BBA - Bioenergetics (v.1857, #8)

19th European Bioenergetics Conference—Preface by Paolo Bernardi (1023-1026).

One step beyond a ribosome: The ancient anaerobic core by Filipa L. Sousa; Shijulal Nelson-Sathi; William F. Martin (1027-1038).
Life arose in a world without oxygen and the first organisms were anaerobes. Here we investigate the gene repertoire of the prokaryote common ancestor, estimating which genes it contained and to which lineages of modern prokaryotes it was most similar in terms of gene content. Using a phylogenetic approach we found that among trees for all 8779 protein families shared between 134 archaea and 1847 bacterial genomes, only 1045 have sequences from at least two bacterial and two archaeal groups and retain the ancestral archaeal–bacterial split. Among those, the genes shared by anaerobes were identified as candidate genes for the prokaryote common ancestor, which lived in anaerobic environments. We find that these anaerobic prokaryote common ancestor genes are today most frequently distributed among methanogens and clostridia, strict anaerobes that live from low free energy changes near the thermodynamic limit of life. The anaerobic families encompass genes for bifunctional acetyl-CoA-synthase/CO-dehydrogenase, heterodisulfide reductase subunits C and A, ferredoxins, and several subunits of the Mrp-antiporter/hydrogenase family, in addition to numerous S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) dependent methyltransferases. The data indicate a major role for methyl groups in the metabolism of the prokaryote common ancestor. The data furthermore indicate that the prokaryote ancestor possessed a rotor stator ATP synthase, but lacked cytochromes and quinones as well as identifiable redox-dependent ion pumping complexes. The prokaryote ancestor did possess, however, an Mrp-type H+/Na+ antiporter complex, capable of transducing geochemical pH gradients into biologically more stable Na+-gradients. The findings implicate a hydrothermal, autotrophic, and methyl-dependent origin of life. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Early evolution; Geochemistry; Methanogens; Acetogens; Anaerobes; Autotrophy;

Exploring membrane respiratory chains by Bruno C. Marreiros; Filipa Calisto; Paulo J. Castro; Afonso M. Duarte; Filipa V. Sena; Andreia F. Silva; Filipe M. Sousa; Miguel Teixeira; Patrícia N. Refojo; Manuela M. Pereira (1039-1067).
Acquisition of energy is central to life. In addition to the synthesis of ATP, organisms need energy for the establishment and maintenance of a transmembrane difference in electrochemical potential, in order to import and export metabolites or to their motility. The membrane potential is established by a variety of membrane bound respiratory complexes. In this work we explored the diversity of membrane respiratory chains and the presence of the different enzyme complexes in the several phyla of life. We performed taxonomic profiles of the several membrane bound respiratory proteins and complexes evaluating the presence of their respective coding genes in all species deposited in KEGG database. We evaluated 26 quinone reductases, 5 quinol:electron carriers oxidoreductases and 18 terminal electron acceptor reductases. We further included in the analyses enzymes performing redox or decarboxylation driven ion translocation, ATP synthase and transhydrogenase and we also investigated the electron carriers that perform functional connection between the membrane complexes, quinones or soluble proteins. Our results bring a novel, broad and integrated perspective of membrane bound respiratory complexes and thus of the several energetic metabolisms of living systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Taxonomic profile; Ion transport; Respiration; Quinone; Oxygen; Anaerobe;

The multitude of iron–sulfur clusters in respiratory complex I by Emmanuel Gnandt; Katerina Dörner; Marc F.J. Strampraad; Simon de Vries; Thorsten Friedrich (1068-1072).
Respiratory complex I couples the electron transfer from NADH to ubiquinone with the translocation of protons across the membrane. Complex I contains one non-covalently bound flavin mononucleotide and, depending on the species, up to ten iron–sulfur (Fe/S) clusters as cofactors. The reason for the presence of the multitude of Fe/S clusters in complex I remained enigmatic for a long time. The question was partly answered by investigations on the evolution of the complex revealing the stepwise construction of the electron transfer domain from several modules. Extension of the ancestral to the modern electron input domain was associated with the acquisition of several Fe/S-proteins. The X-ray structure of the complex showed that the NADH oxidation-site is connected with the quinone-reduction site by a chain of seven Fe/S-clusters. Fast enzyme kinetics revealed that this chain of Fe/S-clusters is used to regulate electron-tunneling rates within the complex. A possible function of the off-pathway cluster N1a is discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Complex I; NADH dehydrogenase; Iron–sulfur cluster; EPR-spectroscopy; Biological electron transfer;

Coenzyme Q biosynthesis and its role in the respiratory chain structure by María Alcázar-Fabra; Plácido Navas; Gloria Brea-Calvo (1073-1078).
Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a unique electron carrier in the mitochondrial respiratory chain, which is synthesized on-site by a nuclear encoded multiprotein complex. CoQ receives electrons from different redox pathways, mainly NADH and FADH2 from tricarboxylic acid pathway, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, electron transfer flavoprotein dehydrogenase and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase that support key aspects of the metabolism. Here we explore some lines of evidence supporting the idea of the interaction of CoQ with the respiratory chain complexes, contributing to their superassembly, including respirasome, and its role in reactive oxygen species production in the mitochondrial inner membrane. We also review the current knowledge about the involvement of mitochondrial genome defects and electron transfer flavoprotein dehydrogenase mutations in the induction of secondary CoQ deficiency. This mechanism would imply specific interactions coupling CoQ itself or the CoQ-biosynthetic apparatus with the respiratory chain components. These interactions would regulate mitochondrial CoQ steady-state levels and function. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Coenzyme Q; Mitochondria; Respiratory complexes; ROS; Coenzyme Q deficiency;

