bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2022‒09‒04
sixteen papers selected by
Marco Tigano
Thomas Jefferson University

  1. Cell. 2022 Sep 01. pii: S0092-8674(22)00978-3. [Epub ahead of print]185(18): 3356-3374.e22
      Drug-tolerant persister cells (persisters) evade apoptosis upon targeted and conventional cancer therapies and represent a major non-genetic barrier to effective cancer treatment. Here, we show that cells that survive treatment with pro-apoptotic BH3 mimetics display a persister phenotype that includes colonization and metastasis in vivo and increased sensitivity toward ferroptosis by GPX4 inhibition. We found that sublethal mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) and holocytochrome c release are key requirements for the generation of the persister phenotype. The generation of persisters is independent of apoptosome formation and caspase activation, but instead, cytosolic cytochrome c induces the activation of heme-regulated inhibitor (HRI) kinase and engagement of the integrated stress response (ISR) with the consequent synthesis of ATF4, all of which are required for the persister phenotype. Our results reveal that sublethal cytochrome c release couples sublethal MOMP to caspase-independent initiation of an ATF4-dependent, drug-tolerant persister phenotype.
    Keywords:  ATF4; Bcl-2 family; GPX4; HRI; ferroptosis; persister integrated stress response
  2. Mol Cell. 2022 Aug 23. pii: S1097-2765(22)00764-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      The human mitochondrial genome must be replicated and expressed in a timely manner to maintain energy metabolism and supply cells with adequate levels of adenosine triphosphate. Central to this process is the idea that replication primers and gene products both arise via transcription from a single light strand promoter (LSP) such that primer formation can influence gene expression, with no consensus as to how this is regulated. Here, we report the discovery of a second light strand promoter (LSP2) in humans, with features characteristic of a bona fide mitochondrial promoter. We propose that the position of LSP2 on the mitochondrial genome allows replication and gene expression to be orchestrated from two distinct sites, which expands our long-held understanding of mitochondrial gene expression in humans.
    Keywords:  DdCBE; LSP2; POLRMT; light strand promoter; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial gene expression; mitochondrial promoter; mtDNA; transcription
  3. Nat Commun. 2022 Sep 02. 13(1): 5164
      Mitophagy is essential to maintain mitochondrial function and prevent diseases. It activates upon mitochondria depolarization, which causes PINK1 stabilization on the mitochondrial outer membrane. Strikingly, a number of conditions, including mitochondrial protein misfolding, can induce mitophagy without a loss in membrane potential. The underlying molecular details remain unclear. Here, we report that a loss of mitochondrial protein import, mediated by the pre-sequence translocase-associated motor complex PAM, is sufficient to induce mitophagy in polarized mitochondria. A genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screen for mitophagy inducers identifies components of the PAM complex. Protein import defects are able to induce mitophagy without a need for depolarization. Upon mitochondrial protein misfolding, PAM dissociates from the import machinery resulting in decreased protein import and mitophagy induction. Our findings extend the current mitophagy model to explain mitophagy induction upon conditions that do not affect membrane polarization, such as mitochondrial protein misfolding.
  4. Sci Rep. 2022 Aug 31. 12(1): 14804
      Post-translational modifications, such as lysine acetylation, regulate the activity of diverse proteins across many cellular compartments. Protein deacetylation in mitochondria is catalyzed by the enzymatic activity of the NAD+-dependent deacetylase sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), however it remains unclear whether corresponding mitochondrial acetyltransferases exist. We used a bioinformatics approach to search for mitochondrial proteins with an acetyltransferase catalytic domain, and identified a novel splice variant of ELP3 (mt-ELP3) of the elongator complex, which localizes to the mitochondrial matrix in mammalian cells. Unexpectedly, mt-ELP3 does not mediate mitochondrial protein acetylation but instead induces a post-transcriptional modification of mitochondrial-transfer RNAs (mt-tRNAs). Overexpression of mt-ELP3 leads to the protection of mt-tRNAs against the tRNA-specific RNase angiogenin, increases mitochondrial translation, and furthermore increases expression of OXPHOS complexes. This study thus identifies mt-ELP3 as a non-canonical mt-tRNA modifying enzyme.
