Mitochondrial degradation by autophagy (mitophagy) in GFP-LC3 transgenic hepatocytes during nutrient deprivation.
ABSTRACT: Fasting in vivo and nutrient deprivation in vitro enhance sequestration of mitochondria and other organelles by autophagy for recycling of essential nutrients. Here our goal was to use a transgenic mouse strain expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to rat microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain 3 (LC3), a marker protein for autophagy, to characterize the dynamics of mitochondrial turnover by autophagy (mitophagy) in hepatocytes during nutrient deprivation. In complete growth medium, GFP-LC3 fluorescence was distributed diffusely in the cytosol and incorporated in mostly small (0.2-0.3 ?m) patches in proximity to mitochondria, which likely represent preautophagic structures (PAS). After nutrient deprivation plus 1 ?M glucagon to simulate fasting, PAS grew into green cups (phagophores) and then rings (autophagosomes) that enveloped individual mitochondria, a process that was blocked by 3-methyladenine. Autophagic sequestration of mitochondria took place in 6.5 ± 0.4 min and often occurred coordinately with mitochondrial fission. After ring formation and apparent sequestration, mitochondria depolarized in 11.8 ± 1.4 min, as indicated by loss of tetramethylrhodamine methylester fluorescence. After ring formation, LysoTracker Red uptake, a marker of acidification, occurred gradually, becoming fully evident at 9.9 ± 1.9 min of ring formation. After acidification, GFP-LC3 fluorescence dispersed. PicoGreen labeling of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) showed that mtDNA was also sequestered and degraded in autophagosomes. Overall, the results indicate that PAS serve as nucleation sites for mitophagy in hepatocytes during nutrient deprivation. After autophagosome formation, mitochondrial depolarization and vesicular acidification occur, and mitochondrial contents, including mtDNA, are degraded.
Project description:In animals, mtDNA is always transmitted through the female and this is termed "maternal inheritance." Recently, autophagy was reported to be involved in maternal inheritance by elimination of paternal mitochondria and mtDNA in Caenorhabditis elegans; moreover, by immunofluorescence, P62 and LC3 proteins were also found to colocalize to sperm mitochondria after fertilization in mice. Thus, it has been speculated that autophagy may be an evolutionary conserved mechanism for paternal mitochondrial elimination. However, by using two transgenic mouse strains, one bearing GFP-labeled autophagosomes and the other bearing red fluorescent protein-labeled mitochondria, we demonstrated that autophagy did not participate in the postfertilization elimination of sperm mitochondria in mice. Although P62 and LC3 proteins congregated to sperm mitochondria immediately after fertilization, sperm mitochondria were not engulfed and ultimately degraded in lysosomes until P62 and LC3 proteins disengaged from sperm mitochondria. Instead, sperm mitochondria unevenly distributed in blastomeres during cleavage and persisted in several cells until the morula stages. Furthermore, by using single sperm mtDNA PCR, we observed that most motile sperm that had reached the oviduct for fertilization had eliminated their mtDNA, leaving only vacuolar mitochondria. However, if sperm with remaining mtDNA entered the zygote, mtDNA was not eliminated and could be detected in newborn mice. Based on these results, we conclude that, in mice, maternal inheritance of mtDNA is not an active process of sperm mitochondrial and mtDNA elimination achieved through autophagy in early embryos, but may be a passive process as a result of prefertilization sperm mtDNA elimination and uneven mitochondrial distribution in embryos.
