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1.  Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Forward and Reverse Electron Fluxes in the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain 
PLoS Computational Biology  2011;7(3):e1001115.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced in the mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) are primary signals that modulate cellular adaptation to environment, and are also destructive factors that damage cells under the conditions of hypoxia/reoxygenation relevant for various systemic diseases or transplantation. The important role of ROS in cell survival requires detailed investigation of mechanism and determinants of ROS production. To perform such an investigation we extended our rule-based model of complex III in order to account for electron transport in the whole RC coupled to proton translocation, transmembrane electrochemical potential generation, TCA cycle reactions, and substrate transport to mitochondria. It fits respiratory electron fluxes measured in rat brain mitochondria fueled by succinate or pyruvate and malate, and the dynamics of NAD+ reduction by reverse electron transport from succinate through complex I. The fitting of measured characteristics gave an insight into the mechanism of underlying processes governing the formation of free radicals that can transfer an unpaired electron to oxygen-producing superoxide and thus can initiate the generation of ROS. Our analysis revealed an association of ROS production with levels of specific radicals of individual electron transporters and their combinations in species of complexes I and III. It was found that the phenomenon of bistability, revealed previously as a property of complex III, remains valid for the whole RC. The conditions for switching to a state with a high content of free radicals in complex III were predicted based on theoretical analysis and were confirmed experimentally. These findings provide a new insight into the mechanisms of ROS production in RC.
Author Summary
Respiration at the level of mitochondria is considered as delivery of electrons and protons from NADH or succinate to oxygen through a set of transporters constituting the respiratory chain (RC). Mitochondrial respiration, dealing with transfer of unpaired electrons, may produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as O2− and subsequently H2O2 as side products. ROS are chemically very active and can cause oxidative damage to cellular components. The production of ROS, normally low, can increase under stress to the levels incompatible with cell survival; thus, understanding the ways of ROS production in the RC represents a vital task in research. We used mathematical modeling to analyze experiments with isolated brain mitochondria aimed to study relations between electron transport and ROS production. Elsewhere we reported that mitochondrial complex III can operate in two distinct steady states at the same microenvironmental conditions, producing either low or high levels of ROS. Here, this property of bistability was confirmed for the whole RC. The associations between measured ROS production and computed individual free radical levels in complexes I and III were established. The discovered phenomenon of bistability is important as a basis for new strategies in organ transplantation and therapy.
PMCID: PMC3068929  PMID: 21483483
2.  Anoxia-Reoxygenation Regulates Mitochondrial Dynamics through the Hypoxia Response Pathway, SKN-1/Nrf, and Stomatin-Like Protein STL-1/SLP-2 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(12):e1004063.
Many aerobic organisms encounter oxygen-deprived environments and thus must have adaptive mechanisms to survive such stress. It is important to understand how mitochondria respond to oxygen deprivation given the critical role they play in using oxygen to generate cellular energy. Here we examine mitochondrial stress response in C. elegans, which adapt to extreme oxygen deprivation (anoxia, less than 0.1% oxygen) by entering into a reversible suspended animation state of locomotory arrest. We show that neuronal mitochondria undergo DRP-1-dependent fission in response to anoxia and undergo refusion upon reoxygenation. The hypoxia response pathway, including EGL-9 and HIF-1, is not required for anoxia-induced fission, but does regulate mitochondrial reconstitution during reoxygenation. Mutants for egl-9 exhibit a rapid refusion of mitochondria and a rapid behavioral recovery from suspended animation during reoxygenation; both phenotypes require HIF-1. Mitochondria are significantly larger in egl-9 mutants after reoxygenation, a phenotype similar to stress-induced mitochondria hyperfusion (SIMH). Anoxia results in mitochondrial oxidative stress, and the oxidative response factor SKN-1/Nrf is required for both rapid mitochondrial refusion and rapid behavioral recovery during reoxygenation. In response to anoxia, SKN-1 promotes the expression of the mitochondrial resident protein Stomatin-like 1 (STL-1), which helps facilitate mitochondrial dynamics following anoxia. Our results suggest the existence of a conserved anoxic stress response involving changes in mitochondrial fission and fusion.
Author Summary
Oxygen deprivation plays a role in multiple human diseases ranging from heart attack, ischemic stroke, and traumatic injury. Aerobic organisms use oxygen to generate cellular energy in mitochondria; thus, oxygen deprivation results in energy depletion. Low oxygen can be catastrophic in tissues like the nervous system, which has high-energy demands and few glycolytic reserves. By contrast, other cells, including stem cells and cancerous cells within tumors, adapt and thrive in low oxygen. We are just beginning to understand how different organisms and even different cell types within the same organism respond to low oxygen conditions. The response of mitochondria to oxygen deprivation is particularly critical given their role in aerobic energy production. In addition, mitochondria actively injure cells during oxygen deprivation through the generation of reactive oxygen species, the disruption of calcium homeostasis, and the activation of cell death pathways. Here we use a genetic approach to show that mitochondria undergo fission during oxygen deprivation and refusion upon oxygen restoration. The hypoxia response pathway and the oxidative stress response pathway together modulate this response. We identify a new factor, stomatin-like protein, as a promoter of mitochondrial fusion in response to oxygen deprivation stress. Our findings uncover a new mechanism – regulated mitochondrial dynamics – by which cells adapt to oxygen deprivation stress.
PMCID: PMC3873275  PMID: 24385935
3.  Multistationary and Oscillatory Modes of Free Radicals Generation by the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Revealed by a Bifurcation Analysis 
PLoS Computational Biology  2012;8(9):e1002700.
The mitochondrial electron transport chain transforms energy satisfying cellular demand and generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) that act as metabolic signals or destructive factors. Therefore, knowledge of the possible modes and bifurcations of electron transport that affect ROS signaling provides insight into the interrelationship of mitochondrial respiration with cellular metabolism. Here, a bifurcation analysis of a sequence of the electron transport chain models of increasing complexity was used to analyze the contribution of individual components to the modes of respiratory chain behavior. Our algorithm constructed models as large systems of ordinary differential equations describing the time evolution of the distribution of redox states of the respiratory complexes. The most complete model of the respiratory chain and linked metabolic reactions predicted that condensed mitochondria produce more ROS at low succinate concentration and less ROS at high succinate levels than swelled mitochondria. This prediction was validated by measuring ROS production under various swelling conditions. A numerical bifurcation analysis revealed qualitatively different types of multistationary behavior and sustained oscillations in the parameter space near a region that was previously found to describe the behavior of isolated mitochondria. The oscillations in transmembrane potential and ROS generation, observed in living cells were reproduced in the model that includes interaction of respiratory complexes with the reactions of TCA cycle. Whereas multistationarity is an internal characteristic of the respiratory chain, the functional link of respiration with central metabolism creates oscillations, which can be understood as a means of auto-regulation of cell metabolism.
