bims-mimbat Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in brown adipose tissue
Issue of 2023‒06‒11
fifteen papers selected by
José Carlos de Lima-Júnior
Washington University

  1. EMBO Rep. 2023 Jun 06. e57127
      The mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier (SLC25A4), also called the adenine nucleotide translocase, imports ADP into the mitochondrial matrix and exports ATP, which are key steps in oxidative phosphorylation. Historically, the carrier was thought to form a homodimer and to operate by a sequential kinetic mechanism, which involves the formation of a ternary complex with the two exchanged substrates bound simultaneously. However, recent structural and functional data have demonstrated that the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier works as a monomer and has a single substrate binding site, which cannot be reconciled with a sequential kinetic mechanism. Here, we study the kinetic properties of the human mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier by using proteoliposomes and transport robotics. We show that the Km/Vmax ratio is constant for all of the measured internal concentrations. Thus, in contrast to earlier claims, we conclude that the carrier operates with a ping-pong kinetic mechanism in which substrate exchange across the membrane occurs consecutively rather than simultaneously. These data unite the kinetic and structural models, showing that the carrier operates with an alternating access mechanism.
    Keywords:  ADP/ATP translocase; SLC25; adenine nucleotide translocator; bioenergetics; mitochondrial carrier family
  2. RSC Chem Biol. 2023 Jun 07. 4(6): 386-398
      Complex I is an essential membrane protein in respiration, oxidising NADH and reducing ubiquinone to contribute to the proton-motive force that powers ATP synthesis. Liposomes provide an attractive platform to investigate complex I in a phospholipid membrane with the native hydrophobic ubiquinone substrate and proton transport across the membrane, but without convoluting contributions from other proteins present in the native mitochondrial inner membrane. Here, we use dynamic and electrophoretic light scattering techniques (DLS and ELS) to show how physical parameters, in particular the zeta potential (ζ-potential), correlate strongly with the biochemical functionality of complex I-containing proteoliposomes. We find that cardiolipin plays a crucial role in the reconstitution and functioning of complex I and that, as a highly charged lipid, it acts as a sensitive reporter on the biochemical competence of proteoliposomes in ELS measurements. We show that the change in ζ-potential between liposomes and proteoliposomes correlates linearly with protein retention and catalytic oxidoreduction activity of complex I. These correlations are dependent on the presence of cardiolipin, but are otherwise independent of the liposome lipid composition. Moreover, changes in the ζ-potential are sensitive to the proton motive force established upon proton pumping by complex I, thereby constituting a complementary technique to established biochemical assays. ELS measurements may thus serve as a more widely useful tool to investigate membrane proteins in lipid systems, especially those that contain charged lipids.
  3. Cell Calcium. 2023 Jun 02. pii: S0143-4160(23)00077-5. [Epub ahead of print]113 102765
      The mitochondrial inner boundary membrane harbors a protein called MICU1, which is sensitive to Ca2+ and binds to the MICOS components Mic60 and CHCHD2. Changes in the mitochondrial cristae junction structure and organization in MICU1-/- cells lead to increased cytochrome c release, membrane potential rearrangement, and changes in mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake dynamics. These findings shed new light on the multifaceted role of MICU1, highlighting its involvement not only as an interaction partner and regulator of the MCU complex but also as a crucial determinant of mitochondrial ultrastructure and, thus, an essential player in processes initiating apoptosis.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Ca(2+) signaling; Cristae junction; MICOS-complex; MICU1; Mitochondria
  4. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jun 13. 120(24): e2213241120
      The inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM), housing components of the electron transport chain (ETC), is the site for respiration. The ETC relies on mobile carriers; therefore, it has long been argued that the fluidity of the densely packed IMM can potentially influence ETC flux and cell physiology. However, it is unclear if cells temporally modulate IMM fluidity upon metabolic or other stimulation. Using a photostable, red-shifted, cell-permeable molecular-rotor, Mitorotor-1, we present a multiplexed approach for quantitatively mapping IMM fluidity in living cells. This reveals IMM fluidity to be linked to cellular-respiration and responsive to stimuli. Multiple approaches combining in vitro experiments and live-cell fluorescence (FLIM) lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) show Mitorotor-1 to robustly report IMM 'microviscosity'/fluidity through changes in molecular free volume. Interestingly, external osmotic stimuli cause controlled swelling/compaction of mitochondria, thereby revealing a graded Mitorotor-1 response to IMM microviscosity. Lateral diffusion measurements of IMM correlate with microviscosity reported via Mitorotor-1 FLIM-lifetime, showing convergence of independent approaches for measuring IMM local-order. Mitorotor-1 FLIM reveals mitochondrial heterogeneity in IMM fluidity; between-and-within cells and across single mitochondrion. Multiplexed FLIM lifetime imaging of Mitorotor-1 and NADH autofluorescence reveals that IMM fluidity positively correlates with respiration, across individual cells. Remarkably, we find that stimulating respiration, through nutrient deprivation or chemically, also leads to increase in IMM fluidity. These data suggest that modulating IMM fluidity supports enhanced respiratory flux. Our study presents a robust method for measuring IMM fluidity and suggests a dynamic regulatory paradigm of modulating IMM local order on changing metabolic demand.
