bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2022‒05‒29
24 papers selected by
Marco Tigano
Thomas Jefferson University

  1. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 17. pii: 5600. [Epub ahead of print]23(10):
      Mitochondrial stress is involved in many pathological conditions and triggers the integrated stress response (ISR). The ISR is initiated by phosphorylation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF) 2α and results in global inhibition of protein synthesis, while the production of specific proteins important for the stress response and recovery is favored. The stalled translation preinitiation complexes phase-separate together with local RNA binding proteins into cytoplasmic stress granules (SG), which are important for regulation of cell signaling and survival under stress conditions. Here we found that mitochondrial inhibition by sodium azide (NaN3) in mammalian cells leads to translational inhibition and formation of SGs, as previously shown in yeast. Although mammalian NaN3-induced SGs are very small, they still contain the canonical SG proteins Caprin 1, eIF4A, eIF4E, eIF4G and eIF3B. Similar to FCCP and oligomycine, other mitochodrial stressors that cause SG formation, NaN3-induced SGs are formed by an eIF2α phosphorylation-independent mechanisms. Finally, we discovered that as shown for arsenite (ASN), but unlike FCCP or heatshock stress, Thioredoxin 1 (Trx1) is required for formation of NaN3-induced SGs.
    Keywords:  integrated stress response; mitochondrial stress; sodium azide; stress granules; translation
  2. MicroPubl Biol. 2022 ;2022
      The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPR mt ) is an important stress response that ensures the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis in response to various types of cellular stress. We previously described a genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans genes, which when inactivated cause UPR mt activation, and reported genes identified that encode mitochondrial proteins. We now report additional genes identified in the screen. Importantly, these include genes that encode non-mitochondrial proteins involved in processes such as the control of gene expression, post-translational modifications, cell signaling and cellular trafficking. Interestingly, we identified several genes that have been proposed to participate in the transfer of lipids between peroxisomes, ER and mitochondria, suggesting that lipid transfer between these organelles is essential for mitochondrial homeostasis. In conclusion, this study shows that the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis is not only dependent on mitochondrial processes but also relies on non-mitochondrial processes and pathways. Our results reinforce the notion that mitochondrial function and cellular function are intimately connected.
  3. J Cell Biol. 2022 Jul 04. pii: e202201071. [Epub ahead of print]221(7):
      The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) is dedicated to promoting mitochondrial proteostasis and is linked to extreme longevity. The key regulator of this process is the transcription factor ATFS-1, which, upon UPRmt activation, is excluded from the mitochondria and enters the nucleus to regulate UPRmt genes. However, the repair proteins synthesized as a direct result of UPRmt activation must be transported into damaged mitochondria that had previously excluded ATFS-1 owing to reduced import efficiency. To address this conundrum, we analyzed the role of the import machinery when the UPRmt was induced. Using in vitro and in vivo analysis of mitochondrial proteins, we surprisingly find that mitochondrial import increases when the UPRmt is activated in an ATFS-1-dependent manner, despite reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. The import machinery is upregulated, and an intact import machinery is essential for UPRmt-mediated lifespan extension. ATFS-1 has a weak mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS), allowing for dynamic subcellular localization during the initial stages of UPRmt activation.
  4. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022 ;2022 6235747
      According to the latest Global Burden of Disease Study, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death, and ischemic heart disease and stroke are the cause of death in approximately half of CVD patients. In CVD, mitochondrial dysfunction following ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury results in heart failure. The proper functioning of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and the mitochondrial life cycle in cardiac mitochondria are closely related to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Following myocardial I/R injury, mitochondria activate multiple repair and clearance mechanisms to repair damaged mtDNA. When these repair mechanisms are insufficient to restore the structure and function of mtDNA, irreversible mtDNA damage occurs, leading to mtDNA mutations. Since mtDNA mutations aggravate OXPHOS dysfunction and affect mitophagy, mtDNA mutation accumulation leads to leakage of mtDNA and proteins outside the mitochondria, inducing an innate immune response, aggravating cardiovascular injury, and leading to the need for external interventions to stop or slow the disease course. On the other hand, mtDNA released into the circulation after cardiac injury can serve as a biomarker for CVD diagnosis and prognosis. This article reviews the pathogenic basis and related research findings of mtDNA oxidative damage and mtDNA leak-triggered innate immune response associated with I/R injury in CVD and summarizes therapeutic options that target mtDNA.
