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Stefano G.B.,MitoGenetics | Kream R.M.,MitoGenetics
Medical Science Monitor | Year: 2015

The primacy of glucose derived from photosynthesis as an existential source of chemical energy across plant and animal phyla is universally accepted as a core principle in the biological sciences. In mammalian cells, initial processing of glucose to triose phosphate intermediates takes place within the cytosolic glycolytic pathway and terminates with temporal transport of reducing equivalents derived from pyruvate metabolism by membrane-associated respiratory complexes in the mitochondrial matrix. The intra-mitochondrial availability of molecular oxygen as the ultimate electron acceptor drives the evolutionary fashioned chemiosmotic production of ATP as a high-efficiency biological process. The mechanistic bases of carcinogenesis have demonstrated profound alteration of normative mitochondrial function, notably dysregulated respiratory processes. Accordingly, the classic Warburg effect functionally links aerobic glycolysis, aberrant production and release of lactate, and metabolic down-regulation of mitochondrial oxidative processes with the carcinogenetic phenotype. We surmise, however, that aerobic fermentation by cancer cells may also represent a developmental reemergence of an evolutionarily conserved early phenotype, which was “sidelined” with the emergence of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation as a primary mechanism for ATP production in normal cells. Regardless of state-dependent physiological status in mixed populations of cancer cells, it has been established that mitochondria are functionally linked to the initiation of cancer and its progression. Biochemical, molecular, and physiological differences in cancer cell mitochondria, notably mtDNA heteroplasmy and allele-specific expression of selected nuclear genes, may represent major focal points for novel targeting and elimination of cancer cells in metastatic disease afflicting human populations. To date, and despite considerable research efforts, the practical realization of advanced mitochondrial targeted therapies has not been forthcoming. © Med Sci Monit, 2015.


Stefano G.B.,MitoGenetics | Snyder C.,MitoGenetics | Kream R.M.,MitoGenetics
Medical Science Monitor | Year: 2015

Many commonalities between chloroplasts and mitochondria exist, thereby suggesting a common origin via a bacterial ancestor capable of enhanced ATP-dependent energy production functionally linked to cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Accordingly, the molecular evolution/retention of the catalytic Qo quinol oxidation site of cytochrome b complexes as the tetrapeptide PEWY sequence functionally underlies the common retention of a chemiosmotic proton gradient mechanism for ATP synthesis in cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Furthermore, the dual regulatory targeting of mitochondrial and chloroplast gene expression by mitochondrial transcription termination factor (MTERF) proteins to promote optimal energy production and oxygen consumption further advances these evolutionary contentions. As a functional consequence of enhanced oxygen utilization and production, significant levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) may be generated within mitochondria and chloroplasts, which may effectively compromise cellular energy production following prolonged stress/inflammationary conditions. Interestingly, both types of organelles have been identified in selected animal cells, most notably specialized digestive cells lining the gut of several species of Sacoglossan sea slugs. Termed kleptoplasty or kleptoplastic endosymbiosis, functional chloroplasts from algal food sources are internalized and stored within digestive cells to provide the host with dual energy sources derived from mitochondrial and photosynthetic processes. Recently, the observation of internalized algae within embryonic tissues of the spotted salamander strongly suggest that developmental processes within a vertebrate organism may require photosynthetic endosymbiosis as an internal regulator. The dual presence of mitochondria and functional chloroplasts within specialized animal cells indicates a high degree of biochemical identity, stereoselectivity, and conformational matching that are the likely keys to their functional presence and essential endosymbiotic activities for over 2.5 billion years. © Med Sci Monit, 2015.


Snyder C.,MitoGenetics | Stefano G.B.,MitoGenetics
Medical Science Monitor | Year: 2015

Mitochondria have long been recognized as the main source of energy production for the eukaryotic cell. Recent studies have found that the mitochondria have a variety of dynamic functions aside from the production of energy. It communicates bidirectionally with other organelles in order to modulate its energy balance efficiently, as well as maintain homeostasis, ultimately prolonging its own and the cell’s longevity. The mitochondria achieves this level of regulation via specific and common bidirectional chemical messengers, especially involving the endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum (ER/SR), deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (dNTP’s), ATP and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Its communication network is also involved in stress associated events. In this regard, the activation of the Bax family proteins and the release of cytochrome c occurs during cellular stress. The communication can also promote apoptosis of the cell. When mitochondrial abnormalities cannot be dealt with, there is an increased chance that major illnesses like type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer may occur. Importantly, functioning chloroplasts can be found in animals, suggesting conserved chemical messengers during its evolutionary path. The dynamic capacity of mitochondria is also noted by their ability to function anaerobically. Indeed, this latter phenomenon may represent a return to an earlier developmental stage of mitochondria, suggesting certain disorders result from its untimely appearance. © Med Sci Monit.


