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      An Acidic Environment Induces APOL1 -Associated Mitochondrial Fragmentation

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          Background: Apolipoprotein L1 gene ( APOL1) G1 and G2 kidney-risk variants (KRVs) cause CKD in African Americans, inducing mitochondrial dysfunction. Modifying factors are required, because a minority of individuals with APOL1 high-risk genotypes develop nephropathy. Given that APOL1 function is pH-sensitive and the pH of the kidney interstitium is <7, we hypothesized the acidic kidney interstitium may facilitate APOL1 KRV-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Methods: Human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells conditionally expressing empty vector (EV), APOL1-reference G0, and G1 or G2 KRVs were incubated in media pH 6.8 or 7.4 for 4, 6, or 8 h. Genotype-specific pH effects on mitochondrial length (µm) were assessed using confocal microscopy in live cells and Fiji derivative of ImageJ software with MiNA plug-in. Lower mitochondrial length indicated fragmentation and early dysfunction. Results: After 6 h doxycycline (Dox) induction in pH 6.8 media, G2-expressing cells had shorter mitochondria (6.54 ± 0.40) than cells expressing EV (7.65 ± 0.72, p = 0.02) or G0 (7.46 ± 0.31, p = 0.003). After 8 h Dox induction in pH 6.8 media, both G1- (6.21 ± 0.26) and G2-expressing cells had shorter mitochondria (6.46 ± 0.34) than cells expressing EV (7.13 ± 0.32, p = 0.002 and p = 0.008, respectively) or G0 (7.22 ± 0.45, p = 0.003 and p = 0.01, respectively). Mitochondrial length in cells incubated in pH 7.4 media were comparable after 8 h Dox induction regardless of genotype. APOL1 mRNA expression and cell viability were comparable regardless of pH or genotype after 8 h Dox induction. Conclusion: Acidic pH facilitates early mitochondrial dysfunction induced by APOL1 G1 and G2 KRVs in HEK293 cells. We propose that the acidic kidney interstitium may play a role in APOL1-mediated mitochondrial pathophysiology and nephropathy.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Mitochondrial dynamics and apoptosis.

          In healthy cells, mitochondria continually divide and fuse to form a dynamic interconnecting network. The molecular machinery that mediates this organelle fission and fusion is necessary to maintain mitochondrial integrity, perhaps by facilitating DNA or protein quality control. This network disintegrates during apoptosis at the time of cytochrome c release and prior to caspase activation, yielding more numerous and smaller mitochondria. Recent work shows that proteins involved in mitochondrial fission and fusion also actively participate in apoptosis induction. This review will cover the recent advances and presents competing models on how the mitochondrial fission and fusion machinery may intersect apoptosis pathways.
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            Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cancer

            A mechanistic understanding of how mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to cell growth and tumorigenesis is emerging beyond Warburg as an area of research that is under-explored in terms of its significance for clinical management of cancer. Work discussed in this review focuses less on the Warburg effect and more on mitochondria and how dysfunctional mitochondria modulate cell cycle, gene expression, metabolism, cell viability, and other established aspects of cell growth and stress responses. There is increasing evidence that key oncogenes and tumor suppressors modulate mitochondrial dynamics through important signaling pathways and that mitochondrial mass and function vary between tumors and individuals but the significance of these events for cancer are not fully appreciated. We explore the interplay between key molecules involved in mitochondrial fission and fusion and in apoptosis, as well as in mitophagy, biogenesis, and spatial dynamics of mitochondria and consider how these distinct mechanisms are coordinated in response to physiological stresses such as hypoxia and nutrient deprivation. Importantly, we examine how deregulation of these processes in cancer has knock on effects for cell proliferation and growth. We define major forms of mitochondrial dysfunction and address the extent to which the functional consequences of such dysfunction can be determined and exploited for cancer diagnosis and treatment.
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              The APOL1 gene and allograft survival after kidney transplantation.

              Coding variants in the apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) are strongly associated with nephropathy in African Americans (AAs). The effect of transplanting kidneys from AA donors with two APOL1 nephropathy risk variants is unknown. APOL1 risk variants were genotyped in 106 AA deceased organ donors and graft survival assessed in 136 resultant kidney transplants. Cox-proportional hazard models tested for association between time to graft failure and donor APOL1 genotypes. The mean follow-up was 26.4 ± 21.8 months. Twenty-two of 136 transplanted kidneys (16%) were from donors with two APOL1 nephropathy risk variants. Twenty-five grafts failed; eight (32%) had two APOL1 risk variants. A multivariate model accounting for donor APOL1 genotype, overall African ancestry, expanded criteria donation, recipient age and gender, HLA mismatch, CIT and PRA revealed that graft survival was significantly shorter in donor kidneys with two APOL1 risk variants (hazard ratio [HR] 3.84; p = 0.008) and higher HLA mismatch (HR 1.52; p = 0.03), but not for overall African ancestry excluding APOL1. Kidneys from AA deceased donors harboring two APOL1 risk variants failed more rapidly after renal transplantation than those with zero or one risk variants. If replicated, APOL1 genotyping could improve the donor selection process and maximize long-term renal allograft survival. ©2011 The Authors Journal compilation©2011 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                September 2020
                31 August 2020
                : 51
                : 9
                : 695-704
                aDepartment of Biology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
                bDepartment of Internal Medicine, Section on Nephrology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
                cDepartment of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
                dDivision of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
                Author notes
                *Lijun Ma or Barry I. Freedman, Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Nephrology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27157 (USA), lima@wakehealth.edu or bfreedma@wakehealth.edu
                509989 Am J Nephrol 2020;51:695–704
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, Pages: 10
                Patient-Oriented, Translational Research: Research Article


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