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Special Issue "Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Ageing and Diseases"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 May 2015).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Lars Olson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: monoamine neurons, development, growth factors, regeneration, aging, transplantation in the central nervous system, models for Parkinson’s disease and its treatment, models for spinal cord injury and treatment strategies, the roles of transcription factors in the nervous system, genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, brain plasticity, memory and the Nogo signaling system
Dr. Jaime M. Ross
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: mitochondrial dysfunction, metabolism, development, models for ageing and neurodegenerative diseases and possible treatments
Dr. Giuseppe Coppotelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: protein homeostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, models for ageing and age-related diseases and treatment strategies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The past decade has witnessed an explosion of knowledge regarding how mitochondrial dysfunction may translate into ageing and disease phenotypes, as well as how it is modulated by genetic and lifestyle factors. Impairment of the mitochondria may be caused by mutations or deletions in nuclear or mitochondrial DNA. Hallmarks of mitochondrial dysfunction include decreased ATP production, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, swollen mitochondria, damaged cristae, increased oxidative stress, and decreased mitochondrial DNA copy number. In addition to energy production, mitochondria play an important role in regulating apoptosis, buffering calcium release, retrograde signaling to the nuclear genome, producing reactive oxygen species (ROS), participating in steroid synthesis, signaling to the immune system, as well as controlling the cell cycle and cell growth. Dysfunctional mitochondria have been implicated in ageing and in several diseases, many of which are age-related, including mitochondrial diseases, cancers, metabolic diseases and diabetes, inflammatory conditions, neuropathy, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease. Additionally, a possible link between mitochondrial metabolism and the ubiquitin-proteasome and autophagy-lysosome systems is emerging as a novel factor contributing to the progression of several human diseases.

This special issue calls for original research, mini and full reviews, and perspectives that address the progress and current standing in the vast field of mitochondrial biology. These include, but are not limited to:

  • ageing
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • mitochondrial diseases
  • metabolic diseases
  • protein homeostasis
  • cell/retrograde signaling
  • oxidative stress
  • pain
  • cancer
  • immune system
  • therapies to counteract mitochondrial dysfunction

Prof. Dr. Lars Olson
Dr. Jaime M. Ross
Dr. Giuseppe Coppotelli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • ageing
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • mitochondrial diseases
  • metabolic diseases
  • protein homeostasis
  • cell/retrograde signalling
  • oxidative stress
  • pain
  • cancer
  • immune system
  • therapies to counteract mitochondrial dysfunction

Published Papers (22 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Mitochondria in Ageing and Diseases: The Super Trouper of the Cell
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17050711 - 11 May 2016
Cited by 5
Abstract
The past decade has witnessed an explosion of knowledge regarding how mitochondrial dysfunction may translate into ageing and disease phenotypes, as well as how it is modulated by genetic and lifestyle factors.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Low T3 State Is Correlated with Cardiac Mitochondrial Impairments after Ischemia Reperfusion Injury: Evidence from a Proteomic Approach
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 26687-26705; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161125973 - 06 Nov 2015
Cited by 6
Abstract
Mitochondria are major determinants of cell fate in ischemia/reperfusion injury (IR) and common effectors of cardio-protective strategies in cardiac ischemic disease. Thyroid hormone homeostasis critically affects mitochondrial function and energy production. Since a low T3 state (LT3S) is frequently observed in the post [...] Read more.
Mitochondria are major determinants of cell fate in ischemia/reperfusion injury (IR) and common effectors of cardio-protective strategies in cardiac ischemic disease. Thyroid hormone homeostasis critically affects mitochondrial function and energy production. Since a low T3 state (LT3S) is frequently observed in the post infarction setting, the study was aimed to investigate the relationship between 72 h post IR T3 levels and both the cardiac function and the mitochondrial proteome in a rat model of IR. The low T3 group exhibits the most compromised cardiac performance along with the worst mitochondrial activity. Accordingly, our results show a different remodeling of the mitochondrial proteome in the presence or absence of a LT3S, with alterations in groups of proteins that play a key role in energy metabolism, quality control and regulation of cell death pathways. Overall, our findings highlight a relationship between LT3S in the early post IR and poor cardiac and mitochondrial outcomes, and suggest a potential implication of thyroid hormone in the cardio-protection and tissue remodeling in ischemic disease. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mitochondrial Optic Atrophy (OPA) 1 Processing Is Altered in Response to Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 22509-22526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160922509 - 17 Sep 2015
Cited by 17
Abstract
Perturbation of mitochondrial function and subsequent induction of cell death pathways are key hallmarks in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) injury, both in animal models and in term infants. Mitoprotective therapies therefore offer a new avenue for intervention for the babies who suffer life-long disabilities [...] Read more.
