bims-mitmed Biomed News
on Mitochondrial medicine
Issue of 2022‒02‒27
thirty papers selected by
Dario Brunetti
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico

  1. Cells. 2022 Feb 11. pii: 637. [Epub ahead of print]11(4):
      Mitochondria are cytoplasmic organelles, which generate energy as heat and ATP, the universal energy currency of the cell. This process is carried out by coupling electron stripping through oxidation of nutrient substrates with the formation of a proton-based electrochemical gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Controlled dissipation of the gradient can lead to production of heat as well as ATP, via ADP phosphorylation. This process is known as oxidative phosphorylation, and is carried out by four multiheteromeric complexes (from I to IV) of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, carrying out the electron flow whose energy is stored as a proton-based electrochemical gradient. This gradient sustains a second reaction, operated by the mitochondrial ATP synthase, or complex V, which condensates ADP and Pi into ATP. Four complexes (CI, CIII, CIV, and CV) are composed of proteins encoded by genes present in two separate compartments: the nuclear genome and a small circular DNA found in mitochondria themselves, and are termed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mutations striking either genome can lead to mitochondrial impairment, determining infantile, childhood or adult neurodegeneration. Mitochondrial disorders are complex neurological syndromes, and are often part of a multisystem disorder. In this paper, we divide the diseases into those caused by mtDNA defects and those that are due to mutations involving nuclear genes; from a clinical point of view, we discuss pediatric disorders in comparison to juvenile or adult-onset conditions. The complementary genetic contributions controlling organellar function and the complexity of the biochemical pathways present in the mitochondria justify the extreme genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity of this new area of inborn errors of metabolism known as 'mitochondrial medicine'.
    Keywords:  Leigh syndrome; MELAS; MERRF; OXPHOS; POLG; mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial respiratory chain
  2. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Feb 25. 13(2): 185
      Neurodegeneration associated with defective pantothenate kinase-2 (PKAN) is an early-onset monogenic autosomal-recessive disorder. The hallmark of the disease is the massive accumulation of iron in the globus pallidus brain region of patients. PKAN is caused by mutations in the PANK2 gene encoding the mitochondrial enzyme pantothenate kinase-2, whose function is to catalyze the first reaction of the CoA biosynthetic pathway. To date, the way in which this alteration leads to brain iron accumulation has not been elucidated. Starting from previously obtained hiPS clones, we set up a differentiation protocol able to generate inhibitory neurons. We obtained striatal-like medium spiny neurons composed of approximately 70-80% GABAergic neurons and 10-20% glial cells. Within this mixed population, we detected iron deposition in both PKAN cell types, however, the viability of PKAN GABAergic neurons was strongly affected. CoA treatment was able to reduce cell death and, notably, iron overload. Further differentiation of hiPS clones in a pure population of astrocytes showed particularly evident iron accumulation, with approximately 50% of cells positive for Perls staining. The analysis of these PKAN astrocytes indicated alterations in iron metabolism, mitochondrial morphology, respiratory activity, and oxidative status. Moreover, PKAN astrocytes showed signs of ferroptosis and were prone to developing a stellate phenotype, thus gaining neurotoxic features. This characteristic was confirmed in iPS-derived astrocyte and glutamatergic neuron cocultures, in which PKAN glutamatergic neurons were less viable in the presence of PKAN astrocytes. This newly generated astrocyte model is the first in vitro disease model recapitulating the human phenotype and can be exploited to deeply clarify the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the disease.
  3. Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2022 Feb 25. pii: mcs.a006136. [Epub ahead of print]
      Variants in the mitochondrial genome can result in dysfunction of Complex I within the electron transport chain, thus causing disruptions in oxidative phosphorylation. Pathogenic variants in the MT-ND1 (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase core subunit 1) gene that result in Complex I dysfunction are a known cause of Leigh syndrome. The patient is a four year-old female who initially presented with generalized tonic-clonic seizures, with other symptoms of Leigh syndrome becoming apparent after the seizures. A three-generation pedigree revealed no family history of mitochondrial disorders. Laboratory studies were remarkable for elevated blood lactate, alanine, and GDF15. T2-weighted MRI revealed bilateral asymmetric signal hyperintensities in the basal ganglia, specifically in the bilateral putamen and right caudate. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed regionally elevated glucose and lactate. Mitochondrial respiratory chain enzyme analysis on skin fibroblasts demonstrated slightly reduced Complex I function. A 16-gene dystonia panel and chromosomal microarray analysis did not identify any disease-causing variants. Combined exome and mitochondrial genome sequencing identified the m.3685T>C (MT-ND1 p.Tyr127His) variant with 62.3% heteroplasmy with no alternative cause for the patient's condition. Mitochondrial genome sequencing of the mother demonstrated that the m.3685T>C variant occurred de novo. The m.3685T>C variant is absent from population databases. The tyrosine 127 residue is highly conserved, and several nearby pathogenic variants in the MT-ND1 gene have been previously associated with Leigh syndrome. We propose that the m.3685T>C variant is a novel mitochondrial DNA variant that causes Leigh syndrome, and we classify this variant as likely pathogenic based on currently available information.
