Publications by authors named "Mark V Pinti"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Mitochondrial membranes modify mutant huntingtin aggregation.

Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr 2021 Jun 2;1863(10):183663. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

The C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry, West Virginia University, 217 Clark Hall, Morgantown, WV 26506, United States; Rockefeller Neurosciences Institutes, West Virginia University, 1 Medical Center Dr., P.O. Box 9303, Morgantown, WV 26505, United States; Department of Neuroscience, West Virginia University, 1 Medical Center Dr., P.O. Box 9303, Morgantown, WV 26505, United States. Electronic address:

Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract near the N-terminus of the huntingtin (htt) protein. Expanded polyQ tracts are prone to aggregate into oligomers and insoluble fibrils. Mutant htt (mhtt) localizes to variety of organelles, including mitochondria. Specifically, mitochondrial defects, morphological alteration, and dysfunction are observed in HD. Mitochondrial lipids, cardiolipin (CL) in particular, are essential in mitochondria function and have the potential to directly interact with htt, altering its aggregation. Here, the impact of mitochondrial membranes on htt aggregation was investigated using a combination of mitochondrial membrane mimics and tissue-derived mitochondrial-enriched fractions. The impact of exposure of outer and inner mitochondrial membrane mimics (OMM and IMM respectively) to mhtt was explored. OMM and IMM reduced mhtt fibrillization, with IMM having a larger effect. The role of CL in mhtt aggregation was investigated using a simple PC system with varying molar ratios of CL. Lower molar ratios of CL (<5%) promoted fibrillization; however, increased CL content retarded fibrillization. As revealed by in situ AFM, mhtt aggregation and associated membrane morphological changes at the surface of OMM mimics was markedly different compared to IMM mimics. While globular deposits of mhtt with few fibrillar aggregates were observed on OMM, plateau-like domains were observed on IMM. A similar impact on htt aggregation was observed with exposure to purified mitochondrial-enriched fractions. Collectively, these observations suggest mitochondrial membranes heavily influence htt aggregation with implication for HD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamem.2021.183663DOI Listing
June 2021

The Mitochondrial mitoNEET Ligand NL-1 Is Protective in a Murine Model of Transient Cerebral Ischemic Stroke.

Pharm Res 2021 May 12;38(5):803-817. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, 1 Medical Center Drive, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26506, USA.

Purpose: Therapeutic strategies to treat ischemic stroke are limited due to the heterogeneity of cerebral ischemic injury and the mechanisms that contribute to the cell death. Since oxidative stress is one of the primary mechanisms that cause brain injury post-stroke, we hypothesized that therapeutic targets that modulate mitochondrial function could protect against reperfusion-injury after cerebral ischemia, with the focus here on a mitochondrial protein, mitoNEET, that modulates cellular bioenergetics.

Method: In this study, we evaluated the pharmacology of the mitoNEET ligand NL-1 in an in vivo therapeutic role for NL-1 in a C57Bl/6 murine model of ischemic stroke.

Results: NL-1 decreased hydrogen peroxide production with an IC of 5.95 μM in neuronal cells (N2A). The in vivo activity of NL-1 was evaluated in a murine 1 h transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (t-MCAO) model of ischemic stroke. We found that mice treated with NL-1 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) at time of reperfusion and allowed to recover for 24 h showed a 43% reduction in infarct volume and 68% reduction in edema compared to sham-injured mice. Additionally, we found that when NL-1 was administered 15 min post-t-MCAO, the ischemia volume was reduced by 41%, and stroke-associated edema by 63%.

Conclusion: As support of our hypothesis, as expected, NL-1 failed to reduce stroke infarct in a permanent photothrombotic occlusion model of stroke. This report demonstrates the potential therapeutic benefits of using mitoNEET ligands like NL-1 as novel mitoceuticals for treating reperfusion-injury with cerebral stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11095-021-03046-4DOI Listing
May 2021

Enhanced antioxidant capacity prevents epitranscriptomic and cardiac alterations in adult offspring gestationally-exposed to ENM.

