Project description:Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles, undergoing continuous fission and fusion, and mitochondrial dynamics is important for several cellular functions. DNM1L is the most important mediator of mitochondrial fission, with a role also in peroxisome division. Few reports of patients with genetic defects in DNM1L have been published, most of them describing de novo dominant mutations. We identified compound heterozygous DNM1L variants in two brothers presenting with an infantile slowly progressive neurological impairment. One variant was a frame-shift mutation, the other was a missense change, the pathogenicity of which was validated in a yeast model. Fluorescence microscopy revealed abnormally elongated mitochondria and aberrant peroxisomes in mutant fibroblasts, indicating impaired fission of these organelles. In conclusion, we described a recessive disease caused by DNM1L mutations, with a clinical phenotype resembling mitochondrial disorders but without any biochemical features typical of these syndromes (lactic acidosis, respiratory chain complex deficiency) or indicating a peroxisomal disorder.
Project description:Mitochondria are involved in many cellular processes and their main role is cellular energy production. They constantly undergo fission and fusion, and these counteracting processes are under strict balance. The cytosolic dynamin-related protein 1, Drp1, or dynamin-1-like protein (DNM1L) mediates mitochondrial and peroxisomal division. Defects in the DNM1L gene result in a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with heterogeneous symptoms affecting multiple organ systems. Currently there is no curative treatment available for this condition. We have previously described a patient with a de novo heterozygous c.1084G>A (p.G362S) DNM1L mutation and studied the effects of a small molecule, bezafibrate, on mitochondrial functions in this patient's fibroblasts compared to controls. Bezafibrate normalized growth on glucose-free medium, as well as ATP production and oxygen consumption. It improved mitochondrial morphology in the patient's fibroblasts, although causing a mild increase in ROS production at the same time. A human foreskin fibroblast cell line overexpressing the p.G362S mutation showed aberrant mitochondrial morphology, which normalized in the presence of bezafibrate. Further studies would be needed to show the consistency of the response to bezafibrate, possibly using fibroblasts from patients with different mutations in DNM1L, and this treatment should be confirmed in clinical trials. However, taking into account the favorable effects in our study, we suggest that bezafibrate could be offered as a treatment option for patients with certain DNM1L mutations.
Project description:Mitochondrial fission and fusion are dynamic processes vital to mitochondrial quality control and the maintenance of cellular respiration. In dividing mitochondria, membrane scission is accomplished by a dynamin-related GTPase, DNM1L, that oligomerizes at the site of fission and constricts in a GTP-dependent manner. There is only a single previous report of DNM1L-related clinical disease: a female neonate with encephalopathy due to defective mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission (EMPF; OMIM #614388), a lethal disorder characterized by cerebral dysgenesis, seizures, lactic acidosis, elevated very long chain fatty acids, and abnormally elongated mitochondria and peroxisomes. Here, we describe a second individual, diagnosed via whole-exome sequencing, who presented with developmental delay, refractory epilepsy, prolonged survival, and no evidence of mitochondrial or peroxisomal dysfunction on standard screening investigations in blood and urine. EEG was nonspecific, showing background slowing with frequent epileptiform activity at the frontal and central head regions. Electron microscopy of skeletal muscle showed subtle, nonspecific abnormalities of cristal organization, and confocal microscopy of patient fibroblasts showed striking hyperfusion of the mitochondrial network. A panel of further bioenergetic studies in patient fibroblasts showed no significant differences versus controls. The proband's de novo DNM1L variant, NM_012062.4:c.1085G>A; NP_036192.2:p.(Gly362Asp), falls within the middle (oligomerization) domain of DNM1L, implying a likely dominant-negative mechanism. This disorder, which presents nonspecifically and affords few diagnostic clues, can be diagnosed by means of DNM1L sequencing and/or confocal microscopy.