    Keywords:  Elevated brain lactate level by MRS; Focal T2 hyperintense basal ganglia lesion; Generalized clonic seizures; Generalized tonic seizures; Hyperalaninemia
  4. Neurocase. 2022 Feb 20. 1-5
      Mitochondrial membrane protein-associated neurodegeneration (MPAN) is a rare neurological disease with childhood or adult onset. It is a subtype of clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of disorders, collectively known as neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation . MPAN is generally associated with biallelic pathogenic variants in C19orf12. Herein, we describe genetic and clinical findings of two MPAN cases from Turkey. In the first case, we have identified the relatively common pathogenic variant of C19orf12 in the homozygous state, which causes late-onset MPAN. The second case was homozygous for an essential splice-site variation.
    Keywords:  C19orf12; Mitochondrial membrane protein-associated neurodegeneration (MPAN); Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA); Whole exome sequencing (WES); rare disease
  5. Mitochondrion. 2022 Feb 16. pii: S1567-7249(22)00010-1. [Epub ahead of print]64 1-18
      Mitochondria are essential for neuronal survival and mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of neurodegeneration. The loss in mitochondrial energy production, oxidative stress, and changes in calcium handling are associated with neurodegenerative diseases; however, different sites and types of mitochondrial dysfunction are linked to distinct neuropathologies. Understanding the causal or correlative relationship between changes in mitochondria and neuropathology will lead to new therapeutic strategies. Here, we summarize the evidence of site-specific mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial-related clinical trials for neurodegenerative diseases. We further discuss potential therapeutic approaches, such as mitochondrial transplantation, restoration of mitochondrial function, and pharmacological alleviation of mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria-targeting therapeutics; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Neurodegeneration; Optogenetics; Transplantation
  6. Mol Genet Metab. 2022 Feb 19. pii: S1096-7192(22)00138-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Leigh spectrum syndrome (LSS) is a primary mitochondrial disorder characterized by neurodevelopmental regression and metabolic stroke typically in early life. Developmental delay (DD) is known to follow episodes of neurologic regression in LSS, although primary developmental delay (pDD) has been rarely reported. We hypothesized that pDD precedes regression in a broader subset of LSS individuals and may associate with worse long-term educational outcomes.METHODS: From a retrospective cohort, subjects with pathogenic variant(s) in a nuclear or mitochondrial gene associated with LSS and consistent clinical manifestations and neuroradiological findings. Detailed developmental histories and neurologic outcomes were extracted.
    RESULTS: Of 69 LSS subjects, 47 (68.1%) had a history of pDD and 53 (76.8%) had neurodevelopmental regression. We identified 3 distinct developmental phenotypes: [1] pDD followed by regression (N = 31/69, 44.9%), [2] pDD without subsequent regression (16/69, 23.2%), [3] regression without pDD (N = 22/69, 31.9%). A history of pDD was associated with earlier disease onset (p = 0.0003) and worse educational outcomes (OR 22.14).
    CONCLUSION: LSS is associated with multiple developmental phenotypes and pDD is associated with negative educational outcomes. pDD occurring prior to neurologic regression suggests that mitochondrial energetics impact developmental trajectories prior to acute metabolic failure and regression, providing an opportunity for earlier diagnosis and/or therapeutic intervention.
