(1/1371) Mitochondrial function is a critical determinant of IL-1-induced ERK activation.

Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a potent, proinflammatory cytokine, but local environmental factors in inflamed sites or in sepsis may affect cell metabolism and energetics, including the amplitude and duration of IL-1-induced signals, thereby leading to loss of tissue homeostasis. Currently, the mechanisms by which disruption of cell energetics affects inflammatory signaling are incompletely understood. Here, we examined the impact of cell energetics and mitochondrial function on the regulation of IL-1-induced Ca2+ signals and ERK activation in human gingival fibroblasts, cells that are important targets for IL-1-induced destruction of extracellular matrix in inflamed connective tissues. In untreated cells, IL-1 induced a prolonged increase of free intracellular calcium, which was required for ERK activation. Inhibition of cellular energetics by selective depolarization of mitochondria blocked Ca2+ uptake and almost completely abolished IL-1-induced cytosolic Ca2+ signals and ERK activation. IL-1 caused rapid Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), concomitant with mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake from ER and non-ER stores. Disruption of mitochondrial energetics abrogated IL-1 induced Ca2+ release from the ER but left other vital cellular functions intact. The negative effect of mitochondrial depolarization on ER release was bypassed by BAPTA/AM, indicating that mitochondrial Ca2+ buffering is the key mechanism in regulating ER release. Thus, in gingival fibroblasts, mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake is essential not only for shaping the kinetics and duration, but also the generation of, IL-1-induced Ca2+ signals. Consequently, mitochondria regulate key downstream effectors of IL-1, including MAP kinases.  (+info)

(2/1371) Hepatotoxicity of alcohol-induced polar retinol metabolites involves apoptosis via loss of mitochondrial membrane potential.

Chronic alcohol consumption depletes hepatic vitamin A stores. However, vitamin A supplementation is hepatotoxic, which is further potentiated by concomitant alcohol consumption. It was suggested that polar retinol metabolites generated by alcohol-inducible cytochrome P4502E1 aggravate liver damage. However, experimental evidence supporting this hypothesis is lacking. To elucidate the effects of polar retinol metabolites on cultured HepG2 cells and primary rat hepatocytes, polar retinol metabolites were extracted from liver tissues of rats fed either an alcoholic or isocaloric control Lieber-DeCarli diet. Cell toxicity assays included morphology assessment, trypan blue exclusion test, and LDH/AST leakage. Staining for DAPI and acridine orange, FACS analysis, and Western blot for cleaved caspase-9 and -3 were used to detect apoptosis. Polar retinol metabolites caused marked cytotoxicity in a concentration- and time-dependent manner in both cell types reflected by morphological changes, a dramatic increase in trypan blue positive cells, and LDH/AST leakage. Toxicity was due to apoptosis, as demonstrated by a time-dependent increase of sub-G1 cellular events, a rapid loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and a time-dependent activation of caspase-9 and -3. No toxicity was found with equivalent doses of the control extract from nonalcoholic rats. We demonstrate that polar retinol metabolites cause marked hepatocyte death through the induction of apoptosis.  (+info)

(3/1371) Mutant superoxide dismutase 1 forms aggregates in the brain mitochondrial matrix of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice.

An increasing body of evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in the pathogenesis of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis associated with "gain of function" mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). SOD1 is mostly a cytosolic protein, but a portion of SOD1 is localized in mitochondria of patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and transgenic mouse models of the disease. Despite the finding that mutant SOD1 localizes in mitochondria, the pathogenic significance of the mitochondrial mutant SOD1 remains to be elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that both wild-type and mutant human SOD1 accumulate in brain mitochondria of transgenic mice and that SOD1 displays a very complex intramitochondrial compartmentalization. For the first time, we show that, in addition to being in the mitochondrial outer membrane and intermembrane space, SOD1 is also localized in the mitochondrial matrix. Importantly, we show that aberrant SOD1 macromolecular aggregates are formed in the matrix of brain mitochondria. This suggests that mutant SOD1 in the brain mitochondrial matrix is misfolded and prone to aggregation, which may contribute to selective neuronal degeneration.  (+info)

(4/1371) Connexin 43 in cardiomyocyte mitochondria and its increase by ischemic preconditioning.