Perturbation of mitochondrial function and subsequent induction of cell death pathways are key hallmarks in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) injury, both in animal models and in term infants. Mitoprotective therapies therefore offer a new avenue for intervention for the babies who suffer life-long disabilities as a result of birth asphyxia. Here we show that after oxygen-glucose deprivation in primary neurons or in a mouse model of HI, mitochondrial protein homeostasis is altered, manifesting as a change in mitochondrial morphology and functional impairment. Furthermore we find that the mitochondrial fusion and cristae regulatory protein, OPA1, is aberrantly cleaved to shorter forms. OPA1 cleavage is normally regulated by a balanced action of the proteases Yme1L and Oma1. However, in primary neurons or after HI in vivo, protein expression of YmelL is also reduced, whereas no change is observed in Oma1 expression. Our data strongly suggest that alterations in mitochondria-shaping proteins are an early event in the pathogenesis of neonatal HI injury. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mitochondria-Derived Reactive Oxygen Species Play an Important Role in Doxorubicin-Induced Platelet Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(5), 11087-11100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160511087 - 15 May 2015
Cited by 45
Abstract
Doxorubicin (DOX) is an effective chemotherapeutic agent; however; its use is limited by some side effects; such as cardiotoxicity and thrombocytopenia. DOX-induced cardiotoxicity has been intensively investigated; however; DOX-induced thrombocytopenia has not been clearly elucidated. Here we show that DOX-induced mitochondria-mediated intrinsic apoptosis [...] Read more.
Doxorubicin (DOX) is an effective chemotherapeutic agent; however; its use is limited by some side effects; such as cardiotoxicity and thrombocytopenia. DOX-induced cardiotoxicity has been intensively investigated; however; DOX-induced thrombocytopenia has not been clearly elucidated. Here we show that DOX-induced mitochondria-mediated intrinsic apoptosis and glycoprotein (GP)Ibα shedding in platelets. DOX did not induce platelet activation; whereas; DOX obviously reduced adenosine diphosphate (ADP)- and thrombin-induced platelet aggregation; and impaired platelet adhesion on the von Willebrand factor (vWF) surface. In addition; we also show that DOX induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and mitochondrial ROS generation in a dose-dependent manner. The mitochondria-targeted ROS scavenger Mito-TEMPO blocked intracellular ROS and mitochondrial ROS generation. Furthermore; Mito-TEMPO reduced DOX-induced platelet apoptosis and GPIbα shedding. These data indicate that DOX induces platelet apoptosis; and impairs platelet function. Mitochondrial ROS play a pivotal role in DOX-induced platelet apoptosis and GPIbα shedding. Therefore; DOX-induced platelet apoptosis might contribute to DOX-triggered thrombocytopenia; and mitochondria-targeted ROS scavenger would have potential clinical utility in platelet-associated disorders involving mitochondrial oxidative damage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Abnormal Mitochondrial Function and Impaired Granulosa Cell Differentiation in Androgen Receptor Knockout Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(5), 9831-9849; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16059831 - 30 Apr 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
In the ovary, the paracrine interactions between the oocyte and surrounded granulosa cells are critical for optimal oocyte quality and embryonic development. Mice lacking the androgen receptor (AR−/−) were noted to have reduced fertility with abnormal ovarian function that might [...] Read more.
