REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0109.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: proteomics; transcriptomics; DNA methylation; mitochondria; metabolism; OXPHOS; ASD; neurogenesis; gliosis; neurodevelopment
Online: 6 September 2021 (17:14:37 CEST)
Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with extensive genetic and aetiological heterogeneity. While the underlying molecular mechanisms involved remain unclear, significant progress has been facilitated by recent advances in high-throughput transcriptomic, epigenomic and proteomic technologies. Here, we review recently published ASD proteomic data and compare proteomic func-tional enrichment signatures to those of transcriptomic and epigenomic data. We iden-tify canonical pathways that are consistently implicated in ASD molecular data and find an enrichment of pathways involved in mitochondrial metabolism and neurogenesis. We identify a subset of differentially expressed proteins that are supported by ASD tran-scriptomic and DNA methylation data. Furthermore, these differentially expressed proteins are enriched for disease phenotype pathways associated with ASD aetiology. These proteins converge on protein-protein interaction networks that regulate cell pro-liferation and differentiation, metabolism and inflammation which demonstrates a link between canonical pathways, biological processes and the ASD phenotype. This review highlights how proteomics can uncover potential molecular mechanisms to explain a link between mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodevelopmental pathology.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0281.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: autism; autistic burnout; social camouflaging; early life stress; suicidality; psychopathology; mitochondrial allostatic load
Online: 5 September 2022 (03:35:24 CEST)
Molecular autism research is evolving towards a biopsychosocial framework that is more informed by autistic experiences. In this context, research aims are moving away from correcting external autistic behaviors and towards alleviating internal distress. Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASCs) are associated with high rates of depression, suicidality and other comorbid psychopathologies, but this relationship is poorly understood. Here, we integrate emerging characterizations of internal autistic experiences within a molecular framework to yield insight into the prevalence of psychopathology in ASC. We demonstrate that descriptions of social camouflaging and autistic burnout resonate closely with the accepted definitions for early life stress (ELS) and chronic adolescent stress (CAS). We propose that social camouflaging could be considered a distinct form of CAS that contributes to allostatic overload, culminating in a pathophysiological state that is experienced as autistic burnout. Autistic burnout is thought to contribute to psychopathology via psychological and physiological mechanisms, but these remain largely unexplored by molecular researchers. Building on converging fields in molecular neuroscience, we discuss the substantial evidence implicating mitochondrial dysfunction in ASC to propose a novel role for mitochondrial allostatic load in the relationship between autism and psychopathology. An interplay between mitochondrial, neuroimmune and neuroendocrine signaling is increasingly implicated in stress-related psychopathologies, and these molecular players are also associated with neurodevelopmental, neurophysiological and neurochemical aspects of ASC etiology. Together, this suggests an increased exposure and underlying molecular susceptibility to ELS that increases the risk of psychopathology in ASC. This article describes an integrative framework shaped by autistic experiences that highlights novel avenues for molecular research into mechanisms that directly affect the quality of life and well-being of autistic individuals. Moreover, this framework emphasizes the need for increased access to diagnoses, accommodations, and resources to improve mental health outcomes in autism.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0553.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: mitochondrial; morphology; dynamics; fusion; fission; biogenesis; transmission electron mi-croscopy; neuronal models; neuropathology; SH-SY5Y
Online: 30 November 2022 (01:30:04 CET)
Mitochondrial dysregulation is implicated in numerous neurological disorders. Mitochondrial dynamics, including biogenesis, fusion and fission, are essential components of mitostasis which is modulated by complex regulatory mechanisms. Although expression studies are often used to investigate mitochondrial dynamics, these studies may be limited by the interdependent and temporal nature of mitostasis. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and cryogenic preparation methods provide a direct approach to examine mitochondrial ultrastructure in neurons. We investigated the utility of TEM to visualize mitochondrial morphological changes in SH-SY5Y cells treated with propionic acid (PPA). We examined whether morphological alterations were associated with differences in membrane potential or expression of biogenesis, fusion and fission genes. PPA induced a significant decrease in mitochondrial area (p<0.01 5mM), Feret's diameter and perimeter (p<0.05 5mM), and in area2 (p<0.05 3mM, p<0.01 5mM) – consistent with a shift towards fission. Morphological changes were not associated with significant differences in mitochondrial membrane potential. However, we observed decreased gene expression of NRF1 (p<0.01), TFAM (p<0.05), and STOML2 (p<0.0001). These data support a disruption of the balance in dynamics to preserve function under stress. This demonstrates the utility of TEM to provide insight into mitochondrial dynamics and function which can inform targeted mechanistic investigations into neuropathology.