OBJECTIVE: Connexin 43 (Cx43) is involved in infarct size reduction by ischemic preconditioning (IP); the underlying mechanism of protection, however, is unknown. Since mitochondria have been proposed to be involved in IP's protection, the present study analyzed whether Cx43 is localized at mitochondria of cardiomyocytes and whether such localization is affected by IP. METHODS AND RESULTS: Western blot analysis on mitochondrial preparations isolated from rat, mouse, pig, and human hearts showed the presence of Cx43. The preparations were not contaminated with markers for other cell compartments. The localization of Cx43 to mitochondria was also confirmed by FACS sorting (double staining with MitoTracker Red and Cx43) and immuno-electron and confocal microscopy. To study the role of Cx43 in IP, mitochondria were isolated from the ischemic anterior wall (AW) and the control posterior wall (PW) of pig myocardium at the end of 90 min low-flow ischemia without (n=13) or with (n=13) a preceding preconditioning cycle of 10 min ischemia and 15 min reperfusion. With IP, the mitochondrial Cx43/adenine nucleotide transporter ratio was 3.4+/-0.7 fold greater in AW than in PW, whereas the ratio remained unchanged in non-preconditioned myocardium (1.1+/-0.2, p<0.05). The enhancement of the mitochondrial Cx43 protein level occurred rapidly, since an increase of mitochondrial Cx43 was already detected with two cycles of 5 min ischemia/reperfusion in isolated rat hearts to 262+/-63% of baseline. CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate that Cx43 is localized at cardiomyocyte mitochondria and that IP enhances such mitochondrial localization.  (+info)

(5/1371) pH-Dependent interaction of cytochrome c with mitochondrial mimetic membranes: the role of an array of positively charged amino acids.

The interaction of cytochrome c (cyt c) with mitochondrial mimetic vesicles of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine, and heart cardiolipin (PCPECL) was investigated over the 7.4-6.2 pH range by means of turbidimetry and photon correlation spectroscopy. In the presence of cyt c, the decrease of pH induced an increase in vesicle turbidity and mean diameter resulting from vesicle fusion as determined by a rapid decrease in the excimer/monomer ratio of 2-(10-(1-pyrene)-decanoyl)-phosphatidylcholine (PyPC). N-acetylated cyt c and protamine, a positively charged protein, increased vesicle turbidity in a pH-independent manner, whereas albumin did not affect PCPECL vesicle turbidity. pH-dependent turbidity kinetics revealed a role for cyt c-ionizable groups with a pK(a)((app)) of approximately 7.0. The carbethoxylation of these groups by diethylpyrocarbonate prevented cyt c-induced vesicle fusion, although cyt c association to vesicles remained unaffected. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight analysis revealed that Lys-22, Lys-27, His-33, and Lys-87 cyt c residues were the main targets for carbethoxylation performed at low pH values (<7.5). In fact, these amino acid residues belong to clusters of positively charged amino acids that lower the pK(a). Thus, at low pH, protonation of these invariant and highly conserved amino acid residues produced a second positively charged region opposite to the Lys-72 and Lys-73 region in the cyt c structure. These two opposing sites allowed two vesicles to be brought together by the same cyt c molecule for fusion. Therefore, a novel pH-dependent site associating cyt c to mitochondrial mimetic membranes was established in this study.  (+info)

(6/1371) Tissue protection mediated by mitochondrial K+ channels.

Two distinct K+ uniporters have been described in mitochondria, ATP-sensitive and Ca2+-activated. Both are capable of protecting tissues against ischemia and other forms of injury when active. These findings indicate a central role for mitochondrial K+ uptake in tissue protection. This review describes the characteristics of mitochondrial K+ uniport, physiological consequences of this transport, forms of tissue damage in which K+ channels are implicated and possible mechanisms through which protection occurs.  (+info)

(7/1371) Mitochondrial membrane permeabilization produced by PTP, Bax and apoptosis: a 1H-NMR relaxation study.

To analyze the involvement of structured water (bound to macromolecules) in apoptosis-induced mitochondrial outer-membrane permeability, we compared the dynamics of water protons from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data in apoptotic liver mitochondria with that of control mitochondria incubated in vitro with free Ca(2+) (opening of the permeability transition pore, PTP) or with Bax alpha. Our results demonstrate that water molecules in apoptotic mitochondria exhibit an accelerated translational motion of structured water common with that induced by the opening of the PTP, but limited in amplitude. On the other hand, no significant quantitative change in structured water was observed in apoptotic mitochondria, a phenomenon also observed with Bax alpha-induced permeability. We conclude that the changes observed in the different water phases differ both quantitatively and qualitatively during the opening of the PTP and the Bax alpha-induced permeability, and that the apoptotic mitochondria exhibit mixed properties between these model situations.  (+info)

(8/1371) The relevance of mitochondrial membrane topology to mitochondrial function.

This review summarizes recent findings from electron tomography about the three-dimensional shape of mitochondrial membranes and its possible influence on a range of mitochondrial functions. The inner membrane invaginations called cristae are pleomorphic, typically connected by narrow tubular junctions of variable length to the inner boundary membrane. This design may restrict intra-mitochondrial diffusion of metabolites such as ADP, and of soluble proteins such as cytochrome c. Tomographic images of a variety of mitochondria suggest that inner membrane topology reflects a balance between membrane fusion and fission. Proteins that can affect cristae morphology include tBid, which triggers cytochrome c release in apoptosis, and the dynamin-like protein Mgm1, involved in inter-mitochondrial membrane fusion. In frozen-hydrated rat-liver mitochondria, the space between the inner and outer membranes contains 10-15 nm particles that may represent macromolecular complexes involved in activities that span the two membranes.  (+info)