bims-mimbat Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in brown adipose tissue
Issue of 2024‒06‒16
five papers selected by
José Carlos de Lima-Júnior, Washington University

  1. Science. 2024 Jun 14. 384(6701): 1247-1253
      Respiratory complex I is an efficient driver for oxidative phosphorylation in mammalian mitochondria, but its uncontrolled catalysis under challenging conditions leads to oxidative stress and cellular damage. Ischemic conditions switch complex I from rapid, reversible catalysis into a dormant state that protects upon reoxygenation, but the molecular basis for the switch is unknown. We combined precise biochemical definition of complex I catalysis with high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structures in the phospholipid bilayer of coupled vesicles to reveal the mechanism of the transition into the dormant state, modulated by membrane interactions. By implementing a versatile membrane system to unite structure and function, attributing catalytic and regulatory properties to specific structural states, we define how a conformational switch in complex I controls its physiological roles.
  2. Cell. 2024 Jun 05. pii: S0092-8674(24)00526-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dynamics play a critical role in cell fate decisions and in controlling mtDNA levels and distribution. However, the molecular mechanisms linking mitochondrial membrane remodeling and quality control to mtDNA copy number (CN) regulation remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) protein mitochondrial fission process 1 (MTFP1) negatively regulates IMM fusion. Moreover, manipulation of mitochondrial fusion through the regulation of MTFP1 levels results in mtDNA CN modulation. Mechanistically, we found that MTFP1 inhibits mitochondrial fusion to isolate and exclude damaged IMM subdomains from the rest of the network. Subsequently, peripheral fission ensures their segregation into small MTFP1-enriched mitochondria (SMEM) that are targeted for degradation in an autophagic-dependent manner. Remarkably, MTFP1-dependent IMM quality control is essential for basal nucleoid recycling and therefore to maintain adequate mtDNA levels within the cell.
    Keywords:  IMM quality control; IMM remodeling; MTFP1; autophagy; fission and fusion; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mitophagy; mtDNA
  3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 Jun 18. 121(25): e2322475121
      Low temperatures and cooling agents like menthol induce cold sensation by activating the peripheral cold receptors TRPM8 and TRPA1, cation channels belonging to the TRP channel family, while the reduction of potassium currents provides an additional and/or synergistic mechanism of cold sensation. Despite extensive studies over the past decades to identify the molecular receptors that mediate thermosensation, cold sensation is still not fully understood and many cold-sensitive peripheral neurons do not express the well-established cold sensor TRPM8. We found that the voltage-gated potassium channel KCNQ1 (Kv7.1), which is defective in cardiac LQT1 syndrome, is, in addition to its known function in the heart, a highly relevant and sex-specific sensor of moderately cold temperatures. We found that KCNQ1 is expressed in skin and dorsal root ganglion neurons, is sensitive to menthol and cooling agents, and is highly sensitive to moderately cold temperatures, in a temperature range at which TRPM8 is not thermosensitive. C-fiber recordings from KCNQ1-/- mice displayed altered action potential firing properties. Strikingly, only male KCNQ1-/- mice showed substantial deficits in cold avoidance at moderately cold temperatures, with a strength of the phenotype similar to that observed in TRPM8-/- animals. While sex-dependent differences in thermal sensitivity have been well documented in humans and mice, KCNQ1 is the first gene reported to play a role in sex-specific temperature sensation. Moreover, we propose that KCNQ1, together with TRPM8, is a key instrumentalist that orchestrates the range and intensity of cold sensation.
    Keywords:  C-fibers; KCNQ1 knockout mice; cold sensation; menthol; temperature behavior assay
  4. J Therm Biol. 2024 Jun 04. pii: S0306-4565(24)00086-X. [Epub ahead of print]122 103868
      Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) ion channels are important for sensing environmental temperature. In rodents, TRPV4 senses warmth (25-34 °C), TRPV1 senses heat (>42 °C), TRPA1 putatively senses cold (<17 °C), and TRPM8 senses cool-cold (18-26 °C). We investigated if knockout (KO) mice lacking these TRP channels exhibited changes in thermal preference. Thermal preference was tested using a dual hot-cold plate with one thermoelectric surface set at 30 °C and the adjacent surface at a temperature of 15-45 °C in 5 °C increments. Blinded observers counted the number of times mice crossed through an opening between plates and the percentage of time spent on the 30 °C plate. In a separate experiment, observers blinded as to genotype also assessed the temperature at the location on a thermal gradient (1.83 m, 4-50 °C) occupied by the mouse at 5- or 10-min intervals over 2 h. Male and female wildtype mice preferred 30 °C and significantly avoided colder (15-20 °C) and hotter (40-45 °C) temperatures. Male TRPV1KOs and TRPA1KOs, and TRPV4KOs of both sexes, were similar, while female WTs, TRPV1KOs, TRPA1KOs and TRPM8KOs did not show significant thermal preferences across the temperature range. Male and female TRPM8KOs did not significantly avoid the coldest temperatures. Male mice (except for TRPM8KOs) exhibited significantly fewer plate crossings at hot and cold temperatures and more crossings at thermoneutral temperatures, while females exhibited a similar but non-significant trend. Occupancy temperatures along the thermal gradient exhibited a broad distribution that shrank somewhat over time. Mean occupancy temperatures (recorded at 90-120 min) were significantly higher for females (30-34 °C) compared to males (26-27 °C) of all genotypes, except for TRPA1KOs which exhibited no sex difference. The results indicate (1) sex differences with females (except TRPA1KOs) preferring warmer temperatures, (2) reduced thermosensitivity in female TRPV1KOs, and (3) reduced sensitivity to cold and innocuous warmth in male and female TRPM8KOs consistent with previous studies.
    Keywords:  Cold avoidance; TRP channel knockout1; Thermal gradient; Thermal preference; Warm avoidance
  5. Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2024 May 23. pii: S0003-4266(24)00073-8. [Epub ahead of print]