bims-almceb Biomed News
on Acute Leukemia Metabolism and Cell Biology
Issue of 2021‒06‒20
seven papers selected by
Camila Kehl Dias
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

  1. Elife. 2021 Jun 16. pii: e63104. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Typified by oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), mitochondria catalyze a wide variety of cellular processes seemingly critical for malignant growth. As such, there is considerable interest in targeting mitochondrial metabolism in cancer. However, notwithstanding the few drugs targeting mutant dehydrogenase activity, nearly all hopeful 'mito-therapeutics' cannot discriminate cancerous from non-cancerous OXPHOS and thus suffer from a limited therapeutic index. The present project was based on the premise that the development of efficacious mitochondrial-targeted anti-cancer compounds requires answering two fundamental questions: 1) is mitochondrial bioenergetics in fact different between cancer and non-cancer cells? and 2) If so, what are the underlying mechanisms? Such information is particularly critical for the subset of human cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), in which alterations in mitochondrial metabolism are implicated in various aspects of cancer biology (e.g., clonal expansion and chemoresistance). Herein, we leveraged an in-house diagnostic biochemical workflow to comprehensively evaluate mitochondrial bioenergetic efficiency and capacity in various hematological cell types, with a specific focus on OXPHOS dynamics in AML. Consistent with prior reports, clonal cell expansion, characteristic of leukemia, was universally associated with a hyper-metabolic phenotype which included increases in basal and maximal glycolytic and respiratory flux. However, despite having nearly 2-fold more mitochondria per cell, clonally expanding hematopoietic stem cells, leukemic blasts, as well as chemoresistant AML were all consistently hallmarked by intrinsic limitations in oxidative ATP synthesis (i.e., OXPHOS). Remarkably, by performing experiments across a physiological span of ATP free energy (i.e, ΔGATP), we provide direct evidence that, rather than contributing to cellular ΔGATP, leukemic mitochondria are particularly poised to consume ATP. Relevant to AML biology, acute restoration of OXPHOS kinetics proved highly cytotoxic to leukemic blasts, suggesting that active OXPHOS repression supports aggressive disease dissemination in AML. Taken together, these findings argue against ATP being the primary output of mitochondria in leukemia and provide proof-of-principle that restoring, rather than disrupting, OXPHOS and/or cellular ΔGATP in cancer may represent an untapped therapeutic avenue for combatting hematological malignancy and chemoresistance.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; cancer biology; chemical biology; human
  2. Trends Cancer. 2021 Jun 07. pii: S2405-8033(21)00104-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy is a catabolic intracellular nutrient-scavenging pathway triggered by nutrient deprivation and stress that captures and degrades intracellular proteins and organelles in lysosomes. The breakdown products are then recycled into metabolic pathways to sustain survival. Organelle turnover by autophagy contributes to quality control and suppresses inflammation. Autophagy is upregulated in many cancers and supports their growth, survival, and malignancy in a tumor cell-autonomous fashion. Host autophagy also promotes tumor growth by maintaining a supply of essential nutrients and suppressing innate and adaptive antitumor immune responses. Autophagy is also upregulated in response to cancer therapy and confers treatment resistance. Thus, autophagy is a cancer vulnerability and its inhibition is under investigation as a novel therapeutic approach.
    Keywords:  T cells; autophagy; cancer; immune response; interferon; metabolism
  3. J Clin Invest. 2021 Jun 15. pii: 141529. [Epub ahead of print]131(12):
      Cancer cells reprogram lipid metabolism during their malignant progression, but limited information is currently available on the involvement of alterations in fatty acid synthesis in cancer development. We herein demonstrate that acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1), a rate-limiting enzyme for fatty acid synthesis, plays a critical role in regulating the growth and differentiation of leukemia-initiating cells. The Trib1-COP1 complex is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets C/EBPA, a transcription factor regulating myeloid differentiation, for degradation, and its overexpression specifically induces acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We identified ACC1 as a target of the Trib1-COP1 complex and found that an ACC1 mutant resistant to degradation because of the lack of a Trib1-binding site attenuated complex-driven leukemogenesis. Stable ACC1 protein expression suppressed the growth-promoting activity and increased ROS levels with the consumption of NADPH in a primary bone marrow culture, and delayed the onset of AML with increases in mature myeloid cells in mouse models. ACC1 promoted the terminal differentiation of Trib1-COP1-expressing cells and eradicated leukemia-initiating cells in the early phase of leukemic progression. These results indicate that ACC1 is a natural inhibitor of AML development. The upregulated expression of the ACC1 protein has potential as an effective strategy for cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Oncology; Tumor suppressors; Ubiquitin-proteosome system
