Organization and dynamics of yeast mitochondrial nucleoids.
ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is packaged by association with specific proteins in compact DNA-protein complexes named mitochondrial nucleoids (mt-nucleoids). The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is able to grow either aerobically or anaerobically. Due to this characteristic, S. cerevisiae has been extensively used as a model organism to study genetics, morphology and biochemistry of mitochondria for a long time. Mitochondria of S. cerevisiae frequently fuse and divide, and perform dynamic morphological changes depending on the culture conditions and the stage of life cycle of the yeast cells. The mt-nucleoids also dynamically change their morphology, accompanying morphological changes of mitochondria. The mt-nucleoids have been isolated morphologically intact and functional analyses of mt-nucleoid proteins have been extensively performed. These studies have revealed that the functions of mt-nucleoid proteins are essential for maintenance of mtDNA. The aims of this review are to summarize the history on the research of yeast mt-nucleoids as well as recent findings on the organization of the mt-nucleoids and mitochondrial dynamics.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is organized in nucleoprotein complexes called mitochondrial nucleoids (mt-nucleoids), which are critical units of mtDNA replication and transmission. In humans, several hundreds of mt-nucleoids exist in a cell. However, how numerous mt-nucleoids are maintained during the cell cycle remains elusive, because cell cycle synchronization procedures affect mtDNA replication. Here, we analyzed regulation of the maintenance of mt-nucleoids in the cell cycle, using a fluorescent cell cycle indicator, Fucci2. Live imaging of mt-nucleoids with higher temporal resolution showed frequent attachment and detachment of mt-nucleoids throughout the cell cycle. TFAM, an mtDNA packaging protein, was involved in the regulation of this dynamic process, which was important for maintaining proper mt-nucleoid number. Both an increase in mt-nucleoid number and activation of mtDNA replication occurred during S phase. To increase mt-nucleoid number, mtDNA replication, but not nuclear DNA replication, was necessary. We propose that these dynamic and regulatory processes in the cell cycle maintain several hundred mt-nucleoids in proliferating cells.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is packaged into DNA-protein complexes called nucleoids, which are distributed as many small foci in mitochondria. Nucleoids are crucial for the biogenesis and function of mtDNA. Here, using a yeast genetic screen for components that control nucleoid distribution and size, we identify Fcj1 and Mos1, two evolutionarily conserved mitochondrial proteins that maintain the connection between the cristae and boundary membranes. These two proteins are also important for establishing tubular morphology of mitochondria, as mitochondria lacking Fcj1 and Mos1 form lamellar sheets. We find that nucleoids aggregate, increase in size, and decrease in number in fcj1 and mos1 cells. In addition, Fcj1 form punctate structures and localized adjacent to nucleoids. Moreover, connecting mitochondria by deleting the DNM1 gene required for organelle division enhances aggregation of mtDNA nucleoids in fcj1 and mos1 cells, whereas single deletion of DNM1 does not affect nucleoids. Conversely, deleting F1Fo-ATP synthase dimerization factors generates concentric ring-like cristae, restores tubular mitochondrial morphology, and suppresses nucleoid aggregation in these mutants. Our findings suggest an unexpected role of Fcj1-Mos1 and organelle division in maintaining the distribution and size of mtDNA nucleoids.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is highly compacted into DNA-protein structures termed mitochondrial nucleoids (mt-nucleoids). The key mt-nucleoid components responsible for mtDNA condensation are HMG box-containing proteins such as mammalian mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) and Abf2p of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To gain insight into the function and organization of mt-nucleoids in strictly aerobic organisms, we initiated studies of these DNA-protein structures in Yarrowia lipolytica. We identified a principal component of mt-nucleoids in this yeast and termed it YlMhb1p (Y. lipolytica mitochondrial HMG box-containing protein 1). YlMhb1p contains two putative HMG boxes contributing both to DNA binding and to its ability to compact mtDNA in vitro. Phenotypic analysis of a ?mhb1 strain lacking