bims-mitmed Biomed News
on Mitochondrial medicine
Issue of 2023‒09‒10
39 papers selected by
Dario Brunetti, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico 

  1. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2023 Sep 06. 8(1): 333
      Mitochondria are organelles that are able to adjust and respond to different stressors and metabolic needs within a cell, showcasing their plasticity and dynamic nature. These abilities allow them to effectively coordinate various cellular functions. Mitochondrial dynamics refers to the changing process of fission, fusion, mitophagy and transport, which is crucial for optimal function in signal transduction and metabolism. An imbalance in mitochondrial dynamics can disrupt mitochondrial function, leading to abnormal cellular fate, and a range of diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Herein, we review the mechanism of mitochondrial dynamics, and its impacts on cellular function. We also delve into the changes that occur in mitochondrial dynamics during health and disease, and offer novel perspectives on how to target the modulation of mitochondrial dynamics.
  2. J Neuroophthalmol. 2023 Sep 04.
      BACKGROUND: Establishing a molecular diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases due to pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variants can be difficult because of varying levels of tissue heteroplasmy, and identifying these variants is important for clinical management. Here, we present clinical and molecular findings in 8 adult patients with classical features of mitochondrial ophthalmologic and/or muscle disease and multiple mtDNA deletions isolated to muscle.METHODS: The patients were identified via a retrospective review of patients seen in both a tertiary ophthalmology center and a genetics clinic with a clinical diagnosis of chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia, optic nerve abnormalities, and/or mitochondrial myopathy. Age at onset of symptoms ranged from 18 to 61 years. Ocular manifestations included bilateral optic neuropathy in one patient, bilateral optic disc cupping without optic neuropathy in 2 patients, ptosis in 4 patients, and ocular motility deficits in 2 patients. Five patients had generalized weakness.
    RESULTS: Pathogenic variants in mtDNA were not found in the blood or buccal sample from any patient, but 7 of 8 patients had multiple mtDNA deletions identified in muscle tissue. One patient had a single mtDNA deletion identified in the muscle. Heteroplasmy was less than 15% for all of the identified deletions, with the exception of one deletion that had a heteroplasmy of 50%-60%. None of the patients were found to have a nuclear gene variant known to be associated with mitochondrial DNA maintenance.
    CONCLUSIONS: mtDNA deletions were identified in adult patients with ophthalmologic and/or musle abnormalities and may underlie their clinical presentations.
  3. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2023 Sep 06.
      BACKGROUND: Electrolyte reabsorption in the kidney has a high energy demand. Proximal and distal tubular epithelial cells therefore have a high mitochondrial density for energy release. Recently, electrolyte disorders have been reported as the primary presentation of some mitochondrial cytopathies. However, the prevalence and the pathophysiology of electrolyte disturbances in mitochondrial disease are unknown. Therefore, we systematically investigated electrolyte disorders in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies.METHODS: We searched PubMed, EMBASE and Google Scholar for articles on genetically confirmed mitochondrial disease in patients for whom at least one electrolyte is reported. Patients with a known second genetic anomaly were excluded. We evaluated 214 case series and reports (362 patients) as well as 9 observational studies. Joanna Briggs Institute criteria were used to evaluate quality of included studies.
    RESULTS: Of 362 reported patients, 289 had an electrolyte disorder, with, the disorder the presenting or main symptom in 38 patients. The average number of different electrolyte abnormalities per patient ranged from 2.4 to 1.0, depending on genotype. Patients with mitochondrial DNA structural variants seemed most affected. Reported pathophysiological mechanisms included renal tubulopathies and hormonal, gastrointestinal, and iatrogenic causes.
    CONCLUSIONS: Mitochondrial diseases should be considered in the evaluation of unexplained electrolyte disorders. Furthermore, clinicians should be aware of electrolyte abnormalities in mitochondrial disease patients.
  4. BMB Rep. 2023 Sep 08. pii: 5966. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial transplantation is a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of mitochondrial diseases caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA, as well as several metabolic and neurological disorders. Animal studies have shown that mitochondrial transplantation can improve cellular energy metabolism, restore mitochondrial function, and prevent cell death. However, challenges need to be addressed, such as the delivery of functional mitochondria to the correct cells in the body, and the long-term stability and function of the transplanted mitochondria. Researchers are exploring new methods for mitochondrial transplantation, including the use of nanoparticles or CRISPR gene editing. Mechanisms underlying the integration and function of transplanted mitochondria are complex and not fully understood, but research has revealed some key factors that play a role. While the safety and efficacy of mitochondrial transplantation have been investigated in animal models and human trials, more research is needed to optimize delivery methods and evaluate long-term safety and efficacy. Clinical trials using mitochondrial transplantation have shown mixed results, highlighting the need for further research in this area. In conclusion, although mitochondrial transplantation holds significant potential for the treatment of various diseases, more work is needed to overcome challenges and evaluate its safety and efficacy in human trials.
  5. Hear Res. 2023 Aug 22. pii: S0378-5955(23)00188-0. [Epub ahead of print]438 108876
      Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy is a multi-system disorder mostly caused by inborn errors of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system and usually manifested as complex neurological disorder and muscle weakness. Myoclonic epilepsy with ragged-red fibers (MERRF) syndrome is one of the major subtypes of mitochondrial disease associated with the m.8344A>G mutation in mitochondrial tRNALys gene. In addition to the symptoms in central nervous and muscle systems, a portion of the patients may develop hearing loss, which has been linked to the genetic mutations of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) especially in the mitochondrial ribosome RNA (rRNA) gene. Despite a great number of studies focusing on the consequences of mtDNA mutations, the mechanism of pathogenesis of these overt diseases has remained unclear, and there is no specific and effective treatment for MERRF syndromes. In this study, we developed a high-quality mtDNA sequencing method by next generation sequencing technology to search for the additional pathogenic variations of mtDNA from skin fibroblasts of four members in a Taiwanese family with MERRF syndrome. Through uncovering the signatures of all mtDNA variants in the MERRF family, we identified novel mtDNA variants in the genes encoding mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNAs. The finding from this study will give us further insight into the molecular mechanisms driving the phenotypic variability and timing of onset of the MERRF syndrome.
