bims-mitmed Biomed News
on Mitochondrial medicine
Issue of 2023‒10‒01
thirty papers selected by
Dario Brunetti, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico 

  1. Mol Cell. 2023 Sep 21. pii: S1097-2765(23)00696-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Folding of newly synthesized proteins poses challenges for a functional proteome. Dedicated protein quality control (PQC) systems either promote the folding of nascent polypeptides at ribosomes or, if this fails, ensure their degradation. Although well studied for cytosolic protein biogenesis, it is not understood how these processes work for mitochondrially encoded proteins, key subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system. Here, we identify dedicated hubs in proximity to mitoribosomal tunnel exits coordinating mitochondrial protein biogenesis and quality control. Conserved prohibitin (PHB)/m-AAA protease supercomplexes and the availability of assembly chaperones determine the fate of newly synthesized proteins by molecular triaging. The localization of these competing activities in the vicinity of the mitoribosomal tunnel exit allows for a prompt decision on whether newly synthesized proteins are fed into OXPHOS assembly or are degraded.
    Keywords:  assembly factors; complex assembly; m-AAA protease; mitochondria; mitoribosome; prohibitin; protein biogenesis; protein quality control; respiratory chain; translation
  2. EMBO Rep. 2023 Sep 28. e58118
      A new wave of studies is untangling the connection between primary genetic mitochondrial diseases and the role of mitochondria in aging: what are the implications for longevity?
  3. Mov Disord. 2023 Sep 27.
      BACKGROUND: Rare mutations in NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase complex assembly factor 5 (NDUFAF5) are linked to Leigh syndrome.OBJECTIVE: We aimed to describe clinical characteristics and functional findings in a patient cohort with NDUFAF5 mutations.
    METHODS: Patients with biallelic NDUFAF5 mutations were recruited from multi-centers in Taiwan. Clinical, laboratory, radiological, and follow-up features were recorded and mitochondrial assays were performed in patients' skin fibroblasts.
    RESULTS: Nine patients from seven unrelated pedigrees were enrolled, eight homozygous for c.836 T > G (p.Met279Arg) in NDUFAF5 and one compound heterozygous for p.Met279Arg. Onset age had a bimodal distribution. The early-onset group (age <3 years) presented with psychomotor delay, seizure, respiratory failure, and hyponatremia. The late-onset group (age ≥5 years) presented with normal development, but slowly progressive dystonia. Combing 25 previously described patients, the p.Met279Arg variant was exclusively identified in Chinese ancestry. Compared with other groups, patients with late-onset homozygous p.Met279Arg were older at onset (P = 0.008), had less developmental delay (P = 0.01), less hyponatremia (P = 0.01), and better prognosis with preserved ambulatory function into early adulthood (P = 0.01). Bilateral basal ganglia necrosis was a common radiological feature, but brainstem and spinal cord involvement was more common with early-onset patients (P = 0.02). A modifier gene analysis showed higher concomitant mutation burden in early-versus late-onset p.Met279Arg homozygous cases (P = 0.04), consistent with more impaired mitochondrial function in fibroblasts from an early-onset case than a late-onset patient.
    CONCLUSIONS: The p.Met279Arg variant is a common mutation in our population with phenotypic heterogeneity and divergent prognosis based on age at onset. © 2023 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
    Keywords:  Leigh syndrome; NDUFAF5; dystonia; mitochondria; mitochondrial complex I deficiency; striatal necrosis
  4. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2023 Sep 29.
      Mitochondria are multifaceted organelles with key roles in anabolic and catabolic metabolism, bioenergetics, cellular signalling and nutrient sensing, and programmed cell death processes. Their diverse functions are enabled by a sophisticated set of protein components encoded by the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. The extent and complexity of the mitochondrial proteome remained unclear for decades. This began to change 20 years ago when, driven by the emergence of mass spectrometry-based proteomics, the first draft mitochondrial proteomes were established. In the ensuing decades, further technological and computational advances helped to refine these 'maps', with current estimates of the core mammalian mitochondrial proteome ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 proteins. The creation of these compendia provided a systemic view of an organelle previously studied primarily in a reductionist fashion and has accelerated both basic scientific discovery and the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Yet numerous challenges remain in understanding mitochondrial biology and translating this knowledge into the medical context. In this Roadmap, we propose a path forward for refining the mitochondrial protein map to enhance its discovery and therapeutic potential. We discuss how emerging technologies can assist the detection of new mitochondrial proteins, reveal their patterns of expression across diverse tissues and cell types, and provide key information on proteoforms. We highlight the power of an enhanced map for systematically defining the functions of its members. Finally, we examine the utility of an expanded, functionally annotated mitochondrial proteome in a translational setting for aiding both diagnosis of mitochondrial disease and targeting of mitochondria for treatment.
  5. Neurotherapeutics. 2023 Sep 28.
    Keywords:  Mitochondrial activity factor; Muscle fatigue; Myopathy; Nutrition; Primary mitochondrial disease
  6. Stem Cell Res. 2023 Sep 21. pii: S1873-5061(23)00192-7. [Epub ahead of print]72 103206
      Mitochondrial pyruvate carrier deficiency (MPYCD) is a rare mitochondrial disease characterized by developmental delay, microcephaly, growth failure, increased serum lactate with a normal lactate/pyruvate ratio. Mutations in the MPC1 gene have been identified to cause MPYCD. Herein, we generated an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line from the skin fibroblasts of a patient with MPYCD, carrying biallelic mutations, c.208G>A (p.Ala70Thr) and c.290G>A (p.Arg97Gln) in MPC1. These iPSCs showed the expression of pluripotency markers, the ability to differentiate into three germ layers, and MPC1 mutations with normal karyotype.