Project description:Background: Autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) is usually caused by mutations in the essential gene, OPA1. This encodes a ubiquitous protein involved in mitochondrial dynamics, hence tissue specificity is not understood. Dysregulated mitophagy (mitochondria recycling) is implicated in ADOA, being increased in OPA1 patient fibroblasts. Furthermore, autophagy may be increased in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) of the OPA1Q285STOP mouse model. Aims: We developed a mouse model for studying mitochondrial dynamics in order to investigate mitophagy in ADOA. Methods: We crossed the OPA1Q285STOP mouse with our RedMIT/GFP-LC3 mouse, harboring red fluorescent mitochondria and green fluorescent autophagosomes. Colocalization between mitochondria and autophagosomes, the hallmark of mitophagy, was quantified in fluorescently labeled organelles in primary cell cultures, using two high throughput imaging methods Imagestream (Amnis) and IN Cell Analyzer 1000 (GE Healthcare Life Sciences). We studied colocalization between mitochondria and autophagosomes in fixed sections using confocal microscopy. Results: We validated our imaging methods for RedMIT/GFP-LC3 mouse cells, showing that colocalization of red fluorescent mitochondria and green fluorescent autophagosomes is a useful indicator of mitophagy. We showed that colocalization increases when lysosomal processing is impaired. Further, colocalization of mitochondrial fragments and autophagosomes is increased in cultures from the OPA1Q285STOP/RedMIT/GFP-LC3 mice compared to RedMIT/GFP-LC3 control mouse cells that were wild type for OPA1. This was apparent in both mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) using IN Cell 1000 and in splenocytes using ImageStream imaging flow cytometer (Amnis). We confirmed that this represents increased mitophagic flux using lysosomal inhibitors. We also used microscopy to investigate the level of mitophagy in the retina from the OPA1Q285STOP/RedMIT/GFP-LC3 mice and the RedMIT/GFP-LC3 control mice. However, the expression levels of fluorescent proteins and the image signal-to-background ratios precluded the detection of colocalization so we were unable to show any difference in colocalization between these mice. Conclusions: We show that colocalization of fluorescent mitochondria and autophagosomes in cell cultures, but not fixed tissues from the RedMIT/GFP-LC3, can be used to detect mitophagy. We used this model to confirm that mitophagy is increased in a mouse model of ADOA. It will be useful for cell based studies of diseases caused by impaired mitochondrial dynamics.
Project description:AIMS: Apoptosis regulatory proteins, such as p53, play a pivotal role in neural differentiation, through mechanisms independent of cell death. In addition, p53 has been identified as an important regulator of mitochondrial survival response, maintaining mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) integrity and oxidative protection. The aim of this study was to determine the role of mitochondrial p53 in organelle damage and neural differentiation. RESULTS: Our results show that mitochondrial apoptotic events such as reactive oxygen species production, mitochondrial membrane permeabilization, and cytochrome c release are typical of early-stage mouse neural stem cell differentiation, which occurs 3-18?h after induction of differentiation, with no evidence of cell death. In addition, decreased mtDNA content, lipidated LC3 (LC3-II), colocalization of mitochondria and LC3-II puncta, and mitochondria-associated Parkin are consistent with activation of mitophagy. Importantly, at early stages of neural differentiation, p53 was actively translocated to mitochondria and attenuated mitochondrial oxidative stress, cytochrome c release, and mitophagy. Forced mitochondrial translocation of p53 increased neurogenic potential and neurite outgrowth. INNOVATION AND CONCLUSION: In conclusion, our results reveal a novel role for mitochondrial p53, which modulates mitochondrial damage and apoptosis-related events in the context of neural differentiation, thus enhancing neuronal fate.
Project description:Sirt3 (sirtuin 3) is an NAD-dependent deacetylase localized to mitochondria. Sirt3 expression is increased in mouse muscle and liver by starvation, which could protect against the starvation-dependent increase in oxidative stress and protein damage. Damaged proteins and organelles depend on autophagy for removal and this is critical for cell survival, but the role of Sirt3 is unclear. To examine this, we used Sirt3-KO (knockout) mouse embryonic fibroblast cells, and found that, under basal conditions, Sirt3-KO cells exhibited increased autophagy flux compared with WT (wild-type) cells. In response to nutrient deprivation, both WT and KO cells exhibited increased basal and ATP-linked mitochondrial respiration, indicating an increased energy demand. Both cells exhibited lower levels of phosphorylated mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and higher autophagy flux, with KO cells exhibiting lower maximal mitochondrial respiration and reserve capacity, and higher levels of autophagy than WT cells. KO cells exhibit higher phospho-JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase) and phospho-c-Jun than WT cells under starvation conditions. However, inhibition of JNK activity in Sirt3-KO cells did not affect LC3-I (light chain 3-I) and LC3-II levels, indicating that Sirt3-regulated autophagy is independent of the JNK pathway. Caspase 3 activation and cell death are significantly higher in Sirt3-KO cells compared with WT cells in response to nutrient deprivation. Inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine exacerbated cell death in both WT and Sirt3-KO cells, and by 3-methyadenine exacerbated cell death in Sirt3-KO cells. These data suggest that nutrient deprivation-induced autophagy plays a protective role in cell survival, and Sirt3 decreases the requirement for enhanced autophagy and improves cellular bioenergetics.