  7. Dis Model Mech. 2022 Feb 22. pii: dmm.049083. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pearson syndrome (PS) is a rare multisystem disease caused by single large scale mitochondrial DNA deletions (SLSMDs). PS presents early in infancy and it is mainly characterized by refractory sideroblastic anaemia. Prognosis is poor and treatment is supportive, thus development of new models for the study of PS and new therapy strategies is essential. In this work we report three different cell models carrying a SLMSD: fibroblasts, transmitochondrial cybrids and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). All studied models exhibited an aberrant mitochondrial ultrastructure and defective OXPHOS function, showing a decrease in different parameters such as mitochondrial ATP, respiratory complex IV activity and quantity or oxygen consumption. Despite that, iPSC harbouring "common deletion" were able to differentiate into three germ layers. Besides, cybrids clones only showed mitochondrial dysfunction when heteroplasmy level reached 70%. Some differences observed among models may depend on their metabolic profile, therefore we consider these three models are useful for the in vitro study of the PS as well as for testing new specific therapies.
    Keywords:  Cybrid; IPSC; Mitochondrial DNA; Mitochondrial disease; MtDNA deletion; Pearson syndrome
  8. Sci Rep. 2022 02 23. 12(1): 3045
      Transport and Golgi Organization protein 2 Homolog (TANGO2)-related disease is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the TANGO2 gene. Symptoms typically manifest in early childhood and include developmental delay, stress-induced episodic rhabdomyolysis, and cardiac arrhythmias, along with severe metabolic crises including hypoglycemia, lactic acidosis, and hyperammonemia. Severity varies among and within families. Previous studies have reported contradictory evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction. Since the clinical symptoms and metabolic abnormalities are suggestive of a broad dysfunction of mitochondrial energy metabolism, we undertook a broad examination of mitochondrial bioenergetics in TANGO2 deficient patients utilizing skin fibroblasts derived from three patients exhibiting TANGO2-related disease. Functional studies revealed that TANGO2 protein was present in mitochondrial extracts of control cells but not patient cells. Superoxide production was increased in patient cells, while oxygen consumption rate, particularly under stress, along with relative ATP levels and β-oxidation of oleate were reduced. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial function should be assessed and monitored in all patients with TANGO2 mutation as targeted treatment of the energy dysfunction could improve outcome in this condition.
  9. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2459 117-129
      The NLRP3 inflammasome, a key component of the innate immune system that mediates caspase-1 activation, which in turn induces cleavage of the pyroptosis executioner gasdermin D and the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, requires two signals to be activated. First, inflammasome priming is achieved after activation of Toll-like receptors, which leads to NF-κB signaling and transcriptional activation of the genes for NLRP3 and IL-1β. Next, the inflammasome complex is activated by a second signal that induces extrusion of mitochondrial DNA to the cytosol of the cell, which leads to its oligomerization by a not fully understood mechanism. Here we describe a simple method that employs quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) using SYBR green to measure the presence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the cytosol, which can be used to measure cytosolic mtDNA levels after inflammasome activation.
    Keywords:  Inflammasome; Mitochondrial DNA; NLRP3; Quantitative polymerase chain reaction
  10. Neurology. 2022 Feb 21. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200240. [Epub ahead of print]
    MitoCOVID-19 Study Group
      OBJECTIVES: To identify factors associated with severe COVID-19, defined by hospitalization status, in patients with primary mitochondrial diseases (PMDs), thereby enabling future risk stratification and informed management decisions.METHODS: We undertook a cross-sectional, international, registry-based study. Data was extracted from the "International Neuromuscular COVID-19 Database" and collected between 1st May 2020 and 31st May 2021. The database included subjects with: 1) PMD diagnosis (any age), clinically/histopathologically suspected and/or genetically confirmed; and (2) COVID-19 diagnosis classified as "confirmed", "probable", or "suspected" based on World Health Organization definitions. The primary outcome was hospitalization due to COVID-19. We collected demographic information, smoking status, coexisting comorbidities, outcome following COVID-19 infection, and PMD genotype-phenotype. Baseline status was assessed using the modified Rankin scale (mRS) and the Newcastle Mitochondrial Disease Adult Scale (NMDAS).
    RESULTS: Seventy-nine subjects with PMDs from 10 countries were included (mean age 41.5±18 years): 25 (32%) were hospitalized; 48 (61%) recovered fully; 28 (35%) improved with sequelae; and three (4%) died. Statistically significant differences in hospitalization status were observed in: baseline status, including NMDAS score (p=0.003) and mRS (p=0.001); presence of respiratory dysfunction (p<0.001), neurologic involvement (p=0.003); and more than four comorbidities (p=0.002). In multivariable analysis, respiratory dysfunction was independently associated with COVID-19 hospitalization (OR, 7.66; 95%CI, 2 to 28; p=0.002).
    DISCUSSION: Respiratory dysfunction is an independent risk factor for severe COVID-19 in PMDs, while high disease burden and coexisting comorbidities contribute towards COVID-19 related hospitalization. These findings will enable risk stratification and informed management decisions for this vulnerable population.