YlMhb1p resulted in three interesting findings. First, although the mutant exhibits clear differences in mt-nucleoids accompanied by a large decrease in the mtDNA copy number and the number of mtDNA-derived transcripts, its respiratory characteristics and growth under most of the conditions tested are indistinguishable from those of the wild-type strain. Second, our results indicate that a potential imbalance between subunits of the respiratory chain encoded separately by nuclear DNA and mtDNA is prevented at a (post)translational level. Third, we found that mtDNA in the ?mhb1 strain is more prone to mutations, indicating that mtHMG box-containing proteins protect the mitochondrial genome against mutagenic events.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA is organized as a nucleoprotein complex called the nucleoid. Its major protein components have been identified in different organisms, but it is yet unknown whether nucleoids undergo any form of remodeling. Using an in organello ChIP-on-chip assay, we demonstrate that the DNA-bending protein Abf2 binds to most of the mitochondrial genome with a preference for GC-rich gene sequences. Thus, Abf2 is a bona fide mitochondrial DNA-packaging protein in vivo. Nucleoids form a more open structure under respiring growth conditions in which the ratio of Abf2 to mitochondrial DNA is decreased. Bifunctional nucleoid proteins Hsp60 and Ilv5 are recruited to nucleoids during glucose repression and amino-acid starvation, respectively. Thus, mitochondrial nucleoids in yeast are dynamic structures that are remodeled in response to metabolic cues. A mutant form of Hsp60 that causes mtDNA instability has altered submitochondrial localization, which suggests that nucleoid remodeling is essential for the maintenance of mitochondrial genome.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is packaged into DNA-protein assemblies called nucleoids, but the mode of mtDNA propagation via the nucleoid remains controversial. Two mechanisms have been proposed: nucleoids may consistently maintain their mtDNA content faithfully, or nucleoids may exchange mtDNAs dynamically. To test these models directly, two cell lines were fused, each homoplasmic for a partially deleted mtDNA in which the deletions were nonoverlapping and each deficient in mitochondrial protein synthesis, thus allowing the first unequivocal visualization of two mtDNAs at the nucleoid level. The two mtDNAs transcomplemented to restore mitochondrial protein synthesis but were consistently maintained in discrete nucleoids that did not intermix stably. These results indicate that mitochondrial nucleoids tightly regulate their genetic content rather than freely exchanging mtDNAs. This genetic autonomy provides a molecular mechanism to explain patterns of mitochondrial genetic inheritance, in addition to facilitating therapeutic methods to eliminate deleterious mtDNA mutations.
Project description:In most sexual eukaryotes, mitochondrial (mt) DNA is uniparentally inherited, although the detailed mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain controversial. The most widely accepted explanations include the autophagic elimination of paternal mitochondria in the fertilized eggs and the active degradation of paternal mitochondrial DNA. To decode the precise program for the uniparental inheritance, we focused on Cryptococcus neoformans as a model system, in which mtDNA is inherited only from the a-parent, although gametes of a- and ?-cells are of equal size and contribute equal amounts of mtDNA to the zygote. In this research, the process of preferential elimination of the mitochondria contributed by the ?-parent (?-mitochondria) was studied by fluorescence microscopy and single cell analysis using optical tweezers, which revealed that ?-mitochondria are preferentially reduced by the following three steps: (1) preferential reduction of ?-mitochondrial (mt) nucleoids and ?-mtDNA, (2) degradation of the ?-mitochondrial structure and (3) proliferation of remaining mt nucleoids during the zygote development. Furthermore, AUTOPHAGY RELATED GENE (ATG) 8 and the gene encoding mitochondrial endonuclease G (NUC1) were disrupted, and the effects of their disruption on the uniparental inheritance were scrutinized. Disruption of ATG8 (ATG7) and NUC1 did not have severe effects on the uniparental inheritance, but microscopic examination revealed that ?-mitochondria lacking mt nucleoids persisted in ?atg8 zygotes, indicating that autophagy is not critical for the uniparental inheritance per se but is responsible for the clearance of mitochondrial structures after the reduction of ?-mt nucleoids.