  5. Trends Cancer. 2022 Aug 27. pii: S2405-8033(22)00172-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations are among the most common genetic events in all tumors and directly impact metabolic homeostasis. Despite the central role mitochondria play in energy metabolism and cellular physiology, the role of mutations in the mitochondrial genomes of tumors has been contentious. Until recently, genomic and functional studies of mtDNA variants were impeded by a lack of adequate tumor mtDNA sequencing data and available methods for mitochondrial genome engineering. These barriers and a conceptual fog surrounding the functional impact of mtDNA mutations in tumors have begun to lift, revealing a path to understanding the role of this essential metabolic genome in cancer initiation and progression. Here we discuss the history, recent developments, and challenges that remain for mitochondrial oncogenetics as the impact of a major new class of cancer-associated mutations is unveiled.
    Keywords:  cancer; genome editing; mitochondrial DNA; mutation selection
  6. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 972184
      The virus-induced signaling adaptor protein VISA (also known as MAVS, ISP-1, Cardif) is a critical adaptor protein in the innate immune response to RNA virus infection. Upon viral infection, VISA self-aggregates to form a sizeable prion-like complex and recruits downstream signal components for signal transduction. Here, we discover that BAG6 (BCL2-associated athanogene 6, formerly BAT3 or Scythe) is an essential negative regulator in the RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathway. BAG6 inhibits the aggregation of VISA by promoting the K48-linked ubiquitination and specifically attenuates the recruitment of TRAF2 by VISA to inhibit RLR signaling. The aggregation of VISA and the interaction of VISA and TRAF2 are enhanced in BAG6-deficient cell lines after viral infection, resulting in the enhanced transcription level of downstream antiviral genes. Our research shows that BAG6 is a critical regulating factor in RIG-I/VISA-mediated innate immune response by targeting VISA.
    Keywords:  BAG6; TRAF2; VISA/MAVS; innate immunity; interferon
  7. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 981464
    Keywords:  cancer; immunometabolism; mitochondria; neurodegeneration; redox; signaling
  8. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Aug 30. pii: gkac720. [Epub ahead of print]
      In this report, we investigated the molecular mechanism underlying a deafness-associated m.5783C > T mutation that affects the canonical C50-G63 base-pairing of TΨC stem of tRNACys and immediately adjacent to 5' end of light-strand origin of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication (OriL). Two dimensional agarose gel electrophoresis revealed marked decreases in the replication intermediates including ascending arm of Y-fork arcs spanning OriL in the mutant cybrids bearing m.5783C > T mutation. mtDNA replication alterations were further evidenced by decreased levels of PolγA, Twinkle and SSBP1, newly synthesized mtDNA and mtDNA contents in the mutant cybrids. The m.5783C > T mutation altered tRNACys structure and function, including decreased melting temperature, conformational changes, instability and deficient aminoacylation of mutated tRNACys. The m.5783C > T mutation impaired the 5' end processing efficiency of tRNACys precursors and reduced the levels of tRNACys and downstream tRNATyr. The aberrant tRNA metabolism impaired mitochondrial translation, which was especially pronounced effects in the polypeptides harboring higher numbers of cysteine and tyrosine codons. These alterations led to deficient oxidative phosphorylation including instability and reduced activities of the respiratory chain enzyme complexes I, III, IV and intact supercomplexes overall. Our findings highlight the impact of mitochondrial dysfunction on deafness arising from defects in mitochondrial DNA replication and tRNA metabolism.
  9. J Biol Chem. 2022 Aug 24. pii: S0021-9258(22)00863-8. [Epub ahead of print] 102420
      TOP1MT encodes a mitochondrial topoisomerase that is important for mtDNA regulation, and is involved in mitochondrial replication, transcription, and translation. Two variants predicted to affect TOP1MT function (V1 - R198C and V2 - V338L) were identified by exome sequencing of a newborn with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As no pathogenic TOP1MT variants had been confirmed previously, we characterized these variants for their ability to rescue several TOP1MT functions in knockout cells. Consistent with these TOP1MT variants contributing to the patient phenotype, our comprehensive characterization suggests that both variants had impaired activity. Critically, we determined neither variant was able to restore steady state levels of mitochondrial-encoded proteins, nor to rescue oxidative phosphorylation when re-expressed in TOP1MT knockout cells. However, we found the two variants behaved differently in some respects; while the V1 variant was more efficient in restoring transcript levels, the V2 variant showed better rescue of mtDNA copy number and replication. These findings suggest that the different TOP1MT variants affect distinct TOP1MT functions. Altogether, these findings begin to provide insight into the many roles that TOP1MT plays in the maintenance and expression of the mitochondrial genome, and how impairments in this important protein may lead to human pathology.