  11. Nat Biotechnol. 2022 Feb 24.
      The combination of single-cell transcriptomics with mitochondrial DNA variant detection can be used to establish lineage relationships in primary human cells, but current methods are not scalable to interrogate complex tissues. Here, we combine common 3' single-cell RNA-sequencing protocols with mitochondrial transcriptome enrichment to increase coverage by more than 50-fold, enabling high-confidence mutation detection. The method successfully identifies skewed immune-cell expansions in primary human clonal hematopoiesis.
  12. Molecules. 2022 Feb 16. pii: 1341. [Epub ahead of print]27(4):
      The finding that the most common mitochondrial DNA mutation m.11778G>A/MT-ND4 (p.R340H) associated with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) induces rotenone resistance has produced a long-standing debate, because it contrasts structural evidence showing that the ND4 subunit is far away from the quinone-reaction site in complex I, where rotenone acts. However, recent cryo-electron microscopy data revealed that rotenone also binds to the ND4 subunit. We investigated the possible structural modifications induced by the LHON mutation and found that its amino acid replacement would disrupt a possible hydrogen bond between native R340 and Q139 in ND4, thereby destabilizing rotenone binding. Our analysis thus explains rotenone resistance in LHON patients as a biochemical signature of its pathogenic effect on complex I.
    Keywords:  LHON; complex I; mtDNA mutations; rotenone
  13. Life (Basel). 2022 Jan 29. pii: 205. [Epub ahead of print]12(2):
      Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells; however, mitochondrial dysfunction causes energy depletion and cell death in various diseases [...].
  14. Brain Commun. 2022 ;4(1): fcac024
      Mutations of the mitochondrial DNA are an important cause of inherited diseases that can severely affect the tissue's homeostasis and integrity. The m.3243A > G mutation is the most commonly observed across mitochondrial disorders and is linked to multisystemic complications, including cognitive deficits. In line with in vitro experiments demonstrating the m.3243A > G's negative impact on neuronal energy production and integrity, m.3243A > G patients show cerebral grey matter tissue changes. However, its impact on the most neuron dense, and therefore energy-consuming brain structure-the cerebellum-remains elusive. In this work, we used high-resolution structural and functional data acquired using 7 T MRI to characterize the neurodegenerative and functional signatures of the cerebellar cortex in m.3243A > G patients. Our results reveal altered tissue integrity within distinct clusters across the cerebellar cortex, apparent by their significantly reduced volume and longitudinal relaxation rate compared with healthy controls, indicating macroscopic atrophy and microstructural pathology. Spatial characterization reveals that these changes occur especially in regions related to the frontoparietal brain network that is involved in information processing and selective attention. In addition, based on resting-state functional MRI data, these clusters exhibit reduced functional connectivity to frontal and parietal cortical regions, especially in patients characterized by (i) a severe disease phenotype and (ii) reduced information-processing speed and attention control. Combined with our previous work, these results provide insight into the neuropathological changes and a solid base to guide longitudinal studies aimed to track disease progression.
    Keywords:  MRI; cerebellum; function; m.3243A > G; structure
  15. Redox Biol. 2022 Feb 06. pii: S2213-2317(22)00030-1. [Epub ahead of print]51 102258
      Pathologies associated with tissue ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in highly metabolizing organs such as the brain and heart are leading causes of death and disability in humans. Molecular mechanisms underlying mitochondrial dysfunction during acute injury in I/R are tissue-specific, but their details are not completely understood. A metabolic shift and accumulation of substrates of reverse electron transfer (RET) such as succinate are observed in tissue ischemia, making mitochondrial complex I of the respiratory chain (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase) the most vulnerable enzyme to the following reperfusion. It has been shown that brain complex I is predisposed to losing its flavin mononucleotide (FMN) cofactor when maintained in the reduced state in conditions of RET both in vitro and in vivo. Here we investigated the process of redox-dependent dissociation of FMN from mitochondrial complex I in brain and heart mitochondria. In contrast to the brain enzyme, cardiac complex I does not lose FMN when reduced in RET conditions. We proposed that the different kinetics of FMN loss during RET is due to the presence of brain-specific long 50 kDa isoform of the NDUFV3 subunit of complex I, which is absent in the heart where only the canonical 10 kDa short isoform is found. Our simulation studies suggest that the long NDUFV3 isoform can reach toward the FMN binding pocket and affect the nucleotide affinity to the apoenzyme. For the first time, we demonstrated a potential functional role of tissue-specific isoforms of complex I, providing the distinct molecular mechanism of I/R-induced mitochondrial impairment in cardiac and cerebral tissues. By combining functional studies of intact complex I and molecular structure simulations, we defined the critical difference between the brain and heart enzyme and suggested insights into the redox-dependent inactivation mechanisms of complex I during I/R injury in both tissues.