  7. Front Mol Neurosci. 2023 ;16 1271175
    Keywords:  DRP1; cell-specific; microglia; mitochondria; mitophagy; neurodegeneration; proteomics; sex-specific
  8. J Pers Med. 2023 Aug 29. pii: 1329. [Epub ahead of print]13(9):
      Mitochondrial diseases (MDs) are heterogeneous genetic disorders characterized by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) defects, involving tissues highly dependent on oxidative metabolism: the inner ear, brain, eye, skeletal muscle, and heart. We describe adult patients with genetically defined MDs, characterizing hearing function and neuroimaging results. We enrolled 34 patients (mean age: 50.02 ± 15 years, range: 18-75 years; 20 females and 14 males) classified in four groups: MELAS, MIDD, PEO, and Encephalopathy/Polyneuropathy. Audiological evaluations included psychoacoustical tests (pure-tone and speech audiometry), electrophysiological tests (Auditory Brainstem Responses, ABRs), and Impedenzometry. Neuroimaging evaluations considered global MRI abnormalities or structural brain changes. In total, 19/34 patients carried the m.3243A > G mutation (6 affected by MELAS, 12 affected by MIDD, and 1 affected by PEO); 11 had an mtDNA deletion (all affected by PEO); 3 had nuclear genes associated with MDs (POLG1 and OPA1); and 1 patient had an mtDNA deletion without an identified nuclear gene defect (affected by PEO). Sensory neural, bilateral, and symmetrical hearing loss was present in 25 patients (73.5%) to different degrees: 9 mild, 9 moderate, 5 severe, and 2 profound. The severe/profound and mild hearing losses were associated with pantonal and high-frequency audiograms, respectively. Instead, moderate hearing losses were associated with both high-frequency (five cases) and pantonal (five cases) audiogram shapes. In addition, 21/25 patients showed a cochlear site of lesion (84%), and 4/25 (16%) showed a retrocochlear site. We found global MRI abnormalities or structural brain changes in 26/30 subjects (86.6%): 21 had white matter abnormalities, 15 had cortical atrophy, 10 had subcortical atrophy, 8 had basal nuclei involvement or cerebellar atrophy, 4 had stroke-like lesions or laminar necrosis, and 1 had cysts or vacuolated lesions. We concluded that genetic alterations are associated with different clinical presentations for both auditory function and neuroradiological findings. There is no fixed relationship between genotype and phenotype for the clinical conditions analyzed.
    Keywords:  MRI; brain changes; cochlear; deafness; mitochondrial diseases; mtDNA; retrocochlear
  9. Front Genet. 2023 ;14 1251216
      Dominant optic atrophy (DOA) is an inherited disease that leads to the loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the projection neurons that relay visual information from the retina to the brain through the optic nerve. The majority of DOA cases can be attributed to mutations in optic atrophy 1 (OPA1), a nuclear gene encoding a mitochondrial-targeted protein that plays important roles in maintaining mitochondrial structure, dynamics, and bioenergetics. Although OPA1 is ubiquitously expressed in all human tissues, RGCs appear to be the primary cell type affected by OPA1 mutations. DOA has not been extensively studied in human RGCs due to the general unavailability of retinal tissues. However, recent advances in stem cell biology have made it possible to produce human RGCs from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). To aid in establishing DOA disease models based on human PSC-derived RGCs, we have generated iPSC lines from two DOA patients who carry distinct OPA1 mutations and present very different disease symptoms. Studies using these OPA1 mutant RGCs can be correlated with clinical features in the patients to provide insights into DOA disease mechanisms.
    Keywords:  DOA; OPA1; RGC; dominant optic atrophy; induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC); retinal ganglion cell
  10. J Physiol. 2023 Sep 23.
      Mitochondria adapt to increased energy demands during muscle contraction by acutely altering metabolite fluxes and substrate oxidation. With age, an impaired mitochondrial metabolic response may contribute to reduced exercise tolerance and decreased skeletal muscle mass, specific force, increased overall fatty depositions in the skeletal muscle, frailty and depressed energy maintenance. We hypothesized that elevated energy stress in mitochondria with age alters the capacity of mitochondria to utilize different substrates following muscle contraction. To test this hypothesis, we used in vivo electrical stimulation to simulate high-intensity intervals (HII) or low intensity steady-state (LISS) exercise in young (5-7 months) and aged (27-29 months) male and female mice to characterize effects of age and sex on mitochondrial substrate utilization in skeletal muscle following contraction. Mitochondrial respiration using glutamate decreased in aged males following HII and glutamate oxidation was inhibited following HII in both the contracted and non-stimulated muscle of aged female muscle. Analyses of the muscle metabolome of female mice indicated that changes in metabolic pathways induced by HII and LISS contractions in young muscle are absent in aged muscle. To test improved mitochondrial function on substrate utilization following HII, we treated aged females with elamipretide (ELAM), a mitochondrially-targeted peptide shown to improve mitochondrial bioenergetics and restore redox status in aged muscle. ELAM removed inhibition of glutamate oxidation and showed increased metabolic pathway changes following HII, suggesting rescuing redox status and improving bioenergetic function in mitochondria from aged muscle increases glutamate utilization and enhances the metabolic response to muscle contraction in aged muscle. KEY POINTS: Acute local contraction of gastrocnemius can systemically alter mitochondrial respiration in non-stimulated muscle. Age-related changes in mitochondrial respiration using glutamate or palmitoyl carnitine following contraction are sex-dependent. Respiration using glutamate after high-intensity contraction is inhibited in aged female muscle. Metabolite level and pathway changes following muscle contraction decrease with age in female mice. Treatment with the mitochondrially-targeted peptide elamipretide can partially rescue metabolite response to muscle contraction.
