bims-mimbat Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in brown adipose tissue
Issue of 2023‒10‒15
fourteen papers selected by
José Carlos de Lima-Júnior, Washington University

  1. Nat Commun. 2023 10 10. 14(1): 6344
      Cold stimulation dynamically remodels mitochondria in brown adipose tissue (BAT) to facilitate non-shivering thermogenesis in mammals, but what regulates mitochondrial plasticity is poorly understood. Comparing mitochondrial proteomes in response to cold revealed FAM210A as a cold-inducible mitochondrial inner membrane protein. An adipocyte-specific constitutive knockout of Fam210a (Fam210aAKO) disrupts mitochondrial cristae structure and diminishes the thermogenic activity of BAT, rendering the Fam210aAKO mice vulnerable to lethal hypothermia under acute cold exposure. Induced knockout of Fam210a in adult adipocytes (Fam210aiAKO) does not affect steady-state mitochondrial structure under thermoneutrality, but impairs cold-induced mitochondrial remodeling, leading to progressive loss of cristae and reduction of mitochondrial density. Proteomics reveals an association between FAM210A and OPA1, whose cleavage governs cristae dynamics and mitochondrial remodeling. Mechanistically, FAM210A interacts with mitochondrial protease YME1L and modulates its activity toward OMA1 and OPA1 cleavage. These data establish FAM210A as a key regulator of mitochondrial cristae remodeling in BAT and shed light on the mechanism underlying mitochondrial plasticity in response to cold.
  2. EMBO Rep. 2023 Oct 12. e55467
      Cold-induced nonshivering thermogenesis has contributed to the improvement of several metabolic syndromes caused by obesity. Several long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to play a role in brown fat biogenesis and thermogenesis. Here we show that the lncRNA lnc266 is induced by cold exposure in inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT). In vitro functional studies reveal that lnc266 promotes brown adipocyte differentiation and thermogenic gene expression. At room temperature, lnc266 has no effects on white fat browning and systemic energy consumption. However, in a cold environment, lnc266 promotes white fat browning and thermogenic gene expression in obese mice. Moreover, lnc266 increases core body temperature and reduces body weight gain. Mechanistically, lnc266 does not directly regulate Ucp1 expression. Instead, lnc266 sponges miR-16-1-3p and thus abolishes the repression of miR-16-1-3p on Ucp1 expression. As a result, lnc266 promotes preadipocyte differentiation toward brown-like adipocytes and stimulates thermogenic gene expression. Overall, lnc266 is a cold-inducible lncRNA in iWAT, with a key role in white fat browning and the thermogenic program.
    Keywords:  UCP1; lncRNAs; miR16-1-3p; thermogenic genes; white fat browning
  3. Elife. 2023 Oct 11. pii: e86452. [Epub ahead of print]12
      We previously reported that mice lacking the protein optic atrophy 1 (OPA1 BKO) in brown adipose tissue (BAT) display induction of the activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), which promotes fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) secretion as a batokine. FGF21 increases metabolic rates under baseline conditions but is dispensable for the resistance to diet-induced obesity (DIO) reported in OPA1 BKO mice (Pereira et al., 2021). To determine alternative mediators of this phenotype, we performed transcriptome analysis, which revealed increased levels of growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15), along with increased protein kinase R (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) levels in BAT. To investigate whether ATF4 induction was mediated by PERK and evaluate the contribution of GDF15 to the resistance to DIO, we selectively deleted PERK or GDF15 in OPA1 BKO mice. Mice with reduced OPA1 and PERK levels in BAT had preserved ISR activation. Importantly, simultaneous deletion of OPA1 and GDF15 partially reversed the resistance to DIO and abrogated the improvements in glucose tolerance. Furthermore, GDF15 was required to improve cold-induced thermogenesis in OPA1 BKO mice. Taken together, our data indicate that PERK is dispensable to induce the ISR, but GDF15 contributes to the resistance to DIO, and is required for glucose homeostasis and thermoregulation in OPA1 BKO mice by increasing energy expenditure.
