bims-mitmed Biomed News
on Mitochondrial medicine
Issue of 2022‒06‒05
twenty papers selected by
Dario Brunetti
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico

  1. Hum Mol Genet. 2022 Jun 02. pii: ddac128. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autosomal dominant optic atrophy (DOA) is the most common inherited optic neuropathy, characterised by the preferential loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), resulting in optic nerve degeneration and progressive bilateral central vision loss. Over 60% of genetically confirmed DOA patients carry variants in the nuclear OPA1 gene, which encodes for a ubiquitously expressed, mitochondrial GTPase protein. OPA1 has diverse functions within the mitochondrial network, facilitating inner membrane fusion and cristae modelling, regulating mitochondrial DNA maintenance and coordinating mitochondrial bioenergetics. There are currently no licensed disease-modifying therapies for DOA and the disease mechanisms driving RGC degeneration are poorly understood. Here, we describe the generation of isogenic, heterozygous OPA1 null iPSC (OPA1+/-) through CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing of a control cell line, in conjunction with the generation of DOA patient-derived iPSC carrying OPA1 variants, namely, the c.2708_2711delTTAG variant (DOA iPSC), and previously reported missense variant iPSC line (c.1334G>A, DOA+ iPSC) and CRISPR/Cas9 corrected controls. A two-dimensional (2D) differentiation protocol was used to study the effect of OPA1 variants on iPSC-RGC differentiation and mitochondrial function. OPA1+/-, DOA and DOA+ iPSC showed no differentiation deficit compared to control iPSC lines, exhibiting comparable expression of all relevant markers at each stage of differentiation. OPA1+/- and OPA1 variant iPSC-RGCs exhibited impaired mitochondrial homeostasis, with reduced bioenergetic output and compromised mitochondrial DNA maintenance. These data highlight mitochondrial deficits associated with OPA1 dysfunction in human iPSC-RGCs, and establish a platform to study disease mechanisms that contribute to RGC loss in DOA, as well as potential therapeutic interventions.
  2. J Mol Med (Berl). 2022 Jun;100(6): 963-971
      Patients with oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) defects causing mitochondrial diseases appear particularly vulnerable to infections. Although OxPhos defects modulate cytokine production in vitro and in animal models, little is known about how circulating leukocytes of patients with inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) defects respond to acute immune challenges. In a small cohort of healthy controls (n = 21) and patients (n = 12) with either the m.3243A > G mutation or single, large-scale mtDNA deletions, we examined (i) cytokine responses (IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β) in response to acute lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure and (ii) sensitivity to the immunosuppressive effects of glucocorticoid signaling (dexamethasone) on cytokine production. In dose-response experiments to determine the half-maximal effective LPS concentration (EC50), relative to controls, leukocytes from patients with mtDNA deletions showed 74-79% lower responses for IL-6 and IL-1β (pIL-6 = 0.031, pIL-1β = 0.009). Moreover, whole blood from patients with mtDNA deletions (pIL-6 = 0.006), but not patients with the m.3243A > G mutation, showed greater sensitivity to the immunosuppressive effects of dexamethasone. Together, these ex vivo data provide preliminary evidence that some systemic OxPhos defects may compromise immune cytokine responses and increase the sensitivity to immune cytokine suppression by glucocorticoids. Further work in larger cohorts is needed to define the nature of immune dysregulation in patients with mitochondrial disease, and their potential implications for disease phenotypes. KEY MESSAGES: Little is known about leukocyte cytokine responses in patients with mitochondrial diseases. Leukocytes of patients with mtDNA deletions show blunted LPS sensitivity and cytokine responses. Leukocytes of patients with mtDNA deletions are more sensitive to glucocorticoid-mediated IL-6 suppression. Work in larger cohorts is needed to delineate potential immune alterations in mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  3243A > G; Cytokine; Glucocorticoid; Inflammation; Inflammation Suppression; Interleukin; Mitochondrial disease; mtDNA deletion
  3. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 May 30. 79(6): 327
      The architecture of mitochondria adapts to physiological contexts: while mitochondrial fragmentation is usually associated to quality control and cell death, mitochondrial elongation often enhances cell survival during stress. Understanding how these events are regulated is important to elucidate how mitochondrial dynamics control cell fate. Here, we show that the tyrosine kinase Src regulates mitochondrial morphology. Deletion of Src increased mitochondrial size and reduced cellular respiration independently of mitochondrial mass, mitochondrial membrane potential or ATP levels. Re-expression of Src targeted to the mitochondrial matrix, but not of Src targeted to the plasma membrane, rescued mitochondrial morphology in a kinase activity-dependent manner. These findings highlight a novel function for Src in the control of mitochondrial dynamics.