    Keywords:  MERRF; MTRNR1; MTRNR2; Mitochondrial DNA; Next generation sequencing; Sensorineural hearing loss
  6. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2023 Sep 04. pii: S1043-2760(23)00165-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cytoplasmic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) can trigger the interferon response to promote disease progression, but mtDNA sensing mechanisms remain elusive. Lei et al. have shown that Z-DNA binding protein1 (ZBP1) cooperates with cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) to sense Z-form mtDNA and transmit mtDNA stress signals to promote diseases such as cardiotoxicity, providing an important piece of the mtDNA stress landscape.
    Keywords:  Z-DNA; ZBP1; cGAS; cardiotoxicity; mtDNA
  7. J Cell Biol. 2023 Oct 02. pii: e202302037. [Epub ahead of print]222(10):
      Serving as the power plant and signaling hub of a cell, mitochondria contain their own genome which encodes proteins essential for energy metabolism and forms DNA-protein assemblies called nucleoids. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) exists in multiple copies within each cell ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands. Maintaining mtDNA homeostasis is vital for healthy cells, and its dysregulation causes multiple human diseases. However, the players involved in regulating mtDNA maintenance are largely unknown though the core components of its replication machinery have been characterized. Here, we identify C17orf80, a functionally uncharacterized protein, as a critical player in maintaining mtDNA homeostasis. C17orf80 primarily localizes to mitochondrial nucleoid foci and exhibits robust double-stranded DNA binding activity throughout the mitochondrial genome, thus constituting a bona fide new mitochondrial nucleoid protein. It controls mtDNA levels by promoting mtDNA replication and plays important roles in mitochondrial metabolism and cell proliferation. Our findings provide a potential target for therapeutics of human diseases associated with defective mtDNA control.
  8. JCI Insight. 2023 Sep 08. pii: e167656. [Epub ahead of print]8(17):
      Pathogenic mutations in mitochondrial (mt) tRNA genes that compromise oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) exhibit heteroplasmy and cause a range of multisyndromic conditions. Although mitochondrial disease patients are known to suffer from abnormal immune responses, how heteroplasmic mtDNA mutations affect the immune system at the molecular level is largely unknown. Here, in mice carrying pathogenic C5024T in mt-tRNAAla and in patients with mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, stroke-like episodes (MELAS) syndrome carrying A3243G in mt-tRNALeu, we found memory T and B cells to have lower pathogenic mtDNA mutation burdens than their antigen-inexperienced naive counterparts, including after vaccination. Pathogenic burden reduction was less pronounced in myeloid compared with lymphoid lineages, despite C5024T compromising macrophage OXPHOS capacity. Rapid dilution of the C5024T mutation in T and B cell cultures could be induced by antigen receptor-triggered proliferation and was accelerated by metabolic stress conditions. Furthermore, we found C5024T to dysregulate CD8+ T cell metabolic remodeling and IFN-γ production after activation. Together, our data illustrate that the generation of memory lymphocytes shapes the mtDNA landscape, wherein pathogenic variants dysregulate the immune response.
    Keywords:  Adaptive immunity; Immunology; Metabolism; Mitochondria
  9. J Cell Biol. 2023 Oct 02. pii: e202303002. [Epub ahead of print]222(10):
      The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) expresses high amounts of the protein Orf9b to target the mitochondrial outer membrane protein Tom70. Tom70 serves as an import receptor for mitochondrial precursors and, independently of this function, is critical for the cellular antiviral response. Previous studies suggested that Orf9b interferes with Tom70-mediated antiviral signaling, but its implication for mitochondrial biogenesis is unknown. In this study, we expressed Orf9b in human HEK293 cells and observed an Orf9b-mediated depletion of mitochondrial proteins, particularly in respiring cells. To exclude that the observed depletion was caused by the antiviral response, we generated a yeast system in which the function of human Tom70 could be recapitulated. Upon expression of Orf9b in these cells, we again observed a specific decline of a subset of mitochondrial proteins and a general reduction of mitochondrial volume. Thus, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is able to modulate the mitochondrial proteome by a direct effect of Orf9b on mitochondrial Tom70-dependent protein import.
  10. Cell Discov. 2023 Sep 07. 9(1): 92
      Lysosomes are central platforms for not only the degradation of macromolecules but also the integration of multiple signaling pathways. However, whether and how lysosomes mediate the mitochondrial stress response (MSR) remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that lysosomal acidification via the vacuolar H+-ATPase (v-ATPase) is essential for the transcriptional activation of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt). Mitochondrial stress stimulates v-ATPase-mediated lysosomal activation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), which then directly phosphorylates the MSR transcription factor, activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). Disruption of mTORC1-dependent ATF4 phosphorylation blocks the UPRmt, but not other similar stress responses, such as the UPRER. Finally, ATF4 phosphorylation downstream of the v-ATPase/mTORC1 signaling is indispensable for sustaining mitochondrial redox homeostasis and protecting cells from ROS-associated cell death upon mitochondrial stress. Thus, v-ATPase/mTORC1-mediated ATF4 phosphorylation via lysosomes links mitochondrial stress to UPRmt activation and mitochondrial function resilience.
  11. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2023 Sep 04. 18(1): 264
      BACKGROUND: Leigh Syndrome (LS) is a rare genetic neurometabolic disorder, that leads to the degeneration of the central nervous system and subsequently, early death. LS can be caused by over 80 mutations in mitochondrial or nuclear DNA. Patient registries are important for many reasons, such as studying the natural history of the disease, improving the quality of care, and understanding the healthcare burden. For rare diseases, patient registries are significantly important as patient numbers are small, and funding is limited. Cure Mito Foundation started a global patient registry for LS in September 2021 to identify and learn about the LS patient population, facilitate clinical trial recruitment, and unite international patients and researchers. Priorities were to allow researchers and industry partners to access data at no cost through a clear and transparent process, active patient engagement, and sharing of results back to the community.RESULTS: Patient registry platform, survey design, data analysis process, and patient recruitment strategies are described. Reported results include demographics, diagnostic information, symptom history, loss of milestones, disease management, healthcare utilization, quality of life, and caregiver burden for 116 participants. Results show a high disease burden, but a relatively short time to diagnosis. Despite the challenges faced by families impacted by Leigh syndrome, participants, in general, are described as having a good quality of life and caregivers are overall resilient, while also reporting a significant amount of stress.