    Keywords:  GDF15; PERK; biochemistry; brown adipose tissue; chemical biology; integrated stress response; mitochondrial stress; mouse
  4. Nat Microbiol. 2023 Oct 12.
      Trypanosoma brucei causes African trypanosomiasis, colonizing adipose tissue and inducing weight loss. Here we investigated the molecular mechanisms responsible for adipose mass loss and its impact on disease pathology. We found that lipolysis is activated early in infection. Mice lacking B and T lymphocytes fail to upregulate adipocyte lipolysis, resulting in higher fat mass retention. Genetic ablation of the rate-limiting adipose triglyceride lipase specifically from adipocytes (AdipoqCre/+-Atglfl/fl) prevented the stimulation of adipocyte lipolysis during infection, reducing fat mass loss. Surprisingly, these mice succumbed earlier and presented a higher parasite burden in the gonadal adipose tissue, indicating that host lipolysis limits parasite growth. Consistently, free fatty acids comparable with those of adipose interstitial fluid induced loss of parasite viability. Adipocyte lipolysis emerges as a mechanism controlling local parasite burden and affecting the loss of fat mass in African trypanosomiasis.
  5. Nat Cell Biol. 2023 Oct 09.
      Coenzyme Q (CoQ, ubiquinone) is an essential cellular cofactor composed of a redox-active quinone head group and a long hydrophobic polyisoprene tail. How mitochondria access cytosolic isoprenoids for CoQ biosynthesis is a longstanding mystery. Here, via a combination of genetic screening, metabolic tracing and targeted uptake assays, we reveal that Hem25p-a mitochondrial glycine transporter required for haem biosynthesis-doubles as an isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) transporter in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mitochondria lacking Hem25p failed to efficiently incorporate IPP into early CoQ precursors, leading to loss of CoQ and turnover of CoQ biosynthetic proteins. Expression of Hem25p in Escherichia coli enabled robust IPP uptake and incorporation into the CoQ biosynthetic pathway. HEM25 orthologues from diverse fungi, but not from metazoans, were able to rescue hem25∆ CoQ deficiency. Collectively, our work reveals that Hem25p drives the bulk of mitochondrial isoprenoid transport for CoQ biosynthesis in fungi.
  6. PLoS Pathog. 2023 Oct 11. 19(10): e1011699
      The long slender bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei maintains its essential mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) through the proton-pumping activity of the FoF1-ATP synthase operating in the reverse mode. The ATP that drives this hydrolytic reaction has long been thought to be generated by glycolysis and imported from the cytosol via an ATP/ADP carrier (AAC). Indeed, we demonstrate that AAC is the only carrier that can import ATP into the mitochondrial matrix to power the hydrolytic activity of the FoF1-ATP synthase. However, contrary to expectations, the deletion of AAC has no effect on parasite growth, virulence or levels of ΔΨm. This suggests that ATP is produced by substrate-level phosphorylation pathways in the mitochondrion. Therefore, we knocked out the succinyl-CoA synthetase (SCS) gene, a key mitochondrial enzyme that produces ATP through substrate-level phosphorylation in this parasite. Its absence resulted in changes to the metabolic landscape of the parasite, lowered virulence, and reduced mitochondrial ATP content. Strikingly, these SCS mutant parasites become more dependent on AAC as demonstrated by a 25-fold increase in their sensitivity to the AAC inhibitor, carboxyatractyloside. Since the parasites were able to adapt to the loss of SCS in culture, we also analyzed the more immediate phenotypes that manifest when SCS expression is rapidly suppressed by RNAi. Importantly, when performed under nutrient-limited conditions mimicking various host environments, SCS depletion strongly affected parasite growth and levels of ΔΨm. In totality, the data establish that the long slender bloodstream form mitochondrion is capable of generating ATP via substrate-level phosphorylation pathways.
  7. Mol Cell. 2023 Oct 08. pii: S1097-2765(23)00753-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial DNA double-strand breaks (mtDSBs) lead to the degradation of circular genomes and a reduction in copy number; yet, the cellular response in human cells remains elusive. Here, using mitochondrial-targeted restriction enzymes, we show that a subset of cells with mtDSBs exhibited defective mitochondrial protein import, reduced respiratory complexes, and loss of membrane potential. Electron microscopy confirmed the altered mitochondrial membrane and cristae ultrastructure. Intriguingly, mtDSBs triggered the integrated stress response (ISR) via the phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) by DELE1 and heme-regulated eIF2α kinase (HRI). When ISR was inhibited, the cells experienced intensified mitochondrial defects and slower mtDNA recovery post-breakage. Lastly, through proteomics, we identified ATAD3A-a membrane-bound protein interacting with nucleoids-as potentially pivotal in relaying signals from impaired genomes to the inner mitochondrial membrane. In summary, our study delineates the cascade connecting damaged mitochondrial genomes to the cytoplasm and highlights the significance of the ISR in maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis amid genome instability.
