bims-mitmed Biomed News
on Mitochondrial medicine
Issue of 2023‒05‒07
34 papers selected by
Dario Brunetti
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico

  1. Cell Metab. 2023 Apr 28. pii: S1550-4131(23)00139-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aging results in a decline in neural stem cells (NSCs), neurogenesis, and cognitive function, and evidence is emerging to demonstrate disrupted adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus of patients with several neurodegenerative disorders. Here, single-cell RNA sequencing of the dentate gyrus of young and old mice shows that the mitochondrial protein folding stress is prominent in activated NSCs/neural progenitors (NPCs) among the neurogenic niche, and it increases with aging accompanying dysregulated cell cycle and mitochondrial activity in activated NSCs/NPCs in the dentate gyrus. Increasing mitochondrial protein folding stress results in compromised NSC maintenance and reduced neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, neural hyperactivity, and impaired cognitive function. Reducing mitochondrial protein folding stress in the dentate gyrus of old mice improves neurogenesis and cognitive function. These results establish the mitochondrial protein folding stress as a driver of NSC aging and suggest approaches to improve aging-associated cognitive decline.
    Keywords:  SIRT1; SIRT2; SIRT3; SIRT6; SIRT7; cognitive aging; mitochondrial unfolded protein response; neural stem cell aging; sirtuin; stem cell aging
  2. Nat Biotechnol. 2023 May 04.
      Realizing the promise of prime editing for the study and treatment of genetic disorders requires efficient methods for delivering prime editors (PEs) in vivo. Here we describe the identification of bottlenecks limiting adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated prime editing in vivo and the development of AAV-PE vectors with increased PE expression, prime editing guide RNA stability and modulation of DNA repair. The resulting dual-AAV systems, v1em and v3em PE-AAV, enable therapeutically relevant prime editing in mouse brain (up to 42% efficiency in cortex), liver (up to 46%) and heart (up to 11%). We apply these systems to install putative protective mutations in vivo for Alzheimer's disease in astrocytes and for coronary artery disease in hepatocytes. In vivo prime editing with v3em PE-AAV caused no detectable off-target effects or significant changes in liver enzymes or histology. Optimized PE-AAV systems support the highest unenriched levels of in vivo prime editing reported to date, facilitating the study and potential treatment of diseases with a genetic component.
  3. Mol Cell. 2023 Apr 30. pii: S1097-2765(23)00283-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Bacterial double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) cytosine deaminase DddAtox-derived cytosine base editor (DdCBE) and its evolved variant, DddA11, guided by transcription-activator-like effector (TALE) proteins, enable mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) editing at TC or HC (H = A, C, or T) sequence contexts, while it remains relatively unattainable for GC targets. Here, we identified a dsDNA deaminase originated from a Roseburia intestinalis interbacterial toxin (riDddAtox) and generated CRISPR-mediated nuclear DdCBEs (crDdCBEs) and mitochondrial CBEs (mitoCBEs) using split riDddAtox, which catalyzed C-to-T editing at both HC and GC targets in nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Moreover, transactivator (VP64, P65, or Rta) fusion to the tail of DddAtox- or riDddAtox-mediated crDdCBEs and mitoCBEs substantially improved nuclear and mtDNA editing efficiencies by up to 3.5- and 1.7-fold, respectively. We also used riDddAtox-based and Rta-assisted mitoCBE to efficiently stimulate disease-associated mtDNA mutations in cultured cells and in mouse embryos with conversion frequencies of up to 58% at non-TC targets.
    Keywords:  DdCBE; Roseburia intestinalis; mitoCBE; mitochondrial DNA; mtDNA; non-TC; nuclear DNA; transactivator
  4. Exp Mol Med. 2023 May 01.
      Mitochondria are of fundamental importance in programmed cell death, cellular metabolism, and intracellular calcium concentration modulation, and inheritable mitochondrial disorders via mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation cause several diseases in various organs and systems. Nevertheless, mtDNA editing, which plays an essential role in the treatment of mitochondrial disorders, still faces several challenges. Recently, programmable editing tools for mtDNA base editing, such as cytosine base editors derived from DddA (DdCBEs), transcription activator-like effector (TALE)-linked deaminase (TALED), and zinc finger deaminase (ZFD), have emerged with considerable potential for correcting pathogenic mtDNA variants. In this review, we depict recent advances in the field, including structural biology and repair mechanisms, and discuss the prospects of using base editing tools on mtDNA to broaden insight into their medical applicability for treating mitochondrial diseases.
  5. Biophys Rev. 2023 Apr;15(2): 239-255
      Mitochondria are the primary cellular energy generators, supplying the majority of adenosine triphosphate through oxidative phosphorylation, which is necessary for neuron function and survival. Mitophagy is the metabolic process of eliminating dysfunctional or redundant mitochondria. It is a type of autophagy and it is crucial for maintaining mitochondrial and neuronal health. Impaired mitophagy leads to an accumulation of damaged mitochondria and proteins leading to the dysregulation of mitochondrial quality control processes. Recent research shows the vital role of mitophagy in neurons and the pathogenesis of major neurodegenerative diseases. Mitophagy also plays a major role in the process of aging. This review describes the alterations that are being caused in the mitophagy process at the molecular level in aging and in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also looks at how mitophagy can be exploited as a therapeutic target for these diseases.