    Keywords:  age; high-intensity intervals; low-intensity steady-state; metabolism; mitochondrial adaptation; sarcopenia; sex specific effects
  11. Br J Anaesth. 2023 Sep 26. pii: S0007-0912(23)00442-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Volatile anaesthetics are widely used in human medicine. Although generally safe, hypersensitivity and toxicity can occur in rare cases, such as in certain genetic disorders. Anaesthesia hypersensitivity is well-documented in a subset of mitochondrial diseases, but whether volatile anaesthetics are toxic in this setting has not been explored.METHODS: We exposed Ndufs4(-/-) mice, a model of Leigh syndrome, to isoflurane (0.2-0.6%), oxygen 100%, or air. Cardiorespiratory function, weight, blood metabolites, and survival were assessed. We exposed post-symptom onset and pre-symptom onset animals and animals treated with the macrophage depleting drug PLX3397/pexidartinib to define the role of overt neuroinflammation in volatile anaesthetic toxicities.
    RESULTS: Isoflurane induced hyperlactataemia, weight loss, and mortality in a concentration- and duration-dependent manner from 0.2% to 0.6% compared with carrier gas (O2 100%) or mock (air) exposures (lifespan after 30-min exposures ∗P<0.05 for isoflurane 0.4% vs air or vs O2, ∗∗P<0.005 for isoflurane 0.6% vs air or O2; 60-min exposures ∗∗P<0.005 for isoflurane 0.2% vs air, ∗P<0.05 for isoflurane 0.2% vs O2). Isoflurane toxicity was significantly reduced in Ndufs4(-/-) exposed before CNS disease onset, and the macrophage depleting drug pexidartinib attenuated sequelae of isoflurane toxicity (survival ∗∗∗P=0.0008 isoflurane 0.4% vs pexidartinib plus isoflurane 0.4%). Finally, the laboratory animal standard of care of 100% O2 as a carrier gas contributed significantly to weight loss and reduced survival, but not to metabolic changes, and increased acute mortality.
    CONCLUSIONS: Isoflurane is toxic in the Ndufs4(-/-) model of Leigh syndrome. Toxic effects are dependent on the status of underlying neurologic disease, largely prevented by the CSF1R inhibitor pexidartinib, and influenced by oxygen concentration in the carrier gas.
    Keywords:  electron transport chain complex I; mitochondrial disease; neurodegenerative disease; paediatric disease; toxicity
  12. Life (Basel). 2023 Sep 15. pii: 1923. [Epub ahead of print]13(9):
      No published study has investigated the mitochondrial count in patients suffering from acute intermittent porphyria (AIP). In order to determine whether mitochondrial content can influence the pathogenesis of porphyria, we measured the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number in the peripheral blood cells of 34 patients and 37 healthy individuals. We found that all AIP patients had a low number of mitochondria, likely as a result of a protective mechanism against an inherited heme synthesis deficiency. Furthermore, we identified a close correlation between disease penetrance and decreases in the mitochondrial content and serum levels of PERM1, a marker of mitochondrial biogenesis. In a healthy individual, mitochondrial count is usually modulated to fit its ability to respond to various environmental stressors and bioenergetic demands. In AIP patients, coincidentally, the phenotype only manifests in response to endogenous and exogenous triggers factors. Therefore, these new findings suggest that a deficiency in mitochondrial proliferation could affect the individual responsiveness to stimuli, providing a new explanation for the variability in the clinical manifestations of porphyria. However, the metabolic and/or genetic factors responsible for this impairment remain to be identified. In conclusion, both mtDNA copy number per cell and mitochondrial biogenesis seem to play a role in either inhibiting or promoting disease expression. They could serve as two novel biomarkers for porphyria.
