Mutant SOD1G93A triggers mitochondrial fragmentation in spinal cord motor neurons: neuroprotection by SIRT3 and PGC-1?.
ABSTRACT: Mutations in the Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase (SOD1) gene cause an inherited form of ALS with upper and lower motor neuron loss. The mechanism underlying mutant SOD1-mediated motor neuron degeneration remains unclear. While defects in mitochondrial dynamics contribute to neurodegeneration, including ALS, previous reports remain conflicted. Here, we report an improved technique to isolate, transfect, and culture rat spinal cord motor neurons. Using this improved system, we demonstrate that mutant SOD1(G93A) triggers a significant decrease in mitochondrial length and an accumulation of round fragmented mitochondria. The increase of fragmented mitochondria coincides with an arrest in both anterograde and retrograde axonal transport and increased cell death. In addition, mutant SOD1(G93A) induces a reduction in neurite length and branching that is accompanied with an abnormal accumulation of round mitochondria in growth cones. Furthermore, restoration of the mitochondrial fission and fusion balance by dominant-negative dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) expression rescues the mutant SOD1(G93A)-induced defects in mitochondrial morphology, dynamics, and cell viability. Interestingly, both SIRT3 and PGC-1? protect against mitochondrial fragmentation and neuronal cell death by mutant SOD1(G93A). This data suggests that impairment in mitochondrial dynamics participates in ALS and restoring this defect might provide protection against mutant SOD1(G93A)-induced neuronal injury.
Project description:Mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) causes mitochondrial alterations that contribute to motor neuron demise in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). When mitochondria are damaged, cells activate mitochondria quality control (MQC) mechanisms leading to mitophagy. Here, we show that in the spinal cord of G93A mutant SOD1 transgenic mice (SOD1-G93A mice), the autophagy receptor p62 is recruited to mitochondria and mitophagy is activated. Furthermore, the mitochondrial ubiquitin ligase Parkin and mitochondrial dynamics proteins, such as Miro1, and Mfn2, which are ubiquitinated by Parkin, and the mitochondrial biogenesis regulator PGC1? are depleted. Unexpectedly, Parkin genetic ablation delays disease progression and prolongs survival in SOD1-G93A mice, as it slows down motor neuron loss and muscle denervation and attenuates the depletion of mitochondrial dynamics proteins and PGC1?. Our results indicate that Parkin is a disease modifier in ALS, because chronic Parkin-mediated MQC activation depletes mitochondrial dynamics-related proteins, inhibits mitochondrial biogenesis, and worsens mitochondrial dysfunction.
Project description:Mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) causes mitochondrial alterations that contribute to motor neuron demise in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). When mitochondria are damaged, cells activate mitochondria quality control (MQC) mechanisms leading to mitophagy. Here, we show that in the spinal cord of G93A mutant SOD1 transgenic mice (SOD1-G93A mice) the autophagy receptor p62 is recruited to mitochondria and mitophagy is activated. Furthermore, the mitochondrial ubiquitin ligase Parkin and mitochondrial dynamics proteins, such as Miro1, and Mfn2, which are ubiquitinated by Parkin, and the mitochondrial biogenesis regulator PGC1 are depleted. Unexpectedly, Parkin genetic ablation delays disease progression and prolongs survival in SOD1-G93A mice, as it slows down motor neuron loss and muscle denervation and attenuates the depletion of mitochondrial dynamics proteins and PGC1. Our results indicate that Parkin is a disease modifier in ALS, because chronic Parkin-mediated MQC activation depletes mitochondrial dynamics-related proteins, inhibits mitochondrial biogenesis, and worsens mitochondrial dysfunction.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a debilitating and fatal late-onset neurodegenerative disease. Familial cases of ALS (FALS) constitute approximately 10% of all ALS cases, and mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is found in 15-20% of FALS. SOD1 mutations confer a toxic gain of unknown function to the protein that specifically targets the motor neurons in the cortex and the spinal cord. We have previously shown that the autosomal dominant Legs at odd angles (Loa) mutation in cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain (Dync1h1) delays disease onset and extends the life span of transgenic mice harboring human mutant SOD1(G93A). In this study we provide evidence that despite the lack of direct interactions between mutant SOD1 and either mutant or wild-type cytoplasmic dynein, the Loa mutation confers significant reductions in the amount of mutant SOD1 protein in the mitochondrial matrix. Moreover, we show that the Loa mutation ameliorates defects in mitochondrial respiration and membrane potential observed in SOD1(G93A) motor neuron mitochondria. These data suggest that the Loa mutation reduces the vulnerability of mitochondria to the toxic effects of mutant SOD1, leading to improved mitochondrial function in SOD1(G93A) motor neurons.
