Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 structure determined by NMR molecular fragment searching.
ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) is an integral membrane protein in the mitochondrial anion carrier protein family, the members of which facilitate the transport of small molecules across the mitochondrial inner membrane. When the mitochondrial respiratory complex pumps protons from the mitochondrial matrix to the intermembrane space, it builds up an electrochemical potential. A fraction of this electrochemical potential is dissipated as heat, in a process involving leakage of protons back to the matrix. This leakage, or 'uncoupling' of the proton electrochemical potential, is mediated primarily by uncoupling proteins. However, the mechanism of UCP-mediated proton translocation across the lipid bilayer is unknown. Here we describe a solution-NMR method for structural characterization of UCP2. The method, which overcomes some of the challenges associated with membrane-protein structure determination, combines orientation restraints derived from NMR residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) and semiquantitative distance restraints from paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) measurements. The local and secondary structures of the protein were determined by piecing together molecular fragments from the Protein Data Bank that best fit experimental RDCs from samples weakly aligned in a DNA nanotube liquid crystal. The RDCs also determine the relative orientation of the secondary structural segments, and the PRE restraints provide their spatial arrangement in the tertiary fold. UCP2 closely resembles the bovine ADP/ATP carrier (the only carrier protein of known structure), but the relative orientations of the helical segments are different, resulting in a wider opening on the matrix side of the inner membrane. Moreover, the nitroxide-labelled GDP binds inside the channel and seems to be closer to transmembrane helices 1-4. We believe that this biophysical approach can be applied to other membrane proteins and, in particular, to other mitochondrial carriers, not only for structure determination but also to characterize various conformational states of these proteins linked to substrate transport.
Project description:Neuronal cell death can be determined by the overall level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) resulting from the combination of extrinsic sources and intrinsic production as a byproduct of oxidative phosphorylation. Key controllers of the intrinsic production of ROS are the mitochondrial uncoupling proteins (UCPs). By allowing a controlled leak of protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane activation of these proteins can decrease ROS and promote cell survival. In both primate models of Parkinson's disease and mouse models of seizures, increased activity of UCP2 significantly increased neuronal cells survival. In the retina UCP2 is expressed in many neurons and glial cells, but was not detected in rod photoreceptors. Retinal ganglion cell survival following excitotoxic damage was much greater in animals overexpressing UCP2. Traditional Chinese medicines, such as an extract of Cistanche tubulosa, may provide benefit by altering mitochondrial metabolism.
Project description:In pancreatic beta-cells, uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) influences mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and insulin secretion. Here, we show that alpha-cells express significantly higher levels of UCP2 than do beta-cells. Greater mitochondrial UCP2-related uncoupling was observed in alpha-cells compared with beta-cells and was accompanied by a lower oxidative phosphorylation efficiency (ATP/O). Conversely, reducing UCP2 activity in alpha-cells was associated with higher mitochondrial membrane potential generated by glucose oxidation and with increased ATP synthesis, indicating more efficient metabolic coupling. In vitro, the suppression of UCP2 activity led to reduced glucagon secretion in response to low glucose; however, in vivo, fasting glucagon levels were normal in UCP2(-/-) mice. In addition to its effects on secretion, UCP2 played a cytoprotective role in islets, with UCP2(-/-) alpha-cells being more sensitive to specific death stimuli. In summary, we demonstrate a direct role for UCP2 in maintaining alpha-cell function at the level of glucose metabolism, glucagon secretion, and cytoprotection.
Project description:Pancreatic ?-cell chronic lipotoxicity evolves from acute free fatty acid (FA)-mediated oxidative stress, unprotected by antioxidant mechanisms. Since mitochondrial uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2) plays antioxidant and insulin-regulating roles in pancreatic ?-cells, we tested our hypothesis, that UCP2-mediated uncoupling attenuating mitochondrial superoxide production is initiated by FA release due to a direct H2O2-induced activation of mitochondrial phospholipase iPLA2?.Pro-oxidant tert-butylhydroperoxide increased respiration, decreased membrane potential and mitochondrial matrix superoxide release rates of control but not UCP2- or iPLA2?-silenced INS-1E cells. iPLA2?/UCP2-mediated uncoupling was alternatively activated by an H2O2 burst, resulting from palmitic acid (PA) ?-oxidation, and it was prevented by antioxidants or catalase overexpression. Exclusively, nascent FAs that cleaved off phospholipids by iPLA2? were capable of activating UCP2, indicating that the previously reported direct redox UCP2 activation is actually indirect. Glucose-stimulated insulin release was not affected by UCP2 or iPLA2? silencing, unless pro-oxidant activation had taken place. PA augmented insulin secretion via G-protein-coupled receptor 40 (GPR40), stimulated by iPLA2?-cleaved FAs (absent after GPR40 silencing).The iPLA2?/UCP2 synergy provides a feedback antioxidant mechanism preventing oxidative stress by physiological FA intake in pancreatic ?-cells, regulating glucose-, FA-, and redox-stimulated insulin secretion. iPLA2? is regulated by exogenous FA via ?-oxidation causing H2O2 signaling, while FAs are cleaved off phospholipids, subsequently acting as amplifying messengers for GPR40. Hence, iPLA2? acts in eminent physiological redox signaling, the impairment of which results in the lack of antilipotoxic defense and contributes to chronic lipotoxicity.
