bims-mitdis Biomed News
on Mitochondrial disorders
Issue of 2021‒10‒17
seventy papers selected by
Catalina Vasilescu
University of Helsinki

  1. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2021 ;8 749756
      Mitochondria are essential organelles for cellular energy production, metabolic homeostasis, calcium homeostasis, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. About 99% of mammalian mitochondrial proteins are encoded by the nuclear genome, synthesized as precursors in the cytosol, and imported into mitochondria by mitochondrial protein import machinery. Mitochondrial protein import systems function not only as independent units for protein translocation, but also are deeply integrated into a functional network of mitochondrial bioenergetics, protein quality control, mitochondrial dynamics and morphology, and interaction with other organelles. Mitochondrial protein import deficiency is linked to various diseases, including cardiovascular disease. In this review, we describe an emerging class of protein or genetic variations of components of the mitochondrial import machinery involved in heart disease. The major protein import pathways, including the presequence pathway (TIM23 pathway), the carrier pathway (TIM22 pathway), and the mitochondrial intermembrane space import and assembly machinery, related translocases, proteinases, and chaperones, are discussed here. This review highlights the importance of mitochondrial import machinery in heart disease, which deserves considerable attention, and further studies are urgently needed. Ultimately, this knowledge may be critical for the development of therapeutic strategies in heart disease.
    Keywords:  CHCHD4 (MIA40); TIM22 complex; TIM23 complex; TOM complex; heart disease; mitochondrial protein import machinery
  2. Endocr Rev. 2021 Oct 13. pii: bnab036. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial diseases are a group of common inherited diseases causing disruption of oxidative phosphorylation. Some patients with mitochondrial disease have endocrine manifestations, with diabetes being predominant but also include hypogonadism, hypoadrenalism and hypoparathyroidism. There have been major developments in mitochondrial disease over the last decade that have major implications for all patients. The collection of large cohorts of patients has better defined the phenotype of mitochondrial diseases and the majority of patients with endocrine abnormalities have involvement of several other systems. This means that patients with mitochondrial disease and endocrine manifestations need specialist follow up because some of the other manifestations, such as stroke-like episodes and cardiomyopathy, are potentially life threatening. Also, the development and follow up of large cohorts of patients means that there are clinical guidelines for the management of patients with mitochondrial disease. There is also considerable research activity to identify novel therapies for the treatment of mitochondrial disease. The revolution in genetics, with the introduction of next generation sequencing, has made genetic testing more available and establishing a precise genetic diagnosis is important since it will affect the risk for involvement for different organ systems. Establishing a genetic diagnosis is also crucial since there are important reproductive options have been developed which will prevent the transmission of mitochondrial disease due to mitochondrial DNA variants to the next generation.
    Keywords:  MIDD; clinical management; diabetes mellitus; genomic testing; mitochondrial DNA; reproductive options
  3. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Oct 12. pii: ddab299. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in mitochondrial DNA encoded subunit of ATP synthase, MT-ATP6, are frequent causes of neurological mitochondrial diseases with a range of phenotypes from Leigh syndrome and NARP to ataxias and neuropathies. Here we investigated the functional consequences of an unusual heteroplasmic truncating mutation m.9154C>T in MT-ATP6, which caused peripheral neuropathy, ataxia and IgA nephropathy. ATP synthase not only generates cellular ATP, but its dimerization is required for mitochondrial cristae formation. Accordingly, the MT-ATP6 truncating mutation impaired the assembly of ATP synthase and disrupted cristae morphology, supporting our molecular dynamics simulations that predicted destabilized a/c subunit subcomplex. Next, we modeled the effects of the truncating mutation using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells. Unexpectedly, depending on mutation heteroplasmy level, the truncation showed multiple threshold effects in cellular reprogramming, neurogenesis and in metabolism of mature motor neurons (MN). Interestingly, MN differentiation beyond progenitor stage was impaired by Notch hyperactivation in the MT-ATP6 mutant, but not by rotenone-induced inhibition of mitochondrial respiration, suggesting that altered mitochondrial morphology contributed to Notch hyperactivation. Finally, we also identified a lower mutation threshold for a metabolic shift in mature MN, affecting lactate utilization, which may be relevant for understanding the mechanisms of mitochondrial involvement in peripheral motor neuropathies. These results establish a critical and disease-relevant role for ATP synthase in human cell fate decisions and neuronal metabolism.
  4. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2021 Oct 09. 16(1): 413
      BACKGROUND: Leigh syndrome (LS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with primary or secondary dysfunction of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and is the most common mitochondrial disease in childhood. Numerous reports on the biochemical and molecular profiles of LS have been published, but there are limited studies on genetically confirmed large series. We reviewed the clinical, imaging, biochemical and molecular data of 122 patients with a diagnosis of LS collected in the Italian Collaborative Network of Mitochondrial Diseases database.RESULTS: Clinical picture was characterized by early onset of several neurological signs dominated by central nervous system involvement associated with both supra- and sub-tentorial grey matter at MRI in the majority of cases. Extraneurological organ involvement is less frequent in LS than expected for a mitochondrial disorder. Complex I and IV deficiencies were the most common biochemical diagnoses, mostly associated with mutations in SURF1 or mitochondrial-DNA genes encoding complex I subunits. Our data showed SURF1 as the genotype with the most unfavorable prognosis, differently from other cohorts reported to date.
    CONCLUSION: We report on a large genetically defined LS cohort, adding new data on phenotype-genotype correlation, prognostic factors and possible suggestions to diagnostic workup.
    Keywords:  Basal ganglia; Childhood; Leigh syndrome; Mitochondrial disease
  5. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 13. 12(1): 5977
      Muscle diseases and aging are associated with impaired myogenic stem cell self-renewal and fewer proliferating progenitors (MPs). Importantly, distinct metabolic states induced by glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation have been connected to MP proliferation and differentiation. However, how these energy-provisioning mechanisms cooperate remain obscure. Herein, we describe a mechanism by which mitochondrial-localized transcriptional co-repressor p107 regulates MP proliferation. We show p107 directly interacts with the mitochondrial DNA, repressing mitochondrial-encoded gene transcription. This reduces ATP production by limiting electron transport chain complex formation. ATP output, controlled by the mitochondrial function of p107, is directly associated with the cell cycle rate. Sirt1 activity, dependent on the cytoplasmic glycolysis product NAD+, directly interacts with p107, impeding its mitochondrial localization. The metabolic control of MP proliferation, driven by p107 mitochondrial function, establishes a cell cycle paradigm that might extend to other dividing cell types.
  6. J Hum Genet. 2021 Oct 15.
      Fanconi syndrome is a functional disorder of the proximal tubule, characterized by pan-aminoaciduria, glucosuria, hypophosphatemia, and metabolic acidosis. With the advancements in gene analysis technologies, several causative genes are identified for Fanconi syndrome. Several mitochondrial diseases cause Fanconi syndrome and various systemic symptoms; however, it is rare that the main clinical symptoms in such disorders are Fanconi syndrome without systematic active diseases like encephalomyopathy or cardiomyopathy. In this study, we analyzed two families exhibiting Fanconi syndrome, developmental disability and mildly elevated liver enzyme levels. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) detected compound heterozygous known and novel BCS1L mutations, which affect the assembly of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex III, in both cases. The pathogenicity of these mutations has been established in several mitochondria-related functional analyses in this study. Mitochondrial diseases with isolated renal symptoms are uncommon; however, this study indicates that mitochondrial respiratory chain complex III deficiency due to BCS1L mutations cause Fanconi syndrome with developmental disability as the primary indications.
  7. Biol Open. 2021 Oct 13. pii: bio.059072. [Epub ahead of print]
      Next-generation sequencing can quickly reveal genetic variation potentially linked to heritable disease. As databases encompassing human variation continue to expand, rare variants have been of high interest, since the frequency of a variant is expected to be low if the genetic change leads to a loss of fitness or fecundity. However, the use of variant frequency when seeking genomic changes linked to disease remains very challenging. Here, we explore the role of selection in controlling human variant frequency using the HelixMT database, which encompasses hundreds of thousands of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) samples. We find that a substantial number of synonymous substitutions, which have no effect on protein sequence, were never encountered in this large study, while many other synonymous changes are found at very low frequencies. Further analyses of human and mammalian mtDNA datasets indicate that the population frequency of synonymous variants is predominantly determined by mutational biases rather than by strong selection acting upon nucleotide choice. Our work has important implications that extend to the interpretation of variant frequency for non-synonymous substitutions.
    Keywords:  Genomic variation; Mitochondrial DNA; Mutational bias; Pathogenicity prediction; Population frequency
  8. Front Aging Neurosci. 2021 ;13 713084
      Objective: To establish a workflow for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) CpG methylation using Nanopore whole-genome sequencing and perform first pilot experiments on affected Parkin biallelic mutation carriers (Parkin-PD) and healthy controls. Background: Mitochondria, including mtDNA, are established key players in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Mutations in Parkin, essential for degradation of damaged mitochondria, cause early-onset PD. However, mtDNA methylation and its implication in PD is understudied. Herein, we establish a workflow using Nanopore sequencing to directly detect mtDNA CpG methylation and compare mtDNA methylation between Parkin-related PD and healthy individuals. Methods: To obtain mtDNA, whole-genome Nanopore sequencing was performed on blood-derived from five Parkin-PD and three control subjects. In addition, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived midbrain neurons from four of these patients with PD and the three control subjects were investigated. The workflow was validated, using methylated and unmethylated 897 bp synthetic DNA samples at different dilution ratios (0, 50, 100% methylation) and mtDNA without methylation. MtDNA CpG methylation frequency (MF) was detected using Nanopolish and Megalodon. Results: Across all blood-derived samples, we obtained a mean coverage of 250.3X (SD ± 80.5X) and across all neuron-derived samples 830X (SD ± 465X) of the mitochondrial genome. We detected overall low-level CpG methylation from the blood-derived DNA (mean MF ± SD = 0.029 ± 0.041) and neuron-derived DNA (mean MF ± SD = 0.019 ± 0.035). Validation of the workflow, using synthetic DNA samples showed that highly methylated DNA molecules were prone to lower Guppy Phred quality scores and thereby more likely to fail Guppy base-calling. CpG methylation in blood- and neuron-derived DNA was significantly lower in Parkin-PD compared to controls (Mann-Whitney U-test p < 0.05). Conclusion: Nanopore sequencing is a useful method to investigate mtDNA methylation architecture, including Guppy-failed reads is of importance when investigating highly methylated sites. We present a mtDNA methylation workflow and suggest methylation variability across different tissues and between Parkin-PD patients and controls as an initial model to investigate.
