Metabolite profiles reveal energy failure and impaired beta-oxidation in liver of mice with complex III deficiency due to a BCS1L mutation.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND & AIMS: Liver is a target organ in many mitochondrial disorders, especially if the complex III assembly factor BCS1L is mutated. To reveal disease mechanism due to such mutations, we have produced a transgenic mouse model with c.232A>G mutation in Bcs1l, the causative mutation for GRACILE syndrome. The homozygous mice develop mitochondrial hepatopathy with steatosis and fibrosis after weaning. Our aim was to assess cellular mechanisms for disease onset and progression using metabolomics. METHODS: With mass spectrometry we analyzed metabolite patterns in liver samples obtained from homozygotes and littermate controls of three ages. As oxidative stress might be a mechanism for mitochondrial hepatopathy, we also assessed H(2)O(2) production and expression of antioxidants. RESULTS: Homozygotes had a similar metabolic profile at 14 days of age as controls, with the exception of slightly decreased AMP. At 24 days, when hepatocytes display first histopathological signs, increases in succinate, fumarate and AMP were found associated with impaired glucose turnover and beta-oxidation. At end stage disease after 30 days, these changes were pronounced with decreased carbohydrates, high levels of acylcarnitines and amino acids, and elevated biogenic amines, especially putrescine. Signs of oxidative stress were present in end-stage disease. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest an early Krebs cycle defect with increases of its intermediates, which might play a role in disease onset. During disease progression, carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism deteriorate leading to a starvation-like condition. The mouse model is valuable for further investigations on mechanisms in mitochondrial hepatopathy and for interventions.
Project description:Functional oxidative phosphorylation requires appropriately assembled mitochondrial respiratory complexes and their supercomplexes formed mainly of complexes I, III and IV. BCS1L is the chaperone needed to incorporate the catalytic subunit, Rieske iron-sulfur protein, into complex III at the final stage of its assembly. In cell culture studies, this subunit has been considered necessary for supercomplex formation and for maintaining the stability of complex I. Our aim was to assess the importance of fully assembled complex III for supercomplex formation in intact liver tissue. We used our transgenic mouse model with a homozygous c.232A>G mutation in Bcs1l leading to decreased expression of BCS1L and progressive decrease of Rieske iron-sulfur protein in complex III, resulting in hepatopathy. We studied supercomplex formation at different ages using blue native gel electrophoresis and complex activity using high-resolution respirometry. In isolated liver mitochondria of young and healthy homozygous mutant mice, we found similar supercomplexes as in wild type. In homozygotes aged 27-29 days with liver disorder, complex III was predominantly a pre-complex lacking Rieske iron-sulfur protein. However, the main supercomplex was clearly detected and contained complex III mainly in the pre-complex form. Oxygen consumption of complex IV was similar and that of complex I was twofold compared with controls. These complexes in free form were more abundant in homozygotes than in controls, and the mRNA of complex I subunits were upregulated. In conclusion, when complex III assembly is deficient, the pre-complex without Rieske iron-sulfur protein can participate with available fully assembled complex III in supercomplex formation, complex I function is preserved, and respiratory chain stability is maintained.
Project description:Mitochondrial disorders are among the most prevalent inborn errors of metabolism but largely lack treatments and have poor outcomes. High-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets (KDs) have shown beneficial effects in mouse models of mitochondrial myopathies, with induction of mitochondrial biogenesis as the suggested main mechanism. We fed KD to mice with respiratory chain complex III (CIII) deficiency and progressive hepatopathy due to mutated BCS1L, a CIII assembly factor. The mutant mice became persistently ketotic and tolerated the KD for up to 11 weeks. Liver disease progression was attenuated by KD as shown by delayed fibrosis, reduced cell death, inhibition of hepatic progenitor cell response and stellate cell activation, and normalization of liver enzyme activities. Despite no clear signs of increased mitochondrial biogenesis in the liver, CIII assembly and activity were improved and mitochondrial morphology in hepatocytes normalized. Induction of hepatic glutathione transferase genes and elevated total glutathione level were normalized by KD. Histological findings and transcriptome changes indicated modulation of liver macrophage populations by the mutation and the diet. These results reveal a striking beneficial hepatic response to KD in mice with mitochondrial hepatopathy and warrant further investigations of dietary modification in the management of these conditions in patients.
