bims-mitmed Biomed News
on Mitochondrial medicine
Issue of 2023‒06‒04
27 papers selected by
Dario Brunetti
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico

  1. Ann Neurol. 2023 May 31.
    NICHD ClinGen U24 Mitochondrial Disease Gene Curation Expert Panel
      OBJECTIVE: Primary mitochondrial diseases (PMDs) are heterogeneous disorders caused by inherited mitochondrial dysfunction. Classically defined neuropathologically as subacute necrotizing encephalomyelopathy, Leigh syndrome spectrum (LSS) is the most frequent manifestation of PMD in children, but may also present in adults. A major challenge for accurate diagnosis of LSS in the genomic medicine era is establishing gene-disease relationships (GDRs) for this syndrome with >100 monogenic causes across both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes.METHODS: The Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) Mitochondrial Disease Gene Curation Expert Panel (GCEP), comprising 40 international PMD experts, met monthly for 4 years to review GDRs for LSS. The GCEP standardized gene curation for LSS by refining the phenotypic definition, modifying the ClinGen Gene-Disease Clinical Validity Curation Framework to improve interpretation for LSS, and establishing a scoring rubric for LSS.
    RESULTS: The GDR with LSS across the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes was classified as definitive for 31/114 gene-disease relationships curated (27%); moderate for 38 (33%); limited for 43 (38%); and 2 as disputed (2%). Ninety genes were associated with autosomal recessive inheritance, 16 were maternally inherited, 5 autosomal dominant, and 3 X-linked.
    INTERPRETATION: GDRs for LSS were established for genes across both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Establishing these GDRs will allow accurate variant interpretation, expedite genetic diagnosis of LSS, and facilitate precision medicine, multi-system organ surveillance, recurrence risk counselling, reproductive choice, natural history studies and eligibility for interventional clinical trials. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  2. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2023 May 31. 11(1): 86
      Refractory epilepsy is the main neurological manifestation of Alpers' syndrome, a severe childhood-onset mitochondrial disease caused by bi-allelic pathogenic variants in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymerase gamma gene (POLG). The pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning neuronal hyperexcitabilty leading to seizures in Alpers' syndrome remain unknown. However, pathological changes to reactive astrocytes are hypothesised to exacerbate neural dysfunction and seizure-associated cortical activity in POLG-related disease. Therefore, we sought to phenotypically characterise astrocytic pathology in Alpers' syndrome. We performed a detailed quantitative investigation of reactive astrocytes in post-mortem neocortical tissues from thirteen patients with Alpers' syndrome, eight neurologically normal controls and five sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) patients, to control for generalised epilepsy-associated astrocytic pathology. Immunohistochemistry to identify glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-reactive astrocytes revealed striking reactive astrogliosis localised to the primary visual cortex of Alpers' syndrome tissues, characterised by abnormal-appearing hypertrophic astrocytes. Phenotypic characterisation of individual GFAP-reactive astrocytes demonstrated decreased abundance of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) proteins and altered expression of key astrocytic proteins including Kir4.1 (subunit of the inwardly rectifying K+ ion channel), AQP4 (astrocytic water channel) and glutamine synthetase (enzyme that metabolises glutamate). These phenotypic astrocytic changes were typically different from the pathology observed in SUDEP tissues, suggesting alternative mechanisms of astrocytic dysfunction between these epilepsies. Crucially, our findings provide further evidence of occipital lobe involvement in Alpers' syndrome and support the involvement of reactive astrocytes in the pathogenesis of POLG-related disease.
    Keywords:  Alpers’ syndrome; Aquaporin 4 (AQP4); GFAP; Glutamine synthetase (GS); Kir4.1; Mitochondrial Epilepsy; POLG; Reactive astrogliosis
  3. Nat Commun. 2023 May 29. 14(1): 2542
      Tetrahymena thermophila, a classic ciliate model organism, has been shown to possess tubular mitochondrial cristae and highly divergent electron transport chain involving four transmembrane protein complexes (I-IV). Here we report cryo-EM structures of its ~8 MDa megacomplex IV2 + (I + III2 + II)2, as well as a ~ 10.6 MDa megacomplex (IV2 + I + III2 + II)2 at lower resolution. In megacomplex IV2 + (I + III2 + II)2, each CIV2 protomer associates one copy of supercomplex I + III2 and one copy of CII, forming a half ring-shaped architecture that adapts to the membrane curvature of mitochondrial cristae. Megacomplex (IV2 + I + III2 + II)2 defines the relative position between neighbouring half rings and maintains the proximity between CIV2 and CIII2 cytochrome c binding sites. Our findings expand the current understanding of divergence in eukaryotic electron transport chain organization and how it is related to mitochondrial morphology.
