Aurelio Reyes

MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

Are you Aurelio Reyes?

Claim your profile

Publications (31)263.05 Total impact

  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: MGME1, also known as Ddk1 or C20orf72, is a mitochondrial exonuclease found to be involved in the processing of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) during replication. Here, we present detailed insights on the role of MGME1 in mtDNA maintenance. Upon loss of MGME1, elongated 7S DNA species accumulate owing to incomplete pro-cessing of 5 ′ ends. Moreover, an 11-kb linear mtDNA fragment spanning the entire major arc of the mitochondrial genome is generated. In contrast to control cells, where linear mtDNA molecules are detectable only after nucle-ase S1 treatment, the 11-kb fragment persists in MGME1-deficient cells. In parallel, we observed characteristic mtDNA duplications in the absence of MGME1. The fact that the breakpoints of these mtDNA rearrangements do not correspond to either classical deletions or the ends of the linear 11-kb fragment points to a role of MGME1 in processing mtDNA ends, possibly enabling their repair by homologous recombination. In agreement with its functional involvement in mtDNA maintenance, we show that MGME1 interacts with the mitochondrial replicase PolgA, suggesting that it is a constituent of the mitochondrial replisome, to which it provides an add-itional exonuclease activity. Thus, our results support the viewpoint that MGME1-mediated mtDNA processing is essential for faithful mitochondrial genome replication and might be required for intramolecular recombination of mtDNA. INTRODUCTION
    Human Molecular Genetics 07/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: MPV17 is a mitochondrial protein of unknown function, and mutations in MPV17 are associated with mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) maintenance disorders. Here we investigated its most similar relative, MPV17L2, which is also annotated as a mitochondrial protein. Mitochondrial fractionation analyses demonstrate MPV17L2 is an integral inner membrane protein, like MPV17. However, unlike MPV17, MPV17L2 is dependent on mitochondrial DNA, as it is absent from ρ(0) cells, and co-sediments on sucrose gradients with the large subunit of the mitochondrial ribosome and the monosome. Gene silencing of MPV17L2 results in marked decreases in the monosome and both subunits of the mitochondrial ribosome, leading to impaired protein synthesis in the mitochondria. Depletion of MPV17L2 also induces mitochondrial DNA aggregation. The DNA and ribosome phenotypes are linked, as in the absence of MPV17L2 proteins of the small subunit of the mitochondrial ribosome are trapped in the enlarged nucleoids, in contrast to a component of the large subunit. These findings suggest MPV17L2 contributes to the biogenesis of the mitochondrial ribosome, uniting the two subunits to create the translationally competent monosome, and provide evidence that assembly of the small subunit of the mitochondrial ribosome occurs at the nucleoid.
    Nucleic Acids Research 06/2014; · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial (mt) diseases are multisystem disorders due to mutations in nuclear or mtDNA genes. Among the latter, more than 50% are located in transfer RNA (tRNA) genes and are responsible for a wide range of syndromes, for which no effective treatment is available at present. We show that three human mt aminoacyl-tRNA syntethases, namely leucyl-, valyl-, and isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase are able to improve both viability and bioenergetic proficiency of human transmitochondrial cybrid cells carrying pathogenic mutations in the mt-tRNA(Ile) gene. Importantly, we further demonstrate that the carboxy-terminal domain of human mt leucyl-tRNA synthetase is both necessary and sufficient to improve the pathologic phenotype associated either with these "mild" mutations or with the "severe" m.3243A>G mutation in the mt-tRNA(L)(eu(UUR)) gene. Furthermore, we provide evidence that this small, non-catalytic domain is able to directly and specifically interact in vitro with human mt-tRNA(Leu(UUR)) with high affinity and stability and, with lower affinity, with mt-tRNA(Ile). Taken together, our results sustain the hypothesis that the carboxy-terminal domain of human mt leucyl-tRNA synthetase can be used to correct mt dysfunctions caused by mt-tRNA mutations.