Coenzyme Q biosynthesis in health and disease by Manuel Jesús Acosta; Luis Vazquez Fonseca; Maria Andrea Desbats; Cristina Cerqua; Roberta Zordan; Eva Trevisson; Leonardo Salviati (1079-1085).
Coenzyme Q (CoQ, or ubiquinone) is a remarkable lipid that plays an essential role in mitochondria as an electron shuttle between complexes I and II of the respiratory chain, and complex III. It is also a cofactor of other dehydrogenases, a modulator of the permeability transition pore and an essential antioxidant.CoQ is synthesized in mitochondria by a set of at least 12 proteins that form a multiprotein complex. The exact composition of this complex is still unclear. Most of the genes involved in CoQ biosynthesis (COQ genes) have been studied in yeast and have mammalian orthologues. Some of them encode enzymes involved in the modification of the quinone ring of CoQ, but for others the precise function is unknown. Two genes appear to have a regulatory role: COQ8 (and its human counterparts ADCK3 and ADCK4) encodes a putative kinase, while PTC7 encodes a phosphatase required for the activation of Coq7.Mutations in human COQ genes cause primary CoQ10 deficiency, a clinically heterogeneous mitochondrial disorder with onset from birth to the seventh decade, and with clinical manifestation ranging from fatal multisystem disorders, to isolated encephalopathy or nephropathy.The pathogenesis of CoQ10 deficiency involves deficient ATP production and excessive ROS formation, but possibly other aspects of CoQ10 function are implicated.CoQ10 deficiency is unique among mitochondrial disorders since an effective treatment is available. Many patients respond to oral CoQ10 supplementation. Nevertheless, treatment is still problematic because of the low bioavailability of the compound, and novel pharmacological approaches are currently being investigated. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Coenzyme Q; Ubiquinone; Coenzyme Q10 deficiency; Mitochondrial disorders; Steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome;

Succinate, an intermediate in metabolism, signal transduction, ROS, hypoxia, and tumorigenesis by Laszlo Tretter; Attila Patocs; Christos Chinopoulos (1086-1101).
Keywords: Substrate-level phosphorylation; Cancer; HIF1-alpha; Succinate dehydrogenase; Succinate receptor;

One of the important elements of operation of cytochrome bc 1 (mitochondrial respiratory complex III) is a large scale movement of the head domain of iron–sulfur protein (ISP-HD), which connects the quinol oxidation site (Qo) located within the cytochrome b, with the outermost heme c 1 of cytochrome c 1. Several mitochondrial disease-related mutations in cytochrome b are located at the cytochrome b-ISP-HD interface, thus their molecular effects can be associated with altered motion of ISP-HD. Using purple bacterial model, we recently showed that one of such mutations — G167P shifts the equilibrium position of ISP-HD towards positions remote from the Qo site as compared to the native enzyme [Borek et al., J. Biol. Chem. 290 (2015) 23781-23792]. This resulted in the enhanced propensity of the mutant to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) which was explained on the basis of the model evoking “semireverse” electron transfer from heme b L to quinone. Here we examine another mutation from that group — G332D (G290D in human), finding that it also shifts the equilibrium position of ISP-HD in the same direction, however displays less of the enhancement in ROS production. We provide spectroscopic indication that G332D might affect the electrostatics of interaction between cytochrome b and ISP-HD. This effect, in light of the measured enzymatic activities and electron transfer rates, appears to be less severe than structural distortion caused by proline in G167P mutant. Comparative analysis of the effects of G332D and G167P confirms a general prediction that mutations located at the cytochrome b-ISP-HD interface influence the motion of ISP-HD and indicates that “pushing” ISP-HD away from the Qo site is the most likely outcome of this influence. It can also be predicted that an increase in ROS production associated with the “pushing” effect is quite sensitive to overall severity of this change with more active mutants being generally more protected against elevated ROS.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Cytochrome bc 1; Mitochondrial complex III; Mitochondrial diseases; Reactive oxygen species; Electron transfer; Domain movement;

The active site of cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) comprises an oxygen-binding heme, a nearby copper ion (CuB), and a tyrosine residue that is covalently linked to one of the histidine ligands of CuB. Two proton-conducting pathways are observed in CcO, namely the D- and the K-channels, which are used to transfer protons either to the active site of oxygen reduction (substrate protons) or for pumping. Proton transfer through the D-channel is very fast, and its role in efficient transfer of both substrate and pumped protons is well established. However, it has not been fully clear why a separate K-channel is required, apparently for the supply of substrate protons only. In this work, we have analysed the available experimental and computational data, based on which we provide new perspectives on the role of the K-channel. Our analysis suggests that proton transfer in the K-channel may be gated by the protonation state of the active-site tyrosine (Tyr244) and that the neutral radical form of this residue has a more general role in the CcO mechanism than thought previously. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Electron transfer; Proton pumping; Neutral tyrosyl radical;

Testing the predictions of the Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Ageing (MFRTA) has provided a deep understanding of the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondria in the aging process. However those data, which support MFRTA are in the majority correlative (e.g. increasing oxidative damage with age). In contrast the majority of direct experimental data contradict MFRTA (e.g. changes in ROS levels do not alter longevity as expected). Unfortunately, in the past, ROS measurements have mainly been performed using isolated mitochondria, a method which is prone to experimental artifacts and does not reflect the complexity of the in vivo process. New technology to study different ROS (e.g. superoxide or hydrogen peroxide) in vivo is now available; these new methods combined with state-of-the-art genetic engineering technology will allow a deeper interrogation of, where, when and how free radicals affect aging and pathological processes. In fact data that combine these new approaches, indicate that boosting mitochondrial ROS in lower animals is a way to extend both healthy and maximum lifespan. In this review, I discuss the latest literature focused on the role of mitochondrial ROS in aging, and how these new discoveries are helping to better understand the role of mitochondria in health and disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Aging; Caenorhabditis elegans; Drosophila melanogaster; Electron transport chain; Hydrogen peroxide; Mitochondria; Mus musculus; Reactive oxygen species; Superoxide;