    Keywords:  Nanopore; Parkin; Parkinson's disease; methylation; mitochondrial DNA; third-generation sequencing
  9. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 26. pii: 10344. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      Several pediatric mitochondrial disorders, including Leigh syndrome (LS), impact mitochondrial (mt) genetics, development, and metabolism, leading to complex pathologies and energy failure. The extent to which pathogenic mtDNA variants regulate disease severity in LS is currently not well understood. To better understand this relationship, we computed a glycolytic bioenergetics health index (BHI) for measuring mitochondrial dysfunction in LS patient fibroblast cells harboring varying percentages of pathogenic mutant mtDNA (T8993G, T9185C) exhibiting deficiency in complex V or complex I (T10158C, T12706C). A high percentage (>90%) of pathogenic mtDNA in cells affecting complex V and a low percentage (<39%) of pathogenic mtDNA in cells affecting complex I was quantified. Levels of defective enzyme activities of the electron transport chain correlated with the percentage of pathogenic mtDNA. Subsequent bioenergetics assays showed cell lines relied on both OXPHOS and glycolysis for meeting energy requirements. Results suggest that whereas the precise mechanism of LS has not been elucidated, a multi-pronged approach taking into consideration the specific pathogenic mtDNA variant, glycolytic BHI, and the composite BHI (average ratio of oxphos to glycolysis) can aid in better understanding the factors influencing disease severity in LS.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics health index; glycolysis; leigh syndrome; mitochondrial disorders; mitochondrial respiration
  10. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 22. pii: 10211. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      Primary coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) deficiency includes a heterogeneous group of mitochondrial diseases characterized by low mitochondrial levels of CoQ due to decreased endogenous biosynthesis rate. These diseases respond to CoQ treatment mainly at the early stages of the disease. The advances in the next generation sequencing (NGS) as whole-exome sequencing (WES) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) have increased the discoveries of mutations in either gene already described to participate in CoQ biosynthesis or new genes also involved in this pathway. However, these technologies usually provide many mutations in genes whose pathogenic effect must be validated. To functionally validate the impact of gene variations in the disease's onset and progression, different cell models are commonly used. We review here the use of yeast strains for functional complementation of human genes, dermal skin fibroblasts from patients as an excellent tool to demonstrate the biochemical and genetic mechanisms of these diseases and the development of human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and iPSC-derived organoids for the study of the pathogenesis and treatment approaches.
    Keywords:  cell models; coenzyme Q; coenzyme Q deficiency; human fibroblasts; iPSC; mitochondrial diseases; yeast
  11. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(10): e0256619
      Mitochondrial trifunctional protein (TFP) is a membrane-associated heterotetramer that catalyzes three of the four reactions needed to chain-shorten long-chain fatty acids inside the mitochondria. TFP is known to be heavily modified by acetyllysine and succinyllysine post-translational modifications (PTMs), many of which are targeted for reversal by the mitochondrial sirtuin deacylases SIRT3 and SIRT5. However, the functional significance of these PTMs is not clear, with some reports showing TFP gain-of-function and some showing loss-of-function upon increased acylation. Here, we mapped the known SIRT3/SIRT5-targeted lysine residues onto the recently solved TFP crystal structure which revealed that many of the target sites are involved in substrate channeling within the TFPα subunit. To test the effects of acylation on substate channeling through TFPα, we enzymatically synthesized the physiological long-chain substrate (2E)-hexadecenoyl-CoA. Assaying TFP in SIRT3 and SIRT5 knockout mouse liver and heart mitochondria with (2E)-hexadecenoyl-CoA revealed no change in enzyme activity. Finally, we investigated the effects of lysine acylation on TFP membrane binding in vitro. Acylation did not alter recombinant TFP binding to cardiolipin-containing liposomes. However, the presence of liposomes strongly abrogated the acylation reaction between succinyl-CoA and TFP lysine residues. Thus, TFP in the membrane-bound state may be protected against lysine acylation.
  12. Hum Genet. 2021 Oct 13.
      Mitochondrial disorders are collectively common, genetically heterogeneous disorders in both pediatric and adult populations. They are caused by molecular defects in oxidative phosphorylation, failure of essential bioenergetic supply to mitochondria, and apoptosis. Here, we present three affected individuals from a consanguineous family of Pakistani origin with variable seizures and intellectual disability. Both females display primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), while the male shows abnormal sex hormone levels. We performed whole exome sequencing and identified a recessive missense variant c.694C > T, p.Arg232Cys in TFAM that segregates with disease. TFAM (mitochondrial transcription factor A) is a component of the mitochondrial replisome machinery that maintains mtDNA transcription and replication. In primary dermal fibroblasts, we show depletion of mtDNA and significantly altered mitochondrial function and morphology. Moreover, we observed reduced nucleoid numbers with significant changes in nucleoid size or shape in fibroblasts from an affected individual compared to controls. We also investigated the effect of tfam impairment in zebrafish; homozygous tfam mutants carrying an in-frame c.141_149 deletion recapitulate the mtDNA depletion and ovarian dysgenesis phenotypes observed in affected humans. Together, our genetic and functional data confirm that TFAM plays a pivotal role in gonad development and expands the repertoire of mitochondrial disease phenotypes.
  13. Proc Jpn Acad Ser B Phys Biol Sci. 2021 ;97(8): 479-498
      Polyphosphate [poly(P)] is described as a homopolymer of inorganic phosphates. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide kinase (NAD kinase) catalyzes the phosphorylation of NAD+ to NADP+ in the presence of ATP (ATP-NAD kinase). Novel NAD kinase that explicitly phosphorylates NAD+ to NADP+ using poly(P), besides ATP [ATP/poly(P)-NAD kinase], was found in bacteria, in particular, Gram-positive bacteria, and the gene encoding ATP/poly(P)-NAD kinase was also newly identified in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. Both NAD kinases required multi-homopolymeric structures for activity expression. The enzymatic and genetic results, combined with their primary and tertiary structures, have led to the discovery of a long-awaited human mitochondrial NAD kinase. This discovery showed that the NAD kinase is a bacterial type of ATP/poly(P)-NAD kinase. These pioneering findings, i.e., ATP/poly(P)-NAD kinase, NAD kinase gene, and human mitochondrial NAD kinase, have significantly enhanced research on the biochemistry, molecular biology, and evolutionary biology of NAD kinase, mitochondria, and poly(P), including some biotechnological knowledge applicable to NADP+ production.
    Keywords:  NAD kinase; NAD kinase gene; NAD+; NADP+; human mitochondrial NAD kinase; polyphosphate
  14. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 29. pii: 10556. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      Medium-chain fatty acids (mc-FAs) are currently applied in the treatment of long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorders (lc-FAOD) characterized by impaired β-oxidation. Here, we performed lipidomic and proteomic analysis in fibroblasts from patients with very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCADD) and long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCHADD) deficiencies after incubation with heptanoate (C7) and octanoate (C8). Defects of β-oxidation induced striking proteomic alterations, whereas the effect of treatment with mc-FAs was minor. However, mc-FAs induced a remodeling of complex lipids. Especially C7 appeared to act protectively by restoring sphingolipid biosynthesis flux and improving the observed dysregulation of protein homeostasis in LCHADD under control conditions.
    Keywords:  lipidomics; long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorders; medium-chain fatty acids; protein homeostasis; proteomics; sphingolipid biosynthesis flux
  15. Aging Dis. 2021 Oct;12(7): 1753-1772
      Huntington's disease (HD) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease caused by a trinucleotide CAG repeat expansion in the HTT gene. While the pathogenesis of HD is incompletely understood, mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to be a key contributor. In this work, we used C. elegans models to elucidate the role of mitochondrial dynamics in HD. We found that expression of a disease-length polyglutamine tract in body wall muscle, either with or without exon 1 of huntingtin, results in mitochondrial fragmentation and mitochondrial network disorganization. While mitochondria in young HD worms form elongated tubular networks as in wild-type worms, mitochondrial fragmentation occurs with age as expanded polyglutamine protein forms aggregates. To correct the deficit in mitochondrial morphology, we reduced levels of DRP-1, the GTPase responsible for mitochondrial fission. Surprisingly, we found that disrupting drp-1 can have detrimental effects, which are dependent on how much expression is decreased. To avoid potential negative side effects of disrupting drp-1, we examined whether decreasing mitochondrial fragmentation by targeting other genes could be beneficial. Through this approach, we identified multiple genetic targets that rescue movement deficits in worm models of HD. Three of these genetic targets, pgp-3, F25B5.6 and alh-12, increased movement in the HD worm model and restored mitochondrial morphology to wild-type morphology. This work demonstrates that disrupting the mitochondrial fission gene drp-1 can be detrimental in animal models of HD, but that decreasing mitochondrial fragmentation by targeting other genes can be protective. Overall, this study identifies novel therapeutic targets for HD aimed at improving mitochondrial health.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; DRP1; Huntington’s disease; aggregation; animal model; genetics; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; neurodegeneration; neuroprotection
  16. Molecules. 2021 Sep 28. pii: 5883. [Epub ahead of print]26(19):
      O-GlcNAcylation is a nutrient-driven post-translational modification known as a metabolic sensor that links metabolism to cellular function. Recent evidences indicate that the activation of O-GlcNAc pathway is a potential pro-survival pathway and that acute enhancement of this response is conducive to the survival of cells and tissues. 2-(4-Methoxyphenyl)ethyl-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-β-d-pyranoside (SalA-4g), is a salidroside analogue synthesized in our laboratory by chemical structure-modification, with a phenyl ring containing a para-methoxy group and a sugar ring consisting of N-acetylglucosamine. We have previously shown that SalA-4g elevates levels of protein O-GlcNAc and improves neuronal tolerance to ischemia. However, the specific target of SalA-4g regulating O-GlcNAcylation remains unknown. To address these questions, in this study, we have focused on mitochondrial network homeostasis mediated by O-GlcNAcylation in SalA-4g's neuroprotection in primary cortical neurons under ischemic-like conditions. O-GlcNAc-modified mitochondria induced by SalA-4g demonstrated stronger neuroprotection under oxygen glucose deprivation and reoxygenation stress, including the improvement of mitochondrial homeostasis and bioenergy, and inhibition of mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Blocking mitochondrial protein O-GlcNAcylation with OSMI-1 disrupted mitochondrial network homeostasis and antagonized the protective effects of SalA-4g. Collectively, these data demonstrate that mitochondrial homeostasis mediated by mitochondrial protein O-GlcNAcylation is critically involved in SalA-4g neuroprotection.
    Keywords:  2-(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-b-d-pyranoside; O-GlcNAcylation; cellular bioenergetics; mitochondrial homeostasis; neuroprotection; oxygen glucose deprivation/reoxygenation stress
  17. Front Mol Neurosci. 2021 ;14 730604
      As mitochondrial dysfunction has increasingly been implicated in neurological diseases, much of the investigation focuses on the response of the mitochondria. It appears that mitochondria can respond to external stimuli speedy fast, in seconds. Understanding how mitochondria sense the signal and communicate with cytosolic pathways are keys to understand mitochondrial regulation in diseases or in response to trauma. It was not until recently that a novel mitochondrial protein, phosphoglycerate mutase family member 5 (PGAM5) has emerged to be a new regulator of mitochondrial homeostasis. Although controversial results reveal beneficial as well as detrimental roles of PGAM5 in cancers, these findings also suggest PGAM5 may have diverse regulation on cellular physiology. Roles of PGAM5 in neuronal tissues remain to be uncovered. This review discusses current knowledge of PGAM5 in neurological diseases and provides future perspectives.
