bims-mitmed Biomed News
on Mitochondrial medicine
Issue of 2021‒11‒07
twenty-six papers selected by
Dario Brunetti
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico

  1. Neuromuscul Disord. 2021 Oct;pii: S0960-8966(21)00607-6. [Epub ahead of print]31(10): 978-987
      Primary mitochondrial myopathies are genetic metabolic disorders of mitochondrial dysfunction affecting mainly, but not exclusively, skeletal muscle. Although individually rare, they are the most common inherited metabolic disorders in childhood. They can be similar to other childhood muscle diseases such as congenital myopathies, dystrophies, myasthenic syndromes or metabolic myopathies and a muscle biopsy and genetic testing are important in the differential diagnosis. Mitochondrial myopathies can present at any age but typically childhood onset myopathies have more significant muscle involvement and are caused by genes encoded in the nuclear DNA. Mitochondrial myopathy in infants presents with hypotonia, muscle weakness and difficulty feeding. In toddlers and older children delayed motor development, exercise intolerance and premature fatigue are common. A number of nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA encoded genes are known to cause isolated myopathy in childhood and they are important in a range of mitochondrial functions such as oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial transcription/translation and mitochondrial fusion/fission. A rare cause of isolated myopathy in children, reversible infantile respiratory chain deficiency myopathy, is non-progressive and typically associated with spontaneous full recovery. Promising targeted treatments have been reported for a number or mitochondrial myopathies including riboflavin in ACAD9 and ETFDH-myopathies and deoxynucleoside for TK2-related disease.
    Keywords:  Differential diagnosis; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial myopathy; Muscle; Next-generation sequencing; Treatment
  2. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Oct 28. pii: ddab314. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pathogenic variants that disrupt human mitochondrial protein synthesis are associated with a clinically heterogenous group of diseases. Despite an impairment in oxidative phosphorylation being a common phenotype, the underlying molecular pathogenesis is more complex than simply a bioenergetic deficiency. Currently, we have limited mechanistic understanding on the scope by which a primary defect in mitochondrial protein synthesis contributes to organelle dysfunction. Since the proteins encoded in the mitochondrial genome are hydrophobic and need co-translational insertion into a lipid bilayer, responsive quality control mechanisms are required to resolve aberrations that arise with the synthesis of truncated and misfolded proteins. Here, we show that defects in the OXA1L-mediated insertion of MT-ATP6 nascent chains into the mitochondrial inner membrane are rapidly resolved by the AFG3L2 protease complex. Using pathogenic MT-ATP6 variants, we then reveal discrete steps in this quality control mechanism and the differential functional consequences to mitochondrial gene expression. The inherent ability of a given cell type to recognize and resolve impairments in mitochondrial protein synthesis may in part contribute at the molecular level to the wide clinical spectrum of these disorders.
  3. Mitochondrion. 2021 Nov 02. pii: S1567-7249(21)00148-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Although mitochondrial dysfunction is the known cause of primary mitochondrial disease, mitochondrial dysfunction is often difficult to measure and prove, especially when biopsies of affected tissue are not available. In order to identify blood biomarkers of mitochondrial dysfunction, we reviewed studies that measured blood biomarkers in genetically, clinically or biochemically confirmed primary mitochondrial disease patients. In this way, we were certain that there was an underlying mitochondrial dysfunction which could validate the biomarker. We found biomarkers of three classes: 1) functional markers measured in blood cells, 2) biochemical markers of serum/plasma and 3) DNA markers. While none of the reviewed single biomarkers may perfectly reveal all underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, combining biomarkers that cover different aspects of mitochondrial impairment probably is a good strategy. This biomarker panel may assist in the diagnosis of primary mitochondrial disease patients. As mitochondrial dysfunction may also play a significant role in the pathophysiology of multifactorial disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and glaucoma, the panel may serve to assess mitochondrial dysfunction in complex multifactorial diseases as well and enable selection of patients who could benefit from therapies targeting mitochondria.