  5. Nat Commun. 2022 May 26. 13(1): 2961
      RNase H2 is a specialized enzyme that degrades RNA in RNA/DNA hybrids and deficiency of this enzyme causes a severe neuroinflammatory disease, Aicardi Goutières syndrome (AGS). However, the molecular mechanism underlying AGS is still unclear. Here, we show that RNase H2 is associated with a subset of genes, in a transcription-dependent manner where it interacts with RNA Polymerase II. RNase H2 depletion impairs transcription leading to accumulation of R-loops, structures that comprise RNA/DNA hybrids and a displaced DNA strand, mainly associated with short and intronless genes. Importantly, accumulated R-loops are processed by XPG and XPF endonucleases which leads to DNA damage and activation of the immune response, features associated with AGS. Consequently, we uncover a key role for RNase H2 in the transcription of human genes by maintaining R-loop homeostasis. Our results provide insight into the mechanistic contribution of R-loops to AGS pathogenesis.
  6. Genes (Basel). 2022 May 13. pii: 879. [Epub ahead of print]13(5):
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damaged by reactive oxygen species (ROS) triggers so far poorly understood processes of mtDNA maintenance that are coordinated by a complex interplay among DNA repair, DNA degradation, and DNA replication. This study was designed to identify the proteins involved in mtDNA maintenance by applying a special long-range PCR, reflecting mtDNA integrity in the minor arc. A siRNA screening of literature-based candidates was performed under conditions of enforced oxidative phosphorylation revealing the functional group of polymerases and therein polymerase ζ (POLZ) as top hits. Thus, POLZ knockdown caused mtDNA accumulation, which required the activity of the base excision repair (BER) nuclease APE1, and was followed by compensatory mtDNA replication determined by the single-cell mitochondrial in situ hybridization protocol (mTRIP). Quenching reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mitochondria unveiled an additional, ROS-independent involvement of POLZ in the formation of a typical deletion in the minor arc region. Together with data demonstrating the localization of POLZ in mitochondria, we suggest that POLZ plays a significant role in mtDNA turnover, particularly under conditions of oxidative stress.
    Keywords:  base excision repair; mitochondrial DNA degradation; oxidative damage; polymerase ζ
  7. Nature. 2022 May 25.
      Mitochondria are epicentres of eukaryotic metabolism and bioenergetics. Pioneering efforts in recent decades have established the core protein componentry of these organelles1 and have linked their dysfunction to more than 150 distinct disorders2,3. Still, hundreds of mitochondrial proteins lack clear functions4, and the underlying genetic basis for approximately 40% of mitochondrial disorders remains unresolved5. Here, to establish a more complete functional compendium of human mitochondrial proteins, we profiled more than 200 CRISPR-mediated HAP1 cell knockout lines using mass spectrometry-based multiomics analyses. This effort generated approximately 8.3 million distinct biomolecule measurements, providing a deep survey of the cellular responses to mitochondrial perturbations and laying a foundation for mechanistic investigations into protein function. Guided by these data, we discovered that PIGY upstream open reading frame (PYURF) is an S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferase chaperone that supports both complex I assembly and coenzyme Q biosynthesis and is disrupted in a previously unresolved multisystemic mitochondrial disorder. We further linked the putative zinc transporter SLC30A9 to mitochondrial ribosomes and OxPhos integrity and established RAB5IF as the second gene harbouring pathogenic variants that cause cerebrofaciothoracic dysplasia. Our data, which can be explored through the interactive online resource, suggest biological roles for many other orphan mitochondrial proteins that still lack robust functional characterization and define a rich cell signature of mitochondrial dysfunction that can support the genetic diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases.
