Browsing by Subject "BIOGENESIS"

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  • Ligthart, Kate; Belzer, Clara; de Vos, Willem M.; Tytgat, Hanne L.P. (2020)
    Cell-surface-located proteinaceous appendages, such as flagella and fimbriae or pili, are ubiquitous in bacterial communities. Here, we focus on conserved type IV pili (T4P) produced by bacteria in the intestinal tract, one of the most densely populated human ecosystems. Computational analysis revealed that approximately 30% of known intestinal bacteria are predicted to produce T4P. To rationalize how T4P allow intestinal bacteria to interact with their environment, other microbiota members, and host cells, we review their established role in gut commensals and pathogens with respect to adherence, motility, and biofilm formation, as well as protein secretion and DNA uptake. This work indicates that T4P are widely spread among the known members of the intestinal microbiota and that their contribution to human health might be underestimated.
  • Barok, Mark; Puhka, Maija; Vereb, Gyorgy; Szollosi, Janos; Isola, Jorma; Joensuu, Heikki (2018)
    Background: Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) is an antibody-drug conjugate that carries a cytotoxic drug (DM1) to HER2-positive cancer. The target of T-DM1 (HER2) is present also on cancer-derived exosomes. We hypothesized that exosome-bound T-DM1 may contribute to the activity of T-DM1. Methods: Exosomes were isolated from the cell culture medium of HER2-positive SKBR-3 and EFM-192A breast cancer cells, HER2-positive SNU-216 gastric cancer cells, and HER2-negative MCF-7 breast cancer cells by serial centrifugations including two ultracentrifugations, and treated with T-DM1. T-DM1 not bound to exosomes was removed using HER2-coated magnetic beads. Exosome samples were analyzed by electron microscopy, flow cytometry and Western blotting. Binding of T-DM1-containing exosomes to cancer cells and T-DM1 internalization were investigated with confocal microscopy. Effects of T-DM1-containg exosomes on cancer cells were investigated with the AlamarBlue cell proliferation assay and the Caspase-Glo 3/7 caspase activation assay. Results: T-DM1 binds to exosomes derived from HER2-positive cancer cells, but not to exosomes derived from HER2-negative MCF-7 cells. HER2-positive SKBR-3 cells accumulated T-DM1 after being treated with T-DM1-containg exosomes, and treatment of SKBR-3 and EFM-192A cells with T-DM1-containing exosomes resulted in growth inhibition and activation of caspases 3 and/or 7. Conclusion: T-DM1 binds to exosomes derived from HER2-positive cancer cells, and T-DM1 may be carried to other cancer cells via exosomes leading to reduced viability of the recipient cells. The results suggest a new mechanism of action for T-DM1, mediated by exosomes derived from HER2-positive cancer.
  • Vilimova, Monika; Contrant, Maud; Randrianjafy, Ramy; Dumas, Philippe; Elbasani, Endrit; Ojala, Päivi M.; Pfeffer, Sebastien; Fender, Aurelie (2021)
    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs involved in virtually all biological processes. Although many of them are co-expressed from clusters, little is known regarding the impact of this organization on the regulation of their accumulation. In this study, we set to decipher a regulatory mechanism controlling the expression of the ten clustered pre-miRNAs from Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV). We measured in vitro the efficiency of cleavage of each individual pre-miRNA by the Microprocessor and found that pre-miR-K1 and -K3 were the most efficiently cleaved pre-miRNAs. A mutational analysis showed that, in addition to producing mature miRNAs, they are also important for the optimal expression of the whole set of miRNAs. We showed that this feature depends on the presence of a canonical pre-miRNA at this location since we could functionally replace pre-miR-K1 by a heterologous pre-miRNA. Further in vitro processing analysis suggests that the two stem-loops act in cis and that the cluster is cleaved in a sequential manner. Finally, we exploited this characteristic of the cluster to inhibit the expression of the whole set of miRNAs by targeting the premiR-K1 with LNA-based antisense oligonucleotides in cells either expressing a synthetic construct or latently infected with KSHV.