    Keywords:  TOP1MT; mitochondria; mtDNA; replication; transcription; translation
  10. J Exp Med. 2022 Nov 07. pii: e20221085. [Epub ahead of print]219(11):
      Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) chronically produce type I interferon (IFN-I) in autoimmune diseases, including systemic sclerosis (SSc) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We report that the IRE1α-XBP1 branch of the unfolded protein response (UPR) inhibits IFN-α production by TLR7- or TLR9-activated pDCs. In SSc patients, UPR gene expression was reduced in pDCs, which inversely correlated with IFN-I-stimulated gene expression. CXCL4, a chemokine highly secreted in SSc patients, downregulated IRE1α-XBP1-controlled genes and promoted IFN-α production by pDCs. Mechanistically, IRE1α-XBP1 activation rewired glycolysis to serine biosynthesis by inducing phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) expression. This process reduced pyruvate access to the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and blunted mitochondrial ATP generation, which are essential for pDC IFN-I responses. Notably, PHGDH expression was reduced in pDCs from patients with SSc and SLE, and pharmacological blockade of TCA cycle reactions inhibited IFN-I responses in pDCs from these patients. Hence, modulating the IRE1α-XBP1-PHGDH axis may represent a hitherto unexplored strategy for alleviating chronic pDC activation in autoimmune disorders.
  11. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2022 Sep 02. 17(1): 335
      BACKGROUND: Genetic mitochondrial diseases represent a significant challenge to human health. These diseases are extraordinarily heterogeneous in clinical presentation and genetic origin, and often involve multi-system disease with severe progressive symptoms. Mitochondrial diseases represent the most common cause of inherited metabolic disorders and one of the most common causes of inherited neurologic diseases, yet no proven therapeutic strategies yet exist. The basic cell and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of mitochondrial diseases have not been resolved, hampering efforts to develop therapeutic agents.MAIN BODY: In recent pre-clinical work, we have shown that pharmacologic agents targeting the immune system can prevent disease in the Ndufs4(KO) model of Leigh syndrome, indicating that the immune system plays a causal role in the pathogenesis of at least this form of mitochondrial disease. Intriguingly, a number of case reports have indicated that immune-targeting therapeutics may be beneficial in the setting of genetic mitochondrial disease. Here, we summarize clinical and pre-clinical evidence suggesting a key role for the immune system in mediating the pathogenesis of at least some forms of genetic mitochondrial disease.
    CONCLUSIONS: Significant clinical and pre-clinical evidence indicates a key role for the immune system as a significant in the pathogenesis of at least some forms of genetic mitochondrial disease.
    Keywords:  Genetic disease; Immunity; Leigh syndrome; MELAS; Mitochondrial disease
  12. Nat Aging. 2022 Aug;2(8): 714-725
      The accumulation of somatic DNA mutations over time is a hallmark of aging in many dividing and nondividing cells but has not been studied in postmitotic human cardiomyocytes. Using single-cell whole-genome sequencing, we identified and characterized the landscape of somatic single-nucleotide variants (sSNVs) in 56 single cardiomyocytes from 12 individuals (aged from 0.4 to 82 years). Cardiomyocyte sSNVs accumulate with age at rates that are faster than in many dividing cell types and nondividing neurons. Cardiomyocyte sSNVs show distinctive mutational signatures that implicate failed nucleotide excision repair and base excision repair of oxidative DNA damage, and defective mismatch repair. Since age-accumulated sSNVs create many damaging mutations that disrupt gene functions, polyploidization in cardiomyocytes may provide a mechanism of genetic compensation to minimize the complete knockout of essential genes during aging. Age-related accumulation of cardiac mutations provides a paradigm to understand the influence of aging on cardiac dysfunction.
