Mitochondrial dynamics protein Drp1 is overexpressed in oncocytic thyroid tumors and regulates cancer cell migration.
ABSTRACT: Oncocytic cell tumors are characterized by the accumulation of morphologically abnormal mitochondria in their cells, suggesting a role for abnormal mitochondrial biogenesis in oncocytic cell transformation. Little is known about the reason for the dysmorphology of accumulated mitochondria. The proteins regulating the morphology of mitochondria, the "mitochondria-shaping" proteins, can modulate their size and number; however, nothing is known hitherto about a possible involvement of mitochondrial dynamics in oncocytic cell transformation in tumors. Our aim was to assess the status of the mitochondria morphology and its role in oncocytic cell transformation. We therefore evaluated the expression pattern of the main mitochondrial fusion and fission proteins in a series of thyroid cell tumor samples, as well as in thyroid tumor cell lines, with and without oncocytic cell features. The expression of mitochondrial fusion (Opa1, Mfn1 and Mfn2) and fission (Drp1 and Fis1) proteins were evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in a series of 88 human thyroid tumors. In vitro studies, for comparative purposes and to deepen the study, were performed using TPC1--a papillary thyroid carcinoma derived cell line--and XTC.UC1, an oncocytic follicular thyroid carcinoma-derived cell line. Both IHC and in vitro protein analyses showed an overall increase in the levels of "mitochondrial-shaping" proteins in oncocytic thyroid tumors. Furthermore, overexpression of the pro-fission protein Drp1 was found to be associated with malignant oncocytic thyroid tumors. Interestingly, genetic and pharmacological blockage of Drp1 activity was able to influence thyroid cancer cells' migration/invasion ability, a feature of tumor malignancy. In this study we show that unbalanced mitochondrial dynamics characterize the malignant features of thyroid oncocytic cell tumors, and participate in the acquisition of the migrating phenotype.
Project description:Oncocytic cell tumor of the thyroid is composed of large polygonal cells with eosinophilic cytoplasm that is rich in mitochondria. These tumors frequently have the mutations in mitochondrial DNA encoding the mitochondrial electron transport system complex I. However, the mechanism for accumulation of abnormal mitochondria is unknown. A noncanonical mitophagy system has recently been identified, and mitochondria-eating protein (MIEAP) plays a key role in this system. We therefore hypothesized that accumulation of abnormal mitochondria could be attributed to defective MIEAP expression in these tumors. We first show that MIEAP was expressed in all the conventional thyroid follicular adenomas (FAs)/adenomatous goiters (AGs) but not in oncocytic FAs/AGs; its expression was defective not only in oncocytic thyroid cancers but also in the majority of conventional thyroid cancers. Expression of MIEAP was not correlated with methylation status of the 5'-UTR of the gene. Our functional analysis showed that exogenously induced MIEAP, but not PARK2, reduced the amounts of abnormal mitochondria, as indicated by decreased reactive oxygen species levels, mitochondrial DNA / nuclear DNA ratios, and cytoplasmic acidification. Therefore, together with previous studies showing that impaired mitochondrial function triggers compensatory mitochondrial biogenesis that causes an increase in the amounts of mitochondria, we conclude that, in oncocytic cell tumors of the thyroid, increased abnormal mitochondria cannot be efficiently eliminated because of a loss of MIEAP expression, ie impaired MIEAP-mediated noncanonical mitophagy.
Project description:Oncocytic tumors are a distinctive class of proliferative lesions composed of cells with a striking degree of mitochondrial hyperplasia that are particularly frequent in the thyroid gland. To understand whether specific mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations are associated with the accumulation of mitochondria, we sequenced the entire mtDNA in 50 oncocytic lesions (45 thyroid tumors of epithelial cell derivation and 5 mitochondrion-rich breast tumors) and 52 control cases (21 nononcocytic thyroid tumors, 15 breast carcinomas, and 16 gliomas) by using recently developed technology that allows specific and reliable amplification of the whole mtDNA with quick mutation scanning. Thirteen oncocytic lesions (26%) presented disruptive mutations (nonsense or frameshift), whereas only two samples (3.8%) presented such mutations in the nononcocytic control group. In one case with multiple thyroid nodules analyzed separately, a disruptive mutation was found in the only nodule with oncocytic features. In one of the five mitochondrion-rich breast tumors, a disruptive mutation was identified. All disruptive mutations were found in complex I subunit genes, and the association between these mutations and the oncocytic phenotype was statistically significant (P=0.001). To study the pathogenicity of these mitochondrial mutations, primary cultures from oncocytic tumors and corresponding normal tissues were established. Electron microscopy and biochemical and molecular analyses showed that primary cultures derived from tumors bearing disruptive mutations failed to maintain the mutations and the oncocytic phenotype. We conclude that disruptive mutations in complex I subunits are markers of thyroid oncocytic tumors.
