bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2023‒02‒12
twelve papers selected by
Marco Tigano
Thomas Jefferson University

  1. Nature. 2023 Feb 08.
      Cancers arise through the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations that enable cells to evade telomere-based proliferative barriers and achieve immortality. One such barrier is replicative crisis-an autophagy-dependent program that eliminates checkpoint-deficient cells with unstable telomeres and other cancer-relevant chromosomal aberrations1,2. However, little is known about the molecular events that regulate the onset of this important tumour-suppressive barrier. Here we identified the innate immune sensor Z-DNA binding protein 1 (ZBP1) as a regulator of the crisis program. A crisis-associated isoform of ZBP1 is induced by the cGAS-STING DNA-sensing pathway, but reaches full activation only when associated with telomeric-repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) transcripts that are synthesized from dysfunctional telomeres. TERRA-bound ZBP1 oligomerizes into filaments on the outer mitochondrial membrane of a subset of mitochondria, where it activates the innate immune adapter protein mitochondrial antiviral-signalling protein (MAVS). We propose that these oligomerization properties of ZBP1 serve as a signal amplification mechanism, where few TERRA-ZBP1 interactions are sufficient to launch a detrimental MAVS-dependent interferon response. Our study reveals a mechanism for telomere-mediated tumour suppression, whereby dysfunctional telomeres activate innate immune responses through mitochondrial TERRA-ZBP1 complexes to eliminate cells destined for neoplastic transformation.
  2. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 23. pii: 2023.01.23.525156. [Epub ahead of print]
      CNS inflammation triggers activation of the integrated stress response (ISR). We previously reported that prolonging the ISR protects remyelinating oligodendrocytes and promotes remyelination in the presence of inflammation (Chen et al., eLife , 2021). However, the exact mechanisms through which this occurs remain unknown. Here, we investigated whether the ISR modulator Sephin1 in combination with the oligodendrocyte differentiation enhancing reagent bazedoxifene (BZA) is able to accelerate remyelination under inflammation, and the underlying mechanisms mediating this pathway. We find that the combined treatment of Sephin1 and BZA is sufficient to accelerate early-stage remyelination in mice with ectopic IFN-γ expression in the CNS. IFN-γ, which is a critical inflammatory cytokine in multiple sclerosis (MS), inhibits oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) differentiation in culture and triggers a mild ISR. Mechanistically, we further show that BZA promotes OPC differentiation in the presence of IFN-γ, while Sephin1 enhances the IFN-γ-induced ISR by reducing protein synthesis and increasing RNA stress granule formation in differentiating oligodendrocytes. Finally, the ISR suppressor 2BAct is able to partially lessen the beneficial effect of Sephin1 on disease progression, in an MS mouse model of experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE). Overall, our findings uncover distinct mechanisms of action of BZA and Sephin1 on oligodendrocyte lineage cells under inflammatory stress, suggesting that a combination therapy may effectively promote restoring neuronal function in MS patients.
  3. Cell Metab. 2023 Feb 07. pii: S1550-4131(23)00003-7. [Epub ahead of print]35(2): 345-360.e7
      Mitochondrial components have been abundantly detected in bone matrix, implying that they are somehow transported extracellularly to regulate osteogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that mitochondria and mitochondrial-derived vesicles (MDVs) are secreted from mature osteoblasts to promote differentiation of osteoprogenitors. We show that osteogenic induction stimulates mitochondrial fragmentation, donut formation, and secretion of mitochondria through CD38/cADPR signaling. Enhancing mitochondrial fission and donut formation through Opa1 knockdown or Fis1 overexpression increases mitochondrial secretion and accelerates osteogenesis. We also show that mitochondrial fusion promoter M1, which induces Opa1 expression, impedes osteogenesis, whereas osteoblast-specific Opa1 deletion increases bone mass. We further demonstrate that secreted mitochondria and MDVs enhance bone regeneration in vivo. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial morphology in mature osteoblasts is adapted for extracellular secretion, and secreted mitochondria and MDVs are critical promoters of osteogenesis.