Project description:Defective axonal transport is an early neuropathological feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have previously shown that ALS-associated mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) impair axonal transport of mitochondria in motor neurons isolated from SOD1 G93A transgenic mice and in ALS mutant SOD1 transfected cortical neurons, but the underlying mechanisms remained unresolved. The outer mitochondrial membrane protein mitochondrial Rho GTPase 1 (Miro1) is a master regulator of mitochondrial axonal transport in response to cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) levels ([Ca2+]c) and mitochondrial damage. Ca2+ binding to Miro1 halts mitochondrial transport by modifying its interaction with kinesin-1 whereas mitochondrial damage induces Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog (PTEN)-induced Putative Kinase 1 (PINK1) and Parkin-dependent degradation of Miro1 and consequently stops transport. To identify the mechanism underlying impaired axonal transport of mitochondria in mutant SOD1-related ALS we investigated [Ca2+]c and Miro1 levels in ALS mutant SOD1 expressing neurons. We found that expression of ALS mutant SOD1 reduced the level of endogenous Miro1 but did not affect [Ca2+]c. ALS mutant SOD1 induced reductions in Miro1 levels were Parkin dependent. Moreover, both overexpression of Miro1 and ablation of PINK1 rescued the mitochondrial axonal transport deficit in ALS mutant SOD1-expressing cortical and motor neurons. Together these results provide evidence that ALS mutant SOD1 inhibits axonal transport of mitochondria by inducing PINK1/Parkin-dependent Miro1 degradation.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neuromuscular disorder characterized by degeneration of motor neurons and atrophy of skeletal muscle. Mutations in the superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene are linked to 20% cases of inherited ALS. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenic process, but how it contributes to muscle degeneration of ALS is not known. Here we identify a specific deficit in the cellular physiology of skeletal muscle derived from an ALS mouse model (G93A) with transgenic overexpression of the human SOD1(G93A) mutant. The G93A skeletal muscle fibers display localized loss of mitochondrial inner membrane potential in fiber segments near the neuromuscular junction. These defects occur in young G93A mice prior to disease onset. Fiber segments with depolarized mitochondria show greater osmotic stress-induced Ca(2+) release activity, which can include propagating Ca(2+) waves. These Ca(2+) waves are confined to regions of depolarized mitochondria and stop propagating shortly upon entering the regions of normal, polarized mitochondria. Uncoupling of mitochondrial membrane potential with FCCP or inhibition of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake by Ru360 lead to cell-wide propagation of such Ca(2+) release events. Our data reveal that mitochondria regulate Ca(2+) signaling in skeletal muscle, and loss of this capacity may contribute to the progression of muscle atrophy in ALS.
Project description:Neuronal mitochondrial morphology abnormalities occur in models of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) associated with SOD1 and TDP43 mutations. These abnormalities have been linked to mitochondrial axonal transport defects, but the temporal and spatial relationship between mitochondrial morphology and transport alterations in these two distinct genetic forms of ALS has not been investigated in vivo. To address this question, we crossed SOD1 (wild-type SOD1(WT) and mutant SOD1(G93A)) or TDP43 (mutant TDP43(A315T)) transgenic mice with mice expressing the fluorescent protein Dendra targeted to mitochondria in neurons (mitoDendra). At different time points during the disease course, we studied mitochondrial transport in the intact sciatic nerve of living mice and analyzed axonal mitochondrial morphology at multiple sites, spanning from the spinal cord to the motor terminals. Defects of retrograde mitochondrial transport were detected at 45 days of age, before the onset of symptoms, in SOD1(G93A) and TDP43(A315T) mice, but not in SOD1(WT). At later disease stages, also anterograde mitochondrial transport was affected in both mutant mouse lines. In SOD1(G93A) mice, mitochondrial morphological abnormalities were apparent at 15 days of age, thus preceding transport abnormalities. Conversely, in TDP43(A315T) mice, morphological abnormalities appeared after the onset of transport defects. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that neuronal mitochondrial transport and morphology abnormalities occur in vivo and that they are common denominators of different genetic forms of the ALS. At the same time, differences in the temporal and spatial manifestation of mitochondrial abnormalities between the two mouse models of familial ALS imply that different molecular mechanisms may be involved.
