ABSTRACT: Polyphosphate (polyP) consists of tens to hundreds of phosphates, linked by ATP-like high-energy bonds. Although polyP is present in mammalian mitochondria, its physiological roles there are obscure. Here, we examine the involvement of polyP in mitochondrial energy metabolism and ion transport. We constructed a vector to express a mitochondrially targeted polyphosphatase, along with a GFP fluorescent tag. Specific reduction of mitochondrial polyP, by polyphosphatase expression, significantly modulates mitochondrial bioenergetics, as indicated by the reduction of inner membrane potential and increased NADH levels. Furthermore, reduction of polyP levels increases mitochondrial capacity to accumulate calcium and reduces the likelihood of the calcium-induced mitochondrial permeability transition, a central event in many types of necrotic cell death. This confers protection against cell death, including that induced by beta-amyloid peptide, a pathogenic agent in Alzheimer's disease. These results demonstrate a crucial role played by polyP in mitochondrial function of mammalian cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Calcium signaling plays a key role in the regulation of multiple processes in mammalian mitochondria, from cellular bioenergetics to the induction of stress-induced cell death. While the total concentration of calcium inside the mitochondria can increase by several orders of magnitude, the concentration of bioavailable free calcium in mitochondria is maintained within the micromolar range by the mitochondrial calcium buffering system. This calcium buffering system involves the participation of inorganic phosphate. However, the mechanisms of its function are not yet understood. Specifically, it is not clear how calcium-orthophosphate interactions, which normally lead to formation of insoluble precipitates, are capable to dynamically regulate free calcium concentration. Here we test the hypothesis that inorganic polyphosphate, which is a polymerized form of orthophosphate, is capable to from soluble complexes with calcium, playing a significant role in the regulation of the mitochondrial free calcium concentration. METHODS:We used confocal fluorescence microscopy to measure the relative levels of mitochondrial free calcium in cultured hepatoma cells (HepG2) with variable levels of inorganic polyphosphate (polyP). RESULTS:The depletion of polyP leads to the significantly lower levels of mitochondrial free calcium concentration under conditions of pathological calcium overload. These results are coherent with previous observations showing that inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) can inhibit calcium-phosphate precipitation and, thus, increase the amount of free calcium. CONCLUSIONS:Inorganic polyphosphate plays an important role in the regulation of mitochondrial free calcium, leading to its significant increase. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE:Inorganic polyphosphate is a previously unrecognized integral component of the mitochondrial calcium buffering system.
Project description:Evidence is emerging that inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is a fundamental molecule involved in a wide range of biological processes. In higher eukaryotes, polyP is abundant in osteoblasts but questions remain as to its functions. Here, we find that polyP is particularly enriched in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where it colocalizes with cyclophilin B (CypB) using osteoblastic SaOS-2 model cell line. PolyP binds directly and specifically to CypB, inhibiting its peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity which is critical for collagen folding. PolyP sequestration by spermine and ER-specific polyP reduction by polyphosphatase expression in cells reduced collagen misfolding and confirmed that endogenous polyP acts as a molecular control of CypB-mediated collagen folding. We propose that polyP is a previously unrecognized critical regulator of protein homeostasis in ER.
Project description:Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening allows free movement of ions and small molecules leading to mitochondrial membrane depolarization and ATP depletion that triggers cell death. A multi-protein complex of the mitochondrial ATP synthase has an essential role in mPTP. However, the molecular identity of the central 'pore' part of mPTP complex is not known. A highly purified fraction of mammalian mitochondria containing C-subunit of ATPase (C-subunit), calcium, inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) forms ion channels with properties that resemble the native mPTP. We demonstrate here that amount of this channel-forming complex dramatically increases in intact mitochondria during mPTP activation. This increase is inhibited by both Cyclosporine A, an inhibitor of mPTP and Ruthenium Red, an inhibitor of the Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter. Similar increases in the amount of complex formation occurs in areas of mouse brain damaged by ischemia-reperfusion injury. These findings suggest that calcium-induced mPTP is associated with de novo assembly of a channel comprising C-subunit, polyP and PHB.
Project description:Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is crucial for adaptive reactions and stress response in microorganisms. A convenient model to study the role of polyP in yeast is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain CRN/PPN1 that overexpresses polyphosphatase Ppn1 with stably decreased polyphosphate level. In this study, we combined the whole-transcriptome sequencing, fluorescence microscopy, and polyP quantification to characterize the CRN/PPN1 response to manganese and oxidative stresses. CRN/PPN1 exhibits enhanced resistance to manganese and peroxide due to its pre-adaptive state observed in normal conditions. The pre-adaptive state is characterized by up-regulated genes involved in response to an external stimulus, plasma membrane organization, and oxidation/reduction. The transcriptome-wide data allowed the identification of particular genes crucial for overcoming the manganese excess. The key gene responsible for manganese resistance is PHO84 encoding a low-affinity manganese transporter: Strong PHO84 down-regulation in CRN/PPN1 increases manganese resistance by reduced manganese uptake. On the contrary, PHM7, the top up-regulated gene in CRN/PPN1, is also strongly up-regulated in the manganese-adapted parent strain. Phm7 is an unannotated protein, but manganese adaptation is significantly impaired in Δphm7, thus suggesting its essential function in manganese or phosphate transport.
