bims-mitmed Biomed News
on Mitochondrial medicine
Issue of 2022‒10‒02
thirty-six papers selected by
Dario Brunetti
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico

  1. Lancet Neurol. 2022 Sep 22. pii: S1474-4422(22)00174-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Hereditary optic neuropathies result from defects in the human genome, both nuclear and mitochondrial. The two main and most recognised phenotypes are dominant optic atrophy and Leber hereditary optic neuropathy. Advances in modern molecular diagnosis have expanded our knowledge of genotypes and phenotypes of inherited disorders that affect the optic nerve, either alone or in combination, with various forms of neurological and systemic degeneration. A unifying feature in the pathophysiology of these disorders appears to involve mitochondrial dysfunction, suggesting that the retinal ganglion cells and their axons are especially susceptible to perturbations in mitochondrial homoeostasis. As we better understand the pathogenesis behind these genetic diseases, aetiologically targeted therapies are emerging and entering into clinical trials, including treatments aimed at halting the cascade of neurodegeneration, replacing or editing the defective genes or their protein products, and potentially regenerating damaged optic nerves, as well as preventing generational disease transmission.
  2. Sci Rep. 2022 Sep 26. 12(1): 16028
      Metabolic programming of the innate immune cells known as dendritic cells (DCs) changes in response to different stimuli, influencing their function. While the mechanisms behind increased glycolytic metabolism in response to inflammatory stimuli are well-studied, less is known about the programming of mitochondrial metabolism in DCs. We used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon-β (IFN-β), which differentially stimulate the use of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), respectively, to identify factors important for mitochondrial metabolism. We found that the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1β (PGC-1β), a transcriptional co-activator and known regulator of mitochondrial metabolism, decreases when DCs are activated with LPS, when OXPHOS is diminished, but not with IFN-β, when OXPHOS is maintained. We examined the role of PGC-1β in bioenergetic metabolism of DCs and found that PGC-1β deficiency indeed impairs their mitochondrial respiration. PGC-1β-deficient DCs are more glycolytic compared to controls, likely to compensate for reduced OXPHOS. PGC-1β deficiency also causes decreased capacity for ATP production at steady state and in response to IFN-β treatment. Loss of PGC-1β in DCs leads to increased expression of genes in inflammatory pathways, and reduced expression of genes encoding proteins important for mitochondrial metabolism and function. Collectively, these results demonstrate that PGC-1β is a key regulator of mitochondrial metabolism and negative regulator of inflammatory gene expression in DCs.
  3. Pharmacol Res. 2022 Sep 26. pii: S1043-6618(22)00412-1. [Epub ahead of print] 106466
      Until recently it was thought that most humans only harbor one type of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), however, deep sequencing and single-cell analysis has shown the converse - that mixed populations of mtDNA (heteroplasmy) are the norm. This is important because heteroplasmy levels can change dramatically during transmission in the female germ line, leading to high levels causing severe mitochondrial diseases. There is also emerging evidence that low level mtDNA mutations contribute to common late onset diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders and cardiometabolic diseases because the inherited mutation levels can change within developing organs and non-dividing cells over time. Initial predictions suggested that the segregation of mtDNA heteroplasmy was largely stochastic, with an equal tendency for levels to increase or decrease. However, transgenic animal work and single-cell analysis have shown this not to be the case during germ-line transmission and in somatic tissues during life. Mutation levels in specific mtDNA regions can increase or decrease in different contexts and the underlying molecular mechanisms are starting to be unraveled. In this review we provide a synthesis of recent literature on the mechanisms of selection for and against mtDNA variants. We identify the most pertinent gaps in our understanding and suggest ways these could be addressed using state of the art techniques.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; mitophagy; mtDNA; mutant; selection; selfish
  4. Sci Rep. 2022 Sep 27. 12(1): 16152
      Studies of mitochondrial dynamics have identified an intriguing link between energy supply balance and mitochondrial architecture. This suggests that inappropriate culture conditions might inhibit mitochondrial functions, and affect embryonic development. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine whether in vitro culture (IVC) might affect mitochondrial function, distribution, organization (by Mitotracker Green), gene expression on RNA level (by qPCR), and protein expression and localization (by western blot and immunostaining) involved in regulation of mitochondrial functions. Mitochondria in 2-cell IVC embryos were less numerous compare to IN VIVO while the localization and distribution do not differ between the groups. Mitochondria of in vivo blastocysts formed elongated network along the cells, while in IVC were fragmented, rounded, and aggregated mainly in the perinuclear region. Additionally, mitochondria of IN VIVO embryos moved back and forth along their long axis on radial tracks, while in IVC blastocysts were much less active. mtDNA copy number in IVC blastocysts (92,336.65 ± 5860.04) was significantly lower than that of IN VIVO (169,103.92 ± 16,322.41; P < 0.02) as well as lower protein expressions responsible for mitochondrial fusion was observed in IVC blastocysts. Results indicate that in vitro culture affect on perturbations in mitochondrial number and function, which is associated with decreased developmental competence of in vitro produced mouse embryos.
