Alternative oxidase expression in the mouse enables bypassing cytochrome c oxidase blockade and limits mitochondrial ROS overproduction.
ABSTRACT: Cyanide-resistant non-phosphorylating respiration is known in mitochondria from plants, fungi, and microorganisms but is absent in mammals. It results from the activity of an alternative oxidase (AOX) that conveys electrons directly from the respiratory chain (RC) ubiquinol pool to oxygen. AOX thus provides a bypath that releases constraints on the cytochrome pathway and prevents the over-reduction of the ubiquinone pool, a major source of superoxide. RC dysfunctions and deleterious superoxide overproduction are recurrent themes in human pathologies, ranging from neurodegenerative diseases to cancer, and may be instrumental in ageing. Thus, preventing RC blockade and excess superoxide production by means of AOX should be of considerable interest. However, because of its energy-dissipating properties, AOX might produce deleterious effects of its own in mammals. Here we show that AOX can be safely expressed in the mouse (MitAOX), with major physiological parameters being unaffected. It neither disrupted the activity of other RC components nor decreased oxidative phosphorylation in isolated mitochondria. It conferred cyanide-resistance to mitochondrial substrate oxidation and decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production upon RC blockade. Accordingly, AOX expression was able to support cyanide-resistant respiration by intact organs and to afford prolonged protection against a lethal concentration of gaseous cyanide in whole animals. Taken together, these results indicate that AOX expression in the mouse is innocuous and permits to overcome a RC blockade, while reducing associated oxidative insult. Therefore, the MitAOX mice represent a valuable tool in order to investigate the ability of AOX to counteract the panoply of mitochondrial-inherited diseases originating from oxidative phosphorylation defects.
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 Bcs1lp.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: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:The AOX1 gene, which encodes an alternative oxidase, was isolated from the genomic DNA library of Candida albicans. The gene encodes a polypeptide consisting of 379 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 43,975 Da. The aox1/aox1 mutant strain did not show cyanide-resistant respiration under normal conditions but could still induce cyanide-resistant respiration when treated with antimycin A. The measurement of respiratory activity and Western blot analysis suggested the presence of another AOX. When C. albicans AOX1 was expressed in alternative oxidase-deficient Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it could confer cyanide-resistant respiration on S. cerevisiae.
Project description:Candida albicans possesses a cyanide-resistant respiratory pathway mediated by alternative oxidase (AOX), which seems to be encoded by a gene family with two members. Cloning and expression of AOX1a, one of the genes encoding alternative oxidase from C. albicans, has previously been reported [Huh and Kang (1999) J. Bacteriol. 181, 4098-4102]. In the present study we report the isolation of another gene coding for alternative oxidase, designated AOX1b. AOX1b contains a continuous open reading frame that encodes a polypeptide consisting of 365 amino acids. Interestingly, AOX1a and AOX1b were found to be located in tandem on one of the chromosomes of C. albicans. The presence of cyanide in the culture medium remarkably retarded the growth of the aox1a/aox1a mutants. The growth of the aox1b/aox1b mutants and the aox1a/aox1a aox1b/aox1b double mutants was almost completely inhibited in the same medium. beta-Galactosidase reporter assays indicated that, whereas AOX1a was expressed constitutively, the expression of AOX1b was dependent on growth phase and was induced by treatment with cyanide, antimycin A, H(2)O(2), menadione and paraquat. Growth of the cells in media with non-fermentable carbon sources also enhanced the expression of AOX1b. CaSLN1, which encodes a histidine kinase, seems to be involved in the regulation of AOX expression in C. albicans on the basis of the observation that the activity of cyanide-resistant respiration and the expression level of AOX in the casln1/casln1 mutants were found to be significantly low under normal conditions and slightly increased in the presence of respiratory inhibitors compared with the wild-type strain. Like AOX1a, AOX1b could also be functionally expressed in AOX-deficient Saccharomyces cerevisiae and confer cyanide-resistant respiration on the organism.
Project description:Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is a thermodimorphic human pathogenic fungus that causes paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM), which is the most prevalent systemic mycosis in Latin America. Differentiation from the mycelial to the yeast form (M-to-Y) is an essential step for the establishment of PCM. We evaluated the involvement of mitochondria and intracellular oxidative stress in M-to-Y differentiation. M-to-Y transition was delayed by the inhibition of mitochondrial complexes III and IV or alternative oxidase (AOX) and was blocked by the association of AOX with complex III or IV inhibitors. The expression of P. brasiliensis aox (Pbaox) was developmentally regulated through M-to-Y differentiation, wherein the highest levels were achieved in the first 24 h and during the yeast exponential growth phase; Pbaox was upregulated by oxidative stress. Pbaox was cloned, and its heterologous expression conferred cyanide-resistant respiration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli and reduced oxidative stress in S. cerevisiae cells. These results reinforce the role of PbAOX in intracellular redox balancing and demonstrate its involvement, as well as that of other components of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes, in the early stages of the M-to-Y differentiation of P. brasiliensis.