    Keywords:  Cellular respiration; Mitochondria-shaping protein; Mitochondrial dynamics; Oxidative phosphorylation
  4. J Endocrinol. 2022 May 01. pii: JOE-22-0057. [Epub ahead of print]
      Estrogen deficiency causes metabolic disorders in humans and rodents, including in part due to changes in energy expenditure. We have shown previously that skeletal muscle mitochondrial function is compromised in ovariectomized rats. Since physical exercise is a powerful strategy to improve skeletal muscle mitochondrial content and function, we hypothesize that exercise training would counteract the deficiency-induced skeletal muscle mitochondrial dysfunction in ovariectomized rats. We report that exercised ovariectomized rats, at 60-65% of maximal exercise capacity for eight weeks, exhibited less fat accumulation and body-weight gain compared with sedentary controls. Treadmill exercise training decreased muscle lactate production, indicating a shift to mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. Furthermore, reduced soleus muscle mitochondrial oxygen consumption confirmed that estrogen deficiency is detrimental to mitochondrial function. However, exercise restored mitochondrial oxygen consumption in ovariectomized rats, achieving similar levels as in exercised control rats. Exercise-induced skeletal muscle peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α, expression was similar in both groups. Therefore, the mechanisms by which exercise improves mitochondrial oxygen consumption appears to be different in ovariectomized-exercised and sham-exercised rats. While there was an increase in mitochondrial content in sham-exercised rats, demonstrated by a greater citrate synthase activity, no induction was observed in ovariectomized-exercised rats. Normalizing mitochondrial respiratory capacity by citrate synthase activity indicates a better oxidative phosphorylation efficiency in the ovariectomized-exercised group. In conclusion, physical exercise sustains mitochondrial function in ovarian hormone-deficient rats through a non-conventional mitochondrial content-independent manner.
  5. Aging Cell. 2022 Jun 01. e13620
      Mitochondria are the major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), whose aberrant production by dysfunctional mitochondria leads to oxidative stress, thus contributing to aging as well as neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Cells efficiently eliminate damaged mitochondria through a selective type of autophagy, named mitophagy. Here, we demonstrate the involvement of the atypical MAP kinase family member MAPK15 in cellular senescence, by preserving mitochondrial quality, thanks to its ability to control mitophagy and, therefore, prevent oxidative stress. We indeed demonstrate that reduced MAPK15 expression strongly decreases mitochondrial respiration and ATP production, while increasing mitochondrial ROS levels. We show that MAPK15 controls the mitophagic process by stimulating ULK1-dependent PRKN Ser108 phosphorylation and inducing the recruitment of damaged mitochondria to autophagosomal and lysosomal compartments, thus leading to a reduction of their mass, but also by participating in the reorganization of the mitochondrial network that usually anticipates their disposal. Consequently, MAPK15-dependent mitophagy protects cells from accumulating nuclear DNA damage due to mitochondrial ROS and, consequently, from senescence deriving from this chronic DNA insult. Indeed, we ultimately demonstrate that MAPK15 protects primary human airway epithelial cells from senescence, establishing a new specific role for MAPK15 in controlling mitochondrial fitness by efficient disposal of old and damaged organelles and suggesting this kinase as a new potential therapeutic target in diverse age-associated human diseases.
    Keywords:  MAP kinases; Oxidative DNA damage; autophagy; cellular senescence; mitophagy; signal transduction
  6. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2022 Feb 18.