Nanotoxicology 2021 May 8:1-20. Epub 2021 May 8.

Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, USA.

Maternal engineered nanomaterial (ENM) exposure during gestation has been associated with negative long-term effects on cardiovascular health in progeny. Here, we evaluate an epitranscriptomic mechanism that contributes to these chronic ramifications and whether overexpression of mitochondrial phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (mPHGPx) can preserve cardiovascular function and bioenergetics in offspring following gestational nano-titanium dioxide (TiO) inhalation exposure. Wild-type (WT) and mPHGPx (Tg) dams were exposed to nano-TiO aerosols with a mass concentration of 12.01 ± 0.50 mg/m starting from gestational day (GD) 5 for 360 mins/day for 6 nonconsecutive days over 8 days. Echocardiography was performed in pregnant dams, adult (11-week old) and fetal (GD 14) progeny. Mitochondrial function and global N-methyladenosine (mA) content were assessed in adult progeny. MPHGPx enzymatic function was further evaluated in adult progeny and mA-RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) was combined with RT-qPCR to evaluate mA content in the 3'-UTR. Following gestational ENM exposure, global longitudinal strain (GLS) was 32% lower in WT adult offspring of WT dams, with preservation in WT offspring of Tg dams. MPHGPx activity was significantly reduced in WT offspring (29%) of WT ENM-exposed dams, but preserved in the progeny of Tg dams. MA-RIP-qPCR for the SEC insertion sequence region of mPHGPx revealed hypermethylation in WT offspring from ENM-exposed WT dams, which was thwarted in the presence of the maternal transgene. Our findings implicate that mA hypermethylation of mPHGPx may be culpable for diminished antioxidant capacity and resultant mitochondrial and cardiac deficits that persist into adulthood following gestational ENM inhalation exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17435390.2021.1921299DOI Listing
May 2021

Cardiovascular adaptations to particle inhalation exposure: molecular mechanisms of the toxicology.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2020 08 19;319(2):H282-H305. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia.

Ambient air, occupational settings, and the use and distribution of consumer products all serve as conduits for toxicant exposure through inhalation. While the pulmonary system remains a primary target following inhalation exposure, cardiovascular implications are exceptionally culpable for increased morbidity and mortality. The epidemiological evidence for cardiovascular dysfunction resulting from acute or chronic inhalation exposure to particulate matter has been well documented, but the mechanisms driving the resulting disturbances remain elusive. In the current review, we aim to summarize the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are directly linked to cardiovascular health following exposure to a variety of inhaled toxicants. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the biochemical changes in the cardiovascular system following particle inhalation exposure and to highlight potential biomarkers that exist across multiple exposure paradigms. We attempt to integrate these molecular signatures in an effort to provide direction for future investigations. This review also characterizes how molecular responses are modified in at-risk populations, specifically the impact of environmental exposure during critical windows of development. Maternal exposure to particulate matter during gestation can lead to fetal epigenetic reprogramming, resulting in long-term deficits to the cardiovascular system. In both direct and indirect (gestational) exposures, connecting the biochemical mechanisms with functional deficits outlines pathways that can be targeted for future therapeutic intervention. Ultimately, future investigations integrating "omics"-based approaches will better elucidate the mechanisms that are altered by xenobiotic inhalation exposure, identify biomarkers, and guide in clinical decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00026.2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7473925PMC
August 2020

Drug resistance occurred in a newly characterized preclinical model of lung cancer brain metastasis.

BMC Cancer 2020 Apr 7;20(1):292. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, 108 Biomedical Drive, Morgantown, WV, 26506, USA.

Background: Cancer metastasis and drug resistance have traditionally been studied separately, though these two lethal pathological phenomena almost always occur concurrently. Brain metastasis occurs in a large proportion of lung cancer patients (~ 30%). Once diagnosed, patients have a poor prognosis surviving typically less than 1 year due to lack of treatment efficacy.

