Nuclear respiratory factor 1 regulates all ten nuclear-encoded subunits of cytochrome c oxidase in neurons.
ABSTRACT: Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) is one of only four bigenomic proteins in mammalian cells, having ten subunits encoded in the nuclear genome and three in the mitochondrial DNA. The mechanism of its bigenomic control is not well understood. The ten nuclear subunits are on different chromosomes, and the possibility of their coordinate regulation by the same transcription factor(s) deserves serious consideration. The present study tested our hypothesis that nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) serves such a role in subunit coordination. Following in silico analysis of murine nuclear-encoded COX subunit promoters, electrophoretic mobility shift and supershift assays indicated NRF-1 binding to all ten promoters. In vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation assays also showed NRF-1 binding to all ten promoters in murine neuroblastoma cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of putative NRF-1 binding sites confirmed the functionality of NRF-1 binding on all ten COX promoters. These sites are highly conserved among mice, rats, and humans. Silencing of NRF-1 with RNA interference reduced all ten COX subunit mRNAs and mRNAs of other genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis. We conclude that NRF-1 plays a significant role in coordinating the transcriptional regulation of all ten nuclear-encoded COX subunits in neurons. Moreover, NRF-1 is known to activate mitochondrial transcription factors A and B, thereby indirectly regulating the expressions of the three mitochondrial-encoded COX subunits. Thus, NRF-1 and our previously described NRF-2 prove to be the two key bigenomic coordinators for transcriptional regulation of all cytochrome c oxidase subunits in neurons. Possible interactions between the NRFs will be investigated in the future.
Project description:Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) is the terminal enzyme of the electron transport chain composed of 13 subunits; three are mitochondria-encoded, and 10 are nucleus-inscribed on nine different chromosomes within the mammalian genome. The transcriptional regulation of such a multisubunit, multichromosomal, and bigenomic enzyme is mechanistically challenging. Transcription factories have been proposed as one mechanism by which genes from different genomic loci congregate to transcribe functionally related genes, and chromosome conformation capture (3C) is a means by which such interactions can be revealed. Thus far, however, only loci from the same chromosome or at most two chromosomes have been co-localized by 3C. The present study used 3C to test our hypothesis that not only the 10 genomic loci from nine chromosomes encoding the 10 nuclear subunits of COX, but also genes from three chromosomes encoding mitochondrial transcription factors A and B (Tfam, Tfb1m, and Tfb2m) critical for the transcription of the three mitochondria-encoded COX subunit genes all occupy common intranuclear sites in the murine neuronal nuclei. The pairing of various COX subunit genes and Tf genes indicates that interactions are present among all of them. On the other hand, genes for a non-mitochondrial protein (calreticulin) as well as a mitochondrial enzyme (citrate synthase) did not interact with COX genes. Furthermore, interactions between COX subunit and Tf genes were up-regulated by depolarizing stimulation and down-regulated by impulse blockade in primary neurons. Thus, a viable mechanism is in place for a synchronized, coordinated transcriptional regulation of this multisubunit, bigenomic COX enzyme in neurons.
Project description:Nuclear respiratory factors NRF1 and NRF2 regulate the expression of nuclear genes encoding heme biosynthetic enzymes, proteins required for mitochondrial genome transcription and protein import, and numerous respiratory chain subunits. NRFs thereby coordinate the expression of nuclear and mitochondrial genes relevant to mitochondrial biogenesis and respiration. Only two of the nuclear-encoded respiratory chain subunits have evolutionarily conserved tissue-specific forms: the cytochrome c oxidase (COX) subunits VIa and VIIa heart/muscle (H) and ubiquitous (L) isoforms. We used genome comparisons to conclude that the promoter regions of COX6A(H) and COX7A(H) lack NRF sites but have conserved myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) elements. We show that MEF2A mRNA is induced with forced expression of NRF1 and that the MEF2A 5'-regulatory region contains an evolutionarily conserved canonical element that binds endogenous NRF1 in chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. NRF1 regulates MEF2A promoter-reporters according to overexpression, RNA interference underexpression, and promoter element mutation studies. As there are four mammalian MEF2 isotypes, we used an isoform-specific antibody in ChIP to confirm MEF2A binding to the COX6A(H) promoter. These findings support a role for MEF2A as an intermediary in coordinating respiratory chain subunit expression in heart and muscle through a NRF1 --> MEF2A --> COX(H) transcriptional cascade. MEF2A also bound the MEF2A and PPARGC1A promoters in ChIP, placing it within a feedback loop with PGC1alpha in controlling NRF1 activity. Interruption of this cascade and loop may account for striated muscle mitochondrial defects in mef2a null mice. Our findings also account for the previously described indirect regulation by NRF1 of other MEF2 targets in muscle such as GLUT4.