  8. Aging Cell. 2022 May 22. e13622
      Macrophage-stimulator of interferon genes (STING) signaling mediated sterile inflammation has been implicated in various age-related diseases. However, whether and how macrophage mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) regulates STING signaling in aged macrophages remains largely unknown. We found that hypoxia-reoxygenation (HR) induced STING activation in macrophages by triggering the release of macrophage mtDNA into the cytosol. Aging promoted the cytosolic leakage of macrophage mtDNA and enhanced STING activation, which was abrogated upon mtDNA depletion or cyclic GMP-AMP Synthase (cGAS) inhibition. Aged macrophages exhibited increased mitochondrial injury with impaired mitophagy. Mechanistically, a decline in the PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1)/Parkin-mediated polyubiquitination of mitochondria was observed in aged macrophages. Pink1 overexpression reversed the inhibition of mitochondrial ubiquitination but failed to promote mitolysosome formation in the aged macrophages. Meanwhile, aging impaired lysosomal biogenesis and function in macrophages by modulating the mTOR/transcription factor EB (TFEB) signaling pathway, which could be reversed by Torin-1 treatment. Consequently, Pink1 overexpression in combination with Torin-1 treatment restored mitophagic flux and inhibited mtDNA/cGAS/STING activation in aged macrophages. Moreover, besides HR-induced metabolic stress, other types of oxidative and hepatotoxic stresses inhibited mitophagy and promoted the cytosolic release of mtDNA to activate STING signaling in aged macrophages. STING deficiency protected aged mice against diverse types of sterile inflammatory liver injuries. Our findings suggest that aging impairs mitophagic flux to facilitate the leakage of macrophage mtDNA into the cytosol and promotes STING activation, and thereby provides a novel potential therapeutic target for sterile inflammatory liver injury in aged patients.
    Keywords:  aging; macrophage; mitochondrial DNA; mitophagy; sterile inflammation; stimulator of interferon genes
  9. Nature. 2022 May 25.
      Only a small proportion of patients with cancer show lasting responses to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB)-based monotherapies. The RNA-editing enzyme ADAR1 is an emerging determinant of resistance to ICB therapy and prevents ICB responsiveness by repressing immunogenic double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), such as those arising from the dysregulated expression of endogenous retroviral elements (EREs)1-4. These dsRNAs trigger an interferon-dependent antitumour response by activating A-form dsRNA (A-RNA)-sensing proteins such as MDA-5 and PKR5. Here we show that ADAR1 also prevents the accrual of endogenous Z-form dsRNA elements (Z-RNAs), which were enriched in the 3' untranslated regions of interferon-stimulated mRNAs. Depletion or mutation of ADAR1 resulted in Z-RNA accumulation and activation of the Z-RNA sensor ZBP1, which culminated in RIPK3-mediated necroptosis. As no clinically viable ADAR1 inhibitors currently exist, we searched for a compound that can override the requirement for ADAR1 inhibition and directly activate ZBP1. We identified a small molecule, the curaxin CBL0137, which potently activates ZBP1 by triggering Z-DNA formation in cells. CBL0137 induced ZBP1-dependent necroptosis in cancer-associated fibroblasts and reversed ICB unresponsiveness in mouse models of melanoma. Collectively, these results demonstrate that ADAR1 represses endogenous Z-RNAs and identifies ZBP1-mediated necroptosis as a new determinant of tumour immunogenicity masked by ADAR1. Therapeutic activation of ZBP1-induced necroptosis provides a readily translatable avenue for rekindling the immune responsiveness of ICB-resistant human cancers.