    Keywords:  PERM1; acute intermittent porphyria; heme; incomplete penetrance; mitochondrial biogenesis; mtDNA copy number
  13. Life (Basel). 2023 Sep 03. pii: 1863. [Epub ahead of print]13(9):
      In mammalian mitochondria, the processing of primary RNA transcripts involves a coordinated series of cleavage and modification events, leading to the formation of processing intermediates and mature mt-RNAs. RNA19 is an unusually stable unprocessed precursor, physiologically polyadenylated, which includes the 16S mt-rRNA, the mt-tRNALeuUUR and the mt-ND1 mRNA. These peculiarities, together with the alteration of its steady-state levels in cellular models with defects in mitochondrial function, make RNA19 a potentially important molecule for the physiological regulation of mitochondrial molecular processes as well as for the pathogenesis of mitochondrial diseases. In this work, we quantitatively and qualitatively examined RNA19 in MELAS trans-mitochondrial cybrids carrying the mtDNA 3243A>G transition and displaying a profound mitochondrial translation defect. Through a combination of isokinetic sucrose gradient and RT-qPCR experiments, we found that RNA19 accumulated and co-sedimented with the mitoribosomal large subunit (mt-LSU) in mutant cells. Intriguingly, exogenous expression of the isolated LARS2 C-terminal domain (Cterm), which was shown to rescue defective translation in MELAS cybrids, decreased the levels of mt-LSU-associated RNA19 by relegating it to the pool of free unbound RNAs. Overall, the data reported here support a regulatory role for RNA19 in mitochondrial physiopathological processes, designating this RNA precursor as a possible molecular target in view of therapeutic strategy development.
    Keywords:  Cterm; LARS2; MELAS; RNA19; mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial translation; mitoribosome; mt-RNA processing; trans-mitochondrial cybrids
  14. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Sep 19. pii: 14291. [Epub ahead of print]24(18):
      Mitochondria are crucial for cellular energy metabolism and are involved in signaling, aging, and cell death. They undergo dynamic changes through fusion and fission to adapt to different cellular states. In this study, we investigated the effect of knocking out the dynamin 1-like protein (Dnm1l) gene, a key regulator of mitochondrial fission, in neural stem cells (NSCs) differentiated from Dnm1l knockout embryonic stem cells (Dnm1l-/- ESCs). Dnm1l-/- ESC-derived NSCs (Dnm1l-/- NSCs) exhibited similar morphology and NSC marker expression (Sox2, Nestin, and Pax6) to brain-derived NSCs, but lower Nestin and Pax6 expression than both wild-type ESC-derived NSCs (WT-NSCs) and brain-derived NSCs. In addition, compared with WT-NSCs, Dnm1l-/- NSCs exhibited distinct mitochondrial morphology and function, contained more elongated mitochondria, showed reduced mitochondrial respiratory capacity, and showed a metabolic shift toward glycolysis for ATP production. Notably, Dnm1l-/- NSCs exhibited impaired self-renewal ability and accelerated cellular aging during prolonged culture, resulting in decreased proliferation and cell death. Furthermore, Dnm1l-/- NSCs showed elevated levels of inflammation and cell stress markers, suggesting a connection between Dnm1l deficiency and premature aging in NSCs. Therefore, the compromised self-renewal ability and accelerated cellular aging of Dnm1l-/- NSCs may be attributed to mitochondrial fission defects.
    Keywords:  Dnm1l; aging; energy metabolism; mitochondria; neural stem cells
  15. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Sep 08. pii: 13835. [Epub ahead of print]24(18):
      Mitophagy is crucial for maintaining mitochondrial quality. However, its assessment in vivo is challenging. The endosomal-lysosomal system is a more accessible pathway through which subtypes of extracellular vesicles (EVs), which also contain mitochondrial constituents, are released for disposal. The inclusion of mitochondrial components into EVs occurs in the setting of mild mitochondrial damage and during impairment of lysosomal function. By releasing mitochondrial-derived vesicles (MDVs), cells limit the unload of mitochondrial damage-associated molecular patterns with proinflammatory activity. Both positive and negative effects of EVs on recipient cells have been described. Whether this is due to the production of EVs other than those containing mitochondria, such as MDVs, holding specific biological functions is currently unknown. Evidence on the existence of different MDV subtypes has been produced. However, their characterization is not always pursued, which would be relevant to exploring the dynamics of mitochondrial quality control in health and disease. Furthermore, MDV classification may be instrumental in understanding their biological roles and promoting their implementation as biomarkers in clinical studies.
    Keywords:  damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs); endosomal–lysosomal system; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; inflammation; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial quality control; mitophagy; mitovesicles; oxidative stress
  16. Nat Commun. 2023 Sep 29. 14(1): 6099
      Mitochondrial morphology, which is controlled by mitochondrial fission and fusion, is an important regulator of the thermogenic capacity of brown adipocytes. Adipose-specific peroxisome deficiency impairs thermogenesis by inhibiting cold-induced mitochondrial fission due to decreased mitochondrial membrane content of the peroxisome-derived lipids called plasmalogens. Here, we identify TMEM135 as a critical mediator of the peroxisomal regulation of mitochondrial fission and thermogenesis. Adipose-specific TMEM135 knockout in mice blocks mitochondrial fission, impairs thermogenesis, and increases diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Conversely, TMEM135 overexpression promotes mitochondrial division, counteracts obesity and insulin resistance, and rescues thermogenesis in peroxisome-deficient mice. Mechanistically, thermogenic stimuli promote association between peroxisomes and mitochondria and plasmalogen-dependent localization of TMEM135 in mitochondria, where it mediates PKA-dependent phosphorylation and mitochondrial retention of the fission factor Drp1. Together, these results reveal a previously unrecognized inter-organelle communication regulating mitochondrial fission and energy homeostasis and identify TMEM135 as a potential target for therapeutic activation of BAT.
