BNIP3 interacting with LC3 triggers excessive mitophagy in delayed neuronal death in stroke.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:A basal level of mitophagy is essential in mitochondrial quality control in physiological conditions, while excessive mitophagy contributes to cell death in a number of diseases including ischemic stroke. Signals regulating this process remain unknown. BNIP3, a pro-apoptotic BH3-only protein, has been implicated as a regulator of mitophagy. AIMS:Both in vivo and in vitro models of stroke, as well as BNIP3 wild-type and knock out mice were used in this study. RESULTS:We show that BNIP3 and its homologue BNIP3L (NIX) are highly expressed in a "delayed" manner and contribute to delayed neuronal loss following stroke. Deficiency in BNIP3 significantly decreases both neuronal mitophagy and apoptosis but increases nonselective autophagy following ischemic/hypoxic insults. The mitochondria-localized BNIP3 interacts with the autophagosome-localized LC3, suggesting that BNIP3, similar to NIX, functions as a LC3-binding receptor on mitochondria. Although NIX expression is upregulated when BNIP3 is silenced, up-regulation of NIX cannot functionally compensate for the loss of BNIP3 in activating excessive mitophagy. CONCLUSIONS:NIX primarily regulates basal level of mitophagy in physiological conditions, whereas BNIP3 exclusively activates excessive mitophagy leading to cell death.
Project description:Cerebral ischemia induces massive mitochondrial damage. These damaged mitochondria are cleared, thus attenuating brain injury, by mitophagy. Here, we identified the involvement of BNIP3L/NIX in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I-R)-induced mitophagy. Bnip3l knockout (bnip3l-/-) impaired mitophagy and aggravated cerebral I-R injury in mice, which can be rescued by BNIP3L overexpression. The rescuing effects of BNIP3L overexpression can be observed in park2-/- mice, which showed mitophagy deficiency after I-R. Interestingly, bnip3l and park2 double-knockout mice showed a synergistic mitophagy deficiency with I-R treatment, which further highlighted the roles of BNIP3L-mediated mitophagy as being independent from PARK2. Further experiments indicated that phosphorylation of BNIP3L serine 81 is critical for BNIP3L-mediated mitophagy. Nonphosphorylatable mutant BNIP3LS81A failed to counteract both mitophagy impairment and neuroprotective effects in bnip3l-/- mice. Our findings offer insights into mitochondrial quality control in ischemic stroke and bring forth the concept that BNIP3L could be a potential therapeutic target for ischemic stroke, beyond its accepted role in reticulocyte maturation.
Project description:Mitophagy, the selective removal of damaged or excess mitochondria by autophagy, is an important process in cellular homeostasis. The outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) proteins NIX, BNIP3, FUNDC1, and Bcl2-L13 recruit ATG8 proteins (LC3/GABARAP) to mitochondria during mitophagy. FKBP8 (also known as FKBP38), a unique member of the FK506-binding protein (FKBP) family, is similarly anchored in the OMM and acts as a multifunctional adaptor with anti-apoptotic activity. In a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified FKBP8 as an ATG8-interacting protein. Here, we map an N-terminal LC3-interacting region (LIR) motif in FKBP8 that binds strongly to LC3A both in vitro and in vivo FKBP8 efficiently recruits lipidated LC3A to damaged mitochondria in a LIR-dependent manner. The mitophagy receptors BNIP3 and NIX in contrast are unable to mediate an efficient recruitment of LC3A even after mitochondrial damage. Co-expression of FKBP8 with LC3A profoundly induces Parkin-independent mitophagy. Strikingly, even when acting as a mitophagy receptor, FKBP8 avoids degradation by escaping from mitochondria. In summary, this study identifies novel roles for FKBP8 and LC3A, which act together to induce mitophagy.
