The β-barrel protein Tom40 functions as a protein-conducting channel in the mitochondrial outer membrane. By attaching mitochondrial presequences for various mitochondrial destinations to Tom40, it is possible to follow its sorting process. The results provide insight into the mechanism for the precise delivery of β-barrel proteins to the outer membrane.
The TOM40 complex is a protein translocator in the mitochondrial outer membrane and consists of several different subunits. Among them, Tom40 is a central subunit that constitutes a protein-conducting channel by forming a β-barrel structure. To probe the nature of the assembly process of Tom40 in the outer membrane, we attached various mitochondrial presequences to Tom40 that possess sorting information for the intermembrane space (IMS), inner membrane, and matrix and would compete with the inherent Tom40 assembly process. We analyzed the mitochondrial import of those fusion proteins in vitro. Tom40 crossed the outer membrane and/or inner membrane even in the presence of various sorting signals. N-terminal anchorage of the attached presequence to the inner membrane did not prevent Tom40 from associating with the TOB/SAM complex, although it impaired its efficient release from the TOB complex in vitro but not in vivo. The IMS or matrix-targeting presequence attached to Tom40 was effective in substituting for the requirement for small Tim proteins in the IMS for the translocation of Tom40 across the outer membrane. These results provide insight into the mechanism responsible for the precise delivery of β-barrel proteins to the outer mitochondrial membrane.
There is no standard therapeutic procedure for the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with poor hepatic reserve function. With the approval of newly developed chemotherapeutic agent of miriplatin, we have firstly conducted the phase I study of CDDP powder (DDP-H) and miriplatin combination therapy and reported its safety and efficacy for treating unresectable HCC in such cases. To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) for the combination of transarterial oily chemoembolization (TOCE) and transarterial chemotherapy (TAC) using miriplatin and DDP-H for treating unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Transarterial chemotherapy using DDP-H was performed through the proper hepatic artery targeting the HCC nodules by increasing the dose of DDP-H (35–65 mg/m2) followed by targeting the HCC nodules by transarterial oily chemoembolization with miriplatin.
A total of nine patients were enrolled in this study and no DLT was observed with any dose of DDP-H in all cases in whom 80 mg (median, 18–120) miriplatin was administered. An anti-tumour efficacy rating for partial response was obtained in one patient, while a total of four patients (among eight evaluated) showed stable disease response, leading to 62.5% of disease control rate. The pharmacokinetic results showed no further increase in plasma platinum concentration following miriplatin administration.
Our results suggest that a combination of DDP-H and miriplatin can be safely administered up to their respective MTD for treating HCC.
This study was registered with the University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN-CTR000003541).
Miriplatin; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Cisplatin powder; Phase I clinical trial
AIM: To investigate the impact of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection on cellular gene expression, by conducting both in vitro and in vivo studies.
METHODS: Knockdown of HBV was targeted by stable expression of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) in huH-1 cells. Cellular gene expression was compared using a human 30K cDNA microarray in the cells and quantified by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (qRT-PCR) in the cells, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and surrounding non-cancerous liver tissues (SL).
RESULTS: The expressions of HBsAg and HBx protein were markedly suppressed in the cells and in HBx transgenic mouse liver, respectively, after introduction of shRNA. Of the 30K genes studied, 135 and 103 genes were identified as being down- and up-regulated, respectively, by at least twofold in the knockdown cells. Functional annotation revealed that 85 and 62 genes were classified into four up-regulated and five down-regulated functional categories, respectively. When gene expression levels were compared between HCC and SL, eight candidate genes that were confirmed to be up- or down-regulated in the knockdown cells by both microarray and qRT-PCR analyses were not expressed as expected from HBV reduction in HCC, but had similar expression patterns in HBV- and hepatitis C virus-associated cases. In contrast, among the eight genes, only APM2 was constantly repressed in HBV non-associated tissues irrespective of HCC or SL.
CONCLUSION: The signature of cellular gene expression should provide new information regarding the pathophysiological mechanisms of persistent hepatitis and hepatocarcinogenesis that are associated with HBV infection.
Hepatitis B virus; Differential gene expression; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Gene expression signature; Adipose most abundant 2
The identification of early mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and associated biomarkers could advance development of new therapies and improve monitoring and predicting of AD progression. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been suggested to underlie AD pathophysiology, however, no comprehensive study exists that evaluates the effect of different familial AD (FAD) mutations on mitochondrial function, dynamics, and brain energetics.
Methods and Findings
We characterized early mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolomic signatures of energetic stress in three commonly used transgenic mouse models of FAD. Assessment of mitochondrial motility, distribution, dynamics, morphology, and metabolomic profiling revealed the specific effect of each FAD mutation on the development of mitochondrial stress and dysfunction. Inhibition of mitochondrial trafficking was characteristic for embryonic neurons from mice expressing mutant human presenilin 1, PS1(M146L) and the double mutation of human amyloid precursor protein APP(Tg2576) and PS1(M146L) contributing to the increased susceptibility of neurons to excitotoxic cell death. Significant changes in mitochondrial morphology were detected in APP and APP/PS1 mice. All three FAD models demonstrated a loss of the integrity of synaptic mitochondria and energy production. Metabolomic profiling revealed mutation-specific changes in the levels of metabolites reflecting altered energy metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction in brains of FAD mice. Metabolic biomarkers adequately reflected gender differences similar to that reported for AD patients and correlated well with the biomarkers currently used for diagnosis in humans.
