bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2023‒03‒19
twelve papers selected by
Marco Tigano
Thomas Jefferson University

  1. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 14. 14(1): 1399
      During apoptosis, mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) enables certain mitochondrial matrix macromolecules to escape into the cytosol. However, the fate of mitochondrial RNA (mtRNA) during apoptosis is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that MOMP results in the cytoplasmic release of mtRNA and that executioner caspases-3 and -7 (casp3/7) prevent cytoplasmic mtRNA from triggering inflammatory signaling. In the setting of genetic or pharmacological casp3/7 inhibition, apoptotic insults result in mtRNA activation of the MDA5/MAVS/IRF3 pathway to drive Type I interferon (IFN) signaling. This pathway is sufficient to activate tumor-intrinsic Type I IFN signaling in immunologically cold cancer models that lack an intact cGAS/STING signaling pathway, promote CD8+ T-cell-dependent anti-tumor immunity, and overcome anti-PD1 refractoriness in vivo. Thus, a key function of casp3/7 is to inhibit inflammation caused by the cytoplasmic release of mtRNA, and pharmacological modulation of this pathway increases the immunogenicity of chemotherapy-induced apoptosis.
  2. Cell Death Dis. 2023 Mar 16. 14(3): 199
      During hypoxia, FUNDC1 acts as a mitophagy receptor and accumulates at the ER (endoplasmic reticulum)-mitochondria contact sites (EMC), also called mitochondria-associated membranes (MAM). In mitophagy, the ULK1 complex phosphorylates FUNDC1(S17) at the EMC site. However, how mitochondria sense the stress and send the signal from the inside to the outside of mitochondria to trigger mitophagy is still unclear. Mitochondrial Lon was reported to be localized at the EMC under stress although the function remained unknown. In this study, we explored the mechanism of how mitochondrial sensors of hypoxia trigger and stabilize the FUNDC1-ULK1 complex by Lon in the EMC for cell survival and cancer progression. We demonstrated that Lon is accumulated in the EMC and associated with FUNDC1-ULK1 complex to induce mitophagy via chaperone activity under hypoxia. Intriguingly, we found that Lon-induced mitophagy is through binding with mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCLX) to promote FUNDC1-ULK1-mediated mitophagy at the EMC site in vitro and in vivo. Accordingly, our findings highlight a novel mechanism responsible for mitophagy initiation under hypoxia by chaperone Lon in mitochondria through the interaction with FUNDC1-ULK1 complex at the EMC site. These findings provide a direct correlation between Lon and mitophagy on cell survival and cancer progression.
  3. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00124-7. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 843-856
      Mitochondria are cellular organelles with a major role in many cellular processes, including not only energy production, metabolism, and calcium homeostasis but also regulated cell death and innate immunity. Their proteobacterial origin makes them a rich source of potent immune agonists, normally hidden within the mitochondrial membrane barriers. Alteration of mitochondrial permeability through mitochondrial pores thus provides efficient mechanisms not only to communicate mitochondrial stress to the cell but also as a key event in the integration of cellular responses. In this regard, eukaryotic cells have developed diverse signaling networks that sense and respond to the release of mitochondrial components into the cytosol and play a key role in controlling cell death and inflammatory pathways. Modulating pore formation at mitochondria through direct or indirect mechanisms may thus open new opportunities for therapy. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of the structure and molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial pores and how they function at the interface between cell death and inflammatory signaling to regulate cellular outcomes.
    Keywords:  BAK; BAX; VDAC; apoptosis; gasdermin; inflammation; mPTP; membrane pore
  4. Nat Metab. 2023 Mar 13.
      Our understanding of how global changes in cellular metabolism contribute to human kidney disease remains incompletely understood. Here we show that nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) deficiency drives mitochondrial dysfunction causing inflammation and kidney disease development. Using unbiased global metabolomics in healthy and diseased human kidneys, we identify NAD+ deficiency as a disease signature. Furthermore using models of cisplatin- or ischaemia-reperfusion induced kidney injury in male mice we observed NAD+ depletion Supplemental nicotinamide riboside or nicotinamide mononucleotide restores NAD+ levels and improved kidney function. We find that cisplatin exposure causes cytosolic leakage of mitochondrial RNA (mtRNA) and activation of the cytosolic pattern recognition receptor retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I), both of which can be ameliorated by restoring NAD+. Male mice with RIG-I knock-out (KO) are protected from cisplatin-induced kidney disease. In summary, we demonstrate that the cytosolic release of mtRNA and RIG-I activation is an NAD+-sensitive mechanism contributing to kidney disease.