  4. Methods Mol Biol. 2023 ;2675 97-107
      Mitochondrial biogenesis and turnover rate are critical to maintain homeostasis of the intracellular mitochondrial pool. Altered mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy are closely related to many chronic diseases, highlighting the importance of mitochondrial stasis in various pathological conditions including liver diseases. We describe a detailed protocol for monitoring mitochondrial lifecycle in primary cultured mouse hepatocytes and mouse liver using the dual color fluorescence-based imaging of MitoTimer. Three types of mitochondria were visualized in mouse hepatocytes: green-only mitochondria (newly synthesized mitochondria), red-only mitochondria (old/aging mitochondria), as well as the majority of yellow mitochondria (representing an intermediate stage of mitochondria). The ratio of red/green fluorescence in each cell will be used to track mitochondrial aging. Super-resolution microscopy analysis revealed that majority of mitochondria were spatially heterogeneous with proteins from simultaneous new synthesis, maturation, and turnover in hepatocytes. MitoTimer reporter assay can specifically target to mitochondria and be used to monitor mitochondrial biogenesis and maturation as well as turnover in vitro and in vivo.
    Keywords:  Hepatocytes; Liver; MitoTimer; Mitophagy; Quality control
  5. FEBS Lett. 2023 May 29.
      Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell as they produce the majority of ATP with their oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) machinery. The OXPHOS system is composed of the F1 Fo ATP synthase and four mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes, the terminal enzyme of which is the cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV) that transfers electrons to oxygen, generating water. Complex IV comprises of 14 structural subunits of dual genetic origin: while the three core subunits are mitochondrial encoded, the remaining constituents are encoded by the nuclear genome. Hence, the assembly of complex IV requires the coordination of two spatially separated gene expression machinery. Recent efforts elucidated an increasing number of proteins involved in mitochondrial gene expression, which are linked to complex IV assembly. Additionally, several COX1 biogenesis factors have been intensively biochemically investigated and an increasing number of structural snapshots shed light on the organization of macromolecular complexes such as the mitoribosome or the cytochrome c oxidase. Here, we focus on COX1 translation regulation and highlight the advanced understanding of early steps during COX1 assembly and its link to mitochondrial translation regulation.
    Keywords:  COX1; OXPHOS; complex IV; cytochrome c oxidase; mitochondria
  6. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2023 05 29. 18(1): 129
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Mitochondrial diseases present as multi-system disorders requiring a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach. The data on healthcare resource utilization associated with mitochondrial diseases and the clinical drivers of these costs are limited including for the out-patient setting where the majority of the clinical care for mitochondrial disease patients occurs. We performed a cross-sectional retrospective study of out-patient healthcare resource utilization and costs for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of mitochondrial disease.METHODS: We recruited participants from the Mitochondrial Disease Clinic in Sydney and stratified them into three groups: those with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations (Group 1), those with nuclear DNA (nDNA) mutations and the predominant phenotype of chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) or optic atrophy (Group 2) and those without a confirmed genetic diagnosis but clinical criteria and muscle biopsy findings supportive of a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease (Group 3). Data was collected through retrospective chart review and out-patient costs were calculated using the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
    RESULTS: We analyzed the data from 91 participants and found that Group 1 had the greatest average out-patient costs per person per annum ($838.02; SD 809.72). Neurological investigations were the largest driver of outpatient healthcare costs in all groups (average costs per person per annum:-Group 1: $364.11; SD 340.93, Group 2: $247.83; SD 113.86 and Group 3: $239.57; SD 145.69) consistent with the high frequency (94.5%) of neurological symptoms. Gastroenterological and cardiac-related out-patient costs were also major contributors to out-patient healthcare resource utilization in Groups 1 and 3. In Group 2, ophthalmology was the second-most resource intensive specialty ($136.85; SD 173.35). The Group 3 had the greatest average healthcare resource utilization per person over the entire duration of out-patient clinic care ($5815.86; SD 3520.40) most likely due to the lack of a molecular diagnosis and a less customized management approach.
    CONCLUSION: The drivers of healthcare resource utilization are dependent on the phenotype-genotype characteristics. Neurological, cardiac, and gastroenterological costs were the top three drivers in the out-patient clinics unless the patient had nDNA mutations with predominant phenotype of CPEO and/or optic atrophy wherein ophthalmological-related costs were the second most resource intensive driver.