    Keywords:  Mitochondrial disorder; biomarkers; blood; mitochondrial dysfunction; multifactorial diseases
  4. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Oct 27. pii: ddab312. [Epub ahead of print]
      INTRODUCTION: In the era of personalized medicine with more and more patient specific targeted therapies being used, we need reliable, dynamic, faster, and sensitive biomarkers both to track the causes of disease and to develop and evolve therapies during the course of treatment. Metabolomics recently has shown substantial evidence to support its emerging role in disease diagnosis and prognosis. Aside from biomarkers and development of therapies, it is also an important goal to understand the involvement of mitochondrial DNA mtDNA in metabolic regulation, aging, and disease development. Somatic mutations of the mitochondrial genome are also heavily implicated in age-related disease and aging. The general hypothesis is that an alteration in the concentration of metabolite profiles (possibly conveyed by lifestyle and environmental factors) influences the increase of mutation rate in the mtDNA, and thereby contributes to a range of pathophysiological alterations observed in complex diseases.METHODS: We performed an inverted mitochondrial genome wide association analysis between mitochondrial nucleotide variants (mtSNVs) and concentration of metabolites. We used 151 metabolites and the whole sequenced mitochondrial genome from 2718 individuals to identify genetic variants associated with metabolite profiles. Because of the high coverage, next generation sequencing-based analysis of the mitochondrial genome allows for an accurate detection of mitochondrial heteroplasmy and for identification of variants associated with the metabolome.
    RESULTS: The strongest association was found for mt715G > A located in the MT-12SrRNA with the metabolite ratio C2/C10:1 (p-value = 6.82*10-09, β = 0.909). The second most significant mtSNV was found for mt3714A > G located in the MT-ND1 with the metabolite ratio PC ae C42:5/PC ae C44:5 (p-value = 1.02*10-08, β = 3.631). A large number of significant metabolite ratios were observed involving PC aa C36:6 and the variant mt10689G > A, located in the MT-ND4L gene.
    CONCLUSION: These results show an important interconnection between mitochondria and metabolite concentrations. Considering that some of the significant metabolites found in this study have been previously related to complex diseases such as neurological disorders and metabolic conditions, these associations found here might play a crucial role for further investigations of such complex diseases. Understanding the mechanisms that control human health and disease, in particular the role of genetic predispositions and their interaction with environmental factors is a prerequisite for the development of safe and efficient therapies for complex disorders.
  5. BMJ. 2021 11 03. 375 e066288
    Genomics England Research Consortium
      OBJECTIVE: To determine whether whole genome sequencing can be used to define the molecular basis of suspected mitochondrial disease.DESIGN: Cohort study.
    SETTING: National Health Service, England, including secondary and tertiary care.
    PARTICIPANTS: 345 patients with suspected mitochondrial disorders recruited to the 100 000 Genomes Project in England between 2015 and 2018.
    INTERVENTION: Short read whole genome sequencing was performed. Nuclear variants were prioritised on the basis of gene panels chosen according to phenotypes, ClinVar pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants, and the top 10 prioritised variants from Exomiser. Mitochondrial DNA variants were called using an in-house pipeline and compared with a list of pathogenic variants. Copy number variants and short tandem repeats for 13 neurological disorders were also analysed. American College of Medical Genetics guidelines were followed for classification of variants.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Definite or probable genetic diagnosis.
    RESULTS: A definite or probable genetic diagnosis was identified in 98/319 (31%) families, with an additional 6 (2%) possible diagnoses. Fourteen of the diagnoses (4% of the 319 families) explained only part of the clinical features. A total of 95 different genes were implicated. Of 104 families given a diagnosis, 39 (38%) had a mitochondrial diagnosis and 65 (63%) had a non-mitochondrial diagnosis.
    CONCLUSION: Whole genome sequencing is a useful diagnostic test in patients with suspected mitochondrial disorders, yielding a diagnosis in a further 31% after exclusion of common causes. Most diagnoses were non-mitochondrial disorders and included developmental disorders with intellectual disability, epileptic encephalopathies, other metabolic disorders, cardiomyopathies, and leukodystrophies. These would have been missed if a targeted approach was taken, and some have specific treatments.