    CONCLUSION: This registry provides a straightforward, no-cost mechanism for data sharing and contacting patients for clinical trials or research participation, which is important given the recruitment challenges for clinical trials for rare diseases. This is the first publication to present results from a global patient registry for Leigh Syndrome, with details on a variety of patient-specific and caregiver outcomes reported for the first time. Additionally, this registry is the first for any mitochondrial disease with nearly 70% of participants residing outside of the United States. Future efforts include continued publication of results and further collaboration with patients, industry partners, and researchers.
    Keywords:  Clinical trials; Hope; Leigh disease; Leigh syndrome; Mitochondrial disease; Patient driven; Patient registry; Rare disease; Real world data; Research
  12. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Aug 22. pii: 13033. [Epub ahead of print]24(17):
      Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are a diverse group of disorders characterized by the progressive degeneration and death of neurons, leading to a range of neurological symptoms. Despite the heterogeneity of these conditions, a common denominator is the implication of mitochondrial dysfunction in their pathogenesis. Mitochondria play a crucial role in creating biomolecules, providing energy through adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generated by oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), and producing reactive oxygen species (ROS). When they're not functioning correctly, becoming fragmented and losing their membrane potential, they contribute to these diseases. In this review, we explore how mitochondria fuse and undergo fission, especially in the context of NDs. We discuss the genetic and protein mutations linked to these diseases and how they impact mitochondrial dynamics. We also look at the key regulatory proteins in fusion (MFN1, MFN2, and OPA1) and fission (DRP1 and FIS1), including their post-translational modifications. Furthermore, we highlight potential drugs that can influence mitochondrial dynamics. By unpacking these complex processes, we aim to direct research towards treatments that can improve life quality for people with these challenging conditions.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial fission; mitochondrial fusion; neurodegenerative disease; potential drugs
  13. Elife. 2023 Sep 06. pii: RP86944. [Epub ahead of print]12
      While mitochondria in different tissues have distinct preferences for energy sources, they are flexible in utilizing competing substrates for metabolism according to physiological and nutritional circumstances. However, the regulatory mechanisms and significance of metabolic flexibility are not completely understood. Here, we report that the deletion of Ptpmt1, a mitochondria-based phosphatase, critically alters mitochondrial fuel selection - the utilization of pyruvate, a key mitochondrial substrate derived from glucose (the major simple carbohydrate), is inhibited, whereas the fatty acid utilization is enhanced. Ptpmt1 knockout does not impact the development of the skeletal muscle or heart. However, the metabolic inflexibility ultimately leads to muscular atrophy, heart failure, and sudden death. Mechanistic analyses reveal that the prolonged substrate shift from carbohydrates to lipids causes oxidative stress and mitochondrial destruction, which in turn results in marked accumulation of lipids and profound damage in the knockout muscle cells and cardiomyocytes. Interestingly, Ptpmt1 deletion from the liver or adipose tissue does not generate any local or systemic defects. These findings suggest that Ptpmt1 plays an important role in maintaining mitochondrial flexibility and that their balanced utilization of carbohydrates and lipids is essential for both the skeletal muscle and the heart despite the two tissues having different preferred energy sources.
    Keywords:  Ptpmt1; bioenergetics; heart; medicine; mitochondria; mouse; skeletal muscle
  14. J Innate Immun. 2023 Sep 04.
      The innate immune system, as the host's first line of defense against intruders, plays a critical role in recognizing, identifying, and reacting to a wide range of microbial intruders. There is increasing evidence that mitochondrial stress is a major initiator of innate immune responses. When mitochondria's integrity is disrupted or dysfunction occurs, the mitochondria's contents are released into the cytosol. These contents, like reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial DNA, and double-stranded RNA, among others, act as damage-related molecular patterns (DAMPs) that can bind to multiple innate immune sensors, particularly pattern recognition receptors, thereby leading to inflammation. To avoid the production of DAMPs, in addition to safeguarding organelle's integrity and functionality, mitochondria may activate mitophagy or apoptosis. Moreover, mitochondrial components and specific metabolic regulations modify properties of innate immune cells. These include macrophages, dendritic cells, innate lymphoid cells and so on, in steady state or in stimulation, that are involved in processes ranging from the tricarboxylic acid cycle to oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid metabolism. Here we provide a brief summary of mitochondrial DAMPs' initiated and potentiated inflammatory response in the innate immune system. We also provide insights into how the state of activation, differentiation, and functional polarization of innate immune cells can be influenced by alteration to the metabolic pathways in mitochondria.
  15. Cells. 2023 Aug 30. pii: 2183. [Epub ahead of print]12(17):
      Mitochondria are the primary source of energy production and are implicated in a wide range of biological processes in most eukaryotic cells. Skeletal muscle heavily relies on mitochondria for energy supplements. In addition to being a powerhouse, mitochondria evoke many functions in skeletal muscle, including regulating calcium and reactive oxygen species levels. A healthy mitochondria population is necessary for the preservation of skeletal muscle homeostasis, while mitochondria dysregulation is linked to numerous myopathies. In this review, we summarize the recent studies on mitochondria function and quality control in skeletal muscle, focusing mainly on in vivo studies of rodents and human subjects. With an emphasis on the interplay between mitochondrial functions concerning the muscle fiber type-specific phenotypes, we also discuss the effect of aging and exercise on the remodeling of skeletal muscle and mitochondria properties.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; skeletal muscle physiology
  16. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Aug 30. pii: 13478. [Epub ahead of print]24(17):
      The m.3243A>G mutation in the tRNA Leu(UUR) gene (MT-TL1) is one of the most common pathogenic point mutations in human mtDNA. Patient symptoms vary widely and the severity of the disease ranges from asymptomatic to lethal. The reason for the high heterogeneity of m.3243A>G-associated disease is still unknown, and the treatment options are limited, with only supportive interventions available. Furthermore, the heteroplasmic nature of the m.3243A>G mutation and lack of specific animal models of mtDNA mutations have challenged the study of m.3243A>G, and, besides patient data, only cell models have been available for studies. The most commonly used cell models are patient derived, such as fibroblasts and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived models, and cybrid models where the mutant DNA is transferred to an acceptor cell. Studies on cell models have revealed cell-type-specific effects of the m.3243A>G mutation and that the tolerance for this mutation varies between cell types and between patients. In this review, we summarize the literature on the effects of m.3243A>G in cell models.
