New sensors for quantitative measurement of mitochondrial Zn(2+).
ABSTRACT: Zinc (Zn(2+)) homeostasis plays a vital role in cell function, and the dysregulation of intracellular Zn(2+) is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Few tools exist to quantitatively monitor the buffered, free Zn(2+) concentration in mitochondria of living cells ([Zn(2+)](mito)). We have validated three high dynamic range, ratiometric, genetically encoded, fluorescent Zn(2+) sensors that we have successfully used to precisely measure and monitor [Zn(2+)](mito) in several cell types. Using one of these sensors, called mito-ZapCY1, we report observations that free Zn(2+) is buffered at concentrations about 3 orders of magnitude lower in mitochondria than in the cytosol and that HeLa cells expressing mito-ZapCY1 have an average [Zn(2+)](mito) of 0.14 pM, which differs significantly from other cell types. These optimized mitochondrial Zn(2+) sensors could improve our understanding of the relationship between Zn(2+) homeostasis and mitochondrial function.
Project description:A mitochondria-targeted ratiometric two-photon fluorescent probe (Mito-MPVQ) for biological zinc ions detection was developed based on quinolone platform. Mito-MPVQ showed large red shifts (68 nm) and selective ratiometric signal upon Zn(2+) binding. The ratio of emission intensity (I488 nm/I420 nm) increases dramatically from 0.45 to 3.79 (ca. 8-fold). NMR titration and theoretical calculation confirmed the binding of Mito-MPVQ and Zn(2+). Mito-MPVQ also exhibited large two-photon absorption cross sections (150 GM) at nearly 720 nm and insensitivity to pH within the biologically relevant pH range. Cell imaging indicated that Mito-MPVQ could efficiently located in mitochondria and monitor mitochondrial Zn(2+) under two-photon excitation with low cytotoxicity.
Project description:Genetically encoded sensors based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) are powerful tools for reporting on ions, molecules and biochemical reactions in living cells. Here we describe the development of new sensors for Zn²?based on alternate FRET-pairs that do not involve the traditional CFP and YFP. Zn²? is an essential micronutrient and plays fundamental roles in cell biology. Consequently there is a pressing need for robust sensors to monitor Zn²? levels and dynamics in cells with high spatial and temporal resolution. Here we develop a suite of sensors using alternate FRET pairs, including tSapphire/TagRFP, tSapphire/mKO, Clover/mRuby2, mOrange2/mCherry, and mOrange2/mKATE. These sensors were targeted to both the nucleus and cytosol and characterized and validated in living cells. Sensors based on the new FRET pair Clover/mRuby2 displayed a higher dynamic range and better signal-to-noise ratio than the remaining sensors tested and were optimal for monitoring changes in cytosolic and nuclear Zn²?. Using a green-red sensor targeted to the nucleus and cyan-yellow sensor targeted to either the ER, Golgi, or mitochondria, we were able to monitor Zn²? uptake simultaneously in two compartments, revealing that nuclear Zn²? rises quickly, whereas the ER, Golgi, and mitochondria all sequester Zn²? more slowly and with a delay of 600-700 sec. Lastly, these studies provide the first glimpse of nuclear Zn²? and reveal that nuclear Zn²? is buffered at a higher level than cytosolic Zn²?.
Project description:The homeostasis of mitochondrial pH (pH<sub>m</sub>) is crucial in cell physiology. Developing small-molecular fluorescent sensors for the ratiometric detection of pH<sub>m</sub> fluctuation is highly demanded yet challenging. A ratiometric pH sensor, <b>Mito-pH</b>, was constructed by integrating a pH-sensitive FITC fluorophore with a pH-insensitive hemicyanine group. The hemicyanine group also acts as the mitochondria targeting group due to its lipophilic cationic nature. Besides its ability to target mitochondria, this sensor provides two ratiometric pH sensing modes, the dual excitation/dual emission mode (D<sub>ex</sub>/D<sub>em</sub>) and dual excitation (D<sub>ex</sub>) mode, and its linear and reversible ratiometric response range from pH 6.15 to 8.38 makes this sensor suitable for the practical tracking of pH<sub>m</sub> fluctuation in live cells. With this sensor, stimulated pH<sub>m</sub> fluctuation has been successfully tracked in a ratiometric manner <i>via</i> both fluorescence imaging and flow cytometry.
