Loss of UCP2 attenuates mitochondrial dysfunction without altering ROS production and uncoupling activity.
ABSTRACT: Although mitochondrial dysfunction is often accompanied by excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, we previously showed that an increase in random somatic mtDNA mutations does not result in increased oxidative stress. Normal levels of ROS and oxidative stress could also be a result of an active compensatory mechanism such as a mild increase in proton leak. Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) was proposed to play such a role in many physiological situations. However, we show that upregulation of UCP2 in mtDNA mutator mice is not associated with altered proton leak kinetics or ROS production, challenging the current view on the role of UCP2 in energy metabolism. Instead, our results argue that high UCP2 levels allow better utilization of fatty acid oxidation resulting in a beneficial effect on mitochondrial function in heart, postponing systemic lactic acidosis and resulting in longer lifespan in these mice. This study proposes a novel mechanism for an adaptive response to mitochondrial cardiomyopathy that links changes in metabolism to amelioration of respiratory chain deficiency and longer lifespan.
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.
Project description:Diabetic complications are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. Elevated blood glucose contributes to the development of endothelial and vascular dysfunction, and, consequently, to diabetic micro- and macrovascular complications, because it increases the mitochondrial proton gradient and mitochondrial oxidant production. Therapeutic approaches designed to counteract glucose-induced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the vasculature are expected to show efficacy against all diabetic complications, but direct pharmacological targeting (scavenging) of mitochondrial oxidants remains challenging due to the high reactivity of some of these oxidant species. In a recent study, we have conducted a medium-throughput cell-based screening of a focused library of well-annotated pharmacologically active compounds and identified glucocorticoids as inhibitors of mitochondrial superoxide production in microvascular endothelial cells exposed to elevated extracellular glucose. The goal of the current study was to investigate the mechanism of glucocorticoids' action. Our findings show that glucocorticoids induce the expression of the mitochondrial UCP2 protein and decrease the mitochondrial potential. UCP2 silencing prevents the protective effect of the glucocorticoids on ROS production. UCP2 induction also increases the oxygen consumption and the "proton leak" in microvascular endothelial cells. Furthermore, glutamine supplementation augments the effect of glucocorticoids via further enhancing the expression of UCP2 at the translational level. We conclude that UCP2 induction represents a novel experimental therapeutic intervention in diabetic vascular complications. While direct repurposing of glucocorticoids may not be possible for the therapy of diabetic complications due to their significant side effects that develop during chronic administration, the UCP2 pathway may be therapeutically targetable by other, glucocorticoid-independent pharmacological means.
Project description:The mitochondrion is a major organelle contributing to energy metabolism but also a main site of ROS (reactive oxygen species) production. LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-induced ROS signalling is a critical event in macrophage activation. In the present paper we report that part of LPS-mediated ROS signalling comes from mitochondria inside a signal amplification loop that enhances MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) activation. More precisely, we have identified the inner mitochondrial membrane UCP2 (uncoupling protein 2) as a physiological brake on ROS signalling. Stimulation of murine bone marrow-derived macrophages by LPS quickly down-regulated UCP2 through the JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase) and p38 pathways. UCP2 down-regulation was shown to be necessary to increase mitochondrial ROS production in order to potentiate MAPK activation. Consistent with this, UCP2-deficient macrophages exhibit an enhanced inflammatory state characterized by increased nitric oxide production and elevated migration ability. Additionally, we found that the absence of UCP2 renders macrophages more resistant to nitric oxide-induced apoptosis.
Project description:Glucagon is important for maintaining euglycemia during fasting/starvation, and abnormal glucagon secretion is associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes; however, the mechanisms of hypoglycemia-induced glucagon secretion are poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that global deletion of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2(-/-)) in mice impaired glucagon secretion from isolated islets. Therefore, UCP2 may contribute to the regulation of hypoglycemia-induced glucagon secretion, which is supported by our current finding that UCP2 expression is increased in nutrient-deprived murine and human islets. Further to this, we created ?-cell-specific UCP2 knockout (UCP2AKO) mice, which we used to demonstrate that blood glucose recovery in response to hypoglycemia is impaired owing to attenuated glucagon secretion. UCP2-deleted ?-cells have higher levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) due to enhanced mitochondrial coupling, which translated into defective stimulus/secretion coupling. The effects of UCP2 deletion were mimicked by the UCP2 inhibitor genipin on both murine and human islets and also by application of exogenous ROS, confirming that changes in oxidative status and electrical activity directly reduce glucagon secretion. Therefore, ?-cell UCP2 deletion perturbs the fasting/hypoglycemic glucagon response and shows that UCP2 is necessary for normal ?-cell glucose sensing and the maintenance of euglycemia.