  5. Front Mol Neurosci. 2022 ;15 974480
      Mitochondria are essential organelles for neuronal function and cell survival. Besides the well-known bioenergetics, additional mitochondrial roles in calcium signaling, lipid biogenesis, regulation of reactive oxygen species, and apoptosis are pivotal in diverse cellular processes. The mitochondrial proteome encompasses about 1,500 proteins encoded by both the nuclear DNA and the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA. Mutations in the nuclear or mitochondrial genome, or combinations of both, can result in mitochondrial protein deficiencies and mitochondrial malfunction. Therefore, mitochondrial quality control by proteins involved in various surveillance mechanisms is critical for neuronal integrity and viability. Abnormal proteins involved in mitochondrial bioenergetics, dynamics, mitophagy, import machinery, ion channels, and mitochondrial DNA maintenance have been linked to the pathogenesis of a number of neurological diseases. The goal of this review is to give an overview of these pathways and to summarize the interconnections between mitochondrial protein dysfunction and neurological diseases.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial bioenergetics; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial import machinery; mitochondrial proteins; mitophagy; mtDNA maintenance; neurological diseases; pathogenesis
  6. World J Clin Cases. 2022 Aug 26. 10(24): 8749-8754
      BACKGROUND: The mitochondrial respiratory chain defects have become the most common cause of neurometabolic disorders in children and adults, which can occur at any time in life, often associated with neurological dysfunction, and lead to chronic disability and premature death. Approximately one-third of patients with mitochondrial disease have biochemical defects involving multiple respiratory chain complexes, suggesting defects in protein synthesis within the mitochondria. We here report a child with VARS2 gene mutations causing mitochondrial disease.CASE SUMMARY: A girl, aged 3 years and 4 mo, had been unable to sit and crawl alone since birth, with obvious seizures and microcephaly. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed symmetrical, flaky, long T1-weighted and low T2-weighted signals in the posterior part of the bilateral putamen with a high signal shadow. T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery imaging showed a slightly high signal and diffusion-weighted imaging showed an obvious high signal. Whole-exome gene sequencing revealed a compound heterozygous mutation in the VARS2 gene, c.1163(exon11)C>T and c.1940(exon20)C>T, which was derived from the parents. The child was diagnosed with combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency type 20.
    CONCLUSION: In this patient, mitochondrial disorders including Leigh syndrome and MELAS syndrome (mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes) were ruled out, and combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency type 20 was diagnosed, expanding the phenotypic spectrum of the disease.
    Keywords:  Case report; Mitochondrial aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase; Mitochondrial diseases; VARS2
  7. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 984245
      Mitochondria are the primary sites for cellular energy production and are required for many essential cellular processes. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a 16.6 kb circular DNA molecule that encodes only 13 gene products of the approximately 90 different proteins of the respiratory chain complexes and an estimated 1,200 mitochondrial proteins. MtDNA is, however, crucial for organismal development, normal function, and survival. MtDNA maintenance requires mitochondrially targeted nuclear DNA repair enzymes, a mtDNA replisome that is unique to mitochondria, and systems that control mitochondrial morphology and quality control. Here, we provide an overview of the current literature on mtDNA repair and transcription machineries and discuss how dynamic functional interactions between the components of these systems regulate mtDNA maintenance and transcription. A profound understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control mtDNA maintenance and transcription is important as loss of mtDNA integrity is implicated in normal process of aging, inflammation, and the etiology and pathogenesis of a number of diseases.
    Keywords:  DNA repair; base excision repair (BER); base excision repair (BER)glycosylases; mitochdrial damage; mitochondria; transcription
  8. Nat Commun. 2022 Sep 26. 13(1): 5658
      ER-mitochondrial contact sites (EMCSs) are important for mitochondrial function. Here, we have identified a EMCS complex, comprising a family of uncharacterised mitochondrial outer membrane proteins, TRB1, TRB2, and the ER protein, VAP27-1. In Arabidopsis, there are three TraB family isoforms and the trb1/trb2 double mutant exhibits abnormal mitochondrial morphology, strong starch accumulation, and impaired energy metabolism, indicating that these proteins are essential for normal mitochondrial function. Moreover, TRB1 and TRB2 proteins also interact with ATG8 in order to regulate mitochondrial degradation (mitophagy). The turnover of depolarised mitochondria is significantly reduced in both trb1/trb2 and VAP27 mutants (vap27-1,3,4,6) under mitochondrial stress conditions, with an increased population of dysfunctional mitochondria present in the cytoplasm. Consequently, plant recovery after stress is significantly perturbed, suggesting that TRB1-regulated mitophagy and ER-mitochondrial interaction are two closely related processes. Taken together, we ascribe a dual role to TraB family proteins which are component of the EMCS complex in eukaryotes, regulating both interaction of the mitochondria to the ER and mitophagy.
  9. Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2022 Oct 01. e2059
      BACKGROUND: Kearns-Sayre syndrome (KSS) is a rare multisystem mitochondrial disorder characterized by onset before 20 years of age and a typical clinical triad: progressive external ophthalmoplegia, pigmentary retinopathy and cardiac conduction anomalies. In most cases KSS is caused by spontaneous heteroplasmic single large-scale mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions. Long-range polymerase chain reaction (LR-PCR), next generation sequencing (NGS) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) are the most widely applied methods for the identification of mtDNA deletions. Here, we report the case of 20-year-old male who presented with classic Kearns-Sayre syndrome, confirmed by novel 5,9 kb mtDNA deletion.METHODS AND RESULTS: LR-PCR and MLPA methods were applied to identify the mitochondrial DNA deletion for the patient, but the results were conflicting. Molecular analysis using primer walking and Sanger sequencing identified a novel 5888 base pairs mtDNA deletion (NC_012920.1:m.6069_11956del) with CAAC nucleotides repeat sequence at the breakpoints.
    CONCLUSION: Our study enriched the mtDNA variation spectrum associated with KSS and demonstrated the importance of choosing relevant molecular genetic methods.
