex" structures has been proposed to be an efficient biological process for energy synthesis, although there is controversy in its physiological relevance. We here established Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) phenomenon-based live imaging of mitochondrial respiratory complexes I and IV interactions using murine myoblastic cells, whose signals represent in vivo supercomplex assembly of complexes I, III, and IV, or respirasomes. The live FRET signals were well correlated with supercomplex assembly observed by blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) and oxygen consumption rates. FRET-based live cell screen defined that the inhibition of spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK), a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase that belongs to the SYK/ zeta-chain-associated protein kinase 70 (ZAP-70) family, leads to an increase in supercomplex assembly in murine myoblastic cells. In parallel, SYK inhibition enhanced mitochondrial respiration in the cells. Notably, SYK inhibitor administration enhances exercise performance in mice. Overall, this study proves the feasibility of FRET-based respirasome assembly assay, which recapitulates in vivo mitochondrial respiration activities.
  10. Redox Biol. 2023 Jan 18. pii: S2213-2317(23)00014-9. [Epub ahead of print]60 102613
      Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), a co-enzyme and an electron carrier, plays crucial roles in numerous biological functions, including cellular metabolism and antioxidation. Because NADP is subcellular-membrane impermeable, eukaryotes compartmentalize NAD kinases (NADKs), the NADP biosynthetic enzymes. Mitochondria are fundamental organelles for energy production through oxidative phosphorylation. Ten years after the discovery of the mitochondrial NADK (known as MNADK or NADK2), a significant amount of knowledge has been obtained regarding its functions, mechanism of action, human biology, mouse models, crystal structures, and post-translation modifications. NADK2 phosphorylates NAD(H) to generate mitochondrial NADP(H). NADK2-deficient patients suffered from hyperlysinemia, elevated plasma C10:2-carnitine (due to the inactivity of relevant NADP-dependent enzymes), and neuronal development defects. Nadk2-deficient mice recapitulate key features of NADK2-deficient patients, including metabolic and neuronal abnormalities. Crystal structures of human NADK2 show a dimer, with the NADP+-binding site located at the dimer interface. NADK2 activity is highly regulated by post-translational modifications, including S188 phosphorylation, K76 and K304 acetylation, and C193 S-nitrosylation; mutations in each site affect NADK2 activity and function. In mice, hepatic Nadk2 functions as a major metabolic regulator upon increased energy demands by regulating sirtuin 3 activity and fatty acid oxidation. Hopefully, future research on NADK2 will not only elucidate its functional roles in health and disease but will also pave the way for novel therapeutics for both rare and common diseases, including NADK2 deficiency and metabolic syndrome.
    Keywords:  Antioxidation; MNADK; Mitochondria; NAD; NADK; NADK2; NADP
  11. Nat Cell Biol. 2023 Jan 23.
      Mitochondria are complex organelles with different compartments, each harbouring their own protein quality control factors. While chaperones of the mitochondrial matrix are well characterized, it is poorly understood which chaperones protect the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Here we show that cytosolic small heat shock proteins are imported under basal conditions into the mitochondrial intermembrane space, where they operate as molecular chaperones. Protein misfolding in the mitochondrial intermembrane space leads to increased recruitment of small heat shock proteins. Depletion of small heat shock proteins leads to mitochondrial swelling and reduced respiration, while aggregation of aggregation-prone substrates is countered in their presence. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease-causing mutations disturb the mitochondrial function of HSPB1, potentially linking previously observed mitochondrial dysfunction in Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2F to its role in the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Our results reveal that small heat shock proteins form a chaperone system that operates in the mitochondrial intermembrane space.