Bioenergetic relevance of hydrogen sulfide and the interplay between gasotransmitters at human cystathionine β-synthase by João B. Vicente; Francesca Malagrinò; Marzia Arese; Elena Forte; Paolo Sarti; Alessandro Giuffrè (1127-1138).
Merely considered as a toxic gas in the past, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is currently viewed as the third ‘gasotransmitter’ in addition to nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO), playing a key signalling role in human (patho)physiology. H2S can either act as a substrate or, similarly to CO and NO, an inhibitor of mitochondrial respiration, in the latter case by targeting cytochrome c oxidase (CcOX). The impact of H2S on mitochondrial energy metabolism crucially depends on the bioavailability of this gaseous molecule and its interplay with the other two gasotransmitters. The H2S-producing human enzyme cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), sustaining cellular bioenergetics in colorectal cancer cells, plays a role in the interplay between gasotransmitters. The enzyme was indeed recently shown to be negatively modulated by physiological concentrations of CO and NO, particularly in the presence of its allosteric activator S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet). These newly discovered regulatory mechanisms are herein reviewed.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Sulfide metabolism; Gasotransmitters; Mitochondrial respiration; Cytochrome c oxidase; Cystathionine β-synthase; Heme chemistry;

The Crabtree and Warburg effects: Do metabolite-induced regulations participate in their induction? by Noureddine Hammad; Monica Rosas-Lemus; Salvador Uribe-Carvajal; Michel Rigoulet; Anne Devin (1139-1146).
The Crabtree and Warburg effects are two well-known deviations of cell energy metabolism that will be described herein. A number of hypotheses have been formulated regarding the molecular mechanisms leading to these cellular energy metabolism deviations. In this review, we will focus on the emerging notion that metabolite-induced regulations participate in the induction of these effects. All throughout this review, it should be kept in mind that no regulatory mechanism is exclusive and that it may vary in cancer cells owing to different cell types or oncogenic background. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Crabtree; Warburg; Oxidative phosphorylation; Glycolysis; Metabolites;

Glutamine transport. From energy supply to sensing and beyond by Mariafrancesca Scalise; Lorena Pochini; Michele Galluccio; Cesare Indiveri (1147-1157).
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in plasma and is actively involved in many biosynthetic and regulatory processes. It can be synthesized endogenously but becomes “conditionally essential” in physiological or pathological conditions of high proliferation rate. To accomplish its functions glutamine has to be absorbed and distributed in the whole body. This job is efficiently carried out by a network of membrane transporters that differ in transport mechanisms and energetics, belonging to families SLC1, 6, 7, 38, and possibly, 25. Some of the transporters are involved in glutamine traffic across different membranes for metabolic purposes; others are involved in specific signaling functions through mTOR. Structure/function relationships and regulatory aspects of glutamine transporters are still at infancy. In the while, insights in involvement of these transporters in cell redox control, cancer metabolism and drug interactions are arising, stimulating basic research to uncover molecular mechanisms of transport and regulation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Glutamine; Membrane transporter; Metabolism; mTOR; Cancer; Redox control;

Glutamate excitotoxicity and Ca2+-regulation of respiration: Role of the Ca2+ activated mitochondrial transporters (CaMCs) by Carlos B. Rueda; Irene Llorente-Folch; Javier Traba; Ignacio Amigo; Paloma Gonzalez-Sanchez; Laura Contreras; Inés Juaristi; Paula Martinez-Valero; Beatriz Pardo; Araceli del Arco; Jorgina Satrustegui (1158-1166).
Glutamate elicits Ca2+ signals and workloads that regulate neuronal fate both in physiological and pathological circumstances. Oxidative phosphorylation is required in order to respond to the metabolic challenge caused by glutamate. In response to physiological glutamate signals, cytosolic Ca2+ activates respiration by stimulation of the NADH malate–aspartate shuttle through Ca2+-binding to the mitochondrial aspartate/glutamate carrier (Aralar/AGC1/Slc25a12), and by stimulation of adenine nucleotide uptake through Ca2+ binding to the mitochondrial ATP-Mg/Pi carrier (SCaMC-3/Slc25a23). In addition, after Ca2+ entry into the matrix through the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU), it activates mitochondrial dehydrogenases. In response to pathological glutamate stimulation during excitotoxicity, Ca2+ overload, reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial dysfunction and delayed Ca2+ deregulation (DCD) lead to neuronal death. Glutamate-induced respiratory stimulation is rapidly inactivated through a mechanism involving Poly (ADP-ribose) Polymerase-1 (PARP-1) activation, consumption of cytosolic NAD+, a decrease in matrix ATP and restricted substrate supply. Glutamate-induced Ca2+-activation of SCaMC-3 imports adenine nucleotides into mitochondria, counteracting the depletion of matrix ATP and the impaired respiration, while Aralar-dependent lactate metabolism prevents substrate exhaustion. A second mechanism induced by excitotoxic glutamate is permeability transition pore (PTP) opening, which critically depends on ROS production and matrix Ca2+ entry through the MCU. By increasing matrix content of adenine nucleotides, SCaMC-3 activity protects against glutamate-induced PTP opening and lowers matrix free Ca2+, resulting in protracted appearance of DCD and protection against excitotoxicity in vitro and in vivo, while the lack of lactate protection during in vivo excitotoxicity explains increased vulnerability to kainite-induced toxicity in Aralar +/− mice. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.Display Omitted
Keywords: ATP-Mg/Pi carrier; Aspartate/glutamate carrier; Aralar; Calcium; Excitotoxicity; Mitochondria; PARP-1; SCaMC-3;