Stefano G.B.,MitoGenetics | Kream R.M.,MitoGenetics
Medical Science Monitor | Year: 2015

In mammals and invertebrates, the activities of neuro- and immuno-competent cells, e.g., glia, which are present in nervous tissues, are deemed of critical importance to normative neuronal function. The responsiveness of invertebrate and vertebrate immuno-competent glia to a common set of signal molecules, such as nitric oxide and endogenous morphine, is functionally linked to physiologically driven innate immunological and neuronal activities. Importantly, the presence of a common, evolutionarily conserved, set of signal molecules in comparative animal groups strongly suggests an expansive intermediate metabolic profile dependent on high output mitochondrial ATP production and utilization. Normative bidirectional neural-immune communication across invertebrate and vertebrate species requires common anatomical and biochemical substrates and pathways involved in energy production and mitochondrial integrity. Within this closed-loop system, abnormal perturbation of the respective tissue functions will have profound ramifications in functionally altering associated nervous and vascular systems and it is highly likely that the initial trigger to the induction of a physiologically debilitating pro-inflammatory state is a micro-environmental hypoxic event. This is surmised by the need for an unwavering constant oxygen supply. In this case, temporal perturbations of normative oxygen tension may be tolerated for short, but not extended, periods and ischemic/hypoxic perturbations in oxygen delivery represent significant physiological challenges to overall cellular and multiple organ system viability. Hence, hypoxic triggering of multiple pro-inflammatory events, if not corrected, will promote pathophysiological amplification leading to a deleterious cascade of bio-senescent cellular and molecular signaling pathways, which converge to markedly impair mitochondrial energy utilization and ATP production. © Med Sci Monit.


Stefano G.B.,MitoGenetics | Kream R.M.,MitoGenetics
African Journal of Psychiatry (South Africa) | Year: 2015

Microglia have selectively evolved as a morphologically and chemically distinct class of immuno-competent CNS resident cells with potent bidirectional signaling capabilities linked to induction of a macrophage-like phenotype following metabolic, microbiological, or viral insults. It has been empirically determined that a conserved set of shared chemical messengers connects a communication network mediating reciprocal exchange of regulatory information between immune, central nervous, and neuroendocrine systems. From an evolutionary perspective, the pluripotent neuro-protective capabilities of invertebrate microglia have been extended and amplified in classes of mammalian microglia. The state-dependent plasticity of microglia has provoked considerable empirical investigation into their functional/regulatory roles in mediating innate immune surveillance and neural protection within the CNS. Upon pathophysiological dysregulation, aberrant microglial activities may provide significant contributory factors in the etiology and persistence of major neurological, degenerative, and psychiatric disorders. Within this context, invertebrate microglia appear to represent highly appropriate model systems to investigate underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in higher order neuroimmune regulation of multiple CNS activities by mammalian microglia. © 2015 Stefano GB, et al.


Stefano G.B.,MitoGenetics | Kream R.M.,MitoGenetics
International Journal of Molecular Medicine | Year: 2016

Mitochondria and chloroplasts represent endosymbiotic models of complex organelle development, driven by intense evolutionary pressure to provide exponentially enhanced ATP-dependent energy production functionally linked to cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Within the realm of translational medicine, it has become compellingly evident that mitochondrial dysfunction, resulting in compromised cellular bioenergetics, represents a key causative factor in the etiology and persistence of major diseases afflicting human populations. As a pathophysiological consequence of enhanced oxygen utilization that is functionally uncoupled from the oxidative phosphorylation of ADP, significant levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) may be generated within mitochondria and chloroplasts, which may effectively compromise cellular energy production following prolonged stress/inflammatory conditions. Empirically determined homologies in biochemical pathways, and their respective encoDing gene sequences between chloroplasts and mitochondria, suggest common origins via entrapped primordial bacterial ancestors. From evolutionary and developmental perspectives, the elucidation of multiple biochemical and molecular relationships responsible for errorless bioenergetics within mitochondrial and plastid complexes will most certainly enhance the depth of translational approaches to ameliorate or even prevent the destructive effects of multiple disease states. The selective choice of discussion points contained within the present review is designed to provide theoretical bases and translational insights into the pathophysiology of human diseases from a perspective of dysregulated mitochondrial bioenergetics with special reference to chloroplast biology.


