bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2022‒09‒25
six papers selected by
Marco Tigano
Thomas Jefferson University

  1. Exp Cell Res. 2022 Sep 15. pii: S0014-4827(22)00351-2. [Epub ahead of print]420(2): 113358
      Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a common intracranial primary tumor of the central nervous system with high malignancy, poor prognosis, and short survival. Studies have shown that mitochondrial energy metabolism plays an important role in GBM chemotherapy resistance, suggesting that interrupting mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) may improve GBM treatment. Human peptide deformylase (HsPDF) is a mitochondrial deformylase that removes the formylated methionine from the N-terminus of proteins encoded by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), thereby contributing to correct protein folding and participating in the assembly of the electron respiratory chain complex. In this study, we found that the expression of mtDNA-encoded proteins was significantly downregulated after treatment of GBM cells U87MG and LN229 with the HsPDF inhibitor, actinonin. In combination with temozolomide, a preferred chemotherapeutic medicine for GBM, the OXPHOS level decreased, mitochondrial protein homeostasis was unbalanced, mitochondrial fission increased, and the integrated stress response was activated to promote mitochondrial apoptosis. These findings suggest that HsPDF inhibition is an important strategy for overcoming chemoresistance of GBM cells.
    Keywords:  Actinonin; Glioblastoma multiforme; Human peptide deformylase; Integrated stress response; Mitochondrial quality control; Temozolomide
  2. Mol Cell. 2022 Sep 16. pii: S1097-2765(22)00851-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Recognition of pathogen-derived foreign nucleic acids is central to innate immune defense. This requires discrimination between structurally highly similar self and nonself nucleic acids to avoid aberrant inflammatory responses as in the autoinflammatory disorder Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS). How vast amounts of self RNA are shielded from immune recognition to prevent autoinflammation is not fully understood. Here, we show that human SAM-domain- and HD-domain-containing protein 1 (SAMHD1), one of the AGS-causing genes, functions as a single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) 3'exonuclease, the lack of which causes cellular RNA accumulation. Increased ssRNA in cells leads to dissolution of RNA-protein condensates, which sequester immunogenic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Release of sequestered dsRNA from condensates triggers activation of antiviral type I interferon via retinoic-acid-inducible gene I-like receptors. Our results establish SAMHD1 as a key regulator of cellular RNA homeostasis and demonstrate that buffering of immunogenic self RNA by condensates regulates innate immune responses.
    Keywords:  Aicardi-Goutières syndrome; RNA; SAMHD1; autoinflammation; condensate; dsRNA; innate immunity; phase separation; stress granules; type I interferon
  3. Acta Neuropathol. 2022 Sep 19.
      ER stress signaling is linked to the pathophysiological and clinical disease manifestations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here, we have investigated ER stress-induced adaptive mechanisms in C9ORF72-ALS/FTD, focusing on uncovering early endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms and the crosstalk between pathological and adaptive responses in disease onset and progression. We provide evidence for the early onset of ER stress-mediated adaptive response in C9ORF72 patient-derived motoneurons (MNs), reflected by the elevated increase in GRP75 expression. These transiently increased GRP75 levels enhance ER-mitochondrial association, boosting mitochondrial function and sustaining cellular bioenergetics during the initial stage of disease, thereby counteracting early mitochondrial deficits. In C9orf72 rodent neurons, an abrupt reduction in GRP75 expression coincided with the onset of UPR, mitochondrial dysfunction and the emergence of PolyGA aggregates, which co-localize with GRP75. Similarly, the overexpression of PolyGA in WT cortical neurons or C9ORF72 patient-derived MNs led to the sequestration of GRP75 within PolyGA inclusions, resulting in mitochondrial calcium (Ca2+) uptake impairments. Corroborating these findings, we found that PolyGA aggregate-bearing human post-mortem C9ORF72 hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons not only display reduced expression of GRP75 but also exhibit GRP75 sequestration within inclusions. Sustaining high GRP75 expression in spinal C9orf72 rodent MNs specifically prevented ER stress, normalized mitochondrial function, abrogated PolyGA accumulation in spinal MNs, and ameliorated ALS-associated behavioral phenotype. Taken together, our results are in line with the notion that neurons in C9ORF72-ALS/FTD are particularly susceptible to ER-mitochondrial dysfunction and that GRP75 serves as a critical endogenous neuroprotective factor. This neuroprotective pathway, is eventually targeted by PolyGA, leading to GRP75 sequestration, and its subsequent loss of function at the MAM, compromising mitochondrial function and promoting disease onset.
