Mitochondrial dynamics in the regulation of nutrient utilization and energy expenditure.
ABSTRACT Mitochondrial fusion, fission, and mitophagy form an essential axis of mitochondrial quality control. However, quality control might not be the only task carried out by mitochondrial dynamics. Recent studies link mitochondrial dynamics to the balance between energy demand and nutrient supply, suggesting changes in mitochondrial architecture as a mechanism for bioenergetic adaptation to metabolic demands. By favoring either connected or fragmented architectures, mitochondrial dynamics regulates bioenergetic efficiency and energy expenditure. Placement of bioenergetic adaptation and quality control as competing tasks of mitochondrial dynamics might provide a new mechanism, linking excess nutrient environment to progressive mitochondrial dysfunction, common to age-related diseases.
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ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes is characterised by an age-related decline in insulin secretion. We previously identified a 50% age-related decline in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number in isolated human islets. The purpose of this study was to mimic this degree of mtDNA depletion in MIN6 cells to determine whether there is a direct impact on insulin secretion. Transcriptional silencing of mitochondrial transcription factor A, TFAM, decreased mtDNA levels by 40% in MIN6 cells. This level of mtDNA depletion significantly decreased mtDNA gene transcription and translation, resulting in reduced mitochondrial respiratory capacity and ATP production. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was impaired following partial mtDNA depletion, but was normalised following treatment with glibenclamide. This confirms that the deficit in the insulin secretory pathway precedes K+ channel closure, indicating that the impact of mtDNA depletion is at the level of mitochondrial respiration. In conclusion, partial mtDNA depletion to a degree comparable to that seen in aged human islets impaired mitochondrial function and directly decreased insulin secretion. Using our model of partial mtDNA depletion following targeted gene silencing of TFAM, we have managed to mimic the degree of mtDNA depletion observed in aged human islets, and have shown how this correlates with impaired insulin secretion. We therefore predict that the age-related mtDNA depletion in human islets is not simply a biomarker of the aging process, but will contribute to the age-related risk of type 2 diabetes.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115433. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ras is mutated in up to 30% of cancers, including 90% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas, causing it to be constitutively GTP-bound, and leading to activation of downstream effectors that promote a tumorigenic phenotype. As targeting Ras directly is difficult, there is a significant effort to understand the downstream biological processes that underlie its protumorigenic activity. Here, we show that expression of oncogenic Ras or direct activation of the MAPK pathway leads to increased mitochondrial fragmentation and that blocking this phenotype, through knockdown of the mitochondrial fission-mediating GTPase Drp1, inhibits tumor growth. This fission is driven by Erk2-mediated phosphorylation of Drp1 on Serine 616, and both this phosphorylation and mitochondrial fragmentation are increased in human pancreatic cancer. Finally, this phosphorylation is required for Ras-associated mitochondrial fission, and its inhibition is sufficient to block xenograft growth. Collectively, these data suggest mitochondrial fission may be a target for treating MAPK-driven malignancies.Molecular Cell 02/2015; 57(3):537-551. · 14.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Gallic acid [3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid (GA)], a natural phytochemical, is known to have a variety of cellular functions including beneficial effects on metabolic syndromes. However, the molecular mechanism by which GA exerts its beneficial effects is not known. Here we report that GA plays its role through the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and by regulating mitochondrial function via the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator1α (PGC1α). Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) knockdown significantly blunted GA's effect on PGC1α activation and downstream genes, suggesting a critical role of the AMPK/Sirt1/PGC1α pathway in GA's action. Moreover, diet-induced obese mice treated with GA showed significantly improved glucose and insulin homeostasis. In addition, the administration of GA protected diet-induced body weight gain without a change in food intake. Biochemical analyses revealed a marked activation of AMPK in the liver, muscle, and interscapular brown adipose tissue of the GA-treated mice. Moreover, uncoupling protein 1 together with other genes related to energy expenditure was significantly elevated in the interscapular brown adipose tissue. Taken together, these results indicate that GA plays its beneficial metabolic roles by activating the AMPK/Sirt1/PGC1α pathway and by changing the interscapular brown adipose tissue genes related to thermogenesis. Our study points out that targeting the activation of the AMPK/Sirt1/PGC1α pathway by GA or its derivatives might be a potential therapeutic intervention for insulin resistance in metabolic diseases.Endocrinology 10/2014; · 4.72 Impact Factor