  10. Cell. 2022 May 26. pii: S0092-8674(22)00528-1. [Epub ahead of print]185(11): 1888-1904.e24
      Cancer cells are featured with uncontrollable activation of cell cycle, and microRNA deficiency drives tumorigenesis. The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR) is essential for small-RNA-mediated immune response in plants but is absent in vertebrates. Here, we show that ectopic expression of plant RDR1 can generally inhibit cancer cell proliferation. In many human primary tumors, abnormal microRNA isoforms with 1-nt-shorter 3' ends are widely accumulated. RDR1 with nucleotidyltransferase activity can recognize and modify the problematic AGO2-free microRNA duplexes with mononucleotides to restore their 2 nt overhang structure, which eventually rescues AGO2-loading efficiency and elevates global miRNA expression to inhibit cancer cell-cycle specifically. The broad antitumor effects of RDR1, which can be delivered by an adeno-associated virus, are visualized in multiple xenograft tumor models in vivo. Altogether, we reveal the widespread accumulation of aberrant microRNA isoforms in tumors and develop a plant RDR1-mediated antitumor stratagem by editing and repairing defective microRNAs.
    Keywords:  RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; bioengineering; cancer; cell cycle; leukemia; microRNA; nucleotidyltransferase; plant; translational medicine; xenograft
  11. Mol Genet Metab. 2022 May 13. pii: S1096-7192(22)00320-1. [Epub ahead of print]
    North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium (NAMDC)
      OBJECTIVE: To harmonize terminology in mitochondrial medicine, we propose revised clinical criteria for primary mitochondrial syndromes.METHODS: The North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium (NAMDC) established a Diagnostic Criteria Committee comprised of members with diverse expertise. It included clinicians, researchers, diagnostic laboratory directors, statisticians, and data managers. The Committee conducted a comprehensive literature review, an evaluation of current clinical practices and diagnostic modalities, surveys, and teleconferences to reach consensus on syndrome definitions for mitochondrial diseases. The criteria were refined after manual application to patients enrolled in the NAMDC Registry.
    RESULTS: By building upon published diagnostic criteria and integrating recent advances, NAMDC has generated updated consensus criteria for the clinical definition of classical mitochondrial syndromes.
    CONCLUSIONS: Mitochondrial diseases are clinically, biochemically, and genetically heterogeneous and therefore challenging to classify and diagnose. To harmonize terminology, we propose revised criteria for the clinical definition of mitochondrial disorders. These criteria are expected to standardize the diagnosis and categorization of mitochondrial diseases, which will facilitate future natural history studies and clinical trials.
    Keywords:  Mitochondrial DNA; Mitochondrial disease; Mitochondrial disorders; Oxidative-phosphorylation
  12. Dev Cell. 2022 May 15. pii: S1534-5807(22)00306-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      The changes that drive differentiation facilitate the emergence of abnormal cells that need to be removed before they contribute to further development or the germline. Consequently, in mice in the lead-up to gastrulation, ∼35% of embryonic cells are eliminated. This elimination is caused by hypersensitivity to apoptosis, but how it is regulated is poorly understood. Here, we show that upon exit of naive pluripotency, mouse embryonic stem cells lower their mitochondrial apoptotic threshold, and this increases their sensitivity to cell death. We demonstrate that this enhanced apoptotic response is induced by a decrease in mitochondrial fission due to a reduction in the activity of dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1). Furthermore, we show that in naive pluripotent cells, DRP1 prevents apoptosis by promoting mitophagy. In contrast, during differentiation, reduced mitophagy levels facilitate apoptosis. Together, these results indicate that during early mammalian development, DRP1 regulation of mitophagy determines the apoptotic response.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; early development; embryonic stem cell differentiation; mitochondrial dynamics; mitophagy; pluripotency
  13. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 890419
      TEAD4 (TEA Domain Transcription Factor 4) is well recognized as the DNA-anchor protein of YAP transcription complex, which is modulated by Hippo, a highly conserved pathway in Metazoa that controls organ size through regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis. To acquire full transcriptional activity, TEAD4 requires co-activator, YAP (Yes-associated protein) or its homolog TAZ (transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif) the signaling hub that relays the extracellular stimuli to the transcription of target genes. Growing evidence suggests that TEAD4 also exerts its function in a YAP-independent manner through other signal pathways. Although TEAD4 plays an essential role in determining that differentiation fate of the blastocyst, it also promotes tumorigenesis by enhancing metastasis, cancer stemness, and drug resistance. Upregulation of TEAD4 has been reported in several cancers, including colon cancer, gastric cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer and serves as a valuable prognostic marker. Recent studies show that TEAD4, but not other members of the TEAD family, engages in regulating mitochondrial dynamics and cell metabolism by modulating the expression of mitochondrial- and nuclear-encoded electron transport chain genes. TEAD4's functions including oncogenic activities are tightly controlled by its subcellular localization. As a predominantly nuclear protein, its cytoplasmic translocation is triggered by several signals, such as osmotic stress, cell confluency, and arginine availability. Intriguingly, TEAD4 is also localized in mitochondria, although the translocation mechanism remains unclear. In this report, we describe the current understanding of TEAD4 as an oncogene, epigenetic regulator and mitochondrial modulator. The contributing mechanisms will be discussed.
