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09/11/2016 | Nature   IF 41.6
A cannabinoid link between mitochondria and memory.
Hebert-Chatelain E, Desprez T, Serrat R, Bellocchio L, Soria-Gomez E, Busquets-Garcia A, Zottola AC, Delamarre A, Cannich A, Vincent P, Varilh M, Robin LM, Terral G, Garcia-Fernandez MD, Colavita M, Mazier W, Drago F, Puente N, Reguero L, Elezgarai I, Dupuy JW, Cota D, Lopez-Rodriguez ML, Barreda-Gomez G, Massa F, Grandes P, Benard G, Marsicano G

Cellular activity in the brain depends on the high energetic support provided by mitochondria, the cell organelles which use energy sources to generate ATP. Acute cannabinoid intoxication induces amnesia in humans and animals, and the activation of type-1 cannabinoid receptors present at brain mitochondria membranes (mtCB1) can directly alter mitochondrial energetic activity. Although the pathological impact of chronic mitochondrial dysfunctions in the brain is well established, the involvement of acute modulation of mitochondrial activity in high brain functions, including learning and memory, is unknown. Here, we show that acute cannabinoid-induced memory impairment in mice requires activation of hippocampal mtCB1 receptors. Genetic exclusion of CB1 receptors from hippocampal mitochondria prevents cannabinoid-induced reduction of mitochondrial mobility, synaptic transmission and memory formation. mtCB1 receptors signal through intra-mitochondrial Galphai protein activation and consequent inhibition of soluble-adenylyl cyclase (sAC). The resulting inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent phosphorylation of specific subunits of the mitochondrial electron transport system eventually leads to decreased cellular respiration. Hippocampal inhibition of sAC activity or manipulation of intra-mitochondrial PKA signalling or phosphorylation of the Complex I subunit NDUFS2 inhibit bioenergetic and amnesic effects of cannabinoids. Thus, the G protein-coupled mtCB1 receptors regulate memory processes via modulation of mitochondrial energy metabolism. By directly linking mitochondrial activity to memory formation, these data reveal that bioenergetic processes are primary acute regulators of cognitive functions.

06/2014 | Toxicol Sci   IF 4.2
The mixture of 'ecstasy' and its metabolites impairs mitochondrial fusion/fission equilibrium and trafficking in hippocampal neurons, at in vivo relevant concentrations.
Barbosa DJ, Serrat R, Mirra S, Quevedo M, de Barreda EG, Avila J, Ferreira LM, Branco PS, Fernandes E, Lourdes Bastos Md, Capela JP, Soriano E, Carvalho F

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') is a potentially neurotoxic recreational drug of abuse. Though the mechanisms involved are still not completely understood, formation of reactive metabolites and mitochondrial dysfunction contribute to MDMA-related neurotoxicity. Neuronal mitochondrial trafficking, and their targeting to synapses, is essential for proper neuronal function and survival, rendering neurons particularly vulnerable to mitochondrial dysfunction. Indeed, MDMA-associated disruption of Ca(2+) homeostasis and ATP depletion have been described in neurons, thus suggesting possible MDMA interference on mitochondrial dynamics. In this study, we performed real-time functional experiments of mitochondrial trafficking to explore the role of in situ mitochondrial dysfunction in MDMA's neurotoxic actions. We show that the mixture of MDMA and six of its major in vivo metabolites, each compound at 10muM, impaired mitochondrial trafficking and increased the fragmentation of axonal mitochondria in cultured hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, the overexpression of mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) or dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) K38A constructs almost completely rescued the trafficking deficits caused by this mixture. Finally, in hippocampal neurons overexpressing a Mfn2 mutant, Mfn2 R94Q, with impaired fusion and transport properties, it was confirmed that a dysregulation of mitochondrial fission/fusion events greatly contributed to the reported trafficking phenotype. In conclusion, our study demonstrated, for the first time, that the mixture of MDMA and its metabolites, at concentrations relevant to the in vivo scenario, impaired mitochondrial trafficking and increased mitochondrial fragmentation in hippocampal neurons, thus providing a new insight in the context of 'ecstasy'-induced neuronal injury.

13/02/2014 | Arch Toxicol   IF 5.7
MDMA impairs mitochondrial neuronal trafficking in a Tau- and Mitofusin2/Drp1-dependent manner.
Barbosa DJ, Serrat R, Mirra S, Quevedo M, Gomez de Barreda E, Avila J, Fernandes E, Bastos MD, Capela JP, Carvalho F, Soriano E

Identification of the mechanisms by which drugs of abuse cause neuronal dysfunction is essential for understanding the biological bases of their acute and long-lasting effects in the brain. Here, we performed real-time functional experiments of axonal transport of mitochondria to explore the role of in situ mitochondrial dysfunction in 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy')-related brain actions. We showed that MDMA dramatically reduced mitochondrial trafficking in hippocampal neurons in a Tau-dependent manner, in which glycogen synthase kinase 3beta activity was implicated. Furthermore, we found that these trafficking abnormalities were rescued by over-expression of Mitofusin2 and dynamin-related protein 1, but not of Miro1. Given the relevance of mitochondrial targeting for neuronal function and neurotransmission, our data underscore a novel mechanism of action of MDMA that may contribute to our understanding of how this drug of abuse alters neuronal functioning.

