bims-mitmed Biomed News
on Mitochondrial medicine
Issue of 2023‒06‒11
thirty-six papers selected by
Dario Brunetti
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico

  1. Nature. 2023 Jun 07.
      The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) is essential to safeguard mitochondria from proteotoxic damage by activating a dedicated transcriptional response in the nucleus to restore proteostasis1,2. Yet, it remains unclear how the information on mitochondria misfolding stress (MMS) is signalled to the nucleus as part of the human UPRmt (refs. 3,4). Here, we show that UPRmt signalling is driven by the release of two individual signals in the cytosol-mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) and accumulation of mitochondrial protein precursors in the cytosol (c-mtProt). Combining proteomics and genetic approaches, we identified that MMS causes the release of mtROS into the cytosol. In parallel, MMS leads to mitochondrial protein import defects causing c-mtProt accumulation. Both signals integrate to activate the UPRmt; released mtROS oxidize the cytosolic HSP40 protein DNAJA1, which leads to enhanced recruitment of cytosolic HSP70 to c-mtProt. Consequently, HSP70 releases HSF1, which translocates to the nucleus and activates transcription of UPRmt genes. Together, we identify a highly controlled cytosolic surveillance mechanism that integrates independent mitochondrial stress signals to initiate the UPRmt. These observations reveal a link between mitochondrial and cytosolic proteostasis and provide molecular insight into UPRmt signalling in human cells.
  2. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2023 Jun 05.
      Mitochondrial function is widely recognized as a major determinant of health, emphasizing the importance of understanding the mechanisms promoting mitochondrial quality in various tissues. Recently, the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) has come into focus as a modulator of mitochondrial homeostasis, particularly in stress conditions. In muscle, the necessity for ATF4 and its role in regulating mitochondrial quality control (MQC) has yet to be determined. We overexpressed (OE) and knocked down ATF4 in C2C12 myoblasts, differentiated them to myotubes for 5 days, and subjected them to acute (ACA) or chronic (CCA) contractile activity. ATF4 mediated myotube formation through the regulated expression of myogenic factors, mainly Myc and MyoD, and supressed mitochondrial biogenesis basally through PGC-1a. However, our data also show that ATF4 expression levels are directly related to mitochondrial fusion and dynamics, UPRmt activation, as well as lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy. Thus, ATF4 promoted enhanced mitochondrial networking, protein handling, and capacity for clearance of dysfunctional organelles under stress conditions, despite lower levels of mitophagy flux with OE. Indeed, we found that ATF4 promoted the formation of a smaller pool of high functioning mitochondria that are more responsive to contractile activity, have higher oxygen consumption rates and lower reactive oxygen species levels. These data provide evidence that ATF4 is both necessary and sufficient for mitochondrial quality control and adaptation during both differentiation and contractile activity, thus advancing the current understanding of ATF4 beyond its canonical functions, to include the regulation of mitochondrial morphology, lysosomal biogenesis and mitophagy in muscle cells.
    Keywords:  ATF4; mitochondrial quality control; mitochondrial unfolded protein response; mitophagy and lysosomal biogenesis; skeletal muscle C2C12
  3. EMBO Rep. 2023 Jun 06. e57127
      The mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier (SLC25A4), also called the adenine nucleotide translocase, imports ADP into the mitochondrial matrix and exports ATP, which are key steps in oxidative phosphorylation. Historically, the carrier was thought to form a homodimer and to operate by a sequential kinetic mechanism, which involves the formation of a ternary complex with the two exchanged substrates bound simultaneously. However, recent structural and functional data have demonstrated that the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier works as a monomer and has a single substrate binding site, which cannot be reconciled with a sequential kinetic mechanism. Here, we study the kinetic properties of the human mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier by using proteoliposomes and transport robotics. We show that the Km/Vmax ratio is constant for all of the measured internal concentrations. Thus, in contrast to earlier claims, we conclude that the carrier operates with a ping-pong kinetic mechanism in which substrate exchange across the membrane occurs consecutively rather than simultaneously. These data unite the kinetic and structural models, showing that the carrier operates with an alternating access mechanism.
    Keywords:  ADP/ATP translocase; SLC25; adenine nucleotide translocator; bioenergetics; mitochondrial carrier family
  4. FEBS Lett. 2023 Jun 05.
      Mitochondria are organelles indispensable for the correct functioning of eukaryotic cells. Their significance for cellular homeostasis is manifested by the existence of complex quality control pathways that monitor organellar fitness. Mitochondrial biogenesis relies on the efficient import of mitochondrial precursor proteins, a large majority of which are encoded by nuclear DNA and synthesized in the cytosol. This creates a demand for highly specialized import routes that comprise cytosolic factors and organellar translocases. The passage of newly encoded mitochondrial precursor proteins through the cytosol to the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM) is under tight surveillance. As a result of mitochondrial import defects, mitochondrial precursor proteins accumulate in the cytosol or clog the TOM complex, which in turn stimulates cellular stress responses to minimize the consequences of these challenges. These responses are critical for maintaining protein homeostasis under conditions of mitochondrial stress. The present review summarizes recent advances in the field of mitochondrial protein import quality control and discusses the role of this quality control within the network of cellular mechanisms that maintain the cellular homeostasis of proteins.