  17. Cells. 2023 Sep 19. pii: 2314. [Epub ahead of print]12(18):
      A number of hereditary ataxias are caused by inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), most of which are highly heterogeneous in their clinical presentation. Prompt diagnosis is important because disease-specific therapies may be available. In this review, we offer a comprehensive overview of metabolic ataxias summarized by disease, highlighting novel clinical trials and emerging therapies with a particular emphasis on first-in-human gene therapies. We present disease-specific treatments if they exist and review the current evidence for symptomatic treatments of these highly heterogeneous diseases (where cerebellar ataxia is part of their phenotype) that aim to improve the disease burden and enhance quality of life. In general, a multimodal and holistic approach to the treatment of cerebellar ataxia, irrespective of etiology, is necessary to offer the best medical care. Physical therapy and speech and occupational therapy are obligatory. Genetic counseling is essential for making informed decisions about family planning.
    Keywords:  GM2-gangliosidosis; Niemann-Pick type C; abetalipoproteinemia; acetyl-DL-leucine; acetyl-L-leucine; biomarkers; cerebellar ataxia; cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis; disease-modifying treatment; disorders of carbohydrate metabolism; hereditary metabolic ataxia; inborn error of metabolism; lysosomal storage disorders; metabolic diseases; neurodegeneration; neuroprotection; ocular motor; symptomatic treatment
  18. Front Neurosci. 2023 ;17 1231584
      SPG7 is the most common form of autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). There is a lack of HSP-SPG7 human neuronal models to understand the disease mechanism and identify new drug treatments. We generated a human neuronal model of HSP-SPG7 using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology. We first generated iPS cells from three HSP-SPG7 patients carrying different disease-causing variants and three healthy controls. The iPS cells were differentiated to form neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and then from NPCs to mature cortical neurons. Mitochondrial and neuronal defects were measured using a high throughout imaging and analysis-based assay in live cells. Our results show that compared to control NPCs, patient NPCs had aberrant mitochondrial morphology with increased mitochondrial size and reduced membrane potential. Patient NPCs develop to form mature cortical neurons with amplified mitochondrial morphology and functional defects along with defects in neuron morphology - reduced neurite complexity and length, reduced synaptic gene, protein expression and activity, reduced viability and increased axonal degeneration. Treatment of patient neurons with Bz-423, a mitochondria permeability pore regulator, restored the mitochondrial and neurite morphological defects and mitochondrial membrane potential back to control neuron levels and rescued the low viability and increased degeneration in patient neurons. This study establishes a direct link between mitochondrial and neuronal defects in HSP-SPG7 patient neurons. We present a strategy for testing mitochondrial targeting drugs to rescue neuronal defects in HSP-SPG7 patient neurons.
    Keywords:  cortical neurons; hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP); high throughput imaging (HTI); induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell; mitochondria
  19. Nat Cell Biol. 2023 Sep 28.
      Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes are assembled from proteins encoded by both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. These dual-origin enzymes pose a complex gene regulatory challenge for cells requiring coordinated gene expression across organelles. To identify genes involved in dual-origin protein complex synthesis, we performed fluorescence-activated cell-sorting-based genome-wide screens analysing mutant cells with unbalanced levels of mitochondrial- and nuclear-encoded subunits of Complex IV. We identified genes involved in OXPHOS biogenesis, including two uncharacterized genes: PREPL and NME6. We found that PREPL specifically impacts Complex IV biogenesis by acting at the intersection of mitochondrial lipid metabolism and protein synthesis, whereas NME6, an uncharacterized nucleoside diphosphate kinase, controls OXPHOS biogenesis through multiple mechanisms reliant on its NDPK domain. Firstly, NME6 forms a complex with RCC1L, which together perform nucleoside diphosphate kinase activity to maintain local mitochondrial pyrimidine triphosphate levels essential for mitochondrial RNA abundance. Secondly, NME6 modulates the activity of mitoribosome regulatory complexes, altering mitoribosome assembly and mitochondrial RNA pseudouridylation. Taken together, we propose that NME6 acts as a link between compartmentalized mitochondrial metabolites and mitochondrial gene expression.
  20. Nat Commun. 2023 Sep 27. 14(1): 6036
      Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) functions as a second messenger to signal metabolic distress through highly compartmentalized production in mitochondria. The dynamics of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and diffusion between mitochondrial compartments and into the cytosol govern oxidative stress responses and pathology, though these processes remain poorly understood. Here, we couple the H2O2 biosensor, HyPer7, with optogenetic stimulation of the ROS-generating protein KillerRed targeted into multiple mitochondrial microdomains. Single mitochondrial photogeneration of H2O2 demonstrates the spatiotemporal dynamics of ROS diffusion and transient hyperfusion of mitochondria due to ROS. This transient hyperfusion phenotype required mitochondrial fusion but not fission machinery. Measurement of microdomain-specific H2O2 diffusion kinetics reveals directionally selective diffusion through mitochondrial microdomains. All-optical generation and detection of physiologically-relevant concentrations of H2O2 between mitochondrial compartments provide a map of mitochondrial H2O2 diffusion dynamics in situ as a framework to understand the role of ROS in health and disease.
