Mitochondrial spongiotic brain disease: astrocytic stress and harmful rapamycin and ketosis effect.
ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion syndrome (MDS) is a group of severe, tissue-specific diseases of childhood with unknown pathogenesis. Brain-specific MDS manifests as devastating spongiotic encephalopathy with no curative therapy. Here, we report cell type-specific stress responses and effects of rapamycin treatment and ketogenic diet (KD) in mice with spongiotic encephalopathy mimicking human MDS, as these interventions were reported to improve some mitochondrial disease signs or symptoms. These mice with astrocyte-specific knockout of Twnk gene encoding replicative mtDNA helicase Twinkle (TwKOastro) show wide-spread cell-autonomous astrocyte activation and mitochondrial integrated stress response (ISRmt) induction with major metabolic remodeling of the brain. Mice with neuronal-specific TwKO show no ISRmt Both KD and rapamycin lead to rapid deterioration and weight loss of TwKOastro and premature trial termination. Although rapamycin had no robust effects on TwKOastro brain pathology, KD exacerbated spongiosis, gliosis, and ISRmt Our evidence emphasizes that mitochondrial disease treatments and stress responses are tissue- and disease specific. Furthermore, rapamycin and KD are deleterious in MDS-linked spongiotic encephalopathy, pointing to a crucial role of diet and metabolism for mitochondrial disease progression.
Project description:Mitochondrial dysfunction manifests as different neurological diseases, but the mechanisms underlying the clinical variability remain poorly understood. To clarify whether different brain cells have differential sensitivity to mitochondrial dysfunction, we induced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion in either neurons or astrocytes of mice, by inactivating Twinkle (TwKO), the replicative mtDNA helicase. Here we show that astrocytes, the most abundant cerebral cell type, are chronically activated upon mtDNA loss, leading to early-onset spongiotic degeneration of brain parenchyma, microgliosis and secondary neurodegeneration. Neuronal mtDNA loss does not, however, cause symptoms until 8 months of age. Findings in astrocyte-TwKO mimic neuropathology of Alpers syndrome, infantile-onset mitochondrial spongiotic encephalopathy caused by mtDNA maintenance defects. Our evidence indicates that (1) astrocytes are dependent on mtDNA integrity; (2) mitochondrial metabolism contributes to their activation; (3) chronic astrocyte activation has devastating consequences, underlying spongiotic encephalopathy; and that (4) astrocytes are a potential target for interventions.
Project description:Runting and stunting syndrome (RSS), which is characterized by low body weight, generally occurs early in life and leads to considerable economic losses in the commercial broiler industry. Our previous study has suggested that RSS is associated with mitochondria dysfunction in sex-linked dwarf (SLD) chickens. However, the molecular mechanism of RSS remains unknown. Based on the molecular diagnostics of mitochondrial diseases, we identified a recessive mutation c. 409G > A (p. Ala137Thr) of Twinkle mitochondrial DNA helicase (TWNK) gene and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion in RSS chickens' livers from strain N301. Bioinformatics investigations supported the pathogenicity of the TWNK mutation that is located on the extended peptide linker of Twinkle primase domain and might further lead to mtDNA depletion in chicken. Furthermore, overexpression of wild-type TWNK increases mtDNA copy number, whereas overexpression of TWNK A137T causes mtDNA depletion in vitro. Additionally, the TWNK c. 409G > A mutation showed significant associations with body weight, daily gain, pectoralis weight, crureus weight, and abdominal fat weight. Taken together, we corroborated that the recessive TWNK c. 409G > A (p. Ala137Thr) mutation is associated with RSS characterized by mtDNA depletion in SLD chicken.
Project description:Emerging gene therapy approaches that aim to eliminate pathogenic mutations of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) rely on efficient degradation of linearized mtDNA, but the enzymatic machinery performing this task is presently unknown. Here, we show that, in cellular models of restriction endonuclease-induced mtDNA double-strand breaks, linear mtDNA is eliminated within hours by exonucleolytic activities. Inactivation of the mitochondrial 5'-3'exonuclease MGME1, elimination of the 3'-5'exonuclease activity of the mitochondrial DNA polymerase POLG by introducing the p.D274A mutation, or knockdown of the mitochondrial DNA helicase TWNK leads to severe impediment of mtDNA degradation. We do not observe similar effects when inactivating other known mitochondrial nucleases (EXOG, APEX2, ENDOG, FEN1, DNA2, MRE11, or RBBP8). Our data suggest that rapid degradation of linearized mtDNA is performed by the same machinery that is responsible for mtDNA replication, thus proposing novel roles for the participating enzymes POLG, TWNK, and MGME1.