    Keywords:  cellular stress responses; mitochondria; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial quality control; protein aggregates; protein homeostasis
  5. bioRxiv. 2023 May 22. pii: 2023.05.20.541602. [Epub ahead of print]
      The Sorting and Assembly Machinery (SAM) Complex functions in the assembly of β-barrel in the mitochondrial membrane. The SAM complex is made up of three subunits, Sam35, Sam37, and Sam50. While both Sam35 and Sam37 are peripheral membrane proteins that are not required for survival, Sam50 interacts with the MICOS complex to connect the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes and forms the mitochondrial intermembrane space bridging (MIB) complex. Specifically, Sam50 stabilizes the MIB complex for protein transport, respiratory chain complex assembly, and cristae integrity regulation. To structurally form and sustain the cristae, the MICOS complex assembles at the cristae junction and binds directly to Sam50. However, the role of Sam50 in overall mitochondrial structure and metabolism in skeletal muscle remains unclear. Here, we use SBF-SEM and Amira software perform 3D renderings of mitochondria and autophagosomes in human myotubes. Beyond this, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry-based metabolomics was utilized to interrogate differential changes of the metabolites in wild-type (WT) and Sam50 deficient myotubes. Ablation of Sam50 , revealed increases in ß-Alanine, propanoate, and phenylalanine, and tyrosine metabolism. Additionally, we observed that mitochondrial fragmentation and autophagosome formation was increased in Sam50 -deficient myotubes compared to control myotubes. Beyond this, the metabolomic analysis revealed an increase in amino acid metabolism and fatty acid metabolism. XF24 Seahorse Analyzer shows that oxidative capacity is further impaired upon ablation of Sam50 in both murine and human myotubes. Together, these data suggest Sam50 is critical for establishing and maintaining mitochondria, mitochondrial cristae structure, and mitochondrial metabolism.
  6. J Cell Sci. 2023 Jun 01. pii: jcs260638. [Epub ahead of print]136(11):
      Neurons are highly polarized, post-mitotic cells that are characterized by unique morphological diversity and complexity. As highly differentiated cells that need to survive throughout organismal lifespan, neurons face exceptional energy challenges in time and space. Therefore, neurons are heavily dependent on a healthy mitochondrial network for their proper function and maintenance under both physiological and stress conditions. Multiple quality control systems have evolved to fine-tune mitochondrial number and quality, thus preserving neuronal energy homeostasis. Here, we review the contribution of mitophagy, a selective form of autophagy that targets dysfunctional or superfluous mitochondria for degradation, in maintaining nervous system homeostasis. In addition, we discuss recent evidence implicating defective or dysregulated mitophagy in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Energy homeostasis; Mitochondria; Mitophagy; Nervous system; Neurodegeneration; Neurodegenerative diseases; Neuron; Non-neuronal cells
  7. Phys Biol. 2023 Jun 08.
      Mitochondria serve a wide range of functions within cells, most notably via their production of ATP. Although their morphology is commonly described as bean-like, mitochondria often form interconnected networks within cells that exhibit dynamic restructuring through a variety of physical changes. Further, though relationships between form and function in biology are well established, the extant toolkit for understanding mitochondrial morphology is limited. Here, we emphasize new and established methods for quantitatively describing mitochondrial networks, ranging from unweighted graph-theoretic representations to multi-scale approaches from applied topology, in particular persistent homology. We also show fundamental relationships between mitochondrial networks, mathematics, and physics, using ideas of graph planarity and statistical mechanics to better understand the full possible morphological
space of mitochondrial network structures. Lastly, we provide suggestions for how examination of mitochondrial network form through the language of mathematics can inform biological understanding, and vice versa.
    Keywords:  graph theory; mitochondrial networks; persistent homology; planar graphs; scaling
  8. Science. 2023 Jun 09. 380(6649): eabn9257
      Aging is associated with changes in circulating levels of various molecules, some of which remain undefined. We find that concentrations of circulating taurine decline with aging in mice, monkeys, and humans. A reversal of this decline through taurine supplementation increased the health span (the period of healthy living) and life span in mice and health span in monkeys. Mechanistically, taurine reduced cellular senescence, protected against telomerase deficiency, suppressed mitochondrial dysfunction, decreased DNA damage, and attenuated inflammaging. In humans, lower taurine concentrations correlated with several age-related diseases and taurine concentrations increased after acute endurance exercise. Thus, taurine deficiency may be a driver of aging because its reversal increases health span in worms, rodents, and primates and life span in worms and rodents. Clinical trials in humans seem warranted to test whether taurine deficiency might drive aging in humans.
  9. JCI Insight. 2023 Jun 08. pii: e165937. [Epub ahead of print]
      Variants within the high copy number mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) can disrupt organelle function and lead to severe multi-system disease. The wide range of manifestations observed in mitochondrial disease patients results from varying fractions of abnormal mtDNA molecules in different cells and tissues, a phenomenon termed heteroplasmy. However, the landscape of heteroplasmy across cell types within tissues and its influence on phenotype expression in affected patients remains largely unexplored. Here, we identify non-random distribution of a pathogenic mtDNA variant across a complex tissue using single-cell RNA sequencing, mitochondrial single-cell ATAC sequencing, and multimodal single-cell sequencing. We profile the transcriptome, chromatin accessibility state, and heteroplasmy in cells from the eyes of a patient with mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and healthy control donors. Utilizing the retina as a model for complex multi-lineage tissues, we found that the proportion of the pathogenic m.3243A>G allele was neither evenly nor randomly distributed across diverse cell types. All neuroectoderm-derived neural cells exhibited a high percentage of the mutant variant. However, a subset of mesoderm-derived lineage, namely the vasculature of the choroid, was near homoplasmic for the wildtype allele. Gene expression and chromatin accessibility profiles of cell types with high and low proportions of m.3243A>G implicate mTOR signaling in the cellular response to heteroplasmy. We further found by multimodal single-cell sequencing of retinal pigment epithelial cells that a high proportion of the pathogenic mtDNA variant was associated with transcriptionally and morphologically abnormal cells. Together, these findings show the non-random nature of mitochondrial variant partitioning in human mitochondrial disease and underscore its implications for mitochondrial disease pathogenesis and treatment.