Author Summary
The mitochondrial respiratory chain shows a variety of modes of behavior. In living cells, flashes of ROS production and oscillations accompanied by a decrease of transmembrane potential can be registered. The mechanisms of such complex behavior are difficult to rationalize without a mathematical formalization of mitochondrial respiration. Our most complete model of mitochondrial respiration accounts for the details of electron transport, reproducing the observed types of behavior, which includes the existence of multiple steady states and periodic oscillations. This most detailed model contains hundreds of differential equations, and such complexity makes it difficult to grasp the main determinants of its behavior. Therefore the full model was reduced to a simplified description of complex III only, and numerical bifurcation analysis was used to study its behavior. Then the evolution of its behavior was traced in a sequence of models with increasing complexity leading back to the full model. This analysis revealed the mechanism of switching between the modes of behavior and the conditions for persistence in a given state, which defines ATP production, ROS signaling and destructive effects. This is important for understanding the biochemical basics of many systemic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3447950  PMID: 23028295
4.  Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Energized Cardiac Mitochondria During Hypoxia/Reoxygenation: Modulation by Nitric Oxide 
Circulation research  2008;103(8):873-880.
Mitochondria are an important source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) implicated in ischemia/reperfusion injury. When isolated from ischemic myocardium, mitochondria demonstrate increased ROS production as a result of damage to electron transport complexes. To investigate the mechanisms, we studied effects of hypoxia/reoxygenation on ROS production by isolated energized heart mitochondria. ROS production, tracked using Fe2+-catalyzed, H2O2-dependent H2DCF oxidation or Amplex Red, was similar during normoxia and hypoxia, but markedly increased during reoxygenation, in proportion to the duration of hypoxia. In contrast, if mitochondria were rapidly converted from normoxia to near-anoxia ([O2]< 1 μM), the increase in H2DCF oxidation rate during reoxygenation was markedly blunted. To elicit the robust increase in H2DCF oxidation rate during reoxygenation, hypoxia had to be severe enough to cause partial, but not complete, respiratory chain inhibition (as shown by partial dissipation of membrane potential and increased NADH auto-fluorescence). Consistent with its cardioprotective actions, nitric oxide (•NO) abrogated increased H2DCF oxidation under these conditions, as well as attenuating ROS-induced increases in matrix [Fe2+] and aconitase inhibition caused by antimycin. Collectively, these results suggest that a) hypoxia sufficient to cause partial respiratory inhibition is more damaging to mitochondria than near-anoxia; b) •NO suppresses ROS-induced damage to electron transport complexes, probably by forming •NO-Fe2+ complexes in the presence of glutathione which inhibit hydroxyl radical formation.
PMCID: PMC2755534  PMID: 18776040
Mitochondria; Reactive Oxygen Species; Hypoxia/Reoxygenation; Nitric Oxide
5.  Antioxidants, Oxidative Damage and Oxygen Deprivation Stress: a Review 
Annals of Botany  2003;91(2):179-194.
Oxidative stress is induced by a wide range of environmental factors including UV stress, pathogen invasion (hypersensitive reaction), herbicide action and oxygen shortage. Oxygen deprivation stress in plant cells is distinguished by three physiologically different states: transient hypoxia, anoxia and reoxygenation. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is characteristic for hypoxia and especially for reoxygenation. Of the ROS, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide (O2·–) are both produced in a number of cellular reactions, including the iron‐catalysed Fenton reaction, and by various enzymes such as lipoxygenases, peroxidases, NADPH oxidase and xanthine oxidase. The main cellular components susceptible to damage by free radicals are lipids (peroxidation of unsaturated fatty acids in membranes), proteins (denaturation), carbohydrates and nucleic acids. Consequences of hypoxia‐induced oxidative stress depend on tissue and/or species (i.e. their tolerance to anoxia), on membrane properties, on endogenous antioxidant content and on the ability to induce the response in the antioxidant system. Effective utilization of energy resources (starch, sugars) and the switch to anaerobic metabolism and the preservation of the redox status of the cell are vital for survival. The formation of ROS is prevented by an antioxidant system: low molecular mass antioxidants (ascorbic acid, glutathione, tocopherols), enzymes regenerating the reduced forms of antioxidants, and ROS‐interacting enzymes such as SOD, peroxidases and catalases. In plant tissues many phenolic compounds (in addition to tocopherols) are potential antioxidants: flavonoids, tannins and lignin precursors may work as ROS‐scavenging compounds. Antioxidants act as a cooperative network, employing a series of redox reactions. Interactions between ascorbic acid and glutathione, and ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds are well known. Under oxygen deprivation stress some contradictory results on the antioxidant status have been obtained. Experiments on overexpression of antioxidant production do not always result in the enhancement of the antioxidative defence, and hence increased antioxidative capacity does not always correlate positively with the degree of protection. Here we present a consideration of factors which possibly affect the effectiveness of antioxidant protection under oxygen deprivation as well as under other environmental stresses. Such aspects as compartmentalization of ROS formation and antioxidant localization, synthesis and transport of antioxidants, the ability to induce the antioxidant defense and cooperation (and/or compensation) between different antioxidant systems are the determinants of the competence of the antioxidant system.
PMCID: PMC4244988  PMID: 12509339
Review; anoxia; hypoxia; reactive oxygen species; antioxidant; lipid peroxidation; adaptation; oxygen deprivation stress
6.  Loss of Mcl-1 Protein and Inhibition of Electron Transport Chain Together Induce Anoxic Cell Death▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;27(4):1222-1235.
How cells die in the absence of oxygen (anoxia) is not understood. Here we report that cells deficient in Bax and Bak or caspase-9 do not undergo anoxia-induced cell death. However, the caspase-9 null cells do not survive reoxygenation due to the generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. The individual loss of Bim, Bid, Puma, Noxa, Bad, caspase-2, or hypoxia-inducible factor 1β, which are potential upstream regulators of Bax or Bak, did not prevent anoxia-induced cell death. Anoxia triggered the loss of the Mcl-1 protein upstream of Bax/Bak activation. Cells containing a mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b 4-base-pair deletion ([rho−] cells) and cells depleted of their entire mitochondrial DNA ([rho0] cells) are oxidative phosphorylation incompetent and displayed loss of the Mcl-1 protein under anoxia. [rho0] cells, in contrast to [rho−] cells, did not die under anoxia. However, [rho0] cells did undergo cell death in the presence of the Bad BH3 peptide, an inhibitor of Bcl-XL/Bcl-2 proteins. These results indicate that [rho0] cells survive under anoxia despite the loss of Mcl-1 protein due to residual prosurvival activity of the Bcl-XL/Bcl-2 proteins. Collectively, these results demonstrate that anoxia-induced cell death requires the loss of Mcl-1 protein and inhibition of the electron transport chain to negate Bcl-XL/Bcl-2 proteins.