2014 | Cell Death Dis   IF 5.6
The Armc10/SVH gene: genome context, regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and protection against Abeta-induced mitochondrial fragmentation.
Serrat R, Mirra S, Figueiro-Silva J, Navas-Perez E, Quevedo M, Lopez-Domenech G, Podlesniy P, Ulloa F, Garcia-Fernandez J, Trullas R, Soriano E

Mitochondrial function and dynamics are essential for neurotransmission, neural function and neuronal viability. Recently, we showed that the eutherian-specific Armcx gene cluster (Armcx1-6 genes), located in the X chromosome, encodes for a new family of proteins that localise to mitochondria, regulating mitochondrial trafficking. The Armcx gene cluster evolved by retrotransposition of the Armc10 gene mRNA, which is present in all vertebrates and is considered to be the ancestor gene. Here we investigate the genomic organisation, mitochondrial functions and putative neuroprotective role of the Armc10 ancestor gene. The genomic context of the Armc10 locus shows considerable syntenic conservation among vertebrates, and sequence comparisons and CHIP-data suggest the presence of at least three conserved enhancers. We also show that the Armc10 protein localises to mitochondria and that it is highly expressed in the brain. Furthermore, we show that Armc10 levels regulate mitochondrial trafficking in neurons, but not mitochondrial aggregation, by controlling the number of moving mitochondria. We further demonstrate that the Armc10 protein interacts with the KIF5/Miro1-2/Trak2 trafficking complex. Finally, we show that overexpression of Armc10 in neurons prevents Abeta-induced mitochondrial fission and neuronal death. Our data suggest both conserved and differential roles of the Armc10/Armcx gene family in regulating mitochondrial dynamics in neurons, and underscore a protective effect of the Armc10 gene against Abeta-induced toxicity. Overall, our findings support a further degree of regulation of mitochondrial dynamics in the brain of more evolved mammals.

2013 | PLoS ONE   IF 2.8
The non-canonical Wnt/PKC pathway regulates mitochondrial dynamics through degradation of the arm-like domain-containing protein Alex3.
Serrat R, Lopez-Domenech G, Mirra S, Quevedo M, Garcia-Fernandez J, Ulloa F, Burgaya F, Soriano E

The regulation of mitochondrial dynamics is vital in complex cell types, such as neurons, that transport and localize mitochondria in high energy-demanding cell domains. The Armcx3 gene encodes a mitochondrial-targeted protein (Alex3) that contains several arm-like domains. In a previous study we showed that Alex3 protein regulates mitochondrial aggregation and trafficking. Here we studied the contribution of Wnt proteins to the mitochondrial aggregation and dynamics regulated by Alex3. Overexpression of Alex3 in HEK293 cells caused a marked aggregation of mitochondria, which was attenuated by treatment with several Wnts. We also found that this decrease was caused by Alex3 degradation induced by Wnts. While the Wnt canonical pathway did not alter the pattern of mitochondrial aggregation induced by Alex3, we observed that the Wnt/PKC non-canonical pathway regulated both mitochondrial aggregation and Alex3 protein levels, thereby rendering a mitochondrial phenotype and distribution similar to control patterns. Our data suggest that the Wnt pathway regulates mitochondrial distribution and dynamics through Alex3 protein degradation.

2012 | Nat Commun   IF 12.4
The Eutherian Armcx genes regulate mitochondrial trafficking in neurons and interact with Miro and Trak2.
Lopez-Domenech G, Serrat R, Mirra S, D'Aniello S, Somorjai I, Abad A, Vitureira N, Garcia-Arumi E, Alonso MT, Rodriguez-Prados M, Burgaya F, Andreu AL, Garcia-Sancho J, Trullas R, Garcia-Fernandez J, Soriano E

Brain function requires neuronal activity-dependent energy consumption. Neuronal energy supply is controlled by molecular mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial dynamics, including Kinesin motors and Mitofusins, Miro1-2 and Trak2 proteins. Here we show a new protein family that localizes to the mitochondria and controls mitochondrial dynamics. This family of proteins is encoded by an array of armadillo (Arm) repeat-containing genes located on the X chromosome. The Armcx cluster is unique to Eutherian mammals and evolved from a single ancestor gene (Armc10). We show that these genes are highly expressed in the developing and adult nervous system. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Armcx3 expression levels regulate mitochondrial dynamics and trafficking in neurons, and that Alex3 interacts with the Kinesin/Miro/Trak2 complex in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Our data provide evidence of a new Eutherian-specific family of mitochondrial proteins that controls mitochondrial dynamics and indicate that this key process is differentially regulated in the brain of higher vertebrates.