    Keywords:  Genetic diseases; Genetics; Mitochondria; Ophthalmology; Retinopathy
  10. Elife. 2023 Jun 05. pii: e82619. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Mitochondria play an important role in both normal heart function and disease etiology. We report analysis of common genetic variations contributing to mitochondrial and heart functions using an integrative proteomics approach in a panel of inbred mouse strains called the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP). We performed a whole heart proteome study in the HMDP (72 strains, n=2-3 mice) and retrieved 848 mitochondrial proteins (quantified in ≥50 strains). High-resolution association mapping on their relative abundance levels revealed three trans-acting genetic loci on chromosomes (chr) 7, 13 and 17 that regulate distinct classes of mitochondrial proteins as well as cardiac hypertrophy. DAVID enrichment analyses of genes regulated by each of the loci revealed that the chr13 locus was highly enriched for complex-I proteins (24 proteins, P=2.2E-61), the chr17 locus for mitochondrial ribonucleoprotein complex (17 proteins, P=3.1E-25) and the chr7 locus for ubiquinone biosynthesis (3 proteins, P=6.9E-05). Follow-up high resolution regional mapping identified NDUFS4, LRPPRC and COQ7 as the candidate genes for chr13, chr17 and chr7 loci, respectively, and both experimental and statistical analyses supported their causal roles. Furthermore, a large cohort of Diversity Outbred mice was used to corroborate Lrpprc gene as a driver of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-encoded gene regulation, and to show that the chr17 locus is specific to heart. Variations in all three loci were associated with heart mass in at least one of two independent heart stress models, namely, isoproterenol-induced heart failure and diet-induced obesity. These findings suggest that common variations in certain mitochondrial proteins can act in trans to influence tissue-specific mitochondrial functions and contribute to heart hypertrophy, elucidating mechanisms that may underlie genetic susceptibility to heart failure in human populations.
    Keywords:  computational biology; genetic, association studies; genetics; genomics; heart failure; hypertrophy; metabolic syndrome; mitochondria; mouse; proteomics; systems biology
  11. Science. 2023 Jun 09. 380(6649): 1010-1011
      Reversing age-associated taurine loss improves mouse longevity and monkey health.
  12. Mol Med. 2023 06 06. 29(1): 71
      BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global public health problem and Egypt has the highest HCV prevalence worldwide. Hence, global efforts target to eliminate HCV by 2030. Sofosbuvir is a nucleotide analogue inhibitor of HCV polymerase essential for viral replication. Animal studies prove that Sofosbuvir metabolites cross the placenta and are excreted in the milk of nursing animals. We aimed to investigate the possible effects of preconception maternal exposure to Sofosbuvir on mitochondrial biogenesis in prenatal fetal liver, skeletal muscle, and placental tissues.METHODS: The study was conducted on 20 female albino rats divided into a control group receiving a placebo and an exposed group receiving 4 mg/kg orally/day for 3 months of Sofosbuvir. At the end of the treatment period, pregnancy was induced in both groups by mating with healthy male rats overnight. At gestational day 17, all pregnant female rats were sacrificed. Each fetus was dissected to obtain the fetal liver, skeletal muscle, and placental tissues.
    RESULTS: The results of our study indicated that the exposure of young female rats to Sofosbuvir affects pregnancy outcomes. Fetal liver and muscle showed lower mitochondrial DNA-copy number (mtDNA-CN) by about 24% and 29% respectively, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1 alpha and its downstream targets; nuclear respiratory factor-1 and mitochondrial transcription factor A. While the placental tissues showed different patterns, particularly elevated in mtDNA-CN by about 43%.
    CONCLUSIONS: The study provides preliminary evidence of the detrimental effects of Sofosbuvir on the pregnancy outcomes of the exposed females and may impair the placental and fetal organs' development. These effects may be mediated through modulating mitochondrial homeostasis and functions.
    Keywords:  Hepatitis C virus; Mitochondrial biogenesis; Pregnancy outcome; Sofosbuvir
  13. Front Genet. 2023 ;14 1182288
      Leber hereditary optic neuropathy is a primary mitochondrial disease characterized by acute visual loss due to the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells. In this study, we describe a patient carrying a rare missense heteroplasmic variant in MT-ND1, NC_012920.1:m.4135T>C (p.Tyr277His) manifesting with a typical bilateral painless decrease of the visual function, triggered by physical exercise or higher ambient temperature. Functional studies in muscle and fibroblasts show that amino acid substitution Tyr277 with His leads to only a negligibly decreased level of respiratory chain complex I (CI), but the formation of supercomplexes and the activity of the enzyme are disturbed noticeably. Our data indicate that although CI is successfully assembled in the patient's mitochondria, its function is hampered by the m.4135T>C variant, probably by stabilizing CI in its inactive form. We conclude that the m.4135T>C variant together with a combination of external factors is necessary to manifest the phenotype.