PMCID: PMC1800715  PMID: 17145774
7.  Intracellular respiratory dysfunction and cell injury in short-term anoxia of rabbit renal proximal tubules. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1985;76(6):2377-2384.
The effects of short-term anoxia and hypoxia were studied in a rabbit proximal renal tubule suspension in order to avoid the hemodynamic consequences of clamp-induced ischemia. The suspension was subjected to anoxia for 10-40 min and the effects on a number of cellular transport and respiratory parameters were monitored. Cellular respiration was measured upon addition of nystatin (Nys) to maximally stimulate Na pump activity. Mitochondrial respiration was measured in the tubules by addition of digitonin and ADP to obtain the state 3 respiratory rate. The release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was measured as an index of plasma membrane damage. The cellular contents of K and Ca were also measured. Results show that 10 and 20 min of anoxia partially inhibited Nys-stimulated and mitochondrial respiration, and partially decreased the K contents, but all these effects were largely reversible after 20 min of reoxygenation. After 40 min of anoxia and 20 min of reoxygenation, all these variables remained irreversibly inhibited: Nys-stimulated respiration by 54%, mitochondrial respiration by 50%, K content by 42%, and LDH release was 40% of total. Ca content decreased slightly during anoxia, but increased up to fourfold during severe hypoxia; the excess Ca was released during the first 10 min of reoxygenation. The degree of respiratory impairment was identical during anoxia or hypoxia, suggesting that Ca accumulation was not associated with the impairment. Decreasing the extracellular Ca to 2.5 microM decreased LDH release significantly during anoxia, suggesting that plasma membrane damage during anoxia may be associated with increased intracellular free Ca. Addition of Mg-adenosine triphosphate during anoxia dramatically improved recovery of all the measured parameters after the anoxic period.
PMCID: PMC424382  PMID: 4077984
8.  Superoxide Flashes in Single Mitochondria 
Cell  2008;134(2):279-290.
The mitochondrion is the primary source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in eukaryotic cells. With the aid of a novel mitochondrial matrix-targeted superoxide indicator, here we show that individual mitochondria undergo spontaneous bursts of superoxide generation, termed “superoxide flashes”. Superoxide flashes occur randomly in space and time, exhibit all-or-none properties, and reflect elementary events of superoxide production within single mitochondria across a wide diversity of cells. Individual flashes are triggered by transient openings of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) and are fueled by electron transfer complexes-dependent superoxide production. While decreased during cardiac hypoxia/anoxia, a flurry of superoxide flash activity contributes to the destructive rebound ROS burst observed during early reoxygenation after anoxia. The discovery of superoxide flashes reveals a novel mechanism for quantal ROS production by individual mitochondria and substantiates the central role of mPTP in oxidative stress related pathology in addition to its well-known role in apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC2547996  PMID: 18662543
9.  Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Excitable Cells: Modulators of Mitochondrial and Cell Function 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2009;11(6):1373-1414.
The mitochondrion is a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Superoxide (O2•−) is generated under specific bioenergetic conditions at several sites within the electron-transport system; most is converted to H2O2 inside and outside the mitochondrial matrix by superoxide dismutases. H2O2 is a major chemical messenger that, in low amounts and with its products, physiologically modulates cell function. The redox state and ROS scavengers largely control the emission (generation scavenging) of O2•−. Cell ischemia, hypoxia, or toxins can result in excess O2•− production when the redox state is altered and the ROS scavenger systems are overwhelmed. Too much H2O2 can combine with Fe2+ complexes to form reactive ferryl species (e.g., Fe(IV) = O•). In the presence of nitric oxide (NO•), O2•− forms the reactant peroxynitrite (ONOO−), and ONOOH-induced nitrosylation of proteins, DNA, and lipids can modify their structure and function. An initial increase in ROS can cause an even greater increase in ROS and allow excess mitochondrial Ca2+ entry, both of which are factors that induce cell apoptosis and necrosis. Approaches to reduce excess O2•− emission include selectively boosting the antioxidant capacity, uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation to reduce generation of O2•− by inducing proton leak, and reversibly inhibiting electron transport. Mitochondrial cation channels and exchangers function to maintain matrix homeostasis and likely play a role in modulating mitochondrial function, in part by regulating O2•− generation. Cell-signaling pathways induced physiologically by ROS include effects on thiol groups and disulfide linkages to modify posttranslationally protein structure to activate/inactivate specific kinase/phosphatase pathways. Hypoxia-inducible factors that stimulate a cascade of gene transcription may be mediated physiologically by ROS. Our knowledge of the role played by ROS and their scavenging systems in modulation of cell function and cell death has grown exponentially over the past few years, but we are still limited in how to apply this knowledge to develop its full therapeutic potential. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 1373–1414.
Focus of review
Ambiguities about ROS
Overview of Mitochondrial Structure and Function
Mitochondrial Sources and Mechanism of ROS Generation
Requirement for charged membrane, electron flux, and O2
Reactive and nonreactive O2 species and reactants
Assessing ROS generation
Sites and conditions for mitochondrial ROS generation
Complex I (NADH ubiquinone oxidoreductase)
Complex III (co-enzyme Q, bc1 complex, ubiquinone/cytochrome c reductase)
Pathologic Induction of Mitochondrial ROS Release
ROS-induced ROS release
ROS-induced Ca2+ loading
ROS generation during tissue ischemia and hypoxia
Very low po2 and lack of mitochondrial ROS generation
Antioxidant Defenses Against Pathologic ROS Formation
SODs, catalase, cytochrome c, GSH, and TRXSH2, and other linked redox couples
Regulation of genes encoding mitochondrial antioxidant systems
ROS generation versus ROS scavenging
MPT pore opening and cytochrome c
Targets of Excess ROS Emission
DNA, proteins, and phospholipids
Role of cardiolipin
Approaches to Reduce Excess ROS
Capacity of mitochondrial and cell reductants
Exogenous SODs and catalase
Proton leak to modulate superoxide generation
Uncoupling proteins
HNE-induced proton leak
ROS-induced proton leak
Physiologic Modulation of Mitochondrial ROS Emission
H2O2 and ONOO− as chemical effectors
ROS modulation by cations
K+: A modulator of ROS generation?