    EMBO Molecular Medicine 01/2014; · 7.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Amino acids are essential for cell growth and proliferation for they can serve as precursors of protein synthesis, be remodelled for nucleotide and fat biosynthesis, or be burnt as fuel. Mitochondria are energy producing organelles that additionally play a central role in amino acid homeostasis. One might expect mitochondrial metabolism to be geared towards the production and preservation of amino acids when cells are deprived of an exogenous supply. On the contrary, we find that human cells respond to amino acid starvation by upregulating the amino acid-consuming processes of respiration, protein synthesis, and amino acid catabolism in the mitochondria. The increased utilization of these nutrients in the organelle is not driven primarily by energy demand, as it occurs when glucose is plentiful. Instead it is proposed that the changes in the mitochondrial metabolism complement the repression of cytosolic protein synthesis to restrict cell growth and proliferation when amino acids are limiting. Therefore, stimulating mitochondrial function might offer a means of inhibiting nutrient-demanding anabolism that drives cellular proliferation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e93597. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We describe a second primase in human cells, PrimPol, which has the ability to start DNA chains with deoxynucleotides unlike regular primases, which use exclusively ribonucleotides. Moreover, PrimPol is also a DNA polymerase tailored to bypass the most common oxidative lesions in DNA, such as abasic sites and 8-oxoguanine. Subcellular fractionation and immunodetection studies indicated that PrimPol is present in both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA compartments. PrimPol activity is detectable in mitochondrial lysates from human and mouse cells but is absent from mitochondria derived from PRIMPOL knockout mice. PRIMPOL gene silencing or ablation in human and mouse cells impaired mitochondrial DNA replication. On the basis of the synergy observed with replicative DNA polymerases Polγ and Polε, PrimPol is proposed to facilitate replication fork progression by acting as a translesion DNA polymerase or as a specific DNA primase reinitiating downstream of lesions that block synthesis during both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA replication.
    Molecular cell 10/2013; · 14.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Whole-exome sequencing and autozygosity mapping studies, independently performed in subjects with defective combined mitochondrial OXPHOS-enzyme deficiencies, identified a total of nine disease-segregating FBXL4 mutations in seven unrelated mitochondrial disease families, composed of six singletons and three siblings. All subjects manifested early-onset lactic acidemia, hypotonia, and developmental delay caused by severe encephalomyopathy consistently associated with progressive cerebral atrophy and variable involvement of the white matter, deep gray nuclei, and brainstem structures. A wide range of other multisystem features were variably seen, including dysmorphism, skeletal abnormalities, poor growth, gastrointestinal dysmotility, renal tubular acidosis, seizures, and episodic metabolic failure. Mitochondrial respiratory chain deficiency was present in muscle or fibroblasts of all tested individuals, together with markedly reduced oxygen consumption rate and hyperfragmentation of the mitochondrial network in cultured cells. In muscle and fibroblasts from several subjects, substantially decreased mtDNA content was observed. FBXL4 is a member of the F-box family of proteins, some of which are involved in phosphorylation-dependent ubiquitination and/or G protein receptor coupling. We also demonstrate that FBXL4 is targeted to mitochondria and localizes in the intermembrane space, where it participates in an approximately 400 kDa protein complex. These data strongly support a role for FBXL4 in controlling bioenergetic homeostasis and mtDNA maintenance. FBXL4 mutations are a recurrent cause of mitochondrial encephalomyopathy onset in early infancy.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The observation that long tracts of RNA are associated with replicating molecules of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) suggests that the mitochondrial genome of mammals is copied by an unorthodox mechanism. Here we show that these RNA-containing species are present in living cells and tissue, based on interstrand cross-linking. Using DNA synthesis in organello, we demonstrate that isolated mitochondria incorporate radiolabeled RNA precursors, as well as DNA precursors, into replicating DNA molecules. RNA-containing replication intermediates are chased into mature mtDNA, to which they are thus in precursor–product relationship. While a DNA chain terminator rapidly blocks the labeling of mitochondrial replication intermediates, an RNA chain terminator does not. Furthermore, processed L-strand transcripts can be recovered from gel-extracted mtDNA replication intermediates. Therefore, instead of concurrent DNA and RNA synthesis, respectively, on the leading and lagging strands, preformed processed RNA is incorporated as a provisional lagging strand during mtDNA replication. These findings indicate that RITOLS is a physiological mechanism of mtDNA replication, and that it involves a ‘bootlace' mechanism, in which processed transcripts are successively hybridized to the lagging-strand template, as the replication fork advances.