    Keywords:  cell model; cybrid cell; heteroplasmy; iPSC; m.3243A>G; mitochondria; mtDNA
  17. J Clin Med. 2023 Aug 29. pii: 5628. [Epub ahead of print]12(17):
      Sarcopenic obesity (SO) constitutes the coexistence of skeletal muscle mass loss (sarcopenia) and excess adiposity (obesity). It is mainly considered as a condition in the elderly with health-threatening impacts ranging from frailty to mortality. Mitochondrial dysfunction consists one of the basic pathophysiological mechanisms leading to the development of SO and its consequences. Indirect indicators of mitochondrial function, such as VO2max and exercise capacity, have been demonstrated to be negatively affected in individuals with SO, while the positive effect of exercise on mitochondrial function has been widely proved; thus, in this review, we aimed at investigating the effects of endurance, resistance, and concurrent exercise training on indexes of mitochondrial dysfunction in SO patients. The results of the clinical trials evaluated reveal positive effects of chronic exercise on VO2max and physical capacity, as well as mitochondrial biogenesis and activity. It has been concluded that utilizing a systematic exercise training program that includes both aerobic and strength exercises can be an effective strategy for managing SO and promoting overall health in these patients.
    Keywords:  VO2max; mitochondria; physical capacity; sarcopenia; training
  18. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2023 Sep 04. pii: S0925-4439(23)00243-0. [Epub ahead of print]1870(1): 166877
      This study aimed to investigate the effects of cisplatin on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, expressions of genes related to mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), and the factors related to mitochondrial biosynthesis in skeletal muscle. Systemic cisplatin administration decreased skeletal muscle mass, skeletal muscle strength, and endurance. The mitochondrial DNA /nuclear DNA ratio was also reduced after treatment with cisplatin. Moreover, among the factors related to mitochondrial biogenesis and function, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) was significantly downregulated in the cisplatin-treated group. Downregulation of PGC-1α in the skeletal muscle may contribute to muscle weakness during cisplatin-induced muscle atrophy.
    Keywords:  ATP; Cisplatin; Mitochondria; Muscle atrophy; PGC-1α
  19. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2023 ;14 1230168
      As important organelles of energetic and metabolism, changes in the dynamic state of mitochondria affect the homeostasis of cellular metabolism. Mitochondrial dynamics include mitochondrial fusion and mitochondrial fission. The former is coordinated by mitofusin-1 (Mfn1), mitofusin-2 (Mfn2), and optic atrophy 1 (Opa1), and the latter is mediated by dynamin related protein 1 (Drp1), mitochondrial fission 1 (Fis1) and mitochondrial fission factor (MFF). Mitochondrial fusion and fission are generally in dynamic balance and this balance is important to preserve the proper mitochondrial morphology, function and distribution. Diabetic conditions lead to disturbances in mitochondrial dynamics, which in return causes a series of abnormalities in metabolism, including decreased bioenergy production, excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), defective mitophagy and apoptosis, which are ultimately closely linked to multiple chronic complications of diabetes. Multiple researches have shown that the incidence of diabetic complications is connected with increased mitochondrial fission, for example, there is an excessive mitochondrial fission and impaired mitochondrial fusion in diabetic cardiomyocytes, and that the development of cardiac dysfunction induced by diabetes can be attenuated by inhibiting mitochondrial fission. Therefore, targeting the restoration of mitochondrial dynamics would be a promising therapeutic target within type II diabetes (T2D) and its complications. The molecular approaches to mitochondrial dynamics, their impairment in the context of T2D and its complications, and pharmacological approaches targeting mitochondrial dynamics are discussed in this review and promise benefits for the therapy of T2D and its comorbidities.
    Keywords:  diabetic complications; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial fission; mitochondrial fusion; type II diabetes
  20. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2023 Sep 01. pii: S0167-4889(23)00145-3. [Epub ahead of print]1871(1): 119572
      Heterozygous germline variants in ATP1A1, the gene encoding the α1 subunit of the Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA), have been linked to diseases including primary hyperaldosteronism and the peripheral neuropathy Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). ATP1A1 variants that cause CMT induce loss-of-function of NKA. This heterodimeric (αβ) enzyme hydrolyzes ATP to establish transmembrane electrochemical gradients of Na+ and K+ that are essential for electrical signaling and cell survival. Of the 4 catalytic subunit isoforms, α1 is ubiquitously expressed and is the predominant paralog in peripheral axons. Human population sequencing datasets indicate strong negative selection against both missense and protein-null ATP1A1 variants. To test whether haploinsufficiency generated by heterozygous protein-null alleles are sufficient to cause disease, we tested the neuromuscular characteristics of heterozygous Atp1a1+/- knockout mice and their wildtype littermates, while also evaluating if exercise increased CMT penetrance. We found that Atp1a1+/- mice were phenotypically normal up to 18 months of age. Consistent with the observations in mice, we report clinical phenotyping of a healthy adult human who lacks any clinical features of known ATP1A1-related diseases despite carrying a plasma-membrane protein-null early truncation variant, p.Y148*. Taken together, these results suggest that a malfunctioning gene product is required for disease induction by ATP1A1 variants and that if any pathology is associated with protein-null variants, they may display low penetrance or high age of onset.