Project description:As animals evolved to use oxygen as the main strategy to produce ATP through the process of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, the ability to adapt to fluctuating oxygen concentrations is a crucial component of evolutionary pressure. Three mitophagy receptors, FUNDC1, BNIP3 and NIX, induce the removal of dysfunctional mitochondria (mitophagy) under prolonged hypoxic conditions in mammalian cells, to maintain oxygen homeostasis and prevent cell death. However, the evolutionary origins and structure-function relationships of these receptors remain poorly understood. Here, we found that FUN14 domain-containing proteins are present in archaeal, bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, while the family of BNIP3 domain-containing proteins evolved from early animals. We investigated conservation patterns of the critical amino acid residues of the human mitophagy receptors. These residues are involved in receptor regulation, mainly through phosphorylation, and in interaction with LC3 on the phagophore. Whereas FUNDC1 may be able to bind to LC3 under the control of post-translational regulations during the early evolution of vertebrates, BINP3 and NIX had already gained the ability for LC3 binding in early invertebrates. Moreover, FUNDC1 and BNIP3 each lack a layer of phosphorylation regulation in fishes that is conserved in land vertebrates. Molecular evolutionary analysis revealed that BNIP3 and NIX, as the targets of oxygen sensing HIF-1?, showed higher rates of substitution in fishes than in mammals. Conversely, FUNDC1 and its regulator MARCH5 showed higher rates of substitution in mammals. Thus, we postulate that the structural traces of mitophagy receptors in land vertebrates and fishes may reflect the process of vertebrate transition from water onto land, during which the changes in atmospheric oxygen concentrations acted as a selection force in vertebrate evolution. In conclusion, our study, combined with previous experimental results, shows that hypoxia-induced mitophagy regulated by FUDNC1/MARCH5 might use a different mechanism from the HIF-1?-dependent mitophagy regulated by BNIP3/NIX.
Project description:Cell-based therapies represent a very promising strategy to repair and regenerate the injured heart to prevent progression to heart failure. To date, these therapies have had limited success due to a lack of survival and retention of the infused cells. Therefore, it is important to increase our understanding of the biology of these cells and utilize this information to enhance their survival and function in the injured heart. Mitochondria are critical for progenitor cell function and survival. Here, we demonstrate the importance of mitochondrial autophagy, or mitophagy, in the differentiation process in adult cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs). We found that mitophagy was rapidly induced upon initiation of differentiation in CPCs. We also found that mitophagy was mediated by mitophagy receptors, rather than the PINK1-PRKN/PARKIN pathway. Mitophagy mediated by BNIP3L/NIX and FUNDC1 was not involved in regulating progenitor cell fate determination, mitochondrial biogenesis, or reprogramming. Instead, mitophagy facilitated the CPCs to undergo proper mitochondrial network reorganization during differentiation. Abrogating BNIP3L- and FUNDC1-mediated mitophagy during differentiation led to sustained mitochondrial fission and formation of donut-shaped impaired mitochondria. It also resulted in increased susceptibility to cell death and failure to survive the infarcted heart. Finally, aging is associated with accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage in cells and we found that acquiring mtDNA mutations selectively disrupted the differentiation-activated mitophagy program in CPCs. These findings demonstrate the importance of BNIP3L- and FUNDC1-mediated mitophagy as a critical regulator of mitochondrial network formation during differentiation, as well as the consequences of accumulating mtDNA mutations. Abbreviations: Baf: bafilomycin A1; BCL2L13: BCL2 like 13; BNIP3: BCL2 interacting protein 3; BNIP3L: BCL2 interacting protein 3 like; CPCs: cardiac progenitor cells; DM: differentiation media; DNM1L: dynamin 1 like; EPCs: endothelial progenitor cells; FCCP: carbonyl cyanide-4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone; FUNDC1: FUN14 domain containing 1; HSCs: hematopoietic stem cells; MAP1LC3B/LC3: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MFN1/2: mitofusin 1/2; MSCs: mesenchymal stem cells; mtDNA: mitochondrial DNA; OXPHOS: oxidative phosphorylation; PPARGC1A: PPARG coactivator 1 alpha; PHB2: prohibitin 2; POLG: DNA polymerase gamma, catalytic subunit; SQSTM1: sequestosome 1; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; TMRM: tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester.