    Keywords:  FIS1; M1; OPA1; donut mitochondria; mitochondria; mitochondrial secretion; mitochondrial transplantation; mitochondrial-derived vesicles; osteoblasts; osteogenesis
  4. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 25. pii: 2023.01.25.525475. [Epub ahead of print]
      Effective immunity requires the innate immune system to distinguish foreign (non-self) nucleic acids from cellular (self) nucleic acids. Cellular double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) are edited by the RNA editing enzyme ADAR1 to prevent their dsRNA structure pattern being recognized as viral dsRNA by cytoplasmic dsRNA sensors including MDA5, PKR and ZBP1. A loss of ADAR1-mediated RNA editing of cellular dsRNA activates MDA5. However, additional RNA editing-independent functions of ADAR1 have been proposed, but a specific mechanism has not been delineated. We now demonstrate that the loss of ADAR1-mediated RNA editing specifically activates MDA5, while loss of the cytoplasmic ADAR1p150 isoform or its dsRNA binding activity enabled PKR activation. Deleting both MDA5 and PKR resulted in complete rescue of the embryonic lethality of Adar1p150 -/- mice to adulthood, contrasting with the limited or no rescue by removing MDA5, PKR or ZBP1 alone, demonstrating that this is a species conserved function of ADAR1p150. Our findings demonstrate that MDA5 and PKR are the primary in vivo effectors of fatal autoinflammation following the loss of ADAR1p150.
  5. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 06. 14(1): 638
      The intimate association between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial membranes at ER-Mitochondria contact sites (ERMCS) is a platform for critical cellular processes, particularly lipid synthesis. How contacts are remodeled and the impact of altered contacts on lipid metabolism remains poorly understood. We show that the p97 AAA-ATPase and its adaptor ubiquitin-X domain adaptor 8 (UBXD8) regulate ERMCS. The p97-UBXD8 complex localizes to contacts and its loss increases contacts in a manner that is dependent on p97 catalytic activity. Quantitative proteomics and lipidomics of ERMCS demonstrates alterations in proteins regulating lipid metabolism and a significant change in membrane lipid saturation upon UBXD8 deletion. Loss of p97-UBXD8 increased membrane lipid saturation via SREBP1 and the lipid desaturase SCD1. Aberrant contacts can be rescued by unsaturated fatty acids or overexpression of SCD1. We find that the SREBP1-SCD1 pathway is negatively impacted in the brains of mice with p97 mutations that cause neurodegeneration. We propose that contacts are exquisitely sensitive to alterations to membrane lipid composition and saturation.
  6. Cell Stem Cell. 2023 Feb 07. pii: S1934-5909(23)00007-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Increasing evidence implicates the critical roles of various epitranscriptomic RNA modifications in different biological processes. Methyltransferase METTL8 installs 3-methylcytosine (m3C) modification of mitochondrial tRNAs in vitro; however, its role in intact biological systems is unknown. Here, we show that Mettl8 is localized in mitochondria and installs m3C specifically on mitochondrial tRNAThr/Ser(UCN) in mouse embryonic cortical neural stem cells. At molecular and cellular levels, Mettl8 deletion in cortical neural stem cells leads to reduced mitochondrial protein translation and attenuated respiration activity. At the functional level, conditional Mettl8 deletion in mice results in impaired embryonic cortical neural stem cell maintenance in vivo, which can be rescued by pharmacologically enhancing mitochondrial functions. Similarly, METTL8 promotes mitochondrial protein expression and neural stem cell maintenance in human forebrain cortical organoids. Together, our study reveals a conserved epitranscriptomic mechanism of Mettl8 and mitochondrial tRNA m3C modification in maintaining embryonic cortical neural stem cells in mice and humans.