    Nucleic Acids Research 04/2013; 41(7). · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A growing number of DNA transacting proteins is found in the nucleus and in mitochondria, including the DNA repair and replication protein Flap endonuclease 1, FEN1. Here we show a truncated FEN1 isoform is generated by alternative translation initiation, exposing a mitochondrial targeting signal. The shortened form of FEN1, which we term FENMIT, localizes to mitochondria, based on import into isolated organelles, immunocytochemistry and subcellular fractionation. In vitro FENMIT binds to flap structures containing a 5' RNA flap, and prefers such substrates to single-stranded RNA. FENMIT can also bind to R-loops, and to a lesser extent to D-loops. Exposing human cells to ethidium bromide results in the generation of RNA/DNA hybrids near the origin of mitochondrial DNA replication. FENMIT is recruited to the DNA under these conditions, and is released by RNase treatment. Moreover, high levels of recombinant FENMIT expression inhibit mtDNA replication, following ethidium bromide treatment. These findings suggest FENMIT interacts with RNA/DNA hybrids in mitochondrial DNA, such as those found at the origin of replication.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e62340. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Alternative translation initiation (ATI) is a mechanism of producing multiple proteins from a single transcript, which in some cases regulates trafficking of proteins to different cellular compartments, including mitochondria. Application of a genome-wide computational screen predicts a cryptic mitochondrial targeting signal for 126 proteins in mouse and man that is revealed when an AUG codon located downstream from the canonical initiator methionine codon is used as a translation start site, which we term downstream ATI (dATI). Experimental evidence in support of dATI is provided by immunoblotting of endogenous truncated proteins enriched in mitochondrial cell fractions or of co-localization with mitochondria using immunocytochemistry. More detailed cellular localization studies establish mitochondrial targeting of a member of the cytosolic poly(A) binding protein family, PABPC5, and of the RNA/DNA helicase PIF1α. The mitochondrial isoform of PABPC5 co-immunoprecipitates with the mitochondrial poly(A) polymerase, and is markedly reduced in abundance when mitochondrial DNA and RNA are depleted, suggesting it plays a role in RNA metabolism in the organelle. Like PABPC5 and PIF1α, most of the candidates identified by the screen are not currently annotated as mitochondrial proteins, and so dATI expands the human mitochondrial proteome.
    Nucleic Acids Research 12/2012; · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • Ian J Holt, Aurelio Reyes
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Elucidation of the process of DNA replication in mitochondria is in its infancy. For many years, maintenance of the mitochondrial genome was regarded as greatly simplified compared to the nucleus. Mammalian mitochondria were reported to lack all DNA repair systems, to eschew DNA recombination, and to possess but a single DNA polymerase, polymerase γ. Polγ was said to replicate mitochondrial DNA exclusively via one mechanism, involving only two priming events and a handful of proteins. In this "strand-displacement model," leading strand DNA synthesis begins at a specific site and advances approximately two-thirds of the way around the molecule before DNA synthesis is initiated on the "lagging" strand. Although the displaced strand was long-held to be coated with protein, RNA has more recently been proposed in its place. Furthermore, mitochondrial DNA molecules with all the features of products of conventional bidirectional replication have been documented, suggesting that the process and regulation of replication in mitochondria is complex, as befits a genome that is a core factor in human health and longevity.
    Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology 11/2012; · 9.63 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Lawrence Kazak, Aurelio Reyes, Ian J Holt
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) faces the universal challenges of genome maintenance: the accurate replication, transmission and preservation of its integrity throughout the life of the organism. Although mtDNA was originally thought to lack DNA repair activity, four decades of research on mitochondria have revealed multiple mtDNA repair pathways, including base excision repair, single-strand break repair, mismatch repair and possibly homologous recombination. These mtDNA repair pathways are mediated by enzymes that are similar in activity to those operating in the nucleus, and in all cases identified so far in mammals, they are encoded by nuclear genes.
    Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 09/2012; 13(10):659-71. · 37.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial ribosomes and translation factors co-purify with mitochondrial nucleoids of human cells, based on affinity protein purification of tagged mitochondrial DNA binding proteins. Among the most frequently identified proteins were ATAD3 and prohibitin, which have been identified previously as nucleoid components, using a variety of methods. Both proteins are demonstrated to be required for mitochondrial protein synthesis in human cultured cells, and the major binding partner of ATAD3 is the mitochondrial ribosome. Altered ATAD3 expression also perturbs mtDNA maintenance and replication. These findings suggest an intimate association between nucleoids and the machinery of protein synthesis in mitochondria. ATAD3 and prohibitin are tightly associated with the mitochondrial membranes and so we propose that they support nucleic acid complexes at the inner membrane of the mitochondrion.
    Nucleic Acids Research 03/2012; 40(13):6109-21. · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The bacterial homologue of C4orf14, YqeH, has been linked to assembly of the small ribosomal subunit. Here, recombinant C4orf14 isolated from human cells, co-purified with the small, 28S subunit of the mitochondrial ribosome and the endogenous protein co-fractionated with the 28S subunit in sucrose gradients. Gene silencing of C4orf14 specifically affected components of the small subunit, leading to decreased protein synthesis in the organelle. The GTPase of C4orf14 was critical to its interaction with the 28S subunit, as was GTP. Therefore, we propose that C4orf14, with bound GTP, binds to components of the 28S subunit facilitating its assembly, and GTP hydrolysis acts as the release mechanism. C4orf14 was also found to be associated with human mitochondrial nucleoids, and C4orf14 gene silencing caused mitochondrial DNA depletion. In vitro C4orf14 is capable of binding to DNA. The association of C4orf14 with mitochondrial translation factors and the mitochondrial nucleoid suggests that the 28S subunit is assembled at the mitochondrial nucleoid, enabling the direct transfer of messenger RNA from the nucleoid to the ribosome in the organelle.