  • van der Kolk, Birgitta W.; Muniandy, Maheswary; Kaminska, Dorota; Alvarez, Marcus; Ko, Arthur; Miao, Zong; Valsesia, Armand; Langin, Dominique; Vaittinen, Maija; Paakkonen, Mirva; Jokinen, Riikka; Kaye, Sanna; Heinonen, Sini; Virtanen, Kirsi A.; Andersson, Daniel P.; Männistö, Ville; Saris, Wim H.; Astrup, Arne; Ryden, Mikael; Blaak, Ellen E.; Pajukanta, Paivi; Pihlajamaki, Jussi; Pietiläinen, Kirsi H. (2021)
    Context: Mitochondria are essential for cellular energy homeostasis, yet their role in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) during different types of weight-loss interventions remains unknown. Objective: To investigate how SAT mitochondria change following diet-induced and bariatric surgery-induced weight-loss interventions in 4 independent weight-loss studies. Methods: The DiOGenes study is a European multicenter dietary intervention with an 8-week low caloric diet (LCD; 800 kcal/d; n = 261) and 6-month weight-maintenance (n = 121) period. The Kuopio Obesity Surgery study (KOBS) is a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery study (n = 172) with a 1-year follow-up. We associated weight-loss percentage with global and 2210 mitochondria-related RNA transcripts in linear regression analysis adjusted for age and sex. We repeated these analyses in 2 studies. The Finnish CRYO study has a 6-week LCD (800-1000 kcal/d; n = 19) and a 10.5-month follow-up. The Swedish DEOSH study is a RYGB surgery study with a 2-year (n = 49) and 5-year (n = 37) follow-up. Results: Diet-induced weight loss led to a significant transcriptional downregulation of oxidative phosphorylation (DiOGenes; ingenuity pathway analysis [IPA] z-scores: -8.7 following LCD, -4.4 following weight maintenance; CRYO: IPA z-score: -5.6, all P < 0.001), while upregulation followed surgery-induced weight loss (KOBS: IPA z-score: 1.8, P < 0.001; in DEOSH: IPA z-scores: 4.0 following 2 years, 0.0 following 5 years). We confirmed an upregulated oxidative phosphorylation at the proteomics level following surgery (IPA z-score: 3.2, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Differentially regulated SAT mitochondria-related gene expressions suggest qualitative alterations between weight-loss interventions, providing insights into the potential molecular mechanistic targets for weight-loss success.
  • Kovalchuk, Andriy; Kohler, Annegret; Martin, Francis; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2015)
    Background: Transporter proteins are predicted to have an important role in the mycorrhizal symbiosis, due to the fact that this type of an interaction between plants and fungi requires a continuous nutrient and signalling exchange. ABC transporters are one of the large groups of transporter proteins found both in plants and in fungi. The crucial role of plant ABC transporters in the formation of the mycorrhizal symbiosis has been demonstrated recently. Some of the fungal ABC transporter-encoding genes are also induced during the mycorrhiza formation. However, no experimental evidences of the direct involvement of fungal ABC transporters in this process are available so far. To facilitate the identification of fungal ABC proteins with a potential role in the establishment of the mycorrhizal symbiosis, we have performed an inventory of the ABC protein-encoding genes in the genomes of 25 species of mycorrhiza-forming fungi. Results: We have identified, manually annotated and curated more than 1300 gene models of putative ABC protein-encoding genes. Out of those, more than 1000 models are predicted to encode functional proteins, whereas about 300 models represent gene fragments or putative pseudogenes. We have also performed the phylogenetic analysis of the identified sequences. The sets of ABC proteins in the mycorrhiza-forming species were compared to the related saprotrophic or plant-pathogenic fungal species. Our results demonstrate the high diversity of ABC genes in the genomes of mycorrhiza-forming fungi. Via comparison of transcriptomics data from different species, we have identified candidate groups of ABC transporters that might have a role in the process of the mycorrhiza formation. Conclusions: Results of our inventory will facilitate the identification of fungal transporters with a role in the mycorrhiza formation. We also provide the first data on ABC protein-coding genes for the phylum Glomeromycota and for orders Pezizales, Atheliales, Cantharellales and Sebacinales, contributing to the better knowledge of the diversity of this protein family within the fungal kingdom.