    Keywords:  complex I; mitochondria; mtDNA; optic neuropathy; supercomplexes
  14. Front Neurosci. 2023 ;17 1182874
      Protein synthesis is a fundamental process that underpins almost every aspect of cellular functioning. Intriguingly, despite their common function, recessive mutations in aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs), the family of enzymes that pair tRNA molecules with amino acids prior to translation on the ribosome, cause a diverse range of multi-system disorders that affect specific groups of tissues. Neurological development is impaired in most ARS-associated disorders. In addition to central nervous system defects, diseases caused by recessive mutations in cytosolic ARSs commonly affect the liver and lungs. Patients with biallelic mutations in mitochondrial ARSs often present with encephalopathies, with variable involvement of peripheral systems. Many of these disorders cause severe disability, and as understanding of their pathogenesis is currently limited, there are no effective treatments available. To address this, accurate in vivo models for most of the recessive ARS diseases are urgently needed. Here, we discuss approaches that have been taken to model recessive ARS diseases in vivo, highlighting some of the challenges that have arisen in this process, as well as key results obtained from these models. Further development and refinement of animal models is essential to facilitate a better understanding of the pathophysiology underlying recessive ARS diseases, and ultimately to enable development and testing of effective therapies.
    Keywords:  ARS1; ARS2; aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases; animal models; cytosolic ARS; mitochondrial ARS; recessive ARS mutations
  15. Elife. 2023 Jun 06. pii: e78187. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Background: Evidence supports an important link between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation and adverse drug reactions such as idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (iDILI). Here, we describe the generation of HepG2-derived transmitochondrial cybrids, to investigate the impact of mtDNA variation on mitochondrial (dys)function and susceptibility to iDILI. This study created 10 cybrid cell lines, each containing distinct mitochondrial genotypes of haplogroup H or haplogroup J backgrounds.Methods: HepG2 cells were depleted of mtDNA to make rho zero cells, before the introduction of known mitochondrial genotypes using platelets from healthy volunteers (n=10), thus generating 10 transmitochondrial cybrid cell lines. The mitochondrial function of each was assessed at basal state and following treatment with compounds associated with iDILI; flutamide, 2-hydroxyflutamide, and tolcapone, and their less toxic counterparts bicalutamide and entacapone utilising ATP assays and extracellular flux analysis.
    Findings: Whilst only slight variations in basal mitochondrial function were observed between haplogroups H and J, haplogroup-specific responses were observed to the mitotoxic drugs. Haplogroup J showed increased susceptibility to inhibition by flutamide, 2-hydroxyflutamide and tolcapone, via effects on selected mitochondrial complexes (I and II), and an uncoupling of the respiratory chain.
    Conclusions: This study demonstrates that HepG2 transmitochondrial cybrids can be created to contain the mitochondrial genotype of any individual of interest. This provides a practical and reproducible system to investigate the cellular consequences of variation in the mitochondrial genome, against a constant nuclear background. Additionally, the results show that inter-individual variation in mitochondrial haplogroup may be a factor in determining sensitivity to mitochondrial toxicants.
    Funding: This work was supported by the Centre for Drug Safety Science supported by the Medical Research Council, United Kingdom (Grant Number G0700654); and GlaxoSmithKline as part of an MRC-CASE studentship (grant number MR/L006758/1).
    Keywords:  human; medicine
  16. Cell Calcium. 2023 Jun 02. pii: S0143-4160(23)00077-5. [Epub ahead of print]113 102765
      The mitochondrial inner boundary membrane harbors a protein called MICU1, which is sensitive to Ca2+ and binds to the MICOS components Mic60 and CHCHD2. Changes in the mitochondrial cristae junction structure and organization in MICU1-/- cells lead to increased cytochrome c release, membrane potential rearrangement, and changes in mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake dynamics. These findings shed new light on the multifaceted role of MICU1, highlighting its involvement not only as an interaction partner and regulator of the MCU complex but also as a crucial determinant of mitochondrial ultrastructure and, thus, an essential player in processes initiating apoptosis.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Ca(2+) signaling; Cristae junction; MICOS-complex; MICU1; Mitochondria
  17. Free Neuropathol. 2021 Jan;pii: 2-34. [Epub ahead of print]2
      Heart disease is an integral part of Friedreich ataxia (FA) and the most common cause of death in this autosomal recessive disease. The result of the mutation is lack of frataxin, a small mitochondrial protein. The clinical and pathological phenotypes of FA are complex, involving brain, spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, sensory nerves, heart, and endocrine pancreas. The hypothesis is that frataxin deficiency causes downstream changes in the proteome of the affected tissues, including the heart. A proteomic analysis of heart proteins in FA cardiomyopathy by antibody microarray, Western blots, immunohistochemistry, and double-label laser scanning confocal immunofluorescence microscopy revealed upregulation of desmin and its chaperone protein, αB-crystallin. In normal hearts, these two proteins are co-localized at intercalated discs and Z discs. In FA, desmin and αB-crystallin aggregate, causing chaotic modification of intercalated discs, clustering of mitochondria, and destruction of the contractile apparatus of cardiomyocytes. Western blots of tissue lysates in FA cardiomyopathy reveal a truncated desmin isoprotein that migrates at a lower molecular weight range than wild type desmin. While desmin and αB-crystallin are not mutated in FA, the accumulation of these proteins in FA hearts allows the conclusion that FA cardiomyopathy is a desminopathy akin to desmin myopathy of skeletal muscle.