    Keywords:  PGAM5; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial homeostasis; mitophagy; neurological diseases
  18. iScience. 2021 Oct 22. 24(10): 103153
      The dual function protein ACAD9 catalyzes α,β-dehydrogenation of fatty acyl-CoA thioesters in fatty acid β-oxidation and is an essential chaperone for mitochondrial respiratory complex I (CI) assembly. ACAD9, ECSIT, and NDUFAF1 interact to form the core mitochondrial CI assembly complex. Current studies examine the molecular mechanism of ACAD9/ECSIT/NDUFAF1interactions. ACAD9 binds to the carboxy-terminal half and NDUFAF1 to the amino-terminal half of ECSIT. Binary complexes are unstable and aggregate easily, while the ACAD9/ECSIT/NDUFAF1 ternary complex is soluble and highly stable. Molecular modeling and small-angle X-ray scattering studies identified intra-complex interaction sites and binding sites for other assembly factors. Binding of ECSIT at the ETF binding site in the amino-terminal domain of ACAD9 is consistent with observed loss of FAD and enzymatic activity and demonstrates that the two functions of ACAD9 are mutually exclusive. Mapping of 42 known pathogenic mutations onto the homology-modeled ACAD9 structure provides structural insights into pathomechanisms of CI deficiency.
    Keywords:  Biological sciences; Molecular biology; Structural biology
  19. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 30. pii: 10579. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      The heart is an organ with high-energy demands in which the mitochondria are most abundant. They are considered the powerhouse of the cell and occupy a central role in cellular metabolism. The intermyofibrillar mitochondria constitute the majority of the three-mitochondrial subpopulations in the heart. They are also considered to be the most important in terms of their ability to participate in calcium and cellular signaling, which are critical for the regulation of mitochondrial function and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. This is because they are located in very close proximity with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and for the presence of tethering complexes enabling interorganelle crosstalk via calcium signaling. Calcium is an important second messenger that regulates mitochondrial function. It promotes ATP production and cellular survival under physiological changes in cardiac energetic demand. This is accomplished in concert with signaling pathways that regulate both calcium cycling and mitochondrial function. Perturbations in mitochondrial homeostasis and metabolic remodeling occupy a central role in the pathogenesis of heart failure. In this review we will discuss perturbations in ER-mitochondrial crosstalk and touch on important signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in the dysregulation of calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial function in heart failure.
    Keywords:  calcium; heart failure; metabolic remodeling; mitochondria; signaling
  20. Trends Cell Biol. 2021 Oct 08. pii: S0962-8924(21)00183-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Final maturation steps during ribosome biogenesis require the assistance of assembly and quality control factors to ensure the folding of rRNA and proteins into a functional translation machinery. Here we integrate several recent structural snapshots of native large ribosomal subunit intermediates into the complex pathway of mitochondrial ribosome assembly.
  21. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 737304
      Mitophagy specifically recognizes and removes damaged or superfluous mitochondria to maintain mitochondrial homeostasis and proper neuronal function. Defective mitophagy and the resulting accumulation of damaged mitochondria occur in several neurodegenerative diseases. Previously, we showed mitochondrial dysfunction in astrocytes with POLG mutations, and here, we examined how POLG mutations affect mitophagy in astrocytes and how this can be ameliorated pharmacologically. Using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived astrocytes carrying POLG mutations, we found downregulation of mitophagy/autophagy-related genes using RNA sequencing-based KEGG metabolic pathway analysis. We confirmed a deficit in mitochondrial autophagosome formation under exogenous stress conditions and downregulation of the mitophagy receptor p62, reduced lipidation of LC3B-II, and decreased expression of lysosome protein lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2A (LAMP2A). These changes were regulated by the PINK1/Parkin pathway and AKT/mTOR/AMPK/ULK1 signaling pathways. Importantly, we found that double treatment with nicotinamide riboside (NR) and metformin rescued mitophagy defects and mitochondrial dysfunction in POLG-mutant astrocytes. Our findings reveal that impaired mitophagy is involved in the observed mitochondrial dysfunction caused by POLG mutations in astrocytes, potentially contributing to the phenotype in POLG-related diseases. This study also demonstrates the therapeutic potential of NR and metformin in these incurable mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  IPSC (induced pluripotent stem cells); POLG; astrocytes; metformin; mitochondria; mitophagy; nicotinamide riboside (NR)
  22. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2021 Oct 16.
      Barth Syndrome (BTHS) is a rare inherited metabolic disease resulting from mutations in the gene of the enzyme tafazzin, which catalyzes the acyl chain remodeling of the mitochondrial-specific lipid cardiolipin (CL). Tissue samples of individuals with BTHS present abnormalities in the level and the molecular species of CL. In addition, in tissues of a tafazzin knockdown mouse as well as in cells derived from BTHS patients it has been shown that plasmalogens, a subclass of glycerophospholipids, also have abnormal levels. Likewise, administration of a plasmalogen precursor to cells derived from BTHS patients led to an increase in plasmalogen and to some extent CL levels. These results indicate an interplay between CL and plasmalogens in BTHS. This interdependence is supported by the concomitant loss in these lipids in different pathological conditions. However, currently the molecular mechanism linking CL and plasmalogens is not fully understood. Here, a review of the evidence showing the linkage between the levels of CL and plasmalogens is presented. In addition, putative mechanisms that might play a role in this interplay are proposed. Finally, the opportunity of therapeutic approaches based on the regulation of plasmalogens as new therapies for the treatment of BTHS is discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Barth Syndrome; cardiolipin; lipid disorders; lipid metabolism; plasmalogen replacement therapy; plasmalogens
  23. Circulation. 2021 Oct 14.
      Background: Barth syndrome (BTHS) is caused by mutations of the gene encoding tafazzin, which catalyzes maturation of mitochondrial cardiolipin and often manifests with systolic dysfunction during early infancy. Beyond the first months of life, BTHS cardiomyopathy typically transitions to a phenotype of diastolic dysfunction with preserved ejection fraction, blunted contractile reserve during exercise and arrhythmic vulnerability. Previous studies traced BTHS cardiomyopathy to mitochondrial formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Since mitochondrial function and ROS formation are regulated by excitation-contraction (EC) coupling, integrated analysis of mechano-energetic coupling is required to delineate the pathomechanisms of BTHS cardiomyopathy. Methods: We analyzed cardiac function and structure in a mouse model with global knockdown of tafazzin (Taz-KD) compared to wild-type (WT) littermates. Respiratory chain assembly and function, ROS emission, and Ca2+ uptake were determined in isolated mitochondria. EC coupling was integrated with mitochondrial redox state, ROS, and Ca2+ uptake in isolated, unloaded or preloaded cardiac myocytes, and cardiac hemodynamics analyzed in vivo. Results: Taz-KD mice develop heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (>50%) and age-dependent progression of diastolic dysfunction in the absence of fibrosis. Increased myofilament Ca2+ affinity and slowed cross-bridge cycling caused diastolic dysfunction, partly compensated by accelerated diastolic Ca2+ decay through preactivated sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA). Taz deficiency provoked heart-specific loss of mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) protein that prevented Ca2+-induced activation of the Krebs cycle during β-adrenergic stimulation, oxidizing pyridine nucleotides and triggering arrhythmias in cardiac myocytes. In vivo, Taz-KD mice displayed prolonged QRS duration as a substrate for arrhythmias, and a lack of inotropic response to β-adrenergic stimulation. Cellular arrhythmias and QRS prolongation, but not the defective inotropic reserve, were restored by inhibiting Ca2+ export via the mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger. All alterations occurred in the absence of excess mitochondrial ROS in vitro or in vivo. Conclusions: Downregulation of MCU, increased myofilament Ca2+ affinity, and preactivated SERCA provoke mechano-energetic uncoupling that explains diastolic dysfunction and the lack of inotropic reserve in BTHS cardiomyopathy. Furthermore, defective mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake provides a trigger and a substrate for ventricular arrhythmias. These insights can guide the ongoing search for a cure of this orphaned disease.
  24. PLoS Pathog. 2021 Oct;17(10): e1009841
      In general, in mammalian cells, cytosolic DNA viruses are sensed by cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), and RNA viruses are recognized by retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptors, triggering a series of downstream innate antiviral signaling steps in the host. We previously reported that measles virus (MeV), which possesses an RNA genome, induces rapid antiviral responses, followed by comprehensive downregulation of host gene expression in epithelial cells. Interestingly, gene ontology analysis indicated that genes encoding mitochondrial proteins are enriched among the list of downregulated genes. To evaluate mitochondrial stress after MeV infection, we first observed the mitochondrial morphology of infected cells and found that significantly elongated mitochondrial networks with a hyperfused phenotype were formed. In addition, an increased amount of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the cytosol was detected during progression of infection. Based on these results, we show that cytosolic mtDNA released from hyperfused mitochondria during MeV infection is captured by cGAS and causes consequent priming of the DNA sensing pathway in addition to canonical RNA sensing. We also ascertained the contribution of cGAS to the in vivo pathogenicity of MeV. In addition, we found that other viruses that induce downregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis as seen for MeV cause similar mitochondrial hyperfusion and cytosolic mtDNA-priming antiviral responses. These findings indicate that the mtDNA-activated cGAS pathway is critical for full innate control of certain viruses, including RNA viruses that cause mitochondrial stress.
  25. NPJ Aging Mech Dis. 2021 Oct 14. 7(1): 26
      Mitochondrial dysfunction and bioenergetics failure are common pathological hallmarks in Huntington's disease (HD) and aging. In the present study, we used the YAC128 murine model of HD to examine the effects of mutant huntingtin on mitochondrial parameters related to aging in brain and skeletal muscle. We have conducted a cross-sectional natural history study of mitochondrial DNA changes in the YAC128 mouse. Here, we first show that the mitochondrial volume fraction appears to increase in the axons and dendrite regions adjacent to the striatal neuron cell bodies in old mice. Mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn) was used as a proxy measure for mitochondrial biogenesis and function. We observed that the mtDNAcn changes significantly with age and genotype in a tissue-specific manner. We found a positive correlation between aging and the mtDNAcn in striatum and skeletal muscle but not in cortex. Notably, the YAC128 mice had lower mtDNAcn in cortex and skeletal muscle. We further show that mtDNA deletions are present in striatal and skeletal muscle tissue in both young and aged YAC128 and WT mice. Tracking gene expression levels cross-sectionally in mice allowed us to identify contributions of age and genotype to transcriptional variance in mitochondria-related genes. These findings provide insights into the role of mitochondrial dynamics in HD pathogenesis in both brain and skeletal muscle, and suggest that mtDNAcn in skeletal muscle tissue may be a potential biomarker that should be investigated further in human HD.
  26. STAR Protoc. 2021 Dec 17. 2(4): 100850
      This protocol describes the assembly and use of MitoPunch to deliver mitochondria containing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) into cells lacking mtDNA (ρ0 cells). MitoPunch generates stable isolated mitochondrial recipient clones with restored mtDNA and recovered respiration, enabling investigation of mtDNA mutations and mtDNA-nuclear DNA interactions in a range of cell types. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Sercel et al. (2021) and Patananan et al. (2020).
    Keywords:  Biotechnology and bioengineering; Cell Biology; Cell culture; Cell-based Assays; Metabolism
  27. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Oct 11. pii: gkab789. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial mRNAs encode key subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation complexes that produce energy for the cell. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mitochondrial translation is under the control of translational activators, specific to each mRNA. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, which more closely resembles the human system by its mitochondrial DNA structure and physiology, most translational activators appear to be either lacking, or recruited for post-translational functions. By combining bioinformatics, genetic and biochemical approaches we identified two interacting factors, Cbp7 and Cbp8, controlling Cytb production in S. pombe. We show that their absence affects cytb mRNA stability and impairs the detection of the Cytb protein. We further identified two classes of Cbp7/Cbp8 partners and showed that they modulated Cytb or Cox1 synthesis. First, two isoforms of bS1m, a protein of the small mitoribosomal subunit, that appear mutually exclusive and confer translational specificity. Second, a complex of four proteins dedicated to Cox1 synthesis, which includes an RNA helicase that interacts with the mitochondrial ribosome. Our results suggest that S. pombe contains, in addition to complexes of translational activators, a heterogeneous population of mitochondrial ribosomes that could specifically modulate translation depending on the mRNA translated, in order to optimally balance the production of different respiratory complex subunits.