Biphasic effect of KCa channels on ROS generation
KATP channel opening and ROS
Direct Ca2+-induced ROS unlikely
Rate of oxidative phosphorylation and ROS generation
Role of ROS in Triggering or Effecting Cardioprotection
Pathways and mechanisms
Inhibiting complex I and cardioprotection
Regulation of Cellular Processes by Mitochondria-Derived ROS
Cell signaling by oxidative modifications and redox systems
Examples of signaling by ROS
Importance of cysteine thiols in ROS-induced signaling
ROS oxidation reactions
O2 sensors
Hypoxia-inducible factors
ROS as O2 sensors
Peroxide-induced TCA shunts
Difficulties in understanding the role of ROS
Future directions
PMCID: PMC2842133  PMID: 19187004
10.  Characterisation of the active/de-active transition of mitochondrial complex I☆ 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta  2014;1837(7):1083-1092.
Oxidation of NADH in the mitochondrial matrix of aerobic cells is catalysed by mitochondrial complex I. The regulation of this mitochondrial enzyme is not completely understood. An interesting characteristic of complex I from some organisms is the ability to adopt two distinct states: the so-called catalytically active (A) and the de-active, dormant state (D). The A-form in situ can undergo de-activation when the activity of the respiratory chain is limited (i.e. in the absence of oxygen).
The mechanisms and driving force behind the A/D transition of the enzyme are currently unknown, but several subunits are most likely involved in the conformational rearrangements: the accessory subunit 39 kDa (NDUFA9) and the mitochondrially encoded subunits, ND3 and ND1. These three subunits are located in the region of the quinone binding site.
The A/D transition could represent an intrinsic mechanism which provides a fast response of the mitochondrial respiratory chain to oxygen deprivation. The physiological role of the accumulation of the D-form in anoxia is most probably to protect mitochondria from ROS generation due to the rapid burst of respiration following reoxygenation. The de-activation rate varies in different tissues and can be modulated by the temperature, the presence of free fatty acids and divalent cations, the NAD+/NADH ratio in the matrix, the presence of nitric oxide and oxygen availability.
Cysteine-39 of the ND3 subunit, exposed in the D-form, is susceptible to covalent modification by nitrosothiols, ROS and RNS. The D-form in situ could react with natural effectors in mitochondria or with pharmacological agents. Therefore the modulation of the re-activation rate of complex I could be a way to ameliorate the ischaemia/reperfusion damage. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 18th European Bioenergetic Conference. Guest Editors: Manuela Pereira and Miguel Teixeira.
Graphical abstract
•The potential mechanism of complex I A/D transition is discussed.•An —SH group exposed in the D-form is susceptible to covalent modification.•The role of A/D transition in tissue response to ischaemia is proposed.
PMCID: PMC4331042  PMID: 24569053
A/D, active/de-active transition; BN-PAGE, blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; DIGE, difference gel electrophoresis; DTNB, 5,5′-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid); EEDQ, N-ethoxycarbonyl-2-ethoxy-1,2-dihydroquinoline; EMCS, N-ε-maleimidocaproyl-oxysuccinimide ester; GSH/GSSG, reduced/oxidised glutathione; HAR, hexaammineruthenium; hrCN-PAGE, high resolution clear native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; I/R, ischemia/reperfusion; NADH, dihydronicotinamide adenine dinucleotide; NEM, N-ethylmaleimide; NHS, N-hydroxysuccinimide; NO, nitric oxide; Q, ubiquinone; RNS, reactive nitrogen species; ROS, reactive oxygen species; SDS-PAGE, sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; SMP, submitochondrial particles; SPDP, N-succinimidyl 3-(2-pyridyldithio)-propionate; Mitochondrial complex I; A/D transition; Conformational change; Ischaemia/reperfusion; Thiol modification
11.  Nitrite augments tolerance to ischemia/reperfusion injury via the modulation of mitochondrial electron transfer 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2007;204(9):2089-2102.
Nitrite (NO2−) is an intrinsic signaling molecule that is reduced to NO during ischemia and limits apoptosis and cytotoxicity at reperfusion in the mammalian heart, liver, and brain. Although the mechanism of nitrite-mediated cytoprotection is unknown, NO is a mediator of the ischemic preconditioning cell-survival program. Analogous to the temporally distinct acute and delayed ischemic preconditioning cytoprotective phenotypes, we report that both acute and delayed (24 h before ischemia) exposure to physiological concentrations of nitrite, given both systemically or orally, potently limits cardiac and hepatic reperfusion injury. This cytoprotection is associated with increases in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Remarkably, isolated mitochondria subjected to 30 min of anoxia followed by reoxygenation were directly protected by nitrite administered both in vitro during anoxia or in vivo 24 h before mitochondrial isolation. Mechanistically, nitrite dose-dependently modifies and inhibits complex I by posttranslational S-nitrosation; this dampens electron transfer and effectively reduces reperfusion reactive oxygen species generation and ameliorates oxidative inactivation of complexes II–IV and aconitase, thus preventing mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening and cytochrome c release. These data suggest that nitrite dynamically modulates mitochondrial resilience to reperfusion injury and may represent an effector of the cell-survival program of ischemic preconditioning and the Mediterranean diet.
PMCID: PMC2118713  PMID: 17682069
12.  Mitochondrial DNA Sequence and Lack of Response to Anoxia in the Annual Killifish Austrofundulus limnaeus 
The annual killifish Austrofundulus limnaeus inhabits ephemeral ponds in regions of Venezuela, South America. Permanent populations of A. limnaeus are maintained by production of stress-tolerant embryos that are able to persist in the desiccated sediment. Previous work has demonstrated that A. limnaeus have a remarkable ability to tolerate extended periods of anoxia and desiccating conditions. After considering temperature, A. limnaeus embryos have the highest known tolerance to anoxia when compared to any other vertebrate yet studied. Oxygen is completely essential for the process of oxidative phosphorylation by mitochondria, the intracellular organelle responsible for the majority of adenosine triphosphate production. Thus, understanding the unique properties of A. limnaeus mitochondria is of great interest. In this work, we describe the first complete mitochondrial genome (mtgenome) sequence of a single adult A. limnaeus individual and compare both coding and non-coding regions to several other closely related fish mtgenomes. Mitochondrial features were predicted using MitoAnnotator and polyadenylation sites were predicted using RNAseq mapping. To estimate the responsiveness of A. limnaeus mitochondria to anoxia treatment, we measure relative mitochondrial DNA copy number and total citrate synthase activity in both relatively anoxia-tolerant and anoxia-sensitive embryonic stages. Our cross-species comparative approach identifies unique features of ND1, ND5, ND6, and ATPase-6 that may facilitate the unique phenotype of A. limnaeus embryos. Additionally, we do not find evidence for mitochondrial degradation or biogenesis during anoxia/reoxygenation treatment in A. limnaeus embryos, suggesting that anoxia-tolerant mitochondria do not respond to anoxia in a manner similar to anoxia-sensitive mitochondria.