In this contribution we summarize most of the findings reported for the molecular and cellular biology of the physiological inhibitor of the mitochondrial H+-ATP synthase, the engine of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and gate of cell death. We first describe the structure and major mechanisms and molecules that regulate the activity of the ATP synthase placing the ATPase Inhibitory Factor 1 (IF1) as a major determinant in the regulation of the activity of the ATP synthase and hence of OXPHOS. Next, we summarize the post-transcriptional mechanisms that regulate the expression of IF1 and emphasize, in addition to the regulation afforded by the protonation state of histidine residues, that the activity of IF1 as an inhibitor of the ATP synthase is also regulated by phosphorylation of a serine residue. Phosphorylation of S39 in IF1 by the action of a mitochondrial cAMP-dependent protein kinase A hampers its interaction with the ATP synthase, i.e., only dephosphorylated IF1 interacts with the enzyme. Upon IF1 interaction with the ATP synthase both the synthetic and hydrolytic activities of the engine of OXPHOS are inhibited. These findings are further placed into the physiological context to stress the emerging roles played by IF1 in metabolic reprogramming in cancer, in hypoxia and in cellular differentiation. We review also the implication of IF1 in other cellular situations that involve the malfunctioning of mitochondria. Special emphasis is given to the role of IF1 as driver of the generation of a reactive oxygen species signal that, emanating from mitochondria, is able to reprogram the nucleus of the cell to confer by various signaling pathways a cell-death resistant phenotype against oxidative stress. Overall, our intention is to highlight the urgent need of further investigations in the molecular and cellular biology of IF1 and of its target, the ATP synthase, to unveil new therapeutic strategies in human pathology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: ATP synthase; ATPase Inhibitory Factor 1; Mitochondria; Cancer; ROS signaling; Nuclear reprogramming;

Dissecting the peripheral stalk of the mitochondrial ATP synthase of chlorophycean algae by Miriam Vázquez-Acevedo; Félix Vega-deLuna; Lorenzo Sánchez-Vásquez; Lilia Colina-Tenorio; Claire Remacle; Pierre Cardol; Héctor Miranda-Astudillo; Diego González-Halphen (1183-1190).
The algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Polytomella sp., a green and a colorless member of the chlorophycean lineage respectively, exhibit a highly-stable dimeric mitochondrial F1Fo-ATP synthase (complex V), with a molecular mass of 1600 kDa. Polytomella, lacking both chloroplasts and a cell wall, has greatly facilitated the purification of the algal ATP-synthase. Each monomer of the enzyme has 17 polypeptides, eight of which are the conserved, main functional components, and nine polypeptides (Asa1 to Asa9) unique to chlorophycean algae. These atypical subunits form the two robust peripheral stalks observed in the highly-stable dimer of the algal ATP synthase in several electron-microscopy studies. The topological disposition of the components of the enzyme has been addressed with cross-linking experiments in the isolated complex; generation of subcomplexes by limited dissociation of complex V; detection of subunit–subunit interactions using recombinant subunits; in vitro reconstitution of subcomplexes; silencing of the expression of Asa subunits; and modeling of the overall structural features of the complex by EM image reconstruction. Here, we report that the amphipathic polymer Amphipol A8-35 partially dissociates the enzyme, giving rise to two discrete dimeric subcomplexes, whose compositions were characterized. An updated model for the topological disposition of the 17 polypeptides that constitute the algal enzyme is suggested. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: F1FO-ATP synthase peripheral-stalk; Dimeric mitochondrial complex V; Amphipol A8-35; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; Polytomella sp.; Asa subunits;

The mitochondrial permeability transition is an inner mitochondrial membrane event involving the opening of the permeability transition pore concomitant with a sudden efflux of matrix solutes and breakdown of membrane potential. The mitochondrial FoF1 ATP synthase has been proposed as the molecular identity of the permeability transition pore. The likeliness of potential pore-forming sites in the mitochondrial FoF1 ATP synthase is discussed and a new model, the death finger model, is described. In this model, movement of a p-side density that connects the lipid-plug of the c-ring with the distal membrane bending Fo domain allows reversible opening of the c-ring and structural cross-talk with OSCP and the catalytic (αβ)3 hexamer. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.Display Omitted
Keywords: F-ATPase; mpt; Rotor ring; Mitochondria; Apoptosis; Aging;

The mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP) is now recognized as playing a key role in a wide variety of human diseases whose common pathology may be based in mitochondrial dysfunction. Recently, PTP assays have been adapted to high-throughput screening approaches to identify small molecules specifically inhibiting the PTP. Following extensive secondary chemistry, the most potent inhibitors of the PTP described to date have been developed. This review will provide an overview of each of these screening efforts, use of resulting compounds in animal models of PTP-based diseases, and problems that will require further study. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Permeability transition; Inhibitors; High-throughput; Screening;