  28. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 715923
      Several studies reported that mitochondrial stress induces cytosolic proteostasis. How mitochondrial stress activates proteostasis in the cytosol remains unclear. However, the cross-talk between the mitochondria and cytosolic proteostasis has far reaching implications for treatment of proteopathies including neurodegenerative diseases. This possibility appears within reach since selected drugs have begun to emerge as being able to stimulate mitochondrial-mediated cytosolic proteostasis. In this review, we focus on studies describing how mitochondrial stress activates proteostasis in the cytosol across multiple model organisms. A model is proposed linking mitochondrial-mediated regulation of cytosolic translation, folding capacity, ubiquitination, and proteasome degradation and autophagy as a multi layered control of cytosolic proteostasis that overlaps with the integrated stress response (ISR) and the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt). By analogy to the conductor in an orchestra managing multiple instrumental sections into a dynamically integrated musical piece, the cross-talk between these signaling cascades places the mitochondria as a major conductor of cellular integrity.
    Keywords:  estrogen receptor alpha; heat shock; mitochondria; mitochondrial UPR; mitochondrial integrated stress response; proteasome; translation
  29. J Neuroophthalmol. 2021 Sep 30.
      BACKGROUND: Inherited optic neuropathies (IONs) cause progressive irreversible visual loss in children and young adults. There are limited disease-modifying treatments, and most patients progress to become severely visually impaired, fulfilling the legal criteria for blind registration. The seminal discovery of the technique for reprogramming somatic nondividing cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has opened several exciting opportunities in the field of ION research and treatment.EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic review of the literature was conducted with PubMed using the following search terms: autosomal dominant optic atrophy, ADOA, dominant optic atrophy, DOA, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, LHON, optic atrophy, induced pluripotent stem cell, iPSC, iPSC derived, iPS, stem cell, retinal ganglion cell, and RGC. Clinical trials were identified on the website.
    RESULTS: This review article is focused on disease modeling and the therapeutic strategies being explored with iPSC technologies for the 2 most common IONs, namely, dominant optic atrophy and Leber hereditary optic neuropathy. The rationale and translational advances for cell-based and gene-based therapies are explored, as well as opportunities for neuroprotection and drug screening.
    CONCLUSIONS: iPSCs offer an elegant, patient-focused solution to the investigation of the genetic defects and disease mechanisms underpinning IONs. Furthermore, this group of disorders is uniquely amenable to both the disease modeling capability and the therapeutic potential that iPSCs offer. This fast-moving area will remain at the forefront of both basic and translational ION research in the coming years, with the potential to accelerate the development of effective therapies for patients affected with these blinding diseases.
  30. Arch Toxicol. 2021 Oct 13.
      Mitochondrial perturbation is a key event in chemical-induced organ toxicities that is incompletely understood. Here, we studied how electron transport chain (ETC) complex I, II, or III (CI, CII and CIII) inhibitors affect mitochondrial functionality, stress response activation, and cell viability using a combination of high-content imaging and TempO-Seq in HepG2 hepatocyte cells. CI and CIII inhibitors perturbed mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and mitochondrial and cellular ATP levels in a concentration- and time-dependent fashion and, under conditions preventing a switch to glycolysis attenuated cell viability, whereas CII inhibitors had no effect. TempO-Seq analysis of changes in mRNA expression pointed to a shared cellular response to CI and CIII inhibition. First, to define specific ETC inhibition responses, a gene set responsive toward ETC inhibition (and not to genotoxic, oxidative, or endoplasmic reticulum stress) was identified using targeted TempO-Seq in HepG2. Silencing of one of these genes, NOS3, exacerbated the impact of CI and CIII inhibitors on cell viability, indicating its functional implication in cellular responses to mitochondrial stress. Then by monitoring dynamic responses to ETC inhibition using a HepG2 GFP reporter panel for different classes of stress response pathways and applying pathway and gene network analysis to TempO-Seq data, we looked for downstream cellular events of ETC inhibition and identified the amino acid response (AAR) as being triggered in HepG2 by ETC inhibition. Through in silico approaches we provide evidence indicating that a similar AAR is associated with exposure to mitochondrial toxicants in primary human hepatocytes. Altogether, we (i) unravel quantitative, time- and concentration-resolved cellular responses to mitochondrial perturbation, (ii) identify a gene set associated with adaptation to exposure to active ETC inhibitors, and (iii) show that ER stress and an AAR accompany ETC inhibition in HepG2 and primary hepatocytes.
    Keywords:  DILI; ETC complex inhibitors; High-content imaging; Mitochondrial toxicity; TempO-Seq
  31. Mol Metab. 2021 Oct 09. pii: S2212-8778(21)00201-5. [Epub ahead of print] 101354
      OBJECTIVE: ATM, the protein defective in the human genetic disorder, ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) plays a central role in the response to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) and in protecting the cell against oxidative stress. We recently showed that A-T cells are hypersensitive to metabolic stress which can be accounted for by a failure to exhibit efficient endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondrial signalling and Ca2+ transfer in response to nutrient deprivation resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction. The objective of the current study is to use an anaplerotic approach using the fatty acid, heptanoate (C7), a metabolic product of the triglyceride, triheptanoin to correct the defect in ER-mitochondrial signalling and enhance cell survival of A-T cells in response to metabolic stress.METHODS: We treated control cells and A-T cells with the anaplerotic agent, heptanoate to determine their sensitivity to metabolic stress induced by inhibition of glycolysis with 2 deoxyglucose (2DG) using live-cell imaging to monitor cell survival for 72 hours using the Incucyte system. We examined ER-mitochondrial signalling in A-T cells exposed to metabolic stress using a suite of techniques including immunofluorescence staining of Grp75, ER-mitochondrial Ca2+ channel, the VAPB-PTPIP51 ER-mitochondrial tether complexes as well as proximity ligation assays between Grp75-IP3R1 and VAPB1-PTPIP51 to establish a functional interaction between ER and mitochondria. Finally, we also performed metabolomic analysis using LC-MS/MS to determine altered levels of TCA intermediates A-T cells compared to healthy control cells.
    RESULTS: We demonstrate here that heptanoate corrects all aspects of the defective ER-mitochondrial signalling observed in A-T cells. Heptanoate enhances ER-mitochondrial contacts; increases the flow of calcium from the ER to the mitochondrion; restores normal mitochondrial function and mitophagy and increases resistance of ATM-deficient cells and cells from A-T patients to metabolic stress-induced killing. The defect in mitochondrial function in ATM-deficient cells was accompanied by more reliance on aerobic glycolysis as shown by increased lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), accumulation of lactate and reduced levels of both acetyl CoA and ATP which are all restored by heptanoate.
    CONCLUSIONS: These data together show that heptanoate corrects metabolic stress in A-T cells by restoring ER-mitochondria signalling and mitochondrial function and suggest that the parent compound, triheptanoin, has great potential as a novel therapeutic agent for patients with A-T.
    Keywords:  ATM; Ataxia-telangiectasia; endoplasmic reticulum; heptanoate (C7); mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial interaction; nutrient deprivation
  32. Sci Rep. 2021 Oct 15. 11(1): 20510
      The mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) is of interest for a range of fields including evolutionary, forensic, and medical genetics. Human mitogenomes can be classified into evolutionary related haplogroups that provide ancestral information and pedigree relationships. Because of this and the advent of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technology, there is a diversity of bioinformatic tools for haplogroup classification. We present a benchmarking of the 11 most salient tools for human mtDNA classification using empirical whole-genome (WGS) and whole-exome (WES) short-read sequencing data from 36 unrelated donors. We also assessed the best performing tool in third-generation long noisy read WGS data obtained with nanopore technology for a subset of the donors. We found that, for short-read WGS, most of the tools exhibit high accuracy for haplogroup classification irrespective of the input file used for the analysis. However, for short-read WES, Haplocheck and MixEmt were the most accurate tools. Based on the performance shown for WGS and WES, and the accompanying qualitative assessment, Haplocheck stands out as the most complete tool. For third-generation HTS data, we also showed that Haplocheck was able to accurately retrieve mtDNA haplogroups for all samples assessed, although only after following assembly-based approaches (either based on a referenced-based assembly or a hybrid de novo assembly). Taken together, our results provide guidance for researchers to select the most suitable tool to conduct the mtDNA analyses from HTS data.
  33. Clin Biochem. 2021 Oct 07. pii: S0009-9120(21)00273-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: Carnitine-acylcarnitine Translocase (CACT) deficiency (OMIM 212138) and carnitine palmitoyl transferase 2 (CPT2) deficiency (OMIM 60065050) are rare inherited disorders of mitochondrial long chain fatty acid oxidation. The aim of our study is to review the clinical, biochemical and molecular characteristics in children diagnosed with CACT and CPT2 deficiencies in Malaysia.DESIGN AND METHODS: This is a retrospective study. We reviewed medical records of six patients diagnosed with CACT and CPT2 deficiencies. They were identified from a selective high-risk screening of 50,579 patients from January 2010 until Jun 2020.
    RESULTS: All six patients had either elevation of the long chain acylcarnitines and/or an elevated (C16 + C18:1)/C2 acylcarnitine ratio. SLC25A20 gene sequencing of patient 1 and 6 showed a homozygous splice site mutation at c.199-10 T > G in intron 2. Two novel mutations at c.109C > T p. (Arg37*) in exon 2 and at c.706C > T p. (Arg236*) in exon 7 of SLC25A20 gene were found in patient 2. Patient 3 and 4 (siblings) exhibited a compound heterozygous mutation at c.638A > G p. (Asp213Gly) and novel mutation c.1073 T > G p. (Leu358Arg) in exon 4 of CPT2 gene. A significant combined prevalence at 0.01% of CACT and CPT2 deficiencies was found in the symptomatic Malaysian patients.
    CONCLUSIONS: The use of the (C16 + C18:1)/C2 acylcarnitine ratio in dried blood spot in our experience improves the diagnostic specificity for CACT/CPT2 deficiencies over long chain acylcarnitine (C16 and C18:1) alone. DNA sequencing for both genes aids in confirming the diagnosis.
    Keywords:  CACT; CPT2; High-risk screening; Inherited metabolic disease (IMD); Long chain acylcarnitines; Mitochondrial long chain fatty acid oxidation
  34. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 13. 12(1): 5989
      Liquid-liquid phase separation promotes the formation of membraneless condensates that mediate diverse cellular functions, including autophagy of misfolded proteins. However, how phase separation participates in autophagy of dysfunctional mitochondria (mitophagy) remains obscure. We previously discovered that nuclear receptor Nur77 (also called TR3, NGFI-B, or NR4A1) translocates from the nucleus to mitochondria to mediate celastrol-induced mitophagy through interaction with p62/SQSTM1. Here, we show that the ubiquitinated mitochondrial Nur77 forms membraneless condensates capable of sequestrating damaged mitochondria by interacting with the UBA domain of p62/SQSTM1. However, tethering clustered mitochondria to the autophagy machinery requires an additional interaction mediated by the N-terminal intrinsically disordered region (IDR) of Nur77 and the N-terminal PB1 domain of p62/SQSTM1, which confers Nur77-p62/SQSTM1 condensates with the magnitude and liquidity. Our results demonstrate how composite multivalent interaction between Nur77 and p62/SQSTM1 coordinates to sequester damaged mitochondria and to connect targeted cargo mitochondria for autophagy, providing mechanistic insight into mitophagy.