PMCID: PMC5005410  PMID: 27630577
annual killifish; anoxia; mitochondria; citrate synthase; embryo; mitochondrial genome
13.  Oxygen Reperfusion Damage in an Insect 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(12):e1267.
The deleterious effects of anoxia followed by reperfusion with oxygen in higher animals including mammals are well known. A convenient and genetically well characterized small-animal model that exhibits reproducible, quantifiable oxygen reperfusion damage is currently lacking. Here we describe the dynamics of whole-organism metabolic recovery from anoxia in an insect, Drosophila melanogaster, and report that damage caused by oxygen reperfusion can be quantified in a novel but straightforward way. We monitored CO2 emission (an index of mitochondrial activity) and water vapor output (an index of neuromuscular control of the spiracles, which are valves between the outside air and the insect's tracheal system) during entry into, and recovery from, rapid-onset anoxia exposure with durations ranging from 7.5 to 120 minutes. Anoxia caused a brief peak of CO2 output followed by knock-out. Mitochondrial respiration ceased and the spiracle constrictor muscles relaxed, but then re-contracted, presumably powered by anaerobic processes. Reperfusion to sustained normoxia caused a bimodal re-activation of mitochondrial respiration, and in the case of the spiracle constrictor muscles, slow inactivation followed by re-activation. After long anoxia durations, both the bimodality of mitochondrial reactivation and the recovery of spiracular control were impaired. Repeated reperfusion followed by episodes of anoxia depressed mitochondrial respiratory flux rates and damaged the integrity of the spiracular control system in a dose-dependent fashion. This is the first time that physiological evidence of oxygen reperfusion damage has been described in an insect or any invertebrate. We suggest that some of the traditional approaches of insect respiratory biology, such as quantifying respiratory water loss, may facilitate using D. melanogaster as a convenient, well-characterized experimental model for studying the underlying biology and mechanisms of ischemia and reperfusion damage and its possible mitigation.
PMCID: PMC2092388  PMID: 18060061
14.  Uncoupling Protein-2 Expression and Effects on Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Oxidant Stress in Heart Tissue 
Translational Research  2011;159(5):383-390.
Myocardial uncoupling protein (UCP)-2 is increased with chronic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) stimulation but the effect on membrane potential and superoxide is unclear. Wild type (WT) and UCP-2 knock-out (KO) mice were given a 3-week diet of control (C) or the PPAR γ agonist pioglitazone (50 μg/gram-chow per day) (PIO). In isolated mitochondria, UCP-2 content by Western blots, membrane potential (ΔΨm) by tetraphenylphosphonium (TPP) and relative superoxide levels by dihydroethidium (DHE) were measured. Oxygen respiration was determined at baseline and following 10 minutes anoxia-reoxygenation. PIO induced a 2-fold increase in UCP-2 and nuclear-bound PGC1α in WT mice with no UCP-2 expression in KO mice. Mitochondrial ΔΨm from WT mice on C and PIO diets was −166±4 mv and −147±6 mV respectively (P<0.05) and were lower than UCP-2 KO mice on C and PIO (−180±4 and −180±4 mv respectively; P<0.05). Maximal complex III inhibitable superoxide from WT mice on C and PIO diets was 22.5±1.3 and 17.8±1.1 AU respectively (P<0.05) and were lower than UCP-2 KO on C and PIO (32.9±2.3 and 29.2±1.9 AU respectively; P<0.05). Post-anoxia, the respiratory control index (RCI) in mitochondria from WT mice with and without PIO was 2.5±0.3 and 2.4±0.2 respectively and exceeded that of UCP-2 KO mice on C and PIO (1.2±0.1 and 1.4±0.1 respectively (P<0.05). In summary, chronic PPARγ stimulation leads to depolarization of the inner membrane and reduced superoxide of isolated heart mitochondria, which was critically dependent upon increased expression of UCP-2. UCP-2 expression affords resistance to brief anoxia-reoxygenation.
PMCID: PMC3328031  PMID: 22500511
15.  Critical role of mitochondrial ROS is dependent on their site of production on the electron transport chain in ischemic heart 
Abstract: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation has been implicated in many pathologies including ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. This led to multiple studies on antioxidant therapies to treat cardiovascular diseases but paradoxically, results have so far been mixed as ROS production can be beneficial as a signaling mechanism and in cardiac protection via preconditioning interventions. We investigated whether the differential impact of increased ROS in injury as well as in protection could be explained by their site of production on the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Using amplex red to measure ROS production, we found that mitochondria isolated from hearts after I/R produced more ROS than non-ischemic when complex I substrate (glutamate/malate) was used. Interestingly, the substrates of complex II (succinate) and ubiquinone (sn-glycerol 3-phosphate, G3P) produced less ROS in mitochondria from I/R hearts compared to normal healthy hearts. The inhibitors of complex I (rotenone) and complex III (antimycin A) increased ROS production when glutamate/malate and G3P were used; in contrast, they reduced ROS production when the complex II substrate was used. Mitochondrial calcium retention capacity required to induce mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening was measured using calcium green fluorescence and was found to be higher when mitochondria were treated with G3P and succinate compared to glutamate/malate. Furthermore, Langendorff hearts treated with glutamate/malate exhibited reduced cardiac functional recovery and increased myocardial infarct size compared to hearts treated with G3P. Thus, ROS production by the stimulated respiratory chain complexes I and III has opposite roles: cardio-deleterious when produced in complex I and cardio-protective when produced in complex III. The mechanism of these ROS involves the inhibition of the mPTP opening, a key event in cell death following ischemia/reperfusion injury.
PMCID: PMC5030389  PMID: 27679744
Reactive oxygen species; electron transport chain; ischemia; reperfusion; mitochondrial permeability transition pore
16.  Redox regulation of mitochondrial function with emphasis on cysteine oxidation reactions☆ 
Redox Biology  2013;2:123-139.
