bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2022‒09‒11
nine papers selected by
Marco Tigano
Thomas Jefferson University

  1. J Cell Biol. 2022 Oct 03. pii: e202205104. [Epub ahead of print]221(10):
      Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that play essential roles in cell growth and survival. Processes of fission and fusion are critical for the distribution, segregation, and maintenance of mitochondria and their genomes (mtDNA). While recent work has revealed the significance of mitochondrial organization for mtDNA maintenance, the impact of mtDNA perturbations on mitochondrial dynamics remains less understood. Here, we develop a tool to induce mitochondria-specific DNA damage using a mitochondrial-targeted base modifying bacterial toxin, DarT. Following damage, we observe dynamic reorganization of mitochondrial networks, likely driven by mitochondrial dysfunction. Changes in the organization are associated with the loss of mtDNA, independent of mitophagy. Unexpectedly, perturbation to exonuclease function of mtDNA replicative polymerase, Mip1, results in rapid loss of mtDNA. Our data suggest that, under damage, partitioning of defective mtDNA and organelle are de-coupled, with emphasis on mitochondrial segregation independent of its DNA. Together, our work underscores the importance of genome maintenance on mitochondrial function, which can act as a modulator of organelle organization and segregation.
  2. J Virol. 2022 Sep 07. e0121222
      The mitochondrial apoptosis pathway has the function to kill the cell, but recent work shows that this pathway can also be activated to a sublethal level, where signal transduction can be observed but the cell survives. Intriguingly, this signaling has been shown to contribute to inflammatory activity of epithelial cells upon infection with numerous agents. This suggests that microbial recognition can generate sublethal activity in the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Because this recognition is achieved by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), it also implies that PRR signals are linked to the mitochondrial apoptosis apparatus. We here test this hypothesis during infection of epithelial cells with modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). MVA recognition is achieved through receptors specific for nucleic acids, and we present evidence that the three receptors, Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), RIG-I/MDA5, and cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS)/stimulator of interferon genes (STING), are involved in this signaling. When stimulated directly by specific ligands, all three receptors could trigger sublethal apoptosis signals. During infection with MVA, sublethal apoptosis signals were unmasked in X-linked IAP (XIAP)-deficient cells, where apoptosis induction was observed. Deletion of any of the three signaling adapters, TRIF, MAVS, and STING, reduced the DNA damage response, a sensitive measure of sublethal apoptosis signals. Our results suggest that PRRs signal via mitochondria, where they generate sublethal signals through the BCL-2-family, which may contribute to the response to infectious agents. IMPORTANCE A contribution of the mitochondrial apoptosis apparatus, in the absence of cell death, to the reaction of nonprofessional immune cells to viruses is suggested to play a role as a broad alert system of an infected cell: the apoptosis system can be activated by many upstream signals and could therefore act as a central coordinator of viral recognition. The proapoptotic activity of PRRs has been documented in multiple situations, but this activity seems too low to be meaningful, and a physiological significance of such activity is not immediately obvious. This work suggests the alternative interpretation that PRRs do not have the primary function to induce apoptosis but to trigger sublethal signals in the apoptosis system. A number of lines of recent research suggest that mitochondria contribute to cellular reactions, and this pathway may be a way of triggering an early host response.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; MVA; apoptosis; immune recognition; pattern recognition receptors
  3. iScience. 2022 Sep 16. 25(9): 104923
      Although it is reported that mitochondria-localized nuclear transcription factors (TFs) regulate mitochondrial processes such as apoptosis and mitochondrial transcription/respiration, the functions and mechanisms of mitochondrial dynamics regulated by mitochondria-localized nuclear TFs are yet to be fully characterized. Here, we identify STAT6 as a mitochondrial protein that is localized in the outer membrane of mitochondria (OMM). STAT6 in OMM inhibits mitochondrial fusion by blocking MFN2 dimerization. This implies that STAT6 has a critical role in mitochondrial dynamics. Moreover, mitochondrial accumulation of STAT6 in response to hypoxic conditions reveals that STAT6 is a regulator of mitochondrial processes including fusion/fission mechanisms.
    Keywords:  Biological sciences; Molecular biology; Molecular interaction; Natural sciences
  4. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 973089
      Acute lung injury(ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome(ARDS) is a form of acute-onset hypoxemic respiratory failure characterised by an acute, diffuse, inflammatory lung injury, and increased alveolar-capillary permeability, which is caused by a variety of pulmonary or nonpulmonary insults. Recently, aberrant mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) level are associated with the development of ALI/ARDS, and plasma mtDNA level shows the potential to be a promising biomarker for clinical diagnosis and evaluation of lung injury severity. In mechanism, the mtDNA and its oxidised form, which are released from impaired mitochondria, play a crucial role in the inflammatory response and histopathological changes in the lung. In this review, we discuss mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilisation (MOMP), mitochondrial permeability transition pore(mPTP), extracellular vesicles (EVs), extracellular traps (ETs), and passive release as the principal mechanisms for the release of mitochondrial DNA into the cytoplasm and extracellular compartments respectively. Further, we explain how the released mtDNA and its oxidised form can induce inflammatory cytokine production and aggravate lung injury through the Toll-like receptor 9(TLR9) signalling, cytosolic cGAS-stimulator of interferon genes (STING) signalling (cGAS-STING) pathway, and inflammasomes activation. Additionally, we propose targeting mtDNA-mediated inflammatory pathways as a novel therapeutic approach for treating ALI/ARDS.