Methods: Human metastatic lung cancer cells (PC-9-Br) were injected into the left cardiac ventricle of female athymic nude mice. Brain lesions were allowed to grow for 21 days, animals were then randomized into treatment groups and treated until presentation of neurological symptoms or when moribund. Prior to tissue collection mice were injected with Oregon Green and C-Aminoisobutyric acid followed by an indocyanine green vascular washout. Tracer accumulation was determined by quantitative fluorescent microscopy and quantitative autoradiography. Survival was tracked and tumor burden was monitored via bioluminescent imaging. Extent of mutation differences and acquired resistance was measured in-vitro through half-maximal inhibitory assays and qRT-PCR analysis.

Results: A PC-9 brain seeking line (PC-9-Br) was established. Mice inoculated with PC-9-Br resulted in a decreased survival time compared with mice inoculated with parental PC-9. Non-targeted chemotherapy with cisplatin and etoposide (51.5 days) significantly prolonged survival of PC-9-Br brain metastases in mice compared to vehicle control (42 days) or cisplatin and pemetrexed (45 days). Further in-vivo imaging showed greater tumor vasculature in mice treated with cisplatin and etoposide compared to non-tumor regions, which was not observed in mice treated with vehicle or cisplatin and pemetrexed. More importantly, PC-9-Br showed significant resistance to gefitinib by in-vitro MTT assays (IC50 > 2.5 μM at 48 h and 0.1 μM at 72 h) compared with parental PC-9 (IC50: 0.75 μM at 48 h and 0.027 μM at 72 h). Further studies on the molecular mechanisms of gefitinib resistance revealed that EGFR and phospho-EGFR were significantly decreased in PC-9-Br compared with PC-9. Expression of E-cadherin and vimentin did not show EMT in PC-9-Br compared with parental PC-9, and PC-9-Br had neither a T790M mutation nor amplifications of MET and HER2 compared with parental PC-9.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that brain metastases of lung cancer cells may independently prompt drug resistance without drug treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-020-06808-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7137432PMC
April 2020

ROS promote epigenetic remodeling and cardiac dysfunction in offspring following maternal engineered nanomaterial (ENM) exposure.

Part Fibre Toxicol 2019 06 18;16(1):24. Epub 2019 Jun 18.

Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, PO Box 9227, 1 Medical Center Drive, Morgantown, WV, 26506, USA.

Background: Nano-titanium dioxide (nano-TiO) is amongst the most widely utilized engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). However, little is known regarding the consequences maternal ENM inhalation exposure has on growing progeny during gestation. ENM inhalation exposure has been reported to decrease mitochondrial bioenergetics and cardiac function, though the mechanisms responsible are poorly understood. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are increased as a result of ENM inhalation exposure, but it is unclear whether they impact fetal reprogramming. The purpose of this study was to determine whether maternal ENM inhalation exposure influences progeny cardiac development and epigenomic remodeling.

Results: Pregnant FVB dams were exposed to nano-TiO aerosols with a mass concentration of 12.09 ± 0.26 mg/m starting at gestational day five (GD 5), for 6 h over 6 non-consecutive days. Aerosol size distribution measurements indicated an aerodynamic count median diameter (CMD) of 156 nm with a geometric standard deviation (GSD) of 1.70. Echocardiographic imaging was used to assess cardiac function in maternal, fetal (GD 15), and young adult (11 weeks) animals. Electron transport chain (ETC) complex activities, mitochondrial size, complexity, and respiration were evaluated, along with 5-methylcytosine, Dnmt1 protein expression, and Hif1α activity. Cardiac functional analyses revealed a 43% increase in left ventricular mass and 25% decrease in cardiac output (fetal), with an 18% decrease in fractional shortening (young adult). In fetal pups, hydrogen peroxide (HO) levels were significantly increased (~ 10 fold) with a subsequent decrease in expression of the antioxidant enzyme, phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (GPx4). ETC complex activity IV was decreased by 68 and 46% in fetal and young adult cardiac mitochondria, respectively. DNA methylation was significantly increased in fetal pups following exposure, along with increased Hif1α activity and Dnmt1 protein expression. Mitochondrial ultrastructure, including increased size, was observed at both fetal and young adult stages following maternal exposure.