Mitochondria have a myriad of essential functions including metabolism and apoptosis. These chief functions are reliant on electron transfer reactions and the production of ATP and reactive oxygen species (ROS). The production of ATP and ROS are intimately linked to the electron transport chain (ETC). Electrons from nutrients are passed through the ETC via a series of acceptor and donor molecules to the terminal electron acceptor molecular oxygen (O2) which ultimately drives the synthesis of ATP. Electron transfer through the respiratory chain and nutrient oxidation also produces ROS. At high enough concentrations ROS can activate mitochondrial apoptotic machinery which ultimately leads to cell death. However, if maintained at low enough concentrations ROS can serve as important signaling molecules. Various regulatory mechanisms converge upon mitochondria to modulate ATP synthesis and ROS production. Given that mitochondrial function depends on redox reactions, it is important to consider how redox signals modulate mitochondrial processes. Here, we provide the first comprehensive review on how redox signals mediated through cysteine oxidation, namely S-oxidation (sulfenylation, sulfinylation), S-glutathionylation, and S-nitrosylation, regulate key mitochondrial functions including nutrient oxidation, oxidative phosphorylation, ROS production, mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT), apoptosis, and mitochondrial fission and fusion. We also consider the chemistry behind these reactions and how they are modulated in mitochondria. In addition, we also discuss emerging knowledge on disorders and disease states that are associated with deregulated redox signaling in mitochondria and how mitochondria-targeted medicines can be utilized to restore mitochondrial redox signaling.
•Mitochondria are essential for various cellular processes.•Mitochondria are major sites for regulation by redox signaling.•Redox signaling regulates mitochondrial metabolism and function.•Redox signaling in mitochondria is deregulated in various disease states.
PMCID: PMC3895620  PMID: 24455476
Redox; S-glutathionylation; S-oxidation; S-nitrosylation; Mitochondria
17.  Farnesol-Induced Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species via Indirect Inhibition of the Mitochondrial Electron Transport Chain in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(17):4460-4465.
The mechanism of farnesol (FOH)-induced growth inhibition of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was studied in terms of its promotive effect on generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The level of ROS generation in FOH-treated cells increased five- to eightfold upon the initial 30-min incubation, while cells treated with other isoprenoid compounds, like geraniol, geranylgeraniol, and squalene, showed no ROS-generating response. The dependence of FOH-induced growth inhibition on such an oxidative stress was confirmed by the protection against such growth inhibition in the presence of an antioxidant such as α-tocopherol, probucol, or N-acetylcysteine. FOH could accelerate ROS generation only in cells of the wild-type grande strain, not in those of the respiration-deficient petite mutant ([rho0]), which illustrates the role of the mitochondrial electron transport chain as its origin. Among the respiratory chain inhibitors, ROS generation could be effectively eliminated with myxothiazol, which inhibits oxidation of ubiquinol to the ubisemiquinone radical by the Rieske iron-sulfur center of complex III, but not with antimycin A, an inhibitor of electron transport that is functional in further oxidation of the ubisemiquinone radical to ubiquinone in the Q cycle of complex III. Cellular oxygen consumption was inhibited immediately upon extracellular addition of FOH, whereas FOH and its possible metabolites failed to directly inhibit any oxidase activities detected with the isolated mitochondrial preparation. A protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent mechanism was suggested to exist in the inhibition of mitochondrial electron transport since FOH-induced ROS generation could be effectively eliminated with a membrane-permeable diacylglycerol analog which can activate PKC. The present study supports the idea that FOH inhibits the ability of the electron transport chain to accelerate ROS production via interference with a phosphatidylinositol type of signal.
PMCID: PMC107455  PMID: 9721283
18.  TNFα protects cardiac mitochondria independently of its cell surface receptors 
Basic research in cardiology  2010;105(6):751-762.
Our novel proposal is that TNFα exerts a direct effect on mitochondrial respiratory function in the heart, independently of its cell surface receptors. TNFα-induced cardioprotection is known to involve reactive oxygen species (ROS) and sphingolipids. We therefore further propose that this direct mitochondrial effect is mediated via ROS and sphingolipids. The protective concentration of TNFα (0.5 ng/ml) was added to isolated heart mitochondria from black 6 × 129 mice (WT) and double TNF receptor knockout mice (TNFR1&2−/−). Respiratory parameters and inner mitochondrial membrane potential were analyzed in the presence/absence of two antioxidants, N-acetyl-l-cysteine or N-tert-butyl-α-(2-sulfophenyl)nitrone or two antagonists of the sphingolipid pathway, N-oleoylethanolamine (NOE) or imipramine. In WT, TNFα reduced State 3 respiration from 279.3 ± 3 to 119.3 ± 2 (nmol O2/mg protein/min), increased proton leak from 15.7 ± 0.6% (control) to 36.6 ± 4.4%, and decreased membrane potential by 20.5 ± 3.1% compared to control groups. In TNFR1&2−/− mice, TNFα reduced State 3 respiration from 205.2 ± 4 to 75.7 ± 1 (p < 0.05 vs. respective control). In WT mice, both antioxidants added with TNFα restored State 3 respiration to 269.2 ± 2 and 257.6 ± 2, respectively. Imipramine and NOE also restored State 3 respiration to 248.4 ± 2 and 249.0 ± 2, respectively (p < 0.01 vs. TNFα alone). Similarly, both antioxidant and inhibitors of the sphingolipid pathway restored the proton leak to pre-TNF values. TNFα-treated mitochondria or isolated cardiac muscle fibers showed an increase in respiration after anoxia–reoxygenation, but this effect was lost in the presence of an antioxidant or NOE. Similar data were obtained in TNFR1&2−/− mice. TNFα exerts a protective effect on respiratory function in isolated mitochondria subjected to an anoxia–reoxygenation insult. This effect appears to be independent of its cell surface receptors, but is likely to be mediated by ROS and sphingolipids.
PMCID: PMC3414057  PMID: 20680307
Cytokines; Mitochondria; Oxygen consumption; Oxygen radicals; Sphingolipids
19.  KCNMA1 Encoded Cardiac BK Channels Afford Protection against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103402.