Project description:The transfer of Ca(2+) from the cytosol into the lumen of mitochondria is a crucial process that impacts cell signaling in multiple ways. Cytosolic Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](cyto)) can be excellently quantified with the ratiometric Ca(2+) probe fura-2, while genetically encoded Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based fluorescent Ca(2+) sensors, the cameleons, are efficiently used to specifically measure Ca(2+) within organelles. However, because of a significant overlap of the fura-2 emission with the spectra of the cyan and yellow fluorescent protein of most of the existing cameleons, the measurement of fura-2 and cameleons within one given cell is a complex task. In this study, we introduce a novel approach to simultaneously assess [Ca(2+)](cyto) and mitochondrial Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](mito)) signals at the single cell level. In order to eliminate the spectral overlap we developed a novel red-shifted cameleon, D1GO-Cam, in which the green and orange fluorescent proteins were used as the FRET pair. This ratiometric Ca(2+) probe could be successfully targeted to mitochondria and was suitable to be used simultaneously with fura-2 to correlate [Ca(2+)](cyto) and [Ca(2+)](mito) within same individual cells. Our data indicate that depending on the kinetics of [Ca(2+)](cyto) rises there is a significant lag between onset of [Ca(2+)](cyto) and [Ca(2+)](mito) signals, pointing to a certain threshold of [Ca(2+)](cyto) necessary to activate mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake. The temporal correlation between [Ca(2+)](mito) and [Ca(2+)](cyto) as well as the efficiency of the transfer of Ca(2+) from the cytosol into mitochondria varies between different cell types. Moreover, slow mitochondrial Ca(2+) extrusion and a desensitization of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake cause a clear difference in patterns of mitochondrial and cytosolic Ca(2+) oscillations of pancreatic beta-cells in response to D-glucose.
Project description:Zn(2+) plays essential and diverse roles in numerous cellular processes. To get a better understanding of intracellular Zn(2+) homeostasis and the putative signaling role of Zn(2+), various fluorescent sensors have been developed that allow monitoring of Zn(2+) concentrations in single living cells in real time. Thus far, two families of genetically encoded FRET-based Zn(2+) sensors have been most widely applied, the eCALWY sensors developed by our group and the ZapCY sensors developed by Palmer and co-workers. Both have been successfully used to measure cytosolic free Zn(2+), but distinctly different concentrations have been reported when using these sensors to measure Zn(2+) concentrations in the ER and mitochondria. Here, we report the development of a versatile alternative FRET sensor containing a de novo Cys2His2 binding pocket that was created on the surface of the donor and acceptor fluorescent domains. This eZinCh-2 sensor binds Zn(2+) with a high affinity that is similar to that of eCALWY-4 (Kd = 1 nM at pH 7.1), while displaying a substantially larger change in emission ratio. eZinCh-2 not only provides an attractive alternative for measuring Zn(2+) in the cytosol but was also successfully used for measuring Zn(2+) in the ER, mitochondria, and secretory vesicles. Moreover, organelle-targeted eZinCh-2 can also be used in combination with the previously reported redCALWY sensors to allow multicolor imaging of intracellular Zn(2+) simultaneously in the cytosol and the ER or mitochondria.
Project description:Despite the significant advantages of two-photon excitation microscopy (TPEM) over traditional confocal fluorescence microscopy in live-cell imaging applications, including reduced phototoxicity and photobleaching, increased depth penetration, and minimized autofluorescence, only a few metal ion-selective fluorescent probes have been designed and optimized specifically for this technique. Building upon a donor-acceptor fluorophore architecture, we developed a membrane-permeant, Zn(II)-selective fluorescent probe, chromis-1, that exhibits a balanced two-photon cross section between its free and Zn(II)-bound form and responds with a large spectral shift suitable for emission-ratiometric imaging. With a Kd of 1.5 nM and wide dynamic range, the probe is well suited for visualizing temporal changes in buffered Zn(II) levels in live cells as demonstrated with mouse fibroblast cell cultures. Moreover, given the importance of zinc in the physiology and pathophysiology of the brain, we employed chromis-1 to monitor cytoplasmic concentrations of labile Zn(II) in oligodendrocytes, an important cellular constituent of the brain, at different stages of development in cell culture. These studies revealed a decrease in probe saturation upon differentiation to mature oligodendrocytes, implying significant changes to cellular zinc homeostasis during maturation with an overall reduction in cellular zinc availability. Optimized for TPEM, chromis-1 is especially well-suited for exploring the role of labile zinc pools in live cells under a broad range of physiological and pathological conditions.