In the ovary, the paracrine interactions between the oocyte and surrounded granulosa cells are critical for optimal oocyte quality and embryonic development. Mice lacking the androgen receptor (AR−/−) were noted to have reduced fertility with abnormal ovarian function that might involve the promotion of preantral follicle growth and prevention of follicular atresia. However, the detailed mechanism of how AR in granulosa cells exerts its effects on oocyte quality is poorly understood. Comparing in vitro maturation rate of oocytes, we found oocytes collected from AR−/− mice have a significantly poor maturating rate with 60% reached metaphase II and 30% remained in germinal vesicle breakdown stage, whereas 95% of wild-type AR (AR+/+) oocytes had reached metaphase II. Interestingly, we found these AR−/− female mice also had an increased frequency of morphological alterations in the mitochondria of granulosa cells with reduced ATP generation (0.18 ± 0.02 vs. 0.29 ± 0.02 µM/mg protein; p < 0.05) and aberrant mitochondrial biogenesis. Mechanism dissection found loss of AR led to a significant decrease in the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) co-activator 1-β (PGC1-β) and its sequential downstream genes, nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF1) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), in controlling mitochondrial biogenesis. These results indicate that AR may contribute to maintain oocyte quality and fertility via controlling the signals of PGC1-β-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis in granulosa cells. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Targeting Mitochondrial Function to Treat Quiescent Tumor Cells in Solid Tumors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 27313-27326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161126020 - 13 Nov 2015
Cited by 27
Abstract
The disorganized nature of tumor vasculature results in the generation of microenvironments characterized by nutrient starvation, hypoxia and accumulation of acidic metabolites. Tumor cell populations in such areas are often slowly proliferating and thus refractory to chemotherapeutical drugs that are dependent on an [...] Read more.
The disorganized nature of tumor vasculature results in the generation of microenvironments characterized by nutrient starvation, hypoxia and accumulation of acidic metabolites. Tumor cell populations in such areas are often slowly proliferating and thus refractory to chemotherapeutical drugs that are dependent on an active cell cycle. There is an urgent need for alternative therapeutic interventions that circumvent growth dependency. The screening of drug libraries using multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS) or glucose-starved tumor cells has led to the identification of several compounds with promising therapeutic potential and that display activity on quiescent tumor cells. Interestingly, a common theme of these drug screens is the recurrent identification of agents that affect mitochondrial function. Such data suggest that, contrary to the classical Warburg view, tumor cells in nutritionally-compromised microenvironments are dependent on mitochondrial function for energy metabolism and survival. These findings suggest that mitochondria may represent an “Achilles heel” for the survival of slowly-proliferating tumor cells and suggest strategies for the development of therapy to target these cell populations. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Mitochondrial DNA in Mediating Alveolar Epithelial Cell Apoptosis and Pulmonary Fibrosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 21486-21519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160921486 - 07 Sep 2015
Cited by 34
Abstract
Convincing evidence has emerged demonstrating that impairment of mitochondrial function is critically important in regulating alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) programmed cell death (apoptosis) that may contribute to aging-related lung diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and asbestosis (pulmonary fibrosis following asbestos exposure). [...] Read more.
Convincing evidence has emerged demonstrating that impairment of mitochondrial function is critically important in regulating alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) programmed cell death (apoptosis) that may contribute to aging-related lung diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and asbestosis (pulmonary fibrosis following asbestos exposure). The mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes for 13 proteins, including several essential for oxidative phosphorylation. We review the evidence implicating that oxidative stress-induced mtDNA damage promotes AEC apoptosis and pulmonary fibrosis. We focus on the emerging role for AEC mtDNA damage repair by 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1) and mitochondrial aconitase (ACO-2) in maintaining mtDNA integrity which is important in preventing AEC apoptosis and asbestos-induced pulmonary fibrosis in a murine model. We then review recent studies linking the sirtuin (SIRT) family members, especially SIRT3, to mitochondrial integrity and mtDNA damage repair and aging. We present a conceptual model of how SIRTs modulate reactive oxygen species (ROS)-driven mitochondrial metabolism that may be important for their tumor suppressor function. The emerging insights into the pathobiology underlying AEC mtDNA damage and apoptosis is suggesting novel therapeutic targets that may prove useful for the management of age-related diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondria: A Therapeutic Target for Parkinson’s Disease?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 20704-20730; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160920704 - 01 Sep 2015
Cited by 41
Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders. The exact causes of neuronal damage are unknown, but mounting evidence indicates that mitochondrial-mediated pathways contribute to the underlying mechanisms of dopaminergic neuronal cell death both in PD patients and in PD [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders. The exact causes of neuronal damage are unknown, but mounting evidence indicates that mitochondrial-mediated pathways contribute to the underlying mechanisms of dopaminergic neuronal cell death both in PD patients and in PD animal models. Mitochondria are organized in a highly dynamic tubular network that is continuously reshaped by opposing processes of fusion and fission. Defects in either fusion or fission, leading to mitochondrial fragmentation, limit mitochondrial motility, decrease energy production and increase oxidative stress, thereby promoting cell dysfunction and death. Thus, the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics processes, such as fusion, fission and mitophagy, represents important mechanisms controlling neuronal cell fate. In this review, we summarize some of the recent evidence supporting that impairment of mitochondrial dynamics, mitophagy and mitochondrial import occurs in cellular and animal PD models and disruption of these processes is a contributing mechanism to cell death in dopaminergic neurons. We also summarize mitochondria-targeting therapeutics in models of PD, proposing that modulation of mitochondrial impairment might be beneficial for drug development toward treatment of PD. Full article
Open AccessReview
Mitochondrial Transcription Factor A and Mitochondrial Genome as Molecular Targets for Cisplatin-Based Cancer Chemotherapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 19836-19850; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160819836 - 20 Aug 2015
Cited by 10
Abstract
Mitochondria are important cellular organelles that function as control centers of the energy supply for highly proliferative cancer cells and regulate apoptosis after cancer chemotherapy. Cisplatin is one of the most important chemotherapeutic agents and a key drug in therapeutic regimens for a [...] Read more.
Mitochondria are important cellular organelles that function as control centers of the energy supply for highly proliferative cancer cells and regulate apoptosis after cancer chemotherapy. Cisplatin is one of the most important chemotherapeutic agents and a key drug in therapeutic regimens for a broad range of solid tumors. Cisplatin may directly interact with mitochondria, which can induce apoptosis. The direct interactions between cisplatin and mitochondria may account for our understanding of the clinical activity of cisplatin and development of resistance. However, the basis for the roles of mitochondria under treatment with chemotherapy is poorly understood. In this review, we present novel aspects regarding the unique characteristics of the mitochondrial genome in relation to the use of platinum-based chemotherapy and describe our recent work demonstrating the importance of the mitochondrial transcription factor A (mtTFA) expression in cancer cells. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondrial and Ubiquitin Proteasome System Dysfunction in Ageing and Disease: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 19458-19476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160819458 - 17 Aug 2015
Cited by 38
Abstract
Mitochondrial dysfunction and impairment of the ubiquitin proteasome system have been described as two hallmarks of the ageing process. Additionally, both systems have been implicated in the etiopathogenesis of many age-related diseases, particularly neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Interestingly, these [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and impairment of the ubiquitin proteasome system have been described as two hallmarks of the ageing process. Additionally, both systems have been implicated in the etiopathogenesis of many age-related diseases, particularly neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Interestingly, these two systems are closely interconnected, with the ubiquitin proteasome system maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis by regulating organelle dynamics, the proteome, and mitophagy, and mitochondrial dysfunction impairing cellular protein homeostasis by oxidative damage. Here, we review the current literature and argue that the interplay of the two systems should be considered in order to better understand the cellular dysfunction observed in ageing and age-related diseases. Such an approach may provide valuable insights into molecular mechanisms underlying the ageing process, and further discovery of treatments to counteract ageing and its associated diseases. Furthermore, we provide a hypothetical model for the heterogeneity described among individuals during ageing. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondria Retrograde Signaling and the UPRmt: Where Are We in Mammals?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 18224-18251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160818224 - 06 Aug 2015
Cited by 58
Abstract