    Nucleic Acids Research 03/2012; 40(13):6097-108. · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The bacterial homologue of C4orf14, YqeH, has been linked to assembly of the small ribosomal subunit. Here, recombinant C4orf14 isolated from human cells, co-purified with the small, 28S subunit of the mitochondrial ribosome and the endogenous protein co-fractionated with the 28S subunit in sucrose gradients. Gene silencing of C4orf14 specifically affected components of the small subunit, leading to decreased protein synthesis in the organelle. The GTPase of C4orf14 was critical to its interaction with the 28S subunit, as was GTP. Therefore, we propose that C4orf14, with bound GTP, binds to components of the 28S subunit facilitating its assembly, and GTP hydrolysis acts as the release mechanism. C4orf14 was also found to be associated with human mitochondrial nucleoids, and C4orf14 gene silencing caused mitochondrial DNA depletion. In vitro C4orf14 is capable of binding to DNA. The association of C4orf14 with mitochondrial translation factors and the mitochondrial nucleoid suggests that the 28S subunit is assembled at the mitochondrial nucleoid, enabling the direct transfer of messenger RNA from the nucleoid to the ribosome in the organelle.
    Nucleic Acids Research 03/2012; · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) is localized to mitochondria, as well as the nucleus, but details about its biology and function in the organelle remain largely unknown. Here we show, using multiple approaches, that mammalian TERT is mitochondrial, co-purifying with mitochondrial nucleoids and tRNAs. We demonstrate the canonical nuclear RNA [human telomerase RNA (hTR)] is not present in human mitochondria and not required for the mitochondrial effects of telomerase, which nevertheless rely on reverse transcriptase (RT) activity. Using RNA immunoprecipitations from whole cell and in organello, we show that hTERT binds various mitochondrial RNAs, suggesting that RT activity in the organelle is reconstituted with mitochondrial RNAs. In support of this conclusion, TERT drives first strand cDNA synthesis in vitro in the absence of hTR. Finally, we demonstrate that absence of hTERT specifically in mitochondria with maintenance of its nuclear function negatively impacts the organelle. Our data indicate that mitochondrial hTERT works as a hTR-independent reverse transcriptase, and highlight that nuclear and mitochondrial telomerases have different cellular functions. The implications of these findings to both the mitochondrial and telomerase fields are discussed.
    Nucleic Acids Research 09/2011; 40(2):712-25. · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial DNA maintenance and segregation are dependent on the actin cytoskeleton in budding yeast. We found two cytoskeletal proteins among six proteins tightly associated with rat liver mitochondrial DNA: non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIA and β-actin. In human cells, transient gene silencing of MYH9 (encoding non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIA), or the closely related MYH10 gene (encoding non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIB), altered the topology and increased the copy number of mitochondrial DNA; and the latter effect was enhanced when both genes were targeted simultaneously. In contrast, genetic ablation of non-muscle myosin IIB was associated with a 60% decrease in mitochondrial DNA copy number in mouse embryonic fibroblasts, compared to control cells. Gene silencing of β-actin also affected mitochondrial DNA copy number and organization. Protease-protection experiments and iodixanol gradient analysis suggest some β-actin and non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIA reside within human mitochondria and confirm that they are associated with mitochondrial DNA. Collectively, these results strongly implicate the actomyosin cytoskeleton in mammalian mitochondrial DNA maintenance.
    Nucleic Acids Research 03/2011; 39(12):5098-108. · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate, using transmission electron microscopy and immunopurification with an antibody specific for RNA/DNA hybrid, that intact mitochondrial DNA replication intermediates are essentially duplex throughout their length but contain extensive RNA tracts on one strand. However, the extent of preservation of RNA in such molecules is highly dependent on the preparative method used. These findings strongly support the strand-coupled model of mitochondrial DNA replication involving RNA incorporation throughout the lagging strand.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 04/2010; 397(5):1144-55. · 3.91 Impact Factor
  • Mitochondrion 01/2010; 10(2):225-225. · 4.03 Impact Factor