Deficiency in the mouse mitochondrial adenine nucleotide translocator isoform 2 gene is associated with cardiac noncompaction by Jason E. Kokoszka; Katrina G. Waymire; Adrian Flierl; Katelyn M. Sweeney; Alessia Angelin; Grant R. MacGregor; Douglas C. Wallace (1203-1212).
The mouse fetal and adult hearts express two adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT) isoform genes. The predominant isoform is the heart–muscle–brain ANT-isoform gene 1 (Ant1) while the other is the systemic Ant2 gene. Genetic inactivation of the Ant1 gene does not impair fetal development but results in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in postnatal mice. Using a knockin X-linked Ant2 allele in which exons 3 and 4 are flanked by loxP sites combined in males with a protamine 1 promoter driven Cre recombinase we created females heterozygous for a null Ant2 allele. Crossing the heterozygous females with the Ant2 fl , PrmCre(+) males resulted in male and female ANT2-null embryos. These fetuses proved to be embryonic lethal by day E14.5 in association with cardiac developmental failure, immature cardiomyocytes having swollen mitochondria, cardiomyocyte hyperproliferation, and cardiac failure due to hypertrabeculation/noncompaction. ANTs have two main functions, mitochondrial–cytosol ATP/ADP exchange and modulation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mtPTP). Previous studies imply that ANT2 biases the mtPTP toward closed while ANT1 biases the mtPTP toward open. It has been reported that immature cardiomyocytes have a constitutively opened mtPTP, the closure of which signals the maturation of cardiomyocytes. Therefore, we hypothesize that the developmental toxicity of the Ant2 null mutation may be the result of biasing the cardiomyocyte mtPTP to remain open thus impairing cardiomyocyte maturation and resulting in cardiomyocyte hyperproliferation and failure of trabecular maturation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Heart; Cardiomyopathy; Adenine nucleotide translocator 2 (ANT2); Hypertrabeculation; Noncompaction;

Regulation of V-ATPase assembly and function of V-ATPases in tumor cell invasiveness by Christina McGuire; Kristina Cotter; Laura Stransky; Michael Forgac (1213-1218).
V-ATPases are ATP-driven proton pumps that function within both intracellular compartments and the plasma membrane in a wide array of normal physiological and pathophysiological processes. V-ATPases are composed of a peripheral V1 domain that hydrolyzes ATP and an integral V0 domain that transports protons. Regulated assembly of the V-ATPase represents an important mechanism of regulating V-ATPase activity in response to a number of environmental cues. Our laboratory has demonstrated that glucose-dependent assembly of the V-ATPase complex in yeast is controlled by the Ras/cAMP/PKA pathway. By contrast, increased assembly of the V-ATPase during dendritic cell maturation involves the PI-3 kinase and mTORC1 pathways. Recently, we have shown that amino acids regulate V-ATPase assembly in mammalian cells, possibly as a means to maintain adequate levels of amino acids upon nutrient starvation. V-ATPases have also been implicated in cancer cell survival and invasion. V-ATPases are targeted to different cellular membranes by isoforms of subunit a, with a3 targeting V-ATPases to the plasma membrane of osteoclasts. We have shown that highly invasive human breast cancer cell lines express higher levels of the a3 isoform than poorly invasive lines and that knockdown of a3 reduces both expression of V-ATPases at the plasma membrane and in vitro invasion of breast tumor cells. Moreover, overexpression of a3 in a non-invasive breast epithelial line increases both plasma membrane V-ATPases and in vitro invasion. Finally, specific ablation of plasma membrane V-ATPases in highly invasive human breast cancer cells using either an antibody or small molecule approach inhibits both in vitro invasion and migration. These results suggest that plasma membrane and a3-containing V-ATPases represent a novel and important target in the development of therapeutics to limit breast cancer metastasis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.

Role of cysteines in mammalian VDAC isoforms' function by Vito De Pinto; Simona Reina; Ankit Gupta; Angela Messina; Radhakrishnan Mahalakshmi (1219-1227).
In this mini-review, we analyze the influence of cysteines in the structure and activity of mitochondrial outer membrane mammalian VDAC isoforms. The three VDAC isoforms show conserved sequences, similar structures and the same gene organization. The meaning of three proteins encoded in different chromosomes must thus be searched for subtle differences at the amino acid level. Among others, cysteine content is noticeable. In humans, VDAC1 has 2, VDAC2 has 9 and VDAC3 has 6 cysteines. Recent works have shown that, at variance from VDAC1, VDAC2 and VDAC3 exhibit cysteines predicted to protrude towards the intermembrane space, making them a preferred target for oxidation by ROS. Mass spectrometry in VDAC3 revealed that a disulfide bridge can be formed and other cysteine oxidations are also detectable. Both VDAC2 and VDAC3 cysteines were mutagenized to highlight their role in vitro and in complementation assays in Δporin1 yeast. Chemico-physical techniques revealed an important function of cysteines in the structural stabilization of the pore. In conclusion, the works available on VDAC cysteines support the notion that the three proteins are paralogs with a similar pore-function and slightly different, but important, ancillary biological functions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.Display Omitted

Proteins initially identified as essential for apoptosis also mediate a wide range of non-apoptotic functions that include cell cycle progression, differentiation and metabolism. As this phenomenon was mostly reported with non-cancer cells, we considered non-conventional roles for the apoptotic machinery in the cancer setting. We found that treating glioblastoma (GBM) tumors with siRNA against VDAC1, a mitochondrial protein found at the crossroads of metabolic and survival pathways and involved in apoptosis, inhibited tumor growth while leading to differentiation of tumor cells into neuronal-like cells, as reflected in the expression of specific markers. Although VDAC1 depletion did not induce apoptosis, the expression levels of several pro-apoptotic regulatory proteins were changed. Specifically, VDAC1 deletion led to up-regulation of caspases, p53, cytochrome c, and down-regulation of SMAC/Diablo, AIF and TSPO. The down-regulated group was highly expressed in U-87MG xenografts, as well as in GBMs from human patients. We also showed that the rewired cancer-cell metabolism resulting from VDAC1 depletion reinforced cell growth arrest and differentiation via alterations in the transcription factors p53, c-Myc, HIF-1α and NF-κB. The decrease in c-Myc, HIF-1α and NF-κB levels was in accord with reduced cell proliferation, whereas increased p53 expression promoted differentiation. Thus, upon metabolic re-programing induced by VDAC1 depletion, the levels of pro-apoptotic proteins associated with cell growth decreased, while those connected to cell differentiation increased, converting GBM cells into astrocyte- and neuron-like cells. The results reveal that in tumors, pro-apoptotic proteins can perform non-apoptotic functions, acting as regulators of cell growth and differentiation, making these molecules potential new targets for cancer therapy. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Apoptosis; Cell differentiation; Glioblastoma; Metabolism; Mitochondria; VDAC1;