Mitochondrial unfolded protein response is a form of retrograde signaling that contributes to ensuring the maintenance of quality control of mitochondria, allowing functional integrity of the mitochondrial proteome. When misfolded proteins or unassembled complexes accumulate beyond the folding capacity, it leads to alteration [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial unfolded protein response is a form of retrograde signaling that contributes to ensuring the maintenance of quality control of mitochondria, allowing functional integrity of the mitochondrial proteome. When misfolded proteins or unassembled complexes accumulate beyond the folding capacity, it leads to alteration of proteostasis, damages, and organelle/cell dysfunction. Extensively studied for the ER, it was recently reported that this kind of signaling for mitochondrion would also be able to communicate with the nucleus in response to impaired proteostasis. The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) is activated in response to different types and levels of stress, especially in conditions where unfolded or misfolded mitochondrial proteins accumulate and aggregate. A specific UPRmt could thus be initiated to boost folding and degradation capacity in response to unfolded and aggregated protein accumulation. Although first described in mammals, the UPRmt was mainly studied in Caenorhabditis elegans, and accumulating evidence suggests that mechanisms triggered in response to a UPRmt might be different in C. elegans and mammals. In this review, we discuss and integrate recent data from the literature to address whether the UPRmt is relevant to mitochondrial homeostasis in mammals and to analyze the putative role of integrated stress response (ISR) activation in response to the inhibition of mtDNA expression and/or accumulation of mitochondrial mis/unfolded proteins. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Genes and Pathways Involved in Adult Onset Disorders Featuring Muscle Mitochondrial DNA Instability
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 18054-18076; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160818054 - 05 Aug 2015
Cited by 12
Abstract
Replication and maintenance of mtDNA entirely relies on a set of proteins encoded by the nuclear genome, which include members of the core replicative machinery, proteins involved in the homeostasis of mitochondrial dNTPs pools or deputed to the control of mitochondrial dynamics and [...] Read more.
Replication and maintenance of mtDNA entirely relies on a set of proteins encoded by the nuclear genome, which include members of the core replicative machinery, proteins involved in the homeostasis of mitochondrial dNTPs pools or deputed to the control of mitochondrial dynamics and morphology. Mutations in their coding genes have been observed in familial and sporadic forms of pediatric and adult-onset clinical phenotypes featuring mtDNA instability. The list of defects involved in these disorders has recently expanded, including mutations in the exo-/endo-nuclease flap-processing proteins MGME1 and DNA2, supporting the notion that an enzymatic DNA repair system actively takes place in mitochondria. The results obtained in the last few years acknowledge the contribution of next-generation sequencing methods in the identification of new disease loci in small groups of patients and even single probands. Although heterogeneous, these genes can be conveniently classified according to the pathway to which they belong. The definition of the molecular and biochemical features of these pathways might be helpful for fundamental knowledge of these disorders, to accelerate genetic diagnosis of patients and the development of rational therapies. In this review, we discuss the molecular findings disclosed in adult patients with muscle pathology hallmarked by mtDNA instability. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondrial Mechanisms in Septic Cardiomyopathy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 17763-17778; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160817763 - 03 Aug 2015
Cited by 47
Abstract
Sepsis is the manifestation of the immune and inflammatory response to infection that may ultimately result in multi organ failure. Despite the therapeutic strategies that have been used up to now, sepsis and septic shock remain a leading cause of death in critically [...] Read more.
Sepsis is the manifestation of the immune and inflammatory response to infection that may ultimately result in multi organ failure. Despite the therapeutic strategies that have been used up to now, sepsis and septic shock remain a leading cause of death in critically ill patients. Myocardial dysfunction is a well-described complication of severe sepsis, also referred to as septic cardiomyopathy, which may progress to right and left ventricular pump failure. Many substances and mechanisms seem to be involved in myocardial dysfunction in sepsis, including toxins, cytokines, nitric oxide, complement activation, apoptosis and energy metabolic derangements. Nevertheless, the precise underlying molecular mechanisms as well as their significance in the pathogenesis of septic cardiomyopathy remain incompletely understood. A well-investigated abnormality in septic cardiomyopathy is mitochondrial dysfunction, which likely contributes to cardiac dysfunction by causing myocardial energy depletion. A number of mechanisms have been proposed to cause mitochondrial dysfunction in septic cardiomyopathy, although it remains controversially discussed whether some mechanisms impair mitochondrial function or serve to restore mitochondrial function. The purpose of this review is to discuss mitochondrial mechanisms that may causally contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction and/or may represent adaptive responses to mitochondrial dysfunction in septic cardiomyopathy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Treatment Strategies that Enhance the Efficacy and Selectivity of Mitochondria-Targeted Anticancer Agents
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 17394-17421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160817394 - 29 Jul 2015
Cited by 35
Abstract
Nearly a century has passed since Otto Warburg first observed high rates of aerobic glycolysis in a variety of tumor cell types and suggested that this phenomenon might be due to an impaired mitochondrial respiratory capacity in these cells. Subsequently, much has been [...] Read more.