Project description:Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) has a cardioprotective role under septic conditions, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. This study aimed at investigating the effects of UCP2 on the oxidative stress and apoptosis of cardiomyocytes induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). First, LPS increased UCP2 expression in cardiomyocytes in a time-dependent manner. LPS increased the production of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and malondialdehyde (MDA) and decreased the level of superoxide dismutase (SOD). However, UCP2 knockdown increased the LPS-induced cardiac injury and oxidative stress. In addition, LPS damaged the mitochondrial ultrastructure and led to the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), as well as the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c. UCP2 knockdown aggravated mitochondrial injury and the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c. LPS increased the protein levels of Bax and cleaved-caspase-3, decreased the protein level of Bcl-2, and upregulated the protein level of mitogen-activated protein kinase. However, upon UCP2 knockdown, the protein levels of Bax and cleaved-caspase-3 increased even further, and the protein level of Bcl-2 was further decreased. The protein level of phosphorylated p38 was also further enhanced. Thus, UCP2 protects against LPS-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in cardiomyocytes.
Project description:GTPBP3 is an evolutionary conserved protein presumably involved in mitochondrial tRNA (mt-tRNA) modification. In humans, GTPBP3 mutations cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with lactic acidosis, and have been associated with a defect in mitochondrial translation, yet the pathomechanism remains unclear. Here we use a GTPBP3 stable-silencing model (shGTPBP3 cells) for a further characterization of the phenotype conferred by the GTPBP3 defect. We experimentally show for the first time that GTPBP3 depletion is associated with an mt-tRNA hypomodification status, as mt-tRNAs from shGTPBP3 cells were more sensitive to digestion by angiogenin than tRNAs from control cells. Despite the effect of stable silencing of GTPBP3 on global mitochondrial translation being rather mild, the steady-state levels and activity of Complex I, and cellular ATP levels were 50% of those found in the controls. Notably, the ATPase activity of Complex V increased by about 40% in GTPBP3 depleted cells suggesting that mitochondria consume ATP to maintain the membrane potential. Moreover, shGTPBP3 cells exhibited enhanced antioxidant capacity and a nearly 2-fold increase in the uncoupling protein UCP2 levels. Our data indicate that stable silencing of GTPBP3 triggers an AMPK-dependent retrograde signaling pathway that down-regulates the expression of the NDUFAF3 and NDUFAF4 Complex I assembly factors and the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC), while up-regulating the expression of UCP2. We also found that genes involved in glycolysis and oxidation of fatty acids are up-regulated. These data are compatible with a model in which high UCP2 levels, together with a reduction in pyruvate transport due to the down-regulation of MPC, promote a shift from pyruvate to fatty acid oxidation, and to an uncoupling of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation. These metabolic alterations, and the low ATP levels, may negatively affect heart function.
Project description:The proton-transport activity of UCP1 (uncoupling protein 1) triggers mitochondrial uncoupling and thermogenesis. The exact role of its close homologues, UCP2 and UCP3, is unclear. Mounting evidence associates them with the control of mitochondrial superoxide production. Using CHO (Chinese-hamster ovary) cells stably expressing UCP3 or UCP1, we found no evidence for respiration uncoupling. The explanation lies in the absence of an appropriate activator of UCP protonophoric function. Accordingly, the addition of retinoic acid uncouples the respiration of the UCP1-expressing clone, but not that of the UCP3-expressing ones. In a glucose-containing medium, the extent of the hyperpolarization of mitochondria by oligomycin was close to 22 mV in the five UCP3-expressing clones, contrasting with the variable values observed with the 15 controls. Our observations suggest that, when glycolysis and mitochondria generate ATP, and in the absence of appropriate activators of proton transport, UCPs do not transport protons (uncoupling), but rather other ions of physiological relevance that control mitochondrial activity. A model is proposed using the known passive transport of pyruvate by UCP1.
