Determination of the spatiotemporal organization of mitochondrial membrane proteins by 2D and 3D single particle tracking and localization microscopy in living cells

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Title: Determination of the spatiotemporal organization of mitochondrial membrane proteins by 2D and 3D single particle tracking and localization microscopy in living cells
Authors: Dellmann, Timo
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Jacob Piehler
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Karin B. Busch
Abstract: Mitochondria are the power plant of most non-green eukaryotic cells. In order to understand mitochondrial functions and their regulation, knowledge of the spatiotemporal organization of their proteins is important. Mitochondrial membrane proteins can diffuse within membranes. They are involved in diverse functions e.g. protein import, cell respiration, metabolism, metabolite transport, fusion, fission or formation of the mitochondrial architecture. Furthermore, mitochondria compose of different subcompartments with different tasks. Especially, the inner mitochondrial membrane (IM), where the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) takes places, has a complex architecture with cristae extending into the matrix. The present work revealed the restricted localization of some mitochondrial proteins to specific membrane sections and linked it to their function or bioenergetic circumstances in the living cell. 
Single particle tracking (SPT) techniques like tracking and localization microscopy (TALM) allow to localize proteins with a precision below 20 nm. Additionally, tracking single proteins provides information about their mobility, dynamic and their spatiotemporal organization. TALM uses proteins, which were genetically tagged either with the HaloTag® (HaloTag) or the fSnapTag® (fSnapTag). These tags can be orthogonally and posttranslationally stained with specific and self-marking dyes. If the dyes are conjugated to the respective substrate of the tag. Single molecule labeling of mitochondrial proteins was performed substoichiometrically using membrane permeable rhodamine dyes, either tetramethylrhodamine (TMR) or silicon rhodamine (SiR). TALM allowed to localize proteins in different mitochondrial subcompartments. The gained trajectories and trajectory maps of mitochondrial proteins revealed their spatiotemporal organization. In the case of IM proteins like F1FO ATP synthase (Complex V - CV) a restricted diffusion in the CM, which is part of the continuous IM, was determined. The unimpeded diffusion of mitochondrial proteins in the outer mitochondrial membrane (OM) was compared with the mobility of IM proteins. The diffusion of mitochondrial IM proteins was restricted by the IM architecture and their diffusion coefficients were lower. Furthermore, significant differences of different mitochondrial IM proteins were compared, showing different localizations in the IM often coupled to their function, accompanied by different spatiotemporal organization and diffusion coefficients. Furthermore, a distinction was made between diffusion of proteins in the inner boundary membrane (IBM) and proteins that preferentially diffuse in the cristae membrane (CM). Evaluating trajectory maps, the different subcompartments in the IM were revealed by trajectories and the trajectory directionality, allowing the identification of mitochondrial proteins, which mark these subcompartments.
The morphology of mitochondria / mitochondrial networks and their bioenergetic parameters are linked to the metabolic states of the cell. In this work, the connection of the spatiotemporal protein organization of CV and the IM architecture was uncovered on the micro- and nanoscopic level and linked to the metabolic state of the cell. It was determined that the spatiotemporal organization of the CV was altered, when CV was inhibited. In addition, the bioenergetic influence of cells on the spatiotemporal behavior of CV and the reorganization of the IM architecture was investigated by TALM and compared with results of electron microscopy images. It was shown that starvation of cells led to a loss of cristae and thus to an increased mobility and spatiotemporal reorganization of CV. Taken together, the results presented in this work showed that a correctly functioning and active CV helps to maintain the IM architecture and both, the spatiotemporal organization of CV and the IM architecture were coupled to the metabolic state.. 
In order to investigate putative protein-protein interactions by colocalization and co-locomotion studies on single molecule level, dual color SPT is needed. Therefore, posttranslational and substoichimetric labeling as performed in TALM was tested for its potential of protein-protein interaction studies of mitochondrial membrane proteins. Here, a genetically double tagged translocase of the outer membrane subunit-20 (Tom20) (Tom20:HaloTag:fSnapTag) acted as a positive control. It turned out that substoichimetric, posttranslational labeling of mitochondrial proteins was not suitable for protein-protein interaction studies on mitochondrial proteins, because it was restricted by the low labeling degrees needed for TALM. However, dual-color TALM still allowed to study effects of proteins influencing the IM architecture and to study their influence on the spatiotemporal organization of CV. The co-transfection of Mic10, as the central protein of the mitochondrial inner membrane organizing system / mitochondrial contact site complex / mitochondrial organizing structure (MINOS / MICOS / MitOS (MINOS/MICOS)), altered the regular and aligned organization of the cristae. This was measured by a changed spatiotemporal organization of the CV, such as the loss of the perpendicular oriented of CV subunit-γ (CV-SUγ) cristae trajectories. In contrast to this, co-transfection of CV subunit-e (CV-SUe), important for dimerization of CV, increased the number of cristae trajectories. 
Mitochondria are three-dimensional (3D) cell organelles. Consequently, subcompartments like the IBM and CM are a 3D space in which CV is localized and diffuses. Thus, the diffusion of mitochondrial proteins is underestimated by two-dimensional SPT e.g. lateral confined diffusion can result from mitochondrial proteins diffusing along the z-axis of the microscope. In order to reveal the 3D spatiotemporal organization of CV, the potential of TALM to be extended to a 3D-SPT technique was investigated. Therto a cylindrical lens was installed in the emission path of a total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope. This leads to an astigmatically distorted point spread function (PSF) of the fluorescent single molecule signals. This distortion allowed the reconstruction of single molecule localizations of CV to a superresolved image of the IM, in living cells. In addition, 3D-TALM enabled to display the 3D architecture of the IM by 3D trajectories of CV. 3D-TALM was able to detect whether CV diffuses in the IBM or in the CM, and extended the information about its mobility in the CM that it takes place in a disc-like manner. In this way it could be shown that CV is mobile within the cristae in all directions. Finally, 3D-TALM revealed an altered IM architecture caused by the metabolic state of the cell. As performed in two-dimensional TALM, the cells were kept under starving conditions. Here the now tubular IM architecture was revealed by 3D-TALM. The reversed metabolic state under improved respiratory conditions unexpectedly led to a more diverse IM architecture. These ultrastructural changes were also revealed by electron microscopy. Consequently, 3D-TALM enabled the study of IM architecture by tracking CV under different metabolic conditions, allowing an ultrastructural analysis of mitochondria in living cells. In addition, 3D TALM provided the spatiotemporal organization of CV under different metabolic conditions, so that the diffusion coefficients of CV could be related to changes in IM architecture caused by the metabolic condition.
Subject Keywords: Mitochondria; Single particle tracking; Three-dimensional; Metabolism; live cell imaging; Super-resolution; Single molecule localization; microscopy
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2020
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB05 - E-Dissertationen

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