bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2019‒12‒01
thirty-two papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit


  1. Mol Metab. 2019 Dec;pii: S2212-8778(19)30907-X. [Epub ahead of print]30 61-71
    Trefely S, Liu J, Huber K, Doan MT, Jiang H, Singh J, von Krusenstiern E, Bostwick A, Xu P, Bogner-Strauss JG, Wellen KE, Snyder NW.
      OBJECTIVE: The dynamic regulation of metabolic pathways can be monitored by stable isotope tracing. Yet, many metabolites are part of distinct processes within different subcellular compartments. Standard isotope tracing experiments relying on analyses in whole cells may not accurately reflect compartmentalized metabolic processes. Analysis of compartmentalized metabolism and the dynamic interplay between compartments can potentially be achieved by stable isotope tracing followed by subcellular fractionation. Although it is recognized that metabolism can take place during biochemical fractionation of cells, a clear understanding of how such post-harvest metabolism impacts the interpretation of subcellular isotope tracing data and methods to correct for this are lacking. We set out to directly assess artifactual metabolism, enabling us to develop and test strategies to correct for it. We apply these techniques to examine the compartment-specific metabolic kinetics of 13C-labeled substrates targeting central metabolic pathways.METHODS: We designed a stable isotope tracing strategy to interrogate post-harvest metabolic activity during subcellular fractionation using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).
    RESULTS: We show that post-harvest metabolic activity occurs rapidly (within seconds) upon cell harvest. With further characterization we reveal that this post-harvest metabolism is enzymatic and reflects the metabolic capacity of the sub-cellular compartment analyzed, but it is limited in the extent of its propagation into downstream metabolites in metabolic pathways. We also propose and test a post-labeling strategy to assess the amount of post-harvest metabolism occurring in an experiment and then to adjust data to account for this. We validate this approach for both mitochondrial and cytosolic metabolic analyses.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that isotope tracing coupled with sub-cellular fractionation can reveal distinct and dynamic metabolic features of cellular compartments, and that confidence in such data can be improved by applying a post-labeling correction strategy. We examine compartmentalized metabolism of acetate and glutamine and show that acetyl-CoA is turned over rapidly in the cytosol and acts as a pacemaker of anabolic metabolism in this compartment.
    Keywords:  Acetyl-CoA; Compartmentalization; Mevalonate pathway; Organelle; Stable isotope tracing; Sub-cellular metabolism
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2019.09.004
  2. Cell Metab. 2019 Nov 12. pii: S1550-4131(19)30568-6. [Epub ahead of print]
    Huangyang P, Li F, Lee P, Nissim I, Weljie AM, Mancuso A, Li B, Keith B, Yoon SS, Celeste Simon M.
      The remarkable cellular and genetic heterogeneity of soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) limits the clinical benefit of targeted therapies. Here, we show that expression of the gluconeogenic isozyme fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase 2 (FBP2) is silenced in a broad spectrum of sarcoma subtypes, revealing an apparent common metabolic feature shared by diverse STSs. Enforced FBP2 expression inhibits sarcoma cell and tumor growth through two distinct mechanisms. First, cytosolic FBP2 antagonizes elevated glycolysis associated with the "Warburg effect," thereby inhibiting sarcoma cell proliferation. Second, nuclear-localized FBP2 restrains mitochondrial biogenesis and respiration in a catalytic-activity-independent manner by inhibiting the expression of nuclear respiratory factor and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM). Specifically, nuclear FBP2 colocalizes with the c-Myc transcription factor at the TFAM locus and represses c-Myc-dependent TFAM expression. This unique dual function of FBP2 provides a rationale for its selective suppression in STSs, identifying a potential metabolic vulnerability of this malignancy and possible therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  Myc; TFAM; fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase 2; glycolysis; mitochondrial function; sarcoma progression
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2019.10.012
  3. Cell Metab. 2019 Nov 20. pii: S1550-4131(19)30606-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    Angiari S, Runtsch MC, Sutton CE, Palsson-McDermott EM, Kelly B, Rana N, Kane H, Papadopoulou G, Pearce EL, Mills KHG, O'Neill LAJ.
      Pyruvate kinase (PK) catalyzes the conversion of phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate during glycolysis. The PK isoform PKM2 has additional roles in regulation of gene transcription and protein phosphorylation. PKM2 has been shown to control macrophage metabolic remodeling in inflammation, but its role in T cell biology is poorly understood. Here, we report PKM2 upregulation, phosphorylation, and nuclear accumulation in murine and human CD4+ T cells following activation in vitro. Treatment of T cells with TEPP-46, an allosteric activator that induces PKM2 tetramerization and blocks its nuclear translocation, strongly reduces their activation, proliferation, and cytokine production by inhibiting essential signaling pathways and thus preventing the engagement of glycolysis. TEPP-46 limits the development of both T helper 17 (Th17) and Th1 cells in vitro and ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in vivo. Overall, our results suggest that pharmacological targeting of PKM2 may represent a valuable therapeutic approach in T cell-mediated inflammation and autoimmunity.