The BCL-2 family proteins are major regulators of apoptosis, and one of their major sites of action are the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the cellular hubs for metabolism and indeed selected BCL-2 family proteins also possess roles related to mitochondria metabolism and dynamics. Here we discuss the link between mitochondrial metabolism/dynamics and the fate of stem cells, with an emphasis on the role of the BID-MTCH2 pair in regulating this link. We also discuss the possibility that BCL-2 family proteins act as metabolic sensors/messengers coming on and off of mitochondria to “sample” the cytosol and provide the mitochondria with up-to-date metabolic information. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Mitochondria metabolism; Stem cells; Apoptosis; BCL-2; BID; MTCH2;

What do we not know about mitochondrial potassium channels? by Michał Laskowski; Bartłomiej Augustynek; Bogusz Kulawiak; Piotr Koprowski; Piotr Bednarczyk; Wieslawa Jarmuszkiewicz; Adam Szewczyk (1247-1257).
In this review, we summarize our knowledge about mitochondrial potassium channels, with a special focus on unanswered questions in this field. The following potassium channels have been well described in the inner mitochondrial membrane: ATP-regulated potassium channel, Ca2 +-activated potassium channel, the voltage-gated Kv1.3 potassium channel, and the two-pore domain TASK-3 potassium channel. The primary functional roles of these channels include regulation of mitochondrial respiration and the alteration of membrane potential. Additionally, they modulate the mitochondrial matrix volume and the synthesis of reactive oxygen species by mitochondria. Mitochondrial potassium channels are believed to contribute to cytoprotection and cell death. In this paper, we discuss fundamental issues concerning mitochondrial potassium channels: their molecular identity, channel pharmacology and functional properties. Attention will be given to the current problems present in our understanding of the nature of mitochondrial potassium channels. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Potassium channel; Potassium channel opener; ATP;

Physiology of intracellular potassium channels: A unifying role as mediators of counterion fluxes? by Vanessa Checchetto; Enrico Teardo; Luca Carraretto; Luigi Leanza; Ildiko Szabo (1258-1266).
Plasma membrane potassium channels importantly contribute to maintain ion homeostasis across the cell membrane. The view is emerging that also those residing in intracellular membranes play pivotal roles for the coordination of correct cell function. In this review we critically discuss our current understanding of the nature and physiological tasks of potassium channels in organelle membranes in both animal and plant cells, with a special emphasis on their function in the regulation of photosynthesis and mitochondrial respiration. In addition, the emerging role of potassium channels in the nuclear membranes in regulating transcription will be discussed. The possible functions of endoplasmic reticulum-, lysosome- and plant vacuolar membrane-located channels are also referred to. Altogether, experimental evidence obtained with distinct channels in different membrane systems points to a possible unifying function of most intracellular potassium channels in counterbalancing the movement of other ions including protons and calcium and modulating membrane potential, thereby fine-tuning crucial cellular processes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–7, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Potassium channels; Mitochondria; Chloroplast; Nuclear membrane; Bioenergetics; Transcription;

DRP1-dependent apoptotic mitochondrial fission occurs independently of BAX, BAK and APAF1 to amplify cell death by BID and oxidative stress by Björn Oettinghaus; Donato D'Alonzo; Elisa Barbieri; Lisa Michelle Restelli; Claudia Savoia; Maria Licci; Markus Tolnay; Stephan Frank; Luca Scorrano (1267-1276).
During apoptosis mitochondria undergo cristae remodeling and fragmentation, but how the latter relates to outer membrane permeabilization and downstream caspase activation is unclear. Here we show that the mitochondrial fission protein Dynamin Related Protein (Drp) 1 participates in cytochrome c release by selected intrinsic death stimuli. While Bax, Bak double deficient (DKO) and Apaf1 −/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) were less susceptible to apoptosis by Bcl-2 family member BID, H2O2, staurosporine and thapsigargin, Drp1 −/− MEFs were protected only from BID and H2O2. Resistance to cell death of Drp1 −/− and DKO MEFs correlated with blunted cytochrome c release, whereas mitochondrial fragmentation occurred in all cell lines in response to all tested stimuli, indicating that other mechanisms accounted for the reduced cytochrome c release. Indeed, cristae remodeling was reduced in Drp1 −/− cells, potentially explaining their resistance to apoptosis. Our results indicate that caspase-independent mitochondrial fission and Drp1-dependent cristae remodeling amplify apoptosis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Mitochondrial fission; Apoptosis; Bax/Bak; Apoptosome; Cytochrome c release; Cristae remodeling;

Bioenergetic roles of mitochondrial fusion by Eduardo Silva Ramos; Nils-Göran Larsson; Arnaud Mourier (1277-1283).
Mitochondria are bioenergetic hotspots, producing the bulk of ATP by the oxidative phosphorylation process. Mitochondria are also structurally dynamic and undergo coordinated fusion and fission to maintain their function. Recent studies of the mitochondrial fusion machinery have provided new evidence in detailing their role in mitochondrial metabolism. Remarkably, mitofusin 2, in addition to its role in fusion, is important for maintaining coenzyme Q levels and may be an integral player in the mevalonate synthesis pathway. Here, we review the bioenergetic roles of mitochondrial dynamics and emphasize the importance of the in vitro growth conditions when evaluating mitochondrial respiration. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016,’ edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitofusin 2; Bioenergetics; Coenzyme Q; Mevalonate pathway;