  6. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 744777
      Given the considerable interest in using stem cells for modeling and treating disease, it is essential to understand what regulates self-renewal and differentiation. Remodeling of mitochondria and metabolism, with the shift from glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), plays a fundamental role in maintaining pluripotency and stem cell fate. It has been suggested that the metabolic "switch" from glycolysis to OXPHOS is germ layer-specific as glycolysis remains active during early ectoderm commitment but is downregulated during the transition to mesoderm and endoderm lineages. How mitochondria adapt during these metabolic changes and whether mitochondria remodeling is tissue specific remain unclear. Here, we address the question of mitochondrial adaptation by examining the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to cardiac progenitors and further to differentiated mesodermal derivatives, including functional cardiomyocytes. In contrast to recent findings in neuronal differentiation, we found that mitochondrial content decreases continuously during mesoderm differentiation, despite increased mitochondrial activity and higher levels of ATP-linked respiration. Thus, our work highlights similarities in mitochondrial remodeling during the transition from pluripotent to multipotent state in ectodermal and mesodermal lineages, while at the same time demonstrating cell-lineage-specific adaptations upon further differentiation. Our results improve the understanding of how mitochondrial remodeling and the metabolism interact during mesoderm differentiation and show that it is erroneous to assume that increased OXPHOS activity during differentiation requires a simultaneous expansion of mitochondrial content.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS; cardiomyocyte; development; metabolism; mitochondria; stem cells
  7. Med J Aust. 2021 Oct 31.
    Keywords:  Neurodegenerative disorders; Neuromuscular diseases
  8. Autophagy. 2021 Oct 31. 1-19
      Lacking a self-contained metabolism network, viruses have evolved multiple mechanisms for rewiring the metabolic system of their host to hijack the host's metabolic resources for replication. Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is a paramyxovirus, as an oncolytic virus currently being developed for cancer treatment. However, how NDV alters cellular metabolism is still far from fully understood. In this study, we show that NDV infection reprograms cell metabolism by increasing glucose utilization in the glycolytic pathway. Mechanistically, NDV induces mitochondrial damage, elevated mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS) and ETC dysfunction. Infection of cells depletes nucleotide triphosphate levels, resulting in elevated AMP:ATP ratios, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation, and MTOR crosstalk mediated autophagy. In a time-dependent manner, NDV shifts the balance of mitochondrial dynamics from fusion to fission. Subsequently, PINK1-PRKN-dependent mitophagy was activated, forming a ubiquitin chain with MFN2 (mitofusin 2), and molecular receptor SQSTM1/p62 recognized damaged mitochondria. We also found that NDV infection induces NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT3 loss via mitophagy to engender HIF1A stabilization, leading to the switch from oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to aerobic glycolysis. Overall, these studies support a model that NDV modulates host cell metabolism through PINK1-PRKN-dependent mitophagy for degrading SIRT3.Abbreviations: AMPK: AMP-activated protein kinase; CCCP: carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenylhydrazone; ECAR: extracellular acidification rate; hpi: hours post infection LC-MS: liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; mito-QC: mCherry-GFP-FIS1[mt101-152]; MFN2: mitofusin 2; MMP: mitochondrial membrane potential; mROS: mitochondrial reactive oxygen species; MOI: multiplicity of infection; 2-NBDG: 2-(N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1, 3-diazol-4-yl) amino)-2-deoxyglucose; NDV: newcastle disease virus; OCR: oxygen consumption rate; siRNA: small interfering RNA; SIRT3: sirtuin 3; TCA: tricarboxylic acid; TCID50: tissue culture infective doses.
    Keywords:  Cellular metabolism; SIRT3; glycolysis; mitochondrial fission; mitophagy; newcastle disease virus
  9. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 757305
      Across different cell types and within single cells, mitochondria are heterogeneous in form and function. In skeletal muscle cells, morphologically and functionally distinct subpopulations of mitochondria have been identified, but the mechanisms by which the subcellular specialization of mitochondria contributes to energy homeostasis in working muscles remains unclear. Here, we discuss the current data regarding mitochondrial heterogeneity in skeletal muscle cells and highlight potential new lines of inquiry that have emerged due to advancements in cellular imaging technologies.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; intermyofibrillar mitochondria; mitochondrial connectivity; mitochondrial respiration; organelle interactions; paranuclear mitochondria; paravascular mitochondria; subsarcolemmal mitochondria
  10. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 747377
      Macrophages are a group of heterogeneous cells widely present throughout the body. Under the influence of their specific environments, via both contact and noncontact signals, macrophages integrate into host tissues and contribute to their development and the functions of their constituent cells. Mitochondria are essential organelles that perform intercellular transfers to regulate cell homeostasis. Our review focuses on newly discovered roles of mitochondrial transfers between macrophages and surrounding cells and summarizes emerging functions of macrophages in transmitophagy, metabolic regulation, and immune defense. We also discuss the negative influence of mitochondrial transfers on macrophages, as well as current therapies targeting mitochondria in macrophages. Regulation of macrophages through mitochondrial transfers between macrophages and their surrounding cells is a promising therapy for various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, obesity, and cancer.
