Grings M, Seminotti B, Karunanidhi A, Ghaloul-Gonzalez L, Mohsen AW, Wipf P, Palmfeldt J, Vockley J, Leipnitz G. ETHE1 and MOCS1 deficiencies: Disruption of mitochondrial bioenergetics, dynamics, redox homeostasis and endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria crosstalk in patient fibroblasts. Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 2;9(1):12651. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49014-2. PubMed PMID: 31477743; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6718683.
Ethylmalonic encephalopathy protein 1 (ETHE1) and molybdenum cofactor (MoCo) deficiencies are hereditary disorders that affect the catabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids. ETHE1 deficiency is caused by mutations in the ETHE1 gene, while MoCo deficiency is due to mutations in one of three genes involved in MoCo biosynthesis (MOCS1, MOCS2 and GPHN). Patients with both disorders exhibit abnormalities of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, among other biochemical findings. However, the pathophysiology of the defects has not been elucidated. To characterize cellular derangements, mitochondrial bioenergetics, dynamics, endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondria communication, superoxide production and apoptosis were evaluated in fibroblasts from four patients with ETHE1 deficiency and one with MOCS1 deficiency. The effect of JP4-039, a promising mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant, was also tested on cells. Our data show that mitochondrial respiration was decreased in all patient cell lines. ATP depletion and increased mitochondrial mass was identified in the same cells, while variable alterations in mitochondrial fusion and fission were seen. High superoxide levels were found in all cells and were decreased by treatment with JP4-039, while the respiratory chain activity was increased by this antioxidant in cells in which it was impaired. The content of VDAC1 and IP3R, proteins involved in ER-mitochondria communication, was decreased, while DDIT3, a marker of ER stress, and apoptosis were increased in all cell lines. These data demonstrate that previously unrecognized broad disturbances of cellular function are involved in the pathophysiology of ETHE1 and MOCS1 deficiencies, and that reduction of mitochondrial superoxide by JP4-039 is a promising strategy for adjuvant therapy of these disorders.
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