  21. Biomolecules. 2023 Aug 25. pii: 1304. [Epub ahead of print]13(9):
      Calcium (Ca2+) ions act as a second messenger, regulating several cell functions. Mitochondria are critical organelles for the regulation of intracellular Ca2+. Mitochondrial calcium (mtCa2+) uptake is ensured by the presence in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) complex, a macromolecular structure composed of pore-forming and regulatory subunits. MtCa2+ uptake plays a crucial role in the regulation of oxidative metabolism and cell death. A lot of evidence demonstrates that the dysregulation of mtCa2+ homeostasis can have serious pathological outcomes. In this review, we briefly discuss the molecular structure and the function of the MCU complex and then we focus our attention on human diseases in which a dysfunction in mtCa2+ has been shown.
    Keywords:  MCU; cancer; cardiovascular diseases; metabolic diseases; mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling; neurodegenerative disorders; skeletal muscle diseases
  22. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2023 ;11 1171440
      Endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondrial contact sites (ERMCS) play an important role in mitochondrial dynamics, calcium signaling, and autophagy. Disruption of the ERMCS has been linked to several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, the etiological role of ERMCS in these diseases remains unclear. We previously established tyrosine hydroxylase reporter (TH-GFP) iPSC lines from a PD patient with a PRKN mutation to perform correlative light-electron microscopy (CLEM) analysis and live cell imaging in GFP-expressing dopaminergic neurons. Here, we analyzed ERMCS in GFP-expressing PRKN-mutant dopaminergic neurons from patients using CLEM and a proximity ligation assay (PLA). The PLA showed that the ERMCS were significantly reduced in PRKN-mutant patient dopaminergic neurons compared to the control under normal conditions. The reduction of the ERMCS in PRKN-mutant patient dopaminergic neurons was further enhanced by treatment with a mitochondrial uncoupler. In addition, mitochondrial calcium imaging showed that mitochondrial Ca2+ flux was significantly reduced in PRKN-mutant patient dopaminergic neurons compared to the control. These results suggest a defect in calcium flux from ER to mitochondria is due to the decreased ERMCS in PRKN-mutant patient dopaminergic neurons. Our study of ERMCS using TH-GFP iPSC lines would contribute to further understanding of the mechanisms of dopaminergic neuron degeneration in patients with PRKN mutations.
    Keywords:  ER-mitochondrial contact sites; PRKN; dopaminergic neurons; iPSC; tyrosine hydroxylase reporter
  23. J Neurol. 2023 Sep 26.
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Biallelic mutations in the COA7 gene have been associated with spinocerebellar ataxia with axonal neuropathy type 3 (SCAN3), and a notable clinical diversity has been observed. We aim to identify the genetic and phenotypic spectrum of COA7-related disorders.METHODS: We conducted comprehensive genetic analyses on the COA7 gene within a large group of Japanese patients clinically diagnosed with inherited peripheral neuropathy or cerebellar ataxia.
    RESULTS: In addition to our original report, which involved four patients until 2018, we identified biallelic variants of the COA7 gene in another three unrelated patients, and the variants were c.17A > G (p.D6G), c.115C > T (p.R39W), and c.449G > A (p.C150Y; novel). Patient 1 presented with an infantile-onset generalized dystonia without cerebellar ataxia. Despite experiencing an initial transient positive response to levodopa and deep brain stimulation, he became bedridden by the age of 19. Patient 2 presented with cerebellar ataxia, neuropathy, as well as parkinsonism, and showed a slight improvement upon levodopa administration. Dopamine transporter SPECT showed decreased uptake in the bilateral putamen in both patients. Patient 3 exhibited severe muscle weakness, respiratory failure, and feeding difficulties. A haplotype analysis of the mutation hotspot in Japan, c.17A > G (p.D6G), uncovered a common haplotype block.
    CONCLUSION: COA7-related disorders typically encompass a spectrum of conditions characterized by a variety of major (cerebellar ataxia and axonal polyneuropathy) and minor (leukoencephalopathy, dystonia, and parkinsonism) symptoms, but may also display a dystonia-predominant phenotype. We propose that COA7 should be considered as a new causative gene for infancy-onset generalized dystonia, and COA7 gene screening is recommended for patients with unexplained dysfunctions of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
    Keywords:  COA7; Dystonia; Mitochondrial disease; Parkinsonism; Spinocerebellar ataxia with axonal neuropathy
  24. Nutrients. 2023 Sep 20. pii: 4073. [Epub ahead of print]15(18):
      The development of sarcopenia in the elderly is associated with many potential factors and/or processes that impair the renovation and maintenance of skeletal muscle mass and strength as ageing progresses. Among them, a defect by skeletal muscle to respond to anabolic stimuli is to be considered. Common anabolic stimuli/signals in skeletal muscle are hormones (insulin, growth hormones, IGF-1, androgens, and β-agonists such epinephrine), substrates (amino acids such as protein precursors on top, but also glucose and fat, as source of energy), metabolites (such as β-agonists and HMB), various biochemical/intracellular mediators), physical exercise, neurogenic and immune-modulating factors, etc. Each of them may exhibit a reduced effect upon skeletal muscle in ageing. In this article, we overview the role of anabolic signals on muscle metabolism, as well as currently available evidence of resistance, at the skeletal muscle level, to anabolic factors, from both in vitro and in vivo studies. Some indications on how to augment the effects of anabolic signals on skeletal muscle are provided.