  35. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 30. pii: 10598. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and its reduced form (NADH) are coenzymes employed in hundreds of metabolic reactions. NAD+ also serves as a substrate for enzymes such as sirtuins, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) and ADP-ribosyl cyclases. Given the pivotal role of NAD(H) in health and disease, studying NAD+ metabolism has become essential to monitor genetic- and/or drug-induced perturbations related to metabolic status and diseases (such as ageing, cancer or obesity), and its possible therapies. Here, we present a strategy based on liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), for the analysis of the NAD+ metabolome in biological samples. In this method, hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) was used to separate a total of 18 metabolites belonging to pathways leading to NAD+ biosynthesis, including precursors, intermediates and catabolites. As redox cofactors are known for their instability, a sample preparation procedure was developed to handle a variety of biological matrices: cell models, rodent tissues and biofluids, as well as human biofluids (urine, plasma, serum, whole blood). For clinical applications, quantitative LC-MS/MS for a subset of metabolites was demonstrated for the analysis of the human whole blood of nine volunteers. Using this developed workflow, our methodology allows studying NAD+ biology from mechanistic to clinical applications.
    Keywords:  NAD+; mass spectrometry; metabolomics
  36. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 04. pii: 10735. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      Skeletal muscle suffers atrophy and weakness with aging. Denervation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction are all proposed as contributors to age-associated muscle loss, but connections between these factors have not been established. We examined contractility, mitochondrial function, and intracellular calcium transients (ICTs) in muscles of mice throughout the life span to define their sequential relationships. We performed these same measures and analyzed neuromuscular junction (NMJ) morphology in mice with postnatal deletion of neuronal Sod1 (i-mn-Sod1-/- mice), previously shown to display accelerated age-associated muscle loss and exacerbation of denervation in old age, to test relationships between neuronal redox homeostasis, NMJ degeneration and mitochondrial function. In control mice, the amount and rate of the decrease in mitochondrial NADH during contraction was greater in middle than young age although force was not reduced, suggesting decreased efficiency of NADH utilization prior to the onset of weakness. Declines in both the peak of the ICT and force were observed in old age. Muscles of i-mn-Sod1-/- mice showed degeneration of mitochondrial and calcium handling functions in middle-age and a decline in force generation to a level not different from the old control mice, with maintenance of NMJ morphology. Together, the findings support the conclusion that muscle mitochondrial function decreases during aging and in response to altered neuronal redox status prior to NMJ deterioration or loss of mass and force suggesting mitochondrial defects contribute to sarcopenia independent of denervation.
    Keywords:  NADH; calcium; denervation; oxidative stress; sarcopenia
  37. Neurobiol Dis. 2021 Oct 07. pii: S0969-9961(21)00276-X. [Epub ahead of print]160 105527
      Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the formation of Lewy bodies (LBs). Mutations in PD-related genes lead to neuronal pathogenesis through various mechanisms, with known examples including SNCA/α-synuclein (PAKR1), Parkin (PARK2), PINK1 (PARK6), DJ-1 (PARK7), and LRRK2 (PARK8). Molecular chaperones/co-chaperones are proteins that aid the folding of other proteins into a functionally active conformation. It has been demonstrated that chaperones/co-chaperones interact with PD-related proteins and regulate their function in PD. HSP70, HSP90 and small heat shock proteins can prevent neurodegeneration by regulating α-syn misfolding, oligomerization and aggregation. The function of chaperones is regulated by co-chaperones such as HSP110, HSP40, HOP, CHIP, and BAG family proteins. Parkin, PINK1 and DJ-1 are PD-related proteins which are associated with mitochondrial function. Molecular chaperones regulate mitochondrial function and protein homeostasis by interacting with these PD-related proteins. This review discusses critical molecular chaperones/co-chaperones and PD-related proteins which contribute to the pathogenesis of PD, hoping to provide new molecular targets for therapeutic interventions to thwart the disease progression instead of only bringing symptomatic relief. Moreover, appreciating the critical role of chaperones in PD can also help us screen efficient biomarkers to identify PD at an early stage.
    Keywords:  DJ-1; LRRK2; Molecular chaperone; PINK1; Parkin; Parkinson's disease (PD); α-Synuclein (α-syn)
  38. Mov Disord. 2021 Oct 11.
      BACKGROUND: In a large pedigree with an unusual phenotype of spastic paraplegia or dystonia and autosomal dominant inheritance, linkage analysis previously mapped the disease to chromosome 2q24-2q31.OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to identify the genetic cause and molecular basis of an unusual autosomal dominant spastic paraplegia and dystonia.
    METHODS: Whole exome sequencing following linkage analysis was used to identify the genetic cause in a large family. Cosegregation analysis was also performed. An additional 384 individuals with spastic paraplegia or dystonia were screened for pathogenic sequence variants in the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase membrane subunit C locus 3 gene (ATP5MC3). The identified variant was submitted to the "GeneMatcher" program for recruitment of additional subjects. Mitochondrial functions were analyzed in patient-derived fibroblast cell lines. Transgenic Drosophila carrying mutants were studied for movement behavior and mitochondrial function.
    RESULTS: Exome analysis revealed a variant (c.318C > G; p.Asn106Lys) (NM_001689.4) in ATP5MC3 in a large family with autosomal dominant spastic paraplegia and dystonia that cosegregated with affected individuals. No variants were identified in an additional 384 individuals with spastic paraplegia or dystonia. GeneMatcher identified an individual with the same genetic change, acquired de novo, who manifested upper-limb dystonia. Patient fibroblast studies showed impaired complex V activity, ATP generation, and oxygen consumption. Drosophila carrying orthologous mutations also exhibited impaired mitochondrial function and displayed reduced mobility.
    CONCLUSION: A unique form of familial spastic paraplegia and dystonia is associated with a heterozygous ATP5MC3 variant that also reduces mitochondrial complex V activity.
  39. Mol Cell. 2021 Oct 04. pii: S1097-2765(21)00749-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Rapid protein degradation enables cells to quickly modulate protein abundance. Dysregulation of short-lived proteins plays essential roles in disease pathogenesis. A focused map of short-lived proteins remains understudied. Cycloheximide, a translational inhibitor, is widely used in targeted studies to measure degradation kinetics for short-lived proteins. Here, we combined cycloheximide chase assays with advanced quantitative proteomics to map short-lived proteins under translational inhibition in four human cell lines. Among 11,747 quantified proteins, we identified 1,017 short-lived proteins (half-lives ≤ 8 h). These short-lived proteins are less abundant, evolutionarily younger, and less thermally stable than other proteins. We quantified 103 proteins with different stabilities among cell lines. We showed that U2OS and HCT116 cells express truncated forms of ATRX and GMDS, respectively, which have lower stability than their full-length counterparts. This study provides a large-scale resource of human short-lived proteins under translational arrest, leading to untapped avenues of protein regulation for therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:  TMTpro tags; multiplexed quantitative proteomics; protein degradation; protein half-lives; short-lived proteins
  40. Cell Rep. 2021 10 12. pii: S2211-1247(21)01266-3. [Epub ahead of print]37(2): 109806
      Tactical disruption of protein synthesis is an attractive therapeutic strategy, with the first-in-class eIF4A-targeting compound zotatifin in clinical evaluation for cancer and COVID-19. The full cellular impact and mechanisms of these potent molecules are undefined at a proteomic level. Here, we report mass spectrometry analysis of translational reprogramming by rocaglates, cap-dependent initiation disruptors that include zotatifin. We find effects to be far more complex than simple "translational inhibition" as currently defined. Translatome analysis by TMT-pSILAC (tandem mass tag-pulse stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture mass spectrometry) reveals myriad upregulated proteins that drive hitherto unrecognized cytotoxic mechanisms, including GEF-H1-mediated anti-survival RHOA/JNK activation. Surprisingly, these responses are not replicated by eIF4A silencing, indicating a broader translational adaptation than currently understood. Translation machinery analysis by MATRIX (mass spectrometry analysis of active translation factors using ribosome density fractionation and isotopic labeling experiments) identifies rocaglate-specific dependence on specific translation factors including eEF1ε1 that drive translatome remodeling. Our proteome-level interrogation reveals that the complete cellular response to these historical "translation inhibitors" is mediated by comprehensive translational landscape remodeling.
    Keywords:  DDX17; GEF-H1; JNK; RHOA; eEF1ε1; eIF4A; rocaglate; silvestrol; translation; zotatifin
  41. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 08. pii: 10876. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) play an important role in the pathophysiology of skeletal muscle and are involved in the regulation of intracellular signaling pathways, which drive metabolism, regeneration, and adaptation in skeletal muscle. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes are unknown or partially uncovered. We implemented a combination of methodological approaches that are funded for the use of genetically encoded biosensors associated with quantitative fluorescence microscopy imaging to study redox biology in skeletal muscle. Therefore, it was possible to detect and monitor RONS and glutathione redox potential with high specificity and spatio-temporal resolution in two models, isolated skeletal muscle fibers and C2C12 myoblasts/myotubes. Biosensors HyPer3 and roGFP2-Orp1 were examined for the detection of cytosolic hydrogen peroxide; HyPer-mito and HyPer-nuc for the detection of mitochondrial and nuclear hydrogen peroxide; Mito-Grx1-roGFP2 and cyto-Grx1-roGFP2 were used for registration of the glutathione redox potential in mitochondria and cytosol. G-geNOp was proven to detect cytosolic nitric oxide. The fluorescence emitted by the biosensors is affected by pH, and this might have masked the results; therefore, environmental CO2 must be controlled to avoid pH fluctuations. In conclusion, genetically encoded biosensors and quantitative fluorescence microscopy provide a robust methodology to investigate the pathophysiological processes associated with the redox biology of skeletal muscle.
    Keywords:  C2C12 myoblast/myotube; RONS; biosensors; glutathione redox potential; hydrogen peroxide; nitric oxide; quantitative fluorescence microscopy; redox signaling; single skeletal muscle fiber; skeletal muscle
  42. NPJ Parkinsons Dis. 2021 Oct 14. 7(1): 94
      Characterisation and diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (iPD) is a current challenge that hampers both clinical assessment and clinical trial development with the potential inclusion of non-PD cases. Here, we used a targeted mass spectrometry approach to quantify 38 metabolites extracted from the serum of 231 individuals. This cohort is currently one of the largest metabolomic studies including iPD patients, drug-naïve iPD, healthy controls and patients with Alzheimer's disease as a disease-specific control group. We identified six metabolites (3-hydroxykynurenine, aspartate, beta-alanine, homoserine, ornithine (Orn) and tyrosine) that are significantly altered between iPD patients and control participants. A multivariate model to predict iPD from controls had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.905, with an accuracy of 86.2%. This panel of metabolites may serve as a potential prognostic or diagnostic assay for clinical trial prescreening, or for aiding in diagnosing pathological disease in the clinic.