    Keywords:  KSS; Kearns-Sayre syndrome; mitochondrial disorder; single large-scale mitochondrial DNA deletion syndromes
  10. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2022 Sep 26. 10(1): 142
      Pathogenic variants in the NDUFV1 gene, which codes for complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, have been associated with a variety of clinical phenotypes, including a progressive cavitating leukoencephalopathy. The neuropathology of NDUFV1-associated leukoencephalopathy is not well-described. We present a report of a 24-year-old female with two pathogenic variants in the NDUFV1 gene, together with antemortem skeletal muscle biopsy and postmortem neuropathologic examination. Autopsy neuropathology showed a cavitating leukoencephalopathy with extensive white matter involvement, regions of active demyelination, and sparing of the subcortical U-fibers. Muscle biopsy showed subtle but distinct histologic abnormalities by light microscopy, and ultrastructural analysis demonstrated mitochondrial abnormalities including abnormal subsarcolemmal mitochondrial accumulation, electron-dense inclusions, and enlarged mitochondria with abnormal cristae. Our report is the first comprehensive description of the neuropathology in a patient with compound heterozygous variants in the NDUFV1 gene and progressive cavitating leukoencephalopathy. This case is evidence of pathogenicity of one NDUFV1 variant (c.565 T > C, p.S189P), which has not been previously described as pathogenic. These findings, in combination with the ultrastructural abnormalities in the mitochondria by electron microscopy, support the mitochondrial nature of the pathology. Together, this case highlights the link between mitochondrial abnormalities and demyelinating processes in the central nervous system (CNS).
    Keywords:  Complex I; Demyelination; Mitochondrial leukoencephalopathy; Progressive cavitating leukoencephalopathy
  11. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2022 Sep 30.
      Neuronal survival depends on the generation of ATP from an ever-changing mitochondrial network. This requires a fine balance between the constant degradation of damaged mitochondria, biogenesis of new mitochondria, movement along microtubules, dynamic processes, and adequate functional capacity to meet firing demands. The distribution of mitochondria needs to be tightly controlled throughout the entire neuron, including its projections. Axons in particular can be enormous structures compared to the size of the cell soma, and how mitochondria are maintained in these compartments is poorly defined. Mitochondrial dysfunction in neurons is associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases, with the axon being preferentially vulnerable to destruction. Drosophila offer a unique way to study these organelles in fully differentiated adult neurons in vivo. Here, we briefly review the regulation of neuronal mitochondria in health, aging, and disease and introduce two methodological approaches to study mitochondrial dynamics and transport in axons using the Drosophila wing system.
  12. Front Genet. 2022 ;13 925786
      Mitochondrial DNA is primarily maternally inherited in most animals and evolves about 10 times faster than biparentally inherited nuclear DNA. Mitochondrial dysfunction (mt-dys) arises when interactions between the co-evolving mitochondrial and nuclear genomes are perturbed in essential processes like oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Over time mt-dys can lead to mitochondrial diseases (mt-diseases), which are surprisingly prevalent and include common diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and diabetes. Unfortunately, the strong impact that intraspecific mitochondrial and nuclear genetic variation has on mt-disease complicates its study and the development of effective treatments. Animal models have advanced our understanding of mt-disease but their relevance to human conditions is often limited by their relatively low nuclear genetic diversity. Many traditional laboratory models also typically have a single mitochondrial haplotype (mitotype), in stark contrast to over 5,000 mitotypes in humans worldwide. The threespine stickleback fish has an evolutionary history that has made it a favorable evolutionary mutant model (EMM) for studying mito-nuclear interactions and possibly mt-diseases. EMMs are species with naturally evolved states that mimic maladaptive human diseases. In threespine stickleback, a period of isolation followed by introgression of the mitochondrial genome from a sister species resulted in the maintenance of two distinct mitochondrial haplotypes which continue to segregate within many populations of wild stickleback. The existence of two mitogenomes segregating in numerous genetically diverse populations provides a unique system for exploring complex mito-nuclear dynamics. Here we provide the first complete coding region analysis of the two threespine stickleback mitotypes, whose mitogenomic divergence exceeds that of other mammalian models for mitochondrial disease and even that between ancient and modern humans. We find that divergence is not uniform across the mitogenome, but primarily impacts protein coding genes, and significantly impacts proteins in Complex I of OXPHOS. The full characterization of these highly divergent intraspecific mitotypes provides a foundation for the development of threespine stickleback as an EMM for mito-nuclear interactions.
    Keywords:  co-evolution; dysfunction; mitochondrial disease; mitogenome; outbred
  13. Aging Cell. 2022 Sep 27. e13725
      Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism is a central hub for energy production and regulation of numerous physiological processes. Controversially, both increased and decreased levels of BCAAs are associated with longevity. Using genetics and multi-omics analyses in Caenorhabditis elegans, we identified adaptive regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in response to defective BCAA catabolic reactions after the initial transamination step. Worms with impaired BCAA metabolism show a slower turnover of a GFP-based proteasome substrate, which is suppressed by loss-of-function of the first BCAA catabolic enzyme, the branched-chain aminotransferase BCAT-1. The exogenous supply of BCAA-derived carboxylic acids, which are known to accumulate in the body fluid of patients with BCAA metabolic disorders, is sufficient to regulate the UPS. The link between BCAA intermediates and UPS function presented here sheds light on the unexplained role of BCAAs in the aging process and opens future possibilities for therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:   Caenorhabditis elegans ; aging; branched-chain amino acid; branched-chain aminotransferase; metabolism; proteasome; proteostasis; ubiquitin