    Keywords:  Cardiomyopathy; Desmin; Desminopathy; Friedreich ataxia; Proteomics; αB-crystallin
  18. EMBO J. 2023 Jun 05. e114542
      How mitophagy is turned on to remove damaged or excess mitochondria from cells has been well-studied, but less is known about how the pathway is turned off to avoid "over-eating" of mitochondria under basal conditions. Three new studies now reveal the disease-associated FBXL4 protein as an important negative regulator of constitutive mitophagy, controlling the stability of mitophagy receptors BNIP3 and NIX.
  19. EMBO Rep. 2023 Jun 05. e56430
      Human Tim8a and Tim8b are paralogous intermembrane space proteins of the small TIM chaperone family. Yeast small TIMs function in the trafficking of proteins to the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes. This putative import function for hTim8a and hTim8b has been challenged in human models, but their precise molecular function(s) remains undefined. Likewise, the necessity for human cells to encode two Tim8 proteins and whether any potential redundancy exists is unclear. We demonstrate that hTim8a and hTim8b function in the assembly of cytochrome c oxidase (Complex IV). Using affinity enrichment mass spectrometry, we define the interaction network of hTim8a, hTim8b and hTim13, identifying subunits and assembly factors of the Complex IV COX2 module. hTim8-deficient cells have a COX2 and COX3 module defect and exhibit an accumulation of the Complex IV S2 subcomplex. These data suggest that hTim8a and hTim8b function in assembly of Complex IV via interactions with intermediate-assembly subcomplexes. We propose that hTim8-hTim13 complexes are auxiliary assembly factors involved in the formation of the Complex IV S3 subcomplex during assembly of mature Complex IV.
    Keywords:  Complex IV; mitochondria; protein assembly; protein trafficking; small TIMs
  20. Mov Disord. 2023 Jun 06.
      BACKGROUND: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the ataxin-1 protein resulting in neuropathology including mutant ataxin-1 protein aggregation, aberrant neurodevelopment, and mitochondrial dysfunction.OBJECTIVES: Identify SCA1-relevant phenotypes in patient-specific fibroblasts and SCA1 induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) neuronal cultures.
    METHODS: SCA1 iPSCs were generated and differentiated into neuronal cultures. Protein aggregation and neuronal morphology were evaluated using fluorescent microscopy. Mitochondrial respiration was measured using the Seahorse Analyzer. The multi-electrode array (MEA) was used to identify network activity. Finally, gene expression changes were studied using RNA-seq to identify disease-specific mechanisms.
    RESULTS: Bioenergetics deficits in patient-derived fibroblasts and SCA1 neuronal cultures showed altered oxygen consumption rate, suggesting involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in SCA1. In SCA1 hiPSC-derived neuronal cells, nuclear and cytoplasmic aggregates were identified similar in localization as aggregates in SCA1 postmortem brain tissue. SCA1 hiPSC-derived neuronal cells showed reduced dendrite length and number of branching points while MEA recordings identified delayed development in network activity in SCA1 hiPSC-derived neuronal cells. Transcriptome analysis identified 1050 differentially expressed genes in SCA1 hiPSC-derived neuronal cells associated with synapse organization and neuron projection guidance, where a subgroup of 151 genes was highly associated with SCA1 phenotypes and linked to SCA1 relevant signaling pathways.
    CONCLUSIONS: Patient-derived cells recapitulate key pathological features of SCA1 pathogenesis providing a valuable tool for the identification of novel disease-specific processes. This model can be used for high throughput screenings to identify compounds, which may prevent or rescue neurodegeneration in this devastating disease. © 2023 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
    Keywords:  MEA; RNA sequencing; bioenergetics; disease modelling; electrophysiology; human induced pluripotent stem cells; neurodegeneration; neuronal aggregates; neuronal morphology; spinocerebellar ataxia type 1
  21. Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2023 Jun 06. e22029
      Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is a biopolymer composed of phosphoanhydride-linked orthophosphate molecules. PolyP is engaged in a variety of cellular functions, including mitochondrial metabolism. Here, we examined the effects of polyP on electron transport chain enzymes and F1 Fo ATP synthase in tick embryos during embryonic development. The study found that polyPs containing medium and long chains (polyP15 and polyP65 ) enhanced the activity of complex I, complex II, complex III, and F1 Fo ATP synthase, while short polyP chains (polyP3 ) had no effect. The study also examined the activity of exopolyphosphatases (PPX) in various energy-demand situations. PPX activity was stimulated when ADP concentrations are high, characterizing a low-energy context. When complexes I-III and F1 Fo ATP synthase inhibitors were added in energized mitochondria, PPX activity decreased, whereas the mitochondrial uncoupler FCCP had no impact on PPX activity. Additionally, the study investigated the effect of polyP on mitochondrial swelling, finding that polyP causes mitochondrial swelling by increasing calcium effects on the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. The findings presented here to increase our understanding of the function of polyP in mitochondrial metabolism and its relationship to mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening in an arthropod model.