    Keywords:  Tead4; cancer; epigenetics; mitochondria; oxphos
  14. Redox Biol. 2022 May 13. pii: S2213-2317(22)00107-0. [Epub ahead of print]53 102335
      Mild impairment of mitochondrial function has been shown to increase lifespan in genetic model organisms including worms, flies and mice. To better understand the mechanisms involved, we analyzed RNA sequencing data and found that genes involved in the mitochondrial thioredoxin system, trx-2 and trxr-2, are specifically upregulated in long-lived mitochondrial mutants but not other non-mitochondrial, long-lived mutants. Upregulation of trx-2 and trxr-2 is mediated by activation of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (mitoUPR). While we decided to focus on the genes of the mitochondrial thioredoxin system for this paper, we identified multiple other antioxidant genes that are upregulated by the mitoUPR in the long-lived mitochondrial mutants including sod-3, prdx-3, gpx-6, gpx-7, gpx-8 and glrx-5. In exploring the role of the mitochondrial thioredoxin system in the long-lived mitochondrial mutants, nuo-6 and isp-1, we found that disruption of either trx-2 or trxr-2 significantly decreases their long lifespan, but has no effect on wild-type lifespan, indicating that the mitochondrial thioredoxin system is specifically required for their longevity. In contrast, disruption of the cytoplasmic thioredoxin gene trx-1 decreases lifespan in nuo-6, isp-1 and wild-type worms, indicating a non-specific detrimental effect on longevity. Disruption of trx-2 or trxr-2 also decreases the enhanced resistance to stress in nuo-6 and isp-1 worms, indicating a role for the mitochondrial thioredoxin system in protecting against exogenous stressors. Overall, this work demonstrates an important role for the mitochondrial thioredoxin system in both stress resistance and lifespan resulting from mild impairment of mitochondrial function.
    Keywords:  Aging; Antioxidant; C. elegans; Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; Thioredoxin
  15. Cell Rep. 2022 May 24. pii: S2211-1247(22)00620-9. [Epub ahead of print]39(8): 110847
      Tissue damage leads to loss of cellular and mitochondrial membrane integrity and release of damage-associated molecular patterns, including those of mitochondrial origin (mitoDAMPs). Here, we describe the lymphocyte response to mitoDAMPs. Using primary cells from mice and human donors, we demonstrate that natural killer (NK) cells and T cells adopt regulatory phenotypes and functions in response to mitoDAMPs. NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity, interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production, T cell proliferation, and in vivo anti-viral T cell activation are all interrupted in the presence of mitoDAMPs or mitoDAMP-rich irradiated cells in in vitro and in vivo assays. Mass spectrometry analysis of mitoDAMPs demonstrates that arginase and products of its enzymatic activity are prevalent in mitoDAMP preparations. Functional validation by arginase inhibition and/or arginine add-back shows that arginine depletion is responsible for the alteration in immunologic polarity. We conclude that lymphocyte responses to mitoDAMPs reflect a highly conserved mechanism that regulates inflammation in response to tissue injury.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; NK cell; arginase; arginine metabolism; damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs); immunoregulation; lymphocytes; mass spectrometry; mitochondria; natural killer cell; tissue damage
  16. iScience. 2022 May 20. 25(5): 104332
      The social ameba Dictyostelium discoideum has emerged as a powerful model to study mitochondrial genetics and bioenergetics. However, a comprehensive inventory of mitochondrial proteins that is critical to understanding mitochondrial processes has yet to be curated. Here, we utilized high-throughput multiplexed protein quantitation and homology analyses to generate a high-confidence mitochondrial protein compendium consisting of 936 proteins. Our proteomic approach, which utilizes mass spectrometry in combination with mathematical modeling, was validated through mitochondrial targeting sequence prediction and live-cell imaging. Our final compendium consists of 936 proteins. Nearly, a third of D. discoideum mitochondrial proteins do not have homologs in humans, budding yeasts, or an ancestral alphaproteobacteria. Additionally, we leverage our compendium to highlight the complexity of metabolic reprogramming during starvation-induced development. Our compendium lays a foundation to investigate mitochondrial processes that are unique in ameba and to understand the functions of conserved mitochondrial proteins in D. discoideum.