  14. Nature. 2022 Sep 28.
      CD4+ T cell differentiation requires metabolic reprogramming to fulfil the bioenergetic demands of proliferation and effector function, and enforce specific transcriptional programmes1-3. Mitochondrial membrane dynamics sustains mitochondrial processes4, including respiration and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolism5, but whether mitochondrial membrane remodelling orchestrates CD4+ T cell differentiation remains unclear. Here we show that unlike other CD4+ T cell subsets, T helper 17 (TH17) cells have fused mitochondria with tight cristae. T cell-specific deletion of optic atrophy 1 (OPA1), which regulates inner mitochondrial membrane fusion and cristae morphology6, revealed that TH17 cells require OPA1 for its control of the TCA cycle, rather than respiration. OPA1 deletion amplifies glutamine oxidation, leading to impaired NADH/NAD+ balance and accumulation of TCA cycle metabolites and 2-hydroxyglutarate-a metabolite that influences the epigenetic landscape5,7. Our multi-omics approach revealed that the serine/threonine kinase liver-associated kinase B1 (LKB1) couples mitochondrial function to cytokine expression in TH17 cells by regulating TCA cycle metabolism and transcriptional remodelling. Mitochondrial membrane disruption activates LKB1, which restrains IL-17 expression. LKB1 deletion restores IL-17 expression in TH17 cells with disrupted mitochondrial membranes, rectifying aberrant TCA cycle glutamine flux, balancing NADH/NAD+ and preventing 2-hydroxyglutarate production from the promiscuous activity of the serine biosynthesis enzyme phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH). These findings identify OPA1 as a major determinant of TH17 cell function, and uncover LKB1 as a sensor linking mitochondrial cues to effector programmes in TH17 cells.
  15. Skelet Muscle. 2022 Sep 29. 12(1): 23
      BACKGROUND: Choline kinase beta (CHKB) catalyzes the first step in the de novo biosynthesis of phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidylethanolamine via the Kennedy pathway. Derangement of this pathway might also influence the homeostasis of mitochondrial membranes. Autosomal recessive CHKB mutations cause a rare form of congenital muscular dystrophy known as megaconial congenital muscular dystrophy (MCMD).CASE PRESENTATION: We describe a novel proband presenting MCMD due to unpublished CHKB mutations. The patient is a 6-year-old boy who came to our attention for cognitive impairment and slowly progressive muscular weakness. He was the first son of non-consanguineous healthy parents from Sri Lanka. Neurological examination showed proximal weakness at four limbs, weak osteotendinous reflexes, Gowers' maneuver, and waddling gate. Creatine kinase levels were mildly increased. EMG and brain MRI were normal. Left quadriceps skeletal muscle biopsy showed a myopathic pattern with nuclear centralizations and connective tissue increase. Histological and histochemical staining suggested subsarcolemmal localization and dimensional increase of mitochondria. Ultrastructural analysis confirmed the presence of enlarged ("megaconial") mitochondria. Direct sequencing of CHKB identified two novel defects: the c.1060G > C (p.Gly354Arg) substitution and the c.448-56_29del intronic deletion, segregating from father and mother, respectively. Subcloning of RT-PCR amplicons from patient's muscle RNA showed that c.448-56_29del results in the partial retention (14 nucleotides) of intron 3, altering physiological splicing and transcript stability. Biochemical studies showed reduced levels of the mitochondrial fission factor DRP1 and the severe impairment of mitochondrial respiratory chain activity in patient's muscle compared to controls.
    CONCLUSIONS: This report expands the molecular findings associated with MCMD and confirms the importance of considering CHKB variants in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with muscular dystrophy and mental retardation. The clinical outcome of MCMD patients seems to be influenced by CHKB molecular defects. Histological and ultrastructural examination of muscle biopsy directed molecular studies and allowed the identification and characterization of an intronic mutation, usually escaping standard molecular testing.
    Keywords:  Choline kinase beta (CHKB); Enlarged mitochondria; Megaconial congenital muscular dystrophy; Mitochondrial dynamics
  16. Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2022 Sep 20. pii: S1090-3798(22)00138-6. [Epub ahead of print]41 27-35
      INTRODUCTION: Neuroimmunological diseases such as autoimmune encephalitis (AE) or acquired demyelinating syndromes (ADS), can present with neurological symptoms and imaging features that are indistinguishable from mitochondrial diseases (MD) in particular at initial presentation.METHODS: Retrospective analysis of the clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging features of five patients who presented with signs of a neuroimmunological disease but all had pathological pathogenic variants in genes related to mitochondrial energy metabolism.
    RESULTS: Four patients presented with an acute neurological episode reminiscent of a possible AE and one patient with a suspected ADS at initial presentation. MRI findings were compatible with neuroimmunological diseases in all patients. In two children cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) studies revealed a mildly elevated cell count, two had elevated CSF lactate, none had oligoclonal bands (OCBs). All patients improved rapidly with intravenous steroids or immunoglobulins. Four patients had one or more relapses. Three patients showed worsening of their neurological symptoms with subsequent episodes and one patient died. Relapses in conjunction with new and progressive neurological symptoms, led to additional work-up which finally resulted in different genetic diagnosis of MD in all patients (MT-TL1, MT-ND5, APOA1-BP, HPDL, POLG).
    DISCUSSION: We would like to draw attention to a subset of patients with MD initially presenting with signs and symptoms mimicking neuroimmunological. Absence of CSF pleocytosis, elevated CSF lactate and progressive, relapsing course should trigger further (genetic) investigations in search of a MD even in patients with good response initially to immunomodulating therapies.