  • Gallego, Alicia; Mele, Marta; Balcells Ortega, Ingrid; Garcia-Ramallo, Eva; Torruella-Loran, Ignasi; Fernandez-Bellon, Hugo; Abello, Teresa; Kondova, Ivanela; Bontrop, Ronald; Hvilsom, Christina; Navarro, Arcadi; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Espinosa-Parrilla, Yolanda (2016)
    microRNAs are crucial post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression involved in a wide range of biological processes. Although microRNAs are highly conserved among species, the functional implications of existing lineage-specific changes and their role in determining differences between humans and other great apes have not been specifically addressed. We analyzed the recent evolutionary history of 1,595 human microRNAs by looking at their intra-and inter-species variation in great apes using high-coverage sequenced genomes of 82 individuals including gorillas, orangutans, bonobos, chimpanzees and humans. We explored the strength of purifying selection among microRNA regions and found that the seed and mature regions are under similar and stronger constraint than the precursor region. We further constructed a comprehensive catalogue of microRNA species-specific nucleotide substitutions among great apes and, for the first time, investigated the biological relevance that human-specific changes in microRNAs may have had in great ape evolution. Expression and functional analyses of four microRNAs (miR-299-3p, miR-503-3p, miR508-3p and miR-541-3p) revealed that lineage-specific nucleotide substitutions and changes in the length of these microRNAs alter their expression as well as the repertoires of target genes and regulatory networks. We suggest that the studied molecular changes could have modified crucial microRNA functions shaping phenotypes that, ultimately, became human-specific. Our work provides a frame to study the impact that regulatory changes may have in the recent evolution of our species.
  • Sork, Helena; Corso, Giulia; Krjutskov, Kaarel; Johansson, Henrik J.; Nordin, Joel Z.; Wiklander, Oscar P. B.; Lee, Yi Xin Fiona; Westholm, Jakub Orzechowski; Lehtiö, Janne; Wood, Matthew J. A.; Mager, Imre; El Andaloussi, Samir (2018)
    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) mediate cell-to-cell communication by delivering or displaying macromolecules to their recipient cells. While certain broad-spectrum EV effects reflect their protein cargo composition, others have been attributed to individual EV-loaded molecules such as specific miRNAs. In this work, we have investigated the contents of vesicular cargo using small RNA sequencing of cells and EVs from HEK293T, RD4, C2C12, Neuro2a and C17.2. The majority of RNA content in EVs (49-96%) corresponded to rRNA-, coding-and tRNA fragments, corroborating with our proteomic analysis of HEK293T and C2C12 EVs which showed an enrichment of ribosome and translation-related proteins. On the other hand, the overall proportion of vesicular small RNA was relatively low and variable (2-39%) and mostly comprised of miRNAs and sequences mapping to piRNA loci. Importantly, this is one of the few studies, which systematically links vesicular RNA and protein cargo of vesicles. Our data is particularly useful for future work in unravelling the biological mechanisms underlying vesicular RNA and protein sorting and serves as an important guide in developing EVs as carriers for RNA therapeutics.
  • Konovalova, Julia; Gerasymchuk, Dmytro; Arroyo, Sergio Navarette; Kluske, Sven; Mastroianni, Francesca; Pereyra, Alba Vargas; Domanskyi, Andrii (2021)
    Mesencephalic astrocyte derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) and cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) are novel evolutionary conserved trophic factors, which exhibit cytoprotective activity via negative regulation of unfolded protein response (UPR) and inflammation. Despite multiple reports demonstrating detrimental effect of MANF/CDNF downregulation, little is known about the control of their expression. miRNAs-small non-coding RNAs-are important regulators of gene expression. Their dysregulation was demonstrated in multiple pathological processes and their ability to modulate levels of other neurotrophic factors, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), was previously reported. Here, for the first time we demonstrated direct regulation of MANF and CDNF by miRNAs. Using bioinformatic tools, reporter assay and analysis of endogenous MANF and CDNF, we identified that miR-144 controls MANF expression, and miR-134 and miR-141 downregulate CDNF levels. We also demonstrated that this effect is human-specific and is executed via predicted binding sites of corresponding miRNAs. Finally, we found that miR-382 suppressed hCDNF expression indirectly. In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time direct regulation of MANF and CDNF expression by specific miRNAs, despite the fact their binding sites are not strongly evolutionary conserved. Furthermore, we demonstrate a functional effect of miR-144 mediated regulation of MANF on ER stress response markers. These findings emphasize that (1) prediction of miRNA targets based on evolutionary conservation may miss biologically meaningful regulatory pairs; and (2) interpretation of miRNA regulatory effects in animal models should be cautiously validated.