    Keywords:  Health care costs; Health resources; Health services; Mitochondrial diseases; Mitochondrial disorders; Outpatients
  7. Front Mol Neurosci. 2023 ;16 1175851
      The involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in cystatin B (CSTB) deficiency has been suggested, but its role in the onset of neurodegeneration, myoclonus, and ataxia in the CSTB-deficient mouse model (Cstb-/-) is yet unknown. CSTB is an inhibitor of lysosomal and nuclear cysteine cathepsins. In humans, partial loss-of-function mutations cause the progressive myoclonus epilepsy neurodegenerative disorder, EPM1. Here we applied proteome analysis and respirometry on cerebellar synaptosomes from early symptomatic (Cstb-/-) mice to identify the molecular mechanisms involved in the onset of CSTB-deficiency associated neural pathogenesis. Proteome analysis showed that CSTB deficiency is associated with differential expression of mitochondrial and synaptic proteins, and respirometry revealed a progressive impairment in mitochondrial function coinciding with the onset of myoclonus and neurodegeneration in (Cstb-/-) mice. This mitochondrial dysfunction was not associated with alterations in mitochondrial DNA copy number or membrane ultrastructure. Collectively, our results show that CSTB deficiency generates a defect in synaptic mitochondrial bioenergetics that coincides with the onset and progression of the clinical phenotypes, and thus is likely a contributor to the pathogenesis of EPM1.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS; mitochondria; myoclonus; neurodegeneration; proteomics; respiration; synaptosome
  8. Sci Adv. 2023 Jun 02. 9(22): eadh4251
      Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) gives brown adipose tissue of mammals its specialized ability to burn calories as heat for thermoregulation. When activated by fatty acids, UCP1 catalyzes the leak of protons across the mitochondrial inner membrane, short-circuiting the mitochondrion to generate heat, bypassing ATP synthesis. In contrast, purine nucleotides bind and inhibit UCP1, regulating proton leak by a molecular mechanism that is unclear. We present the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the GTP-inhibited state of UCP1, which is consistent with its nonconducting state. The purine nucleotide cross-links the transmembrane helices of UCP1 with an extensive interaction network. Our results provide a structural basis for understanding the specificity and pH dependency of the regulatory mechanism. UCP1 has retained all of the key functional and structural features required for a mitochondrial carrier-like transport mechanism. The analysis shows that inhibitor binding prevents the conformational changes that UCP1 uses to facilitate proton leak.
  9. Neurology. 2023 Jun 02. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000207402. [Epub ahead of print]
    MMPOWER-3 Trial Investigators
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Primary Mitochondrial Myopathies (PMMs) encompass a group of genetic disorders that impair mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, adversely impacting physical function, exercise capacity, and quality of life (QoL). Current PMM standards-of-care address symptoms, with limited clinical impact, constituting a significant therapeutic unmet need. We present data from MMPOWER-3, a pivotal, phase-3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that evaluated the efficacy and safety of elamipretide in participants with genetically-confirmed PMM.METHODS: Following screening, eligible participants were randomized 1:1 to receive either 24weeks of elamipretide 40mg/day or placebo subcutaneously. Primary efficacy endpoints included change from baseline to Week 24 on the distance walked on the 6-minute Walk Test (6MWT), and Total Fatigue on the Primary Mitochondrial Myopathy Symptom Assessment (PMMSA). Secondary endpoints included Most Bothersome Symptom Score on the PMMSA, NeuroQoL Fatigue Short Form scores, and the Patient- and Clinician-Global Impression of PMM Symptoms.
    RESULTS: Participants (N=218) were randomized (n=109 elamipretide; n=109 placebo). Mean age was 45.6 year (64% women; 94% white). The majority of participants (n=162 [74%]) had mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations, with the remainder having nuclear DNA (nDNA) defects. At screening, the most frequent bothersome PMM symptom on the PMMSA was tiredness during activities (28.9%). At baseline, mean distance walked on the 6MWT was 336.7±81.2 meters, mean score for Total Fatigue on the PMMSA was 10.6±2.5, and mean T-score for the Neuro-QoL Fatigue Short Form was 54.7±7.5. The study did not meet its primary endpoints assessing changes in the 6MWT and PMMSA Total Fatigue Score (TFS). Between the participants receiving elamipretide versus placebo, the difference in the Least Squares Mean (SE) from baseline to Week 24 on distance walked on the 6MWT was -3.2 (95% confidence interval,-18.7,12.3; p=0.69) meters and on the PMMSA Total Fatigue Score was -0.07 (95% confidence interval,-0.10,0.26; p=0.37). Elamipretide treatment was well-tolerated with most adverse events being mild to moderate in severity.
    DISCUSSION: Subcutaneous elamipretide treatment did not improve outcomes in the 6MWT and PMMSA TFS in patients with PMM. However, this phase-3 study demonstrated that subcutaneous elamipretide is well-tolerated.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Trial registered with, Clinical Trials Identifier: NCT03323749; submitted on October 12, 2017;first patient enrolled October 9, 2017. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class I evidence that elamipretide does not improve the 6 minute walk test or fatigue at 24 weeks compared to placebo in patients with primary mitochondrial myopathy.