Project description:Elimination of dysfunctional mitochondria via mitophagy is essential for cell survival and neuronal functions. But, how impaired mitophagy participates in tissue-specific vulnerability in the brain remains unclear. Here, we find that striatal-enriched protein, Rhes, is a critical regulator of mitophagy and striatal vulnerability in brain. In vivo interactome and density fractionation reveal that Rhes coimmunoprecipitates and cosediments with mitochondrial and lysosomal proteins. Live-cell imaging of cultured striatal neuronal cell line shows Rhes surrounds globular mitochondria, recruits lysosomes, and ultimately degrades mitochondria. In the presence of 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP), an inhibitor of succinate dehydrogenase, Rhes disrupts mitochondrial membrane potential (?? m ) and promotes excessive mitophagy and cell death. Ultrastructural analysis reveals that systemic injection of 3-NP in mice promotes globular mitochondria, accumulation of mitophagosomes, and striatal lesion only in the wild-type (WT), but not in the Rhes knockout (KO), striatum, suggesting that Rhes is critical for mitophagy and neuronal death in vivo. Mechanistically, Rhes requires Nix (BNIP3L), a known receptor of mitophagy, to disrupt ?? m and promote mitophagy and cell death. Rhes interacts with Nix via SUMO E3-ligase domain, and Nix depletion totally abrogates Rhes-mediated mitophagy and cell death in the cultured striatal neuronal cell line. Finally, we find that Rhes, which travels from cell to cell via tunneling nanotube (TNT)-like cellular protrusions, interacts with dysfunctional mitochondria in the neighboring cell in a Nix-dependent manner. Collectively, Rhes is a major regulator of mitophagy via Nix, which may determine striatal vulnerability in the brain.
Project description:Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is one of the most common mitochondrial diseases caused by point mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The majority of diagnosed LHON cases are caused by a point mutation at position 11,778 in the mitochondrial genome. LHON mainly affects young men in their 20s and 30s with usually poor visual prognosis. It remains unexplained why men are more likely to develop the disease and why only retinal ganglion cells are affected. In this study, a cell model was used for the first time to investigate the influence of testosterone on the cell death mechanism apoptosis and on an autophagy/mitophagy. Cells with m.11778G?>?A were found to be significantly more susceptible to nucleosome formation and effector caspase activation that serve as hallmarks of apoptotic cell death. Cells having this mutation expressed higher levels of mitophagic receptors BNIP3 and BNIP3L/Nix in a medium with testosterone. Moreover, cells having the mutation exhibited greater mitochondrial mass, which suggests these cells have a decreased cell survival. The observed decrease in cell survival was supported by the observed increase in apoptotic cell death. Autophagy was analyzed after inhibition with Bafilomycin A1 (Baf A1). The results indicate impairment in autophagy in LHON cells due to lower autophagic flux supported by observed lower levels of autophagosome marker LC3-II. The observed impaired lower autophagic flux in mutant cells correlated with increased levels of BNIP3 and BNIP3L/Nix in mutant cells.
Project description:Intrinsic apoptosis involves BH3-only protein activation of Bax/Bak-mediated mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP). Consequently, cytochrome c is released from the mitochondria to activate caspases, and Smac (second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases) to inhibit XIAP-mediated caspase suppression. Dysfunctional mitochondria can be targeted for lysosomal degradation via autophagy (mitophagy), or directly through mitochondria-derived vesicle transport. However, the extent of autophagy and lysosomal interactions with apoptotic mitochondria remains largely unknown. We describe here a novel pathway of endolysosomal processing of mitochondria, activated in response to canonical BH3-only proteins and mitochondrial depolarization. We report that expression of canonical BH3-only proteins, tBid, BimEL, Bik, Bad, and mitophagy receptor mutants of atypical BH3-only proteins, Bnip3 and Bnip3L/Nix, leads to prominent relocalization of endolysosomes into inner mitochondrial compartments, in a manner independent of mitophagy. As an upstream regulator, we identified the XIAP E3 ligase. In response to mitochondrial depolarization, XIAP actuates Bax-mediated MOMP, even in the absence of BH3-only protein signaling. Subsequently, in an E3 ligase-dependent manner, XIAP rapidly localizes inside all the mitochondria, and XIAP-mediated mitochondrial ubiquitylation catalyses interactions of Rab membrane targeting components Rabex-5 and Rep-1 (RFP-tagged Rab escort protein-1), and Rab5- and Rab7-positive endolysosomes, at and within mitochondrial membrane compartments. While XIAP-mediated MOMP permits delayed cytochrome c release, within the mitochondria XIAP selectively signals lysosome- and proteasome-associated degradation of its inhibitor Smac. These findings suggest a general mechanism to lower the mitochondrial apoptotic potential via intramitochondrial degradation of Smac.