  43. Biosystems. 2021 Oct 07. pii: S0303-2647(21)00201-X. [Epub ahead of print]210 104559
      An extended biophysical model was obtained by upgrading the previously reported one (Khmelinskii and Makarov, 2021). The upgraded model accommodates variations of solute transport rates through the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) within the mitochondrial population, described by a Gaussian distribution. However, the model may be used for any functional form of the distribution. The dynamics of system parameters as predicted by the current model differed from that predicted by the previous model in the same initial conditions (Khmelinskii and Makarov, 2021). The amount of change varied from one parameter to the other, remaining in the 1-38% range. The upgraded model fitted the available experimental data with a better accuracy (R = 0.993) compared to the previous model (R = 0.978) using the same experimental data (Khmelinskii and Makarov, 2021). The fitting procedure also estimated the Gaussian distribution parameters. The new model requires much larger computational resources, but given its higher accuracy, it may be used for better analysis of experimental data and for better prediction of MS dynamics in different initial conditions. Note that activities of individual mitochondria in mitochondrial populations should vary within biological tissues. Thus, the currently upgraded model is a better tool for biological and bio-medical applications. We believe that this model is much better adapted to the analysis of MS dynamics in vivo.
    Keywords:  Biophysical model; Computation analysis; Irreversible swelling; Mitochondrion; Reversible swelling; Swelling
  44. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 725866
      Skeletal muscle adaptations to resistance and endurance training include increased ribosome and mitochondrial biogenesis, respectively. Such adaptations are believed to contribute to the notable increases in hypertrophy and aerobic capacity observed with each exercise mode. Data from multiple studies suggest the existence of a competition between ribosome and mitochondrial biogenesis, in which the first adaptation is prioritized with resistance training while the latter is prioritized with endurance training. In addition, reports have shown an interference effect when both exercise modes are performed concurrently. This prioritization/interference may be due to the interplay between the 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling cascades and/or the high skeletal muscle energy requirements for the synthesis and maintenance of cellular organelles. Negative associations between ribosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA copy number in human blood cells also provide evidence of potential competition in skeletal muscle. However, several lines of evidence suggest that ribosome and mitochondrial biogenesis can occur simultaneously in response to different types of exercise and that the AMPK-mTORC1 interaction is more complex than initially thought. The purpose of this review is to provide in-depth discussions of these topics. We discuss whether a curious competition between mitochondrial and ribosome biogenesis exists and show the available evidence both in favor and against it. Finally, we provide future research avenues in this area of exercise physiology.
    Keywords:  AMP-activated protein kinase; concurrent training; exercise training; mechanistic target of rapamycin; mitochondria; ribosomes; skeletal muscle
  45. Anal Biochem. 2021 Oct 11. pii: S0003-2697(21)00310-9. [Epub ahead of print] 114409
      Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a key metabolic intermediate found in all cells and involved in numerous cellular functions. Perturbances in the NAD metabolome are linked to various diseases such as diabetes and schizophrenia, and to congenital malformations and recurrent miscarriage. Mouse models are central to the investigation of these and other NAD-related conditions because mice can be readily genetically modified and treated with diets with altered concentrations of NAD precursors. Simultaneous quantification of as many metabolites of the NAD metabolome as possible is required to understand which pathways are affected in these disease conditions and what are the functional consequences. Here, we report the development of a fit-for-purpose method to simultaneously quantify 26 NAD-related metabolites and creatinine in mouse plasma, whole blood, and liver tissue using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). The included metabolites represent dietary precursors, intermediates, enzymatic cofactors, and excretion products. Sample preparation was optimized for each matrix and included 21 isotope-labeled internal standards. The method reached adequate precision and accuracy for the intended context of use of exploratory pathway-related biomarker discovery in mouse models. The method was tested by determining metabolite levels in mice fed a special diet with defined precursor content.
    Keywords:  LC-MS/MS; Liver; Method development; NAD metabolism; Plasma; Vitamin B3
  46. Mitochondrion. 2021 Oct 08. pii: S1567-7249(21)00141-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dysfunction in diabetes is a widely studied topic, but inconsistency in literature data suggests a need for valid and reproducible models that will help to clarify this interaction. We aimed to establish insulin resistance models using chronic high insulin treatment in two cell types: myocytes and hepatocytes, characterise them in terms of mitochondrial function and compare them to the widely used palmitate-induced model of insulin resistance. We found that insulin lowered phosphorylation of Akt while not affecting cell viability, ROS production, mitochondrial morphology or respiration, and caused decrease in mitochondrial coupling only in muscle but not in liver cells.
    Keywords:  cell models; hepatocytes; insulin resistance; mitochondria; myocytes; respiration
  47. Autophagy. 2021 Oct 13. 1-2
      EIF4A3 (eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4A3) is an RNA helicase and core component of the exon junction complex. While this RNA-binding protein (RBP) is well-characterized for its crucial roles in splicing, RNA trafficking and nonsense-mediated decay, its role in the regulation of metabolic signaling pathways remains elusive. In a recent study, we describe a new role for EIF4A3 as a negative regulator of macroautophagy/autophagy. Mechanistically, we report that EIF4A3, through its ability to safeguard splicing, can maintain low basal levels of autophagy through the cytosolic retention of the key autophagy transcription factor TFEB. Upon EIF4A3 depletion, the shuttling of TFEB to the nucleus results in an integrated transcriptional response, which induces both early and late steps of the autophagy pathway and enhances autophagic flux. We further report the upregulation of EIF4A3 across multiple cancer types and highlight the relevance of this newly identified EIF4A3-TFEB signaling axis in human tumors.
    Keywords:  Autophagy regulation; EIF4A3; GSK3B; RNA-binding proteins; TFEB; cancer; exon skipping
  48. Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2021 Oct 07. pii: S0304-4165(21)00181-1. [Epub ahead of print]1866(1): 130022
      BACKGROUND: The discovery of humanin (HN/MTRNR2) 20 years ago blazed a trail to identifying mitochondrial derived peptides with biological function.SCOPE: Humanin is associated with pro-survival, cytoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative properties and may play a role in reducing neurodegenerative and metabolic disease progression. Although the role of humanin in vitro and in vivo laboratory models is well characterized, the regulation of humanin in natural models that encounter lethal cytotoxic and oxidative insults, as part of their natural history, require immediate research. In this review, we discuss the conservation of humanin-homologues across champion hibernators, anoxia and freeze-tolerant vertebrates and postulate on the putative roles of humanin in non-model species.
    SIGNIFICANCE: We hope characterization of humanin in animals that are naturally immune to cellular insults, that are otherwise lethal for non-tolerant species, will elucidate key biomarkers and cytoprotective pathways with therapeutic potential and help differentiate pro-survival mechanisms from cellular consequences of stress.
    Keywords:  Anoxia; Cytoprotection; Hibernation; Humanin; Mitochondrial-derived peptides; Stress tolerance
  49. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 22. pii: 10184. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are grouped into two cell types; embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). hESCs have provided multiple powerful platforms to study human biology, including human development and diseases; however, there were difficulties in the establishment of hESCs from human embryo and concerns over its ethical issues. The discovery of hiPSCs has expanded to various applications in no time because hiPSCs had already overcome these problems. Many hPSC-based studies have been performed using two-dimensional monocellular culture methods at the cellular level. However, in many physiological and pathophysiological conditions, intra- and inter-organ interactions play an essential role, which has hampered the establishment of an appropriate study model. Therefore, the application of recently developed technologies, such as three-dimensional organoids, bioengineering, and organ-on-a-chip technology, has great potential for constructing multicellular tissues, generating the functional organs from hPSCs, and recapitulating complex tissue functions for better biological research and disease modeling. Moreover, emerging techniques, such as single-cell transcriptomics, spatial transcriptomics, and artificial intelligence (AI) allowed for a denser and more precise analysis of such heterogeneous and complex tissues. Here, we review the applications of hPSCs to construct complex organs and discuss further prospects of disease modeling and drug discovery based on these PSC-derived organs.
    Keywords:  artificial intelligence; bioengineering; cellular heterogeneity; cell–cell interaction; organ on a chip; organoid; pluripotent stem cell; single-cell transcriptomics; spatial transcriptomics
  50. Neurochem Res. 2021 Oct 12.
      Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with dopamine depletion in the striatum owing to the selective and progressive loss of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, which results in motor dysfunction and secondary clinical manifestations. The dopamine level in the striatum is preserved because of the innervation of the substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic neurons into it. Therefore, protection of the SN neurons is crucial for maintaining the dopamine level in the striatum and for ensuring the desired motor coordination. Several strategies have been devised to protect the degenerating dopaminergic neurons or to restore the dopamine levels for treating PD. Most of the methods focus exclusively on preventing cell body death in the neurons. Although advances have been made in understanding the disease, the search for disease-modifying drugs is an ongoing process. The present review describes the evidence from studies involving patients with PD as well as PD models that axon terminals are highly vulnerable to exogenous and endogenous insults and degenerate at the early stage of the disease. Impairment of mitochondrial dynamics, Ca2+ homeostasis, axonal transport, and loss of plasticity of axon terminals appear before the neuronal degeneration in PD. Furthermore, distortion of synaptic morphology and reduction of postsynaptic dendritic spines are the neuropathological hallmarks of early-stage disease. Thus, the review proposes a shift in focus from discerning the mechanism of neuronal cell body loss and targeting it to an entirely different approach of preventing axonal degeneration. The review also suggests appropriate strategies to prevent the loss of synaptic terminals, which could induce regrowth of the axon and its auxiliary fibers and might offer relief from the symptomatic features of PD.
    Keywords:  Axon degeneration; Ca2+; Mitochondrial dynamics; Parkinson's disease; Synaptic homeostasis
  51. Mov Disord Clin Pract. 2021 Oct;8(7): 1116-1122
      Background: Leukoencephalopathy with brainstem and spinal cord involvement and lactate elevation (LBSL) is characterized by slowly progressive spastic gait, cerebellar symptoms, and posterior cord dysfunction. DARS2, which encodes mitochondrial aspartyl tRNA synthase, is associated with the rare disease.Cases: The proband had gait disturbance since age 56, while her younger brother had the gait problem since his 20s and needed cane-assistance at age 45. Both cases showed typical demyelinating features of LBSL on the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) involving the periventricular white matter, brainstem, cerebellum and spinal cord. Sequencing of both cases showed compound heterozygous mutations: c.228-16C>A and c.508C>T in DARS2. The c.228-16C>A is a common mutation in splicing site of intron 2, which causes alternative splicing defect of exon 3, while the c.508C>T at the exon 6 is novel. Our patients are unique in the relative late onset and the apparent difference in disease progression.
    Literature Review: Literatures from PubMed were reviewed. Five families showed intra-familial heterogeneity on age at onset or clinical severity.
    Conclusion: We identified a family of LBSL with compound heterozygous mutations, and c.508C>T at the exon 6 is a novel one. Clinical heterogeneity was observed in the family and other literatures. Further research for underlying mechanism is required.