    Keywords:  PPX; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial permeability transition pore; polyphosphate
  22. bioRxiv. 2023 May 21. pii: 2023.05.18.541242. [Epub ahead of print]
      Protein translational control is highly regulated step in the gene expression program during mammalian development that is critical for ensuring that the fetus develops correctly and that all of the necessary organs and tissues are formed and functional. Defects in protein expression during fetal development can lead to severe developmental abnormalities or premature death. Currently, quantitative techniques to monitor protein synthesis rates in a developing fetus ( in utero ) are limited. Here, we developed a novel in utero stable isotope labeling approach to quantify tissue-specific protein dynamics of the nascent proteome during mouse fetal development. Fetuses of pregnant C57BL/6J mice were injected with isotopically labeled lysine (Lys8) and arginine (Arg10) via the vitelline vein at various gestational days. After treatment, fetal organs/tissues including brain, liver, lung, and heart were harvested for sample preparation and proteomic analysis. We show that the mean incorporation rate for injected amino acids into all organs was 17.50 ± 0.6%. By analyzing the nascent proteome, unique signatures of each tissue were identified by hierarchical clustering. In addition, the quantified proteome-wide turnover rates (k obs ) were calculated between 3.81E-5 and 0.424 hour -1 . We observed similar protein turnover profiles for analyzed organs ( e.g. , liver versus brain), however, their distributions of turnover rates vary significantly. The translational kinetic profiles of developing organs displayed differentially expressed protein pathways and synthesis rates which correlated with known physiological changes during mouse development.
  23. Nat Protoc. 2023 Jun 05.
      Programmable cytosine base editors show promising approaches for correcting pathogenic mutations; yet, their off-target effects have been of great concern. Detect-seq (dU-detection enabled by C-to-T transition during sequencing) is an unbiased, sensitive method for the off-target evaluation of programmable cytosine base editors. It profiles the editome by tracing the editing intermediate dU, which is introduced inside living cells and edited by programmable cytosine base editors. The genomic DNA is extracted, preprocessed and labeled by successive chemical and enzymatic reactions, followed by biotin pull-down to enrich the dU-containing loci for sequencing. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for performing the Detect-seq experiment, and a customized, open-source, bioinformatic pipeline for analyzing the characteristic Detect-seq data is also provided. Unlike those previous whole-genome sequencing-based methods, Detect-seq uses an enrichment strategy and hence is endowed with great sensitivity, a higher signal-to-noise ratio and no requirement for high sequencing depth. Furthermore, Detect-seq is widely applicable for both mitotic and postmitotic biological systems. The entire protocol typically takes 5 d from the genomic DNA extraction to sequencing and ~1 week for data analysis.
  24. FEBS J. 2023 Jun 08.
      Human sirtuins play important roles in various cellular events including DNA repair, gene silencing, mitochondrial biogenesis, insulin secretion as well as apoptosis. They regulate a wide array of protein and enzyme targets through their NAD+ -dependent deacetylase activities. Sirtuins are also thought to mediate the beneficial effects of low-calorie intake to extend longevity in diverse organisms from yeast to mammals. Small molecules mimicking calorie restriction to stimulate sirtuin activity are attractive therapeutics against age-related disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and neurodegeneration. Little is known about one of the mitochondrial sirtuins, SIRT5. SIRT5 has emerged as a critical player in maintaining cardiac health and neuronal viability upon stress, and functions as a tumor suppressor in a context-specific manner. Much has been debated about whether SIRT5 has evolved away from being a deacetylase because of its weak catalytic activity, especially in the in vitro testing. We have, for the first time, identified a SIRT5-selective allosteric activator, nicotinamide riboside (NR). It can increase SIRT5 catalytic efficiency with different synthetic peptide substrates. The mechanism of action was further explored using a combination of molecular biology and biochemical strategies. Based on the existing structural biology information, the NR binding site was also mapped out. These activators are powerful chemical probes for the elucidation of cellular regulations and biological functions of SIRT5. The knowledge gained in the current study can be used to guide the design and synthesis of more potent, isotype-selective SIRT5 activators, and to develop them into therapeutics for metabolic disorders and age-related diseases.
    Keywords:  NR; allosteric; sirtuin
  25. Front Physiol. 2023 ;14 1179922
    Keywords:  calcium; cardiovascular diseases; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial dysfunction; mtROS
  26. Elife. 2023 Jun 05. pii: e84204. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Mitochondrial ATP production in cardiac ventricular myocytes must be continually adjusted to rapidly replenish the ATP consumed by the working heart. Two systems are known to be critical in this regulation: mitochondrial matrix Ca2+ ([Ca2+]m) and blood flow that is tuned by local ventricular myocyte metabolic signaling. However, these two regulatory systems do not fully account for the physiological range of ATP consumption observed. We report here on the identity, location, and signaling cascade of a third regulatory system -- CO2/bicarbonate. CO2 is generated in the mitochondrial matrix as a metabolic waste product of the oxidation of nutrients that powers ATP production. It is a lipid soluble gas that rapidly permeates the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) and produces bicarbonate (HCO3-) in a reaction accelerated by carbonic anhydrase (CA). The bicarbonate level is tracked physiologically by a bicarbonate-activated adenylyl cyclase, soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC). Using structural Airyscan super-resolution imaging and functional measurements we find that sAC is primarily inside the mitochondria of ventricular myocytes where it generates cAMP when activated by HCO3-. Our data strongly suggest that ATP production in these mitochondria is regulated by this cAMP signaling cascade operating within the inter-membrane space (IMS) by activating local EPAC1 (Exchange Protein directly Activated by cAMP) which turns on Rap1 (Ras-related protein 1). Thus, mitochondrial ATP production is shown to be increased by bicarbonate-triggered sAC signaling through Rap1. Additional evidence is presented indicating that the cAMP signaling itself does not occur directly in the matrix. We also show that this third signaling process involving bicarbonate and sAC activates the cardiac mitochondrial ATP production machinery by working independently of, yet in conjunction with, [Ca2+]m-dependent ATP production to meet the energy needs of cellular activity in both health and disease. We propose that the bicarbonate and calcium signaling arms function in a resonant or complementary manner to match mitochondrial ATP production to the full range of energy consumption in cardiac ventricular myocytes in health and disease.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; chemical biology; molecular biophysics; rat; structural biology