Mitochondrial potassium channels have been implicated in myocardial protection mediated through pre-/postconditioning. Compounds that open the Ca2+- and voltage-activated potassium channel of big-conductance (BK) have a pre-conditioning-like effect on survival of cardiomyocytes after ischemia/reperfusion injury. Recently, mitochondrial BK channels (mitoBKs) in cardiomyocytes were implicated as infarct-limiting factors that derive directly from the KCNMA1 gene encoding for canonical BKs usually present at the plasma membrane of cells. However, some studies challenged these cardio-protective roles of mitoBKs. Herein, we present electrophysiological evidence for paxilline- and NS11021-sensitive BK-mediated currents of 190 pS conductance in mitoplasts from wild-type but not BK−/− cardiomyocytes. Transmission electron microscopy of BK−/− ventricular muscles fibres showed normal ultra-structures and matrix dimension, but oxidative phosphorylation capacities at normoxia and upon re-oxygenation after anoxia were significantly attenuated in BK−/− permeabilized cardiomyocytes. In the absence of BK, post-anoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) production from cardiomyocyte mitochondria was elevated indicating that mitoBK fine-tune the oxidative state at hypoxia and re-oxygenation. Because ROS and the capacity of the myocardium for oxidative metabolism are important determinants of cellular survival, we tested BK−/− hearts for their response in an ex-vivo model of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Infarct areas, coronary flow and heart rates were not different between wild-type and BK−/− hearts upon I/R injury in the absence of ischemic pre-conditioning (IP), but differed upon IP. While the area of infarction comprised 28±3% of the area at risk in wild-type, it was increased to 58±5% in BK−/− hearts suggesting that BK mediates the beneficial effects of IP. These findings suggest that cardiac BK channels are important for proper oxidative energy supply of cardiomyocytes at normoxia and upon re-oxygenation after prolonged anoxia and that IP might indeed favor survival of the myocardium upon I/R injury in a BK-dependent mode stemming from both mitochondrial post-anoxic ROS modulation and non-mitochondrial localizations.
PMCID: PMC4114839  PMID: 25072914
20.  Mitochondrial function and redox control in the aging eye: Role of MsrA and other repair systems in cataract and macular degenerations 
Experimental eye research  2008;88(2):195-203.
Oxidative stress occurs when the level of prooxidants exceeds the level of antioxidants in cells resulting in oxidation of cellular components and consequent loss of cellular function. Oxidative stress is implicated in wide range of age related disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease and the aging process itself (Lin and Beal, 2006). In the anterior segment of the eye, oxidative stress has been linked to lens cataract (Truscott, 2005) and glaucoma (Tezel, 2006) while in the posterior segment of the eye oxidative stress has been associated with macular degeneration (Hollyfield et al., 2008). Key to many oxidative stress conditions are alterations in the efficiency of mitochondrial respiration resulting in superoxide (O2-) production. Superoxide production precedes subsequent reactions that form potentially more dangerous reactive oxygen species (ROS) species such as the hydroxyl radical (˙OH), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and peroxynitrite (OONO-). The major source of ROS in the mitochondria, and in the cell overall, is leakage of electrons from complexes I and III of the electron transport chain. It is estimated that 0.2-2% of oxygen taken up by cells is converted to ROS, through mitochondrial superoxide generation, by the mitochondria (Hansford et al., 1997). Generation of superoxide at complex I and III has been shown to occur at both the matrix side of the inner mitochondrial membrane and the cytosolic side of the membrane (Kakkar and Singh 2007). While exogenous sources of ROS such as UV light, visible light, ionizing radiation, chemotherapeutics, and environmental toxins may contribute to the oxidative milieu, mitochondria are perhaps the most significant contribution to ROS production affecting the aging process. In addition to producing ROS, mitochondria are also a target for ROS which in turn reduces mitochondrial efficiency and leads to the generation of more ROS in a vicious self-destructive cycle. Consequently, the mitochondria have evolved a number of antioxidant and key repair systems to limit the damaging potential of free oxygen radicals and to repair damaged proteins (Figure 1.0). The aging eye appears to be at considerable risk from oxidative stress. This review will outline the potential role of mitochondrial function and redox balance in age-related eye diseases, and detail how the methionine sulfoxide reductase (Msr) protein repair system and other redox systems play key roles in the function and maintenance of the aging eye.
PMCID: PMC2683477  PMID: 18588875
Mitochondria; Cataract; Macular Degeneration; Oxidative Stress; Reactive Oxygen Species; Aging; Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase
21.  Impact of Oxygen Stress and Energy Availability on Membrane Stability of Plant Cells 
Annals of Botany  2002;90(4):499-507.
This article reviews the relationship between the energy status of plant cells under O2 stress (e.g. waterlogging) and the maintenance of membrane intactness, using information largely derived from suspension cultures of anoxia‐intolerant potato cells. Energy‐related parameters measured were fermentation end‐products (ethanol, lactate, alanine), respiratory rate, ATP, adenylate energy charge, nitrate reductase activity and biomass. ATP synthesis rates were calculated from the first four parameters. Reactive oxygen species were estimated from H2O2 and superoxide levels, and the enzymatic detoxification potential from the activity levels of catalase and superoxide dismutase. Structure‐related parameters were total fatty acids, free fatty acids (FFAs), lipid hydroperoxides, total phospholipids, N‐acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) and cell viability. The following issues are addressed in this review: (1) what is the impact of anoxia on membrane lipids and how does this relate to energy status; (2) does O2 per se play a role in these changes; (3) under which conditions and to what extent does lipid peroxidation occur upon re‐aeration; and (4) can the effects of re‐aeration be distinguished from those of anoxia? The emerging picture is a reappraisal of the relative contributions of anoxia and re‐aeration. Two successive phases (pre‐lytic and lytic) characterize potato cells under anoxia. They are connected by a threshold in ATP production rate, below which membrane lipids are hydrolysed to FFAs, and NAPE increases. Since lipid peroxidation occurs only when cells are reoxygenated during the lytic phase, its biological relevance in an already damaged system is questionable.
PMCID: PMC4240373  PMID: 12324274
Acorus calamus L.; energy shortage; free fatty acids; lipid peroxidation; lipolytic acyl hydrolase; lipoxygenase; membrane intactness; N‐acylphosphatidylethanolamine; O2 stress; reactive oxygen species; Solanum tuberosum L.
22.  Brain Stem Death as the Vital Determinant for Resumption of Spontaneous Circulation after Cardiac Arrest in Rats 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e7744.
Spontaneous circulation returns to less than half of adult cardiac arrest victims who received in-hospital resuscitation. One clue for this disheartening outcome arises from the prognosis that asystole invariably takes place, after a time lag, on diagnosis of brain stem death. The designation of brain stem death as the point of no return further suggests that permanent impairment of the brain stem cardiovascular regulatory machinery precedes death. It follows that a crucial determinant for successful revival of an arrested heart is that spontaneous circulation must resume before brain stem death commences. Here, we evaluated the hypothesis that maintained functional integrity of the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), a neural substrate that is intimately related to brain stem death and central circulatory regulation, holds the key to the vital time-window between cardiac arrest and resumption of spontaneous circulation.