    Keywords:  fluidity; fluorescence lifetime; fluorescent probe; metabolism; mitochondria
  5. Mol Metab. 2023 Jun 02. pii: S2212-8778(23)00083-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101749
      OBJECTIVE: Maresin 1 (MaR1) is a docosahexaenoic acid-derived proresolving lipid mediator with insulin-sensitizing and anti-steatosis properties. Here, we aim to unravel MaR1 actions on brown adipose tissue (BAT) activation and white adipose tissue (WAT) browning.METHODS: MaR1 actions were tested in cultured murine brown adipocytes and in human mesenchymal cells (hMSC)-derived adipocytes. In vivo effects of MaR1 were tested in diet induced obese (DIO) mice and lean WT and Il6 knockout (Il6-/-) mice.
    RESULTS: In cultured differentiated murine brown adipocytes, MaR1 reduces the expression of inflammatory genes, while stimulates glucose uptake, fatty acid utilization and oxygen consumption rate, along with the upregulation of mitochondrial mass and genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and function and the thermogenic program. In Leucine Rich Repeat Containing G Protein-Coupled Receptor 6 (LGR6)-depleted brown adipocytes using siRNA, the stimulatory effect of MaR1 on thermogenic genes was abrogated. In DIO mice, MaR1 promotes BAT remodeling, characterized by higher expression of genes encoding for master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis and function and iBAT thermogenic activation, together with increased M2 macrophage markers. In addition, MaR1-treated DIO mice exhibit a better response to cold-induced BAT activation. Moreover, MaR1 induces a beige adipocyte signature in inguinal WAT of DIO mice and in human mesenchymal cells (hMSC)-derived adipocytes. MaR1 potentiates Il6 expression in brown adipocytes and BAT of cold exposed lean WT mice. Interestingly, the thermogenic properties of MaR1 were abrogated in Il6-/- mice.
    CONCLUSIONS: These data reveal MaR1 as a novel agent that promotes BAT activation and WAT browning by regulating thermogenic program in adipocytes and M2 polarization of macrophages. Moreover, our data suggest that LGR6 receptor is mediating MaR1 actions on brown adipocytes, and that IL-6 is required for the thermogenic effects of MaR1.
    Keywords:  Brown/Beige adipose tissue; Interleukin-6; LGR6; Maresin 1; Obesity
  6. Nature. 2023 Jun 07.
      The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) is essential to safeguard mitochondria from proteotoxic damage by activating a dedicated transcriptional response in the nucleus to restore proteostasis1,2. Yet, it remains unclear how the information on mitochondria misfolding stress (MMS) is signalled to the nucleus as part of the human UPRmt (refs. 3,4). Here, we show that UPRmt signalling is driven by the release of two individual signals in the cytosol-mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) and accumulation of mitochondrial protein precursors in the cytosol (c-mtProt). Combining proteomics and genetic approaches, we identified that MMS causes the release of mtROS into the cytosol. In parallel, MMS leads to mitochondrial protein import defects causing c-mtProt accumulation. Both signals integrate to activate the UPRmt; released mtROS oxidize the cytosolic HSP40 protein DNAJA1, which leads to enhanced recruitment of cytosolic HSP70 to c-mtProt. Consequently, HSP70 releases HSF1, which translocates to the nucleus and activates transcription of UPRmt genes. Together, we identify a highly controlled cytosolic surveillance mechanism that integrates independent mitochondrial stress signals to initiate the UPRmt. These observations reveal a link between mitochondrial and cytosolic proteostasis and provide molecular insight into UPRmt signalling in human cells.