Project description:The COX7A2L (Supercomplex Assembly Factor I, SCAFI) protein has been proposed to be a mitochondrial supercomplex assembly factor required for respirasome (supercomplex containing complexes I, III, and IV) formation. In the C57BL/6 mouse strain a homozygous in-frame 6-base-pair deletion in the COX7a2l/SCAF1 gene resulting in unstable protein and suggesting loss of function was previously identified. The loss of SCAFI was shown to impede respirasome formation, a major concern for the use of C57BL mouse strains in mitochondrial research. In contradiction, another recent study suggested that supercomplex formation is independent of SCAFI isoforms. We investigated whether SCAFI isoform status affected the disease severity and supercomplex formation in the liver of Bcs1lc.232A>G knock-in mice with incomplete complex III assembly. In homozygotes (Bcs1lG/G) of mixed (C57BL/6:129/Sv) genetic background, the lifespan was similar in mice with wild-type SCAFI allele and in those homozygous (SCAFIshort/short) for the deleted SCAF1 variant (34±3 days; n = 6 vs. 32±2 days; n = 7, respectively). SCAFI heterozygosity (SCAFIlong/short) resulted in decreased SCAFI protein but respirasome assembly was unaffected. Congenic (C57BL/6) mice were of the genotype SCAFIshort/short and had no detectable SCAFI protein. In their liver mitochondria, respirasome composition was altered as compared to mixed background mice. Complex IV was mainly present as monomers and dimers, and only low amounts were found in combination with complex I and complex III or with precomplex III. The main supercomplex in the liver mitochondria of C57BL/6 mice comprised only complexes I and III. In conclusion, in liver mitochondria of C57BL/6 mice, supercomplexes had markedly reduced amount of, but were not completely depleted of, complex IV, supporting a role for COX7A2L/SCAFI in supercomplex assembly. However, the disease progression of the Bcs1l mutant mice was unrelated to SCAFI isoforms and supercomplex composition, suggesting that other genetic factors contribute to the different survival in the different genetic backgrounds.
Project description:Mitochondrial disorders cause energy failure and metabolic derangements. Metabolome profiling in patients and animal models may identify affected metabolic pathways and reveal new biomarkers of disease progression. Using liver metabolomics we have shown a starvation-like condition in a knock-in (Bcs1lc.232A>G) mouse model of GRACILE syndrome, a neonatal lethal respiratory chain complex III dysfunction with hepatopathy. Here, we hypothesized that a high-carbohydrate diet (HCD, 60% dextrose) will alleviate the hypoglycemia and promote survival of the sick mice. However, when fed HCD the homozygotes had shorter survival (mean ± SD, 29 ± 2.5 days, n = 21) than those on standard diet (33 ± 3.8 days, n = 30), and no improvement in hypoglycemia or liver glycogen depletion. We investigated the plasma metabolome of the HCD- and control diet-fed mice and found that several amino acids and urea cycle intermediates were increased, and arginine, carnitines, succinate, and purine catabolites decreased in the homozygotes. Despite reduced survival the increase in aromatic amino acids, an indicator of liver mitochondrial dysfunction, was normalized on HCD. Quantitative enrichment analysis revealed that glycine, serine and threonine metabolism, phenylalanine and tyrosine metabolism, and urea cycle were also partly normalized on HCD. This dietary intervention revealed an unexpected adverse effect of high-glucose diet in complex III deficiency, and suggests that plasma metabolomics is a valuable tool in evaluation of therapies in mitochondrial disorders.