    Keywords:  elamipretide; exercise intolerance; myopathy; primary mitochondrial disease; primary mitochondrial myopathy
  10. Front Neurol. 2023 ;14 1169689
      Introduction: SOD1 was the first gene associated with both familial and sporadic forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and is the second most mutated gene in Caucasian ALS patients. Given their high clinical and molecular heterogeneity, a detailed characterization of SOD1-ALS patients could improve knowledge about the natural history of this disease. Here, the authors aimed to provide a clinical and molecular description of a monocentric cohort of SOD1-ALS patients.Methods: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients referring to the neurology unit of our center between 2008 and 2021 were clinically assessed and underwent molecular testing for SOD1. Segregation studies in available family members and in silico analysis were performed to sustain the pathogenicity of the identified SOD1 variants.
    Results: Among the 576 patients in our cohort, we identified 19 individuals harboring a mutation in SOD1 (3.3%), including 15 (78.9%) with a familial and four (21.1%) with a sporadic form. The spinal onset of the disease was observed in all patients, and survival was extremely variable, ranging from 8 months to over 30 years. Twelve different SOD1 missense variants were identified in our cohort, including one novel mutation (p.Pro67Leu).
    Discussion: In the present series, we provided the first description of an Italian monocentric cohort of SOD1-ALS patients, and we expanded the repertoire of SOD1 mutations. Our cohort presents several remarkable features, including variable expressivity in the same family, atypical presentation (ataxia, cognitive impairment, and other extra-motor symptoms), and different modes of inheritance of a given mutation in the same family. Given the recent authorization of SOD1-directed antisense oligonucleotide for use in SOD1-ALS patients, we recommend prompt screening for SOD1 mutations in novel ALS patients with familiar or sporadic presentations.
    Keywords:  SOD1 variants; SOD1-ALS; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; cohort; superoxide dismutase
  11. Ann Neurol. 2023 May 27.
    PREPARE consortium
      OBJECTIVE: The Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA) is the most widely applied clinical outcome assessment (COA) for genetic ataxias, but presents metrological and regulatory challenges. To facilitate trial planning, we characterize its responsiveness (including subitem-level relations to ataxia severity and patient-focused outcomes) across a large number of ataxias, and provide first natural history data for several of them.METHODS: Subitem-level correlation- and distribution-based analysis of 1637 SARA assessments in 884 patients with autosomal-recessive/early-onset ataxia (370 with 2-8 longitudinal assessments), complemented by linear mixed-effects modeling to estimate progression and sample sizes.
    RESULTS: While SARA subitem responsiveness varied between ataxia severities, gait/stance showed a robust granular linear scaling across the broadest range (SARA<25). Responsiveness was diminished by incomplete sub-scale use at intermediate or upper levels, non-transitions ("static periods"), and fluctuating decreases/increases. All subitems -except nose-finger- showed moderate-to-strong correlations to activities of daily living, indicating that metric properties -not content validity- limit SARA responsiveness. SARA captured mild-to-moderate progression in many genotypes, e.g., SYNE1-ataxia: 0.55 points/year, AOA2: 1.14, POLG-ataxia: 1.56; but no change in others (ARSACS, COQ8A-ataxia). While sensitivity to change was optimal in mild ataxia (SARA≤10), it substantially deteriorated in advanced ataxia (SARA>25; 2.7-fold sample size). Use of a novel rank-optimized SARA without subitems finger-chase and nose-finger reduces sample sizes by 20-25%.
    INTERPRETATION: This study comprehensively characterizes COA properties and annualized changes of the SARA across and within a large number of ataxias. It suggests specific approaches for optimizing its responsiveness that might facilitate regulatory qualification and trial design. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  12. Cell Rep. 2023 May 31. pii: S2211-1247(23)00590-9. [Epub ahead of print]42(6): 112579
      In mammals, about 99% of mitochondrial proteins are synthesized in the cytosol as precursors that are subsequently imported into the organelle. The mitochondrial health and functions rely on an accurate quality control of these imported proteins. Here, we show that the E3 ubiquitin ligase F box/leucine-rich-repeat protein 6 (FBXL6) regulates the quality of cytosolically translated mitochondrial proteins. Indeed, we found that FBXL6 substrates are newly synthesized mitochondrial ribosomal proteins. This E3 binds to chaperones involved in the folding and trafficking of newly synthesized peptide and to ribosomal-associated quality control proteins. Deletion of these interacting partners is sufficient to hamper interactions between FBXL6 and its substrate. Furthermore, we show that cells lacking FBXL6 fail to degrade specifically mistranslated mitochondrial ribosomal proteins. Finally, showing the role of FBXL6-dependent mechanism, FBXL6-knockout (KO) cells display mitochondrial ribosomal protein aggregations, altered mitochondrial metabolism, and inhibited cell cycle in oxidative conditions.
