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  • McWilliams, Thomas G.; Prescott, Alan R.; Villarejo-Zori, Beatriz; Ball, Graeme; Boya, Patricia; Ganleya, Ian G. (2019)
    Photoreception is pivotal to our experience and perception of the natural world; hence the eye is of prime importance for most vertebrate animals to sense light. Central to visual health is mitochondrial homeostasis, and the selective autophagic turnover of mitochondria (mitophagy) is predicted to play a key role here. Despite studies that link aberrant mitophagy to ocular dysfunction, little is known about the prevalence of basal mitophagy, or its relationship to general autophagy, in the visual system. In this study, we utilize the mito-QC mouse and a closely related general macroautophagy reporter model to profile basal mitophagy and macroautophagy in the adult and developing eye. We report that ocular macroautophagy is widespread, but surprisingly mitophagy does not always follow the same pattern of occurrence. We observe low levels of mitophagy in the lens and ciliary body, in stark contrast to the high levels of general MAP1LC3-dependent macroautophagy in these regions. We uncover a striking reversal of this process in the adult retina, where mitophagy accounts for a larger degree of the macroautophagy taking place, specifically in the photoreceptor neurons of the outer nuclear layer. We also show the developmental regulation of autophagy in a variety of ocular tissues. In particular, mitophagy in the adult mouse retina is reversed in localization during the latter stages of development. Our work thus defines the landscape of mitochondrial homeostasis in the mammalian eye, and in doing so highlights the selective nature of autophagy in vivo and the specificity of the reporters used.
  • Harjumäki, Riina; Pridgeon, Chris S.; Ingelman-Sundberg, Magnus (2021)
    CYP2E1 is one of the fifty-seven cytochrome P450 genes in the human genome and is highly conserved. CYP2E1 is a unique P450 enzyme because its heme iron is constitutively in the high spin state, allowing direct reduction of, e.g., dioxygen, causing the formation of a variety of reactive oxygen species and reduction of xenobiotics to toxic products. The CYP2E1 enzyme has been the focus of scientific interest due to (i) its important endogenous function in liver homeostasis, (ii) its ability to activate procarcinogens and to convert certain drugs, e.g., paracetamol and anesthetics, to cytotoxic end products, (iii) its unique ability to effectively reduce dioxygen to radical species causing liver injury, (iv) its capability to reduce compounds, often generating radical intermediates of direct toxic or indirect immunotoxic properties and (v) its contribution to the development of alcoholic liver disease, steatosis and NASH. In this overview, we present the discovery of the enzyme and studies in humans, 3D liver systems and genetically modified mice to disclose its function and clinical relevance. Induction of the CYP2E1 enzyme either by alcohol or high-fat diet leads to increased severity of liver pathology and likelihood to develop ALD and NASH, with subsequent influence on the occurrence of hepatocellular cancer. Thus, fat-dependent induction of the enzyme might provide a link between steatosis and fibrosis in the liver. We conclude that CYP2E1 has many important physiological functions and is a key enzyme for hepatic carcinogenesis, drug toxicity and liver disease.
  • Ruiz, Mario; Bodhicharla, Rakesh; Stahlman, Marcus; Svensk, Emma; Busayavalasa, Kiran; Palmgren, Henrik; Ruhanen, Hanna; Boren, Jan; Pilon, Marc (2019)
    The human AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 proteins, as well as their C. elegans homolog PAQR-2, protect against cell membrane rigidification by exogenous saturated fatty acids by regulating phospholipid composition. Here, we show that mutations in the C. elegans gene acs-13 help to suppress the phenotypes of paqr-2 mutant worms, including their characteristic membrane fluidity defects. acs-13 encodes a homolog of the human acyl-CoA synthetase ACSL1, and localizes to the mitochondrial membrane where it likely activates long chains fatty acids for import and degradation. Using siRNA combined with lipidomics and membrane fluidity assays (FRAP and Laurdan dye staining) we further show that the human ACSL1 potentiates lipotoxicity by the saturated fatty acid palmitate: silencing ACSL1 protects against the membrane rigidifying effects of palmitate and acts as a suppressor of AdipoR2 knockdown, thus echoing the C. elegans findings. We conclude that acs-13 mutations in C. elegans and ACSL1 knockdown in human cells prevent lipotoxicity by promoting increased levels of polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing phospholipids.