Methodology/Principal Findings
An animal model of brain stem death employing the pesticide mevinphos as the experimental insult in Sprague-Dawley rats was used. Intravenous administration of lethal doses of mevinphos elicited an abrupt cardiac arrest, accompanied by elevated systemic arterial pressure and anoxia, augmented neuronal excitability and enhanced microvascular perfusion in RVLM. This period represents the vital time-window between cardiac arrest and resumption of spontaneous circulation in our experimental model. Animals with restored spontaneous circulation exhibited maintained neuronal functionality in RVLM beyond this critical time-window, alongside resumption of baseline tissue oxygen and enhancement of local blood flow. Intriguingly, animals that subsequently died manifested sustained anoxia, diminished local blood flow, depressed mitochondrial electron transport activities and reduced ATP production, leading to necrotic cell death in RVLM. That amelioration of mitochondrial dysfunction and bioenergetic failure in RVLM by coenzyme Q10, the mobile electron carrier in mitochondrial respiratory chain, or oxygenation restored spontaneous circulation further established a causal relationship between functionality of RVLM and resumed spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest.
We conclude that whereas necrotic cell death because of bioenergetic failure triggered by anoxia in RVLM, which precipitates brain stem death, negates resuscitation of an arrested heart, maintained functional integrity of this neural substrate holds the key to resumption of spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest in rats.
PMCID: PMC2766834  PMID: 19888468
23.  Characterization of sub-nuclear changes in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos exposed to brief, intermediate and long-term anoxia to analyze anoxia-induced cell cycle arrest 
BMC Cell Biology  2005;6:47.
The soil nematode C. elegans survives oxygen-deprived conditions (anoxia; <.001 kPa O2) by entering into a state of suspended animation in which cell cycle progression reversibly arrests. The majority of blastomeres of embryos exposed to anoxia arrest at interphase, prophase and metaphase. The spindle checkpoint proteins SAN-1 and MDF-2 are required for embryos to survive 24 hours of anoxia. To further investigate the mechanism of cell-cycle arrest we examined and compared sub-nuclear changes such as chromatin localization pattern, post-translational modification of histone H3, spindle microtubules, and localization of the spindle checkpoint protein SAN-1 with respect to various anoxia exposure time points. To ensure analysis of embryos exposed to anoxia and not post-anoxic recovery we fixed all embryos in an anoxia glove box chamber.
Embryos exposed to brief periods to anoxia (30 minutes) contain prophase blastomeres with chromosomes in close proximity to the nuclear membrane, condensation of interphase chromatin and metaphase blastomeres with reduced spindle microtubules density. Embryos exposed to longer periods of anoxia (1–3 days) display several characteristics including interphase chromatin that is further condensed and in close proximity to the nuclear membrane, reduction in spindle structure perimeter and reduced localization of SAN-1 at the kinetochore. Additionally, we show that the spindle checkpoint protein SAN-1 is required for brief periods of anoxia-induced cell cycle arrest, thus demonstrating that this gene product is vital for early anoxia responses. In this report we suggest that the events that occur as an immediate response to brief periods of anoxia directs cell cycle arrest.
From our results we conclude that the sub-nuclear characteristics of embryos exposed to anoxia depends upon exposure time as assayed using brief (30 minutes), intermediate (6 or 12 hours) or long-term (24 or 72 hours) exposures. Analyzing these changes will lead to an understanding of the mechanisms required for initiation and maintenance of cell cycle arrest in respect to anoxia exposure time as well as order the events that occur to bring about anoxia-induced cell cycle arrest.
PMCID: PMC1343549  PMID: 16368008
24.  Oxygen and pH-sensitivity of human osteoarthritic chondrocytes in 3-D alginate bead culture system 
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage  2013;21(11):1790-1798.
To identify the effect of alterations in physical parameters such as oxygen and pH on processes associated with cellular redox balance in osteoarthritic chondrocytes.
Human osteoarthritic chondrocytes (HOAC) were isolated from total knee arthroplasty samples and cultured in 3-D alginate beads in four different oxygen tensions (<1%, 2%, 5% and 21% O2), at pH 7.2 and 6.2 and in the presence or absence of 10 ng/ml, interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Cell viability, media glycosaminoglycan (GAG) levels, media nitrate/nitrate levels, active matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13 and intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATPi) were measured over a 96-h time course. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential, intracellular pH and reduced/oxidised glutathione (GSH/GSSG) were additionally measured after 48-h incubation under these experimental conditions.
Hypoxia (2% O2) and anoxia (<1% O2), acidosis (pH 6.2) and 10 ng/ml IL-1β reduced HOAC cell viability and increased GAG media levels. Acidosis and IL-1β increased nitrite/nitrate release, but increases were moderate at 2% O2 and significantly reduced at <1% O2. ATPi was significantly reduced following hypoxia and anoxia and acidosis. At 48 h cellular ROS levels were increased by acidosis and IL-1β but reduced in hypoxia and anoxia. Mitochondrial membrane potential was reduced in low oxygen, acidosis and IL-1β. Anoxia also resulted in intracellular acidosis. GSH/GSSG ratio was reduced in low oxygen conditions, acidosis and IL-1β.
This study shows that oxygen and pH affect elements of the redox system in HOAC including cellular anti-oxidants, mitochondrial membrane potential and ROS levels.
PMCID: PMC3807787  PMID: 23850530
Hypoxia; pH; Redox imbalance; Mitochondria; Osteoarthritis
25.  Plant mitochondrial function during anaerobiosis 
Annals of Botany  2008;103(2):259-268.
Under hypoxic conditions, plant mitochondria preserve the capacity to oxidize external NADH, NADPH and tricarboxylic acid cycle substrates. Nitrite serves as an alternative electron acceptor at the level of cytochrome oxidase, with possibly complex III and the alternative oxidase also being involved. Nitric oxide is a significant product of the reaction, which has a high affinity for cytochrome c oxidase, inhibiting it. The excess NO is scavenged by hypoxically induced class 1 haemoglobin in the reaction involving ascorbate.
By using nitrite, mitochondria retain a limited capacity for ATP synthesis. NADH, produced from glycolysis during anaerobiosis and oxidized in the mitochondrial electron transport chain, should shift the composition of metabolites formed during anaerobiosis with increased conversion of pyruvate to alanine and greater involvement of other transamination reactions, such as those involving γ-aminobutyric acid formation.
Anaerobic mitochondrial metabolism may have a more significant role than previously thought in alleviating the effects of anoxia on plant cells. There is a need to re-examine mitochondrial carbon and nitrogen metabolism under anoxia to establish the extent of this involvement.
PMCID: PMC2707300  PMID: 18586697
Electron transport; haemoglobin; hypoxia; mitochondria; nitric oxide; nitrite reduction

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