    Keywords:  Microbiology; Microorganism; Omics; Proteomics
  17. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2022 May 27. pii: a041038. [Epub ahead of print]14(5):
  18. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 14. pii: 5493. [Epub ahead of print]23(10):
      Proton radiotherapy (PRT) has the potential to reduce the normal tissue toxicity associated with conventional photon-based radiotherapy (X-ray therapy, XRT) because the active dose can be more directly targeted to a tumor. Although this dosimetric advantage of PRT is well known, the molecular mechanisms affected by PRT remain largely elusive. Here, we combined the molecular toolbox of the eukaryotic model Saccharomyces cerevisiae with a systems biology approach to investigate the physiological effects of PRT compared to XRT. Our data show that the DNA damage response and protein stress response are the major molecular mechanisms activated after both PRT and XRT. However, RNA-Seq revealed that PRT treatment evoked a stronger activation of genes involved in the response to proteotoxic stress, highlighting the molecular differences between PRT and XRT. Moreover, inhibition of the proteasome resulted in decreased survival in combination with PRT compared to XRT, not only further confirming that protons induced a stronger proteotoxic stress response, but also hinting at the potential of using proteasome inhibitors in combination with proton radiotherapy in clinical settings.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; proteotoxic stress; proton radiation; radiobiology; radiotherapy
  19. Exp Ther Med. 2022 Jun;23(6): 427
      Mitochondrial dysfunction and excessive apoptosis of vascular endothelial cells play a critical role in the development of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Prohibitin (PHB), a significant regulator, maintains mitochondrial function and protects vascular endothelial cells against apoptosis. However, the mechanism underlying the protective effect of PHB on DR remains unclear. Since mitochondria are key regulators of vascular homeostasis, the present study aimed to investigate the molecular mechanism of PHB on maintaining mitochondrial function in human retinal capillary endothelial cells (HRCECs). To evaluate the role of PHB in cell apoptosis, HRCECs, transfected with or without PHB overexpression plasmid or small interfering RNA clones targeting PHB, were cultured in the presence of 5.5 mmol/l normal glucose (NG) or 30 mmol/l high glucose (HG). Subsequently, the apoptosis rate of HRCECs was determined using flow cytometry. The results showed that PHB was upregulated in HRCECs, while PHB knockdown promoted the generation of reactive oxygen species from mitochondria via inhibition of the activation of complex I. Additionally, the apoptosis rate of HRCECs in the HG group was notably enhanced compared with that in the NG group. Interestingly, PHB overexpression attenuated the increase in HG-mediated HRCEC apoptosis. Furthermore, treatment with HG upregulated expression of cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in vitro. The present study indicated that PHB could be a key modulator of mitochondrial homeostasis and could protect HRCECs against HG-induced apoptosis. Overall, the aforementioned findings provided experimental evidence supporting the potential protective effects of PHB on DR.