Project description:Metabolic acidosis, a common complication of CKD, causes mitochondrial stress by undefined mechanisms. Selective autophagy of impaired mitochondria, called mitophagy, contributes toward maintaining cellular homeostasis in various settings. We hypothesized that mitophagy is involved in proximal tubular cell adaptations to chronic metabolic acidosis. In transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein-tagged microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (GFP-LC3), NH4Cl loading increased the number of GFP puncta exclusively in the proximal tubule. In vitro, culture in acidic medium produced similar results in proximal tubular cell lines stably expressing GFP-LC3 and facilitated the degradation of SQSTM1/p62 in wild-type cells, indicating enhanced autophagic flux. Upon acid loading, proximal tubule-specific autophagy-deficient (Atg5-deficient) mice displayed significantly reduced ammonium production and severe metabolic acidosis compared with wild-type mice. In vitro and in vivo, acid loading caused Atg5-deficient proximal tubular cells to exhibit reduced mitochondrial respiratory chain activity, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential, and fragmented morphology with marked swelling in mitochondria. GFP-LC3-tagged autophagosomes colocalized with ubiquitinated mitochondria in proximal tubular cells cultured in acidic medium, suggesting that metabolic acidosis induces mitophagy. Furthermore, restoration of Atg5-intact nuclei in Atg5-deficient proximal tubular cells increased mitochondrial membrane potential and ammoniagenesis. In conclusion, metabolic acidosis induces autophagy in proximal tubular cells, which is indispensable for maintaining proper mitochondrial functions including ammoniagenesis, and thus for adapted urinary acid excretion. Our results provide a rationale for the beneficial effect of alkali supplementation in CKD, a condition in which autophagy may be reduced, and suggest a new therapeutic option for acidosis by modulating autophagy.
Project description:Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles, which can form a network in cells through fusion, fission, and tubulation. Its morphology is closely related to the function of mitochondria. The damaged mitochondria can be removed by mitophagy. However, the relationship between mitochondrial morphology and non-selective autophagy is not fully understood. We found that mitochondrial fusion machinery, not fission or tubulation machinery, is essential for energy deprivation-induced autophagy. In response to glucose starvation, deletion of mitochondrial fusion proteins severely impaired the association of Atg1/ULK1 with Atg13, and then affected the recruitment of Atg1 and other autophagic proteins to PAS (phagophore assembly site). Furthermore, the deletion of fusion proteins blocks mitochondrial respiration, the binding of Snf1-Mec1, the phosphorylation of Mec1 by Snf1, and the dissociation of Mec1 from mitochondria under prolonged starvation. We propose that mitochondrial fusion machinery regulates energy deprivation-induced autophagy through maintaining mitochondrial respiration.
Project description:Doxorubicin (Dox) is a highly effective anticancer drug but cause acute ventricular dysfunction, and also induce late-onset cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Despite extensive studies, the pathogenic sequelae leading to the progression of Dox-associated cardiomyopathy remains unknown. We assessed temporal changes in autophagy, mitochondrial dynamics, and bioenergetics in mouse models of acute and chronic Dox-cardiomyopathy. Time course study of acute Dox-treatment showed accumulation of LC3B II in heart lysates. Autophagy flux assays confirmed that the Dox-induced accumulation of autophagosomes occurs due to blockage of the lysosomal degradation process. Dox-induced autophagosomes and autolysosome accumulation were confirmed in vivo by using GFP-LC3 and mRFP-GFP-LC3 transgenic (Tg) mice. Mitochondria isolated from acute Dox-treated hearts showed significant suppression of oxygen consumption rate (OCR). Chronic Dox-cardiotoxicity also exhibited time-dependent accumulation of LC3B II levels and increased accumulation of green puncta in GFP-LC3 Tg hearts. Mitochondria isolated from chronic Dox-treated hearts also showed significant suppression of mitochondrial OCR. The in vivo impairment of autophagic degradation process and mitochondrial dysfunction data were confirmed in vitro using cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes. Both acute and chronic Dox-associated cardiomyopathy involves a multifocal disease process resulting from autophagosomes and autolysosomes accumulation, altered expression of mitochondrial dynamics and oxidative phosphorylation regulatory proteins, and mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction.