    Keywords:  adipocyte; cardiomyocyte; macrophage; mitochondrial transfer; mitophagy
  11. FASEB J. 2021 Dec;35(12): e22010
      The hypoxia-inducible nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone) 1 alpha subcomplex, 4-like 2 (NDUFA4L2) has been demonstrated to decrease oxidative phosphorylation and production of reactive oxygen species in neonatal cardiomyocytes, brain tissue and hypoxic domains of cancer cells. Prolonged local hypoxia can negatively affect skeletal muscle size and tissue oxidative capacity. Although skeletal muscle is a mitochondrial rich, oxygen sensitive tissue, the role of NDUFA4L2 in skeletal muscle has not previously been investigated. Here we ectopically expressed NDUFA4L2 in mouse skeletal muscles using adenovirus-mediated expression and in vivo electroporation. Moreover, femoral artery ligation (FAL) was used as a model of peripheral vascular disease to induce hind limb ischemia and muscle damage. Ectopic NDUFA4L2 expression resulted in reduced mitochondrial respiration and reactive oxygen species followed by lowered AMP, ADP, ATP, and NAD+ levels without affecting the overall protein content of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Furthermore, ectopically expressed NDUFA4L2 caused a ~20% reduction in muscle mass that resulted in weaker muscles. The loss of muscle mass was associated with increased gene expression of atrogenes MurF1 and Mul1, and apoptotic genes caspase 3 and Bax. Finally, we showed that NDUFA4L2 was induced by FAL and that the Ndufa4l2 mRNA expression correlated with the reduced capacity of the muscle to generate force after the ischemic insult. These results show, for the first time, that mitochondrial NDUFA4L2 is a novel regulator of skeletal muscle mass and force. Specifically, induced NDUFA4L2 reduces mitochondrial activity leading to lower levels of important intramuscular metabolites, including adenine nucleotides and NAD+ , which are hallmarks of mitochondrial dysfunction and hence shows that dysfunctional mitochondrial activity may drive muscle wasting.
    Keywords:  NDUFA4L2; mitochondria; muscle mass; skeletal muscle
  12. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Oct 27. pii: ddab308. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: To observe a long-term prognosis in late-onset multiple acyl-coenzyme-A dehydrogenation deficiency(MADD) patients and to determine whether riboflavin should be administrated in the long-term and high-dosage manner.METHODS: We studied the clinical, pathological and genetic features of 110 patients with late-onset MADD in a single neuromuscular center. The plasma riboflavin levels and a long-term follow-up were performed.
    RESULTS: Fluctuating proximal muscle weakness, exercise intolerance and dramatic responsiveness to riboflavin treatment were essential clinical features for all 110 MADD patients. Among them, we identified 106 cases with ETFDH variants, 1 case with FLAD1 variants and 3 cases without causal variants. On muscle pathology, fibers with cracks, atypical ragged red fibers(aRRFs) and diffuse decrease of SDH activity were the distinctive features of these MADD patients. The plasma riboflavin levels before treatment were significantly decreased in these patients as compared to healthy controls. Among 48 MADD patients with a follow-up of 6.1 years on average, 31 patients were free of muscle weakness recurrence, while 17 patients had episodes of slight muscle weakness upon riboflavin withdrawal, but recovered after retaking a small-dose of riboflavin for a short-term. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed vegetarian diet and masseter weakness were independent risk factors for muscle weakness recurrence.
    CONCLUSION: Fibers with cracks, aRRFs and diffuse decreased SDH activity distinguish MADD from other genotypes of lipid storage myopathy. For late-onset MADD, increased fatty acid oxidation and reduced riboflavin levels can induce episodes of muscle symptoms, which can be treated by short-term and small-dose of riboflavin therapy.