  4. Cancer. 2021 Jun 17.
      BACKGROUND: The outcome of hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone plus ofatumumab hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab (hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab) has not been compared with the outcome of hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone plus ofatumumab hyper-CVAD plus rituximab (hyper-CVAD + Rituximab) in Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in a randomized clinical trial.METHODS: The authors compared the outcomes of 69 patients treated with hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab and 95 historical-control patients treated with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab. Historical-control patients were treated with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab if they had CD20 expression ≥ 20%. Ofatumumab (day 1 of course 1, 300 mg intravenously; subsequent doses, 2000 mg intravenously) was administered on days 1 and 11 of courses 1 and 3 and on days 1 and 8 of courses 2 and 4 for a total of 8 doses. A propensity score analysis with inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) was performed to adjust for baseline covariates between groups.
    RESULTS: The median event-free survival with stem cell transplantation (SCT) censoring was 33 and 65 months with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab and hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab, respectively (crude P = .064; IPTW P = .054). The median overall survival with SCT censoring was 52 months and not reached, respectively (crude P = .087; IPTW P = .097).
    CONCLUSIONS: Hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab was associated with better outcomes than hyper-CVAD + Rituximab among patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-negative ALL.
    Keywords:  Philadelphia chromosome-negative; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; anti-CD20 antibody; ofatumumab
  5. Clin Transl Oncol. 2021 Jun 14.
      Cancer immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of many malignant tumors. Although immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) can reactivate the anti-tumor activity of immune cells, sensitivity to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy depends on the complex tumor immune processes. In recent years, numerous researches have demonstrated the role of intestinal microbiota in immunity and metabolism of the tumor microenvironment, as well as the efficacy of immunotherapy. Epidemiological studies have further demonstrated the efficacy of antibiotic therapy on the probability of patients' response to ICIs and predictability of the short-term survival of cancer patients. Disturbance to the intestinal microbiota significantly affects ICIs-mediated immune reconstitution and is considered a possible mechanism underlying the development of adverse effects during antibiotic-based ICIs treatment. Intestinal microbiota, antibiotics, and ICIs have gradually become important considerations for the titer of immunotherapy. In the case of immunotherapy, the rational use of antibiotics and intestinal microbiota is expected to yield a better prognosis for patients with malignant tumors.
    Keywords:  Antibiotics; Cancer; Immune checkpoint inhibitors; Immunotherapy; Microbiota
  6. Leukemia. 2021 Jun 15.
      Assessment of measurable residual disease (MRD) upon treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains challenging. It is usually addressed by highly sensitive PCR- or sequencing-based screening of specific mutations, or by multiparametric flow cytometry. However, not all patients have suitable mutations and heterogeneity of surface markers hampers standardization in clinical routine. In this study, we propose an alternative approach to estimate MRD based on AML-associated DNA methylation (DNAm) patterns. We identified four CG dinucleotides (CpGs) that commonly reveal aberrant DNAm in AML and their combination could reliably discern healthy and AML samples. Interestingly, bisulfite amplicon sequencing demonstrated that aberrant DNAm patterns were symmetric on both alleles, indicating that there is epigenetic crosstalk between homologous chromosomes. We trained shallow-learning and deep-learning algorithms to identify anomalous DNAm patterns. The method was then tested on follow-up samples with and without MRD. Notably, even samples that were classified as MRD negative often revealed higher anomaly ratios than healthy controls, which may reflect clonal hematopoiesis. Our results demonstrate that targeted DNAm analysis facilitates reliable discrimination of malignant and healthy samples. However, since healthy samples also comprise few abnormal-classified DNAm reads the approach does not yet reliably discriminate MRD positive and negative samples.
  7. Neurochem Int. 2021 Jun 08. pii: S0197-0186(21)00141-8. [Epub ahead of print]148 105095
      Mitochondria are semi-autonomous organelle staging a crucial role in cellular stress response, energy metabolism and cell survival. Maintaining mitochondrial quality control is very important for its homeostasis. Pathological conditions such as oxidative stress and neurodegeneration, disrupt this quality control, and involvement of genetic and epigenetic materials in this disruption have been reported. These regulatory factors trigger mitochondrial imbalance, as seen in many neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. The dynamic regulatory pathways i.e. mitophagy, biogenesis, permeability pore transitioning, fusion-fission are affected as a consequence and have been reviewed in this article. Moreover, several epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modulation participating in such neurological disorders have also been discussed. Apart from it, therapeutic approaches targeting mitochondrial quality control have been tremendously explored showing ameliorative effects for these diseases, and have been discussed here with a novel perspective.
    Keywords:  Biogenesis; DNA methylation; Histone acetylation; Mitochondrial quality control; Mitophagy; Neurodegeneration