    Keywords:  Mettl8; epitranscriptomics; human forebrain organoids; m(3)C modification; mitochondria activity; mitochondrial tRNA; neural stem cells; neurogenesis
  7. Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 Feb 06. pii: gkad037. [Epub ahead of print]
      Many replicative DNA polymerases couple DNA replication and unwinding activities to perform strand displacement DNA synthesis, a critical ability for DNA metabolism. Strand displacement is tightly regulated by partner proteins, such as single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding proteins (SSBs) by a poorly understood mechanism. Here, we use single-molecule optical tweezers and biochemical assays to elucidate the molecular mechanism of strand displacement DNA synthesis by the human mitochondrial DNA polymerase, Polγ, and its modulation by cognate and noncognate SSBs. We show that Polγ exhibits a robust DNA unwinding mechanism, which entails lowering the energy barrier for unwinding of the first base pair of the DNA fork junction, by ∼55%. However, the polymerase cannot prevent the reannealing of the parental strands efficiently, which limits by ∼30-fold its strand displacement activity. We demonstrate that SSBs stimulate the Polγ strand displacement activity through several mechanisms. SSB binding energy to ssDNA additionally increases the destabilization energy at the DNA junction, by ∼25%. Furthermore, SSB interactions with the displaced ssDNA reduce the DNA fork reannealing pressure on Polγ, in turn promoting the productive polymerization state by ∼3-fold. These stimulatory effects are enhanced by species-specific functional interactions and have significant implications in the replication of the human mitochondrial DNA.
  8. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 08. 14(1): 692
      Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the huntingtin gene, yielding a Huntingtin protein with an expanded polyglutamine tract. While experiments with patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can help understand disease, defining pathological biomarkers remains challenging. Here, we used cryogenic electron tomography to visualize neurites in HD patient iPSC-derived neurons with varying CAG repeats, and primary cortical neurons from BACHD, deltaN17-BACHD, and wild-type mice. In HD models, we discovered sheet aggregates in double membrane-bound organelles, and mitochondria with distorted cristae and enlarged granules, likely mitochondrial RNA granules. We used artificial intelligence to quantify mitochondrial granules, and proteomics experiments reveal differential protein content in isolated HD mitochondria. Knockdown of Protein Inhibitor of Activated STAT1 ameliorated aberrant phenotypes in iPSC- and BACHD neurons. We show that integrated ultrastructural and proteomic approaches may uncover early HD phenotypes to accelerate diagnostics and the development of targeted therapeutics for HD.
  9. J Cell Sci. 2023 Feb 06. pii: jcs.260612. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial homeostasis requires a dynamic balance of fission and fusion. The actin cytoskeleton promotes fission; we find that the mitochondrially-localized myosin, Myosin 19 (Myo19), is integral to this process. Myo19 knock-down induces mitochondrial elongation, while Myo19 overexpression induces fragmentation. This mitochondrial fragmentation is blocked by a Myo19 mutation predicted to inhibit ATPase activity and strong actin binding but not by mutations predicted to affect the motor's working stroke that preserve ATPase activity. Super-resolution imaging indicates a dispersed localization of Myo19 on mitochondria, which we find to be dependent on metaxins. These observations suggest that Myo19 acts as a dynamic actin-binding tether that facilitates mitochondrial fragmentation. Myo19-driven fragmentation is blocked by depletion of either the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-anchored formin INF2-CAAX or the mitochondrially-localized F-actin nucleator Spire1C, which together polymerize actin at sites of mito-ER contact for fission. These observations imply that Myo19 promotes fission by stabilizing mito-ER contacts; we used a split-luciferase system to demonstrate a reduction in these contacts following Myo19 depletion. Our data support a model in which Myo19 tethers mitochondria to ER-associated actin to promote mitochondrial fission.