    Keywords:  Prohibitin; apoptosis; diabetic retinopathy; mitochondrial function
  20. Cell Death Dis. 2022 May 25. 13(5): 501
      The antioxidant transcription factor NFE2L1 (also called Nrf1) acts as a core regulator of redox signaling and metabolism homeostasis, and thus, its dysfunction results in multiple systemic metabolic diseases. However, the molecular mechanism(s) by which NFE2L1 regulates glycose and lipid metabolism remains elusive. Here, we found that loss of NFE2L1 in human HepG2 cells led to a lethal phenotype upon glucose deprivation and NFE2L1 deficiency could affect the uptake of glucose. Further experiments revealed that glycosylation of NFE2L1 enabled it to sense the energy state. These results indicated that NFE2L1 can serve as a dual sensor and regulator of glucose homeostasis. The transcriptome, metabolome, and seahorse data further revealed that disruption of NFE2L1 could reprogram glucose metabolism to aggravate the Warburg effect in NFE2L1-silenced hepatoma cells, concomitant with mitochondrial damage. Co-expression and Co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that NFE2L1 could directly interact and inhibit AMPK. Collectively, NFE2L1 functioned as an energy sensor and negatively regulated AMPK signaling through directly interacting with AMPK. The novel NFE2L1/AMPK signaling pathway delineate the mechanism underlying of NFE2L1-related metabolic diseases and highlight the crosstalk between redox homeostasis and metabolism homeostasis.
  21. Mil Med Res. 2022 May 27. 9(1): 25
      BACKGROUND: Cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury (CIRI) refers to a secondary brain injury that can occur when the blood supply to the ischemic brain tissue is restored. However, the mechanism underlying such injury remains elusive.METHODS: The 150 male C57 mice underwent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 1 h and reperfusion for 24 h, Among them, 50 MCAO mice were further treated with Mitochondrial division inhibitor 1 (Mdivi-1) and 50 MCAO mice were further treated with N-acetylcysteine (NAC). SH-SY5Y cells were cultured in a low-glucose culture medium for 4 h under hypoxic conditions and then transferred to normal conditions for 12 h. Then, cerebral blood flow, mitochondrial structure, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number, intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), autophagic flux, aggresome and exosome expression profiles, cardiac tissue structure, mitochondrial length and cristae density, mtDNA and ROS content, as well as the expression of Drp1-Ser616/Drp1, RIP1/RIP3, LC3 II/LC3 I, TNF-α, IL-1β, etc., were detected under normal or Drp1 interference conditions.
    RESULTS: The mtDNA content, ROS levels, and Drp1-Ser616/Drp1 were elevated by 2.2, 1.7 and 2.7 times after CIRI (P < 0.05). However, the high cytoplasmic LC3 II/I ratio and increased aggregation of p62 could be reversed by 44% and 88% by Drp1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) (P < 0.05). The low fluorescence intensity of autophagic flux and the increased phosphorylation of RIP3 induced by CIRI could be attenuated by ROS scavenger, NAC (P < 0.05). RIP1/RIP3 inhibitor Necrostatin-1 (Nec-1) restored 75% to a low LC3 II/LC3 I ratio and enhanced 2 times to a high RFP-LC3 after Drp1 activation (P < 0.05). In addition, although CIRI-induced ROS production caused no considerable accumulation of autophagosomes (P > 0.05), it increased the packaging and extracellular secretion of exosomes containing p62 by 4 - 5 times, which could be decreased by Mdivi-1, Drp1 shRNA, and Nec-1 (P < 0.05). Furthermore, TNF-α and IL-1β increased in CIRI-derived exosomes could increase RIP3 phosphorylation in normal or oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R) conditions (P < 0.05).