    Keywords:  DARS2; aminoacyl tRNA synthetase; intra‐familial heterogeneity; leukoencephalopathy with brainstem and spinal cord involvement and lactate elevation (LBSL)
  52. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2021 ;8 748156
      Pathological cardiac hypertrophy, the adaptive response of the myocardium to various pathological stimuli, is one of the primary predictors and predisposing factors of heart failure. However, its molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis remain poorly understood. Here, we studied the function of Samm50 in mitophagy during Ang II-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy via lentiviruses mediated knockdown and overexpression of Samm50 protein. We first found that Samm50 is a key positive regulator of cardiac hypertrophy, for western blot and real-time quantitative PCR detection revealed Samm50 was downregulated both in pressure-overload-induced hypertrophic hearts and Ang II-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Then, Samm50 overexpression exhibits enhanced induction of cardiac hypertrophy marker genes and cell enlargement in primary mouse cardiomyocytes by qPCR and immunofluorescence analysis, respectively. Meanwhile, Samm50 remarkably reduced Ang II-induced autophagy as indicated by decreased mitophagy protein levels and autophagic flux, whereas the opposite phenotype was observed in Samm50 knockdown cardiomyocytes. However, the protective role of Samm50 deficiency against cardiac hypertrophy was abolished by inhibiting mitophagy through Vps34 inhibitor or Pink1 knockdown. Moreover, we further demonstrated that Samm50 interacted with Pink1 and stimulated the accumulation of Parkin on mitochondria to initiate mitophagy by co-immunoprecipitation analysis and immunofluorescence. Thus, these results suggest that Samm50 regulates Pink1-Parkin-mediated mitophagy to promote cardiac hypertrophy, and targeting mitophagy may provide new insights into the treatment of cardiac hypertrophy.
    Keywords:  Pink1; Samm50; cardiac hypertrophy; heart failure; mitophagy
  53. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 05. pii: 10757. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with extensive genetic and aetiological heterogeneity. While the underlying molecular mechanisms involved remain unclear, significant progress has been facilitated by recent advances in high-throughput transcriptomic, epigenomic and proteomic technologies. Here, we review recently published ASD proteomic data and compare proteomic functional enrichment signatures with those of transcriptomic and epigenomic data. We identify canonical pathways that are consistently implicated in ASD molecular data and find an enrichment of pathways involved in mitochondrial metabolism and neurogenesis. We identify a subset of differentially expressed proteins that are supported by ASD transcriptomic and DNA methylation data. Furthermore, these differentially expressed proteins are enriched for disease phenotype pathways associated with ASD aetiology. These proteins converge on protein-protein interaction networks that regulate cell proliferation and differentiation, metabolism, and inflammation, which demonstrates a link between canonical pathways, biological processes and the ASD phenotype. This review highlights how proteomics can uncover potential molecular mechanisms to explain a link between mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodevelopmental pathology.
    Keywords:  ASD; DNA methylation; OXPHOS; gliosis; metabolism; mitochondria; neurodevelopment; neurogenesis; proteomics; transcriptomics
  54. Trends Mol Med. 2021 Oct 07. pii: S1471-4914(21)00251-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Preclinical research shows that autophagy is a modifiable process that holds promise for preventing human age-related disease. However, this knowledge has not been clinically translated. Here, we discuss recent developments in the ability to measure human autophagy, and why it is a critical step for translation.
    Keywords:  ageing; autophagic flux; autophagy; blood; human; translation
  55. Biophys J. 2021 Oct 12. pii: S0006-3495(21)00836-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Proteins contribute to cell biology by forming dynamic, regulated interactions, and measuring these interactions is a foundational approach in biochemistry. We present a rapid, quantitative in vivo assay for protein-protein interactions, based on optical cell lysis followed by time-resolved single-molecule analysis of protein complex binding to an antibody-coated substrate. We show that our approach has better reproducibility, higher dynamic range, and lower background than previous single-molecule pull-down assays. Furthermore, we demonstrate that by monitoring cellular protein complexes over time after cell lysis, we can measure the dissociation rate constant of a cellular protein complex, providing information about binding affinity and kinetics. Our dynamic single-cell, single-molecule pull-down method thus approaches the biochemical precision that is often sought from in vitro assays, while being applicable to native protein complexes isolated from single cells in vivo.
  56. Genome Med. 2021 Oct 14. 13(1): 153
      BACKGROUND: Clinical interpretation of genetic variants in the context of the patient's phenotype is becoming the largest component of cost and time expenditure for genome-based diagnosis of rare genetic diseases. Artificial intelligence (AI) holds promise to greatly simplify and speed genome interpretation by integrating predictive methods with the growing knowledge of genetic disease. Here we assess the diagnostic performance of Fabric GEM, a new, AI-based, clinical decision support tool for expediting genome interpretation.METHODS: We benchmarked GEM in a retrospective cohort of 119 probands, mostly NICU infants, diagnosed with rare genetic diseases, who received whole-genome or whole-exome sequencing (WGS, WES). We replicated our analyses in a separate cohort of 60 cases collected from five academic medical centers. For comparison, we also analyzed these cases with current state-of-the-art variant prioritization tools. Included in the comparisons were trio, duo, and singleton cases. Variants underpinning diagnoses spanned diverse modes of inheritance and types, including structural variants (SVs). Patient phenotypes were extracted from clinical notes by two means: manually and using an automated clinical natural language processing (CNLP) tool. Finally, 14 previously unsolved cases were reanalyzed.
    RESULTS: GEM ranked over 90% of the causal genes among the top or second candidate and prioritized for review a median of 3 candidate genes per case, using either manually curated or CNLP-derived phenotype descriptions. Ranking of trios and duos was unchanged when analyzed as singletons. In 17 of 20 cases with diagnostic SVs, GEM identified the causal SVs as the top candidate and in 19/20 within the top five, irrespective of whether SV calls were provided or inferred ab initio by GEM using its own internal SV detection algorithm. GEM showed similar performance in absence of parental genotypes. Analysis of 14 previously unsolved cases resulted in a novel finding for one case, candidates ultimately not advanced upon manual review for 3 cases, and no new findings for 10 cases.
    CONCLUSIONS: GEM enabled diagnostic interpretation inclusive of all variant types through automated nomination of a very short list of candidate genes and disorders for final review and reporting. In combination with deep phenotyping by CNLP, GEM enables substantial automation of genetic disease diagnosis, potentially decreasing cost and expediting case review.
  57. Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2021 Oct 18. 53(5): 957-963
      OBJECTIVE: Distal hereditary motor neuropathy (dHMN) comprises a heterogeneous group of inherited disorders associated with neurodegeneration of motor nerves and neurons, mainly charac-terized by progressive atrophy and weakness of distal muscle without clinical or electrophysiological sensory abnormalities. To improve the recognition and diagnosis of the disease, we summarized the clinical manifestations, electrophysiological, pathological, and genetic characteristics in eight patients with dHMN.METHODS: Eight probands from different families diagnosed with dHMN were recruited in this study between June 2018 and April 2019 at Peking University People's Hospital. Eight patients underwent complete neurological examination and standard electrophysiological examinations. The clinical criteria were consistent with the patients presenting with a pure motor neuropathy with no sensory changes on electrophysiology. The detailed clinical symptoms, neurophysiological examinations, pathological features and gene mutations were analyzed retrospectively. Genetic testing was performed on the eight patients using targeted next-generation sequencing panel for inherited neuromuscular disorder and was combined with segregation analysis.
    RESULTS: The age of onset ranged between 11 and 64 years (median 39.5 years) in our dHMN patients. All the cases showed a slowly progressive disease course, mainly characterized by distal limb muscle weakness and atrophy. The motor nerve conduction revealed decreased compound muscle action potential amplitude and velocity, while the sensory nerve conduction velocities and action potentials were not affected. Needle electromyography indicated neurogenic chronic denervation in all patients. Muscle biopsy performed in two patients demonstrated neurogenic skeletal muscle damage. Sural nerve biopsy was performed in one patient, Semithin sections shows relatively normal density and structure of large myelinated fibers, except very few fibers with thin myelin sheaths, which suggested very mild sensory nerve involvement. Eight different genes known to be associated with dHMN were identified in the patients by next-generation sequencing, pathogenic dHMN mutations were identified in three genes, and the detection rate of confirmed genetic diagnosis of dHMN was 37.5% (3/8). Whereas five variants of uncertain significance (VUS) were identified, among which two novel variants co-segregated the phenotype.
    CONCLUSION: dHMN is a group of inherited peripheral neuropathies with great clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Next-generation sequencing is widely used to discover pathogenic genes in patients with dHMN, but more than half of the patients still remain genetically unknown.
    Keywords:  Clinical manifestations; Distal hereditary motor neuropathy; Electromyography; Gene; Pathology
  58. Neurol Genet. 2021 Dec;7(6): e629
      Background and Objectives: Mutations in the ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein 1 (GDAP1) gene cause autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive forms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). Our aim was to study the clinical phenotype of patients with CMT caused by heterozygous p.His123Arg in GDAP1.Methods: Twenty-three Finnish patients were recruited from a population-based cohort and through family investigation. Each patient was examined clinically and electrophysiologically. The Neuropathy Symptom Score and the Neuropathy Disability Score (NDS) were used in clinical evaluation.
    Results: The median age at onset of symptoms was 17 years among patients with p.His123Arg in GDAP1. Motor symptoms were markedly more common than sensory symptoms at onset. All patients had distal weakness in lower extremities, and 17 (74%) patients had proximal weakness. Muscle atrophy and pes cavus were also common. Nineteen (82%) patients had sensory symptoms such as numbness or pain. The disease progressed with age, and the NDS increased 8.5 points per decade. Electrodiagnostic testing revealed length-dependent, sensory and motor axonal polyneuropathy. EDx findings were asymmetrical in 14 patients. Genealogic study of the families suggested a founder effect.
    Discussion: We found that CMT in patients with p.His123Arg in GDAP1 is relatively mild and slow in progression.
  59. Eur J Med Genet. 2021 Oct 09. pii: S1769-7212(21)00231-7. [Epub ahead of print]64(12): 104365
      The etiology of secondary 3-methylglutaconic aciduria (3-MGA-uria) is not well understood although is thought to be a marker of mitochondrial dysfunction. For this reason, suspicion for a secondary 3-MGA-uria often leads to an extensive clinical and laboratory work-up for mitochondrial disease, although in many cases evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction is never found. 3-methylglutaconic aciduria in healthy individuals without known metabolic disease has not been well described. Here, we describe clinical and biochemical features of 23 individuals evaluated at the Greenwood Genetic Center for low plasma free carnitine reported on newborn screening. Of the 23 individuals evaluated, four individuals were diagnosed with primary carnitine deficiency, 16 were identified as carriers for primary carnitine deficiency, and three individuals were determined to be unaffected non-carriers based on molecular and biochemical testing. Elevated 3-MGA (>20 mmol/mol of creatinine) was identified in nine carriers of primary carnitine deficiency, while all unaffected non carriers and all affected individuals with primary carnitine deficiency had a normal 3-MGA level (<20 mmol/mol of creatinine). Average 3-MGA among all carriers was 39.66 mmol/mol of creatinine. Average plasma free carnitine in among all carriers (n = 16) was 13.87 μm/L, and average plasma free carnitine was not significantly different between carriers with and those without elevated 3-MGA (p = 0.66). In summary, we describe elevated 3-MGA as a discriminatory feature in nine healthy carriers of primary carnitine deficiency. Our findings suggest that heterozygosity for pathogenic alterations on SLC22A5 should be considered in the differential for individuals with persistent 3-MGA-uria of unclear etiology.