    Keywords:  CP: Cell biology; F box leucin-rich repeat E3 ubiquitin ligase; FBXL6; mitochondria; protein quality control; ribosomal proteins
  13. Mol Autism. 2023 Jun 01. 14(1): 20
      BACKGROUND: Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are heterogeneous conditions due to alterations of a variety of molecular mechanisms and cell dysfunctions. SETD5 haploinsufficiency leads to NDDs due to chromatin defects. Epigenetic basis of NDDs has been reported in an increasing number of cases while mitochondrial dysfunctions are more common within NDD patients than in the general population.METHODS: We investigated in vitro neural stem cells as well as the brain of the Setd5 haploinsufficiency mouse model interrogating its transcriptome, analyzing mitochondrial structure, biochemical composition, and dynamics, as well as mitochondrial functionality.
    RESULTS: Mitochondrial impairment is facilitated by transcriptional aberrations originated by the decrease of the SETD5 enzyme. Low levels of SETD5 resulted in fragmented mitochondria, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential, and ATP production both in neural precursors and neurons. Mitochondria were also mislocalized in mutant neurons, with reduced organelles within neurites and synapses.
    LIMITATIONS: We found several defects in the mitochondrial compartment; however, we can only speculate about their position in the hierarchy of the pathological mechanisms at the basis of the disease.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study explores the interplay between chromatin regulation and mitochondria functions as a possible important aspect of SETD5-associated NDD pathophysiology. Our data, if confirmed in patient context, suggest that the mitochondrial activity and dynamics may represent new therapeutic targets for disorders associated with the loss of SETD5.
  14. Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 02. 14(1): 3187
      Oxidative metabolism is the predominant energy source for aerobic muscle contraction in adult animals. How the cellular and molecular components that support aerobic muscle physiology are put in place during development through their transcriptional regulation is not well understood. Using the Drosophila flight muscle model, we show that the formation of mitochondria cristae harbouring the respiratory chain is concomitant with a large-scale transcriptional upregulation of genes linked with oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) during specific stages of flight muscle development. We further demonstrate using high-resolution imaging, transcriptomic and biochemical analyses that Motif-1-binding protein (M1BP) transcriptionally regulates the expression of genes encoding critical components for OXPHOS complex assembly and integrity. In the absence of M1BP function, the quantity of assembled mitochondrial respiratory complexes is reduced and OXPHOS proteins aggregate in the mitochondrial matrix, triggering a strong protein quality control response. This results in isolation of the aggregate from the rest of the matrix by multiple layers of the inner mitochondrial membrane, representing a previously undocumented mitochondrial stress response mechanism. Together, this study provides mechanistic insight into the transcriptional regulation of oxidative metabolism during Drosophila development and identifies M1BP as a critical player in this process.
  15. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2023 Jun 02. 80(6): 173
      Mitochondria are present in the pre- and post-synaptic regions, providing the energy required for the activity of these very specialized neuronal compartments. Biogenesis of synaptic mitochondria takes place in the cell body, and these organelles are then transported to the synapse by motor proteins that carry their cargo along microtubule tracks. The transport of mitochondria along neurites is a highly regulated process, being modulated by the pattern of neuronal activity and by extracellular cues that interact with surface receptors. These signals act by controlling the distribution of mitochondria and by regulating their activity. Therefore, mitochondria activity at the synapse allows the integration of different signals and the organelles are important players in the response to synaptic stimulation. Herein we review the available evidence regarding the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics by neuronal activity and by neuromodulators, and how these changes in the activity of mitochondria affect synaptic communication.
    Keywords:  Cannabinoid receptors; Intracellular signalling; Intracellular trafficking; Mitochondria; Neurotrophins; Synaptic regulation
  16. Methods Mol Biol. 2023 ;2675 77-96
      Methods for isolating mitochondria from different rodent tissues have been established for decades. Although the general principles for crude mitochondrial preparations are largely shared across tissues - tissue disruption followed by differential centrifugation - critical differences exist for isolation from different tissues to optimize mitochondrial yield and function. This protocol offers a unified resource for preparations of isolated mitochondria from mouse liver, kidney, heart, brain, skeletal muscle, and brown and white adipose tissue suitable for functional analysis.
    Keywords:  Bioenergetics; Brain; Brown adipose tissue; Heart; Kidney; Liver; Mitochondria; Oxidative phosphorylation; Skeletal muscle; White adipose tissue
  17. J Autoimmun. 2023 May 25. pii: S0896-8411(23)00070-7. [Epub ahead of print]138 103061
      OBJECTIVES: To elucidate mechanisms contributing to skeletal muscle calcinosis in patients with juvenile dermatomyositis.METHODS: A well-characterized cohorts of JDM (n = 68), disease controls (polymyositis, n = 7; juvenile SLE, n = 10, and RNP + overlap syndrome, n = 12), and age-matched health controls (n = 17) were analyzed for circulating levels of mitochondrial (mt) markers including mtDNA, mt-nd6, and anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMAs) using standard qPCR, ELISA, and novel-in-house assays, respectively. Mitochondrial calcification of affected tissue biopsies was confirmed using electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. A human skeletal muscle cell line, RH30, was used to generate an in vitro calcification model. Intracellular calcification is measured by flow cytometry and microscopy. Mitochondria were assessed for mtROS production and membrane potential by flow cytometry and real-time oxygen consumption rate by Seahorse bioanalyzer. Inflammation (interferon-stimulated genes) was measured by qPCR.