    Keywords:  Aging; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Mitochondria; Mitophagy; Neurodegenerative diseases; Parkinson’s disease
  6. Hum Mol Genet. 2023 May 03. pii: ddad069. [Epub ahead of print]
      MRPL39 encodes one of 52 proteins comprising the large subunit of the mitochondrial ribosome (mitoribosome). In conjunction with 30 proteins in the small subunit, the mitoribosome synthesizes the 13 subunits of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation or OXPHOS system encoded by mitochondrial DNA. We used multi-omics and gene matching to identify three unrelated individuals with biallelic variants in MRPL39 presenting with multisystem diseases with severity ranging from lethal, infantile onset (Leigh syndrome spectrum) to milder with survival into adulthood. Clinical exome sequencing of known disease genes failed to diagnose these patients; however quantitative proteomics identified a specific decrease in the abundance of large but not small mitoribosomal subunits in fibroblasts from the two patients with severe phenotype. Re-analysis of exome sequencing led to the identification of candidate single heterozygous variants in mitoribosomal genes MRPL39 (both patients) and MRPL15. Genome sequencing identified a shared deep intronic MRPL39 variant predicted to generate a cryptic exon, with transcriptomics and targeted studies providing further functional evidence for causation. The patient with milder disease was homozygous for a missense variant identified through trio exome sequencing. Our study highlights the utility of quantitative proteomics in detection of protein signatures and in characterization of gene-disease associations in exome-unsolved patients. We describe Relative Complex Abundance analysis of proteomics data, a sensitive method that can identify defects in OXPHOS disorders to a similar or greater sensitivity to the traditional enzymology. Relative Complex Abundance has potential utility for functional validation or prioritization in many hundreds of inherited rare diseases where protein complex assembly is disrupted.
  7. J Transl Med. 2023 May 02. 21(1): 294
      Recent evidence has shown significant roles of mitochondria-derived vesicles (MDVs) in mitochondrial quality control (MQC) system. Under mild stress condition, MDVs are formed to carry the malfunctioned mitochondrial components, such as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), peptides, proteins and lipids, to be eliminated to restore normal mitochondrial structure and functions. Under severe oxidative stress condition, mitochondrial dynamics (fission/fusion) and mitophagy are predominantly activated to rescue mitochondrial structure and functions. Additionally, MDVs generation can be also triggered as the major MQC machinery to cope with unhealthy mitochondria when mitophagy is unsuccessful for eliminating the damaged mitochondria or mitochondrial fission/fusion fail to recover the mitochondrial structure and functions. This review summarizes the current knowledge on MDVs and discuss their roles in physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions. In addition, the potential clinical relevance of MDVs in therapeutics and diagnostics of kidney stone disease (KSD) are emphasized.
    Keywords:  EVs; Extracellular vesicles; MDVs; Mitovesicles; Nephrolithiasis; Oxidative stress; Urolithiasis
  8. Front Neurosci. 2023 ;17 1184080
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative dementia in older adults worldwide. Sadly, there are no disease-modifying therapies available for treatment due to the multifactorial complexity of the disease. AD is pathologically characterized by extracellular deposition of amyloid beta (Aβ) and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles composed of hyperphosphorylated tau. Increasing evidence suggest that Aβ also accumulates intracellularly, which may contribute to the pathological mitochondrial dysfunction observed in AD. According with the mitochondrial cascade hypothesis, mitochondrial dysfunction precedes clinical decline and thus targeting mitochondria may result in new therapeutic strategies. Unfortunately, the precise mechanisms connecting mitochondrial dysfunction with AD are largely unknown. In this review, we will discuss how the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is contributing to answer mechanistic questions in the field, from mitochondrial oxidative stress and calcium dysregulation to mitophagy and mitochondrial fusion and fission. In particular, we will highlight specific mitochondrial insults caused by Aβ and tau in transgenic flies and will also discuss a variety of genetic tools and sensors available to study mitochondrial biology in this flexible organism. Areas of opportunity and future directions will be also considered.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Drosophila; Drp1; amyloid beta; mitochondria; mitophagy; neurodegeneration; tau
  9. J Psychopharmacol. 2023 Apr 25. 2698811231164707
      The use of serotonergic psychedelics has gained increasing attention in research, clinical practice and society. Growing evidence suggests fast-acting, transdiagnostic health benefits of these 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A receptor agonists. Here, we provide a brief overview of their benefits for psychological, cardiovascular, metabolic, neurodegenerative, and immunological pathologies. We then review their effect on mitochondria including mitochondrial biogenesis, functioning and transport. Mitochondrial dysregulation is a transdiagnostic mechanism that contributes to the aforementioned pathologies. Hence, we postulate that psychedelic-induced effects on mitochondria partially underlie their transdiagnostic benefits. Based on this assumption, we propose new treatment indications for psychedelics and that the health benefits induced by psychedelics depend on patient-specific mitochondrial dysregulation.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; bioenergetics; psychedelics; serotonin; transdiagnostic
  10. Oncotarget. 2023 May 04. 14 419-425
      While glycolysis is abundant in malignancies, mitochondrial metabolism is significant as well. Mitochondria harbor the enzymes relevant for cellular respiration, which is a critical pathway for both regeneration of reduction equivalents and energy production in the form of ATP. The oxidation of NADH2 and FADH2 are fundamental since NAD and FAD are the key components of the TCA-cycle that is critical to entertain biosynthesis in cancer cells. The TCA-cycle itself is predominantly fueled through carbons from glucose, glutamine, fatty acids and lactate. Targeting mitochondrial energy metabolism appears feasible through several drug compounds that activate the CLPP protein or interfere with NADH-dehydrogenase, pyruvate-dehydrogenase, enzymes of the TCA-cycle and mitochondrial matrix chaperones. While these compounds have demonstrated anti-cancer effects in vivo, recent research suggests which patients most likely benefit from such treatments. Here, we provide a brief overview of the status quo of targeting mitochondrial energy metabolism in glioblastoma and highlight a novel combination therapy.