    Keywords:  ATAD3A; double-strand breaks; integrated stress response; mitochondrial DNA; protein import
  8. Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 13. 14(1): 6431
      PPTC7 is a resident mitochondrial phosphatase essential for maintaining proper mitochondrial content and function. Newborn mice lacking Pptc7 exhibit aberrant mitochondrial protein phosphorylation, suffer from a range of metabolic defects, and fail to survive beyond one day after birth. Using an inducible knockout model, we reveal that loss of Pptc7 in adult mice causes marked reduction in mitochondrial mass and metabolic capacity with elevated hepatic triglyceride accumulation. Pptc7 knockout animals exhibit increased expression of the mitophagy receptors BNIP3 and NIX, and Pptc7-/- mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) display a major increase in mitophagy that is reversed upon deletion of these receptors. Our phosphoproteomics analyses reveal a common set of elevated phosphosites between perinatal tissues, adult liver, and MEFs, including multiple sites on BNIP3 and NIX, and our molecular studies demonstrate that PPTC7 can directly interact with and dephosphorylate these proteins. These data suggest that Pptc7 deletion causes mitochondrial dysfunction via dysregulation of several metabolic pathways and that PPTC7 may directly regulate mitophagy receptor function or stability. Overall, our work reveals a significant role for PPTC7 in the mitophagic response and furthers the growing notion that management of mitochondrial protein phosphorylation is essential for ensuring proper organelle content and function.
  9. EMBO Rep. 2023 Oct 12. e57092
      The mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) is a key energy transducer in eukaryotic cells. Four respiratory chain complexes cooperate in the transfer of electrons derived from various metabolic pathways to molecular oxygen, thereby establishing an electrochemical gradient over the inner mitochondrial membrane that powers ATP synthesis. This electron transport relies on mobile electron carries that functionally connect the complexes. While the individual complexes can operate independently, they are in situ organized into large assemblies termed respiratory supercomplexes. Recent structural and functional studies have provided some answers to the question of whether the supercomplex organization confers an advantage for cellular energy conversion. However, the jury is still out, regarding the universality of these claims. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on the functional significance of MRC supercomplexes, highlight experimental limitations, and suggest potential new strategies to overcome these obstacles.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; bioenergetics; electron transfer; respiratory chain; supercomplexes
  10. Elife. 2023 Oct 12. pii: RP88084. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Mammalian mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complexes are able to associate into quaternary structures named supercomplexes (SCs), which normally coexist with non-bound individual complexes. The functional significance of SCs has not been fully clarified and the debate has been centered on whether or not they confer catalytic advantages compared with the non-bound individual complexes. Mitochondrial respiratory chain organization does not seem to be conserved in all organisms. In fact, and differently from mammalian species, mitochondria from Drosophila melanogaster tissues are characterized by low amounts of SCs, despite the high metabolic demands and MRC activity shown by these mitochondria. Here, we show that attenuating the biogenesis of individual respiratory chain complexes was accompanied by increased formation of stable SCs, which are missing in Drosophila melanogaster in physiological conditions. This phenomenon was not accompanied by an increase in mitochondrial respiratory activity. Therefore, we conclude that SC formation is necessary to stabilize the complexes in suboptimal biogenesis conditions, but not for the enhancement of respiratory chain catalysis.
    Keywords:  D. melanogaster; Drosophila; Mitochondria; OXPHOS; biochemistry; chemical biology; supercomplexes
  11. Biochemistry. 2023 Oct 09.
      The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter ABCB10 resides in the inner membrane of mitochondria and is implicated in erythropoiesis. Mitochondria from different cell types share some specific characteristics, one of which is the high abundance of cardiolipin. Although previous studies have provided insight into ABCB10, the affinity and selectivity of this transporter toward lipids, particularly those found in the mitochondria, remain poorly understood. Here, native mass spectrometry is used to directly monitor the binding events of lipids to human ABCB10. The results reveal that ABCB10 binds avidly to cardiolipin with an affinity significantly higher than that of other phospholipids. The first three binding events of cardiolipin display positive cooperativity, which is suggestive of specific cardiolipin-binding sites on ABCB10. Phosphatidic acid is the second-best binder of the lipids investigated. The bulk lipids, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, display the weakest binding affinity for ABCB10. Other lipids bind ABCB10 with a similar affinity. Functional assays show that cardiolipin regulates the ATPase activity of ABCB10 in a dose-dependent fashion. ATPase activity of ABCB10 was also impacted in the presence of other lipids but to a lesser extent than cardiolipin. Taken together, ABCB10 has a high binding affinity for cardiolipin, and this lipid also regulates the ATPase activity of the transporter.