Conclusions: Maternal inhalation exposure to nano-TiO results in adverse effects on cardiac function that are associated with increased HO levels and dysregulation of the Hif1α/Dnmt1 regulatory axis in fetal offspring. Our findings suggest a distinct interplay between ROS and epigenetic remodeling that leads to sustained cardiac contractile dysfunction in growing and young adult offspring following maternal ENM inhalation exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12989-019-0310-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6582485PMC
June 2019

Machine-learning to stratify diabetic patients using novel cardiac biomarkers and integrative genomics.

Cardiovasc Diabetol 2019 06 11;18(1):78. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, PO Box 9227, 1 Medical Center Drive, Morgantown, WV, 26505, USA.

Background: Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that impacts an increasing percentage of people each year. Among its comorbidities, diabetics are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases. While HbA1c remains the primary diagnostic for diabetics, its ability to predict long-term, health outcomes across diverse demographics, ethnic groups, and at a personalized level are limited. The purpose of this study was to provide a model for precision medicine through the implementation of machine-learning algorithms using multiple cardiac biomarkers as a means for predicting diabetes mellitus development.

Methods: Right atrial appendages from 50 patients, 30 non-diabetic and 20 type 2 diabetic, were procured from the WVU Ruby Memorial Hospital. Machine-learning was applied to physiological, biochemical, and sequencing data for each patient. Supervised learning implementing SHapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP) allowed binary (no diabetes or type 2 diabetes) and multiple classification (no diabetes, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes) of the patient cohort with and without the inclusion of HbA1c levels. Findings were validated through Logistic Regression (LR), Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA), Gaussian Naïve Bayes (NB), Support Vector Machine (SVM), and Classification and Regression Tree (CART) models with tenfold cross validation.

Results: Total nuclear methylation and hydroxymethylation were highly correlated to diabetic status, with nuclear methylation and mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) activities achieving superior testing accuracies in the predictive model (~ 84% testing, binary). Mitochondrial DNA SNPs found in the D-Loop region (SNP-73G, -16126C, and -16362C) were highly associated with diabetes mellitus. The CpG island of transcription factor A, mitochondrial (TFAM) revealed CpG24 (chr10:58385262, P = 0.003) and CpG29 (chr10:58385324, P = 0.001) as markers correlating with diabetic progression. When combining the most predictive factors from each set, total nuclear methylation and CpG24 methylation were the best diagnostic measures in both binary and multiple classification sets.

Conclusions: Using machine-learning, we were able to identify novel as well as the most relevant biomarkers associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus by integrating physiological, biochemical, and sequencing datasets. Ultimately, this approach may be used as a guideline for future investigations into disease pathogenesis and novel biomarker discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12933-019-0879-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6560734PMC
June 2019

miRNA-378a as a key regulator of cardiovascular health following engineered nanomaterial inhalation exposure.

Nanotoxicology 2019 06 1;13(5):644-663. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

a Division of Exercise Physiology , West Virginia University School of Medicine , Morgantown , WV , USA.

Nano-titanium dioxide (nano-TiO), though one of the most utilized and produced engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), diminishes cardiovascular function through dysregulation of metabolism and mitochondrial bioenergetics following inhalation exposure. The molecular mechanisms governing this cardiac dysfunction remain largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to elucidate molecular mediators that connect nano-TiO exposure with impaired cardiac function. Specifically, we were interested in the role of microRNA (miRNA) expression in the resulting dysfunction. Not only are miRNA global regulators of gene expression, but also miRNA-based therapeutics provide a realistic treatment modality. Wild type and MiRNA-378a knockout mice were exposed to nano-TiO with an aerodynamic diameter of 182 ± 1.70 nm and a mass concentration of 11.09 mg/m for 4 h. Cardiac function, utilizing the Vevo 2100 Imaging System, electron transport chain complex activities, and mitochondrial respiration assessed cardiac and mitochondrial function. Immunoblotting and qPCR examined molecular targets of miRNA-378a. MiRNA-378a-3p expression was increased 48 h post inhalation exposure to nano-TiO. Knockout of miRNA-378a preserved cardiac function following exposure as revealed by preserved E/A ratio and E/SR ratio. In knockout animals, complex I, III, and IV activities (∼2- to 6-fold) and fatty acid respiration (∼5-fold) were significantly increased. MiRNA-378a regulated proteins involved in mitochondrial fusion, transcription, and fatty acid metabolism. MiRNA-378a-3p acts as a negative regulator of mitochondrial metabolic and biogenesis pathways. MiRNA-378a knockout animals provide a protective effect against nano-TiO inhalation exposure by altering mitochondrial structure and function. This is the first study to manipulate a miRNA to attenuate the effects of ENM exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17435390.2019.1570372DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6629495PMC
June 2019