Nearly a century has passed since Otto Warburg first observed high rates of aerobic glycolysis in a variety of tumor cell types and suggested that this phenomenon might be due to an impaired mitochondrial respiratory capacity in these cells. Subsequently, much has been written about the role of mitochondria in the initiation and/or progression of various forms of cancer, and the possibility of exploiting differences in mitochondrial structure and function between normal and malignant cells as targets for cancer chemotherapy. A number of mitochondria-targeted compounds have shown efficacy in selective cancer cell killing in pre-clinical and early clinical testing, including those that induce mitochondria permeability transition and apoptosis, metabolic inhibitors, and ROS regulators. To date, however, none has exhibited the standards for high selectivity and efficacy and low toxicity necessary to progress beyond phase III clinical trials and be used as a viable, single modality treatment option for human cancers. This review explores alternative treatment strategies that have been shown to enhance the efficacy and selectivity of mitochondria-targeted anticancer agents in vitro and in vivo, and may yet fulfill the clinical promise of exploiting the mitochondrion as a target for cancer chemotherapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Thyroid Hormone Mediated Modulation of Energy Expenditure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 16158-16175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160716158 - 16 Jul 2015
Cited by 17
Abstract
Thyroid hormone (TH) has diverse effects on mitochondria and energy expenditure (EE), generating great interest and research effort into understanding and harnessing these actions for the amelioration and treatment of metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. Direct effects on ATP utilization are [...] Read more.
Thyroid hormone (TH) has diverse effects on mitochondria and energy expenditure (EE), generating great interest and research effort into understanding and harnessing these actions for the amelioration and treatment of metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. Direct effects on ATP utilization are a result of TH’s actions on metabolic cycles and increased cell membrane ion permeability. However, the majority of TH induced EE is thought to be a result of indirect effects, which, in turn, increase capacity for EE. This review discusses the direct actions of TH on EE, and places special emphasis on the indirect actions of TH, which include mitochondrial biogenesis and reduced metabolic efficiency through mitochondrial uncoupling mechanisms. TH analogs and the metabolic actions of T2 are also discussed in the context of targeted modulation of EE. Finally, clinical correlates of TH actions on metabolism are briefly presented. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mevalonate Pathway Blockade, Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Autophagy: A Possible Link
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 16067-16084; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160716067 - 15 Jul 2015
Cited by 38
Abstract
The mevalonate pathway, crucial for cholesterol synthesis, plays a key role in multiple cellular processes. Deregulation of this pathway is also correlated with diminished protein prenylation, an important post-translational modification necessary to localize certain proteins, such as small GTPases, to membranes. Mevalonate pathway [...] Read more.
The mevalonate pathway, crucial for cholesterol synthesis, plays a key role in multiple cellular processes. Deregulation of this pathway is also correlated with diminished protein prenylation, an important post-translational modification necessary to localize certain proteins, such as small GTPases, to membranes. Mevalonate pathway blockade has been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction: especially involving lower mitochondrial membrane potential and increased release of pro-apoptotic factors in cytosol. Furthermore a severe reduction of protein prenylation has also been associated with defective autophagy, possibly causing inflammasome activation and subsequent cell death. So, it is tempting to hypothesize a mechanism in which defective autophagy fails to remove damaged mitochondria, resulting in increased cell death. This mechanism could play a significant role in Mevalonate Kinase Deficiency, an autoinflammatory disease characterized by a defect in Mevalonate Kinase, a key enzyme of the mevalonate pathway. Patients carrying mutations in the MVK gene, encoding this enzyme, show increased inflammation and lower protein prenylation levels. This review aims at analysing the correlation between mevalonate pathway defects, mitochondrial dysfunction and defective autophagy, as well as inflammation, using Mevalonate Kinase Deficiency as a model to clarify the current pathogenetic hypothesis as the basis of the disease. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress, Mitochondrial DNA Damage and Their Role in Age-Related Vascular Dysfunction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 15918-15953; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160715918 - 13 Jul 2015
Cited by 91
Abstract
The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases is significantly increased in the older population. Risk factors and predictors of future cardiovascular events such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, or diabetes are observed with higher frequency in elderly individuals. A major determinant of vascular aging is endothelial dysfunction, [...] Read more.