Project description:In vertebrates, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transcription is initiated bidirectionally from closely spaced promoters, HSP and LSP, within the D-loop regulatory region. Early studies demonstrated that mtDNA transcription requires mitochondrial RNA polymerase and Tfam, a DNA binding stimulatory factor that is required for mtDNA maintenance. Recently, mitochondrial transcription specificity factors (TFB1M and TFB2M), which markedly enhance mtDNA transcription in the presence of Tfam and mitochondrial RNA polymerase, have been identified in mammalian cells. Here, we establish that the expression of human TFB1M and TFB2M promoters is governed by nuclear respiratory factors (NRF-1 and NRF-2), key transcription factors implicated in mitochondrial biogenesis. In addition, we show that NRF recognition sites within both TFB promoters are required for maximal trans activation by the PGC-1 family coactivators, PGC-1alpha and PRC. The physiological induction of these coactivators has been associated with the integration of NRFs and other transcription factors in a program of mitochondrial biogenesis. Finally, we demonstrate that the TFB genes are up-regulated along with Tfam and either PGC-1alpha or PRC in cellular systems where mitochondrial biogenesis is induced. Moreover, ectopic expression of PGC-1alpha is sufficient to induce the coordinate expression of all three nucleus-encoded mitochondrial transcription factors along with nuclear and mitochondrial respiratory subunits. These results support the conclusion that the coordinate regulation of nucleus-encoded mitochondrial transcription factors by NRFs and PGC-1 family coactivators is essential to the control of mitochondrial biogenesis.
Project description:Neuronal activity and energy metabolism are tightly coupled processes. Regions high in neuronal activity, especially of the glutamatergic type, have high levels of cytochrome c oxidase (COX). Perturbations in neuronal activity affect the expressions of COX and glutamatergic NMDA receptor subunit 1 (NR1). The present study sought to test our hypothesis that the coupling extends to the transcriptional level, whereby NR1 and possibly other NR subunits and COX are coregulated by the same transcription factor, nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1), which regulates all COX subunit genes. By means of multiple approaches, including in silico analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift and supershift assays, in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation, promoter mutations, and real-time quantitative PCR, NRF-1 was found to functionally bind to the promoters of Grin 1 (NR1), Grin 2b (NR2b) and COX subunit genes, but not of Grin2a and Grin3a genes. These transcripts were upregulated by KCl and downregulated by tetrodotoxin (TTX) in cultured primary neurons. However, silencing of NRF-1 with small interference RNA blocked the upregulation of Grin1, Grin2b, and COX induced by KCl, and overexpression of NRF-1 rescued these transcripts that were suppressed by TTX. NRF-1 binding sites on Grin1 and Grin2b genes are also highly conserved among mice, rats, and humans. Thus, NRF-1 is an essential transcription factor critical in the coregulation of NR1, NR2b, and COX, and coupling exists at the transcriptional level to ensure coordinated expressions of proteins important for synaptic transmission and energy metabolism.
Project description:Heme oxygenase (HO)-1 is a protective antioxidant enzyme that prevents cardiomyocyte apoptosis, for instance, during progressive cardiomyopathy. Here we identify a fundamental aspect of the HO-1 protection mechanism by demonstrating that HO-1 activity in mouse heart stimulates the bigenomic mitochondrial biogenesis program via induction of NF-E2-related factor (Nrf)2 gene expression and nuclear translocation. Nrf2 upregulates the mRNA, protein, and activity for HO-1 as well as mRNA and protein for nuclear respiratory factor (NRF)-1. Mechanistically, in cardiomyocytes, endogenous carbon monoxide (CO) generated by HO-1 overexpression stimulates superoxide dismutase-2 upregulation and mitochondrial H(2)O(2) production, which activates Akt/PKB. Akt deactivates glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, which permits Nrf2 nuclear translocation and occupancy of 4 antioxidant response elements (AREs) in the NRF-1 promoter. The ensuing accumulation of nuclear NRF-1 protein leads to gene activation for mitochondrial biogenesis, which opposes apoptosis and necrosis caused by the cardio-toxic anthracycline chemotherapeutic agent, doxorubicin. In cardiac cells, Akt silencing exacerbates doxorubicin-induced apoptosis, and in vivo CO rescues wild-type but not Akt1(-/-) mice from doxorubicin cardiomyopathy. These findings consign HO-1/CO signaling through Nrf2 and Akt to the myocardial transcriptional program for mitochondrial biogenesis, provide a rationale for targeted mitochondrial CO therapy, and connect cardiac mitochondrial volume expansion with the inducible network of xenobiotic and antioxidant cellular defenses.
Project description:Neuronal activity is highly dependent on energy metabolism. Nuclear respiratory factor 2 (NRF-2) tightly couples neuronal activity and energy metabolism by transcriptionally co-regulating all 13 subunits of an important energy-generating enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase (COX), as well as critical subunits of excitatory NMDA receptors. AMPA receptors are another major class of excitatory glutamatergic receptors that mediate most of the fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain. They are heterotetrameric proteins composed of various combinations of GluA1-4 subunits, with GluA2 being the most common one. We have previously shown that GluA2 (Gria2) is transcriptionally regulated by nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) and specificity protein 4 (Sp4), which also regulate all subunits of COX. However, it was not known if NRF-2 also couples neuronal activity and energy metabolism by regulating subunits of the AMPA receptors. By means of multiple approaches, including electrophoretic mobility shift and supershift assays, chromatin immunoprecipitation, promoter mutations, real-time quantitative PCR, and western blot analysis, NRF-2 was found to functionally regulate the expression of Gria2, but not of Gria1, Gria3, or Gria4 genes in neurons. By regulating the GluA2 subunit of the AMPA receptor, NRF-2 couples energy metabolism and neuronal activity at the transcriptional level through a concurrent and parallel mechanism with NRF-1 and Sp4.