    CONCLUSIONS: CIRI activated Drp1 and accelerated the p62-mediated formation of autophagosomes while inhibiting the transition of autophagosomes to autolysosomes via the RIP1/RIP3 pathway activation. Undegraded autophagosomes were secreted extracellularly in the form of exosomes, leading to inflammatory cascades that further damaged mitochondria, resulting in excessive ROS generation and the blockage of autophagosome degradation, triggering a vicious cycle.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (CIRI); Drp1; Exosome; Inflammatory; LC3 II/I; Oxygen–glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R); RIP1/RIP3; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); p62
  22. Cells. 2022 May 11. pii: 1608. [Epub ahead of print]11(10):
      DEAD/H-box proteins are the largest family of RNA helicases in mammalian genomes, and they are present in all kingdoms of life. Since their discovery in the late 1980s, DEAD/H-box family proteins have been a major focus of study. They have been found to play central roles in RNA metabolism, gene expression, signal transduction, programmed cell death, and the immune response to bacterial and viral infections. Aberrant functions of DEAD/H-box proteins have been implicated in a wide range of human diseases that include cancer, neurodegeneration, and inherited genetic disorders. In this review, we provide a historical context and discuss the molecular functions of DEAD/H-box proteins, highlighting the recent discoveries linking their dysregulation to human diseases. We will also discuss the state of knowledge regarding two specific DEAD/H-box proteins that have critical roles in immune responses and programmed cell death, DDX3X and DDX58, also known as RIG-I. Given their importance in homeostasis and disease, an improved understanding of DEAD/H-box protein biology and protein-protein interactions will be critical for informing strategies to counteract the pathogenesis associated with several human diseases.
    Keywords:  DAMP; DDX3X; DEAD/H-box proteins; MAP kinase signaling; NLR; NLRP3; PAMP; PANoptosis; PRR; RIG-I; apoptosis; bacterial infection; caspase; chemotherapy; inflammasome; innate immunity; interferon signaling; necroptosis; programmed cell death; pyroptosis; stress granules; viral infection
  23. Nat Metab. 2022 May 23.
      Regulatory T (Treg) cells are critical for maintaining immune homeostasis and preventing autoimmunity. Here, we show that the non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) regulates Treg function to prevent autoimmunity. Deletion of transketolase (TKT), an indispensable enzyme of non-oxidative PPP, in Treg cells causes a fatal autoimmune disease in mice, with impaired Treg suppressive capability despite regular Treg numbers and normal Foxp3 expression levels. Mechanistically, reduced glycolysis and enhanced oxidative stress induced by TKT deficiency triggers excessive fatty acid and amino acid catabolism, resulting in uncontrolled oxidative phosphorylation and impaired mitochondrial fitness. Reduced α-KG levels as a result of reductive TCA cycle activity leads to DNA hypermethylation, thereby limiting functional gene expression and suppressive activity of TKT-deficient Treg cells. We also find that TKT levels are frequently downregulated in Treg cells of people with autoimmune disorders. Our study identifies the non-oxidative PPP as an integrator of metabolic and epigenetic processes that control Treg function.
  24. Curr Pharm Des. 2022 May 20.
      Mitochondria regulate a range of important physiological and biochemical cellular processes including apoptotic cell death, energy production, calcium homeostasis, oxidative stress, and lipid metabolism. Given their role as the 'engines' of cells, their dysfunction is associated with a variety of disease states. Exploring the relationship between mitochondrial function and disease can reveal the mechanism(s) of drug activity and disease pathology. In this review, we summarized the methods of evaluating the structure and function of mitochondria, including the morphology, membrane fluidity, membrane potential, opening of the membrane permeability transition pore, inner membrane permeabilization, mitochondrial dynamics, mitophagy, oxidative stress, energy metabolism-related enzymes, apoptotic pathway related proteins, calcium concentration, DNA copy number, oxygen consumption, β-oxidation-related genes and proteins, cardiolipin content, and adenosine triphosphate content. We believe that the information presented in this review will help explore the pathological processes of mitochondria in the occurrence and development of diseases, as well as the activity and mechanism of drugs, and the discovery of new drugs.
    Keywords:  Disease; drug; evaluation; mechanism; method; mitochondria.