    Keywords:  Mimicry; Mitochondrial disease; Neuroinflammation; Treatment; Whole exome sequencing
  17. Schizophr Res. 2022 Sep 26. pii: S0920-9964(22)00333-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Psychiatric disorders are a heterogeneous group of mental disorders with abnormal mental or behavioral patterns, which severely distress or disable affected individuals and can have a grave socioeconomic burden. Growing evidence indicates that mitochondrial function plays an important role in developing psychiatric disorders. This review discusses the neuropsychiatric consequences of mitochondrial abnormalities in both animal models and patients. We also discuss recent studies associated with compromised mitochondrial function in various psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia (SCZ), major depressive disorder (MD), and bipolar disorders (BD). These studies employ various approaches including postmortem studies, imaging studies, genetic studies, and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) studies. We also summarize the evidence from animal models and clinical trials to support mitochondrial function as a potential therapeutic target to treat various psychiatric disorders. This review will contribute to furthering our understanding of the metabolic etiology of various psychiatric disorders, and help guide the development of optimal therapies.
    Keywords:  Bipolar disorder (BD); Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC); Major depressive disorder (MD); Mitochondrial dysfunction; Psychiatric disorders; Schizophrenia (SCZ)
  18. Sci Rep. 2022 Sep 27. 12(1): 16066
      Mitochondrial metabolism varies significantly between individuals of the same species and can influence animal performance, such as growth. However, growth rate is usually determined before the mitochondrial assay. The hypothesis that natural variation in mitochondrial metabolic traits is linked to differences in both previous and upcoming growth remains untested. Using biopsies to collect tissue in a non-lethal manner, we tested this hypothesis in a fish model (Dicentrarchus labrax) by monitoring individual growth rate, measuring mitochondrial metabolic traits in the red muscle, and monitoring the growth of the same individuals after the mitochondrial assay. Individual variation in growth rate was consistent before and after the mitochondrial assay; however, the mitochondrial traits that explained growth variation differed between the growth rates determined before and after the mitochondrial assay. While past growth was correlated with the activity of the cytochrome c oxidase, a measure of mitochondrial density, future growth was linked to mitochondrial proton leak respiration. This is the first report of temporal shift in the relationship between growth rate and mitochondrial metabolic traits, suggesting an among-individual variation in temporal changes in mitochondrial traits. Our results emphasize the need to evaluate whether mitochondrial metabolic traits of individuals can change over time.
  19. Pharmacol Res. 2022 Sep 27. pii: S1043-6618(22)00413-3. [Epub ahead of print] 106467
      Regulation of mitochondrial respiration and morphology is important for maintaining steady-state hematopoiesis, yet few studies have comparatively evaluated the effects of abnormal mitochondrial respiration and dynamics on blood-cell differentiation in isolation or combination. This study sought to explore these effects in mouse models with one or both of the following deficits: a large-scale deletion of mitochondrial DNA (ΔmtDNA), accumulated to varying extents, or knockout of the mitochondrial fission factor Drp1. Each deficit was found to independently provoke anemia but with clearly different manifestations. The former showed signs of aberrant respiration, analogous to Pearson syndrome, while the latter showed signs of abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and was associated with changes in the relative proportions of leukocyte lineages. Combining these deficits acted to amplify abnormal iron metabolism in erythropoiesis, exacerbating anemia in an additive manner. Our results indicate that mitochondrial respiration and dynamics play distinct roles in different sets of processes and cell lineages in hematopoietic differentiation.
    Keywords:  Drp1; Mitochondria; Pearson syndrome; anemia; ΔmtDNA
  20. Eur J Neurosci. 2022 Sep 24.
      Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a debilitating disease that presents with fatigue, sleep disturbances, malaise, and cognitive problems. The pathogenesis of ME/CFS is presently unknown and serum levels of potential biomarkers have been inconsistent. Here we show that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) associated with serum exosomes, is increased in ME/CFS patients only after exercise. Moreover, exosomes isolated from patients with ME/CFS stimulate significant release of IL-1β from cultured human microglia. These results provide evidence that activation of microglia by serum-derived exosomes may serve as a potential novel pathogenetic factor and target for treatment of ME/CFS.
    Keywords:  Allergies; cytokines; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; inflammation; mitochondrial DNA; myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome; neuropeptides
  21. Neurol Genet. 2022 Oct;8(5): e200030
      Objectives: Leigh syndrome is a progressive encephalopathy characterized by symmetrical lesions in brain. This study aimed to investigate the clinicopathologic and genetic characteristics of a family with Leigh syndrome and hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsy (HNPP).Methods: Data from a Japanese family's clinical features, MRIs, muscle biopsy, and an autopsy were analyzed. A whole-exome sequence was performed, as well as real-time PCR analysis to determine copy number variations and Western blot analyses.
    Results: The proband and her 2 siblings developed spastic paraplegia and mental retardation during childhood. The proband and her sister had peripheral neuropathy, whereas their father developed compression neuropathy. Leigh encephalopathy was diagnosed neuropathologically. Brain MRI revealed changes in cerebral white matter as well as multiple lesions in the brainstem and cerebellum. Muscle biopsy revealed type 2 fiber uniformity and decreased staining of cytochrome c oxidase. The COX10 missense mutation was identified through whole-exome sequence. A 1.4-Mb genomic deletion extending from intron 5 of COX10 to PMP22 was detected.
    Discussion: These findings suggest that in this family, Leigh syndrome is associated with a mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV deficiency caused by biallelic COX10 mutations coexisting with HNPP caused by heterozygous PMP22 deletion.
  22. Elife. 2022 Sep 26. pii: e80919. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) dysfunction due to mutations in the nuclear or mitochondrial genome is a common cause of metabolic disease in humans and displays striking tissue specificity depending on the affected gene. The mechanisms underlying tissue specific phenotypes are not understood. Complex I (cI) is classically considered the entry point for electrons into the ETC, and in vitro experiments indicate that cI is required for basal respiration and maintenance of the NAD+/NADH ratio, an indicator of cellular redox status. This finding has largely not been tested in vivo. Here, we report that mitochondrial complex I is dispensable for homeostasis of the adult mouse liver; animals with hepatocyte-specific loss of cI function display no overt phenotypes or signs of liver damage, and maintain liver function, redox and oxygen status. Further analysis of cI-deficient livers did not reveal significant proteomic or metabolic changes, indicating little to no compensation is required in the setting of complex I loss. In contrast, complex IV (cIV) dysfunction in adult hepatocytes results in decreased liver function, impaired oxygen handling, steatosis, and liver damage, accompanied by significant metabolomic and proteomic perturbations. Our results support a model whereby complex I loss is tolerated in the mouse liver because hepatocytes use alternative electron donors to fuel the mitochondrial ETC.