  5. Res Sq. 2023 Feb 27. pii: [Epub ahead of print]
      Background: People with mitochondrial disease (MtD) are susceptible to metabolic decompensation and neurological symptom progression in response to an infection. Increasing evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction may cause chronic inflammation, which may promote hyperresponsiveness to pathogens and neurodegeneration. Methods: We collected whole blood from a cohort of MtD patients and healthy controls and performed RNAseq to examine transcriptomic differences. We performed GSEA analyses to compare our findings against existing studies to identify commonly dysregulated pathways. Results: Gene sets involved in inflammatory signaling, including type I interferons, interleukin-1β and antiviral responses, are enriched in MtD patients compared to controls. Monocyte and dendritic cell gene clusters are also enriched in MtD patients, while T cell and B cell gene sets are negatively enriched. The enrichment of antiviral response corresponds with an independent set of MELAS patients, and two mouse models of mtDNA dysfunction. Conclusions: Through the convergence of our results, we demonstrate translational evidence of systemic peripheral inflammation arising from MtD, predominantly through antiviral response gene sets. This provides key evidence linking mitochondrial dysfunction to inflammation, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of primary MtD and other chronic inflammatory disorders associated with mitochondrial dysfunction.
  6. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00028-X. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 1012-1012.e1
      Mitochondria have emerged as signaling organelles with roles beyond their well-established function in generating ATP and metabolites for macromolecule synthesis. Healthy mitochondria integrate various physiologic inputs and communicate signals that control cell function or fate as well as adaptation to stress. Dysregulation of these mitochondrial signaling networks are linked to pathology. Here we outline a few modes of signaling between the mitochondrion and the cytoplasm. To view this SnapShot, open or download the PDF.
  7. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00119-3. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 877-889
      Mitochondria are membrane-enclosed organelles with endosymbiotic origins, harboring independent genomes and a unique biochemical reaction network. To perform their critical functions, mitochondria must maintain a distinct biochemical environment and coordinate with the cytosolic metabolic networks of the host cell. This coordination requires them to sense and control metabolites and respond to metabolic stresses. Indeed, mitochondria adopt feedback or feedforward control strategies to restrain metabolic toxicity, enable metabolic conservation, ensure stable levels of key metabolites, allow metabolic plasticity, and prevent futile cycles. A diverse panel of metabolic sensors mediates these regulatory circuits whose malfunctioning leads to inborn errors of metabolism with mild to severe clinical manifestations. In this review, we discuss the logic and molecular basis of metabolic sensing and control in mitochondria. The past research outlined recurring patterns in mitochondrial metabolic sensing and control and highlighted key knowledge gaps in this organelle that are potentially addressable with emerging technological breakthroughs.
  8. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2023 Mar 13. e202218969
      Mitochondrial RNA (mtRNA) plays a critical role in synthesis of mitochondrial proteins. Interfering mtRNA is a highly effective way to induce cell apoptosis. Herein, we report a near-infrared (NIR) light-mediated mitochondrial RNA modification approach for long-term imaging and effective suppression of tumors. A tumor-targetable NIR fluorescent probe f-CRI consisting of a cyclic RGD peptide, a NIR fluorophore IR780, and a singlet oxygen (1O2)-labile furan group for RNA modification was rationally designed and synthesized. This probe was demonstrated to dominantly accumulate in cellular mitochondria and could be covalently conjugated onto mtRNA upon 808 nm irradiation resulting in prolonged retention in tumors. More notably, thie covalent modification of mtRNA by f-CRI could perturb the function of mitochondria leading to remarkable tumor suppression. We thus envision that our current approach would offer a potential approach for cancer RNA interference therapeutics.