    Keywords:  3-MGA; 3-Methylglutaconic acid; 3-Methylglutaconic aciduria; Carrier of metabolic disease; Primary carnitine deficiency
  60. Sci Rep. 2021 Oct 11. 11(1): 20077
      Cardiac remodeling is a physiological adaptation to aerobic exercise and which is characterized by increases in ventricular volume and the number of cardiomyocytes. The mitochondrial derived peptide MOTS-c functions as an important regulator in physical capacity and performance. Exercise elevates levels of endogenous MOTS-c in circulation and in myocardium, while MOTS-c can significantly enhance exercise capacity. However, the effects of aerobic exercise combined with MOTS-c on cardiac structure and function are unclear. We used pressure-volume conductance catheter technique to examine cardiac function in exercised rats with and without treatment with MOTS-c. Surprisingly, MOTS-c improved myocardial mechanical efficiency, enhanced cardiac systolic function, and had a tendency to improve the diastolic function. The findings suggest that using exercise supplements could be used to modulate the cardiovascular benefits of athletic training.
  61. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 14. 12(1): 6013
      The transcription factor NF-Y promotes cell proliferation and its activity often declines during differentiation through the regulation of NF-YA, the DNA binding subunit of the complex. In stem cell compartments, the shorter NF-YA splice variant is abundantly expressed and sustains their expansion. Here, we report that satellite cells, the stem cell population of adult skeletal muscle necessary for its growth and regeneration, express uniquely the longer NF-YA isoform, majorly associated with cell differentiation. Through the generation of a conditional knock out mouse model that selectively deletes the NF-YA gene in satellite cells, we demonstrate that NF-YA expression is fundamental to preserve the pool of muscle stem cells and ensures robust regenerative response to muscle injury. In vivo and ex vivo, satellite cells that survive to NF-YA loss exit the quiescence and are rapidly committed to early differentiation, despite delayed in the progression towards later states. In vitro results demonstrate that NF-YA-depleted muscle stem cells accumulate DNA damage and cannot properly differentiate. These data highlight a new scenario in stem cell biology for NF-Y activity, which is required for efficient myogenic differentiation.
  62. Hum Genet. 2021 Oct 12.
      Inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) comprise a large class of recessive genetic diseases involving disorders of cellular metabolism that tend to be caused by missense mutations in which a single incorrect amino acid is substituted in the polypeptide chain. Cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) deficiency is an example of an IEM that causes large elevations of blood total homocysteine levels, resulting in phenotypes in several tissues. Current treatment strategies involve dietary restriction and vitamin therapy, but these are only partially effective and do not work in all patients. Over 85% of the described mutations in CBS-deficient patients are missense mutations in which the mutant protein fails to fold into an active conformation. The ability of CBS to achieve an active conformation is affected by a variety of intracellular protein networks including the chaperone system and the ubiquitin/proteasome system, collectively referred to as the proteostasis network. Proteostasis modulators are drugs that perturb various aspects of these networks. In this article, we will review the evidence that modulation of the intracellular protein folding environment can be used as a potential therapeutic strategy to treat CBS deficiency and discuss the pros and cons of such a strategy.
  63. Neuropharmacology. 2021 Oct 06. pii: S0028-3908(21)00377-4. [Epub ahead of print] 108822
      Parkinson's disease (PD) is defined as a complex disorder with multifactorial pathogenesis, yet a more accurate definition could be that PD is not a single entity, but rather a mixture of different diseases with similar phenotypes. Attempts to classify subtypes of PD have been made based on clinical phenotypes or biomarkers. However, the most practical approach, at least for a portion of the patients, could be to classify patients based on genes involved in PD. GBA and LRRK2 mutations are the most common genetic causes or risk factors of PD, and PRKN is the most common cause of autosomal recessive form of PD. Patients carrying variants in GBA, LRRK2 or PRKN differ in some of their clinical characteristics, pathology and biochemical parameters. Thus, these three PD-associated genes are of special interest for drug development. Existing therapeutic approaches in PD are strictly symptomatic, as numerous clinical trials aimed at modifying PD progression or providing neuroprotection have failed over the last few decades. The lack of precision medicine approach in most of these trials could be one of the reasons why they were not successful. In the current review we discuss novel therapeutic approaches targeting GBA, LRRK2 and PRKN and discuss different aspects related to these genes and clinical trials.
    Keywords:  Clinical trials; GBA; Genetic targets; LRRK2; PRKN; Parkinson's disease
  64. Mol Genet Metab Rep. 2021 Dec;29 100806
      Propionic acidemia (PA) is a rare autosomal recessive inborn error of metabolism (IEM) with relatively higher prevalence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Absence of propionyl-CoA carboxylase (PCC) enzyme classically leads to acute decompensation in the early neonatal period. We report a novel homozygous frameshift variant c.2158_2159insT; p.Glu720Valfs*14 (NM_000282.3) in the last exon of the PCCA gene which led to a severe presentation of PA in a newborn Emirati female. Uniquely the diagnosis remained unclear since newborn screening revealed an isolated elevation in plasma proprionylcarnitine (C3) while urinary organic acids remained persistently negative for the classic biochemical abnormalities even during the period of critical illness. Additionally, the patient had an unexplained diagnosis of neonatal thyrotoxicosis. This case explores possible underlying causes through an extensive literature search. To date, there have been no similar reported cases in existing literature.
    Keywords:  AA, Amino Acids; C3, proprionylcarnitine; FT3/FT4, Free T3/Free T4; G-CSF, growth colony stimulating factor; HD, hemodialysis; Hyperammonemia; Hyperthyroidism; IEM, Inborn Errors of Metabolism; MMA, methlymalonic acid; MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Metabolic acidosis; Neonate; OA, Organic Acids; PA, Propionic Acidema; PCC, Propionyl-CoA Carboxylase; PICU, pediatric intensive care unit; Propionic acidemia; TPN, Total parenteral nutrition; TPO, Thyroid Peroxidase; TRAB, Thyroid Receptor Antibodies; TSH, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone; TSI, Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulins; Thyrotoxicosis; UAE, United Arab Emirates
  65. Nat Metab. 2021 Oct 14.
      Macrophages rely on tightly integrated metabolic rewiring to clear dying neighboring cells by efferocytosis during homeostasis and disease. Here we reveal that glutaminase-1-mediated glutaminolysis is critical to promote apoptotic cell clearance by macrophages during homeostasis in mice. In addition, impaired macrophage glutaminolysis exacerbates atherosclerosis, a condition during which, efficient apoptotic cell debris clearance is critical to limit disease progression. Glutaminase-1 expression strongly correlates with atherosclerotic plaque necrosis in patients with cardiovascular diseases. High-throughput transcriptional and metabolic profiling reveals that macrophage efferocytic capacity relies on a non-canonical transaminase pathway, independent from the traditional requirement of glutamate dehydrogenase to fuel ɑ-ketoglutarate-dependent immunometabolism. This pathway is necessary to meet the unique requirements of efferocytosis for cellular detoxification and high-energy cytoskeletal rearrangements. Thus, we uncover a role for non-canonical glutamine metabolism for efficient clearance of dying cells and maintenance of tissue homeostasis during health and disease in mouse and humans.
  66. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 06. pii: 10806. [Epub ahead of print]22(19):
      Heart failure is the end-stage of all cardiovascular diseases with a ~25% 5-year survival rate, and insufficient mitochondrial energy production to meet myocardial demand is the hallmark of heart failure. Mitochondrial components involved in the regulation of ATP production remain to be fully elucidated. Recently, roles of 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) in the pathophysiological processes of heart diseases have emerged, implicated by evidence that mitochondrial CNPase proteins are associated with mitochondrial integrity under metabolic stress. In this study, a zebrafish heart failure model was established, by employing antisense morpholino oligonucleotides and the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system, which recapitulates heart failure phenotypes including heart dysfunction, pericardial edema, ventricular enlargement, bradycardia, and premature death. The translational implications of CNPase in the pathophysiological process of heart failure were tested in a pressure overload-induced heart hypertrophy model, which was carried out in rats through transverse abdominal aorta constriction (TAAC). AAV9-mediated myocardial delivery of CNPase mitigated the hypertrophic response through the specific hydrolysis of 2'-3'-cyclic nucleotides, supported by the decrease of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, the integrity of mitochondrial ultrastructure, and indicators of heart contractility in the AAV9-TAAC group. Finally, the biometrics of a mitochondrial respiration assay carried out on a Seahorse cellular energy analyzer demonstrated that CNPase protects mitochondrial respiration and ATP production from AngII-induced metabolic stress. In summary, this study provides mechanistic insights into CNPase-2',3'-cyclic nucleotide metabolism that protects the heart from energy starvation and suggests novel therapeutic approaches to treat heart failure by targeting CNPase activity.
    Keywords:  CNPase; CRISPR-Cas9; heart failure animal model; mitochondrial energy production; zebrafish
  67. J Neurol. 2021 Oct 15.
      BACKGROUND: Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by decreased expression of frataxin, a protein involved in many cellular metabolic processes, including mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Our objective was to assess skeletal muscle oxidative metabolism in vivo in adults with FRDA as compared to adults without FRDA using chemical exchange saturation transfer (CrCEST) MRI, which measures free creatine (Cr) over time following an in-magnet plantar flexion exercise.METHODS: Participants included adults with FRDA (n = 11) and healthy adults (n = 25). All underwent 3-Tesla CrCEST MRI of the calf before and after in-scanner plantar flexion exercise. Participants also underwent whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans to measure body composition and completed questionnaires to assess physical activity.
    RESULTS: We found prolonged post-exercise exponential decline in CrCEST (τCr) in the lateral gastrocnemius (LG, 274 s vs. 138 s, p = 0.01) in adults with FRDA (vs. healthy adults), likely reflecting decreased OXPHOS capacity. Adults with FRDA (vs. healthy adults) also engaged different muscle groups during exercise, as indicated by muscle group-specific changes in creatine with exercise (∆CrCEST), possibly reflecting decreased coordination. Across all participants, increased adiposity and decreased usual physical activity were associated with smaller ∆CrCEST.
    CONCLUSION: In FRDA, CrCEST MRI may be a useful biomarker of muscle-group-specific decline in OXPHOS capacity that can be leveraged to track within-participant changes over time. Appropriate participant selection and further optimization of the exercise stimulus will enhance the utility of this technique.
    Keywords:  Exercise; Friedreich’s ataxia; Magnetic resonance imaging; Mitochondrial disorders; OXPHOS; Oxidative metabolism; Skeletal muscle
  68. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 14. 12(1): 6014
      We present a user-friendly and transferable genome-wide DNA G-quadruplex (G4) profiling method that identifies G4 structures from ordinary whole-genome resequencing data by seizing the slight fluctuation of sequencing quality. In the human genome, 736,689 G4 structures were identified, of which 45.9% of all predicted canonical G4-forming sequences were characterized. Over 89% of the detected canonical G4s were also identified by combining polymerase stop assays with next-generation sequencing. Testing using public datasets of 6 species demonstrated that the present method is widely applicable. The detection rates of predicted canonical quadruplexes ranged from 32% to 58%. Because single nucleotide variations (SNVs) influence the formation of G4 structures and have individual differences, the given method is available to identify and characterize G4s genome-wide for specific individuals.