Project description:Mutations in human MPV17 cause a hepatocerebral form of mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDS) hallmarked by early-onset liver failure, leading to premature death. Liver transplantation and frequent feeding using slow-release carbohydrates are the only available therapies, although surviving patients eventually develop slowly progressive peripheral and central neuropathy. The physiological role of Mpv17, including its functional link to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) maintenance, is still unclear. We show here that Mpv17 is part of a high molecular weight complex of unknown composition, which is essential for mtDNA maintenance in critical tissues, i.e. liver, of a Mpv17 knockout mouse model. On a standard diet, Mpv17-/- mouse shows hardly any symptom of liver dysfunction, but a ketogenic diet (KD) leads these animals to liver cirrhosis and failure. However, when expression of human MPV17 is carried out by adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene replacement, the Mpv17 knockout mice are able to reconstitute the Mpv17-containing supramolecular complex, restore liver mtDNA copy number and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) proficiency, and prevent liver failure induced by the KD. These results open new therapeutic perspectives for the treatment of MPV17-related liver-specific MDS.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion syndromes (MDS) are a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of autosomal recessive disorders that are characterized by a severe reduction in mtDNA content leading to impaired energy production in affected tissues and organs. MDS are due to defects in mtDNA maintenance caused by mutations in nuclear genes that function in either mitochondrial nucleotide synthesis (TK2, SUCLA2, SUCLG1, RRM2B, DGUOK, and TYMP) or mtDNA replication (POLG and C10orf2). MDS are phenotypically heterogeneous and usually classified as myopathic, encephalomyopathic, hepatocerebral or neurogastrointestinal. Myopathic MDS, caused by mutations in TK2, usually present before the age of 2 years with hypotonia and muscle weakness. Encephalomyopathic MDS, caused by mutations in SUCLA2, SUCLG1, or RRM2B, typically present during infancy with hypotonia and pronounced neurological features. Hepatocerebral MDS, caused by mutations in DGUOK, MPV17, POLG, or C10orf2, commonly have an early-onset liver dysfunction and neurological involvement. Finally, TYMP mutations have been associated with mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalopathy (MNGIE) disease that typically presents before the age of 20 years with progressive gastrointestinal dysmotility and peripheral neuropathy. Overall, MDS are severe disorders with poor prognosis in the majority of affected individuals. No efficacious therapy is available for any of these disorders. Affected individuals should have a comprehensive evaluation to assess the degree of involvement of different systems. Treatment is directed mainly toward providing symptomatic management. Nutritional modulation and cofactor supplementation may be beneficial. Liver transplantation remains controversial. Finally, stem cell transplantation in MNGIE disease shows promising results.
Project description:Somatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations contribute to the pathogenesis of age-related disorders, including myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The accumulation of mitochondria harboring mtDNA mutations in patients with these disorders suggests a failure of normal mitochondrial quality-control systems. The mtDNA-mutator mice acquire somatic mtDNA mutations via a targeted defect in the proofreading function of the mtDNA polymerase, PolgA, and develop macrocyticanemia similar to that of patients with MDS. We observed an unexpected defect in clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria at specific stages during erythroid maturation in hematopoietic cells from aged mtDNA-mutator mice. Mechanistically, aberrant activation of mechanistic target of rapamycin signaling and phosphorylation of uncoordinated 51-like kinase (ULK) 1 in mtDNA-mutator mice resulted in proteasome mediated degradation of ULK1 and inhibition of autophagy in erythroid cells. To directly evaluate the consequence of inhibiting autophagy on mitochondrial function in erythroid cells harboring mtDNA mutations in vivo, we deleted Atg7 from erythroid progenitors of wildtype and mtDNA-mutator mice. Genetic disruption of autophagy did not cause anemia in wild-type mice but accelerated the decline in mitochondrial respiration and development of macrocytic anemia in mtDNA-mutator mice. These findings highlight a pathological feedback loop that explains how dysfunctional mitochondria can escape autophagy-mediated degradation and propagate in cells predisposed to somatic mtDNA mutations, leading to disease. We used microarrays to identify expression profiles and pathways that are differentially activated or suppressed in Ter119+ bone marrow cells isolated from phlebotomized wildtype or Polg mutant mice
Project description:Mutations of thymidine kinase 2 (TK2), an essential component of the mitochondrial nucleotide salvage pathway, can give rise to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion syndromes (MDS). These clinically heterogeneous disorders are characterized by severe reduction in mtDNA copy number in affected tissues and are associated with progressive myopathy, hepatopathy and/or encephalopathy, depending in part on the underlying nuclear genetic defect. Mutations of TK2 have previously been associated with an isolated myopathic form of MDS (OMIM 609560). However, more recently, neurological phenotypes have been demonstrated in patients carrying TK2 mutations, thus suggesting that loss of TK2 results in neuronal dysfunction. Here, we directly address the role of TK2 in neuronal homeostasis using a knockout mouse model. We demonstrate that in vivo loss of TK2 activity leads to a severe ataxic phenotype, accompanied by reduced mtDNA copy number and decreased steady-state levels of electron transport chain proteins in the brain. In TK2-deficient cerebellar neurons, these abnormalities are associated with impaired mitochondrial bioenergetic function, aberrant mitochondrial ultrastructure and degeneration of selected neuronal types. Overall, our findings demonstrate that TK2 deficiency leads to neuronal dysfunction in vivo, and have important implications for understanding the mechanisms of neurological impairment in MDS.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Perrault syndrome is a genetically heterogenous, very rare disease, characterized clinically by sensorineural hearing loss, ovarian dysfunction and neurological symptoms. We present the case of a 33?years old female patient with TWNK-associated Perrault syndrome. The TWNK gene is coding the mitochondrial protein Twinkle and currently there are only two reports characterizing the phenotype of TWNK-associated Perrault syndrome. None of these publications reported about special brain MRI alterations and neuropathological changes in the muscle and peripheral nerves. CASE PRESENTATION:Our patients with TWNK-dependent Perrault syndrome had severe bilateral hypoacusis, severe ataxia, polyneuropathy, lower limb spastic paraparesis with pyramidal signs, and gonadal dysgenesis. Psychiatric symptoms such as depression and paranoia were present as well. Brain MRI observed progressive cerebellar hyperintensive signs associated with cerebellar, medulla oblongata and cervical spinal cord atrophy. Light microscopy of the muscle biopsy detected severe neurogenic lesions. COX staining was centrally reduced in many muscle fibers. Both muscle and sural nerve electron microscopy detected slightly enlarged mitochondria with abnormal cristae surrounded by lipid vacuoles. In the sural nerve, dystrophic axons had focally uncompacted myelin lamellae present. Genetic investigation revealed multiple mtDNA deletion and compound heterozygous mutations of the TWNK gene (c.1196 A?>?G, c.1358?G?>?A). CONCLUSION:This study demonstrates that TWNK associated Perrault syndrome has a much broader phenotype as originally published. The coexistence of severe hypoacusis, spastic limb weakness, ataxia, polyneuropathy, gonadal dysgensia, hyperintense signals in the cerebellum and the presence of the mtDNA multiple deletion could indicate the impairment of the TWNK gene. This is the first report about pyramidal tract involvement and cerebellar MRI alteration associated with TWNK-related Perrault syndrome.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDS) can be classified into three forms: myopathic, encephalomyopathic and hepatocerebral form, it is difficult to identify its form due to its clinical heterogeneity. Therefore, it is very important to conduct molecular genetic analysis on suspected patients. This study presented a male 38?weeks and 5?days infant with liver cytolysis and leukodystrophy. CASE PRESENTATION:A male infant proband was admitted to the department of NICU for feeding intolerance, irregular rhythm of respiration, hypoglycemia, lactic acidosis, liver cytolysis and neurological abnormalities. He was onset of mild jaundice with leukodystrophy and high lactate and phenylderivatives for urine organic acids on the 7th day. Whole exome sequencing (WES) and Sanger sequencing were performed to screen and confirm the suspicious pathogenic mutations. The results revealed this proband carried two compound heterozygous mutations in TWNK: c.1186 C?>?T / p.Pro396Ser and c.1844?G?>?C / p.Gly615Ala inherited by an autosomal recessive form from his parents, of which protein conservative analysis and structural modeling supported the pathogenicity of the two mutations. Unfortunately, the conditions described above were not improved until he was discharged from the hospital on the 23rd day and died at 4?months of age. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, we investigated a Chinese family with the hepatocerebral form of MDS and conducted WES and Sanger sequencing to explore the causative mutations for this proband born from non-consanguineous and healthy parents. We identified two novel TWNK c.1186 C?>?T/ c.1844?G?>?C compound heterozygous mutations which were probably the disease-causing mutations of hepatocerebral form of MDS and described the clinical manifestations of the proband, which expanded the phenotypic spectrum of MDS caused by variants in TWNK. This study also emphasized WES technology can provide the genetic diagnosis of Mendelian genetic disease.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion syndrome (MDS), an autosomal recessive condition, is characterized by variable organ involvement with decreased mtDNA copy number and activities of respiratory chain enzymes in affected tissues. MtDNA depletion has been associated with mutations in nine autosomal genes, including thymidine kinase (TK2), which encodes a ubiquitous mitochondrial protein. To study the pathogenesis of TK2-deficiency, we generated mice harboring an H126N Tk2 mutation. Homozygous Tk2 mutant (Tk2(-/-)) mice developed rapidly progressive weakness after age 10 days and died between ages 2 and 3 weeks. Tk2(-/-) animals showed Tk2 deficiency, unbalanced dNTP pools, mtDNA depletion and defects of respiratory chain enzymes containing mtDNA-encoded subunits that were most prominent in the central nervous system. Histopathology revealed an encephalomyelopathy with prominent vacuolar changes in the anterior horn of the spinal cord. The H126N TK2 mouse is the first knock-in animal model of human MDS and demonstrates that the severity of TK2 deficiency in tissues may determine the organ-specific phenotype.