Mitochondrial dysfunction in type 2 diabetes mellitus: an organ-based analysis.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2019 02 2;316(2):E268-E285. Epub 2019 Jan 2.

Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine , Morgantown, West Virginia.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a systemic disease characterized by hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and organismic insulin resistance. This pathological shift in both circulating fuel levels and energy substrate utilization by central and peripheral tissues contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction across organ systems. The mitochondrion lies at the intersection of critical cellular pathways such as energy substrate metabolism, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and apoptosis. It is the disequilibrium of these processes in T2DM that results in downstream deficits in vital functions, including hepatocyte metabolism, cardiac output, skeletal muscle contraction, β-cell insulin production, and neuronal health. Although mitochondria are known to be susceptible to a variety of genetic and environmental insults, the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations and mtDNA copy number depletion is helping to explain the prevalence of mitochondrial-related diseases such as T2DM. Recent work has uncovered novel mitochondrial biology implicated in disease progressions such as mtDNA heteroplasmy, noncoding RNA (ncRNA), epigenetic modification of the mitochondrial genome, and epitranscriptomic regulation of the mtDNA-encoded mitochondrial transcriptome. The goal of this review is to highlight mitochondrial dysfunction observed throughout major organ systems in the context of T2DM and to present new ideas for future research directions based on novel experimental and technological innovations in mitochondrial biology. Finally, the field of mitochondria-targeted therapeutics is discussed, with an emphasis on novel therapeutic strategies to restore mitochondrial homeostasis in the setting of T2DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00314.2018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6397358PMC
February 2019

Crystal structure of the mitochondrial protein mitoNEET bound to a benze-sulfonide ligand.

Commun Chem 2019 3;2. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.

MitoNEET (gene ) is a mitochondrial outer membrane [2Fe-2S] protein and is a potential drug target in several metabolic diseases. Previous studies have demonstrated that mitoNEET functions as a redox-active and pH-sensing protein that regulates mitochondrial metabolism, although the structural basis of the potential drug binding site(s) remains elusive. Here we report the crystal structure of the soluble domain of human mitoNEET with a sulfonamide ligand, furosemide. Exploration of the high-resolution crystal structure is used to design mitoNEET binding molecules in a pilot study of molecular probes for use in future development of mitochondrial targeted therapies for a wide variety of metabolic diseases, including obesity, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42004-019-0172-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7205193PMC
July 2019

Mitochondrial proteome disruption in the diabetic heart through targeted epigenetic regulation at the mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 (mtHsp70) nuclear locus.

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2018 06 4;119:104-115. Epub 2018 May 4.

Division of Exercise Physiology, Mitochondrial, Metabolism and Bioenergetics Working Group, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26505, United States. Electronic address:

>99% of the mitochondrial proteome is nuclear-encoded. The mitochondrion relies on a coordinated multi-complex process for nuclear genome-encoded mitochondrial protein import. Mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 (mtHsp70) is a key component of this process and a central constituent of the protein import motor. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) disrupts mitochondrial proteomic signature which is associated with decreased protein import efficiency. The goal of this study was to manipulate the mitochondrial protein import process through targeted restoration of mtHsp70, in an effort to restore proteomic signature and mitochondrial function in the T2DM heart. A novel line of cardiac-specific mtHsp70 transgenic mice on the db/db background were generated and cardiac mitochondrial subpopulations were isolated with proteomic evaluation and mitochondrial function assessed. MicroRNA and epigenetic regulation of the mtHsp70 gene during T2DM were also evaluated. MtHsp70 overexpression restored cardiac function and nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein import, contributing to a beneficial impact on proteome signature and enhanced mitochondrial function during T2DM. Further, transcriptional repression at the mtHsp70 genomic locus through increased localization of H3K27me3 during T2DM insult was observed. Our results suggest that restoration of a key protein import constituent, mtHsp70, provides therapeutic benefit through attenuation of mitochondrial and contractile dysfunction in T2DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2018.04.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5987221PMC
June 2018

Regulating microRNA expression: at the heart of diabetes mellitus and the mitochondrion.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2018 02 6;314(2):H293-H310. Epub 2017 Oct 6.

Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine , Morgantown, West Virginia.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus results in a systemic milieu of increased circulating glucose and fatty acids. The development of insulin resistance in cardiac tissue decreases cellular glucose import and enhances mitochondrial fatty acid uptake. While triacylglycerol and cytotoxic lipid species begin to accumulate in the cardiomyocyte, the energy substrate utilization ratio of free fatty acids to glucose changes to almost entirely free fatty acids. Accumulating evidence suggests a role of miRNA in mediating this metabolic transition. Energy substrate metabolism, apoptosis, and the production and response to excess reactive oxygen species are regulated by miRNA expression. The current momentum for understanding the dynamics of miRNA expression is limited by a lack of understanding of how miRNA expression is controlled. While miRNAs are important regulators in both normal and pathological states, an additional layer of complexity is added when regulation of miRNA regulators is considered. miRNA expression is known to be regulated through a number of mechanisms, which include, but are not limited to, epigenetics, exosomal transport, processing, and posttranscriptional sequestration. The purpose of this review is to outline how mitochondrial processes are regulated by miRNAs in the diabetic heart. Furthermore, we will highlight the regulatory mechanisms, such as epigenetics, exosomal transport, miRNA processing, and posttranslational sequestration, that participate as regulators of miRNA expression. Additionally, current and future treatment strategies targeting dysfunctional mitochondrial processes in the diseased myocardium, as well as emerging miRNA-based therapies, will be summarized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00520.2017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5867655PMC
February 2018

Exploring the mitochondrial microRNA import pathway through Polynucleotide Phosphorylase (PNPase).

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2017 09 11;110:15-25. Epub 2017 Jul 11.

Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506, United States; Mitochondria, Metabolism & Bioenergetics Working Group, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506, United States. Electronic address:

Cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of mortality for individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. During the diabetic condition, cardiovascular dysfunction can be partially attributed to molecular changes in the tissue, including alterations in microRNA (miRNA) interactions. MiRNAs have been reported in the mitochondrion and their presence may influence cellular bioenergetics, creating decrements in functional capacity. In this study, we examined the roles of Argonaute 2 (Ago2), a protein associated with cytosolic and mitochondrial miRNAs, and Polynucleotide Phosphorylase (PNPase), a protein found in the inner membrane space of the mitochondrion, to determine their role in mitochondrial miRNA import. In cardiac tissue from human and mouse models of type 2 diabetes mellitus, Ago2 protein levels were unchanged while PNPase protein expression levels were increased; also, there was an increase in the association between both proteins in the diabetic state. MiRNA-378 was found to be significantly increased in db/db mice, leading to decrements in ATP6 levels and ATP synthase activity, which was also exhibited when overexpressing PNPase in HL-1 cardiomyocytes and in HL-1 cells with stable miRNA-378 overexpression (HL-1-378). To assess potential therapeutic interventions, flow cytometry evaluated the capacity for targeting miRNA-378 species in mitochondria through antimiR treatment, revealing miRNA-378 level-dependent inhibition. Our study establishes PNPase as a contributor to mitochondrial miRNA import through the transport of miRNA-378, which may regulate bioenergetics during type 2 diabetes mellitus. Further, our data provide evidence that manipulation of PNPase levels may enhance the delivery of antimiR therapeutics to mitochondria in physiological and pathological conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2017.06.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5854179PMC
September 2017

Maternal-engineered nanomaterial exposure disrupts progeny cardiac function and bioenergetics.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2017 Mar 23;312(3):H446-H458. Epub 2016 Dec 23.

Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia;

Nanomaterial production is expanding as new industrial and consumer applications are introduced. Nevertheless, the impacts of exposure to these compounds are not fully realized. The present study was designed to determine whether gestational nano-sized titanium dioxide exposure impacts cardiac and metabolic function of developing progeny. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to nano-aerosols (~10 mg/m, 130- to 150-nm count median aerodynamic diameter) for 7-8 nonconsecutive days, beginning at gestational Physiological and bioenergetic effects on heart function and cardiomyocytes across three time points, fetal (gestational ), neonatal (4-10 days), and young adult (6-12 wk), were evaluated. Functional analysis utilizing echocardiography, speckle-tracking based strain, and cardiomyocyte contractility, coupled with mitochondrial energetics, revealed effects of nano-exposure. Maternal exposed progeny demonstrated a decrease in E- and A-wave velocities, with a 15% higher E-to-A ratio than controls. Myocytes isolated from exposed animals exhibited ~30% decrease in total contractility, departure velocity, and area of contraction. Bioenergetic analysis revealed a significant increase in proton leak across all ages, accompanied by decreases in metabolic function, including basal respiration, maximal respiration, and spare capacity. Finally, electron transport chain complex I and IV activities were negatively impacted in the exposed group, which may be linked to a metabolic shift. Molecular data suggest that an increase in fatty acid metabolism, uncoupling, and cellular stress proteins may be associated with functional deficits of the heart. In conclusion, gestational nano-exposure significantly impairs the functional capabilities of the heart through cardiomyocyte impairment, which is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Cardiac function is evaluated, for the first time, in progeny following maternal nanomaterial inhalation. The findings indicate that exposure to nano-sized titanium dioxide (nano-TiO) during gestation negatively impacts cardiac function and mitochondrial respiration and bioenergetics. We conclude that maternal nano-TiO inhalation contributes to adverse cardiovascular health effects, lasting into adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00634.2016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402018PMC
March 2017

Role of microRNA in metabolic shift during heart failure.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2017 Jan 14;312(1):H33-H45. Epub 2016 Oct 14.

Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia; and Mitochondria, Metabolism, and Bioenergentics Working Group, Morgantown, West Virginia

Heart failure (HF) is an end point resulting from a number of disease states. The prognosis for HF patients is poor with survival rates precipitously low. Energy metabolism is centrally linked to the development of HF, and it involves the proteomic remodeling of numerous pathways, many of which are targeted to the mitochondrion. microRNAs (miRNA) are noncoding RNAs that influence posttranscriptional gene regulation. miRNA have garnered considerable attention for their ability to orchestrate changes to the transcriptome, and ultimately the proteome, during HF. Recently, interest in the role played by miRNA in the regulation of energy metabolism at the mitochondrion has emerged. Cardiac proteome remodeling during HF includes axes impacting hypertrophy, oxidative stress, calcium homeostasis, and metabolic fuel transition. Although it is established that the pathological environment of hypoxia and hemodynamic stress significantly contribute to the HF phenotype, it remains unclear as to the mechanistic underpinnings driving proteome remodeling. The aim of this review is to present evidence highlighting the role played by miRNA in these processes as a means for linking pathological stimuli with proteomic alteration. The differential expression of proteins of substrate transport, glycolysis, β-oxidation, ketone metabolism, the citric acid cycle (CAC), and the electron transport chain (ETC) are paralleled by the differential expression of miRNA species that modulate these processes. Identification of miRNAs that translocate to cardiomyocyte mitochondria (miR-181c, miR-378) influencing the expression of the mitochondrial genome-encoded transcripts as well as suggested import modulators are discussed. Current insights, applications, and challenges of miRNA-based therapeutics are also described.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00341.2016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5283914PMC
January 2017