    Keywords:  exercise; intracellular signals; nutrition; protein foods; protein synthesis; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle
  25. Brain. 2023 Sep 28. pii: awad332. [Epub ahead of print]
      Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are extremely versatile naturally occurring membrane particles that convey complex signals between cells. EVs of different cellular sources are capable of inducing striking therapeutic responses in neurological disease models. Differently from pharmacological compounds that act by modulating defined signalling pathways, EV-based therapeutics possess multiple abilities via a variety of effectors, thus allowing the modulation of complex disease processes that may have very potent effects on brain tissue recovery. When applied in vivo in experimental models of neurological diseases, EV-based therapeutics have revealed remarkable effects on immune responses, cell metabolism and neuronal plasticity. This multimodal modulation of neuroimmune networks by EVs profoundly influences disease processes in a highly synergistic and context-dependent way. Ultimately, the EV-mediated restoration of cellular functions helps to set the stage for neurological recovery. With this review we first outline the current understanding of the mechanisms of action of EVs, describing how EVs released from various cellular sources identify their cellular targets and convey signals to recipient cells. Then, mechanisms of action applicable to key neurological conditions, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases, are presented. Pathways that deserve attention in specific disease contexts are discussed. We subsequently showcase considerations about EV biodistribution and delineate genetic engineering strategies aiming at enhancing brain uptake and signalling. By sketching a broad view of EV-orchestrated brain plasticity and recovery, we finally define possible future clinical EV applications and propose necessary information to be provided ahead of clinical trials. Our goal is to provide a steppingstone that can be used to critically discuss EVs as next generation therapeutics for brain diseases.
    Keywords:  cell metabolism; exosome; immune modulation; mitochondria; neuronal plasticity
  26. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 Aug 22. pii: 1658. [Epub ahead of print]12(9):
      The p21-activated kinase 1 (PAK1) is required for insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells. However, whether PAK1 regulates skeletal muscle mitochondrial function, which is a central determinant of insulin sensitivity, is unknown. Here, the effect of modulating PAK1 levels (knockdown via siRNA, overexpression via adenoviral transduction, and/or inhibition of activation via IPA3) on mitochondrial function was assessed in normal and/or insulin-resistant rat L6.GLUT4myc and human muscle (LHCN-M2) myotubes. Human type 2 diabetes (T2D) and non-diabetic (ND) skeletal muscle samples were also used for validation of the identified signaling elements. PAK1 depletion in myotubes decreased mitochondrial copy number, respiration, altered mitochondrial structure, downregulated PGC1α (a core regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative metabolism) and PGC1α activators, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2). PAK1 enrichment in insulin-resistant myotubes improved mitochondrial function and rescued PGC1α expression levels. Activated PAK1 was localized to the cytoplasm, and PAK1 enrichment concurrent with p38MAPK inhibition did not increase PGC1α levels. PAK1 inhibition and enrichment also modified nuclear phosphorylated-ATF2 levels. T2D human samples showed a deficit for PGC1α, and PAK1 depletion in LHCN-M2 cells led to reduced mitochondrial respiration. Overall, the results suggest that PAK1 regulates muscle mitochondrial function upstream of the p38MAPK/ATF2/PGC1α-axis pathway.
    Keywords:  PAK1; insulin resistance; mitochondria; skeletal muscle; type 2 diabetes
  27. Eur Heart J Case Rep. 2023 Sep;7(9): ytad441
      Background: Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy, Lactic Acidosis, and Stroke-like episodes (MELAS) syndrome is a rare mitochondrial disorder caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA, resulting in impaired energy production and affecting multiple organs. We present a suspected MELAS syndrome case with the initial symptom of chest tightness.Case summary: A 46-year-old man sought medical attention due to progressively worsening chest tightness during physical activity. He had been receiving treatment for type 2 diabetes for 15 years. One year ago, he presented with symptoms of hearing impairment. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed increased thickness of the left ventricular wall. Serum protein electrophoresis showed no evidence of light-chain amyloidosis, and the 99mTc-3,3-diphosphono-1,2-propanodicarboxylic acid scan showed no definite uptake in the heart muscle. The patient's head magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) indicated lacunar infarcts. The lactate threshold test was positive. The biopsy of the skeletal muscle showed broken red fibre infiltration on modified Gomori trichrome staining, and electron microscopy revealed signs of mitochondrial cardiomyopathy, including mild mitochondrial swelling, lipid accumulation, and myofibril damage. A whole-exome genetic test was used to detect the m.3243A>G mutation in the MT-TL1 gene. Based on these findings, MELAS syndrome was the most probable diagnosis.
    Discussion: The patient presented with chest tightness in adulthood, without any accompanying psychoneurological symptoms. However, the patient presented with other symptoms, including diabetes mellitus, hearing loss, abnormal lactate levels, ischaemic lesions on head MRI, and left ventricular hypertrophy. By identifying a mutation in the MT-TL1 gene and conducting a muscle biopsy, the diagnosis of MELAS syndrome was definitively confirmed.
    Keywords:  Cardiomyopathy; Case report; MELAS syndrome; Mitochondrial disease
  28. Hum Reprod. 2023 Sep 27. pii: dead186. [Epub ahead of print]
      STUDY QUESTION: Is the chromosome copy number of the trophectoderm (TE) of a human reconstituted embryos after spindle transfer (ST) representative of the inner cell mass (ICM)?SUMMARY ANSWER: Single-cell multi-omics sequencing revealed that ST blastocysts have a higher proportion of cell lineages exhibiting intermediate mosaicism than conventional ICSI blastocysts, and that the TE of ST blastocysts does not represent the chromosome copy number of ICM.
    WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) assumes that TE biopsies are representative of the ICM, but the TE and ICM originate from different cell lineages, and concordance between TE and ICM is not well-studied, especially in ST embryos.
    STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: We recruited 30 infertile women who received treatment at our clinic and obtained 45 usable blastocysts (22 from conventional ICSI and 23 reconstituted embryos after ST). We performed single-cell multi-omics sequencing on all blastocysts to predict and verify copy number variations (CNVs) in each cell. We determined the chromosome copy number of each embryo by analysing the proportion of abnormal cells in each blastocyst. We used the Bland-Altman concordance and the Kappa test to evaluate the concordance between TE and ICM in the both groups.
    PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: The study was conducted at a public tertiary hospital in China, where all the embryo operations, including oocytes retrieval, ST, and ICSI, were performed in the embryo laboratory. We utilized single-cell multi-omics sequencing technology at the Biomedical Pioneering Innovation Center, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, to analyse the blastocysts. Transcriptome sequencing was used to predict the CNV of each cell through bioinformatics analysis, and the results were validated using the DNA methylation library of each cell to confirm chromosomal normalcy. We conducted statistical analysis and graphical plotting using R 4.2.1, SPSS 27, and GraphPad Prism 9.3.
    MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Mean age of the volunteers, the blastocyst morphology, and the developmental ratewere similar in ST and ICSI groups. The blastocysts in the ST group had some additional chromosomal types that were prone to variations beyond those enriched in the blastocysts of the ICSI group. Finally, both Bland-Altman concordance test and kappa concordancetest showed good chromosomal concordance between TE and ICM in the ICSI blastocysts (kappa = 0.659, P < 0.05), but not in ST blastocysts (P = 1.000), suggesting that the TE in reconstituted embryos is not representative of ICM. Gene functional annotation (GO and KEGG analyses) suggests that there may be new or additional pathways for CNV generation in ST embryos compared to ICSI embryos.
    LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: This study was mainly limited by the small sample size and the limitations of single-cell multi-omics sequencing technology. To select eligible single cells, some cells of the embryos were eliminated or not labelled, resulting in a loss of information about them. The findings of this study are innovative and exploratory. A larger sample size of human embryos (especially ST embryos) and more accurate molecular genetics techniques for detecting CNV in single cells are needed to validate our results.
    WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Our study justifies the routine clinical use of PGT-A in ICSI blastocysts, as we found that the TE is a good substitute for ICM in predicting chromosomal abnormalities. While PGT-A is not entirely accurate, our data demonstrate good clinical feasibility. This trial was able to provide correct genetic counselling to patients regarding the reliability of PGT-A. Regarding ST blastocysts, the increased mosaicism rate and the inability of the TE to represent the chromosomal copy number of the ICM are both biological characteristics that differentiate them from ICSI blastocysts. Currently, ST is not used clinically on a large scale to produce blastocysts. However, if ST becomes more widely used in the future, our study will be the first to demonstrate that the use of PGT-A in ST blastocysts may not be as accurate as PGT-A for ICSI blastocysts.
    STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This study was supported by grants from the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFA0107601) and the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFC1003003). The authors declare no conflict of interest.
    Keywords:  aneuploidy; blastocyst; chromosomal mosaicism; inner cell mass; preimplantation genetic testing; single-cell RNA sequencing; single-cell multi-omics; spindle transfer; trophectoderm biopsy
  29. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2023 Sep 14. 30 181-190
      Propionic acidemia (PA) is rare autosomal recessive metabolic disorder caused by defects in the mitochondrially localized enzyme propionyl-coenzyme A (CoA) carboxylase. Patients with PA can suffer from lethal metabolic decompensation and cardiomyopathy despite current medical management, which has led to the pursuit of gene therapy as a new treatment option for patients. Here we assess the therapeutic efficacy of a recently described adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsid, AAV44.9, to deliver a therapeutic PCCA transgene in a new mouse model of propionyl-CoA carboxylase α (PCCA) deficiency generated by genome editing. Pcca-/- mice recapitulate the severe neonatal presentation of PA and manifest uniform neonatal lethality, absent PCCA expression, and increased 2-methylcitrate. A single injection of the AAV44.9 PCCA vector in the immediate newborn period, systemically delivered at a dose of 1e11 vector genome (vg)/pup but not 1e10 vg/pup, increased survival, reduced plasma methylcitrate, and resulted in high levels of transgene expression in the liver and heart in treated Pcca-/- mice. Our studies not only establish a versatile and accurate new mouse model of PA but further demonstrate that the AAV44.9 vectors may be suitable for treatment of many metabolic disorders where hepato-cardiac transduction following systemic delivery is desired, such as PA, and, by extension, fatty acid oxidation defects and glycogen storage disorders.
    Keywords:  AAV44.9; PCCA; cardiac tropism; genome editing; mouse model; neonatal gene therapy; organic acidemia; propionic acidemia; propionylcoa carboxylase deficiency; systemic gene therapy