  • Matilainen, Olli; Ribeiro, Ana R. S.; Verbeeren, Jens; Cetinbas, Murat; Sood, Heini; Sadreyev, Ruslan; Garcia, Susana M. D. A. (2021)
    Muscleblind-like splicing regulators (MBNLs) are RNA-binding factors that have an important role in developmental processes. Dysfunction of these factors is a key contributor of different neuromuscular degenerative disorders, including Myotonic Dystrophy type 1 (DM1). Since DM1 is a multisystemic disease characterized by symptoms resembling accelerated aging, we asked which cellular processes do MBNLs regulate that make them necessary for normal lifespan. By utilizing the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that loss of MBL-1 (the sole ortholog of mammalian MBNLs), which is known to be required for normal lifespan, shortens lifespan by decreasing the activity of p38 MAPK/PM K-1 as well as the function of transcription factors ATF-7 and SKN-1. Furthermore, we show that mitochondrial stress caused by the knockdown of mitochondrial electron transport chain components promotes the longevity of mbl-1 mutants in a partially PMK-1-dependent manner. Together, the data establish a mechanism of how DM1-associated loss of muscleblind affects lifespan. Furthermore, this study suggests that mitochondrial stress could alleviate symptoms caused by the dysfunction of muscleblind splicing factor, creating a potential approach to investigate for therapy.
  • Ajao, Charmaine; Andersson, Maria; Teplova, Vera V; Nagy, Szabolcs; Gahmberg, Carl G.; Andersson, Leif C.; Hautaniemi, Maria; Kakasi, Balazs; Roivainen, Merja; Salkinoja-Salonen, Mirja Sinikka (2015)
    Effects of triclosan (5-chloro-2’-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol) on mammalian cells were investigated using human peripheral blood mono nuclear cells (PBMC), keratinocytes (HaCaT), porcine spermatozoa and kidney tubular epithelial cells (PK-15), murine pancreatic islets (MIN-6) and neuroblastoma cells (MNA) as targets. We show that triclosan (1 – 10 μg ml-1) depolarised the mitochondria, upshifted the rate of glucose consumption in PMBC, HaCaT, PK-15 and MNA, and subsequently induced metabolic acidosis. Triclosan induced a regression of insulin producing pancreatic islets into tiny pycnotic cells and necrotic death. Short exposure to low concentrations of triclosan (30 min, ≤ 1 μg / ml) paralysed the high amplitude tail beating and progressive motility of spermatozoa, within 30 min exposure, depolarized the spermatozoan mitochondria and hyperpolarised the acrosome region of the sperm head and the flagellar fibrous sheath (distal part of the flagellum). Experiments with isolated rat liver mitochondria showed that triclosan impaired oxidative phosphorylation, downshifted ATP synthesis, uncoupled respiration and provoked excessive oxygen uptake. These exposure concentrations are 100 - 1000 fold lower that those permitted in consumer goods. The mitochondriotoxic mechanism of triclosan differs from that of valinomycin, cereulide and the enniatins by not involving potassium ionophoric activity.
  • Lampinen, Riikka; Belaya, Irina; Saveleva, Liudmila; Liddell, Jeffrey R.; Rait, Dzhessi; Huuskonen, Mikko T.; Giniatullina, Raisa; Sorvari, Annika; Soppela, Liisi; Mikhailov, Nikita; Boccuni, Isabella; Giniatullin, Rashid; Cruz-Haces, Marcela; Konovalova, Julia; Koskuvi, Marja; Domanskyi, Andrii; Hämäläinen, Riikka H.; Goldsteins, Gundars; Koistinaho, Jari; Malm, Tarja; Chew, Sweelin; Rilla, Kirsi; White, Anthony R.; Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas; Kanninen, Katja M. (2022)
    Under physiological conditions in vivo astrocytes internalize and degrade neuronal mitochondria in a process called transmitophagy. Mitophagy is widely reported to be impaired in neurodegeneration but it is unknown whether and how transmitophagy is altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here we report that the internalization of neuronal mitochondria is significantly increased in astrocytes isolated from AD mouse brains. We also demonstrate that the degradation of neuronal mitochondria by astrocytes is increased in AD mice at the age of 6 months onwards. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time a similar phenomenon between human neurons and AD astrocytes, and in murine hippocampi in vivo. The results suggest the involvement of S100a4 in impaired mitochondrial transfer between neurons and AD astrocytes together with significant increases in the mitophagy regulator and reactive oxygen species in aged AD astrocytes. These findings demonstrate altered neuronsupporting functions of AD astrocytes and provide a starting point for studying the molecular mechanisms of transmitophagy in AD.
  • Kasica, Natalia; Podlasz, Piotr; Sundvik, Maria; Tamas, Andrea; Reglodi, Dora; Kaleczyc, Jerzy (2016)
    Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a pleiotropic neuropeptide, with known antiapoptotic functions. Our previous in vitro study has demonstrated the ameliorative role of PACAP-38 in chicken hair cells under oxidative stress conditions, but its effects on living hair cells is now yet known. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate in vivo the protective role of PACAP-38 in hair cells found in zebrafish (Danio rerio) sense organs-neuromasts. To induce oxidative stress the 5-day postfertilization (dpf) zebrafish larvae were exposed to 1.5 mM H2O2 for 15 min or 1 h. This resulted in an increase in caspase-3 and p-38 MAPK level in the hair cells as well as in an impairment of the larvae basic behavior. To investigate the ameliorative role of PACAP-38, the larvae were incubated with a mixture of 1.5 mM H2O2 and 100 nM PACAP-38 following 1 h preincubation with 100 nM PACAP-38 only. PACAP-38 abilities to prevent hair cells from apoptosis were investigated. Whole-mount immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy analyses revealed that PACAP-38 treatment decreased the cleaved caspase-3 level in the hair cells, but had no influence on p-38 MAPK. The analyses of basic locomotor activity supported the protective role of PACAP-38 by demonstrating the improvement of the fish behavior after PACAP-38 treatment. In summary, our in vivo findings demonstrate that PACAP-38 protects zebrafish hair cells from oxidative stress by attenuating oxidative stress-induced apoptosis.