  7. Mol Metab. 2023 Jun 04. pii: S2212-8778(23)00081-9. [Epub ahead of print] 101747
      OBJECTIVE: Brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays a crucial role in regulating non-shivering thermogenesis under cold exposure. Proline hydroxylases (PHDs) were found to be involved in adipocyte differentiation and lipid deposition. However, the effects of PHDs on regulatory mechanisms of BAT thermogenesis are not fully understood.METHODS: We detected the expression of PHDs in different adipose tissues by using immunoblotting and real-time PCR. Further, immunoblotting, real-time PCR, and immunostaining were performed to determine the correlation between proline hydroxylase 2 (PHD2) and UCP1 expression. Inhibitor of PHDs and PHD2-sgRNA viruses were used to construct the PHD2-deficiency model in vivo and in vitro to investigate the impacts of PHD2 on BAT thermogenesis. Afterward, the interaction between UCP1 and PHD2 and the hydroxylation modification level of UCP1 were verified by Co-IP assays and immunoblotting. Finally, the effect of specific proline hydroxylation on the expression/activity of UCP1 was further confirmed by site-directed mutation of UCP1 and mass spectrometry analysis.
    RESULTS: PHD2, but not PHD1 and PHD3, was highly enriched in BAT, colocalized, and positively correlated with UCP1. Inhibition or knockdown of PHD2 significantly suppressed BAT thermogenesis under cold exposure and aggravated obesity of mice fed HFD. Mechanistically, mitochondrial PHD2 bound to UCP1 and regulated the hydroxylation level of UCP1, which was enhanced by thermogenic activation and attenuated by PHD2 knockdown. Furthermore, PHD2-dependent hydroxylation of UCP1 promoted the expression and stability of UCP1 protein. Mutation of the specific prolines (Pro-33, 133, and 232) in UCP1 significantly mitigated the PHD2-elevated UCP1 hydroxylation level and reversed the PHD2-increased UCP1 stability.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study suggested an important role for PHD2 in BAT thermogenesis regulation by enhancing the hydroxylation of UCP1.
    Keywords:  BAT thermogenesis; Hydroxylation; PHD2; UCP1
  8. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2023 Jun 01. pii: S0959-437X(23)00034-5. [Epub ahead of print]80 102054
      Human thermogenic adipose tissue has long been touted as a promising therapeutic target for obesity and its associated metabolic diseases. Here, we provide a brief overview of the current knowledge of in vivo human thermogenic adipose tissue metabolism. We explore the evidence provided by retrospective and prospective studies describing the association of brown adipose tissue (BAT) [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose accumulation and various cardiometabolic risk factors. Although these studies have been invaluable in generating hypothesis, it has also raised some questions about the reliability of this method as an indicator of BAT thermogenic capacity. We discuss the evidence in support of human BAT functioning as a local thermogenic organ and energy sink, as an endocrine organ, and as a biomarker of adipose tissue health.