    Keywords:  Brain; Cardiac infarction; Flavin mononucleotide; Heart; Isoforms; Mitochondrial complex I; Reverse electron transfer; Stroke; Tissue-specificity
  16. Cells. 2022 Feb 19. pii: 733. [Epub ahead of print]11(4):
      The purpose of our study is to investigate early cellular, molecular, morphological and behavioral changes in humanized amyloid-beta-knock-in (hAbKI) mice. Using seven-month-old homozygous hAbKI mice, we studied behavioral phenotype parameters, including spatial learning and memory (Morris Water Maze), locomotor activity (open field), working memory (Y-maze) and motor coordination (rotarod); mRNA abundance, protein levels, soluble amyloid-beta 40 and 42 levels and regional immunoreactivities of key markers of mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial biogenesis, synaptic health, mitophagy and autophagy; mitochondrial function and using transmission electron microscopy & Golgi-Cox staining, we assessed mitochondrial morphology and dendritic spines. Our extensive behavioral analysis revealed that seven-month-old hAbKI mice showed impairments in motor coordination, reduced locomotor and exploration activities, impairments in working memory and spatial learning and memory. Our mRNA and protein analyses revealed the increased expression of mitochondrial-fission genes and reduced expression of mitochondrial-fusion, mitochondrial-biogenesis, synaptic, autophagy and mitophagy genes in seven-month-old hAbKI mice. An immunofluorescence analysis revealed altered immunoreactivities and agreed with the immunoblot results. Transmission-electron-microscopy data revealed increased mitochondrial fragmentation and reduced mitochondrial length in both hippocampal and cortical tissues of seven-month-old hAbKI mice and mitochondrial function defective. A Golgi-Cox-staining analysis revealed reduced dendritic spines in both cerebral cortices and hippocampi of hAbKI mice. Soluble amyloid-beta (1-40 and 1-42) were detected in three-month-old hAbKI mice and progressively increased in seven-month-old mice. These observations suggest that the human amyloid-beta peptide is sufficient to cause behavioral, mitochondrial, synaptic and ultrastructural changes in seven-month-old hAbKI mice. Our study findings also suggest that hAbKI mice might serve as a model for preclinical studies of preventive therapies.
    Keywords:  amyloid beta; dendritic spines; late-onset Alzheimer’s disease; mitochondria
  17. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Mar 01. pii: e2110357119. [Epub ahead of print]119(9):
      Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) assembly factor 7 (COA7) is a metazoan-specific assembly factor, critical for the biogenesis of mitochondrial complex IV (cytochrome c oxidase). Although mutations in COA7 have been linked to complex IV assembly defects and neurological conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, and leukoencephalopathy, the precise role COA7 plays in the biogenesis of complex IV is not known. Here, we show that loss of COA7 blocks complex IV assembly after the initial step where the COX1 module is built, progression from which requires the incorporation of copper and addition of the COX2 and COX3 modules. The crystal structure of COA7, determined to 2.4 Å resolution, reveals a banana-shaped molecule composed of five helix-turn-helix (α/α) repeats, tethered by disulfide bonds. COA7 interacts transiently with the copper metallochaperones SCO1 and SCO2 and catalyzes the reduction of disulfide bonds within these proteins, which are crucial for copper relay to COX2. COA7 binds heme with micromolar affinity, through axial ligation to the central iron atom by histidine and methionine residues. We therefore propose that COA7 is a heme-binding disulfide reductase for regenerating the copper relay system that underpins complex IV assembly.