    Keywords:  carbon tracing; central carbon metabolism; glioblastoma; lactate; metabolism
  11. Elife. 2023 May 02. pii: e84330. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Mitochondrial biogenesis requires the import of >1,000 mitochondrial preproteins from the cytosol. Most studies on mitochondrial protein import are focused on the core import machinery. Whether and how the biophysical properties of substrate preproteins affect overall import efficiency is underexplored. Here, we show that protein traffic into mitochondria can be disrupted by amino acid substitutions in a single substrate preprotein. Pathogenic missense mutations in ADP/ATP translocase 1 (ANT1), and its yeast homolog Aac2, cause the protein to accumulate along the protein import pathway, thereby obstructing general protein translocation into mitochondria. This impairs mitochondrial respiration, cytosolic proteostasis and cell viability independent of ANT1's nucleotide transport activity. The mutations act synergistically, as double mutant Aac2/ANT1 cause severe clogging primarily at the Translocase of the Outer Membrane (TOM) complex. This confers extreme toxicity in yeast. In mice, expression of a super-clogger ANT1 variant led to neurodegeneration and an age-dependent dominant myopathy that phenocopy ANT1-induced human disease, suggesting clogging as a mechanism of disease. More broadly, this work implies the existence of uncharacterized amino acid requirements for mitochondrial carrier proteins to avoid clogging and subsequent disease.
    Keywords:  S. cerevisiae; biochemistry; chemical biology; mouse
  12. Nat Commun. 2023 May 02. 14(1): 2504
      Methionine restriction (MR) provides metabolic benefits in many organisms. However, mechanisms underlying the MR-induced effect remain incompletely understood. Here, we show in the budding yeast S. cerevisiae that MR relays a signal of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) deprivation to adapt bioenergetic mitochondria to nitrogenic anabolism. In particular, decreases in cellular SAM constrain lipoate metabolism and protein lipoylation required for the operation of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in the mitochondria, leading to incomplete glucose oxidation with an exit of acetyl-CoA and α-ketoglutarate from the TCA cycle to the syntheses of amino acids, such as arginine and leucine. This mitochondrial response achieves a trade-off between energy metabolism and nitrogenic anabolism, which serves as an effector mechanism promoting cell survival under MR.
  13. PLoS One. 2023 ;18(5): e0273882
      Mitochondrial decline is a key feature of ageing. The retina has more mitochondria than any other tissue and ages rapidly. To understand human retinal ageing it is critical to examine old world primates that have similar visual systems to humans, and do so across central and peripheral regions, as there is evidence for early central decline. Hence, we examine mitochondrial metrics in young and ageing Macaca fascicularis retinae. In spite of reduced ATP with age, primate mitochondrial complex activity did not decline. But mitochondrial membrane potentials were reduced significantly, and concomitantly, mitochondrial membrane permeability increased. The mitochondrial marker Tom20 declined significantly, consistent with reduced mitochondria number, while VDAC, a voltage dependent anion channel and diffusion pore associated with apoptosis increased significantly. In spite of these clear age-related changes, there was almost no evidence for regional differences between the centre and the periphery in these mitochondrial metrics. Primate cones do not die with age, but many showed marked structural decline with vacuous spaces in proximal inner segments normally occupied by endoplasmic reticulum (ER), that regulate mitochondrial autophagy. In many peripheral cones, ER was displaced by the nucleus that transposed across the outer limiting membrane and could become embedded in mitochondrial populations. These data are consistent with significant changes in retinal mitochondria in old world primate ageing but provide little if any evidence that aged central mitochondria suffer more than those in the periphery.