    Keywords:  Actin; Endoplasmic reticulum; Fission; Mito-ER contacts; Mitochondria; Myosin
  10. J Hematol Oncol. 2023 Feb 08. 16(1): 8
      RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) are intracellular pattern recognition receptors that detect viral or bacterial infection and induce host innate immune responses. The RLRs family comprises retinoic acid-inducible gene 1 (RIG-I), melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) and laboratory of genetics and physiology 2 (LGP2) that have distinctive features. These receptors not only recognize RNA intermediates from viruses and bacteria, but also interact with endogenous RNA such as the mislocalized mitochondrial RNA, the aberrantly reactivated repetitive or transposable elements in the human genome. Evasion of RLRs-mediated immune response may lead to sustained infection, defective host immunity and carcinogenesis. Therapeutic targeting RLRs may not only provoke anti-infection effects, but also induce anticancer immunity or sensitize "immune-cold" tumors to immune checkpoint blockade. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of RLRs signaling and discuss the rationale for therapeutic targeting RLRs in cancer. We describe how RLRs can be activated by synthetic RNA, oncolytic viruses, viral mimicry and radio-chemotherapy, and how the RNA agonists of RLRs can be systemically delivered in vivo. The integration of RLRs agonism with RNA interference or CAR-T cells provides new dimensions that complement cancer immunotherapy. Moreover, we update the progress of recent clinical trials for cancer therapy involving RLRs activation and immune modulation. Further studies of the mechanisms underlying RLRs signaling will shed new light on the development of cancer therapeutics. Manipulation of RLRs signaling represents an opportunity for clinically relevant cancer therapy. Addressing the challenges in this field will help develop future generations of cancer immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Immunotherapy; Oncolytic virus; RIG-I; RIG-I-like receptors; RNA therapy; Viral mimicry
  11. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 27. pii: 2023.01.26.525571. [Epub ahead of print]
      STED microscopy is widely used to image subcellular structures with super-resolution. Here, we report that denoising STED images with deep learning can mitigate photobleaching and photodamage by reducing the pixel dwell time by one or two orders of magnitude. Our method allows for efficient and robust restoration of noisy 2D and 3D STED images with multiple targets and facilitates long-term imaging of mitochondrial dynamics.
  12. Br J Pharmacol. 2023 Feb 05.
      BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Piezo1 channel is a mechanosensitive cationic channel which is activated by mechanical stretch or shear stress. Endothelial Piezo1 activation by shear stress of blood flow induces ATP release from endothelial cells, however, the link between the shear stress and endothelial ATP production is unclear.EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: The mitochondrial respiratory function of cells was measured by using high-resolution respirometry system Oxygraph-2k. The intracellular Ca2+ concentration was evaluated by using Fluo-4/AM and mitochondrial Ca2+ concentration by Rhod-2/AM.
    KEY RESULTS: The specific Piezo1 channel activator Yoda1 or its analogue Dooku1 increased [Ca2+ ]i in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and both Yoda1 and Dooku1 increased mitochondrial oxygen consumption rates (OCRs) and mitochondrial ATP production in HUVECs and primary cultured rat aortic endothelial cells (RAECs). Knockdown of Piezo1 inhibited Yoda1 and Dooku1-induced increases of mitochondrial OCRs and mitochondrial ATP production in HUVECs. The shear stress mimics, Yoda1 and Dooku1, and the Piezo1 knock-down technique also demonstrated that Piezo1 activation increased glycolysis in HUVECs. Chelating extracellular Ca2+ with EGTA or chelating cytosolic Ca2+ with BAPTA-AM did not affect Yoda1 and Dooku1-induced increases of mitochondrial OCRs and ATP production, but chelating cytosolic Ca2+ inhibited Yoda1 and Dooku1-induced increase of glycolysis. Confocal microscopy showed that Piezo1 channel was present in mitochondria of endothelial cells, and Yoda1 and Dooku1 increased mitochondrial Ca2+ in endothelial cells.
    CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Piezo1 channel activation stimulates ATP production through enhancing mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis in vascular endothelial cells, suggesting a novel role of Piezo1 channel in endothelial ATP production.
    Keywords:  Piezo1 activators; Piezo1 channel; endothelial cells; glycolysis; mitochondrial respiration