Project description:Mutations in Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) are associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutant SOD1 causes a complex array of pathological events, through toxic gain of function mechanisms, leading to selective motor neuron degeneration. Mitochondrial dysfunction is among the well established toxic effects of mutant SOD1, but its mechanisms are just starting to be elucidated. A portion of mutant SOD1 is localized in mitochondria, where it accumulates mostly on the outer membrane and inside the intermembrane space (IMS). Evidence in cultured cells suggests that mutant SOD1 in the IMS causes mitochondrial dysfunction and compromises cell viability. Therefore, to test its pathogenic role in vivo we generated transgenic mice expressing G93A mutant or wild-type (WT) human SOD1 targeted selectively to the mitochondrial IMS (mito-SOD1). We show that mito-SOD1 is correctly localized in the IMS, where it oligomerizes and acquires enzymatic activity. Mito-G93ASOD1 mice, but not mito-WTSOD1 mice, develop a progressive disease characterized by body weight loss, muscle weakness, brain atrophy, and motor impairment, which is more severe in females. These symptoms are associated with reduced spinal motor neuron counts and impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics, characterized by decreased cytochrome oxidase activity and defective calcium handling. However, there is no evidence of muscle denervation, a cardinal pathological feature of ALS. Together, our findings indicate that mutant SOD1 in the mitochondrial IMS causes mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration, but per se it is not sufficient to cause a full-fledged ALS phenotype, which requires the participation of mutant SOD1 localized in other cellular compartments.
Project description:The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motoneurons death. Mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) protein have been identified to be related to the disease. Beyond the different altered pathways, the mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the major features that leads to the selective death of motoneurons in ALS. The NSC-34 cell line, overexpressing human SOD1(G93A) mutant protein [NSC-34(G93A)], is considered an optimal in vitro model to study ALS. Here we investigated the energy metabolism in NSC-34(G93A) cells and in particular the effect of the mutated SOD1(G93A) protein on the mitochondrial respiratory capacity (complexes I-IV) by high resolution respirometry (HRR) and cytofluorimetry. We demonstrated that NSC-34(G93A) cells show a reduced mitochondrial oxidative capacity. In particular, we found significant impairment of the complex I-linked oxidative phosphorylation, reduced efficiency of the electron transfer system (ETS) associated with a higher rate of dissipative respiration, and a lower membrane potential. In order to rescue the effect of the mutated SOD1 gene on mitochondria impairment, we evaluated the efficacy of the exosomes, isolated from adipose-derived stem cells, administrated on the NSC-34(G93A) cells. These data show that ASCs-exosomes are able to restore complex I activity, coupling efficiency and mitochondrial membrane potential. Our results improve the knowledge about mitochondrial bioenergetic defects directly associated with the SOD1(G93A) mutation, and prove the efficacy of adipose-derived stem cells exosomes to rescue the function of mitochondria, indicating that these vesicles could represent a valuable approach to target mitochondrial dysfunction in ALS.
Project description:Superoxide Dismutase 1 mutants associate with 20-25% of familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) cases, producing toxic aggregates on mitochondria, notably in spinal cord. The Voltage Dependent Anion Channel isoform 1 (VDAC1) in the outer mitochondrial membrane is a docking site for SOD1 G93A mutant in ALS mice and the physiological receptor of Hexokinase I (HK1), which is poorly expressed in mouse spinal cord. Our results demonstrate that HK1 competes with SOD1 G93A for binding VDAC1, suggesting that in ALS spinal cord the available HK1-binding sites could be used by SOD1 mutants for docking mitochondria, producing thus organelle dysfunction. We tested this model by studying the action of a HK1-N-terminal based peptide (NHK1). This NHK1 peptide specifically interacts with VDAC1, inhibits the SOD1 G93A binding to mitochondria and restores the viability of ALS model NSC34 cells. Altogether, our results suggest that NHK1 peptide could be developed as a therapeutic tool in ALS, predicting an effective role also in other proteinopathies.
Project description:Reduced axonal mitochondrial transport has been observed in major neurodegenerative diseases, including fALS patients and SOD1(G93A) mice. However, it is unclear whether this defect plays a critical role in axonal degeneration or simply reflects sequelae of general transport alteration. Using genetic mouse models combined with time-lapse imaging of live neurons, we previously discovered that axon-targeted syntaphilin (SNPH) acts as a docking receptor specific for axonal mitochondria. Deletion of the snph gene in mice results in a substantially higher proportion of axonal mitochondria in the mobile state without any effect on the transport of other axonal organelles. Here we address whether increased (rescued) axonal mitochondrial mobility changes the disease course by crossing fALS-linked transgenic SOD1(G93A) and snph(-/-) knock-out mice. We found that a 2-fold increase in axonal mitochondrial mobility in SOD1(G93A)/snph(-/-) mice did not affect the onset of ALS-like symptoms. Both SOD1(G93A) and SOD1(G93A)/snph(-/-) mice exhibit similar weight loss, deterioration in motor function and motor neuron loss, significant gliosis, and a lifespan of 152-154 days. Thus, for the first time, our study provides genetic and pathological evidence that the impairment of mitochondrial transport seen in SOD1(G93A) mice plays a minimal role in the rapid-onset of fALS-linked pathology.