  13. Commun Biol. 2021 Nov 04. 4(1): 1262
      Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. The mitochondrial genome encodes core respiratory chain proteins, but the vast majority of mitochondrial proteins are nuclear-encoded, making interactions between the two genomes vital for cell function. Here, we examine these relationships by comparing mitochondrial and nuclear gene expression across different regions of the human brain in healthy and disease cohorts. We find strong regional patterns that are modulated by cell-type and reflect functional specialisation. Nuclear genes causally implicated in sporadic Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease (AD) show much stronger relationships with the mitochondrial genome than expected by chance, and mitochondrial-nuclear relationships are highly perturbed in AD cases, particularly through synaptic and lysosomal pathways, potentially implicating the regulation of energy balance and removal of dysfunction mitochondria in the etiology or progression of the disease. Finally, we present MitoNuclearCOEXPlorer, a tool to interrogate key mitochondria-nuclear relationships in multi-dimensional brain data.
  14. Mol Neurobiol. 2021 Nov 02.
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder which leads to mental deterioration due to aberrant accretion of misfolded proteins in the brain. According to mitochondrial cascade hypothesis, mitochondrial dysfunction is majorly involved in the pathogenesis of AD. Many drugs targeting mitochondria to treat and prevent AD are in different phases of clinical trials for the evaluation of safety and efficacy as mitochondria are involved in various cellular and neuronal functions. Mitochondrial dynamics is regulated by fission and fusion processes mediated by dynamin-related protein (Drp1). Inner membrane fusion takes place by OPA1 and outer membrane fusion is facilitated by mitofusin1 and mitofusin2 (Mfn1/2). Excessive calcium release also impairs mitochondrial functions; to overcome this, calcium channel blockers like nilvadipine are used. Another process acting as a regulator of mitochondrial function is mitophagy which is involved in the removal of damaged and non-functional mitochondria however this process is also altered in AD due to mutations in Presenilin1 (PS1) and Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) gene. Mitochondrial dynamics is altered in AD which led to the discovery of various fission protein (like Drp1) inhibitors and drugs that promote fusion. Modulations in AMPK, SIRT1 and Akt pathways can also come out to be better therapeutic strategies as these pathways regulate functions of mitochondria. Oxidative phosphorylation is major generator of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) leading to mitochondrial damage; therefore reduction in production of ROS by using antioxidants like MitoQ, Curcumin and Vitamin Eis quiteeffective.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Drugs; Fusion-fission proteins; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Mitophagy
  15. Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 03. 11(1): 21590
      The gene KCNJ11 encodes Kir6.2 a major subunit of the ATP-sensitive potassium channel (KATP) expressed in both the pancreas and brain. Heterozygous gain of function mutations in KCNJ11 can cause neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM). In addition, many patients exhibit neurological defects ranging from modest learning disorders to severe cognitive dysfunction and seizures. However, it remains unclear to what extent these neurological deficits are due to direct brain-specific activity of mutant KATP. We have generated cerebral organoids derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) possessing the KCNJ11 mutation p.Val59Met (V59M) and from non-pathogenic/normal hiPSCs (i.e., control/WT). Control cerebral organoids developed neural networks that could generate stable synchronized bursting neuronal activity whereas those derived from V59M cerebral organoids showed reduced synchronization. Histocytochemical studies revealed a marked reduction in neurons localized to upper cortical layer-like structures in V59M cerebral organoids suggesting dysfunction in the development of cortical neuronal network. Examination of temporal transcriptional profiles of neural stem cell markers revealed an extended window of SOX2 expression in V59M cerebral organoids. Continuous treatment of V59M cerebral organoids with the KATP blocker tolbutamide partially rescued the neurodevelopmental differences. Our study demonstrates the utility of human cerebral organoids as an investigative platform for studying the effects of KCNJ11 mutations on neurophysiological outcome.