Project description:Philasterides dicentrarchi is a marine benthic microaerophilic scuticociliate and an opportunistic endoparasite that can infect and cause high mortalities in cultured turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). In addition to a cytochrome pathway (CP), the ciliate can use a cyanide-insensitive respiratory pathway, which indicates the existence of an alternative oxidase (AOX) in the mitochondrion. Although AOX activity has been described in P. dicentrarchi, based on functional assay results, genetic evidence of the presence of AOX in the ciliate has not previously been reported. In this study, we conducted genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the ciliate and identified the AOX gene and its corresponding mRNA. The AOX gene (size 1,106 bp) contains four exons and three introns that generate an open reading frame of 915 bp and a protein with a predicted molecular weight of 35.6 kDa. The amino acid (aa) sequence of the AOX includes an import signal peptide targeting the mitochondria and the protein is associated with the inner membrane of the mitochondria. Bioinformatic analysis predicted that the peptide is a homodimeric glycoprotein, although monomeric forms may also appear under native conditions, with EXXH motifs associated with the diiron active centers. The aa sequences of the AOX of different P. dicentrarchi isolates are highly conserved and phylogenetically closely related to AOXs of other ciliate species, especially scuticociliates. AOX expression increased significantly during infection in the host and after the addition of CP inhibitors. This confirms the important physiological roles of AOX in respiration under conditions of low levels of O2 and in protecting against oxidative stress generated during infection in the host.
Project description:Cyanide-resistant alternative oxidase (AOX) is a nuclear-encoded quinol oxidase located in the inner mitochondrial membrane. Although the quality control of AOX proteins is expected to have a role in elevated respiration in mitochondria, it remains unclear whether thermogenic plants possess molecular mechanisms for the mitochondrial degradation of AOX. To better understand the mechanism of AOX turnover in mitochondria, we performed a series of in organello AOX degradation assays using mitochondria from various stages of the appendices of Arum maculatum. Our analyses clearly indicated that AOX proteins at certain stages in the appendices are degraded at 30°C, which is close to the maximum appendix temperature observed during thermogenesis. Interestingly, such temperature-dependent protease activities were specifically inhibited by E-64, a cysteine protease inhibitor. Moreover, purification and subsequent nano LC-MS/MS analyses of E-64-sensitive and DCG-04-labeled active mitochondrial protease revealed an ?30?kDa protein with an identical partial peptide sequence to the cysteine protease 1-like protein from Phoenix dactylifera. Our data collectively suggest that AOX is a potential target for temperature-dependent E-64-sensitive cysteine protease in the appendices of A. maculatum. A possible retrograde signalling cascade mediated by specific degradation of AOX proteins and its physiological significance are discussed.
Project description:Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) deficiency is associated with a wide spectrum of clinical conditions, ranging from early onset devastating encephalomyopathy and cardiomyopathy, to neurological diseases in adulthood and in the elderly. No method of compensating successfully for COX deficiency has been reported so far. In vitro, COX-deficient human cells require additional glucose, pyruvate and uridine for normal growth and are specifically sensitive to oxidative stress. Here, we have tested whether the expression of a mitochondrially targeted, cyanide-resistant, alternative oxidase (AOX) from Ciona intestinalis could alleviate the metabolic abnormalities of COX-deficient human cells either from a patient harbouring a COX15 pathological mutation or rendered deficient by silencing the COX10 gene using shRNA. We demonstrate that the expression of the AOX, well-tolerated by the cells, compensates for both the growth defect and the pronounced oxidant-sensitivity of COX-deficient human cells.
Project description:Phosphate starvation compromises electron flow through the cytochrome pathway of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, and plants commonly respond to phosphate deprivation by increasing flow through the alternative oxidase (AOX). To test whether this response is linked to the increase in nitric oxide (NO) production that also increases under phosphate starvation, Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings were grown for 15 d on media containing either 0 or 1mM inorganic phosphate. The effects of the phosphate supply on growth, the production of NO, respiration, the AOX level and the production of superoxide were compared for wild-type (WT) seedlings and the nitrate reductase double mutant nia. Phosphate deprivation increased NO production in WT roots, and the AOX level and the capacity of the alternative pathway to consume electrons in WT seedlings; whereas the same treatment failed to stimulate NO production and AOX expression in the nia mutant, and the plants had an altered growth phenotype. The NO donor S-nitrosoglutathione rescued the growth phenotype of the nia mutants under phosphate deprivation to some extent, and it also increased the respiratory capacity of AOX. It is concluded that NO is required for the induction of the AOX pathway when seedlings are grown under phosphate-limiting conditions.
Project description:Microsporidia are a group of obligate intracellular parasitic eukaryotes that were considered to be amitochondriate until the recent discovery of highly reduced mitochondrial organelles called mitosomes. Analysis of the complete genome of Encephalitozoon cuniculi revealed a highly reduced set of proteins in the organelle, mostly related to the assembly of iron-sulphur clusters. Oxidative phosphorylation and the Krebs cycle proteins were absent, in keeping with the notion that the microsporidia and their mitosomes are anaerobic, as is the case for other mitosome bearing eukaryotes, such as Giardia. Here we provide evidence opening the possibility that mitosomes in a number of microsporidian lineages are not completely anaerobic. Specifically, we have identified and characterized a gene encoding the alternative oxidase (AOX), a typically mitochondrial terminal oxidase in eukaryotes, in the genomes of several distantly related microsporidian species, even though this gene is absent from the complete genome of E. cuniculi. In order to confirm that these genes encode functional proteins, AOX genes from both A. locustae and T. hominis were over-expressed in E. coli and AOX activity measured spectrophotometrically using ubiquinol-1 (UQ-1) as substrate. Both A. locustae and T. hominis AOX proteins reduced UQ-1 in a cyanide and antimycin-resistant manner that was sensitive to ascofuranone, a potent inhibitor of the trypanosomal AOX. The physiological role of AOX microsporidia may be to reoxidise reducing equivalents produced by glycolysis, in a manner comparable to that observed in trypanosomes.