Hyperactive intracellular calcium signaling associated with localized mitochondrial defects in skeletal muscle of an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neuromuscular disorder characterized by degeneration of motor neurons and atrophy of skeletal muscle. Mutations in the superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene are linked to 20% cases of inherited ALS. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenic process, but how it contributes to muscle degeneration of ALS is not known. Here we identify a specific deficit in the cellular physiology of skeletal muscle derived from an ALS mouse model (G93A) with transgenic overexpression of the human SOD1(G93A) mutant. The G93A skeletal muscle fibers display localized loss of mitochondrial inner membrane potential in fiber segments near the neuromuscular junction. These defects occur in young G93A mice prior to disease onset. Fiber segments with depolarized mitochondria show greater osmotic stress-induced Ca(2+) release activity, which can include propagating Ca(2+) waves. These Ca(2+) waves are confined to regions of depolarized mitochondria and stop propagating shortly upon entering the regions of normal, polarized mitochondria. Uncoupling of mitochondrial membrane potential with FCCP or inhibition of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake by Ru360 lead to cell-wide propagation of such Ca(2+) release events. Our data reveal that mitochondria regulate Ca(2+) signaling in skeletal muscle, and loss of this capacity may contribute to the progression of muscle atrophy in ALS.
Project description:Mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) causes mitochondrial alterations that contribute to motor neuron demise in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). When mitochondria are damaged, cells activate mitochondria quality control (MQC) mechanisms leading to mitophagy. Here, we show that in the spinal cord of G93A mutant SOD1 transgenic mice (SOD1-G93A mice) the autophagy receptor p62 is recruited to mitochondria and mitophagy is activated. Furthermore, the mitochondrial ubiquitin ligase Parkin and mitochondrial dynamics proteins, such as Miro1, and Mfn2, which are ubiquitinated by Parkin, and the mitochondrial biogenesis regulator PGC1 are depleted. Unexpectedly, Parkin genetic ablation delays disease progression and prolongs survival in SOD1-G93A mice, as it slows down motor neuron loss and muscle denervation and attenuates the depletion of mitochondrial dynamics proteins and PGC1. Our results indicate that Parkin is a disease modifier in ALS, because chronic Parkin-mediated MQC activation depletes mitochondrial dynamics-related proteins, inhibits mitochondrial biogenesis, and worsens mitochondrial dysfunction.
Project description:Mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) causes mitochondrial alterations that contribute to motor neuron demise in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). When mitochondria are damaged, cells activate mitochondria quality control (MQC) mechanisms leading to mitophagy. Here, we show that in the spinal cord of G93A mutant SOD1 transgenic mice (SOD1-G93A mice), the autophagy receptor p62 is recruited to mitochondria and mitophagy is activated. Furthermore, the mitochondrial ubiquitin ligase Parkin and mitochondrial dynamics proteins, such as Miro1, and Mfn2, which are ubiquitinated by Parkin, and the mitochondrial biogenesis regulator PGC1? are depleted. Unexpectedly, Parkin genetic ablation delays disease progression and prolongs survival in SOD1-G93A mice, as it slows down motor neuron loss and muscle denervation and attenuates the depletion of mitochondrial dynamics proteins and PGC1?. Our results indicate that Parkin is a disease modifier in ALS, because chronic Parkin-mediated MQC activation depletes mitochondrial dynamics-related proteins, inhibits mitochondrial biogenesis, and worsens mitochondrial dysfunction.
Project description:Mutations in the Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase (SOD1) gene cause an inherited form of ALS with upper and lower motor neuron loss. The mechanism underlying mutant SOD1-mediated motor neuron degeneration remains unclear. While defects in mitochondrial dynamics contribute to neurodegeneration, including ALS, previous reports remain conflicted. Here, we report an improved technique to isolate, transfect, and culture rat spinal cord motor neurons. Using this improved system, we demonstrate that mutant SOD1(G93A) triggers a significant decrease in mitochondrial length and an accumulation of round fragmented mitochondria. The increase of fragmented mitochondria coincides with an arrest in both anterograde and retrograde axonal transport and increased cell death. In addition, mutant SOD1(G93A) induces a reduction in neurite length and branching that is accompanied with an abnormal accumulation of round mitochondria in growth cones. Furthermore, restoration of the mitochondrial fission and fusion balance by dominant-negative dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) expression rescues the mutant SOD1(G93A)-induced defects in mitochondrial morphology, dynamics, and cell viability. Interestingly, both SIRT3 and PGC-1? protect against mitochondrial fragmentation and neuronal cell death by mutant SOD1(G93A). This data suggests that impairment in mitochondrial dynamics participates in ALS and restoring this defect might provide protection against mutant SOD1(G93A)-induced neuronal injury.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder caused by selective motor neuron degeneration. Abnormal protein aggregation and impaired protein degradation pathways may contribute to the disease pathogenesis. Although it has been reported that autophagy is altered in patients and animal model of ALS, little is known about the role of autophagy in motor neuron degeneration in this disease. Our previous study shows that rapamycin, an MTOR-dependent autophagic activator, accelerates disease progression in the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of ALS. In the present report, we have assessed the role of the MTOR-independent autophagic pathway in ALS by determining the effect of the MTOR-independent autophagic inducer trehalose on disease onset and progression, and on motor neuron degeneration in SOD1(G93A) mice. We have found that trehalose significantly delays disease onset prolongs life span, and reduces motor neuron loss in the spinal cord of SOD1(G93A) mice. Most importantly, we have documented that trehalose decreases SOD1 and SQSTM1/p62 aggregation, reduces ubiquitinated protein accumulation, and improves autophagic flux in the motor neurons of SOD1(G93A) mice. Moreover, we have demonstrated that trehalose can reduce skeletal muscle denervation, protect mitochondria, and inhibit the proapoptotic pathway in SOD1(G93A) mice. Collectively, our study indicated that the MTOR-independent autophagic inducer trehalose is neuroprotective in the ALS model and autophagosome-lysosome fusion is a possible therapeutic target for the treatment of ALS.