Project description:Mitochondrial nucleoids consist of several different groups of proteins, many of which are involved in essential cellular processes such as the replication, repair and transcription of the mitochondrial genome. The eukaryotic, ATP-dependent protease Lon is found within the central nucleoid region, though little is presently known about its role there. Aside from its association with mitochondrial nucleoids, human Lon also specifically interacts with RNA. Recently, Lon was shown to regulate TFAM, the most abundant mtDNA structural factor in human mitochondria. To determine whether Lon also regulates other mitochondrial nucleoid- or ribosome-associated proteins, we examined the in vitro digestion profiles of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae TFAM functional homologue Abf2, the yeast mtDNA maintenance protein Mgm101, and two human mitochondrial proteins, Twinkle helicase and the large ribosomal subunit protein MrpL32. Degradation of Mgm101 was also verified in vivo in yeast mitochondria. These experiments revealed that all four proteins are actively degraded by Lon, but that three of them are protected from it when bound to a nucleic acid; the Twinkle helicase is not. Such a regulatory mechanism might facilitate dynamic changes to the mitochondrial nucleoid, which are crucial for conducting mitochondrial functions and maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis.
Project description:All cellular materials are partitioned between daughters at cell division, but by various mechanisms and with different accuracy. In the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the mitochondria are pushed to the cell poles by the spindle. We found that mitochondria spatially reequilibrate just before division, and that the mitochondrial volume and DNA-containing nucleoids instead segregate in proportion to the cytoplasm inherited by each daughter. However, nucleoid partitioning errors are suppressed by control at two levels: Mitochondrial volume is actively distributed throughout a cell, and nucleoids are spaced out in semiregular arrays within mitochondria. During the cell cycle, both mitochondria and nucleoids appear to be produced without feedback, creating a net control of fluctuations that is just accurate enough to avoid substantial growth defects.
Project description:A fundamental objective in molecular biology is to understand how DNA is organized in concert with various proteins, RNA, and biological membranes. Mitochondria maintain and express their own DNA (mtDNA), which is arranged within structures called nucleoids. Their functions, dimensions, composition, and precise locations relative to other mitochondrial structures are poorly defined. Superresolution fluorescence microscopy techniques that exceed the previous limits of imaging within the small and highly compartmentalized mitochondria have been recently developed. We have improved and employed both two- and three-dimensional applications of photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM and iPALM, respectively) to visualize the core dimensions and relative locations of mitochondrial nucleoids at an unprecedented resolution. PALM reveals that nucleoids differ greatly in size and shape. Three-dimensional volumetric analysis indicates that, on average, the mtDNA within ellipsoidal nucleoids is extraordinarily condensed. Two-color PALM shows that the freely diffusible mitochondrial matrix protein is largely excluded from the nucleoid. In contrast, nucleoids are closely associated with the inner membrane and often appear to be wrapped around cristae or crista-like inner membrane invaginations. Determinations revealing high packing density, separation from the matrix, and tight association with the inner membrane underscore the role of mechanisms that regulate access to mtDNA and that remain largely unknown.
Project description:Autoantibodies against nucleic acids and excessive type I interferon (IFN) are hallmarks of human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We previously reported that SLE neutrophils exposed to TLR7 agonist autoantibodies release interferogenic DNA, which we now demonstrate to be of mitochondrial origin. We further show that healthy human neutrophils do not complete mitophagy upon induction of mitochondrial damage. Rather, they extrude mitochondrial components, including DNA (mtDNA), devoid of oxidized (Ox) residues. When mtDNA undergoes oxidation, it is directly routed to lysosomes for degradation. This rerouting requires dissociation from the transcription factor A mitochondria (TFAM), a dual high-mobility group (HMG) protein involved in maintenance and compaction of the mitochondrial genome into nucleoids. Exposure of SLE neutrophils, or healthy IFN-primed neutrophils, to antiribonucleotide protein autoantibodies blocks TFAM phosphorylation, a necessary step for nucleoid dissociation. Consequently, Ox nucleoids accumulate within mitochondria and are eventually extruded as potent interferogenic complexes. In support of the in vivo relevance of this phenomenon, mitochondrial retention of Ox nucleoids is a feature of SLE blood neutrophils, and autoantibodies against Ox mtDNA are present in a fraction of patients. This pathway represents a novel therapeutic target in human SLE.