Mitochondrial DNA transcription and mitochondrial genome-encoded long noncoding RNA in diabetic retinopathy

Mitochondrion. 2024 Jun 27:101925. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2024.101925. Online ahead of print.


In diabetic retinopathy, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is damaged and mtDNA-encoded genes and long noncoding RNA cytochrome B (LncCytB) are downregulated. LncRNAs lack an open reading frame, but they can regulate gene expression by associating with DNA/RNA/protein. Double stranded mtDNA has promoters on both heavy (HSP) and light (LSP) strands with binding sites for mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) between them. The aim was to investigate the role of LncCytB in mtDNA transcription in diabetic retinopathy. Using human retinal endothelial cells incubated in high glucose, the effect of regulation of LncCytB on TFAM binding at mtDNA promoters was investigated by Chromatin immunoprecipitation, and binding of LncCytB at TFAM by RNA immunoprecipitation and RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization. High glucose decreased TFAM binding at both HSP and LSP, and binding of LncCytB at TFAM. While LncCytB overexpression ameliorated decrease in TFAM binding and transcription of genes encoded by both H- and L- strands, LncCytB-siRNA further downregulated them. Maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis by overexpressing mitochondrial superoxide dismutase or Sirtuin-1 protected diabetes-induced decrease in TFAM binding at mtDNA and LncCytB binding at TFAM, and mtDNA transcription. Similar results were obtained from mouse retinal microvessels from streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Thus, LncCytB facilitates recruitment of TFAM at HSP and LSP, and its downregulation in diabetes compromises the binding, resulting in the downregulation of polypeptides encoded by mtDNA. Regulation of LncCytB, in addition to protecting mitochondrial genomic stability, should also help in maintaining the transcription of mtDNA encoded genes and electron transport chain integrity in diabetic retinopathy.

PMID:38944370 | DOI:10.1016/j.mito.2024.101925