    Keywords:  cell biology; genetics; genomics; mouse
  23. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2022 Sep 30.
      Mitochondria are essential for long-term neuronal function and survival. They are maintained in neurons, including long axonal stretches, through dynamic processes such as fission, fusion, biogenesis, and mitophagy. Here, we describe a protocol for the in-depth morphological analysis of individual mitochondria in axons in vivo. Most mitochondrial analysis of axons is currently performed in vitro with neurons in a developmental state. Therefore, an understanding of the axonal mitochondrial network during aging in fully differentiated neurons and the long-term consequence of gene knockout is often not developed. By using a clonal system paired with fluorescent genetically encoded markers in the Drosophila wing, we can visualize individual neurons (out of the whole bundle), including their long axons and the mitochondria that they contain, using confocal imaging. The clonal system also allows visualization of neurons with genetic perturbations that would otherwise be lethal if present in the whole organism, allowing investigators to bypass lethality. This protocol can further be adapted to measure the physiological and biochemical state of the mitochondria. Mitochondrial morphology and health in axons are tightly linked to aging, axon injury, and neurodegeneration; therefore, this method can be used to investigate mitochondrial dysfunction associated with novel genes or those linked to neurodegenerative disease and axonopathy.
  24. Protein Sci. 2022 Oct;31(10): e4433
      The 20-kDa TOM (translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane) subunit, Tom20, is the first receptor of the protein import pathway into mitochondria. Tom20 recognizes the mitochondrial targeting signal embedded in the presequences attached to mature mitochondrial proteins, as an N-terminal extension. Consequently, ~1,000 different mitochondrial proteins are sorted into the mitochondrial matrix, and distinguished from non-mitochondrial proteins. We previously reported the MPRIDE (multiple partial recognitions in dynamic equilibrium) mechanism to explain the structural basis of the promiscuous recognition of presequences by Tom20. A subset of the targeting signal features is recognized in each pose of the presequence in the binding state, and all of the features are collectively recognized in the dynamic equilibrium between the poses. Here, we changed the volumes of the hydrophobic side chains in the targeting signal, while maintaining the binding affinity. We tethered the mutated presequences to the binding site of Tom20 and placed them in the crystal contact-free space (CCFS) created in the crystal lattice. The spatial distributions of the mutated presequences were visualized as smeared electron densities in the low-pass filtered difference maps obtained by X-ray crystallography. The mutated presequence ensembles shifted their positions in the binding state to accommodate the larger side chains, thus providing positive evidence supporting the use of the MPRIDE mechanism in the promiscuous recognition by Tom20.
    Keywords:  Tom20; crystal contact-free space; mitochondrial targeting signal; presequence; promiscuous recognition
  25. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 938177
      Peroxisomes are organelles containing different enzymes that catalyze various metabolic pathways such as β-oxidation of very long-chain fatty acids and synthesis of plasmalogens. Peroxisome biogenesis is controlled by a family of proteins called peroxins, which are required for peroxisomal membrane formation, matrix protein transport, and division. Mutations of peroxins cause metabolic disorders called peroxisomal biogenesis disorders, among which Zellweger syndrome (ZS) is the most severe. Although patients with ZS exhibit severe pathology in multiple organs such as the liver, kidney, brain, muscle, and bone, the pathogenesis remains largely unknown. Recent findings indicate that peroxisomes regulate intrinsic apoptotic pathways and upstream fission-fusion processes, disruption of which causes multiple organ dysfunctions reminiscent of ZS. In this review, we summarize recent findings about peroxisome-mediated regulation of mitochondrial morphology and its possible relationship with the pathogenesis of ZS.
    Keywords:  Zellweger syndrome; apoptosis; fission-fusion; mitochondria; organelle interaction; peroxisomes; tethering
  26. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2022 Sep 30.
      Detailed mechanisms governing the transport of mitochondria in neurons have recently emerged, although it is still poorly understood how the regulation of transport is coordinated in space and time within the physiological context of an organism. Here, we provide a protocol to study the intracellular dynamics of mitochondria in the wing neurons of adult Drosophila in situ. The mounting and imaging procedures that we describe are suitable for use on most microscopes, and they can be easily implemented in any laboratory. Our noninvasive mounting procedures, combined with the translucency of the wing cuticle in adult animals, makes the wing nervous system accessible to advanced microscopy studies in a physiological environment. Combining the powerful genetics of Drosophila with time-lapse live imaging, users of this protocol will be able to analyze mitochondrial dynamics over time in a subset of sensory neurons in the wing. These cells extend long axons with a stereotypical plus-end-out microtubule orientation that represents a unique model to understand the logic of neuronal cargo transport, including the mitochondria. Finally, the neurons in this tissue respond to mechanical and chemical stimulation of the sensory organs of the wing, opening up the possibility of coupling the study of mitochondrial dynamics with the modulation of neuronal activity in aging Drosophila We anticipate that the unique characteristics of this in vivo system will contribute to the discovery of novel mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial dynamics within an organismal context with relevant implications for the pathogenesis of age-dependent neurological disorders.
