Mitochondria participate in various metabolic pathways, and their dysregulation results in multiple disorders, including aging-related diseases. However, the metabolic changes and mechanisms of mitochondrial disorders are not fully understood. Here, we found that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a patient with mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) showed attenuated proliferation and survival when glycolysis was inhibited. These deficits were rescued by taurine administration. Metabolomic analyses showed that the ratio of the reduced (GSH) to oxidized glutathione (GSSG) was decreased; whereas the levels of cysteine, a substrate of GSH, and oxidative stress markers were upregulated in MELAS iPSCs. Taurine normalized these changes, suggesting that MELAS iPSCs were affected by the oxidative stress and taurine reduced its influence. We also analyzed the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) differentiated from MELAS iPSCs by using a three-dimensional culture system and found that it showed epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was suppressed by taurine. Therefore, mitochondrial dysfunction caused metabolic changes, accumulation of oxidative stress that depleted GSH, and EMT in the RPE that could be involved in retinal pathogenesis. Because all these phenomena were sensitive to taurine treatment, we conclude that administration of taurine may be a potential new therapeutic approach for mitochondria-related retinal diseases.
- Epithelial mesenchymal transition
- Induced pluripotent stem cells
- Retinal pigment epithelium
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry
- Clinical Biochemistry