Mutation-specific alterations in mitochondrial dynamics, morphology and function in FAD mice occurred prior to the onset of memory and neurological phenotype and before the formation of amyloid deposits. Metabolomic signatures of mitochondrial stress and altered energy metabolism indicated alterations in nucleotide, Krebs cycle, energy transfer, carbohydrate, neurotransmitter, and amino acid metabolic pathways. Mitochondrial dysfunction, therefore, is an underlying event in AD progression, and FAD mouse models provide valuable tools to study early molecular mechanisms implicated in AD.
The physiological function of Opa1, a dynamin-related GTPase required for mitochondrial fusion, is described in glucose-stimulated ATP production in pancreatic beta cells.
Previous studies using in vitro cell culture systems have shown the role of the dynamin-related GTPase Opa1 in apoptosis prevention and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) maintenance. However, it remains to be tested whether these functions of Opa1 are physiologically important in vivo in mammals. Here, using the Cre-loxP system, we deleted mouse Opa1 in pancreatic beta cells, in which glucose-stimulated ATP production in mitochondria plays a key role in insulin secretion. Beta cells lacking Opa1 maintained normal copy numbers of mtDNA; however, the amount and activity of electron transport chain complex IV were significantly decreased, leading to impaired glucose-stimulated ATP production and insulin secretion. In addition, in Opa1-null beta cells, cell proliferation was impaired, whereas apoptosis was not promoted. Consequently, mice lacking Opa1 in beta cells develop hyperglycemia. The data suggest that the function of Opa1 in the maintenance of the electron transport chain is physiologically relevant in beta cells.
AIM: To reveal the manner of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) focusing on multicentric occurrence (MO) of HCC.
METHODS: We compared clinicopathological characteristics between patients with and without MO of HCC arising from NASH background. The clinical features were implicated with reference to the literature available.
RESULTS: MO of HCC was identified with histological proof in 4 out of 12 patients with NASH-related HCC (2 males and 2 females). One patient had synchronous MO; an advanced HCC, two well-differentiated HCCs and a dysplastic nodule, followed by the development of metachronous MO of HCC. The other three patients had multiple advanced HCCs accompanied by a well-differentiated HCC or a dysplastic nodule. Of these three patients, one had synchronous MO, one had metachronous MO and the other had both synchronous and metachronous MO. There were no obvious differences between the patients with or without MO in terms of liver function tests, tumor markers and anatomical extent of HCC. On the other hand, all four patients with MO of HCC were older than 70 years old and had the comorbidities of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension and cirrhosis. Although these conditions were not limited to MO of HCC, all the conditions were met in only one of eight patients without MO of HCC. Thus, concurrence of these conditions may be a predisposing situation to synchronous MO of HCC. In particular, old age, T2DM and cirrhosis were suggested to be prerequisite for MO because these factors were depicted in common among two other cases with MO of HCC under NASH in the literature.
CONCLUSION: The putative predisposing factors and necessary preconditions for synchronous MO of HCC in NASH were suggested in this study. Further investigations are required to clarify the accurate prevalence and predictors of MO to establish better strategies for treatment and prevention leading to the prognostic improvement in NASH.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Multicentric occurrence
AIM: To investigate whether a noninvasive measurement of tissue strain has a potential usefulness for management of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
METHODS: In total 26 patients, 23 NASHs and 3 normal controls were enrolled in this study. NASH was staged based on Brunt criterion. At a region of interest (ROI), a shear wave was evoked by implementing an acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI), and the propagation velocity was quantified.
RESULTS: Shear wave velocity (SWV) could be reproducibly quantified at all ROIs in all subjects except for 4 NASH cases, in which a reliable SWV value was not calculated at several ROIs. An average SWV of 1.34 ± 0.26 m/s in fibrous stage 0-1 was significantly slower than 2.20 ± 0.74 m/s and 2.90 ± 1.01 m/s in stages 3 and 4, respectively, but was not significantly different from 1.79 ± 0.78 m/s in stage 2. When a cutoff value was set at 1.47 m/s, receiver operating characteristic analysis showed significance to dissociate stages 3 and 4 from stage 0-1 (P = 0.0092) with sensitivity, specificity and area under curve of 100%, 75% and 94.2%, respectively. In addition, the correlation between SWV and hyaluronic acid was significant (P < 0.0001), while a tendency toward negative correlation was observed with serum albumin (P = 0.053).
CONCLUSION: The clinical implementation of ARFI provides noninvasive repeated evaluations of liver stiffness at an arbitrary position, which has the potential to shed new light on NASH management.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Ultrasound; Liver stiffness measurement; Shear wave velocity; Acoustic radiation force impulse
Brain-specific Drp1 knockout mice demonstrate that Drp1-mediated organelle division is important for development, mitochondrial morphogenesis, and apoptosis.