  • Saarinen, Jukka; Sõzeri, Erkan; Fraser-Miller, Sara; Peltonen, Leena; A. Santos, Helder; Isomäki, Antti; Strachan, Clare J. (2017)
    We have used coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy as a novel and rapid, label-free and non-destructive imaging method to gain structural insights into live intestinal epithelial cell cultures used for drug permeability testing. Specifically we have imaged live Caco-2 cells in (bio)pharmaceutically relevant conditions grown on membrane inserts. Imaging conditions were optimized, including evaluation of suitable membrane materials and media solutions, as well as tolerable laser powers for non-destructive imaging of the live cells. Lipid structures, in particular lipid droplets, were imaged within the cells on the insert membranes. The size of the individual lipid droplets increased substantially over the 21-day culturing period up to approximately 10% of the volume of the cross section of individual cells. Variation in lipid content has important implications for intestinal drug permeation testing during drug development but has received limited attention to date due to a lack of suitable analytical techniques. CARS microscopy was shown to be well suited for such analysis with the potential for in situ imaging of the same individual cell-cultures that are used for permeation studies. Overall, the method may be used to provide important information about cell monolayer structure to better understand drug permeation results.
  • Pelkonen, Laura; Reinisalo, Mika; Morin-Picardat, Emmanuelle; Kidron, Heidi; Urtti, Arto (2016)
    Melanosomes of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) have many vision supporting functions. Melanosome research would benefit from a method to isolate pure and characterized melanosomes. Sucrose gradient centrifugation is the most commonly used method for isolation of RPE melanosomes, but the isolated products are insufficiently characterized and their quality is unclear. Here we introduce a new gentle method for fractionation of porcine RPE that produces intact functional melanosomes with minimal cross-contamination from other cell organelles. The characterization of isolated organelles was conducted with several methods confirming the purity of the isolated melanosomal fraction (transmission electron microscopy, immunoblotting) and presence of the melanosomal membrane (fluorescence staining of melanosomal membrane, zeta potential measurement). We demonstrate that our isolation method produces RPE melanosomes with the ability to generate free phosphate (Pi) from ATP thereby proving that many membrane proteins remain functional after isolation. The isolated porcine RPE melanosomes represented V-type H(+)ATPase activity that was demonstrated with bafilomycin A1, a specific V-ATPase inhibitor. We anticipate that the isolation method described here can easily be optimized for the isolation of stage IV melanosomes from other pigmented cell types and tissues.
  • Tytgat, Hanne L. P.; Douillard, Francois P.; Reunanen, Justus; Rasinkangas, Pia; Hendrickx, Antoni P. A.; Laine, Pia K.; Paulin, Lars; Satokari, Reetta; de Vos, Willem M. (2016)
    Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) have become a major nosocomial threat. Enterococcus faecium is of special concern, as it can easily acquire new antibiotic resistances and is an excellent colonizer of the human intestinal tract. Several clinical studies have explored the potential use of beneficial bacteria to weed out opportunistic pathogens. Specifically, the widely studied Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG has been applied successfully in the context of VRE infections. Here, we provide new insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of this model probiotic on VRE decolonization. Both clinical VRE isolates and L. rhamnosus GG express pili on their cell walls, which are the key modulators of their highly efficient colonization of the intestinal mucosa. We found that one of the VRE pilus clusters shares considerable sequence similarity with the SpaCBA-SrtC1 pilus cluster of L. rhamnosus GG. Remarkable immunological and functional similarities were discovered between the mucus-binding pili of L. rhamnosus GG and those of the clinical E. faecium strain E1165, which was characterized at the genome level. Moreover, E. faecium strain E1165 bound efficiently to mucus, which may be prevented by the presence of the mucus-binding SpaC protein or antibodies against L. rhamnosus GG or SpaC. These results present experimental support for a novel probiotic mechanism, in which the mucus-binding pili of L. rhamnosus GG prevent the binding of a potential pathogen to the host. Hence, we provide a molecular basis for the further exploitation of L. rhamnosus GG and its pilins for prophylaxis and treatment of VRE infections.