  9. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jun 13. 120(24): e2301528120
      Temperature influences dynamics and state-equilibrium distributions in all molecular processes, and only a relatively narrow range of temperatures is compatible with life-organisms must avoid temperature extremes that can cause physical damage or metabolic disruption. Animals evolved a set of sensory ion channels, many of them in the family of transient receptor potential cation channels that detect biologically relevant changes in temperature with remarkable sensitivity. Depending on the specific ion channel, heating or cooling elicits conformational changes in the channel to enable the flow of cations into sensory neurons, giving rise to electrical signaling and sensory perception. The molecular mechanisms responsible for the heightened temperature-sensitivity in these ion channels, as well as the molecular adaptations that make each channel specifically heat- or cold-activated, are largely unknown. It has been hypothesized that a heat capacity difference (ΔCp) between two conformational states of these biological thermosensors can drive their temperature-sensitivity, but no experimental measurements of ΔCp have been achieved for these channel proteins. Contrary to the general assumption that the ΔCp is constant, measurements from soluble proteins indicate that the ΔCp is likely to be a function of temperature. By investigating the theoretical consequences for a linearly temperature-dependent ΔCp on the open-closed equilibrium of an ion channel, we uncover a range of possible channel behaviors that are consistent with experimental measurements of channel activity and that extend beyond what had been generally assumed to be possible for a simple two-state model, challenging long-held assumptions about ion channel gating models at equilibrium.
    Keywords:  TRP channels; heat capacity; temperature-gating; thermodynamics
  10. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2023 Jun 08.
      Brown adipose tissues (BATs) have been identified as a promising target of metabolism disorders. [18F]FDG-PET (FDG = fluorodeoxyglucose; PET = positron emission tomography) has been predominantly employed for BAT imaging, but its limitations drive the urgent need for novel functional probes combined with multimodal imaging approaches. It has been reported that polymer dots (Pdots) display rapid BAT imaging without additional cold stimulation. However, the mechanism by which Pdots image BAT remains unclear. Here, we made an intensive study of the imaging mechanism and found that Pdots can bind to triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs). By virtue of their high affinity to TRLs, Pdots selectively accumulate in capillary endothelial cells (ECs) in interscapular brown adipose tissues (iBATs). Compared to poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride)cumene terminated (PSMAC)-Pdots with a short half-life and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-Pdots with low lipophilicity, naked-Pdots have good lipophilicity, with a half-life of about 30 min and up to 94% uptake in capillary ECs within 5 min, increasing rapidly after acute cold stimulation. These results suggested that the accumulation changes of Pdots in iBAT can reflect iBAT activity sensitively. Based on this mechanism, we further developed a strategy to detect iBAT activity and quantify the TRL uptake in vivo using multimodal Pdots.
    Keywords:  brown adipose tissue; capillary; multi-modal imaging; polymer dots; triglyceride-rich lipoprotein
  11. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. 2023 Jun 05. pii: S0005-2736(23)00065-2. [Epub ahead of print] 184183
      In order to determine the share of protonophoric activity in the uncoupling action of lipophilic cations a number of analogues of butyltriphenylphosphonium with substitutions in phenyl rings (C4TPP-X) were studied on isolated rat liver mitochondria and model lipid membranes. An increase in the rate of respiration and a decrease in the membrane potential of isolated mitochondria were observed for all the studied cations, the efficiency of these processes was significantly enhanced in the presence of fatty acids and correlated with the octanol-water partition coefficient of the cations. The ability of C4TPP-X cations to induce proton transport across the lipid membrane of liposomes loaded with a pH-sensitive fluorescent dye increased also with their lipophilicity and depended on the presence of palmitic acid in the liposome membrane. Of all the cations, only butyl[tri(3,5-dimethylphenyl)]phosphonium (C4TPP-diMe) was able to induce proton transport by the mechanism of formation of a cation-fatty acid ion pair on planar bilayer lipid membranes and liposomes. The rate of oxygen consumption by mitochondria in the presence of C4TPP-diMe increased to the maximum values corresponding to conventional uncouplers; for all other cations the maximum uncoupling rates were significantly lower. We assume that the studied cations of the C4TPP-X series, with the exception of C4TPP-diMe at low concentrations, cause nonspecific leak of ions through lipid model and biological membranes which is significantly enhanced in the presence of fatty acids.