Project description:The yeast protein Fis1p has been shown to participate in mitochondrial fission mediated by the dynamin-related protein Dnm1p. In mammalian cells, the dynamin-like protein DLP1/Drp1 functions as a mitochondrial fission protein, but the mechanisms by which DLP1/Drp1 and the mitochondrial membrane interact during the fission process are undefined. In this study, we have tested the role of a mammalian homologue of Fis1p, hFis1, and provided new and mechanistic information about the control of mitochondrial fission in mammalian cells. Through differential tagging and deletion experiments, we demonstrate that the intact C-terminal structure of hFis1 is essential for mitochondrial localization, whereas the N-terminal region of hFis1 is necessary for mitochondrial fission. Remarkably, an increased level of cellular hFis1 strongly promotes mitochondrial fission, resulting in an accumulation of fragmented mitochondria. Conversely, cell microinjection of hFis1 antibodies or treatment with hFis1 antisense oligonucleotides induces an elongated and collapsed mitochondrial morphology. Further, fluorescence resonance energy transfer and coimmunoprecipitation studies demonstrate that hFis1 interacts with DLP1. These results suggest that hFis1 participates in mitochondrial fission through an interaction that recruits DLP1 from the cytosol. We propose that hFis1 is a limiting factor in mitochondrial fission and that the number of hFis1 molecules on the mitochondrial surface determines fission frequency.
Project description:DNM1L encodes a GTPase of the dynamin superfamily, which plays a crucial role in mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission. Pathogenic variants affecting the middle domain and the GTPase domain of DNM1L have been implicated in encephalopathy because of defective mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission 1 (EMPF1, MIM #614388). Patients show variable phenotypes ranging from severe hypotonia leading to death in the neonatal period to developmental delay/regression, with or without seizures. Familial pathogenic variants in the GTPase domain have also been associated with isolated optic atrophy. We present a 27-yr-old woman with static encephalopathy, a history of seizures, and nystagmus, in whom a novel de novo heterozygous variant was detected in the GTPase effector domain (GED) of DNM1L (c.2072A>G, p.Tyr691Cys). Functional studies in Drosophila demonstrate large, abnormally distributed peroxisomes and mitochondria, an effect very similar to that of middle domain missense alleles observed in pediatric subjects with EMPF1. To our knowledge, not only is this the first report of a disease-causing variant in the GED domain in humans, but this is also the oldest living individual reported with EMPF1. Longitudinal data of this kind helps to expand our knowledge of the natural history of a growing list of DNM1L-related disorders.
Project description:Mitochondrial fragmentation due to imbalanced fission and fusion of mitochondria is a prerequisite for mitophagy, however, the exact "coupling" of mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy remains unclear. We have previously identified that FUNDC1 recruits MAP1LC3B/LC3B (LC3) through its LC3-interacting region (LIR) motif to initiate mitophagy in mammalian cells. Here, we show that FUNDC1 interacts with both DNM1L/DRP1 and OPA1 to coordinate mitochondrial fission or fusion and mitophagy. OPA1 interacted with FUNDC1 via its Lys70 (K70) residue, and mutation of K70 to Ala (A), but not to Arg (R), abolished the interaction and promoted mitochondrial fission and mitophagy. Mitochondrial stress such as selenite or FCCP treatment caused the disassembly of the FUNDC1-OPA1 complex while enhancing DNM1L recruitment to the mitochondria. Furthermore, we observed that dephosphorylation of FUNDC1 under stress conditions promotes the dissociation of FUNDC1 from OPA1 and association with DNM1L. Our data suggest that FUNDC1 regulates both mitochondrial fission or fusion and mitophagy and mediates the "coupling" across the double membrane for mitochondrial dynamics and quality control.
Project description:Defects in organelle dynamics underlie a number of human degenerative disorders, and whole exome sequencing (WES) is a powerful tool for studying genetic changes that affect the cellular machinery. WES may uncover variants of unknown significance (VUS) that require functional validation. Previously, a pathogenic de novo variant in the middle domain of DNM1L (p.A395D) was identified in a single patient with a lethal defect of mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission. We identified two additional patients with infantile encephalopathy and partially overlapping clinical features, each with a novel VUS in the middle domain of DNM1L (p.G350R and p.E379K). To evaluate pathogenicity, we generated transgenic Drosophila expressing wild-type or variant DNM1L. We find that human wild-type DNM1L rescues the lethality as well as specific phenotypes associated with the loss of Drp1 in Drosophila. Neither the p.A395D variant nor the novel variant p.G350R rescue lethality or other phenotypes. Moreover, overexpression of p.A395D and p.G350R in Drosophila neurons, salivary gland and muscle strikingly altered peroxisomal and mitochondrial morphology. In contrast, the other novel variant (p.E379K) rescued lethality and did not affect organelle morphology, although it was associated with a subtle mitochondrial trafficking defect in an in vivo assay. Interestingly, the patient with the p.E379K variant also has a de novo VUS in pyruvate dehydrogenase 1 (PDHA1) affecting the same amino acid (G150) as another case of PDHA1 deficiency suggesting the PDHA1 variant may be pathogenic. In summary, detailed clinical evaluation and WES with functional studies in Drosophila can distinguish different functional consequences of newly-described DNM1L alleles.