  • Dichlberger, Andrea; Zhou, Kecheng; Bäck, Nils; Nyholm, Thomas; Backman, Anders; Mattjus, Peter; Ikonen, Elina; Blom, Tomas (2021)
    Lysosome Associated Protein Transmembrane 4B (LAPTM4B) is a four-membrane spanning ceramide interacting protein that regulates mTORC1 signaling. Here, we show that LAPTM4B is sorted into intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) of multivesicular endosomes (MVEs) and released in small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) into conditioned cell culture medium and human urine. Efficient sorting of LAPTM4B into ILV membranes depends on its third transmembrane domain containing a sphingolipid interaction motif (SLim). Unbiased lipidomic analysis reveals a strong enrichment of glycosphingolipids in sEVs secreted from LAPTM4B knockout cells and from cells expressing a SLim-deficient LAPTM4B mutant. The altered sphingolipid profile is accompanied by a distinct SLim-dependent co-modulation of ether lipid species. The changes in the lipid composition of sEVs derived from LAPTM4B knockout cells is reflected by an increased stability of membrane nanodomains of sEVs. These results identify LAPTM4B as a determinant of the glycosphingolipid profile and membrane properties of sEVs.
  • Tvingsholm, Siri Amanda; Hansen, Malene Bredahl; Clemmensen, Knut Kristoffer Bundgaard; Brix, Ditte Marie; Rafn, Bo; Frankel, Lisa B.; Louhimo, Riku; Moreira, Jose; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Gromova, Irina; Jäättelä, Marja; Kallunki, Tuula (2018)
    Cancer cells utilize lysosomes for invasion and metastasis. Myeloid Zinc Finger1 (MZF1) is an ErbB2-responsive transcription factor that promotes invasion of breast cancer cells via upregulation of lysosomal cathepsins B and L. Here we identify let-7 microRNA, a well-known tumor suppressor in breast cancer, as a direct negative regulator of MZF1. Analysis of primary breast cancer tissues reveals a gradual upregulation of MZF1 from normal breast epithelium to invasive ductal carcinoma and a negative correlation between several let-7 family members and MZF1 mRNA, suggesting that the inverse regulatory relationship between let-7 and MZF1 may play a role in the development of invasive breast cancer. Furthermore, we show that MZF1 regulates lysosome trafficking in ErbB2-positive breast cancer cells. In line with this, MZF1 depletion or let-7 expression inhibits invasion-promoting anterograde trafficking of lysosomes and invasion of ErbB2-expressing MCF7 spheres. The results presented here link MZF1 and let-7 to lysosomal processes in ErbB2-positive breast cancer cells that in non-cancerous cells have primarily been connected to the transcription factor EB. Identifying MZF1 and let-7 as regulators of lysosome distribution in invasive breast cancer cells, uncouples cancer-associated, invasion-promoting lysosomal alterations from normal lysosomal functions and thus opens up new possibilities for the therapeutic targeting of cancer lysosomes.
  • Santinho, Alexandre; Salo, Veijo T.; Chorlay, Aymeric; Li, Shiqian; Zhou, Xin; Omrane, Mohyeddine; Ikonen, Elina; Thiam, Abdou Rachid (2020)
    Lipid droplet (LD) biogenesis begins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) bilayer, but how the ER topology impacts this process is unclear. An early step in LD formation is nucleation, wherein free neutral lipids, mainly triacylglycerols (TGs) and sterol esters (SEs), condense into a nascent LD. How this transition occurs is poorly known. Here, we found that LDs preferably assemble at ER tubules, with higher curvature than ER sheets, independently of the LD assembly protein seipin. Indeed, the critical TG concentration required for initiating LD assembly is lower at curved versus flat membrane regions. In agreement with this finding, flat ER regions bear higher amounts of free TGs than tubular ones and present less LDs. By using an in vitro approach, we discovered that the presence of free TGs in tubules is energetically unfavorable, leading to outflow of TGs to flat membrane regions or condensation into LDs. Accordingly, in vitro LD nucleation can be achieved by the sole increase of membrane curvature. In contrast to TGs, the presence of free SEs is favored at tubules and increasing SE levels is inhibitory to the curvature-induced nucleation of TG LDs. Finally, we found that seipin is enriched at ER tubules and controls the condensation process, preventing excessive tubule-induced nucleation. The absence of seipin provokes erratic LD nucleation events determined by the abundance of ER tubules. In summary, our data indicate that membrane curvature catalyzes LD assembly.