The electrochemical transmission in I-Band segments of the mitochondrial reticulum by Keval D. Patel; Brian Glancy; Robert S. Balaban (1284-1289).
Within the mitochondrial reticulum of skeletal muscle, the I-Band segments (IBS) traverse the cell and form a contiguous matrix with the mitochondrial segments at the periphery (PS) of the cell. A tight electrical coupling via the matrix between the PS and IBS has been demonstrated. In addition, oxidative phosphorylation complexes that generate the proton motive force (PMF) are preferentially located in the PS, while Complex V, which utilizes the PMF, is primarily located along the IBS. This has led to the hypothesis that PS can support the production of ATP in the IBS by maintaining the potential energy available to produce ATP deep in the muscle cell via conduction of the PMF down the IBS. However, the mechanism of transmitting the PMF down the IBS is poorly understood. This theoretical study was undertaken to establish the physical limits governing IBS conduction as well as potential mechanisms for balancing the protons entering the matrix along the IBS with the ejection of protons in the PS. The IBS was modeled as a 300 nm diameter, water-filled tube, with an insulated circumferential wall. Two mechanisms were considered to drive ion transport along the IBS: the electrical potential and/or concentration gradients between the PS to the end of the IBS. The magnitude of the flux was estimated from the maximum ATP production rate for skeletal muscle. The major transport ions in consideration were H+, Na+, and K+ using diffusion coefficients from the literature. The simulations were run using COMSOL Multiphysics simulator. These simulations suggest conduction along the IBS via H+ alone is unlikely requiring un-physiological gradients, while Na+ or K+ could carry the current with minor gradients in concentration or electrical potential along the IBS. The majority of conduction down the IBS is likely dependent on these abundant ions; however, this presents a question as to how H+ is recycled from the matrix of the IBS to the PS for active extrusion. We propose that the abundant cation–proton antiporter in skeletal muscle mitochondria operates in opposite directions in the IBS and PS to permit local recycling of H+ at each site driven by cooperative gradients in H+ and Na+/K+ which favor H+ entry in the PS and H+ efflux in the IBS. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016,’ edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.Display Omitted
Keywords: Mitochondria; Antiporters; Diffusion; Mitochondria reticulum; Protons; Cations;

Probing of protein localization and shuttling in mitochondrial microcompartments by FLIM with sub-diffraction resolution by Anna-Carina Söhnel; Wladislaw Kohl; Ingo Gregor; Jörg Enderlein; Bettina Rieger; Karin B. Busch (1290-1299).
The cell is metabolically highly compartmentalized. Especially, mitochondria host many vital reactions in their different microcompartments. However, due to their small size, these microcompartments are not accessible by conventional microscopy. Here, we demonstrate that time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) fluorescence lifetime-imaging microscopy (FLIM) classifies not only mitochondria, but different microcompartments inside mitochondria. Sensor proteins in the matrix had a different lifetime than probes at membrane proteins. Localization in the outer and inner mitochondrial membrane could be distinguished by significant differences in the lifetime. The method was sensitive enough to monitor shifts in protein location within mitochondrial microcompartments. Macromolecular crowding induced by changes in the protein content significantly affected the lifetime, while oxidizing conditions or physiological pH changes had only marginal effects. We suggest that FLIM is a versatile and completive method to monitor spatiotemporal events in mitochondria. The sensitivity in the time domain allows for gaining substantial information about sub-mitochondrial localization overcoming diffraction limitation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Mitochondrial compartments; Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy; Nano-environment sensing; Protein localization; Live cell imaging; Sub-diffraction localization analysis;

Emerging role of Lon protease as a master regulator of mitochondrial functions by Marcello Pinti; Lara Gibellini; Milena Nasi; Sara De Biasi; Carlo Augusto Bortolotti; Anna Iannone; Andrea Cossarizza (1300-1306).
Lon protease is a nuclear-encoded, mitochondrial ATP-dependent protease highly conserved throughout the evolution, crucial for the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis. Lon acts as a chaperone of misfolded proteins, and is necessary for maintaining mitochondrial DNA. The impairment of these functions has a deep impact on mitochondrial functionality and morphology. An altered expression of Lon leads to a profound reprogramming of cell metabolism, with a switch from respiration to glycolysis, which is often observed in cancer cells. Mutations of Lon, which likely impair its chaperone properties, are at the basis of a genetic inherited disease named of the cerebral, ocular, dental, auricular, skeletal (CODAS) syndrome. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Lon; Protease; Chaperone; Mitochondria; mtDNA; Cancer; CODAS syndrome;

Parkin is familiar to many because of its link to Parkinson's disease, and to others because of its well-characterized role as a central factor mediating selective mitophagy of damaged mitochondria for mitochondrial quality control. The genetic connection between Parkin and Parkinson's disease derives from clinical gene-association studies, whereas our mechanistic understanding of Parkin functioning in mitophagy is based almost entirely on work performed in cultured cells. Surprisingly, experimental evidence linking the disease and the presumed mechanism derives almost entirely from fruit flies; germline Parkin deficient mice do not develop Parkinson's disease phenotypes. Moreover, genetic manipulation of Parkin signaling in mouse hearts does not support a central role for Parkin in homeostatic mitochondrial quality control in this mitochondria-rich and -dependent organ. Here, I provide an overview of data suggesting that (in mouse hearts at least) Parkin functions more as a stress-induced and developmentally-programmed facilitator of cardiomyocyte mitochondrial turnover. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016.