  13. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Sep 06. 119(36): e2117396119
      Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent programmed necrosis characterized by glutathione (GSH) depletion and lipid peroxidation (LPO). Armed with both the pro- and antiferroptosis machineries, mitochondria play a central role in ferroptosis. However, how mitochondria sense the stress to activate ferroptosis under (patho-)physiological settings remains incompletely understood. Here, we show that FUN14 domain-containing 2, also known as HCBP6 (FUNDC2), a highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed mitochondrial outer membrane protein, regulates ferroptosis and contributes to doxorubicin (DOX)-induced cardiomyopathy. We showed that knockout of FUNDC2 protected mice from DOX-induced cardiac injury by preventing ferroptosis. Mechanistic studies reveal that FUNDC2 interacts with SLC25A11, the mitochondrial glutathione transporter, to regulate mitoGSH levels. Specifically, knockdown of SLC25A11 in FUNDC2-knockout (KO) cells reduced mitoGSH and augmented erasin-induced ferroptosis. FUNDC2 also affected the stability of both SLC25A11 and glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), key regulators for ferroptosis. Our results demonstrate that FUNDC2 modulates ferroptotic stress via regulating mitoGSH and further support a therapeutic strategy of cardioprotection by preventing mitoGSH depletion and ferroptosis.
    Keywords:  FUNDC2; SLC25A11; ferroptosis; mitoGSH; mitochondria
  14. Nat Methods. 2022 Sep 01.
      MINimal fluorescence photon FLUXes (MINFLUX) nanoscopy, providing photon-efficient fluorophore localizations, has brought about three-dimensional resolution at nanometer scales. However, by using an intrinsic on-off switching process for single fluorophore separation, initial MINFLUX implementations have been limited to two color channels. Here we show that MINFLUX can be effectively combined with sequentially multiplexed DNA-based labeling (DNA-PAINT), expanding MINFLUX nanoscopy to multiple molecular targets. Our method is exemplified with three-color recordings of mitochondria in human cells.
  15. Clin Transl Med. 2022 Aug;12(8): e1002
      BACKGROUNDS: Inflammation underlies the mechanism of different kinds of heart disease. Cytoplasmic membrane localized N-terminal fragment of gasdermin-D (GSDMD-N) could induce inflammatory injury to cardiomyocyte. However, effects and dynamic changes of GSDMD during the process of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) related inflammatory stress induced cardiomyocyte injury are barely elucidated to date. In this study, LPS related cardiomyocyte injury was investigated based on potential interaction of GSDMD-N induced mitochondrial injury and mitophagy mediated mitochondria quality control.METHODS: HL-1 cardiomyocytes were treated with LPS and Nigericin to induce inflammatory stress. The dual-fluorescence-labelled GSDMD expressed HL-1 cardiomyocytes were constructed to study the translocation of GSDMD. The mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) was measured by JC-1 staining. Mitophagy and autophagic flux were recorded by transmission electron microscopy and fluorescent image.
    RESULTS: GSDMD-N showed a time-dependent pattern of translocation from mitochondria to cytoplasmic membrane under LPS and Nigericin induced inflammatory stress in HL-1 cardiomyocytes. GSDMD-N preferred to localize to mitochondria to permeablize its membrane and dissipate the MMP. This effect couldn't be reversed by cyclosporine-A (mPTP inhibitor), indicating GSDMD-N pores as alternative mechanism underlying MMP regulation, in addition to mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). Moreover, the combination between GSDMD-N and autophagy related Microtubule Associated Protein 1 Light Chain 3 Beta (LC3B) was verified by co-immunoprecipitation. Besides, mitophagy alleviating GSDMD-N induced mitochondrial injury was proved by pre-treatment of autophagy antagonist or agonist in GSDMD-knock out or GSDMD-overexpression cells. A time-dependent pattern of GSDMD translocation and mitochondrial GSDMD targeted mitophagy were verified.
    CONCLUSION: Herein, our study confirmed a crosstalk between GSDMD-N induced mitochondrial injury and mitophagy mediated mitochondria quality control during LPS related inflammation induced cardiomyocyte injury, which potentially facilitating the development of therapeutic target to myocardial inflammatory disease. Our findings support pharmaceutical intervention on enhancing autophagy or inhibiting GSDMD as potential target for inflammatory heart disease treatment.
    Keywords:  autophagic flux; gasdermin D; inflammation; lipopolysaccharide; mitochondria; mitochondrial membrane potential; mitophagy