    Keywords:  COA7; X-ray crystallography; cytochrome c oxidase; heme; mitochondria
  18. Biomolecules. 2022 Feb 19. pii: 333. [Epub ahead of print]12(2):
      Mitochondrial defects in motor neurons are pathological hallmarks of ALS, a neuromuscular disease with no effective treatment. Studies have shown that butyrate, a natural gut-bacteria product, alleviates the disease progression of ALS mice overexpressing a human ALS-associated mutation, hSOD1G93A. In the current study, we examined the potential molecular mechanisms underlying the effect of butyrate on mitochondrial function in cultured motor-neuron-like NSC34 with overexpression of hSOD1G93A (NSC34-G93A). The live cell confocal imaging study demonstrated that 1mM butyrate in the culture medium improved the mitochondrial network with reduced fragmentation in NSC34-G93A cells. Seahorse analysis revealed that NSC34-G93A cells treated with butyrate showed an increase of ~5-fold in mitochondrial Spare Respiratory Capacity with elevated Maximal Respiration. The time-dependent changes in the mRNA level of PGC1α, a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, revealed a burst induction with an early increase (~5-fold) at 4 h, a peak at 24 h (~19-fold), and maintenance at 48 h (8-fold) post-treatment. In line with the transcriptional induction of PGC1α, both the mRNA and protein levels of the key molecules (MTCO1, MTCO2, and COX4) related to the mitochondrial electron transport chain were increased following the butyrate treatment. Our data indicate that activation of the PGC1α signaling axis could be one of the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of butyrate treatment in improving mitochondrial bioenergetics in NSC34-G93A cells.
    Keywords:  ALS; NSC34 cell line; PGC1α; butyrate; mitochondria
  19. Mitochondrion. 2022 Feb 22. pii: S1567-7249(22)00020-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial transplantation involves the replacement or augmentation of native mitochondria damaged, by ischemia, with viable, respiration-competent mitochondria isolated from non-ischemic tissue obtained from the patient's own body. The uptake and cellular functional integration of the transplanted mitochondria appears to occur in all cell types. Efficacy and safety have been demonstrated in cell culture, isolated perfused organ, in vivo large animal studies and in a first-human clinical study. Herein, we review our findings and provide insight for use in the treatment of organ ischemia- reperfusion injury.
    Keywords:  Cardiac; Ischemia; Mitochondria; Reperfusion
  20. Physiol Res. 2021 Dec 30. 70(Suppl4): S683-S714
      Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a lipophilic substituted benzoquinone, is present in animal and plant cells. It is endogenously synthetized in every cell and involved in a variety of cellular processes. CoQ10 is an obligatory component of the respiratory chain in inner mitochondrial membrane. In addition, the presence of CoQ10 in all cellular membranes and in blood. It is the only endogenous lipid antioxidant. Moreover, it is an essential factor for uncoupling protein and controls the permeability transition pore in mitochondria. It also participates in extramitochondrial electron transport and controls membrane physicochemical properties. CoQ10 effects on gene expression might affect the overall metabolism. Primary changes in the energetic and antioxidant functions can explain its remedial effects. CoQ10 supplementation is safe and well-tolerated, even at high doses. CoQ10 does not cause any serious adverse effects in humans or experimental animals. New preparations of CoQ10 that are less hydrophobic and structural derivatives, like idebenone and MitoQ, are being developed to increase absorption and tissue distribution. The review aims to summarize clinical and experimental effects of CoQ10 supplementations in some neurological diseases such as migraine, Parkinson´s disease, Huntington´s disease, Alzheimer´s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Friedreich´s ataxia or multiple sclerosis. Cardiovascular hypertension was included because of its central mechanisms controlling blood pressure in the brainstem rostral ventrolateral medulla and hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. In conclusion, it seems reasonable to recommend CoQ10 as adjunct to conventional therapy in some cases. However, sometimes CoQ10 supplementations are more efficient in animal models of diseases than in human patients (e.g. Parkinson´s disease) or rather vague (e.g. Friedreich´s ataxia or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
  21. iScience. 2022 Feb 18. 25(2): 103827
      To overcome oxidative, inflammatory, and metabolic stress, cells have evolved cytoprotective protein networks controlled by nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and its negative regulator, Kelch-like ECH associated protein 1 (Keap1). Here, using high-resolution mass spectrometry we characterize the proteomes of macrophages with altered Nrf2 status revealing significant differences among the genotypes in metabolism and redox homeostasis, which were validated with respirometry and metabolomics. Nrf2 affected the proteome following lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation, with alterations in redox, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and innate immunity. Notably, Nrf2 activation promoted mitochondrial fusion. The Keap1 inhibitor, 4-octyl itaconate remodeled the inflammatory macrophage proteome, increasing redox and suppressing type I interferon (IFN) response. Similarly, pharmacologic or genetic Nrf2 activation inhibited the transcription of IFN-β and its downstream effector IFIT2 during LPS stimulation. These data suggest that Nrf2 activation facilitates metabolic reprogramming and mitochondrial adaptation, and finetunes the innate immune response in macrophages.