  16. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Nov 05. 12(11): 1050
      Mitochondrial mass imbalance is one of the key causes of cardiovascular dysfunction after hypoxia. The activation of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), as well as its mitochondrial translocation, play important roles in the changes of both mitochondrial morphology and mitochondrial functions after hypoxia. However, in addition to mediating mitochondrial fission, whether Drp1 has other regulatory roles in mitochondrial homeostasis after mitochondrial translocation is unknown. In this study, we performed a series of interaction and colocalization assays and found that, after mitochondrial translocation, Drp1 may promote the excessive opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) after hypoxia. Firstly, mitochondrial Drp1 maximumly recognizes mPTP channels by binding Bcl-2-associated X protein (BAX) and a phosphate carrier protein (PiC) in the mPTP. Then, leucine-rich repeat serine/threonine-protein kinase 2 (LRRK2) is recruited, whose kinase activity is inhibited by direct binding with mitochondrial Drp1 after hypoxia. Subsequently, the mPTP-related protein hexokinase 2 (HK2) is inactivated at Thr-473 and dissociates from the mitochondrial membrane, ultimately causing structural disruption and overopening of mPTP, which aggravates mitochondrial and cellular dysfunction after hypoxia. Thus, our study interprets the dual direct regulation of mitochondrial Drp1 on mitochondrial morphology and functions after hypoxia and proposes a new mitochondrial fission-independent mechanism for the role of Drp1 after its translocation in hypoxic injury.
  17. Nat Biotechnol. 2021 Nov 04.
    NINDS Ultra-Rare Gene-based Therapy (URGenT) Working Group
  18. Transl Neurosci. 2021 Jan 01. 12(1): 379-384
      Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a group of neurodegenerative diseases with ataxia as the main clinical manifestation. The phenotypes, gene mutations, and involved sites of different subtypes show a high degree of heterogeneity. The incidence of SCA varies greatly among different subtypes and the case of SCA40 is extremely rare. The aim of this study is to report a rare case of SCA40 and systematically review the incidence, gene mutation, and phenotype of SCAs, especially SCA40.
    Keywords:  genotype–phenotype correlations; polyglutamine diseases; spinocerebellar ataxia
  19. Cell Chem Biol. 2021 Nov 02. pii: S2451-9456(21)00444-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mammalian complex I can adopt catalytically active (A-) or deactive (D-) states. A defining feature of the reversible transition between these two defined states is thought to be exposure of the ND3 subunit Cys39 residue in the D-state and its occlusion in the A-state. As the catalytic A/D transition is important in health and disease, we set out to quantify it by measuring Cys39 exposure using isotopic labeling and mass spectrometry, in parallel with complex I NADH/CoQ oxidoreductase activity. To our surprise, we found significant Cys39 exposure during NADH/CoQ oxidoreductase activity. Furthermore, this activity was unaffected if Cys39 alkylation occurred during complex I-linked respiration. In contrast, alkylation of catalytically inactive complex I irreversibly blocked the reactivation of NADH/CoQ oxidoreductase activity by NADH. Thus, Cys39 of ND3 is exposed in complex I during mitochondrial respiration, with significant implications for our understanding of the A/D transition and the mechanism of complex I.
    Keywords:  Cys39; NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase; active/deactive transition; complex I; ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury; mitochondria; redox regulation; reverse electron transport (RET)
  20. Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 02. 11(1): 20772
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the organelle responsible for the folding of secretory/membrane proteins and acts as a dynamic calcium ion (Ca2+) store involved in various cellular signalling pathways. Previously, we reported that the ER-resident disulfide reductase ERdj5 is involved in the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) of misfolded proteins in the ER and the activation of SERCA2b, a Ca2+ pump on the ER membrane. These results highlighted the importance of the regulation of redox activity in both Ca2+ and protein homeostasis in the ER. Here, we show that the deletion of ERdj5 causes an imbalance in intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis, the activation of Drp1, a cytosolic GTPase involved in mitochondrial fission, and finally the aberrant fragmentation of mitochondria, which affects cell viability as well as phenotype with features of cellular senescence. Thus, ERdj5-mediated regulation of intracellular Ca2+ is essential for the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis involved in cellular senescence.
  21. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 Dec 10. 23 307-318
      Lenadogene nolparvovec (Lumevoq) gene therapy was developed to treat Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) caused by the m.11778G > A in MT-ND4 that affects complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Lenadogene nolparvovec is a replication-defective, single-stranded DNA recombinant adeno-associated virus vector 2 serotype 2, containing a codon-optimized complementary DNA encoding the human wild-type MT-ND4 subunit protein. Lenadogene nolparvovec was administered by unilateral intravitreal injection in MT-ND4 LHON patients in two randomized, double-masked, and sham-controlled phase III clinical trials (REVERSE and RESCUE), resulting in bilateral improvement of visual acuity. These and other earlier results suggest that lenadogene nolparvovec may travel from the treated to the untreated eye. To investigate this possibility further, lenadogene nolparvovec was unilaterally injected into the vitreous body of the right eye of healthy, nonhuman primates. Viral vector DNA was quantifiable in all eye and optic nerve tissues of the injected eye and was detected at lower levels in some tissues of the contralateral, noninjected eye, and optic projections, at 3 and 6 months after injection. The results suggest that lenadogene nolparvovec transfers from the injected to the noninjected eye, thus providing a potential explanation for the bilateral improvement of visual function observed in the LHON patients.