Project description:NIX/BNIP3L is known as a proapoptotic protein that is also related to mitophagy. Previous reports have shown that NIX could be involved in neuronal apoptosis after intracerebral hemorrhage, but it also plays a protective role in mitophagy in ischemic brain injury. How NIX works in traumatic brain injury (TBI) is unclear. Thus, this study was designed to observe the expression of NIX and perform a preliminary exploration of the possible effects of NIX in a rat TBI model. The results showed that NIX expression decreased after damage, and colocalized with neuronal cells in cortical areas. Moreover, when we induced upregulation of NIX, autophagy was increased, while neuronal apoptosis and brain water content decreased along with neurological deficits. These findings remind us that NIX probably plays a neuroprotective role in TBI through autophagy and apoptosis pathways.
Project description:Basal rates of autophagy can be markedly accelerated by environmental stresses. Recently, autophagy has been involved in cancer-induced muscle wasting. Aim of this study has been to evaluate if autophagy is induced in the skeletal muscle of cancer patients. The expression (mRNA and protein) of autophagic markers has been evaluated in intraoperative muscle biopsies. Beclin-1 protein levels were increased in cachectic cancer patients, suggesting autophagy induction. LC3B-I protein levels were not significantly modified. LC3B-II protein levels were significantly increased in cachectic cancer patients suggesting either increased autophagosome formation or reduced autophagosome turnover. Conversely, p62 protein levels were increased in cachectic and non-cachectic cancer patients, suggesting impaired autophagosome clearance. As for mitophagy, both Bnip3 and Nix/Bnip3L show a trend to increase in cachectic patients. In the same patients, Parkin levels significantly increased, while PINK1 was unchanged. At gene level, Beclin-1, p-62, BNIP3, NIX/BNIP3L and TFEB mRNAs were not significantly modulated, while LC3B and PINK1 mRNA levels were increased and decreased, respectively, in cachectic cancer patients. Autophagy is induced in the skeletal muscle of cachectic cancer patients, although autophagosome clearance appears to be impaired. Further studies should evaluate whether modulation of autophagy could represent a relevant therapeutic strategy in cancer cachexia.
Project description:Activating KRAS mutations are found in nearly all cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), yet effective clinical targeting of oncogenic KRAS remains elusive. Understanding of KRAS-dependent PDAC-promoting pathways could lead to the identification of vulnerabilities and the development of new treatments. We show that oncogenic KRAS induces BNIP3L/NIX expression and a selective mitophagy program that restricts glucose flux to the mitochondria and enhances redox capacity. Loss of Nix restores functional mitochondria to cells, increasing demands for NADPH reducing power and decreasing proliferation in glucose-limited conditions. Nix deletion markedly delays progression of pancreatic cancer and improves survival in a murine (KPC) model of PDAC. Although conditional Nix ablation in vivo initially results in the accumulation of mitochondria, mitochondrial content eventually normalizes via increased mitochondrial clearance programs, and pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions progress to PDAC. We identify the KRAS-NIX mitophagy program as a novel driver of glycolysis, redox robustness, and disease progression in PDAC. SIGNIFICANCE: NIX-mediated mitophagy is a new oncogenic KRAS effector pathway that suppresses functional mitochondrial content to stimulate cell proliferation and augment redox homeostasis. This pathway promotes the progression of PanIN to PDAC and represents a new dependency in pancreatic cancer.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1143.