      Mitochondrial transplantation refers to the process of introducing isolated mitochondria into a damaged area of the heart or other organs. In the past decade, this technique has been continuously updated as the fundamental research on the repair of damaged cells or tissues. Particularly, in the field of heart protection from ischemia-reperfusion injury, the MT therapy has been developed to the clinical trial stage. Generally speaking, the goal of therapeutic intervention is to replace damaged mitochondria or increase the transfer of mitochondria between cells so as to improve mitochondrial dysfunction. In this review, we summarized the studies on mitochondrial transplantation conducted at different time nodes and outlined a range of different methods for delivering mitochondria into the target site. Finally, we described the applications of mitochondrial transplantation in different diseases, and discussed the clinical studies of human mitochondrial transplantation currently in progress as well as the problems that need to be overcome. We hope to provide new ideas for the treatment of mitochondrial defects related diseases.
  7. Neuromuscul Disord. 2022 May 14. pii: S0960-8966(22)00145-6. [Epub ahead of print]
    232nd ENMC Workshop Participants
  8. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 841523
      Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are serious public health issues and are responsible for nearly one-third of global deaths. Mitochondrial dysfunction is accountable for the development of most CVDs. Mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate through oxidative phosphorylation and inevitably generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). Excessive ROS causes mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death. Mitochondria can protect against these damages via the regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis. In recent years, mitochondria-targeted therapy for CVDs has attracted increasing attention. Various studies have confirmed that clinical drugs (β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor-II blockers) against CVDs have mitochondrial protective functions. An increasing number of cardiac mitochondrial targets have shown their cardioprotective effects in experimental and clinical studies. Here, we briefly introduce the mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction and summarize the progression of mitochondrial targets against CVDs, which may provide ideas for experimental studies and clinical trials.
    Keywords:  cardiovascular diseases; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial therapy; mitophagy; reactive oxygen species
  9. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 868465
      Mitochondrial repair is essential to metabolic homeostasis. Outer mitochondrial membrane mitofusin (MFN) proteins orchestrate mitochondrial fusion that opposes mitochondrial degeneration caused by senescence. Depending upon physiological context, MFN2 can either mediate mitochondrial fusion or recruit cytosolic Parkin to initiate mitophagic elimination. Because it is not clear how these events are counter-regulated we engineered and expressed MFN2 mutants that mimic phosphorylated or non-phosphorylatable MFN2 at its PINK1 phosphorylation sites: T111, S378, and S442. By interrogating mitochondrial fusion, polarization status, and Parkin binding/mitophagy as a function of inferred MFN2 phosphorylation, we discovered that individual MFN2 phosphorylation events act as a biological "bar-code", directing mitochondrial fate based on phosphorylation site state. Experiments in Pink1 deficient cells supported a central role for PINK1 kinase as the pivotal regulator of MFN2 functionality. Contrary to popular wisdom that Parkin-mediated ubiquitination regulates MFN-mediated mitochondrial fusion, results in Prkn null cells demonstrated the dispensability of Parkin for MFN2 inactivation. These data demonstrate that PINK1-mediated phosphorylation is necessary and sufficient, and that Parkin is expendable, to switch MFN2 from fusion protein to mitophagy effector.
    Keywords:  MFN2; PINK1 kinase; Parkin; fusion; mitochondrial quality control; mitofusin regulation; phosphorylation
  10. Front Neurol. 2022 ;13 873943
      The cytochrome c oxidase 20 (COX20) gene encodes a protein with a crucial role in the assembly of mitochondrial complex IV (CIV). Mutations in this gene can result in ataxia and muscle hypotonia. However, ophthalmoplegia and visual failure associated with COX20 mutation have not been examined previously. Moreover, the mechanism causing the phenotype of patients with COX20 variants to differ from that of patients with mutations in other genes impairing CIV assembly is unclear. In this investigation, the aim was to assess the relation between COX20 variants and CIV assembly. We performed detailed clinical, physical, and biochemical investigations of affected individuals. Western blotting, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and blue native-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis were used to analyze the expression level of COX20 and oxidative phosphorylation. A Seahorse XF Cell Mito Stress Test and enzymatic activity analysis were performed to evaluate mitochondrial function. Whole-exome sequencing revealed the same compound heterozygous mutations (c.41A > G and c.222G > T, NM_198076) in COX20 in two siblings. This is the first description of ophthalmoplegia and visual failure associated with COX20 variants. In vitro analysis confirmed that the COX20 protein level was significantly decreased, impairing the assembly and activity of CIV in patients' fibroblast. Overexpression of COX20 using a transduced adenovirus partially restored the function of the patients' fibroblasts. Early-onset complex movement disorders may be closely related to COX20 variants. Our results broaden the clinical phenotypes of patients with COX20 variants showing ophthalmoplegia and visual failure. Additionally, dysfunction of COX20 protein can impair the assembly and activity of CIV.