The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases is significantly increased in the older population. Risk factors and predictors of future cardiovascular events such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, or diabetes are observed with higher frequency in elderly individuals. A major determinant of vascular aging is endothelial dysfunction, characterized by impaired endothelium-dependent signaling processes. Increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) leads to oxidative stress, loss of nitric oxide (NO) signaling, loss of endothelial barrier function and infiltration of leukocytes to the vascular wall, explaining the low-grade inflammation characteristic for the aged vasculature. We here discuss the importance of different sources of ROS for vascular aging and their contribution to the increased cardiovascular risk in the elderly population with special emphasis on mitochondrial ROS formation and oxidative damage of mitochondrial DNA. Also the interaction (crosstalk) of mitochondria with nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases is highlighted. Current concepts of vascular aging, consequences for the development of cardiovascular events and the particular role of ROS are evaluated on the basis of cell culture experiments, animal studies and clinical trials. Present data point to a more important role of oxidative stress for the maximal healthspan (healthy aging) than for the maximal lifespan. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Borrowing Nuclear DNA Helicases to Protect Mitochondrial DNA
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(5), 10870-10887; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160510870 - 13 May 2015
Cited by 19
Abstract
In normal cells, mitochondria are the primary organelles that generate energy, which is critical for cellular metabolism. Mitochondrial dysfunction, caused by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations or an abnormal mtDNA copy number, is linked to a range of human diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, premature [...] Read more.
In normal cells, mitochondria are the primary organelles that generate energy, which is critical for cellular metabolism. Mitochondrial dysfunction, caused by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations or an abnormal mtDNA copy number, is linked to a range of human diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, premature aging‎ and cancer. mtDNA resides in the mitochondrial lumen, and its duplication requires the mtDNA replicative helicase, Twinkle. In addition to Twinkle, many DNA helicases, which are encoded by the nuclear genome and are crucial for nuclear genome integrity, are transported into the mitochondrion to also function in mtDNA replication and repair. To date, these helicases include RecQ-like helicase 4 (RECQ4), petite integration frequency 1 (PIF1), DNA replication helicase/nuclease 2 (DNA2) and suppressor of var1 3-like protein 1 (SUV3). Although the nuclear functions of some of these DNA helicases have been extensively studied, the regulation of their mitochondrial transport and the mechanisms by which they contribute to mtDNA synthesis and maintenance remain largely unknown. In this review, we attempt to summarize recent research progress on the role of mammalian DNA helicases in mitochondrial genome maintenance and the effects on mitochondria-associated diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Energetic Efficiency and Aging
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(5), 10674-10685; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160510674 - 11 May 2015
Cited by 12
Abstract
Aging is associated with a progressive loss of maximal cell functionality, and mitochondria are considered a key factor in aging process, since they determine the ATP availability in the cells. Mitochondrial performance during aging in skeletal muscle is reported to be either decreased [...] Read more.
Aging is associated with a progressive loss of maximal cell functionality, and mitochondria are considered a key factor in aging process, since they determine the ATP availability in the cells. Mitochondrial performance during aging in skeletal muscle is reported to be either decreased or unchanged. This heterogeneity of results could partly be due to the method used to assess mitochondrial performance. In addition, in skeletal muscle the mitochondrial population is heterogeneous, composed of subsarcolemmal and intermyofibrillar mitochondria. Therefore, the purpose of the present review is to summarize the results obtained on the functionality of the above mitochondrial populations during aging, taking into account that the mitochondrial performance depends on organelle number, organelle activity, and energetic efficiency of the mitochondrial machinery in synthesizing ATP from the oxidation of fuels. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondria as Key Targets of Cardioprotection in Cardiac Ischemic Disease: Role of Thyroid Hormone Triiodothyronine
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 6312-6336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16036312 - 19 Mar 2015
Cited by 21
Abstract
Ischemic heart disease is the major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Early reperfusion after acute myocardial ischemia has reduced short-term mortality, but it is also responsible for additional myocardial damage, which in the long run favors adverse cardiac remodeling and heart failure [...] Read more.