  • Miao, Zong; Alvarez, Marcus; Ko, Arthur; Bhagat, Yash; Rahmani, Elior; Jew, Brandon; Heinonen, Sini; Munoz-Hernandez, Linda Liliana; Herrera-Hernandez, Miguel; Aguilar-Salinas, Carlos; Tusie-Luna, Teresa; Mohlke, Karen L.; Laakso, Markku; Pietiläinen, Kirsi H.; Halperin, Eran; Pajukanta, Päivi (2020)
    Reverse causality has made it difficult to establish the causal directions between obesity and prediabetes and obesity and insulin resistance. To disentangle whether obesity causally drives prediabetes and insulin resistance already in non-diabetic individuals, we utilized the UK Biobank and METSIM cohort to perform a Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses in the non-diabetic individuals. Our results suggest that both prediabetes and systemic insulin resistance are caused by obesity (p = 1.2x10(-3)and p = 3.1x10(-24)). As obesity reflects the amount of body fat, we next studied how adipose tissue affects insulin resistance. We performed both bulk RNA-sequencing and single nucleus RNA sequencing on frozen human subcutaneous adipose biopsies to assess adipose cell-type heterogeneity and mitochondrial (MT) gene expression in insulin resistance. We discovered that the adipose MT gene expression and body fat percent are both independently associated with insulin resistance (p Author summary Obesity is a global health epidemic predisposing to type 2 diabetes (T2D) and other cardiometabolic disorders. Previous studies have shown that obesity has a causal effect on T2D; however, it remains unknown whether obesity causes prediabetes and insulin resistance already in non-diabetic individuals. By utilizing almost half a million individuals from the UK Biobank and the Finnish METSIM cohort, we identified a significant causal effect of obesity on prediabetes and insulin resistance among the non-diabetic individuals. Next, we investigated the role of subcutaneous adipose tissue in these obesogenic effects. We discovered that the adipose mitochondrial gene expression and body fat percent are independently associated with insulin resistance after adjusting for the tissue heterogeneity. For the latter, we estimated the adipose cell type proportions by utilizing single-nucleus RNA sequencing of frozen adipose tissue biopsies. Moreover, we established a prediction model to estimate insulin resistance using body fat percent and adipose RNA-sequencing data, which enlightens the importance of adipose tissue in insulin resistance and provides a helpful tool to impute the insulin resistance for existing adipose RNA-sequencing cohorts. Overall, we discover the potential causal effect of obesity on prediabetes and insulin resistance and the key role of adipose tissue in insulin resistance.
  • Salin, Janne; Ohtonen, Pasi; Andersson, Maria A.; Syrjala, Hannu (2021)
    Background: The causes and pathophysiological mechanisms of building-related symptoms (BRS) remain open. Objective: We aimed to investigate the association between teachers' individual work-related symptoms and intrinsic in vitro toxicity in classrooms. This is a further analysis of a previously published dataset. Methods: Teachers from 15 Finnish schools in Helsinki responded to the symptom survey. The boar sperm motility inhibition assay, a sensitive indicator of mitochondrial dysfunction, was used to measure the toxicity of wiped dust and cultured microbial fallout samples collected from the teachers' classrooms. Results: 231 teachers whose classroom toxicity data had been collected responded to the questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, smoking, and atopy showed that classroom dust intrinsic toxicity was statistically significantly associated with the following 12 symptoms reported by teachers (adjusted ORs in parentheses): nose stuffiness (4.1), runny nose (6.9), hoarseness (6.4), globus sensation (9.0), throat mucus (7.6), throat itching (4.4), shortness of breath (12.2), dry cough (4.7), wet eyes (12.7), hypersensitivity to sound (7.9), difficulty falling asleep (7.6), and increased need for sleep (7.7). Toxicity of cultured microbes was found to be associated with nine symptoms (adjusted ORs in parentheses): headache (2.3), nose stuffiness (2.2), nose dryness (2.2), mouth dryness (2.8), hoarseness (2.2), sore throat (2.8), throat mucus (2.3), eye discharge (10.2), and increased need for sleep (3.5). Conclusions: The toxicity of classroom dust and airborne microbes in boar sperm motility inhibition assay significantly increased teachers' risk of work-related respiratory and ocular symptoms. Potential pathophysiological mechanisms of BRS are discussed.