Project description:GRACILE (growth retardation, aminoaciduria, cholestasis, iron overload, lactacidosis, and early death) syndrome is a recessively inherited lethal disease characterized by fetal growth retardation, lactic acidosis, aminoaciduria, cholestasis, and abnormalities in iron metabolism. We previously localized the causative gene to a 1.5-cM region on chromosome 2q33-37. In the present study, we report the molecular defect causing this metabolic disorder, by identifying a homozygous missense mutation that results in an S78G amino acid change in the BCS1L gene in Finnish patients with GRACILE syndrome, as well as five different mutations in three British infants. BCS1L, a mitochondrial inner-membrane protein, is a chaperone necessary for the assembly of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex III. Pulse-chase experiments performed in COS-1 cells indicated that the S78G amino acid change results in instability of the polypeptide, and yeast complementation studies revealed a functional defect in the mutated BCS1L protein. Four different mutations in the BCS1L gene have been reported elsewhere, in Turkish patients with a distinctly different phenotype. Interestingly, the British and Turkish patients had complex III deficiency, whereas in the Finnish patients with GRACILE syndrome complex III activity was within the normal range, implying that BCS1L has another cellular function that is uncharacterized but essential and is putatively involved in iron metabolism.
Project description:Mitochondrial diseases due to defective respiratory chain complex III (CIII) are relatively uncommon. The assembly of the eleven-subunit CIII is completed by the insertion of the Rieske iron-sulfur protein, a process for which BCS1L protein is indispensable. Mutations in the BCS1L gene constitute the most common diagnosed cause of CIII deficiency, and the phenotypic spectrum arising from mutations in this gene is wide.A case of CIII deficiency was investigated in depth to assess respiratory chain function and assembly, and brain, skeletal muscle and liver histology. Exome sequencing was performed to search for the causative mutation(s). The patient's platelets and muscle mitochondria showed respiration defects and defective assembly of CIII was detected in fibroblast mitochondria. The patient was compound heterozygous for two novel mutations in BCS1L, c.306A?>?T and c.399delA. In the cerebral cortex a specific pattern of astrogliosis and widespread loss of microglia was observed. Further analysis showed loss of Kupffer cells in the liver. These changes were not found in infants suffering from GRACILE syndrome, the most severe BCS1L-related disorder causing early postnatal mortality, but were partially corroborated in a knock-in mouse model of BCS1L deficiency.We describe two novel compound heterozygous mutations in BCS1L causing CIII deficiency. The pathogenicity of one of the mutations was unexpected and points to the importance of combining next generation sequencing with a biochemical approach when investigating these patients. We further show novel manifestations in brain, skeletal muscle and liver, including abnormality in specialized resident macrophages (microglia and Kupffer cells). These novel phenotypes forward our understanding of CIII deficiencies caused by BCS1L mutations.
Project description:BCS1L encodes a homolog of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae bcs1 protein, which has a known role in the assembly of Complex III of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Phenotypes reported in association with pathogenic BCS1L variants include growth retardation, aminoaciduria, cholestasis, iron overload, lactic acidosis and early death (GRACILE syndrome), and Björnstad syndrome, characterized by abnormal flattening and twisting of hair shafts (pili torti) and hearing problems. Here we describe two patients harbouring biallelic variants in BCS1L; the first with a heterozygous variant c.166C>T, p.(Arg56*) together with a novel heterozygous variant c.205C>T, p.(Arg69Cys) and a second patient with a novel homozygous c.325C>T, p.(Arg109Trp) variant. The two patients presented with different phenotypes; the first patient presented as an adult with aminoaciduria, seizures, bilateral sensorineural deafness and learning difficulties. The second patient was an infant who presented with a classical GRACILE syndrome leading to death at 4 months of age. A decrease in BCS1L protein levels was seen in both patients, and biochemical analysis of Complex III revealed normal respiratory chain enzyme activities in the muscle of both patients. A decrease in Complex III assembly was detected in the adult patient's muscle, whilst the paediatric patient displayed a combined mitochondrial respiratory chain defect in cultured fibroblasts. Yeast complementation studies indicate that the two missense variants, c.205C>T, p.(Arg69Cys) and c.325C>T, p.(Arg109Trp), impair the respiratory capacity of the cell. Together, these data support the pathogenicity of the novel BCS1L variants identified in our patients.