Project description:Motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and animal models show degeneration from the nerve terminal, known as dying-back neuropathy. To investigate the mechanism underlying this neuropathy, we analyzed the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and motor neuron cell bodies in SOD1<sup>G93A</sup> mice using electron microscopy. NMJs of SOD1<sup>G93A</sup> mice exhibited significantly higher numbers of autophagosomes and degenerated mitochondria compared to wild-type controls. Mitophagosomes were identified in the NMJ presynaptic terminals of wild-type mice and SOD1<sup>G93A</sup> mice. However, the number of mitophagosomes did not increase significantly in SOD1<sup>G93A</sup> NMJs indicating a defect in mitophagy, the autophagic process to degrade mitochondria. Consistent with this, proteins essential for mitophagy, p62/SQSTM1, Bnip3, Pink1, and Parkin were down-regulated in motor neurons in SOD1<sup>G93A</sup> mice. Importantly, SQSTM1 is one of the genes mutated in familial ALS patients. We evaluated the effect of impaired mitophagy on motor neurons by analyzing the double knockout mice of Pink1 and Parkin, two genes responsible for sensing depolarized mitochondria and delivering degenerated mitochondria to mitophagosomes. The double knockout mice exhibited NMJ degeneration, including axon swelling and NMJ fragmentation at 4 months of age. These phenotypes were rarely observed in wild-type control mice of the same age. The protein level of ATP synthase ? subunit increased in the NMJ presynaptic terminals, suggesting the accumulation of mitochondria at NMJs of the double knockout mice. Importantly, NMJ denervation was observed in the double knockout mice. These data suggest that the reduced mitophagy function in motor neurons of SOD1<sup>G93A</sup> mice is one of the mechanisms causing degeneration of ALS NMJs.
Project description:The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motoneurons death. Mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) protein have been identified to be related to the disease. Beyond the different altered pathways, the mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the major features that leads to the selective death of motoneurons in ALS. The NSC-34 cell line, overexpressing human SOD1(G93A) mutant protein [NSC-34(G93A)], is considered an optimal in vitro model to study ALS. Here we investigated the energy metabolism in NSC-34(G93A) cells and in particular the effect of the mutated SOD1(G93A) protein on the mitochondrial respiratory capacity (complexes I-IV) by high resolution respirometry (HRR) and cytofluorimetry. We demonstrated that NSC-34(G93A) cells show a reduced mitochondrial oxidative capacity. In particular, we found significant impairment of the complex I-linked oxidative phosphorylation, reduced efficiency of the electron transfer system (ETS) associated with a higher rate of dissipative respiration, and a lower membrane potential. In order to rescue the effect of the mutated SOD1 gene on mitochondria impairment, we evaluated the efficacy of the exosomes, isolated from adipose-derived stem cells, administrated on the NSC-34(G93A) cells. These data show that ASCs-exosomes are able to restore complex I activity, coupling efficiency and mitochondrial membrane potential. Our results improve the knowledge about mitochondrial bioenergetic defects directly associated with the SOD1(G93A) mutation, and prove the efficacy of adipose-derived stem cells exosomes to rescue the function of mitochondria, indicating that these vesicles could represent a valuable approach to target mitochondrial dysfunction in ALS.