Project description:Mitochondria in mammals are organized into tubular networks that undergo frequent shape change. Mitochondrial fission and fusion are the main components mediating the mitochondrial shape change. Perturbation of the fission/fusion balance is associated with many disease conditions. However, underlying mechanisms of the fission/fusion balance are not well understood. Mitochondrial fission in mammals requires the dynamin-like protein DLP1/Drp1 that is recruited to the mitochondrial surface, possibly through the membrane-anchored protein Fis1 or Mff. Additional dynamin-related GTPases, mitofusin (Mfn) and OPA1, are associated with the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes, respectively, and mediate fusion of the respective membranes. In this study, we found that two heptad-repeat regions (HR1 and HR2) of Mfn2 interact with each other, and that Mfn2 also interacts with the fission protein DLP1. The association of the two heptad-repeats of Mfn2 is fusion inhibitory whereas a positive role of the Mfn2/DLP1 interaction in mitochondrial fusion is suggested. Our results imply that the differential binding of Mfn2-HR1 to HR2 and DLP1 regulates mitochondrial fusion and that DLP1 may act as a regulatory factor for efficient execution of both fusion and fission of mitochondria.
Project description:Mutations in a number of genes have been linked to inherited dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). However, such mutations account for only a small proportion of the clinical cases emphasising the need for alternative discovery approaches to uncovering novel pathogenic mutations in hitherto unidentified pathways. Accordingly, as part of a large-scale N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis screen, we identified a mouse mutant, Python, which develops DCM. We demonstrate that the Python phenotype is attributable to a dominant fully penetrant mutation in the dynamin-1-like (Dnm1l) gene, which has been shown to be critical for mitochondrial fission. The C452F mutation is in a highly conserved region of the M domain of Dnm1l that alters protein interactions in a yeast two-hybrid system, suggesting that the mutation might alter intramolecular interactions within the Dnm1l monomer. Heterozygous Python fibroblasts exhibit abnormal mitochondria and peroxisomes. Homozygosity for the mutation results in the death of embryos midway though gestation. Heterozygous Python hearts show reduced levels of mitochondria enzyme complexes and suffer from cardiac ATP depletion. The resulting energy deficiency may contribute to cardiomyopathy. This is the first demonstration that a defect in a gene involved in mitochondrial remodelling can result in cardiomyopathy, showing that the function of this gene is needed for the maintenance of normal cellular function in a relatively tissue-specific manner. This disease model attests to the importance of mitochondrial remodelling in the heart; similar defects might underlie human heart muscle disease.
Project description:Mitochondrial dynamics has recently become an area of piqued interest in neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson disease (PD); however, the contribution of astrocytes to these disorders remains unclear. Here, we show that the level of dynamin-like protein 1 (Dlp1; official name DNM1L), which promotes mitochondrial fission, is lower in astrocytes from the brains of PD patients, and that decreased astrocytic Dlp1 likely represents a relatively early event in PD pathogenesis. In support of this conclusion, we show that Dlp1 knockdown dramatically affects mitochondrial morphological characteristics and localization in astrocytes, impairs the ability of astrocytes to adequately protect neurons from the excitotoxic effects of glutamate, and increases intracellular Ca(2+) in response to extracellular glutamate, resulting from compromised intracellular Ca(2+) buffering. Taken together, our results suggest that astrocytic mitochondrial Dlp1 is a key protein in mitochondrial dynamics and decreased Dlp1 may interfere with neuron survival in PD by disrupting Ca(2+)-coupled glutamate uptake.