  14. Aging Cell. 2023 May 03. e13842
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletion mutations cause many human diseases and are linked to age-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Mapping the mutation spectrum and quantifying mtDNA deletion mutation frequency is challenging with next-generation sequencing methods. We hypothesized that long-read sequencing of human mtDNA across the lifespan would detect a broader spectrum of mtDNA rearrangements and provide a more accurate measurement of their frequency. We employed nanopore Cas9-targeted sequencing (nCATS) to map and quantitate mtDNA deletion mutations and develop analyses that are fit-for-purpose. We analyzed total DNA from vastus lateralis muscle in 15 males ranging from 20 to 81 years of age and substantia nigra from three 20-year-old and three 79-year-old men. We found that mtDNA deletion mutations detected by nCATS increased exponentially with age and mapped to a wider region of the mitochondrial genome than previously reported. Using simulated data, we observed that large deletions are often reported as chimeric alignments. To address this, we developed two algorithms for deletion identification which yield consistent deletion mapping and identify both previously reported and novel mtDNA deletion breakpoints. The identified mtDNA deletion frequency measured by nCATS correlates strongly with chronological age and predicts the deletion frequency as measured by digital PCR approaches. In substantia nigra, we observed a similar frequency of age-related mtDNA deletions to those observed in muscle samples, but noted a distinct spectrum of deletion breakpoints. NCATS-mtDNA sequencing allows the identification of mtDNA deletions on a single-molecule level, characterizing the strong relationship between mtDNA deletion frequency and chronological aging.
    Keywords:  DNA sequencing; aging; human; mitochondrial DNA; skeletal muscle; substantia nigra
  15. Methods Mol Biol. 2023 ;2644 3-14
      Mitochondrial respiration is an essential component of cellular metabolism. It is a process of energy conversion through enzymatically mediated reactions, the energy of taken-up substrates transformed to the ATP production. Seahorse equipment allows to measure oxygen consumption in living cells and estimate key parameters of mitochondrial respiration in real-time mode. Four key mitochondrial respiration parameters could be measured: basal respiration, ATP-production coupled respiration, maximal respiration, and proton leak. This approach demands the application of mitochondrial inhibitors-oligomycin to inhibit ATP synthase, FCCP-to uncouple the inner mitochondrial membrane and allow maximum electron flux through the electron transport chain, rotenone, and antimycin A to inhibit complexes I and III, respectively. This chapter describes two protocols of seahorse measurements performed on iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and TAZ knock-out C2C12 cell line.
    Keywords:  Cell viability; Cellular respiration; Knock-out cells; Mitochondrial function; iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes
  16. Cell Stem Cell. 2023 May 04. pii: S1934-5909(23)00132-7. [Epub ahead of print]30(5): 549-570
      The growing clinical success of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) gene therapy (GT) relies on the development of viral vectors as portable "Trojan horses" for safe and efficient gene transfer. The recent advent of novel technologies enabling site-specific gene editing is broadening the scope and means of GT, paving the way to more precise genetic engineering and expanding the spectrum of diseases amenable to HSPC-GT. Here, we provide an overview of state-of-the-art and prospective developments of the HSPC-GT field, highlighting how advances in biological characterization and manipulation of HSPCs will enable the design of the next generation of these transforming therapeutics.
    Keywords:  CRISPR-Cas; Gene editing; Gene therapy; Hematopoietic stem cells; Primary immunodeficiencies
  17. Reproduction. 2023 May 01. pii: REP-22-0424. [Epub ahead of print]
      Initially perceived simply as an ATP producer, mitochondria also participate in a wide range of other cellular functions. Mitochondrial communication with the nucleus, as well as signaling to other cellular compartments is critical to cell homeostasis. Therefore, during early mammalian development, mitochondrial function is reported as a key element for survival. Any mitochondrial dysfunction may reflect in poor oocyte quality and may impair embryo development with possible long-lasting consequences to cell functions and the overall embryo phenotype. Growing evidence suggests that the availability of metabolic modulators can alter the landscape of epigenetic modifications in the nuclear genome providing an important layer for the regulation of nuclear-encoded gene expression. However, whether mitochondria could also be subjected to such similar epigenetic alterations and the mechanisms involved remain largely obscure and controversial. Mitochondrial epigenetics, also known as 'mitoepigenetics' is an intriguing regulatory mechanism in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-encoded gene expression. In this review, we summarized the recent advances in mitoepigenetics, with a special focus on mtDNA methylation in reproductive biology and preimplantation development. A better comprehension of the regulatory role of mitoepigenetics will help the understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction and provide novel strategies for in vitro production systems and assisted reproduction technologies, as well as prevent metabolic-related stress and diseases.