    Keywords:  ATP1A1; Active transport; Charcot Marie Tooth; Hyperaldosteronism; Inherited neuropathy; Na(+),K(+)-ATPase; P-type ATPase
  21. Mol Cell. 2023 Sep 07. pii: S1097-2765(23)00641-X. [Epub ahead of print]83(17): 3188-3204.e7
      Failure to clear damaged mitochondria via mitophagy disrupts physiological function and may initiate damage signaling via inflammatory cascades, although how these pathways intersect remains unclear. We discovered that nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) essential regulator NF-κB effector molecule (NEMO) is recruited to damaged mitochondria in a Parkin-dependent manner in a time course similar to recruitment of the structurally related mitophagy adaptor, optineurin (OPTN). Upon recruitment, NEMO partitions into phase-separated condensates distinct from OPTN but colocalizing with p62/SQSTM1. NEMO recruitment, in turn, recruits the active catalytic inhibitor of kappa B kinase (IKK) component phospho-IKKβ, initiating NF-κB signaling and the upregulation of inflammatory cytokines. Consistent with a potential neuroinflammatory role, NEMO is recruited to mitochondria in primary astrocytes upon oxidative stress. These findings suggest that damaged, ubiquitinated mitochondria serve as an intracellular platform to initiate innate immune signaling, promoting the formation of activated IKK complexes sufficient to activate NF-κB signaling. We propose that mitophagy and NF-κB signaling are initiated as parallel pathways in response to mitochondrial stress.
    Keywords:  ALS; NEMO; NF-κB; NF-κB effector molecule; Parkin; Parkinson’s disease; SQSTM1/p62; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; cell stress; innate immunity; mitophagy; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation; optineurin nuclear factor kappa B; phase separation; ubiquitin
  22. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Aug 23. pii: 13123. [Epub ahead of print]24(17):
      Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex, but relatively common endocrine disorder associated with chronic anovulation, hyperandrogenism, and micro-polycystic ovaries. In addition to reduced fertility, people with PCOS have a higher risk of obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic disease, all comorbidities that are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. This review summarizes human and animal data that report mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic dysregulation in PCOS to better understand how mitochondria impact reproductive organ pathophysiology. This in-depth review considers all the elements regulating mitochondrial quantity and quality, from mitochondrial biogenesis under the transcriptional regulation of both the nuclear and mitochondrial genome to the ultrastructural and functional complexes that regulate cellular metabolism and reactive oxygen species production, as well as the dynamics that regulate subcellular interactions that are key to mitochondrial quality control. When any of these mitochondrial functions are disrupted, the energetic equilibrium within the cell changes, cell processes can fail, and cell death can occur. If this process is ongoing, it affects tissue and organ function, causing disease. The objective of this review is to consolidate and classify a broad number of PCOS studies to understand how various mitochondrial processes impact reproductive organs, including the ovary (oocytes and granulosa cells), uterus, placenta, and circulation, causing reproductive pathophysiology. A secondary objective is to uncover the potential role of mitochondria in the transgenerational transmission of PCOS and metabolic disorders.
    Keywords:  PCOS; biogenesis; metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mtDNA; ovary; oxidative stress; placenta; polycystic ovary syndrome; uterus
  23. Dis Model Mech. 2023 Sep 01. pii: dmm050144. [Epub ahead of print]16(9):
      Increased neurofilament light (NfL; NEFL) protein in biofluids is reflective of neurodegeneration and has gained interest as a biomarker across neurodegenerative diseases. In spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), the most common dominantly inherited ataxia, patients exhibit progressive NfL increases in peripheral blood when becoming symptomatic, and NfL remains stably elevated throughout further disease course. However, progressive NfL changes are not yet validated in relevant preclinical SCA3 animal models, hindering its application as a biomarker during therapeutic development. We used ultra-sensitive single-molecule array (Simoa) to measure blood NfL over disease progression in YACQ84 mice, a model of SCA3, assessing relationships with measures of disease severity including age, CAG repeat size and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. YACQ84 mice exhibited plasma NfL increases that were concomitant with ataxia-related motor deficits as well as increased serum NfL, which correlated with previously established neurometabolite abnormalities, two relevant measures of disease in patients with SCA3. Our findings establish the progression of NfL increases in the preclinical YACQ84 mouse, further supporting the utility of blood NfL as a peripheral neurodegeneration biomarker and informing on coinciding timelines of different measures of SCA3 pathogenesis.
    Keywords:   ATXN3 ; Ataxia; Blood biomarker; Neurochemical; Neurodegeneration; Polyglutamine
  24. Cell Stem Cell. 2023 Sep 07. pii: S1934-5909(23)00285-0. [Epub ahead of print]30(9): 1246-1261.e9
      Recent advances in human blastoids have opened new avenues for modeling early human development and implantation. One limitation of our first protocol for human blastoid generation was relatively low efficiency. We now report an optimized protocol for the efficient generation of large quantities of high-fidelity human blastoids from naive pluripotent stem cells. This enabled proteomics analysis that identified phosphosite-specific signatures potentially involved in the derivation and/or maintenance of the signaling states in human blastoids. Additionally, we uncovered endometrial stromal effects in promoting trophoblast cell survival, proliferation, and syncytialization during co-culture with blastoids and blastocysts. Side-by-side single-cell RNA sequencing revealed similarities and differences in transcriptome profiles between pre-implantation blastoids and blastocysts, as well as post-implantation cultures, and uncovered a population resembling early migratory trophoblasts during co-culture with endometrial stromal cells. Our optimized protocol will facilitate broader use of human blastoids as an accessible, perturbable, scalable, and tractable model for human blastocysts.
    Keywords:  endometrial stromal cells; human blastocyst-like structures; human blastocysts; human blastoids; human integrated stem cell embryo model; human peri-implantation development; naive human embryonic stem cells; naive human induced pluripotent stem cells; syncytiotrophoblast
  25. J Physiol. 2023 Sep 08.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; mitochondrial bioenergetics; muscle disuse; nitrate; protein synthesis
  26. Sci Rep. 2023 Sep 02. 13(1): 14431
      Some of the prominent features of long-term memory formation include protein synthesis, gene expression, enhanced neurotransmitter release, increased excitability, and formation of new synapses. As these processes are critically dependent on mitochondrial function, we hypothesized that increased mitochondrial respiration and dynamics would play a prominent role in memory formation. To address this possibility, we measured mitochondrial oxygen consumption (OCR) in hippocampal tissue punches from trained and untrained animals. Our results show that context fear training significantly increased basal, ATP synthesis-linked, and maximal OCR in the Shaffer collateral-CA1 synaptic region, but not in the CA1 cell body layer. These changes were recapitulated in synaptosomes isolated from the hippocampi of fear-trained animals. As dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) plays an important role in mitochondrial fission, we examined its role in the increased mitochondrial respiration observed after fear training. Drp1 inhibitors decreased the training-associated enhancement of OCR and impaired contextual fear memory, but did not alter the number of synaptosomes containing mitochondria. Taken together, our results show context fear training increases presynaptic mitochondria respiration, and that Drp-1 mediated enhanced energy production in CA1 pre-synaptic terminals is necessary for context fear memory that does not result from an increase in the number of synaptosomes containing mitochondria or an increase in mitochondrial mass within the synaptic layer.