Project description:Polyphosphate (polyP) is a ubiquitous biopolymer whose function and metabolism are incompletely understood. The polyphosphate kinase (PPK) of Acinetobacter sp. strain ADP1, an organism that accumulates large amounts of polyP, was purified to homogeneity and characterized. This enzyme, which adds the terminal phosphate from ATP to a growing chain of polyP, is a 79-kDa monomer. PPK is sensitive to magnesium concentrations, and optimum activity occurs in the presence of 3 mM MgCl(2). The optimum pH was between pH 7 and 8, and significant reductions in activity occurred at lower pH values. The greatest activity occurred at 40 degrees C. The half-saturation ATP concentration for PPK was 1 mM, and the maximum PPK activity was 28 nmol of polyP monomers per microg of protein per min. PPK was the primary, although not the sole, enzyme responsible for the production of polyP in Acinetobacter sp. strain ADP1. Under low-phosphate (P(i)) conditions, despite strong induction of the ppk gene, there was a decline in net polyP synthesis activity and there were near-zero levels of polyP in Acinetobacter sp. strain ADP1. Once excess phosphate was added to the P(i)-starved culture, both the polyP synthesis activity and the levels of polyP rose sharply. Increases in polyP-degrading activity, which appeared to be mainly due to a polyphosphatase and not to PPK working in reverse, were detected in cultures grown under low-P(i) conditions. This activity declined when phosphate was added.
Project description:Inorganic polyphosphate is known to be present in the mammalian brain at micromolar concentrations. Here we show that polyphosphate may act as a gliotransmitter, mediating communication between astrocytes. It is released by astrocytes in a calcium-dependent manner and signals to neighbouring astrocytes through P2Y(1) purinergic receptors, activation of phospholipase C and release of calcium from the intracellular stores. In primary neuroglial cultures, application of polyP triggers release of endogenous polyphosphate from astrocytes while neurons take it up. In vivo, central actions of polyphosphate at the level of the brainstem include profound increases in key homeostatic physiological activities, such as breathing, central sympathetic outflow and the arterial blood pressure. Together, these results suggest a role for polyphosphate as a mediator of astroglial signal transmission in the mammalian brain.
Project description:Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is a linear polymer containing tens to hundreds of orthophosphate residues linked by high-energy phosphoanhydride bonds. PolyP promotes osteocalcification and bone mineralization in both mouse and human osteoblastic cells. In the present study, we examined the molecular mechanism by which polyP affects mitochondrial metabolism to promote cellular calcification in MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells. The cellular content of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) was diminished one day after polyP treatment, and this was accompanied by increased conversion to adenosine diphosphate. Furthermore, mitochondrial membrane potential was significantly decreased in polyP-treated cells. These results suggest that the depletion of intracellular ATP and the decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential induced by polyP treatment may be a trigger to promote cell calcification.
Project description:Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is a polymer of three to hundreds of phosphate units bound by high-energy phosphoanhydride bonds and present from bacteria to humans. Most polyP in trypanosomatids is concentrated in acidocalcisomes, acidic calcium stores that possess a number of pumps, exchangers, and channels, and are important for their survival. In this work, using polyP as bait we identified > 25 putative protein targets in cell lysates of both Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei. Gene ontology analysis of the binding partners found a significant over-representation of nucleolar and glycosomal proteins. Using the polyphosphate-binding domain (PPBD) of Escherichia coli exopolyphosphatase (PPX), we localized long-chain polyP to the nucleoli and glycosomes of trypanosomes. A competitive assay based on the pre-incubation of PPBD with exogenous polyP and subsequent immunofluorescence assay of procyclic forms (PCF) of T. brucei showed polyP concentration-dependent and chain length-dependent decrease in the fluorescence signal. Subcellular fractionation experiments confirmed the presence of polyP in glycosomes of T. brucei PCF. Targeting of yeast PPX to the glycosomes of PCF resulted in polyP hydrolysis, alteration in their glycolytic flux and increase in their susceptibility to oxidative stress.
Project description:Polyphosphate (polyP) is an inorganic polymer built of tens to hundreds of phosphates, linked by high-energy phosphoanhydride bonds. PolyP forms complexes and modulates activities of many proteins including ion channels. Here we investigated the role of polyP in the function of the transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) channel. Using whole-cell patch-clamp and fluorescent calcium measurements we demonstrate that enzymatic breakdown of polyP by exopolyphosphatase (scPPX1) inhibits channel activity in human embryonic kidney and F-11 neuronal cells expressing TRPM8. We demonstrate that the TRPM8 channel protein is associated with polyP. Furthermore, addition of scPPX1 altered the voltage-dependence and blocked the activity of the purified TRPM8 channels reconstituted into planar lipid bilayers, where the activity of the channel was initiated by cold and menthol in the presence of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P(2)). The biochemical analysis of the TRPM8 protein also uncovered the presence of poly-(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), which is frequently associated with polyP. We conclude that the TRPM8 protein forms a stable complex with polyP and its presence is essential for normal channel activity.
Project description:Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) accumulates in acidocalcisomes, acidic calcium stores that have been found from bacteria to human cells. Proton pumps, such as the vacuolar proton pyrophosphatase (V-H(+)-PPase or VP1), the vacuolar proton ATPase (V-H(+)-ATPase) or both, maintain their acidity. A vacuolar transporter chaperone (VTC) complex is involved in the synthesis and translocation of polyP to these organelles in several eukaryotes, such as yeast, trypanosomatids, Apicomplexan and algae. Studies in trypanosomatids have revealed the role of polyP and acidocalcisomes in osmoregulation and calcium signalling.