  12. Nature. 2023 Oct 11.
      Senescent cells drive age-related tissue dysfunction partially through the induction of a chronic senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP)1. Mitochondria are major regulators of the SASP; however, the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated2. Mitochondria are often essential for apoptosis, a cell fate distinct from cellular senescence. During apoptosis, widespread mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) commits a cell to die3. Here we find that MOMP occurring in a subset of mitochondria is a feature of cellular senescence. This process, called minority MOMP (miMOMP), requires BAX and BAK macropores enabling the release of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) into the cytosol. Cytosolic mtDNA in turn activates the cGAS-STING pathway, a major regulator of the SASP. We find that inhibition of MOMP in vivo decreases inflammatory markers and improves healthspan in aged mice. Our results reveal that apoptosis and senescence are regulated by similar mitochondria-dependent mechanisms and that sublethal mitochondrial apoptotic stress is a major driver of the SASP. We provide proof-of-concept that inhibition of miMOMP-induced inflammation may be a therapeutic route to improve healthspan.
  13. J Exp Biol. 2023 Oct 10. pii: jeb.245296. [Epub ahead of print]
      Migration is an energetically taxing phenomenon as animals move across vast, heterogenous landscapes where the cost of transport is impacted by permissible ambient conditions. In this study, we assessed the energetic demands of long-distance migration in a multigenerational ectothermic migrant, the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). We tested the hypotheses that temperature-dependent physiological processes reduce energy reserves faster during migration than previously estimated, and that increasing climatic temperatures resulting from the climate crisis will intensify baseline daily energy expenditure. First, we reared monarchs under laboratory conditions to assess energy and mass conversion from fifth instar to adult stages, as a baseline for migratory adult mass and ontogenetic shifts in metabolic rate from larvae to adult. Then, using historical tag-recapture data, we estimated the movement propensity and migratory pace of fall migrants using computer simulations and subsequently calculated energy expenditure. Finally, we estimated the energy use of monarchs based on these tag-recapture data and used this information to estimate daily energy expenditure over a 57-year period. We found support for our two hypotheses, noting that incorporating standard metabolic rate into estimates of migratory energy expenditure shows higher energy demand and that daily energy expenditure has been gradually increasing over time since 1961. Our study shows the deleterious energetic consequences under current climate change trajectories and highlights the importance of incorporating energetic estimates for understanding migration by small, ectothermic migrants.
    Keywords:  Energetics; Lepidoptera; Metabolism; Migration; Simulation; Tag-Recapture
  14. Hum Mol Genet. 2023 Oct 10. pii: ddad161. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations affecting the mitochondrial intermembrane space protein CHCHD10 cause human disease, but it is not known why different amino acid substitutions cause markedly different clinical phenotypes, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia, spinal muscular atrophy Jokela-type, isolated autosomal dominant mitochondrial myopathy and cardiomyopathy. CHCHD10 mutations have been associated with deletions of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA deletions), raising the possibility that these explain the clinical variability. Here, we sequenced mtDNA obtained from hearts, skeletal muscle, livers and spinal cords of WT and Chchd10 G58R or S59L knockin mice to characterize the mtDNA deletion signatures of the two mutant lines. We found that the deletion levels were higher in G58R and S59L mice than in WT mice in some tissues depending on the Chchd10 genotype, and the deletion burden increased with age. Furthermore, we observed that the spinal cord was less prone to the development of mtDNA deletions than the other tissues examined. Finally, in addition to accelerating the rate of naturally occurring deletions, Chchd10 mutations also led to the accumulation of a novel set of deletions characterized by shorter direct repeats flanking the deletion breakpoints. Our results indicate that Chchd10 mutations in mice induce tissue-specific deletions which may also contribute to the clinical phenotype associated with these mutations in humans.
    Keywords:  miochondrial DNA; mitochondria; mtDNA deletions; neurodegeneration