    Keywords:  NIR light-responsive; RNA interference; mitochondrial RNA modification; smart probe; tumor suppression
  9. Neuron. 2023 Mar 03. pii: S0896-6273(23)00123-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dysfunction and axon loss are hallmarks of neurologic diseases. Gasdermin (GSDM) proteins are executioner pore-forming molecules that mediate cell death, yet their roles in the central nervous system (CNS) are not well understood. Here, we find that one GSDM family member, GSDME, is expressed by both mouse and human neurons. GSDME plays a role in mitochondrial damage and axon loss. Mitochondrial neurotoxins induced caspase-dependent GSDME cleavage and rapid localization to mitochondria in axons, where GSDME promoted mitochondrial depolarization, trafficking defects, and neurite retraction. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-associated proteins TDP-43 and PR-50 induced GSDME-mediated damage to mitochondria and neurite loss. GSDME knockdown protected against neurite loss in ALS patient iPSC-derived motor neurons. Knockout of GSDME in SOD1G93A ALS mice prolonged survival, ameliorated motor dysfunction, rescued motor neuron loss, and reduced neuroinflammation. We identify GSDME as an executioner of neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction that may contribute to neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  ALS; FTD; axon degeneration; cell death; gasdermins; innate immunity; mitochondria; neurodegeneration; neuroimmunology; pyroptosis
  10. Trends Cell Biol. 2023 Mar 10. pii: S0962-8924(23)00038-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Emergent evidence has shown that abnormal buildup of stray self-nucleic acids is a pathological feature observed across many neurodegenerative conditions. Here, we discuss how these self-nucleic acids act as a driver of disease by triggering harmful inflammatory responses. Understanding these pathways and targeting them has the potential to prevent neuronal death at the early stages of disease.
    Keywords:  aggregation; cell death; inflammation; innate immunity; neurodegeneration; nucleic acids
  11. Nature. 2023 Mar 15.
      Mitochondria are critical to the governance of metabolism and bioenergetics in cancer cells1. The mitochondria form highly organized networks, in which their outer and inner membrane structures define their bioenergetic capacity2,3. However, in vivo studies delineating the relationship between the structural organization of mitochondrial networks and their bioenergetic activity have been limited. Here we present an in vivo structural and functional analysis of mitochondrial networks and bioenergetic phenotypes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using an integrated platform consisting of positron emission tomography imaging, respirometry and three-dimensional scanning block-face electron microscopy. The diverse bioenergetic phenotypes and metabolic dependencies we identified in NSCLC tumours align with distinct structural organization of mitochondrial networks present. Further, we discovered that mitochondrial networks are organized into distinct compartments within tumour cells. In tumours with high rates of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOSHI) and fatty acid oxidation, we identified peri-droplet mitochondrial networks wherein mitochondria contact and surround lipid droplets. By contrast, we discovered that in tumours with low rates of OXPHOS (OXPHOSLO), high glucose flux regulated perinuclear localization of mitochondria, structural remodelling of cristae and mitochondrial respiratory capacity. Our findings suggest that in NSCLC, mitochondrial networks are compartmentalized into distinct subpopulations that govern the bioenergetic capacity of tumours.
  12. Curr Biol. 2023 Mar 08. pii: S0960-9822(23)00199-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial cristae expand the surface area of respiratory membranes and ultimately allow for the evolutionary scaling of respiration with cell volume across eukaryotes. The discovery of Mic60 homologs among alphaproteobacteria, the closest extant relatives of mitochondria, suggested that cristae might have evolved from bacterial intracytoplasmic membranes (ICMs). Here, we investigated the predicted structure and function of alphaproteobacterial Mic60, and a protein encoded by an adjacent gene Orf52, in two distantly related purple alphaproteobacteria, Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Rhodopseudomonas palustris. In addition, we assessed the potential physical interactors of Mic60 and Orf52 in R. sphaeroides. We show that the three α helices of mitochondrial Mic60's mitofilin domain, as well as its adjacent membrane-binding amphipathic helix, are present in alphaproteobacterial Mic60. The disruption of Mic60 and Orf52 caused photoheterotrophic growth defects, which are most severe under low light conditions, and both their disruption and overexpression led to enlarged ICMs in both studied alphaproteobacteria. We also found that alphaproteobacterial Mic60 physically interacts with BamA, the homolog of Sam50, one of the main physical interactors of eukaryotic Mic60. This interaction, responsible for making contact sites at mitochondrial envelopes, has been conserved in modern alphaproteobacteria despite more than a billion years of evolutionary divergence. Our results suggest a role for Mic60 in photosynthetic ICM development and contact site formation at alphaproteobacterial envelopes. Overall, we provide support for the hypothesis that mitochondrial cristae evolved from alphaproteobacterial ICMs and have therefore improved our understanding of the nature of the mitochondrial ancestor.
    Keywords:  Cereibacter; MICOS; Rhodobacter; Rhodopseudomonas; chromatophores; endosymbosis; eukaryogenesis; eukaryote; purple bacteria