    Keywords:  Biochemistry; Immunology; Proteomics
  22. Cell Rep. 2022 Feb 22. pii: S2211-1247(22)00133-4. [Epub ahead of print]38(8): 110409
      Thyroid hormones (THs) are key metabolic regulators coordinating short- and long-term energy needs. In skeletal muscle, THs modulate energy metabolism in pathophysiological conditions. Indeed, hypo- and hyperthyroidism are leading causes of muscle weakness and strength; however, the metabolic pathways underlying these effects are still poorly understood. Using molecular, biochemical, and isotope-tracing approaches combined with mass spectrometry and denervation experiments, we find that THs regulate glutamine metabolism and anaplerotic fluxes by up-regulating the glutamate pyruvate transaminase 2 (GPT2) gene. In humans, GPT2 autosomal recessive mutations cause a neurological syndrome characterized by intellectual disability, microcephaly, and progressive motor symptoms. Here, we demonstrate a role of the TH/GPT2 axis in skeletal muscle in which it regulates muscle weight and fiber diameter in resting and atrophic conditions and results in protection from muscle loss during atrophy. These results describe an anabolic route by which THs rewire glutamine metabolism toward the maintenance of muscle mass.
    Keywords:  GPT2; glutamine metabolism; skeletal muscle; thyroid hormone; type 2 deiodinase
  23. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2459 65-72
      A growing body of work has recently highlighted the pivotal role of mitochondria in the initiation and modulation of inflammasome activation. Specifically, mitochondrial dysfunction can induce NLRP3 inflammasome activation, where loss of mitochondrial potential leads to production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and release of Ca2+, which in turn trigger inflammasome assembly. Therefore, several measures of mitochondrial parameters and components are routinely utilized in studies assessing mechanisms of inflammasome activation. In this chapter, we show detailed protocols on how to employ flow cytometry using three distinct mitochondria-specific dyes to measure mitochondrial ROS (MitoSOX), mitochondrial respiration (Mitotracker deep red), and total mitochondria (Mitotracker green), as well as a dye that measures reduced glutathione (mBBr ).
    Keywords:  Bone marrow–derived macrophages (BMDM); Flow cytometry; Glutathione (GSH); Inflammasomes; MitoSOX; Mitochondria; Mitotracker; Monobromobimane (mBBr); Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  24. FEBS J. 2022 Feb 25.
      Cell culture conditions highly influence cell metabolism in vitro. This is relevant for preclinical assays, for which fibroblasts are an interesting cell model, with applications in regenerative medicine, diagnostics and therapeutic development for personalized medicine, and the validation of ingredients for cosmetics. Given these cells' short lifespan in culture, we aimed to identify the best cell culture conditions and promising markers to study mitochondrial health and stress in Normal Human Dermal Fibroblasts (NHDF). We tested the effect of reducing glucose concentration in the cell medium from high glucose (HGm) to a more physiological level (LGm), or its complete removal and replacement by galactose (OXPHOSm), always in the presence of glutamine and pyruvate. We have demonstrated that only with OXPHOSm was it possible to observe the selective inhibition of mitochondrial ATP production. This reliance on mitochondrial ATP was accompanied by changes in oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR), oxidation of citric acid cycle substrates, fatty acids, lactate, and other substrates, increased mitochondrial network extension and polarization, increased protein content of VDAC and PGC1α and changes in several key transcripts related to energy metabolism. LGm did not promote significant metabolic changes in NHDF, although mitochondrial network extension and VDAC protein content were increased compared to HGm-cultured cells. Our results indicate that short-term adaptation to OXPHOSm is ideal for studying mitochondrial health and stress in NHDF.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; human fibroblasts; metabolic remodeling; metabolism; mitochondrial health
  25. Aging Cell. 2022 Feb 24. e13569
      Age-related muscle atrophy and weakness, or sarcopenia, are significant contributors to compromised health and quality of life in the elderly. While the mechanisms driving this pathology are not fully defined, reactive oxygen species, neuromuscular junction (NMJ) disruption, and loss of innervation are important risk factors. The goal of this study is to determine the impact of mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide on neurogenic atrophy and contractile dysfunction. Mice with muscle-specific overexpression of the mitochondrial H2 O2  scavenger peroxiredoxin3 (mPRDX3) were crossed to Sod1KO mice, an established mouse model of sarcopenia, to determine whether reduced mitochondrial H2 O2 can prevent or delay the redox-dependent sarcopenia. Basal rates of H2 O2  generation were elevated in isolated muscle mitochondria from Sod1KO, but normalized by mPRDX3 overexpression. The mPRDX3 overexpression prevented the declines in maximum mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate and calcium retention capacity in Sod1KO. Muscle atrophy in Sod1KO was mitigated by ~20% by mPRDX3 overexpression, which was associated with an increase in myofiber cross-sectional area. With direct muscle stimulation, maximum isometric specific force was reduced by ~20% in Sod1KO mice, and mPRDX3 overexpression preserved specific force at wild-type levels. The force deficit with nerve stimulation was exacerbated in Sod1KO compared to direct muscle stimulation, suggesting NMJ disruption in Sod1KO. Notably, this defect was not resolved by overexpression of mPRDX3. Our findings demonstrate that muscle-specific PRDX3 overexpression reduces mitochondrial H2 O2  generation, improves mitochondrial function, and mitigates loss of muscle quantity and quality, despite persisting NMJ impairment in a murine model of redox-dependent sarcopenia.