  18. Sci Adv. 2023 May 03. 9(18): eadf0115
      The metabolite acetyl-CoA is necessary for both lipid synthesis in the cytosol and histone acetylation in the nucleus. The two canonical precursors to acetyl-CoA in the nuclear-cytoplasmic compartment are citrate and acetate, which are processed to acetyl-CoA by ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY) and acyl-CoA synthetase short-chain 2 (ACSS2), respectively. It is unclear whether other substantial routes to nuclear-cytosolic acetyl-CoA exist. To investigate this, we generated cancer cell lines lacking both ACLY and ACSS2 [double knockout (DKO) cells]. Using stable isotope tracing, we show that both glucose and fatty acids contribute to acetyl-CoA pools and histone acetylation in DKO cells and that acetylcarnitine shuttling can transfer two-carbon units from mitochondria to cytosol. Further, in the absence of ACLY, glucose can feed fatty acid synthesis in a carnitine responsive and carnitine acetyltransferase (CrAT)-dependent manner. The data define acetylcarnitine as an ACLY- and ACSS2-independent precursor to nuclear-cytosolic acetyl-CoA that can support acetylation, fatty acid synthesis, and cell growth.
  19. Hum Mol Genet. 2023 May 02. pii: ddad062. [Epub ahead of print]
      The recognition that cytosolic mtDNA activates cGAS-STING innate immune signaling has unlocked novel disease mechanisms. Here, an uncharacterized variant predicted to affect TOP1MT function, P193L, was discovered in a family with multiple early-onset autoimmune diseases, including Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Although there was no previous genetic association between TOP1MT and autoimmune disease, the role of TOP1MT as a regulator of mtDNA led us to investigate whether TOP1MT could mediate the release of mtDNA to the cytosol, where it could then activate the cGAS-STING innate immune pathway known to be activated in SLE and other autoimmune diseases. Through analysis of cells with reduced TOP1MT expression, we show that loss of TOP1MT results in release of mtDNA to the cytosol, which activates the cGAS-STING pathway. We also characterized the P193L variant for its ability to rescue several TOP1MT functions when expressed in TOP1MT knockout cells. We show that the P193L variant is not fully functional, as its re-expression at high levels was unable to rescue mitochondrial respiration deficits, and only showed partial rescue for other functions, including repletion of mtDNA replication following depletion, nucleoid size, steady state mtDNA transcripts levels, and mitochondrial morphology. Additionally, expression of P193L at endogenous levels was unable to rescue mtDNA release-mediated cGAS-STING signaling. Overall, we report a link between TOP1MT and mtDNA release leading to cGAS-STING activation. Moreover, we show that the P193L variant has partial loss of function that may contribute to autoimmune disease susceptibility via cGAS-STING mediated activation of the innate immune system.
  20. Cell Calcium. 2023 Apr 25. pii: S0143-4160(23)00055-6. [Epub ahead of print]112 102743
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondria contact sites are crucial to allow Ca2+ flux between them and a plethora of proteins participate in tethering both organelles together. Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) play a pivotal role at such contact sites, participating in both ER-mitochondria tethering and as Ca2+-transport system that delivers Ca2+ from the ER towards mitochondria. At the ER-mitochondria contact sites, the IP3Rs function as a multi-protein complex linked to the voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) in the outer mitochondrial membrane, via the chaperone glucose-regulated protein 75 (GRP75). This IP3R-GRP75-VDAC1 complex supports the efficient transfer of Ca2+ from the ER into the mitochondrial intermembrane space, from which the Ca2+ ions can reach the mitochondrial matrix through the mitochondrial calcium uniporter. Under physiological conditions, basal Ca2+ oscillations deliver Ca2+ to the mitochondrial matrix, thereby stimulating mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. However, when mitochondrial Ca2+ overload occurs, the increase in [Ca2+] will induce the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, thereby provoking cell death. The IP3R-GRP75-VDAC1 complex forms a hub for several other proteins that stabilize the complex and/or regulate the complex's ability to channel Ca2+ into the mitochondria. These proteins and their mechanisms of action are discussed in the present review with special attention for their role in pathological conditions and potential implication for therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; ER-mitochondria tether; IP(3) receptor; Metabolism; Mitochondria-associated membranes
  21. Front Mol Neurosci. 2023 ;16 1154203
      Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), also known as Machado-Joseph disease, is the most common dominantly inherited ataxia. SCA3 is caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the ATXN3 gene that encodes an expanded tract of polyglutamine in the disease protein ataxin-3 (ATXN3). As a deubiquitinating enzyme, ATXN3 regulates numerous cellular processes including proteasome- and autophagy-mediated protein degradation. In SCA3 disease brain, polyQ-expanded ATXN3 accumulates with other cellular constituents, including ubiquitin (Ub)-modified proteins, in select areas like the cerebellum and the brainstem, but whether pathogenic ATXN3 affects the abundance of ubiquitinated species is unknown. Here, in mouse and cellular models of SCA3, we investigated whether elimination of murine Atxn3 or expression of wild-type or polyQ-expanded human ATXN3 alters soluble levels of overall ubiquitination, as well as K48-linked (K48-Ub) and K63-linked (K63-Ub) chains. Levels of ubiquitination were assessed in the cerebellum and brainstem of 7- and 47-week-old Atxn3 knockout and SCA3 transgenic mice, and also in relevant mouse and human cell lines. In older mice, we observed that wild-type ATXN3 impacts the cerebellar levels of K48-Ub proteins. In contrast, pathogenic ATXN3 leads to decreased brainstem abundance of K48-Ub species in younger mice and changes in both cerebellar and brainstem K63-Ub levels in an age-dependent manner: younger SCA3 mice have higher levels of K63-Ub while older mice have lower levels of K63-Ub compared to controls. Human SCA3 neuronal progenitor cells also show a relative increase in K63-Ub proteins upon autophagy inhibition. We conclude that wild-type and mutant ATXN3 differentially impact K48-Ub- and K63-Ub-modified proteins in the brain in a region- and age-dependent manner.