Project description:While the death of motor neuron is a pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), defects in other cell types or organs may also actively contribute to ALS disease progression. ALS patients experience progressive skeletal muscle wasting that may not only exacerbate neuronal degeneration, but likely has a significant impact on bone function. In our previous published study, we have discovered severe bone loss in an ALS mouse model with overexpression of ALS-associated mutation SOD1G93A (G93A). Here we further provide a mechanistic understanding of the bone loss in ALS animal and cellular models. Combining mitochondrial fluorescent indicators and confocal live cell imaging, we discovered abnormalities in mitochondrial network and dynamics in primary osteocytes derived from the same ALS mouse model G93A. Those mitochondrial defects occur in ALS mice after the onset of neuromuscular symptoms, indicating that mitochondria in bone cells respond to muscle atrophy during ALS disease progression. To examine whether ALS mutation has a direct contribution to mitochondrial dysfunction independent of muscle atrophy, we evaluated mitochondrial morphology and motility in cultured osteocytes (MLO-Y4) with overexpression of mitochondrial targeted SOD1G93A. Compared with osteocytes overexpressing the wild type SOD1 as a control, the SOD1G93A osteocytes showed similar defects in mitochondrial network and dynamic as that of the primary osteocytes derived from the ALS mouse model. In addition, we further discovered that overexpression of SOD1G93A enhanced the expression level of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), a key protein promoting mitochondrial fission activity, and reduced the expression level of optic atrophy protein 1 (OPA1), a key protein related to mitochondrial fusion. A specific mitochondrial fission inhibitor (Mdivi-1) partially reversed the effect of SOD1G93A on mitochondrial network and dynamics, indicating that SOD1G93A likely promotes mitochondrial fission, but suppresses the fusion activity. Our data provide the first evidence that mitochondria show abnormality in osteocytes derived from an ALS mouse model. The accumulation of mutant SOD1G93A protein inside mitochondria directly causes dysfunction in mitochondrial dynamics in cultured MLO-Y4 osteocytes. In addition, the ALS mutation SOD1G93A-mediated dysfunction in mitochondrial dynamics is associated with an enhanced apoptosis in osteocytes, which could be a potential mechanism underlying the bone loss during ALS progression.
Project description:Superoxide Dismutase 1 mutants associate with 20-25% of familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) cases, producing toxic aggregates on mitochondria, notably in spinal cord. The Voltage Dependent Anion Channel isoform 1 (VDAC1) in the outer mitochondrial membrane is a docking site for SOD1 G93A mutant in ALS mice and the physiological receptor of Hexokinase I (HK1), which is poorly expressed in mouse spinal cord. Our results demonstrate that HK1 competes with SOD1 G93A for binding VDAC1, suggesting that in ALS spinal cord the available HK1-binding sites could be used by SOD1 mutants for docking mitochondria, producing thus organelle dysfunction. We tested this model by studying the action of a HK1-N-terminal based peptide (NHK1). This NHK1 peptide specifically interacts with VDAC1, inhibits the SOD1 G93A binding to mitochondria and restores the viability of ALS model NSC34 cells. Altogether, our results suggest that NHK1 peptide could be developed as a therapeutic tool in ALS, predicting an effective role also in other proteinopathies.
Project description:Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) has been detected within spinal cord mitochondria of mutant SOD1 transgenic mice, a model of familial ALS. The copper chaperone for SOD1 (CCS) provides SOD1 with copper, facilitates the conversion of immature apo-SOD1 to a mature holoform, and influences in yeast the cytosolic/mitochondrial partitioning of SOD1. To determine how CCS affects G93A-SOD1-induced disease, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing CCS and crossed them to G93A-SOD1 or wild-type SOD1 transgenic mice. Both CCS transgenic mice and CCS/wild-type-SOD1 dual transgenic mice are neurologically normal. In contrast, CCS/G93A-SOD1 dual transgenic mice develop accelerated neurological deficits, with a mean survival of 36 days, compared with 242 days for G93A-SOD1 mice. Immuno-EM and subcellular fractionation studies on the spinal cord show that G93A-SOD1 is enriched within mitochondria in the presence of CCS overexpression. Our results indicate that CCS overexpression in G93A-SOD1 mice produces severe mitochondrial pathology and accelerates disease course.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a debilitating and fatal late-onset neurodegenerative disease. Familial cases of ALS (FALS) constitute approximately 10% of all ALS cases, and mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is found in 15-20% of FALS. SOD1 mutations confer a toxic gain of unknown function to the protein that specifically targets the motor neurons in the cortex and the spinal cord. We have previously shown that the autosomal dominant Legs at odd angles (Loa) mutation in cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain (Dync1h1) delays disease onset and extends the life span of transgenic mice harboring human mutant SOD1(G93A). In this study we provide evidence that despite the lack of direct interactions between mutant SOD1 and either mutant or wild-type cytoplasmic dynein, the Loa mutation confers significant reductions in the amount of mutant SOD1 protein in the mitochondrial matrix. Moreover, we show that the Loa mutation ameliorates defects in mitochondrial respiration and membrane potential observed in SOD1(G93A) motor neuron mitochondria. These data suggest that the Loa mutation reduces the vulnerability of mitochondria to the toxic effects of mutant SOD1, leading to improved mitochondrial function in SOD1(G93A) motor neurons.