    Keywords:  aging; hydrogen peroxide; mitochondria; peroxiredoxin3; sarcopenia
  26. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2022 Feb 25. pii: dkac025. [Epub ahead of print]
      While antibiotics are clearly important treatments for infection, antibiotic-induced modulation of the immune system can have detrimental effects on pathogen clearance and immune functionality, increasing the risk of secondary infection. These injurious consequences may be mediated, at least in part, through effects on the mitochondria, the functioning of which is already compromised by the underlying septic process. Here, we review the complex interactions between antibiotic administration, immune cell and mitochondrial dysfunction.
  27. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Feb 24. 41(1): 76
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial dynamics homeostasis is important for cell metabolism, growth, proliferation, and immune responses. The critical GTPase for mitochondrial fission, Drp1 is frequently upregulated in many cancers and is closely implicated in tumorigenesis. However, the mechanism underling Drp1 to influence tumor progression is largely unknown, especially in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was used to examine Drp1 and LC3B expression in tissues of ESCC patients. Autophagic vesicles were investigated by transmission electron microscopy. Fluorescent LC3B puncta and mitochondrial nucleoid were observed by fluorescent and confocal microscopy. Mitochondrial function was evaluated by mitochondrial membrane potential, ROS and ATP levels. Xenograft tumor model was performed in BALB/c nude mice to analyze the role of Drp1 on ESCC progression.
    RESULTS: We found that Drp1 high expression is correlated with poor overall survival of ESCC patients. Drp1 overexpression promotes cell proliferation and xenograft ESCC tumor growth by triggering autophagy. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Drp1 overexpression disturbs mitochondrial function and subsequent induces mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) released into the cytosol thereby inducing cytosolic mtDNA stress. Mechanistically, cytosolic mtDNA activates the cGAS-STING pathway and facilitates autophagy, which promotes ESCC cancer growth. Moreover, mtDNA digestion with DNase I and autophagy inhibition with chloroquine attenuates the cGAS-STING pathway activation and ESCC cancer growth.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our finding reveals that Drp1 overexpression induces mitochondrial dysfunction and cytosolic mtDNA stress, which subsequently activates the cGAS-STING pathway, triggers autophagy and promotes ESCC progression.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Drp1; Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma; Mitochondrial DNA stress; cGAS-STING signaling pathway
  28. Neurol Sci. 2022 Feb 24.
      INTRODUCTION: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA-ATXN3) is a genetic neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cerebellar ataxia and other variable findings, including Parkinsonian syndrome. There is no disease-modifying treatment for SCA-ATXN3, so symptom-based management predominates. We aim to illustrate the disease's phenotypic variability and describe the effectiveness of advanced therapies in Parkinsonian symptoms.CASES: We present two patients with a predominant levodopa-responsive Parkinsonian phenotype, combined with cerebellar features. We achieved an optimal control of Parkinsonian symptoms with a carbidopa-levodopa intestinal gel infusion pump.
    CONCLUSIONS: We should suspect an SCA-ATXN3 etiology in patients with syndromes resembling an early-onset Parkinson disease with an autosomal dominant pattern. These patients could benefit from anti-Parkinsonian treatments, including levodopa intestinal gel infusion pump.
    Keywords:  Levodopa infusion; Levodopa response; Levodopa treatment; Parkinsonian phenotype; SCA-3; SCA-ATXN3