Retrograde signaling: Organelles go networking by Tatjana Kleine; Dario Leister (1313-1325).
The term retrograde signaling refers to the fact that chloroplasts and mitochondria utilize specific signaling molecules to convey information on their developmental and physiological states to the nucleus and modulate the expression of nuclear genes accordingly. Signals emanating from plastids have been associated with two main networks: ‘Biogenic control’ is active during early stages of chloroplast development, while ‘operational’ control functions in response to environmental fluctuations. Early work focused on the former and its major players, the GUN proteins. However, our view of retrograde signaling has since been extended and revised. Elements of several ‘operational’ signaling circuits have come to light, including metabolites, signaling cascades in the cytosol and transcription factors. Here, we review recent advances in the identification and characterization of retrograde signaling components. We place particular emphasis on the strategies employed to define signaling components, spanning the entire spectrum of genetic screens, metabolite profiling and bioinformatics. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.Display Omitted
Keywords: Biogenic control; Chloroplasts; Genomes uncoupled; Gun; Mitochondria; Nuclear gene expression; Operational control; Organellar gene expression; Retrograde; Transcription factors;

New genes and pathomechanisms in mitochondrial disorders unraveled by NGS technologies by Andrea Legati; Aurelio Reyes; Alessia Nasca; Federica Invernizzi; Eleonora Lamantea; Valeria Tiranti; Barbara Garavaglia; Costanza Lamperti; Anna Ardissone; Isabella Moroni; Alan Robinson; Daniele Ghezzi; Massimo Zeviani (1326-1335).
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies are revolutionizing the diagnostic screening for rare disease entities, including primary mitochondrial disorders, particularly those caused by nuclear gene defects. NGS approaches are able to identify the causative gene defects in small families and even single individuals, unsuitable for investigation by traditional linkage analysis. These technologies are contributing to fill the gap between mitochondrial disease cases defined on the basis of clinical, neuroimaging and biochemical readouts, which still outnumber by approximately 50% the cases for which a molecular-genetic diagnosis is attained. We have been using a combined, two-step strategy, based on targeted genes panel as a first NGS screening, followed by whole exome sequencing (WES) in still unsolved cases, to analyze a large cohort of subjects, that failed to show mutations in mtDNA and in ad hoc sets of specific nuclear genes, sequenced by the Sanger's method. Not only this approach has allowed us to reach molecular diagnosis in a significant fraction (20%) of these difficult cases, but it has also revealed unexpected and conceptually new findings. These include the possibility of marked variable penetrance of recessive mutations, the identification of large-scale DNA rearrangements, which explain spuriously heterozygous cases, and the association of mutations in known genes with unusual, previously unreported clinical phenotypes. Importantly, WES on selected cases has unraveled the presence of pathogenic mutations in genes encoding non-mitochondrial proteins (e.g. the transcription factor E4F1), an observation that further expands the intricate genetics of mitochondrial disease and suggests a new area of investigation in mitochondrial medicine. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Mitochondrial disorders; Next Generation Sequencing; Whole Exome sequencing; E4F1;

High throughput gene complementation screening permits identification of a mammalian mitochondrial protein synthesis (ρ) mutant by Prasanth Potluri; Vincent Procaccio; Immo E. Scheffler; Douglas C. Wallace (1336-1343).
To identify nuclear DNA (nDNA) oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) gene mutations using cultured cells, we have developed a complementation system based on retroviral transduction with a full length cDNA expression library and selection for OXHOS function by growth in galactose. We have used this system to transduce the Chinese hamster V79-G7 OXPHOS mutant cell line with a defect in mitochondrial protein synthesis. The complemented cells were found to have acquired the cDNA for the bS6m polypeptide of the small subunit of the mitochondrial ribosome. bS6m is a 14 kDa polypeptide located on the outside of the mitochondrial 28S ribosomal subunit and interacts with the rRNA. The V79-G7 mutant protein was found to harbor a methionine to threonine missense mutation at codon 13. The hamster bS6m null mutant could also be complemented by its orthologs from either mouse or human. bS6m protein tagged at its C-terminus by HA, His or GFP localized to the mitochondrion and was fully functional. Through site-directed mutagenesis we identified the probable RNA interacting residues of the bS6m peptide and tested the functional significance of mammalian specific C-terminal region. The N-terminus of the bS6m polypeptide functionally corresponds to that of the prokaryotic small ribosomal subunit, but deletion of C-terminal residues along with the zinc ion coordinating cysteine had no functional effect. Since mitochondrial diseases can result from hundreds to thousands of different nDNA gene mutations, this one step viral complementation cloning may facilitate the molecular diagnosis of a range of nDNA mitochondrial disease mutations. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.
Keywords: Mitochondrial diseases; Complementation cloning; OXPHOS; Mitochondrial ribosomes; bS6m;

Clock-genes and mitochondrial respiratory activity: Evidence of a reciprocal interplay by Rosella Scrima; Olga Cela; Giuseppe Merla; Bartolomeo Augello; Rosa Rubino; Giovanni Quarato; Sabino Fugetto; Marta Menga; Luise Fuhr; Angela Relógio; Claudia Piccoli; Gianluigi Mazzoccoli; Nazzareno Capitanio (1344-1351).
In the past few years mounting evidences have highlighted the tight correlation between circadian rhythms and metabolism. Although at the organismal level the central timekeeper is constituted by the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei practically all the peripheral tissues are equipped with autonomous oscillators made up by common molecular clockworks represented by circuits of gene expression that are organized in interconnected positive and negative feed-back loops. In this study we exploited a well-established in vitro synchronization model to investigate specifically the linkage between clock gene expression and the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos). Here we show that synchronized cells exhibit an autonomous ultradian mitochondrial respiratory activity which is abrogated by silencing the master clock gene ARNTL/BMAL1. Surprisingly, pharmacological inhibition of the mitochondrial OxPhos system resulted in dramatic deregulation of the rhythmic clock-gene expression and a similar result was attained with mtDNA depleted cells (Rho0). Our findings provide a novel level of complexity in the interlocked feedback loop controlling the interplay between cellular bioenergetics and the molecular clockwork. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.Display Omitted
Keywords: Mitochondria; Clock-genes; Oxidative phosphorylation;