  27. Nature. 2023 Sep 06.
      The ability to study human post-implantation development remains limited due to ethical and technical challenges associated with intrauterine development after implantation1. Embryo-like models with spatially organized morphogenesis of all defining embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues of the post-implantation human conceptus (i.e., embryonic disk, bilaminar disk, yolk- and chorionic sacs, surrounding trophoblasts) remain lacking2. Mouse naïve embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have recently been shown to give rise to embryonic and extra-embryonic stem cells capable of self-assembling into post-gastrulation mouse Structured Stem cell-based Embryo Models with spatially organized morphogenesis (SEMs)3. Here, we extend these findings to humans, while using only genetically unmodified human naïve ESCs (in HENSM conditions)4. Such human fully integrated SEMs recapitulate the organization of nearly all known lineages and compartments of post-implantation human embryos including epiblast, hypoblast, extra-embryonic mesoderm, and trophoblast surrounding the latter layers. These human complete SEMs demonstrated developmental growth dynamics that resemble key hallmarks of post-implantation stage embryogenesis up to 13-14 days post-fertilization (dpf) (Carnegie stage 6a). This includes embryonic disk and bilaminar disk formation, epiblast lumenogenesis, polarized amniogenesis, anterior-posterior symmetry breaking, PGC specification, polarized yolk sac with visceral and parietal endoderm, extra-embryonic mesoderm expansion that defines a chorionic cavity and a connecting stalk, a trophoblast surrounding compartment demonstrating syncytium and lacunae formation. This SEM platform may enable the experimental interrogation of previously inaccessible windows of human early post-implantation up to peri-gastrulation development.
  28. bioRxiv. 2023 Aug 26. pii: 2023.08.25.554774. [Epub ahead of print]
      Energy metabolism supports neuronal function. While it is well established that changes in energy metabolism underpin brain plasticity and function, less is known about how individual neurons modulate their metabolic states to meet varying energy demands. This is because most approaches used to examine metabolism in living organisms lack the resolution to visualize energy metabolism within individual circuits, cells, or subcellular regions. Here we adapted a biosensor for glycolysis, HYlight, for use in C. elegans to image dynamic changes in glycolysis within individual neurons and in vivo . We determined that neurons perform glycolysis cell-autonomously, and modulate glycolytic states upon energy stress. By examining glycolysis in specific neurons, we documented a neuronal energy landscape comprising three general observations: 1) glycolytic states in neurons are diverse across individual cell types; 2) for a given condition, glycolytic states within individual neurons are reproducible across animals; and 3) for varying conditions of energy stress, glycolytic states are plastic and adapt to energy demands. Through genetic analyses, we uncovered roles for regulatory enzymes and mitochondrial localization in the cellular and subcellular dynamic regulation of glycolysis. Our study demonstrates the use of a single-cell glycolytic biosensor to examine how energy metabolism is distributed across cells and coupled to dynamic states of neuronal function, and uncovers new relationships between neuronal identities and metabolic landscapes in vivo .Significance statement: While it is generally accepted that energy metabolism underpins neuronal function, how it is distributed and dynamically regulated in different tissues of the brain to meet varying energy demands is not well understood. Here we utilized a fluorescent biosensor, HYlight, to observe glycolytic metabolism at cellular and subcellular scales in vivo . By leveraging both the stereotyped identities of individual neurons in C. elegans, and genetic tools for manipulating glycolytic metabolism, we determined that neurons perform and dynamically regulate glycolysis to match changing cellular demands for energy. Our findings support a model whereby glycolytic states should be considered distinct and related to individual neuron identities in vivo , and introduce new questions about the interconnected nature of metabolism and neuronal function.
  29. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Sep 04. pii: 13656. [Epub ahead of print]24(17):
      The origin of eukaryotic organisms involved the integration of mitochondria into the ancestor cell, with a massive gene transfer from the original proteobacterium to the host nucleus. Thus, mitochondrial performance relies on a mosaic of nuclear gene products from a variety of genomes. The concerted regulation of their synthesis is necessary for metabolic housekeeping and stress response. This governance involves crosstalk between mitochondrial, cytoplasmic, and nuclear factors. While anterograde and retrograde regulation preserve mitochondrial homeostasis, the mitochondria can modulate a wide set of nuclear genes in response to an extensive variety of conditions, whose response mechanisms often merge. In this review, we summarise how mitochondrial metabolites and proteins-encoded either in the nucleus or in the organelle-target the cell nucleus and exert different actions modulating gene expression and the chromatin state, or even causing DNA fragmentation in response to common stress conditions, such as hypoxia, oxidative stress, unfolded protein stress, and DNA damage.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; hypoxia; mito-nuclear crosstalk; oxidative stress; stress response; unfolded stress response
  30. EMBO J. 2023 Sep 04. e112573
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) leakage into the cytoplasm can occur when cells are exposed to noxious stimuli. Specific sensors recognize cytoplasmic mtDNA to promote cytokine production. Cytoplasmic mtDNA can also be secreted extracellularly, leading to sterile inflammation. However, the mode of secretion of mtDNA out of cells upon noxious stimuli and its relevance to human disease remain unclear. Here, we show that pyroptotic cells secrete mtDNA encapsulated within exosomes. Activation of caspase-1 leads to mtDNA leakage from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm via gasdermin-D. Caspase-1 also induces intraluminal membrane vesicle formation, allowing for cellular mtDNA to be taken up and secreted as exosomes. Encapsulation of mtDNA within exosomes promotes a strong inflammatory response that is ameliorated upon exosome biosynthesis inhibition in vivo. We further show that monocytes derived from patients with Behçet's syndrome (BS), a chronic systemic inflammatory disorder, show enhanced caspase-1 activation, leading to exosome-mediated mtDNA secretion and similar inflammation pathology as seen in BS patients. Collectively, our findings support that mtDNA-containing exosomes promote inflammation, providing new insights into the propagation and exacerbation of inflammation in human inflammatory diseases.