Project description:UCP2, an inner membrane mitochondrial protein, has been implicated in bioenergetics and reactive oxygen species (ROS) modulation. High levels of UCP2 mRNA were recently found in erythroid cells where UCP2 is hypothesized to function as a facilitator of heme synthesis and iron metabolism by reducing ROS production. We examined UCP2 protein expression and role in mice erythropoiesis in vivo. UCP2 was mainly expressed at early stages of erythroid maturation when cells are not fully committed in heme synthesis. Iron incorporation into heme was unaltered in reticulocytes from UCP2-deficient mice. Although heme synthesis was not influenced by UCP2 deficiency, mice lacking UCP2 had a delayed recovery from chemically induced hemolytic anemia. Analysis of progenitor cells from bone marrow and fetal liver both in vitro and in vivo revealed that UCP2 deficiency results in a significant decrease in cell proliferation at the erythropoietin-dependent phase of erythropoiesis. This was accompanied by reduction in the phosphorylated form of ERK, a ROS-dependent cytosolic regulator of cell proliferation. Analysis of ROS in UCP2 null erythroid cells revealed altered distribution of ROS, resulting in decreased cytosolic and increased mitochondrial ROS. Restoration of the cytosol oxidative state of erythroid progenitor cells by the pro-oxidant Paraquat reversed the effect of UCP2 deficiency on cell proliferation in in vitro differentiation assays. Together, these results indicate that UCP2 is a regulator of erythropoiesis and suggests that inhibition of UCP2 function may contribute to the development of anemia.
Project description:<i>Background:</i> Mitochondrial flashes (mitoflashes) are transient signals from transient bursts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and changes in pH that occur in certain physiological or pathological conditions. Mitoflashes are closely related to metabolism, cell differentiation, stress response, diseases, and aging. Sepsis can trigger mitochondrial dysfunction in myocardial cells, which leads to ROS overproduction, while uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) can reduce ROS production. This study aims to observe whether UCP2 overexpression can regulate the frequency of mitoflashes in cardiomyocytes during sepsis and thereby play a protective role. <i>Methods:</i> A cell model for sepsis-induced myocardial damage was established using lipopolysaccharide (LPS). UCP2 overexpression in cardiomyocytes was achieved by adenovirus transfection. Creatinine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-?), and interleukin (IL-6) activities were detected, and mitochondrial membrane potentials (MMP) were measured. The frequency of mitoflashes in cardiomyocytes was observed. <i>Results:</i> With LPS stimulation, mitoflashes in cardiomyocytes increased significantly, and the MMP was damaged. Additionally, significant increases in CK, LDH, TNF-?, and IL-6 expression levels were observed. UCP2 overexpression can significantly reverse myocardial cell injuries that result from LPS stimulation. Compared with the LPS group, the LPS+UCP2 overexpression group showed a decrease in mitoflash frequency, an improved MMP, and decreases in CK, LDH, TNF-?, and IL-6 expression levels. <i>Conclusion:</i> This study is the first to demonstrate the function of UCP2 overexpression in protecting the myocardium by regulating mitoflash frequency and reversing sepsis-induced myocardial injuries.