  27. J Alzheimers Dis. 2022 Sep 19.
      BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease (AD) research has relied on mouse models overexpressing human mutant A βPP; however, newer generation knock-in models allow for physiological expression of amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) containing familial AD mutations where murine AβPP is edited with a humanized amyloid-β (Aβ) sequence. The AppNL-F mouse model has shown substantial similarities to AD brains developing late onset cognitive impairment.OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to characterize mature primary cortical neurons derived from homozygous AppNL-F embryos, especially to identify early mitochondrial alterations in this model.
    METHODS: Primary cultures of AppNL-F neurons kept in culture for 12-15 days were used to measure Aβ levels, secretase activity, mitochondrial functions, mitochondrial-ER contacts, synaptic function, and cell death.
    RESULTS: We detected higher levels of Aβ42 released from AppNL-F neurons as compared to wild-type neurons. AppNL-F neurons, also displayed an increased Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio, similar to adult AppNL-F mouse brain. Interestingly, we found an upregulation in mitochondrial oxygen consumption with concomitant downregulation in glycolytic reserve. Furthermore, AppNL-F neurons were more susceptible to cell death triggered by mitochondrial electron transport chain inhibition. Juxtaposition between ER and mitochondria was found to be substantially upregulated, which may account for upregulated mitochondrial-derived ATP production. However, anterograde mitochondrial movement was severely impaired in this model along with loss in synaptic vesicle protein and impairment in pre- and post-synaptic function.
    CONCLUSION: We show that widespread mitochondrial alterations can be detected in AppNL-F neurons in vitro, where amyloid plaque deposition does not occur, suggesting soluble and oligomeric Aβ-species being responsible for these alterations.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; AppNL-F knock-in mice; mitochondria; mitochondria-ER contact sites; synapses
  28. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2022 Sep 30. e12851
      AIMS: Axonal injury in multiple sclerosis (MS) and experimental models is most frequently detected in acutely demyelinating lesions. We recently reported a compensatory neuronal response, where mitochondria move to the acutely demyelinated axon and increase the mitochondrial content following lysolecithin-induced demyelination. We termed this homeostatic phenomenon, which is also evident in MS, the axonal response of mitochondria to demyelination (ARMD). The aim of this study is to determine whether ARMD is consistently evident in experimental demyelination and how its perturbation relates to axonal injury.METHODS: In the present study, we assessed axonal mitochondrial content as well as axonal mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV activity (cytochrome c oxidase or COX) of axons and related these to axonal injury in nine different experimental disease models. We used immunofluorescent histochemistry as well as sequential COX histochemistry followed by immunofluorescent labelling of mitochondria and axons.
    RESULTS: We found ARMD a consistent and robust phenomenon in all experimental disease models. The increase in mitochondrial content within demyelinated axons, however, was not always accompanied by a proportionate increase in complex IV activity, particularly in highly inflammatory models such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Axonal complex IV activity inversely correlated with the extent of axonal injury in experimental disease models.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that ARMD is a consistent and prominent feature and emphasise the importance of complex IV activity in the context of ARMD, especially in autoimmune inflammatory demyelination, paving the way for the development of novel neuroprotective therapies.
    Keywords:  axon injury; complex IV; experimental demyelination; mitochondria; multiple sclerosis and neuroprotection
  29. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2022 Aug;87(8): 689-701
      Alzheimer's disease is the most common age-related progressive neurodegenerative disorder of brain cortex and hippocampus leading to cognitive impairment. Accumulation of extracellular amyloid plaques and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles are believed to be the main hallmarks of the disease. Origin of Alzheimer's disease is not totally clear, multiple initiator factors are likely to exist. Intracellular impacts of Alzheimer's disease include mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, ER-stress, disruption of autophagy, severe metabolic challenges leading to massive neuronal apoptosis. Mitochondria are the key players in all these processes. This formed the basis for the so-called mitochondrial cascade hypothesis. This review provides current data on the molecular mechanisms of the development of Alzheimer's disease associated with mitochondria. Special attention was paid to the interaction between Tau protein and mitochondria, as well as to the promising therapeutic approaches aimed at preventing development of neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Tau protein; bioenergetics; mitochondria
  30. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 918691
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) functions critically depend on a suitable ATP supply to fuel ER chaperons and protein trafficking. A disruption of the ability of the ER to traffic and fold proteins leads to ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Using structured illumination super-resolution microscopy, we revealed increased stability and lifetime of mitochondrial associated ER membranes (MAM) during ER stress. The consequent increase of basal mitochondrial Ca2+ leads to increased TCA cycle activity and enhanced mitochondrial membrane potential, OXPHOS, and ATP generation during ER stress. Subsequently, OXPHOS derived ATP trafficking towards the ER was increased. We found that the increased lifetime and stability of MAMs during ER stress depended on the mitochondrial fusion protein Mitofusin2 (MFN2). Knockdown of MFN2 blunted mitochondrial Ca2+ effect during ER stress, switched mitochondrial F1FO-ATPase activity into reverse mode, and strongly reduced the ATP supply for the ER during ER stress. These findings suggest a critical role of MFN2-dependent MAM stability and lifetime during ER stress to compensate UPR by strengthening ER ATP supply by the mitochondria.