  4. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Sep 21.
      One of the tasks of mitochondria is the rule over life and death: when the outer membrane is permeabilized, the release of intermembrane space proteins causes cell death by apoptosis. For a long time, this mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) has been accepted as the famous step from which no cell returns. Recent results have however shown that this quite plainly does not have to be the case. A cell can also undergo only a little MOMP, and it can efficiently repair damage it has incurred in the process. There is no doubt now that such low-scale permeabilization occurs. A major unclarified issue is the biological relevance. Is small-scale mitochondrial permeabilization an accident, a leakiness of the apoptosis apparatus, perhaps during restructuring of the mitochondrial network? Is it attempted suicide, where cell death by apoptosis is the real goal but the stimulus failed to reach the threshold? Or, more boldly, is there a true biological meaning behind the event of the release of low amounts of mitochondrial components? We will here explore this last possibility, which we believe is on one hand appealing, on the other hand plausible and supported by some evidence. Recent data are consistent with the view that sub-lethal signals in the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway can drive inflammation, the first step of an immune reaction. The apoptosis apparatus is almost notoriously easy to trigger. Sub-lethal signals may be even easier to set off. We suggest that the apoptosis apparatus is used in this way to sound the call when the first human cell is infected by a pathogen.
  5. Mol Psychiatry. 2022 Sep 21.
      Mitochondrial DNA variants have previously associated with disease, but the underlying mechanisms have been largely elusive. Here, we report that mitochondrial SNP rs2853499 associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), neuroimaging, and transcriptomics. We mapped rs2853499 to a novel mitochondrial small open reading frame called SHMOOSE with microprotein encoding potential. Indeed, we detected two unique SHMOOSE-derived peptide fragments in mitochondria by using mass spectrometry-the first unique mass spectrometry-based detection of a mitochondrial-encoded microprotein to date. Furthermore, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) SHMOOSE levels in humans correlated with age, CSF tau, and brain white matter volume. We followed up on these genetic and biochemical findings by carrying out a series of functional experiments. SHMOOSE acted on the brain following intracerebroventricular administration, differentiated mitochondrial gene expression in multiple models, localized to mitochondria, bound the inner mitochondrial membrane protein mitofilin, and boosted mitochondrial oxygen consumption. Altogether, SHMOOSE has vast implications for the fields of neurobiology, Alzheimer's disease, and microproteins.
  6. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Sep 21. pii: gkac779. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mutational spectrum of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) does not resemble any of the known mutational signatures of the nuclear genome and variation in mtDNA mutational spectra between different organisms is still incomprehensible. Since mitochondria are responsible for aerobic respiration, it is expected that mtDNA mutational spectrum is affected by oxidative damage. Assuming that oxidative damage increases with age, we analyse mtDNA mutagenesis of different species in regards to their generation length. Analysing, (i) dozens of thousands of somatic mtDNA mutations in samples of different ages (ii) 70053 polymorphic synonymous mtDNA substitutions reconstructed in 424 mammalian species with different generation lengths and (iii) synonymous nucleotide content of 650 complete mitochondrial genomes of mammalian species we observed that the frequency of AH > GH substitutions (H: heavy strand notation) is twice bigger in species with high versus low generation length making their mtDNA more AH poor and GH rich. Considering that AH > GH substitutions are also sensitive to the time spent single-stranded (TSSS) during asynchronous mtDNA replication we demonstrated that AH > GH substitution rate is a function of both species-specific generation length and position-specific TSSS. We propose that AH > GH is a mitochondria-specific signature of oxidative damage associated with both aging and TSSS.