    Keywords:  ataxia; cytochrome c oxidase 20 (COX20); mitochondrial dysfunction; neuropathy; whole-exome sequencings
  11. Brain. 2022 Jun 03. pii: awac197. [Epub ahead of print]
      CHCHD10 is an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD) gene that encodes a mitochondrial protein whose precise function is unclear. Here we show that CHCHD10 interacts with the Stomatin-Like Protein 2 (SLP2) and participates to the stability of the Prohibitin (PHB) complex in the inner mitochondrial membrane. By using patient fibroblasts and mouse models expressing the same CHCHD10 variant (p.Ser59Leu), we show that SLP2 forms aggregates with prohibitins, found in vivo in the hippocampus and as aggresome-like inclusions in spinal motor neurons of Chchd10S59L/+ mice. Affected cells and tissues display instability of the PHB complex which participates at least in part to the activation of the OMA1 cascade with OPA1 processing leading to mitochondrial fragmentation, abnormal mitochondrial cristae morphogenesis and neuronal death found in spinal cord and the hippocampus of Chchd10S59L/+ animals. Destabilization of the PHB complex leads to the instability of the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) complex, likely via the disruption of OPA1/Mitofilin interaction. Thus, SLP2/PHB aggregates and destabilization of the PHB complex are critical in the sequence of events leading to motor neuron death in CHCHD10S59L-related disease.
    Keywords:   CHCHD10 ; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; frontotemporal dementia; mitochondrion; motor neuron disease
  12. Neurology. 2022 May 31. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200745. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVES: Mitochondrial diseases are the commonest group of heritable metabolic disorders. Phenotypic diversity can make molecular diagnosis challenging and causative genetic mutations may reside in either mitochondrial or nuclear DNA. A single comprehensive genetic diagnostic test would be highly useful and transform the field. We applied whole genome sequencing to evaluate the variant detection rate and diagnostic capacity of this technology with a view to simplifying and improving the mitochondrial disease diagnostic pathway.METHODS: Adult patients presenting to a specialist mitochondrial disease clinic in Sydney, Australia were recruited to the study if they satisfied clinical mitochondrial disease (Nijmegen) criteria. Whole genome sequencing was performed on blood DNA, followed by clinical genetic analysis for known pathogenic mitochondrial disease-associated variants and mitochondrial mimics.
    RESULTS: Of the 242 consecutive patients recruited, 62 subjects had 'definite', 108 had 'probable' and 72 had 'possible' mitochondrial disease classification by the Nijmegen criteria. Disease causing variants were identified for 130 subjects, regardless of the location of the causative genetic mutations, giving an overall diagnostic rate of 53.7% (130/242). Identification of causative genetic mutations informed precise treatment, restored reproductive confidence and optimised patient management.
    CONCLUSION: Comprehensive bigenomic sequencing accurately detects causative gene mutations in affected patients and simplifies mitochondrial disease diagnosis, enables early treatment and informs the risk of genetic transmission.
  13. Diabetes Metab J. 2022 May;46(3): 402-413
      Low levels of mitochondrial stress are beneficial for organismal health and survival through a process known as mitohormesis. Mitohormetic responses occur during or after exercise and may mediate some salutary effects of exercise on metabolism. Exercise-related mitohormesis involves reactive oxygen species production, mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), and release of mitochondria-derived peptides (MDPs). MDPs are a group of small peptides encoded by mitochondrial DNA with beneficial metabolic effects. Among MDPs, mitochondrial ORF of the 12S rRNA type-c (MOTS-c) is the most associated with exercise. MOTS-c expression levels increase in skeletal muscles, systemic circulation, and the hypothalamus upon exercise. Systemic MOTS-c administration increases exercise performance by boosting skeletal muscle stress responses and by enhancing metabolic adaptation to exercise. Exogenous MOTS-c also stimulates thermogenesis in subcutaneous white adipose tissues, thereby enhancing energy expenditure and contributing to the anti-obesity effects of exercise training. This review briefly summarizes the mitohormetic mechanisms of exercise with an emphasis on MOTS-c.