  • Heinonen, Sini; Muniandy, Maheswary; Buzkova, Jana; Mardinoglu, Adil; Rodriguez, Amaia; Fruhbeck, Gema; Hakkarainen, Antti; Lundbom, Jesper; Lundbom, Nina; Kaprio, Jaakko; Rissanen, Aila; Pietiläinen, Kirsi H. (2017)
    Low mitochondrial activity in adipose tissue is suggested to be an underlying factor in obesity and its metabolic complications. We aimed to find out whether mitochondrial measures are downregulated in obesity also in isolated adipocytes. We studied young adult monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs discordant (n = 14, intrapair difference Delta BMI ae 3 kg/m(2)) and concordant (n = 5, Delta BMI <3 kg/m(2)) for BMI, identified from ten birth cohorts of 22- to 36-year-old Finnish twins. Abdominal body fat distribution (MRI), liver fat content (magnetic resonance spectroscopy), insulin sensitivity (OGTT), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, serum lipids and adipokines were measured. Subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue biopsies were obtained to analyse the transcriptomics patterns of the isolated adipocytes as well as of the whole adipose tissue. Mitochondrial DNA transcript levels in adipocytes were measured by quantitative real-time PCR. Western blots of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) protein levels in adipocytes were performed in obese and lean unrelated individuals. The heavier (BMI 29.9 +/- 1.0 kg/m(2)) co-twins of the discordant twin pairs had more subcutaneous, intra-abdominal and liver fat and were more insulin resistant (p <0.01 for all measures) than the lighter (24.1 +/- 0.9 kg/m(2)) co-twins. Altogether, 2538 genes in adipocytes and 2135 in adipose tissue were significantly differentially expressed (nominal p <0.05) between the co-twins. Pathway analysis of these transcripts in both isolated adipocytes and adipose tissue revealed that the heavier co-twins displayed reduced expression of genes relating to mitochondrial pathways, a result that was replicated when analysing the pathways behind the most consistently downregulated genes in the heavier co-twins (in at least 12 out of 14 pairs). Consistently upregulated genes in adipocytes were related to inflammation. We confirmed that mitochondrial DNA transcript levels (12S RNA, 16S RNA, COX1, ND5, CYTB), expression of mitochondrial ribosomal protein transcripts and a major mitochondrial regulator PGC-1 alpha (also known as PPARGC1A) were reduced in the heavier co-twins' adipocytes (p <0.05). OXPHOS protein levels of complexes I and III in adipocytes were lower in obese than in lean individuals. Subcutaneous abdominal adipocytes in obesity show global expressional downregulation of oxidative pathways, mitochondrial transcripts and OXPHOS protein levels and upregulation of inflammatory pathways. The datasets analysed and generated during the current study are available in the figshare repository.
  • Ozgur, Beytullah; Dunn, Cory D.; Sayar, Mehmet (2022)
    Proteins can be targeted to organellar membranes by using a tail anchor (TA), a stretch of hydrophobic amino acids found at the polypeptide carboxyl-terminus. The Fis1 protein (Fis1p), which promotes mitochondrial and peroxisomal division in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is targeted to those organelles by its TA. Substantial evidence suggests that Fis1p insertion into the mitochondrial outer membrane can occur without the need for a translocation machinery. However, recent findings raise the possibility that Fis1p insertion into mitochondria might be promoted by a proteinaceous complex. Here, we have performed atomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to analyze the adsorption, conformation, and orientation of the Fis1(TA). Our results support stable insertion at the mitochondrial outer membrane in a monotopic, rather than a bitopic (transmembrane), configuration. Once inserted in the monotopic orientation, unassisted transition to the bitopic orientation is expected to be blocked by the highly charged nature of the TA carboxyl-terminus and by the Fis1p cytosolic domain. Our results are consistent with a model in which Fis1p does not require a translocation machinery for insertion at mitochondria.