Project description:Previous studies have demonstrated that mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) enhance cell survival through upregulation and secretion of stanniocalcin-1 (STC1). This study shows that MSC-derived STC1 promotes survival of lung cancer cells by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation, reducing intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and shifting metabolism towards a more glycolytic metabolic profile. MSC-derived STC1 upregulated uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in injured A549 cells in an STC1-dependent manner. Knockdown of UCP2 reduced the ability of MSCs and recombinant STC1 (rSTC1) to reduce cell death in the A549 population. rSTC1-treated A549 cells displayed decreased levels of ROS, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and increased lactate production, all of which were dependent on the upregulation of UCP2. Our data suggest that MSCs can promote cell survival by regulating mitochondrial respiration via STC1.
Project description:Genipin (GNP) effectively inhibits uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2), which regulates the leakage of protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane. UCP2 inhibition may induce pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell death by increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. In this study, the hydroxyls at positions C10 (10-OH) and C1 (1-OH) of GNP were hypothesized to be the active groups that cause these inhibitory effects. Four GNP derivatives in which the hydroxyl at position C10 or C1 was replaced with other chemical groups were synthesized and isolated. Differences in the inhibitory effects of GNP and its four derivatives on pancreatic carcinoma cell (Panc-1) proliferation were assessed. The effects of GNP and its derivatives on apoptosis, UCP2 inhibition and ROS production were also studied to explore the relationship between GNP's activity and its structure. The derivatives with 1-OH substitutions, geniposide (1-GNP1) and 1-ethyl-genipin (1-GNP2) lacked cytotoxic effects, while the other derivatives that retained 1-OH, 10-piv-genipin (10-GNP1) and 10-acetic acid-genipin (10-GNP2) exerted biological effects similar to those of GNP, even in the absence of 10-OH. Thus, 1-OH is the key functional group in the structure of GNP that is responsible for GNP's apoptotic effects. These cytotoxic effects involve the induction of Panc-1 cell apoptosis through UCP2 inhibition and subsequent ROS production.
Project description:Mitochondrial hyperpolarization inhibits the electron transport chain and increases incomplete reduction of oxygen, enabling production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The consequence is mitochondrial damage that eventually causes cell death. Uncoupling proteins (UCPs) are inner mitochondrial membrane proteins that dissipate the mitochondrial proton gradient by transporting H(+) across the inner membrane, thereby stabilizing the inner mitochondrial membrane potential and reducing the formation of ROS. The role of UCP2 in neuroprotection is still in debate. This study seeks to clarify the role of UCP2 in transient focal ischemia (tFI) and to further understand the mechanisms of ischemic brain damage. Both wild-type and UCP2-knockout mice were subjected to tFI. Knocking out UCP2 significantly increased the infarct volume to 61% per hemisphere as compared with 18% in wild-type animals. Knocking out UCP2 suppressed antioxidant, cell-cycle, and DNA repair genes, including Sod1 and Sod2, Gstm1, and cyclins. Furthermore, knocking out UCP2 significantly upregulated the protein levels of the inflammatory cytokines, including CTACK, CXCL16, Eotaxin-2, fractalkine, and BLC. It is concluded that knocking out the UCP2 gene exacerbates neuronal death after cerebral ischemia with reperfusion and this detrimental effect is mediated by alteration of antioxidant genes and upregulation of inflammatory mediators.
Project description:The role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in glucose-stimulated insulin release remains controversial because ROS have been shown to both amplify and impede insulin release. In regard to preventing insulin release, ROS activates uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2), a mitochondrial inner membrane protein that negatively regulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation. With our recent discovery that the UCP2-mediated proton leak is modulated by reversible glutathionylation, a process responsive to small changes in ROS levels, we resolved to determine whether glutathionylation is required for UCP2 regulation of GSIS. Using Min6 cells and pancreatic islets, we demonstrate that induction of glutathionylation not only deactivates UCP2-mediated proton leak but also enhances GSIS. Conversely, an increase in mitochondrial matrix ROS was found to deglutathionylate and activate UCP2 leak and impede GSIS. Glucose metabolism also decreased the total amount of cellular glutathionylated proteins and increased the cellular glutathione redox ratio (GSH/GSSG). Intriguingly, the provision of extracellular ROS (H(2)O(2), 10 ?M) amplified GSIS and also activated UCP2. Collectively, our findings indicate that the glutathionylation status of UCP2 contributes to the regulation of GSIS, and different cellular sites and inducers of ROS can have opposing effects on GSIS, perhaps explaining some of the controversy surrounding the role of ROS in GSIS.