    Keywords:  ER stress; mitochondria; mitochondria-associated membranes (MAM); mitochondrial Ca2+; mitofusin 2
  31. Nat Commun. 2022 Sep 27. 13(1): 5671
      Cellular senescence is a plausible mediator of inflammation-related tissue dysfunction. In the aged brain, senescent cell identities and the mechanisms by which they exert adverse influence are unclear. Here we used high-dimensional molecular profiling, coupled with mechanistic experiments, to study the properties of senescent cells in the aged mouse brain. We show that senescence and inflammatory expression profiles increase with age and are brain region- and sex-specific. p16-positive myeloid cells exhibiting senescent and disease-associated activation signatures, including upregulation of chemoattractant factors, accumulate in the aged mouse brain. Senescent brain myeloid cells promote peripheral immune cell chemotaxis in vitro. Activated resident and infiltrating immune cells increase in the aged brain and are partially restored to youthful levels through p16-positive senescent cell clearance in female p16-InkAttac mice, which is associated with preservation of cognitive function. Our study reveals dynamic remodeling of the brain immune cell landscape in aging and suggests senescent cell targeting as a strategy to counter inflammatory changes and cognitive decline.
  32. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 996061
      Coiled-coil-helix-coiled-coil-helix domain containing 2 (CHCHD2) and Coiled-coil-helix-coiled-coil-helix domain containing 10 (CHCHD10) are mitochondrial proteins that are thought to be genes which duplicated during evolution and are the causative genes for Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal lobe dementia, respectively. CHCHD2 forms a heterodimer with CHCHD10 and a homodimer with itself, both of which work together within the mitochondria. Various pathogenic and disease-risk variants have been identified; however, how these mutations cause neurodegeneration in specific diseases remains a mystery. This review focuses on important new findings published since 2019 and discusses avenues to solve this mystery.
    Keywords:  amyothophic lateral sclerosis; dopaminergic (DA) neuron; genetics; mitochondria; motor neurons; parkinson's disease
  33. Eur J Med Res. 2022 Sep 26. 27(1): 184
      BACKGROUND: As a rare mitochondrial disease, combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency 14 (COXPD14) is caused by biallelic variants in the phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase 2, mitochondrial gene (FARS2) with clinical features of developmental delay, an elevated lactate level, early-onset encephalopathy, liver failure, and hypotonia. The objectives of this study were to analyze the clinical and molecular features of two Chinese siblings affected with COXPD14, and to review relevant literature.METHODS: Mutation screening was performed by whole exome sequencing (WES) in combination with Sanger sequencing validation to identify the disease-causing variants of the two patients.
    RESULTS: The two siblings presented with severe clinical features and both progressed aggressively and failed to survive after treatment abandonment. We identified two compound heterozygous FARS2 variants c.925G>A p.Gly309Ser and c.943G>C p.Gly315Arg in this proband, which were inherited from the unaffected father and mother, respectively. In addition, Sanger sequencing confirmed that the elder affected sister carried the same compound heterozygous variants. The c.925G>A p.Gly309Ser variant is known and commonly reported in COXPD14 patients, while c.943G>C p.Gly315Arg is a novel one. Neither of the variants was found in 100 Chinese healthy controls. Both variants were classified as "deleterious" and were located in the highly conserved regions of the protein. The above results suggested that the two variants were likely causative in this COXPD14-affected pedigree.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study expands the mutation spectrum of FARS2 and highlights the importance of genetic testing in the diagnosis of diseases with a wide variety of phenotypes, especially in the differential diagnosis of diseases.
    Keywords:  Combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency 14; Compound heterozygous variants; FARS2; Whole exome sequencing
  34. Nat Commun. 2022 Sep 26. 13(1): 5628
      After spinal cord injury, tissue distal to the lesion contains undamaged cells that could support or augment recovery. Targeting these cells requires a clearer understanding of their injury responses and capacity for repair. Here, we use single nucleus RNA sequencing to profile how each cell type in the lumbar spinal cord changes after a thoracic injury in mice. We present an atlas of these dynamic responses across dozens of cell types in the acute, subacute, and chronically injured spinal cord. Using this resource, we find rare spinal neurons that express a signature of regeneration in response to injury, including a major population that represent spinocerebellar projection neurons. We characterize these cells anatomically and observed axonal sparing, outgrowth, and remodeling in the spinal cord and cerebellum. Together, this work provides a key resource for studying cellular responses to injury and uncovers the spontaneous plasticity of spinocerebellar neurons, uncovering a potential candidate for targeted therapy.
  35. Front Pharmacol. 2022 ;13 991421
      Background: Insufficient neuronal mitochondrial bioenergetics supply occurs after spinal cord injury (SCI), leading to neuronal apoptosis and impaired motor function. Previous reports have shown that photobiomodulation (PBM) could reduce neuronal apoptosis and promote functional recovery, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether PBM improved prognosis by promoting neuronal mitochondrial bioenergetics after SCI. Methods: Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: a Sham group, an SCI group, an SCI + PBM group and an SCI + PBM + Compound C group. After SCI model was established, PBM and Compound C (an AMPK inhibitor) injection were carried out. The level of neuron apoptosis, the recovery of motor function and mitochondrial function were observed at different times (7, 14, and 28 days). The AMPK/PGC-1α/TFAM pathway was hypothesized to be a potential target through which PBM could affect neuronal mitochondrial bioenergetics. In vitro, ventral spinal cord 4.1 (VSC4.1) cells were irradiated with PBM and cotreated with Compound C after oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD). Results: PBM promoted the recovery of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex activity, increased ATP production, alleviated neuronal apoptosis and reversed motor dysfunction after SCI. The activation of the AMPK/PGC-1α/TFAM pathway after SCI were facilitated by PBM but inhibited by Compound C. Equally important, PBM could inhibit OGD-induced VSC4.1 cell apoptosis by increasing ATP production whereas these changes could be abolished by Compound C. Conclusion: PBM activated AMPK/PGC-1α/TFAM pathway to restore mitochondrial bioenergetics and exerted neuroprotective effects after SCI.
    Keywords:  AMPK; PGC-1α; TFAM; mitochondria; neuron; photobiomodulation; spinal cord injury