2019-01-01 | S-EPMC6376057 | BioStudies
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes several key components of respiratory chain complexes that produce cellular energy through oxidative phosphorylation. mtDNA is vulnerable to damage under various physiological stresses, especially oxidative stress. mtDNA damage leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, and dysfunctional mitochondria can be removed by mitophagy, an essential process in cellular homeostasis. However, how damaged mtDNA is selectively cleared from the cell, and how damaged mtDNA triggers mitophagy, remain mostly unknown. Here, we identified a novel mitophagy receptor, ATAD3B, which is specifically expressed in primates. ATAD3B contains a LIR motif that binds to LC3 and promotes oxidative stress-induced mitophagy in a PINK1-independent manner, thus promoting the clearance of damaged mtDNA induced by oxidative stress. Under normal conditions, ATAD3B hetero-oligomerizes with ATAD3A, thus promoting the targeting of the C-terminal region of ATAD3B to the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Oxidative stress-induced mtDNA damage or mtDNA depletion reduces ATAD3B-ATAD3A hetero-oligomerization and leads to exposure of the ATAD3B C-terminus at the mitochondrial outer membrane and subsequent recruitment of LC3 for initiating mitophagy. Furthermore, ATAD3B is little expressed in m.3243A>G mutated cells and MELAS patient fibroblasts showing endogenous oxidative stress, and ATAD3B re-expression promotes the clearance of m.3243A>G mutated mtDNA. Our findings uncover a new pathway to selectively remove damaged mtDNA and reveal that increasing ATAD3B activity is a potential therapeutic approach for mitochondrial diseases.
Project description:Mitophagy, the selective removal of damaged mitochondria, is thought to be critical to maintain neuronal homeostasis. Mutations of proteins in the pathway cause neurodegenerative diseases, suggesting defective mitochondrial turnover contributes to neurodegeneration. In primary rat hippocampal neurons, we developed a mitophagy induction paradigm where mild oxidative stress induced low levels of mitochondrial damage. Mitophagy-associated proteins were sequentially recruited to depolarized mitochondria followed by sequestration into autophagosomes. The localization of these mitophagy events had a robust somal bias. In basal and induced conditions, engulfed mitochondria remained in non-acidified organelles for hours to days, illustrating efficient autophagosome sequestration but delayed lysosomal fusion or acidification. Furthermore, expression of an ALS-linked mutation in the pathway disrupted mitochondrial network integrity and this effect was exacerbated by oxidative stress. Thus, age-related decline in neuronal health or expression of disease-associated mutations in the pathway may exacerbate the slow kinetics of neuronal mitophagy, leading to neurodegeneration.
Project description:In-vitro studies with different Fanconi anemia (FA) cell lines and FANC gene silenced cell lines indicating involvement of mitochondria function in pathogenesis of FA have been reported. However, in-vivo studies have not been studied so far to understand the role of mitochondrial markers in pathogenesis of FA. We have carried out a systematic set of biomarker studies for elucidating involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in disease pathogenesis for Indian FA patients. We report changes in the mtDNA number in 59% of FA patients studied, a high frequency of mtDNA variations (37.5% of non-synonymous variations and 62.5% synonymous variations) and downregulation of mtDNA complex-I and complex-III encoding genes of OXPHOS (p<0.05) as strong biomarkers for impairment of mitochondrial functions in FA. Deregulation of expression of mitophagy genes (ATG; p>0.05, Beclin-1; p>0.05, and MAP1-LC3, p<0.05) has also been observed, suggesting inability of FA cells to clear off impaired mitochondria. We hypothesize that accumulation of such impaired mitochondria in FA cells therefore may be the principal cause for bone marrow failure (BMF) and a plausible effect of inefficient clearance of impaired mitochondria in FA.