    Keywords:  Butyltriphenylphosphonium; Fatty acids; Mitochondria uncoupling; Nonspecific leakage; Proton transport; Pyranine-loaded liposomes
  12. Elife. 2023 Jun 05. pii: e84204. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Mitochondrial ATP production in cardiac ventricular myocytes must be continually adjusted to rapidly replenish the ATP consumed by the working heart. Two systems are known to be critical in this regulation: mitochondrial matrix Ca2+ ([Ca2+]m) and blood flow that is tuned by local ventricular myocyte metabolic signaling. However, these two regulatory systems do not fully account for the physiological range of ATP consumption observed. We report here on the identity, location, and signaling cascade of a third regulatory system -- CO2/bicarbonate. CO2 is generated in the mitochondrial matrix as a metabolic waste product of the oxidation of nutrients that powers ATP production. It is a lipid soluble gas that rapidly permeates the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) and produces bicarbonate (HCO3-) in a reaction accelerated by carbonic anhydrase (CA). The bicarbonate level is tracked physiologically by a bicarbonate-activated adenylyl cyclase, soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC). Using structural Airyscan super-resolution imaging and functional measurements we find that sAC is primarily inside the mitochondria of ventricular myocytes where it generates cAMP when activated by HCO3-. Our data strongly suggest that ATP production in these mitochondria is regulated by this cAMP signaling cascade operating within the inter-membrane space (IMS) by activating local EPAC1 (Exchange Protein directly Activated by cAMP) which turns on Rap1 (Ras-related protein 1). Thus, mitochondrial ATP production is shown to be increased by bicarbonate-triggered sAC signaling through Rap1. Additional evidence is presented indicating that the cAMP signaling itself does not occur directly in the matrix. We also show that this third signaling process involving bicarbonate and sAC activates the cardiac mitochondrial ATP production machinery by working independently of, yet in conjunction with, [Ca2+]m-dependent ATP production to meet the energy needs of cellular activity in both health and disease. We propose that the bicarbonate and calcium signaling arms function in a resonant or complementary manner to match mitochondrial ATP production to the full range of energy consumption in cardiac ventricular myocytes in health and disease.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; chemical biology; molecular biophysics; rat; structural biology
  13. ACS Nano. 2023 Jun 08.
      We present the super-resolution microscopy of functional, isolated functional mitochondria, enabling real-time studies of structure and function (voltages) in response to pharmacological manipulation. Changes in mitochondrial membrane potential as a function of time and position can be imaged in different metabolic states (not possible in whole cells), created by the addition of substrates and inhibitors of the electron transport chain, enabled by the isolation of vital mitochondria. By careful analysis of structure dyes and voltage dyes (lipophilic cations), we demonstrate that most of the fluorescent signal seen from voltage dyes is due to membrane bound dyes, and develop a model for the membrane potential dependence of the fluorescence contrast for the case of super-resolution imaging, and how it relates to membrane potential. This permits direct analysis of mitochondrial structure and function (voltage) of isolated, individual mitochondria as well as submitochondrial structures in the functional, intact state, a major advance in super-resolution studies of living organelles.
    Keywords:  Voltage; electrophysiology; fluorescent dye; lipid bilayer; metabolism; mitochondria; super-resolution
  14. Biophys Rep. 2022 Aug 31. 8(4): 205-211
      Temperature-sensitive ion channels, such as those from the TRP family (thermo-TRPs) present in all animal cells, serve to perceive heat and cold sensations. A considerable number of protein structures have been reported for these ion channels, providing a solid basis for revealing their structure-function relationship. Previous functional studies suggest that the thermosensing ability of TRP channels is primarily determined by the properties of their cytosolic domain. Despite their importance in sensing and wide interests in the development of suitable therapeutics, the precise mechanisms underlying acute and steep temperature-mediated channel gating remain enigmatic. Here, we propose a model in which the thermo-TRP channels directly sense external temperature through the formation and dissociation of metastable cytoplasmic domains. An open-close bistable system is described in the framework of equilibrium thermodynamics, and the middle-point temperature T½ similar to the V½ parameter for a voltage-gating channel is defined. Based on the relationship between channel opening probability and temperature, we estimate the change in entropy and enthalpy during the conformational change for a typical thermosensitive channel. Our model is able to accurately reproduce the steep activation phase in experimentally determined thermal-channel opening curves, and thus should greatly facilitate future experimental verification.
    Keywords:  Differential conformation energy; Temperature sensing; Thermo-TRPs; Thermo-gating channel; Two-state model