    Keywords:  Behçet's syndrome; caspase-1; exosome; mitochondrial DNA; pyroptosis
  31. Nat Biotechnol. 2023 Sep 07.
      Base and prime editors (BEs and PEs) may provide more precise genetic engineering than nuclease-based approaches because they bypass the dependence on DNA double-strand breaks. However, little is known about their cellular responses and genotoxicity. Here, we compared state-of-the-art BEs and PEs and Cas9 in human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells with respect to editing efficiency, cytotoxicity, transcriptomic changes and on-target and genome-wide genotoxicity. BEs and PEs induced detrimental transcriptional responses that reduced editing efficiency and hematopoietic repopulation in xenotransplants and also generated DNA double-strand breaks and genotoxic byproducts, including deletions and translocations, at a lower frequency than Cas9. These effects were strongest for cytidine BEs due to suboptimal inhibition of base excision repair and were mitigated by tailoring delivery timing and editor expression through optimized mRNA design. However, BEs altered the mutational landscape of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells across the genome by increasing the load and relative proportions of nucleotide variants. These findings raise concerns about the genotoxicity of BEs and PEs and warrant further investigation in view of their clinical application.
  32. Front Physiol. 2023 ;14 1207620
      Heterothermic thermoregulation requires intricate regulation of metabolic rate and activation of pro-survival factors. Eliciting these responses and coordinating the necessary energy shifts likely involves retrograde signalling by mitochondrial-derived peptides (MDPs). Members of the group were suggested before to play a role in heterothermic physiology, a key component of hibernation and daily torpor. Here we studied the mitochondrial single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) m.3017C>T that resides in the evolutionarily conserved gene MT-SHLP6. The substitution occurring in several mammalian orders causes truncation of SHLP6 peptide size from twenty to nine amino acids. Public mass spectrometric (MS) data of human SHLP6 indicated a canonical size of 20 amino acids, but not the use of alternative translation initiation codons that would expand the peptide. The shorter isoform of SHLP6 was found in heterothermic rodents at higher frequency compared to homeothermic rodents (p < 0.001). In heterothermic mammals it was associated with lower minimal body temperature (T b, p < 0.001). In the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, brown adipose tissue-a key organ required for hibernation, showed dynamic changes of the steady-state transcript level of mt-Shlp6. The level was significantly higher before hibernation and during interbout arousal and lower during torpor and after hibernation. Our finding argues to further explore the mode of action of SHLP6 size isoforms with respect to mammalian thermoregulation and possibly mitochondrial retrograde signalling.
    Keywords:  SHLP6; daily torpor; extended vertebrate mitochondrial genetic code; hibernation; micropeptide; mitochondrial-derived peptide (MDP); mitogenomics; rodents
  33. Mol Genet Metab Rep. 2023 Sep;36 100986
      Phosphoribosylpyrophosphate synthetase 1 (PRS-I) is an enzyme involved in nucleotide metabolism. Pathogenic variants in the PRPS1 are rare and PRS-I deficiency can manifest as three clinical syndromes: X-linked non-syndromic sensorineural deafness (DFN2), X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy type 5 (CMTX5) and Arts syndrome. We present a Slovenian patient with PRS-I enzyme deficiency due to a novel pathogenic variant - c.424G > A (p.Val142Ile) in the PRPS1 gene, who presented with gross motor impairment, severe sensorineural deafness, balance issues, ataxia, and frequent respiratory infections. In addition, we report the findings of a systemic literature review of all described male cases of Arts syndrome and CMTX5 as well as intermediate phenotypes. As already proposed by other authors, our results confirm PRS-I deficiency should be viewed as a phenotypic continuum rather than three separate syndromes because there are multiple reports of patients with an intermediary clinical presentation.
    Keywords:  Arts syndrome; PRPS1; PRS-I deficiency; PRS-I super-activity; Phosphoribosylpyrophosphate synthetase 1; X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy type 5
  34. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2023 Sep 06.
      BACKGROUND: Caveolins are the principal structural components of plasma membrane caveolae. Dominant pathogenic mutations in the muscle-specific caveolin-3 (Cav3) gene isoform, such as the limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 1C (LGMD-1C) P104L mutation, result in dramatic loss of the Cav3 protein and pathophysiological muscle weakness/wasting. We hypothesize that such muscle degeneration may be linked to disturbances in signalling events that impact protein turnover. Herein, we report studies assessing the effects of Cav3 deficiency on mammalian or mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling in skeletal muscle cells.METHODS: L6 myoblasts were stably transfected with Cav3P104L or expression of native Cav3 was abolished by CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing (Cav3 knockout [Cav3KO]) prior to performing subcellular fractionation and immunoblotting, analysis of real-time mitochondrial respiration or fixed cell immunocytochemistry. Skeletal muscle from wild-type and Cav3-/- mice was processed for immunoblot analysis of downstream mTORC1 substrate phosphorylation.