Project description:Gene knockout of the master regulator of mitochondrial fission, Drp1, prevents neoplastic transformation. Also, mitochondrial fission and its opposing process of mitochondrial fusion are emerging as crucial regulators of stemness. Intriguingly, stem/progenitor cells maintaining repressed mitochondrial fission are primed for self-renewal and proliferation. Using our newly derived carcinogen transformed human cell model, we demonstrate that fine-tuned Drp1 repression primes a slow cycling 'stem/progenitor-like state', which is characterized by small networks of fused mitochondria and a gene-expression profile with elevated functional stem/progenitor markers (Krt15, Sox2 etc) and their regulators (Cyclin E). Fine tuning Drp1 protein by reducing its activating phosphorylation sustains the neoplastic stem/progenitor cell markers. Whereas, fine-tuned reduction of Drp1 protein maintains the characteristic mitochondrial shape and gene-expression of the primed 'stem/progenitor-like state' to accelerate neoplastic transformation, and more complete reduction of Drp1 protein prevents it. Therefore, our data highlights a 'goldilocks' level of Drp1 repression supporting stem/progenitor state dependent neoplastic transformation.
Project description:Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that undergo continuous cycles of fission and fusion to maintain essential cellular functions. An imbalance between these two processes can result in many pathophysiological outcomes. Dengue virus (DENV) interacts with cellular organelles, including mitochondria, to successfully replicate in cells. This study used live-cell imaging and found an increase in mitochondrial length and respiration during DENV infection. The level of mitochondrial fission protein, Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), was decreased on mitochondria during DENV infection, as well as Drp1 phosphorylated on serine 616, which is important for mitochondrial fission. DENV proteins NS4b and NS3 were also associated with subcellular fractions of mitochondria. Induction of fission through uncoupling of mitochondria or overexpression of Drp1 wild-type and Drp1 with a phosphomimetic mutation (S616D) significantly reduced viral replication. These results demonstrate that DENV infection causes an imbalance in mitochondrial dynamics by inhibiting Drp1-triggered mitochondrial fission, which promotes viral replication.
Project description:Thyroid neoplasias with oncocytic features represent a specific phenotype in non-medullary thyroid cancer, reflecting the unique biological phenomenon of mitochondrial hyperplasia in the cytoplasm. Oncocytic thyroid cells are characterized by a prominent eosinophilia (or oxyphilia) caused by mitochondrial abundance. Although disruptive mutations in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are the most significant hallmark of such tumors, oncocytomas may be envisioned as heterogeneous neoplasms, characterized by multiple nuclear and mitochondrial gene lesions. We investigated the nuclear mutational profile of oncocytic tumors to pinpoint the mutations that may trigger the early oncogenic hit.Total DNA was extracted from paraffin-embedded tissues from 45 biopsies of oncocytic tumors. High-resolution melting was used for mutation screening of mitochondrial complex I subunits genes. Specific nuclear rearrangements were investigated by RT-PCR (RET/PTC) or on isolated nuclei by interphase FISH (PAX8/PPAR?). Recurrent point mutations were analyzed by direct sequencing.In our oncocytic tumor samples, we identified rare TP53 mutations. The series of analyzed cases did not include poorly- or undifferentiated thyroid carcinomas, and none of the TP53 mutated cases had significant mitotic activity or high-grade features. Thus, the presence of disruptive TP53 mutations was completely unexpected. In addition, novel mutations in nuclear-encoded complex I genes were identified.These findings suggest that nuclear genetic lesions altering the bioenergetics competence of thyroid cells may give rise to an aberrant mitochondria-centered compensatory mechanism and ultimately to the oncocytic phenotype.