    Keywords:  Exercise; Hormesis; MOTS-c peptide, human; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial proteins; Obesity
  14. Prog Neurobiol. 2022 May 27. pii: S0301-0082(22)00075-2. [Epub ahead of print] 102289
      Mitochondrial health is based on a delicate balance of specific mitochondrial functions (e.g. metabolism, signaling, dynamics) that are impaired in neurodegenerative diseases. Rescuing mitochondrial function by selectively targeting mitochondrial stressors, such as reactive oxygen species, inflammation or proteotoxic insults ("bottom-up" approaches) thus is a widely investigated therapeutic strategy. While successful in preclinical studies, these approaches have largely failed to show clear clinical benefits. Promoting the capacity of mitochondria - and other cellular components - to restore a healthy cellular environment is a promising complementary or alternative approach. Herein, we provide a non-technical overview for neurologists and scientists interested in brain metabolism on neuroprotective strategies targeting mitochondria and focus on top-down interventions such as metabolic modulators, exercise, dietary restriction, brain stimulation and conditioning. We highlight general conceptual differences to bottom-up approaches and provide hypotheses on how these mechanistically comparatively poorly characterized top-down therapies may work, discussing notably mitochondrial stress responses and mitohormesis.
    Keywords:  ageing; conditioning; exercise; hormesis; mitochondria; neurodegeneration
  15. Sci Rep. 2022 May 31. 12(1): 9073
      Reconstructed human epidermis equivalents (RHE) have been developed as a clinical skin substitute and as the replacement for animal testing in both research and industry. KiPS, or keratinocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are frequently used to generate RHE. In this study, we focus on the mitochondrial performance of the KiPS derived from iPSCs obtained from two donors. We found that the KiPS derived from the older donor have more defective mitochondria. Treatment of these KiPS with a plant extract enriched in compounds known to protect mitochondria improved mitochondrial respiration and rendered them fully competent to derive high-quality RHE. Overall, our results suggest that improving mitochondrial function in KiPS is one of the key aspects to obtain a functional RHE and that our plant extracts can improve in this process.
  16. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 02. 13(1): 3084
      Mitochondrial protein import in the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei is mediated by the atypical outer membrane translocase, ATOM. It consists of seven subunits including ATOM69, the import receptor for hydrophobic proteins. Ablation of ATOM69, but not of any other subunit, triggers a unique quality control pathway resulting in the proteasomal degradation of non-imported mitochondrial proteins. The process requires a protein of unknown function, an E3 ubiquitin ligase and the ubiquitin-like protein (TbUbL1), which all are recruited to the mitochondrion upon ATOM69 depletion. TbUbL1 is a nuclear protein, a fraction of which is released to the cytosol upon triggering of the pathway. Nuclear release is essential as cytosolic TbUbL1 can bind mislocalised mitochondrial proteins and likely transfers them to the proteasome. Mitochondrial quality control has previously been studied in yeast and metazoans. Finding such a pathway in the highly diverged trypanosomes suggests such pathways are an obligate feature of all eukaryotes.
  17. Ageing Res Rev. 2022 May 26. pii: S1568-1637(22)00095-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101653
      Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is caused by absence of the catalytic activity of ATM, a protein kinase that plays a central role in the DNA damage response, many branches of cellular metabolism, redox and mitochondrial homeostasis, and cell cycle regulation. A-T is a complex disorder characterized mainly by progressive cerebellar degeneration, immunodeficiency, radiation sensitivity, genome instability, and predisposition to cancer. It is increasingly recognized that the premature aging component of A-T is an important driver of this disease, and A-T is therefore an attractive model to study the aging process. This review outlines the current state of knowledge pertaining to the molecular and cellular signatures of aging in A-T and proposes how these new insights can guide novel therapeutic approaches for A-T.