    Keywords:  ALI; ARDS; STING; TLR9; inflammasomes activation; mtDNA
  5. Methods Cell Biol. 2022 ;pii: S0091-679X(22)00061-9. [Epub ahead of print]172 17-36
      Radiation therapy (RT) is well known for its capacity to mediate cytostatic and cytotoxic effects on malignant cells, largely reflecting the ability of ionizing radiation to cause direct and indirect damage to macromolecules including DNA and lipids. While low-dose RT generally causes limited cytotoxicity in an acute manner (as it imposes insufficient cellular damage to compromise homeostasis, or instead induces the delayed demise of cells that fail to complete mitosis successfully), high RT doses can mediate an acute wave of cell death that begins to manifest shortly (24-72h) after irradiation. Here, we provide two straightforward techniques to assess the acute cytotoxic effects of RT by the flow cytometry-assisted quantification of plasma membrane permeabilization (PMP, a late-stage manifestation of cell death) and either mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) or phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization (two early-stage signs of cell death) in mouse mammary adenocarcinoma TS/A cells. With minor variations, the same protocols can be straightforwardly adapted to measure acute cell death responses as elicited by RT in a large panel of human and mouse cancer cells lines of different histological derivation.
    Keywords:  Annexin V; Apoptosis; DiOC(6)(3); Mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization; Plasma membrane permeabilization; Propidium iodide
  6. Methods Cell Biol. 2022 ;pii: S0091-679X(22)00063-2. [Epub ahead of print]172 115-134
      When employed according to specific doses and fractionation schedules, radiation therapy (RT) elicits potent tumor-targeting immune responses that rely on the secretion of type I interferon (IFN) by irradiated cancer cells. Most often, this is initiated by the ability of RT to promote the cytosolic accumulation of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) molecules, which are detected by cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (CGAS) to engage the stimulator of interferon response cGAMP interactor 1 (STING1)-dependent transactivation of type I IFN-coding genes via interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3). Here, we describe a simple protocol for the quantification of cytosolic dsDNA species by immunofluorescence microscopy coupled to automated image analysis, as enabled by precise sample processing conditions that permeabilize plasma-but not nuclear or inner mitochondrial-membranes. As compared to subcellular fractionation-based techniques, this approach is compatible with assessments in individual cells aimed at gauging inter-cellular heterogeneity, as well as subcellular tests including co-localization studies.
    Keywords:  CGAS; Cancer immunotherapy; FIJI; Type I interferon; mtDNA
  7. Methods Cell Biol. 2022 ;pii: S0091-679X(22)00064-4. [Epub ahead of print]172 145-161
      It is now clear that radiation therapy (RT) can be delivered in doses and according to fractionation schedules that actively elicit immunostimulatory effects. While such effects are often sufficient to drive potent anticancer immunity culminating with systemic disease eradication, the immunostimulatory activity of RT stands out as a promising combinatorial partner for bona fide immunotherapeutics including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Accumulating preclinical and clinical evidence indicates that the secretion of type I interferon (IFN) by irradiated cancer cells is a sine qua non for RT to initiate ICI-actionable tumor-targeting immune responses. Here, we detail a simple protocol to quantitatively assess type I IFN responses in irradiated mouse hormone receptor (HR)+ TS/A cells by RT-PCR. With minimal variations, the same technique can be straightforwardly adapted to quantify type I IFN-associated transcriptional responses in a variety of human and mouse cancer cells maintained in vitro.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; CGAS; CXCL10; MX1; Mitochondrial DNA; PD-1; SARRP; STING1; TS/A; Tumor immunology; Viral mimicry
  8. J Biol Chem. 2022 Sep 05. pii: S0021-9258(22)00907-3. [Epub ahead of print] 102464
      Apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) is a mitochondrion-localized flavoprotein with NADH oxidase activity. AIF normally acts as an oxidoreductase to catalyze the transfer of electrons between molecules, but it can also kill cells when exposed to certain stimuli. For example, intact AIF is cleaved upon exposure to DNA-damaging agents such as etoposide, and truncated AIF (tAIF) is released from the mitochondria to the cytoplasm and translocated to the nucleus where it induces apoptosis. Although the serial events during tAIF-mediated apoptosis and the transition of AIF function have been widely studied from various perspectives, their underlying regulatory mechanisms and the factors involved are not fully understood. Here, we demonstrated that tAIF is a target of the covalent conjugation of the ubiquitin-like moiety ISG15 (referred to as ISGylation), which is mediated by the ISG15 E3 ligase HERC5. In addition, ISGylation increases the stability of tAIF protein as well as its K6-linked polyubiquitination. Moreover, we found that ISGylation increases the nuclear translocation of tAIF upon cytotoxic etoposide treatment, subsequently causing apoptotic cell death in human lung A549 carcinoma cells. Collectively, these results suggest that HERC5-mediated ISG15 conjugation is a key factor in the positive regulation of tAIF-mediated apoptosis, highlighting a novel role of post-translational ISG15 modification as a switch that allows cells to live or die under the stress that triggers tAIF release.
    Keywords:  A549; AIF; Apoptosis; Etoposide; HERC5; ISG15; Ubiquitin-like
  9. Trends Neurosci. 2022 Sep 05. pii: S0166-2236(22)00145-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Neurodegenerative diseases are a major cause of death and disability worldwide and are influenced by many factors including age, genetics, and injuries. While these diseases are often thought to result from the accumulation and spread of aberrant proteins, recent studies have demonstrated that they can be shaped by the innate and adaptive immune system. Resident myeloid cells typically mount a sustained response to the degenerating CNS, but peripheral leukocytes such as T and B cells can also alter disease trajectories. Here, we review the sometimes-dichotomous roles played by immune cells during neurodegenerative diseases and explore how brain trauma can serve as a disease initiator or accelerant. We also offer insights into how failure to properly resolve a CNS injury might promote the development of a neurodegenerative disease.
    Keywords:  adaptive immunity; brain injury; innate immunity; neurodegeneration