  27. Front Cell Neurosci. 2023 ;17 1191629
      Ischemic stroke (IS) accounts for more than 80% of the total stroke, which represents the leading cause of mortality and disability worldwide. Cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury (CI/RI) is a cascade of pathophysiological events following the restoration of blood flow and reoxygenation, which not only directly damages brain tissue, but also enhances a series of pathological signaling cascades, contributing to inflammation, further aggravate the damage of brain tissue. Paradoxically, there are still no effective methods to prevent CI/RI, since the detailed underlying mechanisms remain vague. Mitochondrial dysfunctions, which are characterized by mitochondrial oxidative stress, Ca2+ overload, iron dyshomeostasis, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) defects and mitochondrial quality control (MQC) disruption, are closely relevant to the pathological process of CI/RI. There is increasing evidence that mitochondrial dysfunctions play vital roles in the regulation of programmed cell deaths (PCDs) such as ferroptosis and PANoptosis, a newly proposed conception of cell deaths characterized by a unique form of innate immune inflammatory cell death that regulated by multifaceted PANoptosome complexes. In the present review, we highlight the mechanisms underlying mitochondrial dysfunctions and how this key event contributes to inflammatory response as well as cell death modes during CI/RI. Neuroprotective agents targeting mitochondrial dysfunctions may serve as a promising treatment strategy to alleviate serious secondary brain injuries. A comprehensive insight into mitochondrial dysfunctions-mediated PCDs can help provide more effective strategies to guide therapies of CI/RI in IS.
    Keywords:  PANoptosis; PANoptosome; cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury (CI/RI); ferroptosis; ischemic stroke; mitochondrial dysfunctions
  28. Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 06. 14(1): 3293
      Lissencephaly-1 (LIS1) is associated with neurodevelopmental diseases and is known to regulate the molecular motor cytoplasmic dynein activity. Here we show that LIS1 is essential for the viability of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), and it governs the physical properties of these cells. LIS1 dosage substantially affects gene expression, and we uncovered an unexpected interaction of LIS1 with RNA and RNA-binding proteins, most prominently the Argonaute complex. We demonstrate that LIS1 overexpression partially rescued the extracellular matrix (ECM) expression and mechanosensitive genes conferring stiffness to Argonaute null mESCs. Collectively, our data transforms the current perspective on the roles of LIS1 in post-transcriptional regulation underlying development and mechanosensitive processes.
  29. Brain. 2023 Jun 07. pii: awad187. [Epub ahead of print]
    Inherited Neuropathies Consortium - Rare Disease Clinical Research Network
      Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) due to GJB1 variants (CMTX1) is the second most common form of CMT. It is an X-linked disorder characterised by progressive sensory and motor neuropathy with males affected more severely than females. Many reported GJB1 variants remain classified as variants of uncertain significance (VUS). In this large, international, multicentre study we prospectively collected demographic, clinical and genetic data on patients with CMT associated with GJB1 variants. Pathogenicity for each variant was defined using adapted American College of Medical Genetics criteria. Baseline and longitudinal analyses were conducted to study genotype-phenotype correlations, to calculate longitudinal change using the CMT Examination Score (CMTES), to compare males versus females, and pathogenic/likely pathogenic (P/LP) variants versus VUS. We present 387 patients from 295 families harbouring 154 variants in GJB1. Of these, 319 patients (82.4%) were deemed to have P/LP variants, 65 had VUS (16.8%) and 3 benign variants (0.8%; excluded from analysis); an increased proportion of patients with P/LP variants compared with using ClinVar's classification (74.6%). Male patients (166/319, 52.0%, P/LP only) were more severely affected at baseline. Baseline measures in patients with P/LP variants and VUS showed no significant differences, and regression analysis suggested the disease groups were near identical at baseline. Genotype-phenotype analysis suggested c.-17G>A produces the most severe phenotype of the five most common variants, and missense variants in the intracellular domain are less severe than other domains. Progression of disease was seen with increasing CMTES over time up to 8 years follow-up. Standard response mean (SRM), a measure of outcome responsiveness, peaked at 3 years with moderate responsiveness (change in CMTES (ΔCMTES) = 1.3 ± 2.6, p = 0.00016, SRM = 0.50). Males and females progressed similarly up to 8 years, but baseline regression analysis suggested that over a longer period, females progress more slowly. Progression was most pronounced for mild phenotypes (CMTES = 0-7; 3-year ΔCMTES = 2.3 ± 2.5, p = 0.001, SRM = 0.90). Enhanced variant interpretation has yielded an increased proportion of GJB1 variants classified as P/LP and will aid future variant interpretation in this gene. Baseline and longitudinal analysis of this large cohort of CMTX1 patients describes the natural history of the disease including the rate of progression; CMTES showed moderate responsiveness for the whole group at 3 years and higher responsiveness for the mild group at 3, 4 and 5 years. These results have implications for patient selection for upcoming clinical trials.
    Keywords:  ACGS; ACMG; CMT1X; Cx32; connexin 32
  30. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2023 Jun 05.
