Presentation Title

Investigation of Factors that Influence Subcellular Mitochondrial Positioning and Dynamics

Project Collaborators

Brian Cunniff (Mentor), Nicholas Heintz (Collaborating Mentor), Haya Alshaabi (Research Technician)

Abstract

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, providing energy (ATP) to support dynamic cellular processes. ATP is rapidly consumed upon release from mitochondria, therefore mitochondria move throughout the cell to provide localized energy at subcellular sites. Changes in subcellular positioning of mitochondria is linked to diseases such as neurodegeneration and metastatic cancer. Miro1 is an essential adaptor protein that links mitochondria to motors, facilitating mitochondrial movement in cells. How Miro1 responds to signals to influence mitochondrial movement is unknown. Previous reports identified reactive oxygen species (ROS) as modulators of mitochondrial movement, leading us to investigate how ROS influence Miro1 and mitochondrial dynamics. Using gene-edited cell lines that express a GFP-tagged Miro1, protein western blotting, immunofluorescence, and laser scanning confocal microscopy, I quantified the effects of ROS inducing compounds on Miro1 and mitochondrial dynamics. Interestingly, ROS from diverse cellular compartments had different effects on Miro1 and mitochondrial dynamics. Currently, we are utilizing a live-cell imaging approach to investigate how ROS alter Miro1 and mitochondrial dynamics in real-time. Since disrupted mitochondrial movement is central to numerous disease states, including neurodegeneration and tumor metastasis, these results may provide valuable insight into the role that Miro1 plays in the establishment of ROS-associated diseases.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Brian Cunniff

Secondary Mentor NetID

nheintz

Secondary Mentor Name

Nicholas Heintz

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Biochemistry

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Health Sciences

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Investigation of Factors that Influence Subcellular Mitochondrial Positioning and Dynamics

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, providing energy (ATP) to support dynamic cellular processes. ATP is rapidly consumed upon release from mitochondria, therefore mitochondria move throughout the cell to provide localized energy at subcellular sites. Changes in subcellular positioning of mitochondria is linked to diseases such as neurodegeneration and metastatic cancer. Miro1 is an essential adaptor protein that links mitochondria to motors, facilitating mitochondrial movement in cells. How Miro1 responds to signals to influence mitochondrial movement is unknown. Previous reports identified reactive oxygen species (ROS) as modulators of mitochondrial movement, leading us to investigate how ROS influence Miro1 and mitochondrial dynamics. Using gene-edited cell lines that express a GFP-tagged Miro1, protein western blotting, immunofluorescence, and laser scanning confocal microscopy, I quantified the effects of ROS inducing compounds on Miro1 and mitochondrial dynamics. Interestingly, ROS from diverse cellular compartments had different effects on Miro1 and mitochondrial dynamics. Currently, we are utilizing a live-cell imaging approach to investigate how ROS alter Miro1 and mitochondrial dynamics in real-time. Since disrupted mitochondrial movement is central to numerous disease states, including neurodegeneration and tumor metastasis, these results may provide valuable insight into the role that Miro1 plays in the establishment of ROS-associated diseases.