Project description:Neuronal activity and energy metabolism are tightly coupled processes. Previously, we found that nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) transcriptionally co-regulates energy metabolism and neuronal activity by regulating all 13 subunits of the critical energy generating enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase (COX), as well as N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits 1 and 2B, GluN1 (Grin1) and GluN2B (Grin2b). We also found that another transcription factor, nuclear respiratory factor 2 (NRF-2 or GA-binding protein) regulates all subunits of COX as well. The goal of the present study was to test our hypothesis that NRF-2 also regulates specific subunits of NMDA receptors, and that it functions with NRF-1 via one of three mechanisms: complementary, concurrent and parallel, or a combination of complementary and concurrent/parallel. By means of multiple approaches, including in silico analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift and supershift assays, in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation of mouse neuroblastoma cells and rat visual cortical tissue, promoter mutations, real-time quantitative PCR, and western blot analysis, NRF-2 was found to functionally regulate Grin1 and Grin2b genes, but not any other NMDA subunit genes. Grin1 and Grin2b transcripts were up-regulated by depolarizing KCl, but silencing of NRF-2 prevented this up-regulation. On the other hand, over-expression of NRF-2 rescued the down-regulation of these subunits by the impulse blocker TTX. NRF-2 binding sites on Grin1 and Grin2b are conserved among species. Our data indicate that NRF-2 and NRF-1 operate in a concurrent and parallel manner in mediating the tight coupling between energy metabolism and neuronal activity at the molecular level.
Project description:Neuronal activity, especially of the excitatory glutamatergic type, is highly dependent on energy from the oxidative pathway. We hypothesized that the coupling existed at the transcriptional level by having the same transcription factor to regulate a marker of energy metabolism, cytochrome c oxidase (COX) and an important subunit of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid glutamate receptors, GluR2 (Gria2). Nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) was a viable candidate because it regulates all COX subunits and potentially activates Gria2. By means of in silico analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift and supershift, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and promoter mutational assays, we found that NRF-1 functionally bound to Gria2 promoter. Silencing of NRF-1 with small interference RNA prevented the depolarization-stimulated up-regulation of Gria2 and COX, and over-expression of NRF-1 rescued neurons from tetrodotoxin-induced down-regulation of Gria2 and COX transcripts. Thus, neuronal activity and energy metabolism are tightly coupled at the molecular level, and NRF-1 is a critical agent in this process.
Project description:The rat homologue of a mitochondrial ATP-dependent protease Lon was cloned from cultured astrocytes exposed to hypoxia. Expression of Lon was enhanced in vitro by hypoxia or ER stress, and in vivo by brain ischemia. These observations suggested that changes in nuclear gene expression (Lon) triggered by ER stress had the potential to impact important mitochondrial processes such as assembly and/or degradation of cytochrome c oxidase (COX). In fact, steady-state levels of nuclear-encoded COX IV and V were reduced, and mitochondrial-encoded subunit II was rapidly degraded under ER stress. Treatment of cells with cycloheximide caused a similar imbalance in the accumulation of COX subunits, and enhanced mRNA for Lon and Yme1, the latter another mitochondrial ATP-dependent protease. Furthermore, induction of Lon or GRP75/mtHSP70 by ER stress was inhibited in PERK (-/-) cells. Transfection studies revealed that overexpression of wild-type or proteolytically inactive Lon promoted assembly of COX II into a COX I-containing complex, and partially prevented mitochondrial dysfunction caused by brefeldin A or hypoxia. These observations demonstrated that suppression of protein synthesis due to ER stress has a complex effect on the synthesis of mitochondrial-associated proteins, both COX subunits and ATP-dependent proteases and/or chaperones contributing to assembly of the COX complex.
Project description:Neuronal activity is highly dependent on energy metabolism; yet, the two processes have traditionally been regarded as independently regulated at the transcriptional level. Recently, we found that the same transcription factor, nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) co-regulates an important energy-generating enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase, as well as critical subunits of glutamatergic receptors. The present study tests our hypothesis that the co-regulation extends to the next level of glutamatergic synapses, namely, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, which generates nitric oxide as a downstream signaling molecule. Using in silico analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation, promoter mutations, and NRF-1 silencing, we documented that NRF-1 functionally bound to Nos1, but not Nos2 (inducible) and Nos3 (endothelial) gene promoters. Both COX and Nos1 transcripts were up-regulated by depolarizing KCl treatment and down-regulated by TTX-mediated impulse blockade in neurons. However, NRF-1 silencing blocked the up-regulation of both Nos1 and COX induced by KCl depolarization, and over-expression of NRF-1 rescued both Nos1 and COX transcripts down-regulated by TTX. These findings are consistent with our hypothesis that synaptic neuronal transmission and energy metabolism are tightly coupled at the molecular level.