      Actin plays many well-known roles in cells, and understanding any specific role is often confounded by the overlap of multiple actin-based structures in space and time. Here, we review our rapidly expanding understanding of actin in mitochondrial biology, where actin plays multiple distinct roles, exemplifying the versatility of actin and its functions in cell biology. One well-studied role of actin in mitochondrial biology is its role in mitochondrial fission, where actin polymerization from the endoplasmic reticulum through the formin INF2 has been shown to stimulate two distinct steps. However, roles for actin during other types of mitochondrial fission, dependent on the Arp2/3 complex, have also been described. In addition, actin performs functions independent of mitochondrial fission. During mitochondrial dysfunction, two distinct phases of Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin polymerization can be triggered. First, within 5 min of dysfunction, rapid actin assembly around mitochondria serves to suppress mitochondrial shape changes and to stimulate glycolysis. At a later time point, at more than 1 h post-dysfunction, a second round of actin polymerization prepares mitochondria for mitophagy. Finally, actin can both stimulate and inhibit mitochondrial motility depending on the context. These motility effects can either be through the polymerization of actin itself or through myosin-based processes, with myosin 19 being an important mitochondrially attached myosin. Overall, distinct actin structures assemble in response to diverse stimuli to affect specific changes to mitochondria.
  31. Front Neurosci. 2023 ;17 1182845
      Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) play an essential role in protein synthesis, being responsible for ligating tRNA molecules to their corresponding amino acids in a reaction known as 'tRNA aminoacylation'. Separate ARSs carry out the aminoacylation reaction in the cytosol and in mitochondria, and mutations in almost all ARS genes cause pathophysiology most evident in the nervous system. Dominant mutations in multiple cytosolic ARSs have been linked to forms of peripheral neuropathy including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, distal hereditary motor neuropathy, and spinal muscular atrophy. This review provides an overview of approaches that have been employed to model each of these diseases in vivo, followed by a discussion of the existing animal models of dominant ARS disorders and key mechanistic insights that they have provided. In summary, ARS disease models have demonstrated that loss of canonical ARS function alone cannot fully account for the observed disease phenotypes, and that pathogenic ARS variants cause developmental defects within the peripheral nervous system, despite a typically later onset of disease in humans. In addition, aberrant interactions between mutant ARSs and other proteins have been shown to contribute to the disease phenotypes. These findings provide a strong foundation for future research into this group of diseases, providing methodological guidance for studies on ARS disorders that currently lack in vivo models, as well as identifying candidate therapeutic targets.
    Keywords:  ARS1; CMT; Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases; animal models; dominant mutations; peripheral neuropathy
  32. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2023 Jun 07. 14(1): 157
      Due to the limited accessibility of the in vivo situation, the scarcity of the human tissue, legal constraints, and ethical considerations, the underlying molecular mechanisms of disorders, such as preeclampsia, the pathological consequences of fetomaternal microchimerism, or infertility, are still not fully understood. And although substantial progress has already been made, the therapeutic strategies for reproductive system diseases are still facing limitations. In the recent years, it became more and more evident that stem cells are powerful tools for basic research in human reproduction and stem cell-based approaches moved into the center of endeavors to establish new clinical concepts. Multipotent fetal stem cells derived from the amniotic fluid, amniotic membrane, chorion leave, Wharton´s jelly, or placenta came to the fore because they are easy to acquire, are not associated with ethical concerns or covered by strict legal restrictions, and can be banked for autologous utilization later in life. Compared to adult stem cells, they exhibit a significantly higher differentiation potential and are much easier to propagate in vitro. Compared to pluripotent stem cells, they harbor less mutations, are not tumorigenic, and exhibit low immunogenicity. Studies on multipotent fetal stem cells can be invaluable to gain knowledge on the development of dysfunctional fetal cell types, to characterize the fetal stem cells migrating into the body of a pregnant woman in the context of fetomaternal microchimerism, and to obtain a more comprehensive picture of germ cell development in the course of in vitro differentiation experiments. The in vivo transplantation of fetal stem cells or their paracrine factors can mediate therapeutic effects in preeclampsia and can restore reproductive organ functions. Together with the use of fetal stem cell-derived gametes, such strategies could once help individuals, who do not develop functional gametes, to conceive genetically related children. Although there is still a long way to go, these developments regarding the usage of multipotent fetal stem cells in the clinic should continuously be accompanied by a wide and detailed ethical discussion.
    Keywords:  Fetal stem cells; Fetomaternal microchimerism; Gametogenesis; Germ cells; Multipotency; Reproductive system disease; Stem cell therapy
  33. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2023 Jun 13. 32 949-959
      Recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have been, or are currently in use, in 332 phase I/II/III clinical trials in a number of human diseases, and in some cases, remarkable clinical efficacy has also been achieved. There are now three US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved AAV "drugs," but it has become increasingly clear that the first generation of AAV vectors are not optimal. In addition, relatively large vector doses are needed to achieve clinical efficacy, which has been shown to provoke host immune responses culminating in serious adverse events and, more recently, in the deaths of 10 patients to date. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of the next generation of AAV vectors that are (1) safe, (2) effective, and (3) human tropic. This review describes the strategies to potentially overcome each of the limitations of the first generation of AAV vectors and the rationale and approaches for the development of the next generation of AAV serotype vectors. These vectors promise to be efficacious at significant reduced doses, likely to achieve clinical efficacy, thereby increasing the safety as well as reducing vector production costs, ensuring translation to the clinic with higher probability of success, without the need for the use of immune suppression, for gene therapy of a wide variety of diseases in humans.
    Keywords:  AAV vectors; MT: Delivery Strategies; gene expression; gene therapy; human-tropism; immune response