    RESULTS: In the current study, patients with JDM exhibited elevated levels of mitochondrial markers associated with muscle damage and calcinosis. Of particular interest are AMAs predictive of calcinosis. Human skeletal muscle cells undergo time- and dose-dependent accumulation of calcium phosphate salts with preferential localization to mitochondria. Calcification renders skeletal muscle cells mitochondria stressed, dysfunctional, destabilized, and interferogenic. Further, we report that inflammation induced by interferon-alpha amplifies mitochondrial calcification of human skeletal muscle cells via the generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS).
    CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our study demonstrates the mitochondrial involvement in the skeletal muscle pathology and calcinosis of JDM and mtROS as a central player in the calcification of human skeletal muscle cells. Therapeutic targeting of mtROS and/or upstream inducers, such as inflammation, may alleviate mitochondrial dysfunction, leading to calcinosis. AMAs can potentially identify patients with JDM at risk for developing calcinosis.
    Keywords:  Calcinosis; Interferon; Juvenile dermatomyositis; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species
  18. FEBS Open Bio. 2023 May 31.
      Previous studies have revealed that age-related hearing loss (AHL) in Cdk5 regulatory subunit associated protein 1 (Cdk5rap1)-knockout mice is associated with pathology in the cochlea. Here, we aimed to identify mitochondrial alterations in the cochlea of Cdk5rap1-knockout mice with AHL. Mitochondria in the spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) and hair cells (HCs) were normal despite senescence; however, the mitochondria of types I, II, and IV spiral ligament fibrocytes were ballooned, damaged, and ballooned, respectively, in the stria vascularis. Our results suggest that the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria in the lateral wall, rather than the loss of HCs and SGNs, leads to the onset of AHL. Our results provide valuable information regarding the underlying mechanisms of AHL and the relationship between aberrant transfer RNA modification-induced hearing loss and mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Keywords:  Cdk5rap1; age-related hearing loss; microstructural findings; mitochondria; mitochondrial tRNA; transmission electron microscopy
  19. Nat Commun. 2023 May 30. 14(1): 3146
      Neuroticism is a heritable trait composed of separate facets, each conferring different levels of protection or risk, to health. By examining mitochondrial DNA in 269,506 individuals, we show mitochondrial haplogroups explain 0.07-0.01% of variance in neuroticism and identify five haplogroup and 15 mitochondria-marker associations across a general factor of neuroticism, and two special factors of anxiety/tension, and worry/vulnerability with effect sizes of the same magnitude as autosomal variants. Within-haplogroup genome-wide association studies identified H-haplogroup-specific autosomal effects explaining 1.4% variance of worry/vulnerability. These H-haplogroup-specific autosomal effects show a pleiotropic relationship with cognitive, physical and mental health that differs from that found when assessing autosomal effects across haplogroups. We identify interactions between chromosome 9 regions and mitochondrial haplogroups at P < 5 × 10-8, revealing associations between general neuroticism and anxiety/tension with brain-specific gene co-expression networks. These results indicate that the mitochondrial genome contributes toward neuroticism and the autosomal links between neuroticism and health.
  20. J Med Chem. 2023 May 29.
      Ubiquitin phosphorylation by the mitochondrial protein kinase PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), upon mitochondrial depolarization, is an important intermediate step in the recycling of damaged mitochondria via mitophagy. As mutations in PINK1 can cause early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD), there has been a growing interest in small-molecule activators of PINK1-mediated mitophagy as potential PD treatments. Herein, we show that N6-substituted adenosines, such as N6-(2-furanylmethyl)adenosine (known as kinetin riboside) and N6-benzyladenosine, activate PINK1 in HeLa cells and induce PINK1-dependent mitophagy in primary mouse fibroblasts. Interestingly, pre-treatment of HeLa cells and astrocytes with these compounds inhibited elevated ubiquitin phosphorylation that is induced by established mitochondrial depolarizing agents, carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl-hydrazine and niclosamide. Together, this highlights N6-substituted adenosines as progenitor PINK1 activators that could potentially be developed, in the future, as treatments for aged and sporadic PD patients who have elevated phosphorylated ubiquitin levels in the brain.