Stefano G.B.,MitoGenetics | Kream R.M.,MitoGenetics
Medical Science Monitor | Year: 2016

The mitochondrion exhibits biochemical and functional variations that emerged by random chance as an evolutionary survival strategy, which include enhanced energy production driven by anaerobic respiratory mechanisms. In invertebrates, this mitochondrial anaerobic respiration permits survival at a lower energy state suited for this type of environment while yielding more ATP than by glycolysis alone. This ability provides a protective existential advantage in naturally occurring hypoxic environments via diminished free radical generation. In the blue mussel Mytilus edulis and other marine organisms, a functionally active mitochondrial anaerobic respiratory mechanism tailored to hypoxic conditions reflects an evolutionary adaptation/reworking of ancient metabolic pathways. Components of these pathways were also discovered and characterized as metabolic intermediates in plant parasites, specifically crown gall tumors. Mechanistic similarities between anaerobically functioning mitochondria in M. edulis and crown gall tissues and metabolic processes in human tumors are known to occur, demonstrating commonalities in diverse life energy processes. Furthermore, cytoplasmic glycolytic processes are now shown also to exhibit a dynamic capacity for enhanced energy generation by increasing its efficiency in hypoxic environments, making it equally dynamic in meeting its cellular survival goal. © Med Sci Monit.


Stefano G.B.,MitoGenetics | Kream R.M.,MitoGenetics
Annals of Transplantation | Year: 2015

The vital status of diverse classes of eukaryotic mitochondria is reflected by the high degree of evolutionary modification functionally linked to ongoing multifaceted organelle development. From this teleological perspective, a logistical enhancement of eukaryotic cellular energy requirements indicates a convergence of metabolic processes within the mitochondrial matrix for optimal synthesis of ATP from ADP and inorganic phosphate and necessitates an evolutionarily driven retrofit of the primordial endosymbiont bacterial plasma membrane into the inner mitochondrial membrane. The biochemical complexity of eukaryotic inner membrane electron transport complexes linked to temporally- defined, state-dependent, fluctuations in mitochondrial oxygen utilization is capable of generating deleterious reactive oxygen species. Within this functional context, an extensive neurochemical literature supports the role of the free radical gas nitric oxide (NO) as a key signaling molecule involved in the regulation of multiple aspects of mitochondrial respiration/oxidative phosphorylation. Importantly, the unique chemical properties of NO underlie its rapid metabolism in vivo within a mechanistic spectrum of small oxidative molecules, free and protein-bound thiol adducts, and reversible binding to ferrous heme iron centers. Recent compelling work has identified a medically relevant dual regulation pathway for mitochondrial NO expression mediated by traditionally characterized NO synthases (NOS) and by enzymatic reduction of available cellular nitrite pools by a diverse class of cytosolic and mitochondrial nitrite reductases. Accordingly, our short review presents selected medically-based discussion topics relating to multi-faceted NO regulation of mitochondrial functions in human health and disease states. © Ann Transplant, 2015.


PubMed | MitoGenetics
Type: | Journal: Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research | Year: 2017

Clinical usage of several classes of antibiotics is associated with moderate to severe side effects due to the promotion of mitochondrial dysfunction. We contend that this may be due to perturbation of unique evolutionary relationships that link selective biochemical and molecular aspects of mitochondrial biology to conserved enzymatic processes derived from bacterial progenitors. Operationally, stereo-selective conformational matching between mitochondrial respiratory complexes, cytosolic and nuclear signaling complexes appears to support the conservation of a critically important set of chemical messengers required for existential regulation of homeostatic cellular processes. Accordingly, perturbation of normative mitochondrial function by select classes of antibiotics is certainly reflective of the high degree of evolutionary pressure designed to maintain ongoing bidirectional signaling processes between cellular compartments. These issues are of critical importance in evaluating potentially severe side effects of antibiotics on complex behavioral functions mediated by CNS neuronal groups. The CNS is extremely dependent on delivery of molecular oxygen for maintaining a required level of metabolic activity, as reflected by the high concentration of neuronal mitochondria. Thus, it is not surprising to find several distinct behavioral abnormalities conforming to established psychiatric criteria that are associated with antibiotic usage in humans. The manifestation of acute and/or chronic psychiatric conditions following antibiotic usage may provide unique insights into key etiological factors of major psychiatric syndromes that involve rundown of cellular bioenergetics via mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus, a potential window of opportunity exists for development of novel therapeutic agents targeting diminished mitochondrial function as a factor in severe behavioral disorders.


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