  • Salo, Veijo T.; Ikonen, Elina (2019)
    The formation of neutral lipid filled and phospholipid monolayer engulfed lipid droplets (LDs) from the bilayer of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an active area of investigation. This process harnesses the biophysical properties of the lipids involved and necessitates cooperation of protein machineries in both organelle membranes. Increasing evidence suggests that once formed, LDs keep close contact to the mother organelle and that this may be achieved via several, morphologically distinct and potentially functionally specialized connections. These may help LDs to dynamically respond to changes in lipid metabolic status sensed by the ER. In this review, we will discuss recent progress in understanding how LDs interact with the ER.
  • Herbers, Elena; Patrikoski, Mimmi; Jokinen, Riikka; Wagner, Anita; Hassinen, Antti; Heinonen, Sini; Miettinen, Susanna; Peltoniemi, Hilkka; Pirinen, Eija; Pietiläinen, Kirsi H. (2022)
    Mitochondrial dysfunction in white adipose tissue is strongly associated with obesity and its metabolic complications, which are important health challenges worldwide. Human adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (hASCs) are a promising tool to investigate the underlying mechanisms of such mitochondrial dysfunction and to subsequently provide knowledge for the development of treatments for obesity-related pathologies. A substantial obstacle in using hASCs is that the key compounds for adipogenic differentiation in vitro increase mitochondrial uncoupling, biogenesis, and activity, which are the signature features of brown adipocytes, thus altering the white adipocyte phenotype towards brown-like cells. Additionally, commonly used protocols for hASC adipogenic differentiation exhibit high variation in their composition of media, and a systematic comparison of their effect on mitochondria is missing. Here, we compared the five widely used adipogenic differentiation protocols for their effect on metabolic and mitochondrial phenotypes to identify a protocol that enables in vitro differentiation of white adipocytes and can more faithfully recapitulate the white adipocyte phenotype observed in human adipose tissue. We developed a workflow that included functional assays and morphological analysis of mitochondria and lipid droplets. We observed that triiodothyronine- or indomethacin-containing media and commercially available adipogenic media induced browning during in vitro differentiation of white adipocytes. However, the differentiation protocol containing 1 mu M of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma) agonist rosiglitazone prevented the browning effect and would be proposed for adipogenic differentiation protocol for hASCs to induce a white adipocyte phenotype. Preserving the white adipocyte phenotype in vitro is a crucial step for the study of obesity and associated metabolic diseases, adipose tissue pathologies, such as lipodystrophies, possible therapeutic compounds, and basic adipose tissue physiology.
  • Salo, Veijo T.; Li, Shiqian; Vihinen, Helena; Hölttä-Vuori, Maarit; Szkalisity, Abel; Horvath, Peter; Belevich, Ilya; Peränen, Johan; Thiele, Christoph; Somerharju, Pentti; Zhao, Hongxia; Santinho, Alexandre; Thiam, Abdou Rachid; Jokitalo, Eija; Ikonen, Elina (2019)
    Seipin is an oligomeric integral endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein involved in lipid droplet (LD) biogenesis. To study the role of seipin in LD formation, we relocalized it to the nuclear envelope and found that LDs formed at these new seipin-defined sites. The sites were characterized by uniform seipin-mediated ER-LD necks. At low seipin content, LDs only grew at seipin sites, and tiny, growth-incompetent LDs appeared in a Rab18-dependent manner. When seipin was removed from ER-LD contacts within 1 h, no lipid metabolic defects were observed, but LDs became heterogeneous in size. Studies in seipin-ablated cells and model membranes revealed that this heterogeneity arises via a biophysical ripening process, with triglycerides partitioning from smaller to larger LDs through droplet-bilayer contacts. These results suggest that seipin supports the formation of structurally uniform ER-LD contacts and facilitates the delivery of triglycerides from ER to LDs. This counteracts ripening-induced shrinkage of small LDs.