  21. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2023 May;72(3): 207-214
      Coenzyme Q10 is an important component of the mitochondrial electron transfer chain. A supercomplex of mitochondrial electron transfer system proteins exists. This complex also contains coenzyme Q10. The concentrations of coenzyme Q10 in tissues decrease with age and pathology. Coenzyme Q10 is given as a supplement. It is unknown whether coenzyme Q10 is transported to the supercomplex. We develop a method for measuring coenzyme Q10 in the mitochondrial respiratory chain supercomplex in this study. Blue native electrophoresis was used to separate mitochondrial membranes. Electrophoresis gels were cut into 3 mm slices. Hexane was used to extract coenzyme Q10 from this slice, and HPLC-ECD was used to analyze coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 was found in the gel at the same site as the supercomplex. Coenzyme Q10 at this location was thought to be coenzyme Q10 in the supercomplex. We discovered that 4-nitrobenzoate, a coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis inhibitor, reduced the amount of coenzyme Q10 both within and outside the supercomplex. We also observed that the addition of coenzyme Q10 to cells increased the amount of coenzyme Q10 in the supercomplex. It is expected to analysis coenzyme Q10 level in supercomplex in various samples by using this novel method.
    Keywords:  HPLC-ECD; blue native electrophoresis; coenzyme Q10; mitochondria; respiratory chain supercomplex
  22. BMC Neurol. 2023 Jun 01. 23(1): 211
      BACKGROUND: Individuals with variants of cytochrome c oxidase assembly factor 7 (COA7), a mitochondrial functional-related gene, exhibit symptoms of spinocerebellar ataxia with axonal neuropathy before the age of 20. However, COA7 variants with parkinsonism or adult-onset type cases have not been described.CASE PRESENTATION: We report the case of a patient who developed cerebellar symptoms and slowly progressive sensory and motor neuropathy in the extremities, similar to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, at age 30, followed by parkinsonism at age 58. Exome analysis revealed COA7 missense mutation in homozygotes (NM_023077.2:c.17A > G, NP_075565.2: p.Asp6Gly). Dopamine transporter single-photon emission computed tomography using a 123I-Ioflupane revealed clear hypo-accumulation in the bilateral striatum. However, 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine myocardial scintigraphy showed normal sympathetic nerve function. Levodopa administration improved parkinsonism in this patient.
    CONCLUSIONS: COA7 gene variants may have caused parkinsonism in this case because mitochondrial function-related genes, such as parkin and PINK1, are known causative genes in some familial Parkinson's diseases.
    Keywords:  COA7; Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; Parkinsonism; Spinocerebellar ataxia
  23. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2023 ;11 1200330
      Early pregnancy is a complex and well-orchestrated differentiation process that involves all the cellular elements of the fetal-maternal interface. Aberrant trophoblast-decidual interactions can lead to miscarriage and disorders that occur later in pregnancy, including preeclampsia, intrauterine fetal growth restriction, and preterm labor. A great deal of research on the regulation of implantation and placentation has been performed in a wide range of species. However, there is significant species variation regarding trophoblast differentiation as well as decidual-specific gene expression and regulation. Most of the relevant information has been obtained from studies using mouse models. A comprehensive understanding of the physiology and pathology of human implantation and placentation has only recently been obtained because of emerging advanced technologies. With the derivation of human trophoblast stem cells, 3D-organoid cultures, and single-cell analyses of differentiated cells, cell type-specific transcript profiles and functions were generated, and each exhibited a unique signature. Additionally, through integrative transcriptomic information, researchers can uncover the cellular dysfunction of embryonic and placental cells in peri-implantation embryos and the early pathological placenta. In fact, the clinical utility of fetal-maternal cellular trafficking has been applied for the noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of aneuploidies and the prediction of pregnancy complications. Furthermore, recent studies have proposed a viable path toward the development of therapeutic strategies targeting placenta-enriched molecules for placental dysfunction and diseases.
    Keywords:  embryo implantation; fetal-maternal cellular trafficking; human placenta; maternal immune tolerance; placenta-enriched molecules; trophoblast differentiation
  24. HGG Adv. 2023 Jul 13. 4(3): 100202
    Penn Medicine BioBank
      Mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtCN) is often treated as a proxy for mitochondrial (dys-) function and disease risk. Pathological changes in mtCN are common symptoms of rare mitochondrial disorders, but reported associations between mtCN and common diseases vary across studies. To understand the biology of mtCN, we carried out genome- and phenome-wide association studies of mtCN in 30,666 individuals from the Penn Medicine BioBank (PMBB)-a diverse cohort of largely African and European ancestry. We estimated mtCN in peripheral blood using exome sequence data, taking cell composition into account. We replicated known genetic associations of mtCN in the PMBB and found that their effects are highly correlated between individuals of European and African ancestry. However, the heritability of mtCN was much higher among individuals of largely African ancestry (h2=0.3) compared with European ancestry individuals(h2=0.1). Admixture mapping suggests that there are undiscovered variants underlying mtCN that are differentiated in frequency between individuals with African and European ancestry. We show that mtCN is associated with many health-related phenotypes. We discovered robust associations between mtDNA copy number and diseases of metabolically active tissues, such as cardiovascular disease and liver damage, that were consistent across African and European ancestry individuals. Other associations, such as epilepsy and prostate cancer, were only discovered in either individuals with European or African ancestry but not both. We show that mtCN-phenotype associations can be sensitive to blood cell composition and environmental modifiers, explaining why such associations are inconsistent across studies. Thus, mtCN-phenotype associations must be interpreted with care.