Project description:We developed genetically encoded fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based sensors that display a large ratiometric change upon Zn(2+) binding, have affinities that span the pico- to nanomolar range and can readily be targeted to subcellular organelles. Using this sensor toolbox we found that cytosolic Zn(2+) was buffered at 0.4 nM in pancreatic beta cells, and we found substantially higher Zn(2+) concentrations in insulin-containing secretory vesicles.
Project description:Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an intractable tumor of the peritoneal and pleural cavities primarily linked to exposure to asbestos. Recently, we described an interplay between mitochondrial-derived oxidants and expression of FOXM1, a redox-responsive transcription factor that has emerged as a promising therapeutic target in solid malignancies. Here we have investigated the effects of nitroxides targeted to mitochondria via triphenylphosphonium (TPP) moieties on mitochondrial oxidant production, expression of FOXM1 and peroxiredoxin 3 (PRX3), and cell viability in MM cells in culture. Both Mito-carboxy-proxyl (MCP) and Mito-TEMPOL (MT) caused dose-dependent increases in mitochondrial oxidant production that was accompanied by inhibition of expression of FOXM1 and PRX3 and loss of cell viability. At equivalent concentrations TPP, CP, and TEMPOL had no effect on these endpoints. Live cell ratiometric imaging with a redox-responsive green fluorescent protein targeted to mitochondria (mito-roGFP) showed that MCP and MT, but not CP, TEMPOL, or TPP, rapidly induced mitochondrial fragmentation and swelling, morphological transitions that were associated with diminished ATP levels and increased production of mitochondrial oxidants. Mdivi-1, an inhibitor of mitochondrial fission, did not rescue mitochondria from fragmentation by MCP. Immunofluorescence microscopy experiments indicate a fraction of FOXM1 coexists in the cytoplasm with mitochondrial PRX3. Our results indicate that MCP and MT inhibit FOXM1 expression and MM tumor cell viability via perturbations in redox homeostasis caused by marked disruption of mitochondrial architecture, and suggest that both compounds, either alone or in combination with thiostrepton or other agents, may provide credible therapeutic options for the management of MM.
Project description:Mitochondria play central roles in buffering intracellular Ca²? transients. While basal mitochondrial Ca²? (Ca²? mito) is needed to maintain organellar physiology, Ca²? mito overload can lead to cell death. How Ca²? mito homeostasis is regulated is not well understood. Here we show that Miro, a known component of the mitochondrial transport machinery, regulates Drosophila neural stem cell (NSC) development through Ca²? mito homeostasis control, independent of its role in mitochondrial transport. Miro interacts with Ca²? transporters at the ER-mitochondria contact site (ERMCS). Its inactivation causes Ca²? mito depletion and metabolic impairment, whereas its overexpression results in Ca²? mito overload, mitochondrial morphology change, and apoptotic response. Both conditions impaired NSC lineage progression. Ca²? mito homeostasis is influenced by Polo-mediated phosphorylation of a conserved residue in Miro, which positively regulates Miro localization to, and the integrity of, ERMCS. Our results elucidate a regulatory mechanism underlying Ca²? mito homeostasis and how its dysregulation may affect NSC metabolism/development and contribute to disease.
Project description:Calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis is essential for neuronal function and survival. Altered Ca2+ homeostasis has been consistently observed in neurological diseases. How Ca2+ homeostasis is achieved in various cellular compartments of disease-relevant cell types is not well understood. Here we show in Drosophila Parkinson's disease (PD) models that Ca2+ transport from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to mitochondria through the ER-mitochondria contact site (ERMCS) critically regulates mitochondrial Ca2+ (mito-Ca2+) homeostasis in dopaminergic (DA) neurons, and that the PD-associated PINK1 protein modulates this process. In PINK1 mutant DA neurons, the ERMCS is strengthened and mito-Ca2+ level is elevated, resulting in mitochondrial enlargement and neuronal death. Miro, a well-characterized component of the mitochondrial trafficking machinery, mediates the effects of PINK1 on mito-Ca2+ and mitochondrial morphology, apparently in a transport-independent manner. Miro overexpression mimics PINK1 loss-of-function effect, whereas inhibition of Miro or components of the ERMCS, or pharmacological modulation of ERMCS function, rescued PINK1 mutant phenotypes. Mito-Ca2+ homeostasis is also altered in the LRRK2-G2019S model of PD and the PAR-1/MARK model of neurodegeneration, and genetic or pharmacological restoration of mito-Ca2+ level is beneficial in these models. Our results highlight the importance of mito-Ca2+ homeostasis maintained by Miro and the ERMCS to mitochondrial physiology and neuronal integrity. Targeting this mito-Ca2+ homeostasis pathway holds promise for a therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases.