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Astrocytic Mitochondrial Membrane Hyperpolarization following Extended Oxygen and Glucose Deprivation  [PDF]
Andrej Koreni?, Johannes Boltze, Alexander Deten, Myriam Peters, Pavle Andjus, Lidija Radenovi?
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090697
Abstract: Astrocytes can tolerate longer periods of oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) as compared to neurons. The reasons for this reduced vulnerability are not well understood. Particularly, changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) in astrocytes, an indicator of the cellular redox state, have not been investigated during reperfusion after extended OGD exposure. Here, we subjected primary mouse astrocytes to glucose deprivation (GD), OGD and combinations of both conditions varying in duration and sequence. Changes in Δψm, visualized by change in the fluorescence of JC-1, were investigated within one hour after reconstitution of oxygen and glucose supply, intended to model in vivo reperfusion. In all experiments, astrocytes showed resilience to extended periods of OGD, which had little effect on Δψm during reperfusion, whereas GD caused a robust Δψm negativation. In case no Δψm negativation was observed after OGD, subsequent chemical oxygen deprivation (OD) induced by sodium azide caused depolarization, which, however, was significantly delayed as compared to normoxic group. When GD preceded OD for 12 h, Δψm hyperpolarization was induced by both GD and subsequent OD, but significant interaction between these conditions was not detected. However, when GD was extended to 48 h preceding OGD, hyperpolarization enhanced during reperfusion. This implicates synergistic effects of both conditions in that sequence. These findings provide novel information regarding the role of the two main substrates of electron transport chain (glucose and oxygen) and their hyperpolarizing effect on Δψm during substrate deprivation, thus shedding new light on mechanisms of astrocyte resilience to prolonged ischemic injury.
Opening of Astrocytic Mitochondrial ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channels Upregulates Electrical Coupling between Hippocampal Astrocytes in Rat Brain Slices  [PDF]
Jiangping Wang, Zhongxia Li, Mei Feng, Keming Ren, Guoxia Shen, Congying Zhao, Xiaoming Jin, Kewen Jiang
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056605
Abstract: Astrocytes form extensive intercellular networks through gap junctions to support both biochemical and electrical coupling between adjacent cells. ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels couple cell metabolic state to membrane excitability and are enriched in glial cells. Activation of astrocytic mitochondrial KATP (mitoKATP) channel regulates certain astrocytic functions. However, less is known about its impact on electrical coupling between directly coupled astrocytes ex vivo. By using dual patch clamp recording, we found that activation of mitoKATP channel increased the electrical coupling ratio in brain slices. The electrical coupling ratio started to increase 3 min after exposure to Diazoxide, a mitoKATP channel activator, peaked at 5 min, and maintained its level with little adaptation until the end of the 10-min treatment. Blocking the mitoKATP channel with 5-hydroxydecanoate, inhibited electrical coupling immediately, and by 10-min, the ratio dropped by 71% of the initial level. Activation of mitoKATP channel also decreased the latency time of the transjunctional currents by 50%. The increase in the coupling ratio resulting from the activation of the mitoKATP channel in a single astrocyte was further potentiated by the concurrent inhibiting of the channel on the recipient astrocyte. Furthermore, Meclofenamic acid, a gap-junction inhibitor which completely blocked the tracer coupling, hardly reversed the impact of mitoKATP channel's activation on electrical coupling (by 7%). The level of mitochondrial Connexin43, a gap junctional subunit, significantly increased by 70% in astrocytes after 10-min Diazoxide treatment. Phospho-ERK signals were detected in Connexin43 immunoprecipitates in the Diazoxide-treated astrocytes, but not untreated control samples. Finally, inhibiting ERK could attenuate the effects of Diazoxide on electrical coupling by 61%. These findings demonstrate that activation of astrocytic mitoKATP channel upregulates electrical coupling between hippocampal astrocytes ex vivo. In addition, this effect is mainly via up-regulation of the Connexin43-constituted gap junction coupling by an ERK-dependent mechanism in the mitochondria.
Mutant Ubiquitin Attenuates Interleukin-1β- and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α-Induced Pro-Inflammatory Signaling in Human Astrocytic Cells  [PDF]
Kyungsun Choi, Junseong Park, Jungsul Lee, Eun Chun Han, Chulhee Choi
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067891
Abstract: A frameshift mutation of ubiquitin called ubiquitin+1 (UBB+1) was found in the aging and Alzheimer’s disease brains and thought to be associated with neuronal dysfuction and degeneration. Even though ubiquitylation has been known to regulate vital cellular functions mainly through proteasome-dependent degradation of polyubiquitinated substrates, proteolysis-independent roles of ubiquitylation have emerged as key mechanisms in various signaling cascades. In this study, we have investigated the effect of UBB+1 on proinflammatory signaling such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in human astrocytes. Treatment with TNF-α and IL-1β induced expression of CCL2 and CXCL8 by human astrocytic cells; while ectopic expression of UBB+1 significantly abrogated the proinflammatory cytokine-induced expression of chemokines. Ectopic expression of UBB+1 suppressed TNF-α- and IL-1β-induced activation of NF-κB and JNK signaling pathway. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that polyubiquitylation of TRAFs and subsequent phosphorylation of TAK1 were significantly inhibited by stable expression of UBB+1. Collectively, these results suggest that UBB+1 may affect proinflammatory signaling in the central nervous system via inhibitory mechanisms of ubiquitin-dependent signaling in human astrocytes.
Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroup Confers Genetic Susceptibility to Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma in Chaoshanese from Guangdong, China  [PDF]
Sheng-Ping Hu, Ju-Ping Du, De-Rui Li, Yong-Gang Yao
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087795
Abstract: Recent studies have shown association of mtDNA background with cancer development. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region variation of 201 patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and of 201 normal controls from Chaoshan Han Chinese to discern mtDNA haplogroup effect on the disease onset. Binary logistic regression analysis with adjustment for gender and age revealed that the haplogroup R9 (P = 0.011, OR = 1.91, 95% CI = 1.16–3.16), particularly its sub-haplogroup F1 (P = 0.015, OR = 2.43, 95% CI = 1.18–5.00), were associated significantly with increased NPC risk. These haplogroups were further confirmed to confer high NPC risk in males and/or individuals ≥40 years of age, but not in females or in subjects <40 years old. Our results indicated that mtDNA background confers genetic susceptibility to NPC in Chaoshan Han Chinese, and R9, particularly its sub-haplogroup F1, is a risk factor for NPC.
Modulation of Astrocytic Mitochondrial Function by Dichloroacetate Improves Survival and Motor Performance in Inherited Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis  [PDF]
Ernesto Miquel, Adriana Cassina, Laura Martínez-Palma, Carmen Bolatto, Emiliano Trías, Mandi Gandelman, Rafael Radi, Luis Barbeito, Patricia Cassina
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034776
Abstract: Mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the pathogenic mechanisms that lead to neurodegeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Astrocytes expressing the ALS-linked SOD1G93A mutation display a decreased mitochondrial respiratory capacity associated to phenotypic changes that cause them to induce motor neuron death. Astrocyte-mediated toxicity can be prevented by mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, indicating a critical role of mitochondria in the neurotoxic phenotype. However, it is presently unknown whether drugs currently used to stimulate mitochondrial metabolism can also modulate ALS progression. Here, we tested the disease-modifying effect of dichloroacetate (DCA), an orphan drug that improves the functional status of mitochondria through the stimulation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex activity (PDH). Applied to astrocyte cultures isolated from rats expressing the SOD1G93A mutation, DCA reduced phosphorylation of PDH and improved mitochondrial coupling as expressed by the respiratory control ratio (RCR). Notably, DCA completely prevented the toxicity of SOD1G93A astrocytes to motor neurons in coculture conditions. Chronic administration of DCA (500 mg/L) in the drinking water of mice expressing the SOD1G93A mutation increased survival by 2 weeks compared to untreated mice. Systemic DCA also normalized the reduced RCR value measured in lumbar spinal cord tissue of diseased SOD1G93A mice. A remarkable effect of DCA was the improvement of grip strength performance at the end stage of the disease, which correlated with a recovery of the neuromuscular junction area in extensor digitorum longus muscles. Systemic DCA also decreased astrocyte reactivity and prevented motor neuron loss in SOD1G93A mice. Taken together, our results indicate that improvement of the mitochondrial redox status by DCA leads to a disease-modifying effect, further supporting the therapeutic potential of mitochondria-targeted drugs in ALS.
C-Phycocyanin Confers Protection against Oxalate-Mediated Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunctions in MDCK Cells  [PDF]
Shukkur M. Farooq, Nithin B. Boppana, Devarajan Asokan, Shamala D. Sekaran, Esaki M. Shankar, Chunying Li, Kaliappan Gopal, Sazaly A. Bakar, Harve S. Karthik, Abdul S. Ebrahim
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093056
Abstract: Oxalate toxicity is mediated through generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via a process that is partly dependent on mitochondrial dysfunction. Here, we investigated whether C-phycocyanin (CP) could protect against oxidative stress-mediated intracellular damage triggered by oxalate in MDCK cells. DCFDA, a fluorescence-based probe and hexanoyl-lysine adduct (HEL), an oxidative stress marker were used to investigate the effect of CP on oxalate-induced ROS production and membrane lipid peroxidation (LPO). The role of CP against oxalate-induced oxidative stress was studied by the evaluation of mitochondrial membrane potential by JC1 fluorescein staining, quantification of ATP synthesis and stress-induced MAP kinases (JNK/SAPK and ERK1/2). Our results revealed that oxalate-induced cells show markedly increased ROS levels and HEL protein expression that were significantly decreased following pre-treatment with CP. Further, JC1 staining showed that CP pre-treatment conferred significant protection from mitochondrial membrane permeability and increased ATP production in CP-treated cells than oxalate-alone-treated cells. In addition, CP treated cells significantly decreased the expression of phosphorylated JNK/SAPK and ERK1/2 as compared to oxalate-alone-treated cells. We concluded that CP could be used as a potential free radical-scavenging therapeutic strategy against oxidative stress-associated diseases including urolithiasis.
Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number, but Not Haplogroup, Confers a Genetic Susceptibility to Leprosy in Han Chinese from Southwest China  [PDF]
Dong Wang, Ling-Yan Su, A-Mei Zhang, Yu-Ye Li, Xiao-An Li, Ling-Ling Chen, Heng Long, Yong-Gang Yao
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038848
Abstract: Background Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, an unculturable pathogen with an exceptionally eroded genome. The high level of inactivation of gene function in M. leprae, including many genes in its metabolic pathways, has led to a dependence on host energy production and nutritional products. We hypothesized that host cellular powerhouse - the mitochondria - may affect host susceptibility to M. leprae and the onset of clinical leprosy, and this may be reflected by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) background and mtDNA copy number. Methods We analyzed the mtDNA sequence variation of 534 leprosy patients and 850 matched controls from Yunnan Province and classified each subject by haplogroup. mtDNA copy number, taken to be proportional to mtDNA content, was measured in a subset of these subjects (296 patients and 231 controls) and 12 leprosy patients upon diagnosis. Results Comparison of matrilineal components of the case and control populations revealed no significant difference. However, measurement of mtDNA copy number showed that lepromatous leprosy patients had a significantly higher mtDNA content than controls (P = 0.008). Past medical treatments had no effect on the alteration of mtDNA copy number. Conclusions Our results suggested that mtDNA content, but not haplogroup, affects leprosy and this influence is limited to the clinical subtype of lepromatous leprosy.
Destabilizing Divergences in Supergravity Theories  [PDF]
Jonathan A. Bagger
Physics , 1995,
Abstract: We study the stability of the gauge hierarchy in hidden-sector supergravity theories. We show that a destabilizing tadpole can appear if a theory has a gauge- and global-symmetry singlet with renormalizable couplings to the visible fields. We also find a quadratically divergent two-loop contribution to the supersymmetric effective potential. This term illustrates the difficulty of using the "LHC mechanism" to control quadratic divergences in theories with Planck-scale vevs.
The neurogenic basic helix–loop–helix transcription factor NeuroD6 confers tolerance to oxidative stress by triggering an antioxidant response and sustaining the mitochondrial biomass  [cached]
Martine Uittenbogaard,Kristin Kathleen Baxter,Anne Chiaramello
ASN Neuro , 2010, DOI: 10.1042/an20100005
Abstract: Preserving mitochondrial mass, bioenergetic functions and ROS (reactive oxygen species) homoeostasis is key to neuronal differentiation and survival, as mitochondria produce most of the energy in the form of ATP to execute and maintain these cellular processes. In view of our previous studies showing that NeuroD6 promotes neuronal differentiation and survival on trophic factor withdrawal, combined with its ability to stimulate the mitochondrial biomass and to trigger comprehensive antiapoptotic and molecular chaperone responses, we investigated whether NeuroD6 could concomitantly modulate the mitochondrial biomass and ROS homoeostasis on oxidative stress mediated by serum deprivation. In the present study, we report a novel role of NeuroD6 as a regulator of ROS homoeostasis, resulting in enhanced tolerance to oxidative stress. Using a combination of flow cytometry, confocal fluorescence microscopy and mitochondrial fractionation, we found that NeuroD6 sustains mitochondrial mass, intracellular ATP levels and expression of specific subunits of respiratory complexes upon oxidative stress triggered by withdrawal of trophic factors. NeuroD6 also maintains the expression of nuclear-encoded transcription factors, known to regulate mitochondrial biogenesis, such as PGC-1α (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator-1α), Tfam (transcription factor A, mitochondrial) and NRF-1 (nuclear respiratory factor-1). Finally, NeuroD6 triggers a comprehensive antioxidant response to endow PC12-ND6 cells with intracellular ROS scavenging capacity. The NeuroD6 effect is not limited to the classic induction of the ROS-scavenging enzymes, such as SOD2 (superoxide dismutase 2), GPx1 (glutathione peroxidase 1) and PRDX5 (peroxiredoxin 5), but also to the recently identified powerful ROS suppressors PGC-1α, PINK1 (phosphatase and tensin homologue-induced kinase 1) and SIRT1. Thus our collective results support the concept that the NeuroD6–PGC-1α–SIRT1 neuroprotective axis may be critical in co-ordinating the mitochondrial biomass with the antioxidant reserve to confer tolerance to oxidative stress.
Intracellular Context Affects Levels of a Chemically Dependent Destabilizing Domain  [PDF]
Mark A. Sellmyer,Ling-chun Chen,Emily L. Egeler,Rishi Rakhit,Thomas J. Wandless
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043297
Abstract: The ability to regulate protein levels in live cells is crucial to understanding protein function. In the interest of advancing the tool set for protein perturbation, we developed a protein destabilizing domain (DD) that can confer its instability to a fused protein of interest. This destabilization and consequent degradation can be rescued in a reversible and dose-dependent manner with the addition of a small molecule that is specific for the DD, Shield-1. Proteins encounter different local protein quality control (QC) machinery when targeted to cellular compartments such as the mitochondrial matrix or endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These varied environments could have profound effects on the levels and regulation of the cytoplasmically derived DD. Here we show that DD fusions in the cytoplasm or nucleus can be efficiently degraded in mammalian cells; however, targeting fusions to the mitochondrial matrix or ER lumen leads to accumulation even in the absence of Shield-1. Additionally, we characterize the behavior of the DD with perturbants that modulate protein production, degradation, and local protein QC machinery. Chemical induction of the unfolded protein response in the ER results in decreased levels of an ER-targeted DD indicating the sensitivity of the DD to the degradation environment. These data reinforce that DD is an effective tool for protein perturbation, show that the local QC machinery affects levels of the DD, and suggest that the DD may be a useful probe for monitoring protein quality control machinery.
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