    Keywords:  GWAS; Mitochondrial DNA; Penn Medicine Biobank; PheWAS; heritability; mtDNA copy number; multi-ancestry
  25. Mol Reprod Dev. 2023 May 27.
      Herein we aimed at exploring mitochondrial energy metabolism status in patients with repeated implantation failure (RIF) and whether key regulatory factor PGC-1α of energy metabolism is involved in the decidualization of endometrial stromal cells. Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation level and ATP synthesis were compared in primary endometrial stromal cells from RIF and control group. At the same time, as one of key transcription regulators of mitochondrial energy metabolism, the expression level and acetylation level of PGC-1α were compared with two groups. Then, we downregulated the acetylation levels of PGC-1α, and the expression of decidual markers (PRL and IGFBP1) was observed further. Mitochondrial energy metabolism, showing by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation level and ATP synthesis, was decreased in the endometrial stromal cells of the RIF group (RIF-hEnSCs). Meanwhile, PGC-1α acetylation levels were significantly higher in RIF-hEnSCs. When we reduced the acetylation levels of PGC-1α in RIF-hEnSCs, the basal O2 consumption rate and maximal respiration were increased, and also the PRL and IGFBP1. Overall, our data indicated that the endometrial stromal cells of the RIF patients had low level of mitochondrial energy metabolism. Reducing acetylation level of key energy metabolism regulator PGC-1α can increase the decidualization level of RIF-hEnSCs. These findings may inspire new ideas about the treatment of RIF.
    Keywords:  PGC-1α; decidualization; mitochondrial energy metabolism; repeated implantation failure
  26. iScience. 2023 May 19. 26(5): 106700
      Relatively little is known about ATP synthase structure in protists, and the investigated ones exhibit divergent structures distinct from yeast or animals. To clarify the subunit composition of ATP synthases across all eukaryotic lineages, we used homology detection techniques and molecular modeling tools to identify an ancestral set of 17 ATP synthase subunits. Most eukaryotes possess an ATP synthase comparable to those of animals and fungi, while some have undergone drastic divergence (e.g., ciliates, myzozoans, euglenozoans). Additionally, a ∼1 billion-year-old gene fusion between ATP synthase stator subunits was identified as a synapomorphy of the SAR (Stramenopila, Alveolata, Rhizaria) supergroup (stramenopile, alveolate, rhizaria). Our comparative approach highlights the persistence of ancestral subunits even amidst major structural changes. We conclude by urging that more ATP synthase structures (e.g., from jakobids, heteroloboseans, stramenopiles, rhizarians) are needed to provide a complete picture of the evolution of the structural diversity of this ancient and essential complex.
    Keywords:  Cell biology; Evolutionary biology; Molecular biology
  27. Front Physiol. 2023 ;14 1145047
      The conversion of fibroblasts into myogenic cells is a powerful tool to both develop and test therapeutic strategies and to perform in-depth investigations of neuromuscular disorders, avoiding the need for muscle biopsies. We developed an easy, reproducible, and high-efficiency lentivirus-mediated transdifferentiation protocol, that can be used to convert healthy donor fibroblasts and a promising new cellular model, urinary stem cells (USCs), into myoblasts, that can be further differentiated into multinucleated myotubes in vitro. Transcriptome and proteome profiling of specific muscle markers (desmin, myosin, dystrophin) was performed to characterize both the myoblasts and myotubes derived from each cell type and to test the transdifferentiation-inducing capacity of MYOD1 in fibroblasts and USCs. Specifically, the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) transcripts and proteins, including both the full-length Dp427 and the short Dp71 isoform, were evaluated. The protocol was firstly developed in healthy donor fibroblasts and USCs and then used to convert DMD patients' fibroblasts, with the aim of testing the efficacy of an antisense drug in vitro. Technical issues, limitations, and problems are explained and discussed. We demonstrate that MyoD-induced-fibroblasts and USCs are a useful in vitro model of myogenic cells to investigate possible therapies for neuromuscular diseases.
    Keywords:  MyoD-induction; duchenne muscular dystrophy; fibroblasts; lentivirus; reprogramming; urinary stem cells