The dynamin-related guanosine triphosphatase Drp1 mediates the division of mitochondria and peroxisomes. To understand the in vivo function of Drp1, complete and tissue-specific mouse knockouts of Drp1 were generated. Drp1-null mice die by embryonic day 11.5. This embryonic lethality is not likely caused by gross energy deprivation, as Drp1-null cells showed normal intracellular adenosine triphosphate levels. In support of the role of Drp1 in organelle division, mitochondria formed extensive networks, and peroxisomes were elongated in Drp1-null embryonic fibroblasts. Brain-specific Drp1 ablation caused developmental defects of the cerebellum in which Purkinje cells contained few giant mitochondria instead of the many short tubular mitochondria observed in control cells. In addition, Drp1-null embryos failed to undergo developmentally regulated apoptosis during neural tube formation in vivo. However, Drp1-null embryonic fibroblasts have normal responses to apoptotic stimuli in vitro, suggesting that the apoptotic function of Drp1 depends on physiological cues. These findings clearly demonstrate the physiological importance of Drp1-mediated organelle division in mice.
Cardiolipin, a unique phospholipid composed of four fatty acid chains, is located mainly in the mitochondrial inner membrane (IM). Cardiolipin is required for the integrity of several protein complexes in the IM, including the TIM23 translocase, a dynamic complex which mediates protein import into the mitochondria through interactions with the import motor presequence translocase–associated motor (PAM). In this study, we report that two homologous intermembrane space proteins, Ups1p and Ups2p, control cardiolipin metabolism and affect the assembly state of TIM23 and its association with PAM in an opposing manner. In ups1Δ mitochondria, cardiolipin levels were decreased, and the TIM23 translocase showed altered conformation and decreased association with PAM, leading to defects in mitochondrial protein import. Strikingly, loss of Ups2p restored normal cardiolipin levels and rescued TIM23 defects in ups1Δ mitochondria. Furthermore, we observed synthetic growth defects in ups mutants in combination with loss of Pam17p, which controls the integrity of PAM. Our findings provide a novel molecular mechanism for the regulation of cardiolipin metabolism.
Mitochondrial protein traffic requires coordinated operation of protein translocator complexes in the mitochondrial membrane. The TIM23 complex translocates and inserts proteins into the mitochondrial inner membrane. Here we analyze the intermembrane space (IMS) domains of Tim23 and Tim50, which are essential subunits of the TIM23 complex, in these functions. We find that interactions of Tim23 and Tim50 in the IMS facilitate transfer of precursor proteins from the TOM40 complex, a general protein translocator in the outer membrane, to the TIM23 complex. Tim23–Tim50 interactions also facilitate a late step of protein translocation across the inner membrane by promoting motor functions of mitochondrial Hsp70 in the matrix. Therefore, the Tim23–Tim50 pair coordinates the actions of the TOM40 and TIM23 complexes together with motor proteins for mitochondrial protein import.
By screening yeast knockouts for their dependence upon the mitochondrial genome, we identified Mgr3p, a protein that associates with the i-AAA protease complex in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Mgr3p and Mgr1p, another i-AAA-interacting protein, form a subcomplex that bind to the i-AAA subunit Yme1p. We find that loss of Mgr3p, like the lack of Mgr1p, reduces proteolysis by Yme1p. Mgr3p and Mgr1p can bind substrate even in the absence of Yme1p, and both proteins are needed for maximal binding of an unfolded substrate by the i-AAA complex. We speculate that Mgr3p and Mgr1p function in an adaptor complex that targets substrates to the i-AAA protease for degradation.
Newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins are imported into mitochondria with the aid of protein translocator complexes in the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes. We report the identification of yeast Tam41, a new member of mitochondrial protein translocator systems. Tam41 is a peripheral inner mitochondrial membrane protein facing the matrix. Disruption of the TAM41 gene led to temperature-sensitive growth of yeast cells and resulted in defects in protein import via the TIM23 translocator complex at elevated temperature both in vivo and in vitro. Although Tam41 is not a constituent of the TIM23 complex, depletion of Tam41 led to a decreased molecular size of the TIM23 complex and partial aggregation of Pam18 and -16. Import of Pam16 into mitochondria without Tam41 was retarded, and the imported Pam16 formed aggregates in vitro. These results suggest that Tam41 facilitates mitochondrial protein import by maintaining the functional integrity of the TIM23 protein translocator complex from the matrix side of the inner membrane.
Mitochondrial outer and inner membranes contain translocators that achieve protein translocation across and/or insertion into the membranes. Recent evidence has shown that mitochondrial β-barrel protein assembly in the outer membrane requires specific translocator proteins in addition to the components of the general translocator complex in the outer membrane, the TOM40 complex. Here we report two novel mitochondrial outer membrane proteins in yeast, Tom13 and Tom38/Sam35, that mediate assembly of mitochondrial β-barrel proteins, Tom40, and/or porin in the outer membrane. Depletion of Tom13 or Tom38/Sam35 affects assembly pathways of the β-barrel proteins differently, suggesting that they mediate different steps of the complex assembly processes of β-barrel proteins in the outer membrane.
mitochondria; protein import; membrane protein assembly; yeast; translocator