Mitochondria shape influences autoimmune disorders: study

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

September 29, 2022 -- The shape and function of the immune system’s Th17 mitochondria play a key role in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as multiple sclerosis, new research suggests.

Scientists from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore identified several avenues for trying to influence T-cell behavior with the goal of diminishing their autoimmune activity. In their study, among three main T effector cell types, only Th17 cells had elongated mitochondria, which is strange because elongated mitochondria are usually seen in resting cells and not in activated cells, the authors said (Nature, September 28, 2022).

They knew the OPA1 gene regulates mitochondrial fusion, but what happens when the gene is deleted? The mitochondria reverted to a more fragmented size and shape. However, the cells also stopped producing the signaling molecule interleukin-17 (IL-17). In animal studies, deleting the OPA1 gene stopped IL-17 production and abated disease symptoms.

However, OPA1 deletion did not affect energy production and a central biochemical process occurring in the mitochondria was altered, causing buildup of a metabolite known to influence DNA and the cell's transcriptional program. The molecule dampened the ability of the cell to read its DNA, and consequently, IL-17 was no longer produced, they found.

In cells missing OPA1, the researchers discovered a large increase in the activated form of the protein LKB1, a metabolic sensor that regulates cellular metabolism, cell division, and mitochondrial function. When both OPA1 and LKB1 were deleted, IL-17 production was restored and the mitochondrial processes returned to normal.

Mutated mitochondrial microprotein linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s
University of Southern California researchers have linked a mitochondrial DNA variant to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, pointing to a new way...
Scientists decrease IBD inflammation with specific protein
How a set of molecules interact with each other in gut immune cells could prevent the inflammation seen in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), according...
Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to premature aging, disease: study
University at Buffalo researchers, and collaborators from other institutions, contend in a new paper that they have revealed for the first time the connection...
Link between genes, mitochondrial DNA reveals way to tackle cardiovascular disease
The discovery of a link between mitochondria, inflammation, and a pair of genes that help regulate blood cell growth has revealed a potential new target...

Copyright © 2022 scienceboard.net


Conferences
Cell Bio 2022
December 3-7
District of Columbia United States
Connect
Science Advisory Board on LinkedIn
Science Advisory Board on Facebook
Science Advisory Board on Twitter