    Keywords:  Leber hereditary optic neuropathy; Lumevoq; ND4; biodistribution; lenadogene nolparvovec; qPCR assay; recombinant adeno-associated virus vector 2 serotype 2; transduction; viral vector
  22. Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 04. 12(1): 6409
      Mutations of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) cause a range of profoundly debilitating clinical conditions for which treatment options are very limited. Most mtDNA diseases show heteroplasmy - tissues express both wild-type and mutant mtDNA. While the level of heteroplasmy broadly correlates with disease severity, the relationships between specific mtDNA mutations, heteroplasmy, disease phenotype and severity are poorly understood. We have carried out extensive bioenergetic, metabolomic and RNAseq studies on heteroplasmic patient-derived cells carrying the most prevalent disease related mtDNA mutation, the m.3243 A > G. These studies reveal that the mutation promotes changes in metabolites which are associated with the upregulation of the PI3K-Akt-mTORC1 axis in patient-derived cells and tissues. Remarkably, pharmacological inhibition of PI3K, Akt, or mTORC1 reduced mtDNA mutant load and partially rescued cellular bioenergetic function. The PI3K-Akt-mTORC1 axis thus represents a potential therapeutic target that may benefit people suffering from the consequences of the m.3243 A > G mutation.
  23. J Alzheimers Dis. 2021 Oct 25.
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by cognitive impairment and the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques in the brain. Neurofibrillary tangles are composed of hyperphosphorylated tau, while senile plaques are formed by amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide. The amyloid hypothesis proposes that Aβ accumulation is primarily responsible for the neurotoxicity in AD. Multiple Aβ-mediated toxicity mechanisms have been proposed including mitochondrial dysfunction. However, it is unclear if it precedes Aβ accumulation or if is a consequence of it. Aβ promotes mitochondrial failure. However, AβPP could be cleaved in the mitochondria producing Aβ peptide. Mitochondrial-produced Aβ could interact with newly formed ones or with Aβ that enter the mitochondria, which may induce its oligomerization and contribute to further mitochondrial alterations, resulting in a vicious cycle. Another explanation for AD is the tau hypothesis, in which modified tau trigger toxic effects in neurons. Tau induces mitochondrial dysfunction by indirect and apparently by direct mechanisms. In neurons mitochondria are classified as non-synaptic or synaptic according to their localization, where synaptic mitochondrial function is fundamental supporting neurotransmission and hippocampal memory formation. Here, we focus on synaptic mitochondria as a primary target for Aβ toxicity and/or formation, generating toxicity at the synapse and contributing to synaptic and memory impairment in AD. We also hypothesize that phospho-tau accumulates in mitochondria and triggers dysfunction. Finally, we discuss that synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction occur in aging and correlates with age-related memory loss. Therefore, synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction could be a predisposing factor for AD or an early marker of its onset.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β; amyloid-β protein precursor; cognitive impairment; mitochondria; neurofibrillary tangles; synapses; synaptic mitochondria
  24. Physiol Res. 2021 Oct 30. 70(6):
      Mitochondria play an important role in the cell aging process. Changes in calcium homeostasis and/or increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production lead to the opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP), depolarization of the inner mitochondrial membrane, and decrease of ATP production. Our work aimed to monitor age-related changes in the Ca2+ ion effect on MPTP and the ability of isolated rat liver mitochondria to accumulate calcium. The mitochondrial calcium retention capacity (CRC) was found to be significantly affected by the age of rats. Measurement of CRC values of the rat liver mitochondria showed two periods when 3 to 17-week old rats were tested. 3-week and 17-week old rats showed lower CRC values than 7-week old animals. Similar changes were observed while testing calcium-induced swelling of rat liver mitochondria. These findings indicate that the mitochondrial energy production system is more resistant to calcium-induced MPTP opening accompanied by the damaging effect of ROS in adult rats than in young and aged animals.