    Keywords:  CAG repeat; Machado-Joseph disease; neurodegeneration; polyglutamine; posttranslational modification; protein homeostasis
  22. Front Physiol. 2023 ;14 1133528
      Migraine is a serious central nervous system disease with a high incidence rate. Its pathogenesis is very complex, which brings great difficulties for clinical treatment. Recently, many studies have revealed that mitochondrial dysfunction may play a key role in migraine, which affects the hyperosmotic of Ca2+, the excessive production of free radicals, the decrease of mitochondrial membrane potential, the imbalance of mPTP opening and closing, and the decrease of oxidative phosphorylation level, which leads to neuronal energy exhaustion and apoptosis, and finally lessens the pain threshold and migraine attack. This article mainly introduces cortical spreading depression, a pathogenesis of migraine, and then damages the related function of mitochondria, which leads to migraine. Oxidative phosphorylation and the tricarboxylic acid cycle are the main ways to provide energy for the body. 95 percent of the energy needed for cell survival is provided by the mitochondrial respiratory chain. At the same time, hypoxia can lead to cell death and migraine. The pathological opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore can promote the interaction between pro-apoptotic protein and mitochondrial, destroy the structure of mPTP, and further lead to cell death. The increase of mPTP permeability can promote the accumulation of reactive oxygen species, which leads to a series of changes in the expression of proteins related to energy metabolism. Both Nitric oxide and Calcitonin gene-related peptide are closely related to the attack of migraine. Recent studies have shown that changes in their contents can also affect the energy metabolism of the body, so this paper reviews the above mechanisms and discusses the mechanism of brain energy metabolism of migraine, to provide new strategies for the prevention and treatment of migraine and promote the development of individualized and accurate treatment of migraine.
    Keywords:  CGRP; NO; ROS; energy metabolism; migraine; mitochondrial; oxidative phosphorylation
  23. Nature. 2023 May 04.
    Keywords:  Cell biology; Imaging; Structural biology
  24. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 May 09. 120(19): e2218999120
      Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake is mediated by the mitochondrial uniporter complex (mtCU) that includes a tetramer of the pore-forming subunit, MCU, a scaffold protein, EMRE, and the EF-hand regulatory subunit, MICU1 either homodimerized or heterodimerized with MICU2/3. MICU1 has been proposed to regulate Ca2+ uptake via the mtCU by physically occluding the pore and preventing Ca2+ flux at resting cytoplasmic [Ca2+] (free calcium concentration) and to increase Ca2+ flux at high [Ca2+] due to cooperative activation of MICUs EF-hands. However, mtCU and MICU1 functioning when its EF-hands are unoccupied by Ca2+ is poorly studied due to technical limitations. To overcome this barrier, we have studied the mtCU in divalent-free conditions by assessing the Ru265-sensitive Na+ influx using fluorescence-based measurement of mitochondrial matrix [Na+] (free sodium concentration) rise and the ensuing depolarization and swelling. We show an increase in all these measures of Na+ uptake in MICU1KO cells as compared to wild-type (WT) and rescued MICU1KO HEK cells. However, mitochondria in WT cells and MICU1 stable-rescued cells still allowed some Ru265-sensitive Na+ influx that was prevented by MICU1 in excess upon acute overexpression. Thus, MICU1 restricts the cation flux across the mtCU in the absence of Ca2+, but even in cells with high endogenous MICU1 expression such as HEK, some mtCU seem to lack MICU1-dependent gating. We also show rearrangement of the mtCU and altered number of functional channels in MICU1KO and different rescues, and loss of MICU1 during mitoplast preparation, that together might have obscured the pore-blocking function of MICU1 in divalent-free conditions in previous studies.
    Keywords:  EMRE; MICU1; Na+; mitochondrial calcium uniporter; mitoplast
  25. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2023 Apr 26. pii: S0165-6147(23)00065-2. [Epub ahead of print]
  26. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2023 May 04.
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in sarcopenia. 31 P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) enables non-invasive measurement of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis rates to probe mitochondrial function. Here, we assessed muscle energetics in older sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic men and compared with muscle biopsy-derived markers of mitochondrial function.METHODS: Twenty Chinese men with sarcopenia (SARC, age = 73.1 ± 4.1 years) and 19 healthy aged and sex-matched controls (CON, age = 70.3 ± 4.2 years) underwent assessment of strength, physical performance, and magnetic resonance imaging. Concentrations of phosphocreatine (PCr), ATP and inorganic phosphate (Pi) as well as muscle pH were measured at rest and during an interleaved rest-exercise protocol to probe muscle mitochondrial function. Results were compared to biopsy-derived mitochondrial complex activity and expression to understand underlying metabolic perturbations.