    Keywords:  ATM; Aging; Ataxia-telangiectasia; Cellular senescence; DNA damage response; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Oxidative stress
  18. Front Pharmacol. 2022 ;13 859978
      Mitochondria are essential organelles that perform important roles in cell biologies such as ATP synthesis, metabolic regulation, immunomodulatory, and apoptosis. Parkinson's disease (PD) is connected with mitochondrial neuronal damage related to mitochondrial unfolded protein response (mtUPR). Rosmarinic acid (RA) is a naturally occurring hydroxylated polyphenolic chemical found in the Boraginaceae and the Labiatae subfamily Nepetoideae. This study looked into RA's protective effect against mitochondrial loss in the substantia nigra (SN) caused by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), the underlying mechanism associated with the mtUPR. Pretreatment with RA reduced motor impairments and dopaminergic neuronal degeneration in the SN of a mouse model injected with MPTP. Pretreatment of SH-SY5Y cells from cell viability loss, morphological damage, and oxidative stress. Furthermore, RA pre-injection suppressed MPTP-induced mtUPR, lowered the expression of HSPA9, HSPE1, CLPP, LONP1, and SIRT 4, and protected the MPTP-mice and SH-SY5Y cells from mitochondrial failure. These findings imply that RA can prevent Parkinson's disease by preventing mitochondrial damage in dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease via alleviating mitochondrial unfolded protein response.
    Keywords:  immunlogy; mitochondrial damage; mtUPR; rosmarinic acid; substantia nigra
  19. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 919155
      The foundation for investigating the mechanisms of human diseases is the establishment of animal models, which are also widely used in agricultural industry, pharmaceutical applications, and clinical research. However, small animals such as rodents, which have been extensively used to create disease models, do not often fully mimic the key pathological changes and/or important symptoms of human disease. As a result, there is an emerging need to establish suitable large animal models that can recapitulate important phenotypes of human diseases for investigating pathogenesis and developing effective therapeutics. However, traditional genetic modification technologies used in establishing small animal models are difficultly applied for generating large animal models of human diseases. This difficulty has been overcome to a great extent by the recent development of gene editing technology, especially the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9). In this review, we focus on the applications of CRISPR/Cas9 system to establishment of large animal models, including nonhuman primates, pigs, sheep, goats and dogs, for investigating disease pathogenesis and treatment. We also discuss the limitations of large animal models and possible solutions according to our current knowledge. Finally, we sum up the applications of the novel genome editing tool Base Editors (BEs) and its great potential for gene editing in large animals.
    Keywords:  Base editing; CRISPR/Cas9; Large animals; Mosaicism; Off-target
  20. FASEB J. 2022 Jul;36(7): e22355
      The Ups2-Mdm35 complex mediates intramitochondrial phosphatidylserine (PS) transport to facilitate mitochondrial phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) synthesis. In the present study, we found that ups2∆ yeast showed increased mitochondrial ATP production and enhanced quiescence (G0) entry in the post-diauxic shift phase. Transcriptomic and biochemical analyses revealed that the depletion of Ups2 leads to overactivation of the yeast AMPK homolog Snf1. Inactivation of Snf1 by depletion of an Snf1-activating kinase, Sak1 canceled the changes in mitochondrial ATP production and quiescence entry observed in ups2∆ cells. Furthermore, among the factors regulated by Snf1, upregulation of pyruvate carboxylase, Pyc1 and downregulation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, Acc1, respectively, were sufficient to increase mitochondrial ATP production and quiescence entry. These results suggested that a normal PE synthesis mediated by Ups2-Mdm35 complex attenuates Snf1/AMPK activity, and that Snf1-mediated regulation of carbon metabolisms has great impacts on mitochondrial energy metabolism and quiescence entry. We also found that depletion of Ups2 together with the cell-cycle regulators Whi5 and Whi7, functional orthologs of the Rb1 tumor suppressor, caused a synthetic growth defect in yeast. Similarly, knockdown of PRELID3b, the human homolog of Ups2, decreased the viability of Rb1-deficient breast cancer cells, suggesting that PRELID3b is a potential target for cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Snf1/AMPK; Ups2-Mdm35 complex; carbon metabolism; mitochondrial energy metabolism; phosphatidylethanolamine; quiescence entry