Project description:Uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2) is known to suppress mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and is employed by drug-resistant cancer cells to mitigate oxidative stress. Using the drug-sensitive HL-60 cells and the drug-resistant MX2 subline as model systems, we show that genipin, a UCP2 inhibitor, sensitizes drug-resistant cells to cytotoxic agents. Increased MX2 cell death was observed upon co-treatment with genipin and different doses of menadione, doxorubicin, and epirubicin. DCFH-DA fluorimetry revealed that the increase in MX2 cell death was accompanied by enhanced cellular ROS levels. The drug-induced increase in ROS was linked to genipin-mediated inhibition of mitochondrial proton leak. State 4 and resting cellular respiratory rates were higher in the MX2 cells in comparison to the HL-60 cells, and the increased respiration was readily suppressed by genipin in the MX2 cells. UCP2 accounted for a remarkable 37% of the resting cellular oxygen consumption indicating that the MX2 cells are functionally reliant on this protein. Higher amounts of UCP2 protein were detected in the MX2 versus the HL-60 mitochondria. The observed effects of genipin were absent in the HL-60 cells pointing to the selectivity of this natural product for drug-resistant cells. The specificity of genipin for UCP2 was confirmed using CHO cells stably expressing UCP2 in which genipin induced an ?22% decrease in state 4 respiration. These effects were absent in empty vector CHO cells expressing no UCP2. Thus, the chemical inhibition of UCP2 with genipin sensitizes multidrug-resistant cancer cells to cytotoxic agents.
Project description:Diabetic cardiovascular complications are characterised by oxidative stress-induced endothelial dysfunction. Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) is a regulator of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and can antagonise oxidative stress, but approaches that enhance the activity of UCP2 to inhibit ROS are scarce. Our previous studies show that activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) by capsaicin can prevent cardiometabolic disorders. In this study, we conducted experiments in vitro and in vivo to investigate the effect of capsaicin treatment on endothelial UCP2 and oxidative stress. We hypothesised that TRPV1 activation by capsaicin attenuates hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction through a UCP2-mediated antioxidant effect.TRPV1(-/-), UCP2(-/-) and db/db mice, as well as matched wild type (WT) control mice, were included in this study. Some mice were subjected to dietary capsaicin for 14 weeks. Arteries isolated from mice and endothelial cells were cultured. Endothelial function was examined, and immunohistological and molecular analyses were performed.Under high-glucose conditions, TRPV1 expression and protein kinase A (PKA) phosphorylation were found to be decreased in the cultured endothelial cells, and the effects of high-glucose on these molecules were reversed by the administration of capsaicin. Furthermore, high-glucose exposure increased ROS production and reduced nitric oxide (NO) levels both in endothelial cells and in arteries that were evaluated respectively by dihydroethidium (DHE) and DAF-2 DA fluorescence. Capsaicin administration decreased the production of ROS, restored high-glucose-induced endothelial dysfunction through the activation of TRPV1 and acted in a UCP2-dependent manner in vivo. Administration of dietary capsaicin for 14 weeks increased the levels of PKA phosphorylation and UCP2 expression, ameliorated the vascular oxidative stress and increased NO levels observed in diabetic mice. Prolonged dietary administration of capsaicin promoted endothelium-dependent relaxation in diabetic mice. However, the beneficial effect of capsaicin on vasorelaxation was absent in the aortas of UCP2(-/-) mice exposed to high-glucose levels.TRPV1 activation by capsaicin might protect against hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction through a mechanism involving the PKA/UCP2 pathway.
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:The aim of this study is to demonstrate that improving the mitochondrial function can inhibite the loss of chondrocyte phenotype by regulating the expression of uncoupling protein 2(UCP2) and NADPH oxidase1/4(NOX1/4) to reduce the production of reactive oxygen species(ROS). The effects of mitochondrial biogenesis "master regular" peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), mitochondrial transcriptional factor A (TFAM), UCP2, and NOX1/4 on chondrocyte phenotype was examined. It was found that when the chondrocyte phenotype was lost, PGC-1α, UCP2, and TFAM expression decreased, while NOX1/4 expression increased. Inhibiting UCP2 expression promoted the loss of chondrocyte phenotype, and inhibiting NOX1/4 relieved the loss of the chondrocyte phenotype. After activating the PGC-1α-TFAM pathway, UCP2 increased and NOX1/4 decreased, which suppressed loss of the chondrocyte phenotype. After inhibiting NOX1/4, UCP2 expression increased. Increasing and decreasing UCP2 and NOX1/4 expression, respectively, helps maintain the chondrocyte phenotype and improve mitochondrial functioning by reducing reactive oxygen species production.