    RESULTS: Despite matched muscle contractile power (strength/cross-sectional area), the ATP contractile cost was higher in SARC compared with CON (low-intensity exercise: 1.06 ± 0.59 vs. 0.57 ± 0.22, moderate: 0.93 ± 0.43 vs. 0.58 ± 0.68, high: 0.70 ± 0.57 vs. 0.43 ± 0.51 mmol L-1  min-1  bar-1  cm-2 , P = 0.003, <0.0001 and <0.0001, respectively). Post-exercise mitochondrial oxidative synthesis rates (a marker of mitochondrial function) tended to be longer in SARC but did not reach significance (17.3 ± 6.4 vs. 14.6 ± 6.5 mmol L-1  min-1 , P = 0.2). However, relative increases in end-exercise ADP in SARC (31.8 ± 9.9 vs. 24.0 ± 7.3 mmol L-1 , P = 0.008) may have been a compensatory mechanism. Mitochondrial complex activity was found to be associated with exercise-induced drops in PCr [citrate synthetase activity (CS), Spearman correlation rho = -0.42, P = 0.03] and end-exercise ADP (complex III, rho = -0.52, P = 0.01; CS rho = -0.45, P = 0.02; SDH rho = -0.45, P = 0.03), with CS also being strongly associated with the PCr recovery rate following low intensity exercise (rho = -0.47, P = 0.02), and the cost of contraction at high intensity (rho = -0.54, P = 0.02). Interestingly, at high intensity, the fractional contribution of oxidative phosphorylation to exercise was correlated with activity in complex II (rho = 0.5, P = 0.03), CS (rho = 0.47, P = 0.02) and SDH (rho = 0.46, P = 0.03), linking increased mitochondrial complex activity with increased ability to generate energy through oxidative pathways.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study used 31 P MRS to assess ATP utilization and resynthesis in sarcopenic muscle and demonstrated abnormal increases in the energy cost during exercise and perturbed mitochondrial energetics in recovery. Associations between mitochondrial complex activity and the fractional contribution to energy requirement during exercise indicate increased ability to generate energy oxidatively in those with better mitochondrial complex activity.
    Keywords:  Mitochondrial complex activity; Mitochondrial function; Muscle; Sarcopenia; Spectroscopy
  27. Nat Aging. 2023 May 04.
      Inhibition of the protein kinase mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved therapeutic rapamycin promotes health and longevity in diverse model organisms. More recently, specific inhibition of mTORC1 to treat aging-related conditions has become the goal of basic and translational scientists, clinicians and biotechnology companies. Here, we review the effects of rapamycin on the longevity and survival of both wild-type mice and mouse models of human diseases. We discuss recent clinical trials that have explored whether existing mTOR inhibitors can safely prevent, delay or treat multiple diseases of aging. Finally, we discuss how new molecules may provide routes to the safer and more selective inhibition of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) in the decade ahead. We conclude by discussing what work remains to be done and the questions that will need to be addressed to make mTOR inhibitors part of the standard of care for diseases of aging.
  28. Nature. 2023 May;617(7959): 22-24
    Keywords:  Health care; Psychiatric disorders; Psychology; Technology
  29. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2023 ;11 1147095
      YME1L1, a mitochondrial metalloproteinase, is an Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent metalloproteinase and locates in the mitochondrial inner membrane. The protease domain of YME1L1 is oriented towards the mitochondrial intermembrane space, which modulates the mitochondrial GTPase optic atrophy type 1 (OPA1) processing. However, during embryonic development, there is no report yet about the role of YME1L1 on mitochondrial biogenesis and function in pigs. In the current study, the mRNA level of YME1L1 was knocked down by double strand RNA microinjection to the 1-cell stage embryos. The expression patterns of YME1L1 and its related proteins were performed by immunofluorescence and western blotting. To access the biological function of YME1L1, we first counted the preimplantation development rate, diameter, and total cell number of blastocyst on day-7. First, the localization of endogenous YME1L1 was found in the punctate structures of the mitochondria, and the expression level of YME1L1 is highly expressed from the 4-cell stage. Following significant knock-down of YME1L1, blastocyst rate and quality were decreased, and mitochondrial fragmentation was induced. YME1L1 knockdown induced excessive ROS production, lower mitochondrial membrane potential, and lower ATP levels. The OPA1 cleavage induced by YME1L1 knockdown was prevented by double knock-down of YME1L1 and OMA1. Moreover, cytochrome c, a pro-apoptotic signal, was released from the mitochondria after the knock-down of YME1L1. Taken together, these results indicate that YME1L1 is essential for regulating mitochondrial fission, function, and apoptosis during porcine embryo preimplantation development.
    Keywords:  YME1L1; apoptosis; embryo development; fission; mitochondria; porcine
  30. Neurologia (Engl Ed). 2023 Apr 28. pii: S2173-5808(23)00023-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      INTRODUCTION: Ataxia and hereditary spastic paraplegia are rare neurodegenerative syndromes. We aimed to determine the prevalence of these disorders in Spain in 2019.PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional, multicentre, retrospective, descriptive study of patients with ataxia and hereditary spastic paraplegia in Spain between March 2018 and December 2019.