Project description:Alternative oxidase (AOX) is a non-mammalian enzyme that can bypass blockade of the complex III-IV segment of the respiratory chain (RC). We crossed a Ciona intestinalis AOX transgene into RC complex III (cIII)-deficient Bcs1l p.S78G knock-in mice, displaying multiple visceral manifestations and premature death. The homozygotes expressing AOX were viable, and their median survival was extended from 210 to 590 days due to permanent prevention of lethal cardiomyopathy. AOX also prevented renal tubular atrophy and cerebral astrogliosis, but not liver disease, growth restriction, or lipodystrophy, suggesting distinct tissue-specific pathogenetic mechanisms. Assessment of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and damage suggested that ROS were not instrumental in the rescue. Cardiac mitochondrial ultrastructure, mitochondrial respiration, and pathological transcriptome and metabolome alterations were essentially normalized by AOX, showing that the restored electron flow upstream of cIII was sufficient to prevent cardiac energetic crisis and detrimental decompensation. These findings demonstrate the value of AOX, both as a mechanistic tool and a potential therapeutic strategy, for cIII deficiencies.
Project description:BCS1L gene encodes mitochondrial protein and is a member of conserved AAA protein family. This gene is involved in the incorporation of Rieske FeS and Qcr10p into complex III of respiratory chain. In our previous study, AluYRa2-derived alternative transcript in rhesus monkey genome was identified. However, this transcript has not been reported in human genome. In present study, we conducted evolutionary analysis of AluYRa2-exonized transcript with various primate genomic DNAs and cDNAs from humans, rhesus monkeys, and crab-eating monkeys. Remarkably, our results show that AluYRa2 element has only been integrated into genomes of Macaca species. This Macaca lineage-specific integration of AluYRa2 element led to exonization event in the first intron region of BCS1L gene by producing a conserved 3' splice site. Intriguingly, in rhesus and crab-eating monkeys, more diverse transcript variants by alternative splicing (AS) events, including exon skipping and different 5' splice sites from humans, were identified. Alignment of amino acid sequences revealed that AluYRa2-exonized transcript has short N-terminal peptides. Therefore, AS events play a major role in the generation of various transcripts and proteins during primate evolution. In particular, lineage-specific integration of Alu elements and species-specific Alu-derived exonization events could be important sources of gene diversification in primates.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>In individuals with mitochondrial disease, respiratory viral infection can result in metabolic decompensation with mitochondrial hepatopathy. Here, we used a mouse model of liver-specific Complex IV deficiency to study hepatic allostasis during respiratory viral infection.<h4>Methods</h4>Mice with hepatic cytochrome c oxidase deficiency (LivCox10<sup>-/-</sup>) were infected with aerosolized influenza, A/PR/8 (PR8), and euthanized on day five after infection following three days of symptoms. This time course is marked by a peak in inflammatory cytokines and mimics the timing of a common clinical scenario in which caregivers may first attempt to manage the illness at home before seeking medical attention. Metabolic decompensation and mitochondrial hepatopathy in mice were characterized by serum hepatic testing, histology, electron microscopy, biochemistry, metabolomics, and bioenergetic profiling.<h4>Results</h4>Following influenza infection, LivCox10<sup>-/-</sup> mice displayed marked liver disease including hepatitis, enlarged mitochondria with cristae loss, and hepatic steatosis. This pathophysiology was associated with viremia. Primary hepatocytes from LivCox10<sup>-/-</sup> mice cocultured with WT Kupffer cells in the presence of PR8 showed enhanced lipid accumulation. Treatment of hepatocytes with recombinant TNF? implicated Kupffer cell-derived TNF? as a precipitant of steatosis in LivCox10<sup>-/-</sup> mice. Eliminating Kupffer cells or blocking TNF? in vivo during influenza infection mitigated the steatosis and mitochondrial morphologic changes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Taken together, our data shift the narrative of metabolic decompensation in mitochondrial hepatopathy beyond the bioenergetic costs of infection to include an underlying susceptibility to immune-mediated damage. Moreover, our work suggests that immune modulation during metabolic decompensation in mitochondrial disease represents a future viable treatment strategy needing further exploration.