Project description:Mitochondria undergo fission and fusion to maintain homeostasis, and tumors exhibit the dysregulation of mitochondrial dynamics. We recently demonstrated that ectopic HRasG12V promotes mitochondrial fragmentation and tumor growth through Erk phosphorylation of the mitochondrial fission GTPase Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). However, the role of Drp1 in the setting of endogenous oncogenic KRas remains unknown. Here, we show that Drp1 is required for KRas-driven anchorage-independent growth in fibroblasts and patient-derived pancreatic cancer cell lines, and it promotes glycolytic flux, in part through the regulation of hexokinase 2 (HK2). Furthermore, Drp1 deletion imparts a significant survival advantage in a model of KRas-driven pancreatic cancer, and tumors exhibit a strong selective pressure against complete Drp1 deletion. Rare tumors that arise in the absence of Drp1 have restored glycolysis but exhibit defective mitochondrial metabolism. This work demonstrates that Drp1 plays dual roles in KRas-driven tumor growth: supporting both glycolysis and mitochondrial function through independent mechanisms.
Project description:Mitochondria are essential eukaryotic organelles often forming intricate networks. The overall network morphology is determined by mitochondrial fusion and fission. Among the multiple mechanisms that appear to regulate mitochondrial fission, the ER and actin have recently been shown to play an important role by mediating mitochondrial constriction and promoting the action of a key fission factor, the dynamin-like protein Drp1. Here, we report that the cytoskeletal component septin 2 is involved in Drp1-dependent mitochondrial fission in mammalian cells. Septin 2 localizes to a subset of mitochondrial constrictions and directly binds Drp1, as shown by immunoprecipitation of the endogenous proteins and by pulldown assays with recombinant proteins. Depletion of septin 2 reduces Drp1 recruitment to mitochondria and results in hyperfused mitochondria and delayed FCCP-induced fission. Strikingly, septin depletion also affects mitochondrial morphology in Caenorhabditis elegans, strongly suggesting that the role of septins in mitochondrial dynamics is evolutionarily conserved.
Project description:Mitochondria form intricate networks through fission and fusion events. Here, we identify mitochondrial dynamics proteins of 49 and 51 kDa (MiD49 and MiD51, respectively) anchored in the mitochondrial outer membrane. MiD49/51 form foci and rings around mitochondria similar to the fission mediator dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). MiD49/51 directly recruit Drp1 to the mitochondrial surface, whereas their knockdown reduces Drp1 association, leading to unopposed fusion. Overexpression of MiD49/51 seems to sequester Drp1 from functioning at mitochondria and cause fused tubules to associate with actin. Thus, MiD49/51 are new mediators of mitochondrial division affecting Drp1 action at mitochondria.
Project description:Drp1 (dynamin-related protein 1) is recruited to both mitochondrial and peroxisomal membranes to execute fission. Fis1 and Mff are Drp1 receptor/effector proteins of mitochondria and peroxisomes. Recently, MiD49 and MiD51 were also shown to recruit Drp1 to the mitochondrial surface; however, different reports have ascribed opposing roles in fission and fusion. Here, we show that MiD49 or MiD51 overexpression blocked fission by acting in a dominant-negative manner by sequestering Drp1 specifically at mitochondria, causing unopposed fusion events at mitochondria along with elongation of peroxisomes. Mitochondrial elongation caused by MiD49/51 overexpression required the action of fusion mediators mitofusins 1 and 2. Furthermore, at low level overexpression when MiD49 and MiD51 form discrete foci at mitochondria, mitochondrial fission events still occurred. Unlike Fis1 and Mff, MiD49 and MiD51 were not targeted to the peroxisomal surface, suggesting that they specifically act to facilitate Drp1-directed fission at mitochondria. Moreover, when MiD49 or MiD51 was targeted to the surface of peroxisomes or lysosomes, Drp1 was specifically recruited to these organelles. Moreover, the Drp1 recruitment activity of MiD49/51 appeared stronger than that of Mff or Fis1. We conclude that MiD49 and MiD51 can act independently of Mff and Fis1 in Drp1 recruitment and suggest that they provide specificity to the division of mitochondria.