Ischemic heart disease is the major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Early reperfusion after acute myocardial ischemia has reduced short-term mortality, but it is also responsible for additional myocardial damage, which in the long run favors adverse cardiac remodeling and heart failure evolution. A growing body of experimental and clinical evidence show that the mitochondrion is an essential end effector of ischemia/ reperfusion injury and a major trigger of cell death in the acute ischemic phase (up to 48–72 h after the insult), the subacute phase (from 72 h to 7–10 days) and chronic stage (from 10–14 days to one month after the insult). As such, in recent years scientific efforts have focused on mitochondria as a target for cardioprotective strategies in ischemic heart disease and cardiomyopathy. The present review discusses recent advances in this field, with special emphasis on the emerging role of the biologically active thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3). Full article
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Open AccessReview
Autophagy as a Regulatory Component of Erythropoiesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 4083-4094; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16024083 - 13 Feb 2015
Cited by 24
Abstract
Autophagy is a process that leads to the degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components and long-lived protein aggregates. Erythropoiesis is a branch of hematopoietic differentiation by which mature red blood cells (RBCs) are generated from multi-potential hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Autophagy plays [...] Read more.
Autophagy is a process that leads to the degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components and long-lived protein aggregates. Erythropoiesis is a branch of hematopoietic differentiation by which mature red blood cells (RBCs) are generated from multi-potential hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Autophagy plays a critical role in the elimination of mitochondria, ribosomes and other organelles during erythroid terminal differentiation. Here, the modulators of autophagy that regulate erythroid differentiation were summarized, including autophagy-related (Atg) genes, the B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) family member Bcl-2/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa interacting protein 3-like (Nix/Binp3L), transcription factors globin transcription factor 1 (GATA1) and forkhead box O3 (FoxO3), intermediary factor KRAB-associated protein1 (KAP1), and other modulators, such as focal adhesion kinase family-interacting protein of 200-kDa (FIP200), Ca2+ and 15-lipoxygenase. Understanding the modulators of autophagy in erythropoiesis will benefit the autophagy research field and facilitate the prevention and treatment of autophagy-related red blood cell disorders. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Current Experience in Testing Mitochondrial Nutrients in Disorders Featuring Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunction: Rational Design of Chemoprevention Trials
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(11), 20169-20208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms151120169 - 05 Nov 2014
Cited by 10
Abstract
An extensive number of pathologies are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction (MDF) and oxidative stress (OS). Thus, mitochondrial cofactors termed “mitochondrial nutrients” (MN), such as α-lipoic acid (ALA), Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and l-carnitine (CARN) (or its derivatives) have been tested in a number of [...] Read more.
An extensive number of pathologies are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction (MDF) and oxidative stress (OS). Thus, mitochondrial cofactors termed “mitochondrial nutrients” (MN), such as α-lipoic acid (ALA), Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and l-carnitine (CARN) (or its derivatives) have been tested in a number of clinical trials, and this review is focused on the use of MN-based clinical trials. The papers reporting on MN-based clinical trials were retrieved in MedLine up to July 2014, and evaluated for the following endpoints: (a) treated diseases; (b) dosages, number of enrolled patients and duration of treatment; (c) trial success for each MN or MN combinations as reported by authors. The reports satisfying the above endpoints included total numbers of trials and frequencies of randomized, controlled studies, i.e., 81 trials testing ALA, 107 reports testing CoQ10, and 74 reports testing CARN, while only 7 reports were retrieved testing double MN associations, while no report was found testing a triple MN combination. A total of 28 reports tested MN associations with “classical” antioxidants, such as antioxidant nutrients or drugs. Combinations of MN showed better outcomes than individual MN, suggesting forthcoming clinical studies. The criteria in study design and monitoring MN-based clinical trials are discussed. Full article
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