    RESULTS: Cav3 was detected in lysosomal-enriched membranes isolated from L6 myoblasts and observed by confocal microscopy to co-localize with lysosomal-specific markers. Cav3P104L expression, which results in significant (~95%) loss of native Cav3, or CRISPR/Cas9-mediated Cav3KO, reduced amino acid-dependent mTORC1 activation. The decline in mTORC1-directed signalling was detected by immunoblot analysis of L6 muscle cells and gastrocnemius Cav3-/- mouse muscle as judged by reduced phosphorylation of mTORC1 substrates that play key roles in the initiation of protein synthesis (4EBP1S65 and S6K1T389 ). S6K1T389 and 4EBP1S65 phosphorylation reduced by over 75% and 80% in Cav3KO muscle cells and by over 90% and 30% in Cav3-/- mouse skeletal muscle, respectively. The reduction in protein synthetic capacity in L6 muscle cells was confirmed by analysis of puromycylated peptides using the SUnSET assay. Cav3 loss was also associated with a 26% increase in lysosomal cholesterol, and pharmacological manipulation of lysosomal cholesterol was effective in replicating the reduction in mTORC1 activity observed in Cav3KO cells. Notably, re-expression of Cav3 in Cav3KO myoblasts normalized lysosomal cholesterol content, which coincided with a recovery in protein translation and an associated increase in mTORC1-directed phosphorylation of downstream targets.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that Cav3 can localize on lysosomal membranes and is a novel regulator of mTORC1 signalling in muscle. Cav3 deficiency associated with the Cav3P104L mutation impairs mTORC1 activation and protein synthetic capacity in skeletal muscle cells, which may be linked to disturbances in lysosomal cholesterol trafficking and contribute to the pathology of LGMD-1C.
    Keywords:  LGMD-1C; amino acid; caveolin-3; caveolinopathy; lysosome; mTORC1; skeletal muscle
  35. Emerg Top Life Sci. 2023 Sep 05. pii: ETLS20230013. [Epub ahead of print]
      Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a heterogenous group of neurodegenerative disorders which commonly inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. They cause muscle incoordination due to degeneration of the cerebellum and other parts of nervous system. Out of all the characterized (>50) SCAs, 14 SCAs are caused due to microsatellite repeat expansion mutations. Repeat expansions can result in toxic protein gain-of-function, protein loss-of-function, and/or RNA gain-of-function effects. The location and the nature of mutation modulate the underlying disease pathophysiology resulting in varying disease manifestations. Potential toxic effects of these mutations likely affect key major cellular processes such as transcriptional regulation, mitochondrial functioning, ion channel dysfunction and synaptic transmission. Involvement of several common pathways suggests interlinked function of genes implicated in the disease pathogenesis. A better understanding of the shared and distinct molecular pathogenic mechanisms in these diseases is required to develop targeted therapeutic tools and interventions for disease management. The prime focus of this review is to elaborate on how expanded 'CAG' repeats contribute to the common modes of neurotoxicity and their possible therapeutic targets in management of such devastating disorders.
    Keywords:  RNA foci; neurodegeneration; repeat expansion; repeat-associated non-ATG translation; spinocerebellar ataxia; tandem repeats
  36. Nat Commun. 2023 Sep 08. 14(1): 5521
      The second messenger cyclic AMP regulates many nuclear processes including transcription, pre-mRNA splicing and mitosis. While most functions are attributed to protein kinase A, accumulating evidence suggests that not all nuclear cyclic AMP-dependent effects are mediated by this kinase, implying that other effectors may be involved. Here we explore the nuclear roles of Exchange Protein Activated by cyclic AMP 1. We find that it enters the nucleus where forms reversible biomolecular condensates in response to cyclic AMP. This phenomenon depends on intrinsically disordered regions present at its amino-terminus and is independent of protein kinase A. Finally, we demonstrate that nuclear Exchange Protein Activated by cyclic AMP 1 condensates assemble at genomic loci on chromosome 6 in the proximity of Histone Locus Bodies and promote the transcription of a histone gene cluster. Collectively, our data reveal an unexpected mechanism through which cyclic AMP contributes to nuclear spatial compartmentalization and promotes the transcription of specific genes.
  37. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Sep 03. pii: 13624. [Epub ahead of print]24(17):
      Prenatal hypoxia is associated with placental oxidative stress, leading to impaired fetal growth and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in the adult offspring; however, the mechanisms are unknown. Alterations in mitochondrial function may result in impaired cardiac function in offspring. In this study, we hypothesized that cardiac mitochondrial function is impaired in adult offspring exposed to intrauterine hypoxia, which can be prevented by placental treatment with a nanoparticle-encapsulated mitochondrial antioxidant (nMitoQ). Cardiac mitochondrial respiration was assessed in 4-month-old rat offspring exposed to prenatal hypoxia (11% O2) from gestational day (GD)15-21 receiving either saline or nMitoQ on GD 15. Prenatal hypoxia did not alter cardiac mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation capacity in the male offspring. In females, the NADH + succinate pathway capacity decreased by prenatal hypoxia and tended to be increased by nMitoQ. Prenatal hypoxia also decreased the succinate pathway capacity in females. nMitoQ treatment increased respiratory coupling efficiency in prenatal hypoxia-exposed female offspring. In conclusion, prenatal hypoxia impaired cardiac mitochondrial function in adult female offspring only, which was improved with prenatal nMitoQ treatment. Therefore, treatment strategies targeting placental oxidative stress in prenatal hypoxia may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in adult offspring by improving cardiac mitochondrial function in a sex-specific manner.
    Keywords:  cardiac; developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD); mitochondria; nMitoQ treatment; offspring; oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS); prenatal hypoxia
  38. Cell Stem Cell. 2023 Sep 07. pii: S1934-5909(23)00286-2. [Epub ahead of print]30(9): 1235-1245.e6
      Heterologous organ transplantation is an effective way of replacing organ function but is limited by severe organ shortage. Although generating human organs in other large mammals through embryo complementation would be a groundbreaking solution, it faces many challenges, especially the poor integration of human cells into the recipient tissues. To produce human cells with superior intra-niche competitiveness, we combined optimized pluripotent stem cell culture conditions with the inducible overexpression of two pro-survival genes (MYCN and BCL2). The resulting cells had substantially enhanced viability in the xeno-environment of interspecies chimeric blastocyst and successfully formed organized human-pig chimeric middle-stage kidney (mesonephros) structures up to embryonic day 28 inside nephric-defective pig embryos lacking SIX1 and SALL1. Our findings demonstrate proof of principle of the possibility of generating a humanized primordial organ in organogenesis-disabled pigs, opening an exciting avenue for regenerative medicine and an artificial window for studying human kidney development.
    Keywords:  interspecies chimerism; mesonephros; pig; pluripotent stem cells