    RESULTS: We gathered data from a total of 1933 patients from 11 autonomous communities, provided by 47 neurologists or geneticists. Mean (SD) age in our sample was 53.64 (20.51) years; 982 patients were men (50.8%) and 951 were women (49.2%). The genetic defect was unidentified in 920 patients (47.6%). A total of 1371 patients (70.9%) had ataxia and 562 (29.1%) had hereditary spastic paraplegia. Prevalence rates for ataxia and hereditary spastic paraplegia were estimated at 5.48 and 2.24 cases per 100 000 population, respectively. The most frequent type of dominant ataxia in our sample was SCA3, and the most frequent recessive ataxia was Friedreich ataxia. The most frequent type of dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia in our sample was SPG4, and the most frequent recessive type was SPG7.
    CONCLUSIONS: In our sample, the estimated prevalence of ataxia and hereditary spastic paraplegia was 7.73 cases per 100 000 population. This rate is similar to those reported for other countries. Genetic diagnosis was not available in 47.6% of cases. Despite these limitations, our study provides useful data for estimating the necessary healthcare resources for these patients, raising awareness of these diseases, determining the most frequent causal mutations for local screening programmes, and promoting the development of clinical trials.
    Keywords:  Ataxia; Ataxias; Epidemiology; Epidemiología; Genetic map; Genetics; Genética; Hereditary spastic paraplegia; Mapa genético; Paraparesias espásticas hereditarias
  31. Reprod Sci. 2023 May 03.
      Chronic intrauterine hypoxia is a significant pregnancy complication impacting fetal heart growth, metabolism, and mitochondrial function, contributing to cardiovascular programming of the offspring. PGC1α (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator 1α) is the master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. We investigated the effects of hypoxia on PGC1α expression following exposure at different gestational ages. Time-mated pregnant guinea pigs were exposed to normoxia (NMX, 21% O2) or hypoxia (HPX, 10.5% O2) at either 25-day (early-onset) or 50-day (late-onset) gestation, and all fetuses were extracted at term (term = ~65-day gestation). Expression of nuclear PGC1α, sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and mitochondrial sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) was measured, along with SIRT3 activity and mitochondrial acetylation of heart ventricles of male and female fetuses. Early-onset hypoxia increased (P<0.05) fetal cardiac nuclear PGC1α and had no effect on mitochondrial acetylation of either growth-restricted males or females. Late-onset hypoxia had either no effect or decreased (P<0.05) PCC1α expression in males and females, respectively, but increased (P<0.05) mitochondrial acetylation in both sexes. Hypoxia had variable effects on expression of SIRT1, AMPK, SIRT3, and SIRT3 activity depending on the sex. The capacity of the fetal heart to respond to hypoxia differs depending on the gestational age of exposure and sex of the fetus. Further, the effects of late-onset hypoxia on fetal heart function impose a greater risk to male than female fetuses, which has implications toward cardiovascular programming effects of the offspring.
    Keywords:  Fetal heart; Fetal hypoxia; Hypoxia; Mitochondria; Sexual dimorphism
  32. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2023 May 01. pii: S0149-7634(23)00174-4. [Epub ahead of print] 105205
      Apart from its role in motor coordination, the importance of the cerebellum in cognitive and affective processes has been recognized in the past few decades. Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA) and Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) are rare neurodegenerative diseases of the cerebellum presenting mainly with a progressive loss of gait and limb coordination, dysarthria, and other motor disturbances, but also a range of cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. This narrative review summarizes the current knowledge on neuropsychiatric impairment in SCA and FRDA. We discuss the prevalence, clinical features and treatment approaches in the most commonly reported domains of depression, anxiety, apathy, agitation and impulse dyscontrol, and psychosis. Since these symptoms have a considerable impact on patients' quality of life, we argue that further research is mandated to improve the detection and treatment options of neuropsychiatric co-morbidities in ataxia patients.
    Keywords:  Agitation; Anxiety; Apathy; Depression; Friedreich ataxia; Neuropsychiatric symptoms; Psychosis; Spinocerebellar ataxia
  33. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 May 09. 120(19): e2211510120
      Chondrocytes and osteoblasts differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) will provide insights into skeletal development and genetic skeletal disorders and will generate cells for regenerative medicine applications. Here, we describe a method that directs iPSC-derived sclerotome to chondroprogenitors in 3D pellet culture then to articular chondrocytes or, alternatively, along the growth plate cartilage pathway to become hypertrophic chondrocytes that can transition to osteoblasts. Osteogenic organoids deposit and mineralize a collagen I extracellular matrix (ECM), mirroring in vivo endochondral bone formation. We have identified gene expression signatures at key developmental stages including chondrocyte maturation, hypertrophy, and transition to osteoblasts and show that this system can be used to model genetic cartilage and bone disorders.
    Keywords:  bone; cartilage; genetic skeletal disorder; iPSC