    Keywords:  PKM2; Th1; Th17; autoimmunity; immunometabolism; inflammation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2019.10.015
  4. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2019 Nov 25.
    Ballabio A, Bonifacino JS.
      Exciting new discoveries have transformed the view of the lysosome from a static organelle dedicated to the disposal and recycling of cellular waste to a highly dynamic structure that mediates the adaptation of cell metabolism to environmental cues. Lysosome-mediated signalling pathways and transcription programmes are able to sense the status of cellular metabolism and control the switch between anabolism and catabolism by regulating lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy. The lysosome also extensively communicates with other cellular structures by exchanging content and information and by establishing membrane contact sites. It is now clear that lysosome positioning is a dynamically regulated process and a crucial determinant of lysosomal function. Finally, growing evidence indicates that the role of lysosomal dysfunction in human diseases goes beyond rare inherited diseases, such as lysosomal storage disorders, to include common neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases, as well as cancer. Together, these discoveries highlight the lysosome as a regulatory hub for cellular and organismal homeostasis, and an attractive therapeutic target for a broad variety of disease conditions.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41580-019-0185-4
  5. Exp Mol Med. 2019 Nov 29. 51(11): 146
    Lee JH, Cho YR, Kim JH, Kim J, Nam HY, Kim SW, Son J.
      Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolism and high levels of enzymes in the BCAA metabolic pathway have recently been shown to be associated with cancer growth and survival. However, the precise roles of BCAA metabolism in cancer growth and survival remain largely unclear. Here, we found that BCAA metabolism has an important role in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) growth by regulating lipogenesis. Compared with nontransformed human pancreatic ductal (HPDE) cells, PDAC cells exhibited significantly elevated BCAA uptake through solute carrier transporters, which were highly upregulated in pancreatic tumor tissues compared with normal tissues. Branched-chain amino-acid transaminase 2 (BCAT2) knockdown markedly impaired PDAC cell proliferation, but not HPDE cell proliferation, without significant alterations in glutamate or reactive oxygen species levels. Furthermore, PDAC cell proliferation, but not HPDE cell proliferation, was substantially inhibited upon knockdown of branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase a (BCKDHA). Interestingly, BCKDHA knockdown had no significant effect on mitochondrial metabolism; that is, neither the level of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates nor the oxygen consumption rate was affected. However, BCKDHA knockdown significantly inhibited fatty-acid synthesis, indicating that PDAC cells may utilize BCAAs as a carbon source for fatty-acid biosynthesis. Overall, our findings show that the BCAA metabolic pathway may provide a novel therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-019-0350-z
  6. Trends Mol Med. 2019 Nov 22. pii: S1471-4914(19)30275-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    Boyman L, Karbowski M, Lederer WJ.
      Cardiac ATP production primarily depends on oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria and is dynamically regulated by Ca2+ levels in the mitochondrial matrix as well as by cytosolic ADP. We discuss mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling and its dysfunction which has recently been linked to cardiac pathologies including arrhythmia and heart failure. Similar dysfunction in other excitable and long-lived cells including neurons is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson's disease (PD). Central to this new understanding is crucial Ca2+ regulation of both mitochondrial quality control and ATP production. Mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM) signaling from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to mitochondria is discussed. We propose future research directions that emphasize a need to define quantitatively the physiological roles of MAMs, as well as mitochondrial quality control and ATP production.
    Keywords:  heart failure; mitochondria-associated membranes; mitochondrial Ca(2+) signaling; mitochondrial quality control; mitophagy; neurodegeneration
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmed.2019.10.007
  7. Nature. 2019 Nov 27.
    Hang S, Paik D, Yao L, Kim E, Jamma T, Lu J, Ha S, Nelson BN, Kelly SP, Wu L, Zheng Y, Longman RS, Rastinejad F, Devlin AS, Krout MR, Fischbach MA, Littman DR, Huh JR.
      Bile acids are abundant in the mammalian gut, where they undergo bacteria-mediated transformation to generate a large pool of bioactive molecules. Although bile acids are known to affect host metabolism, cancer progression and innate immunity, it is unknown whether they affect adaptive immune cells such as T helper cells that express IL-17a (TH17 cells) or regulatory T cells (Treg cells). Here we screen a library of bile acid metabolites and identify two distinct derivatives of lithocholic acid (LCA), 3-oxoLCA and isoalloLCA, as T cell regulators in mice. 3-OxoLCA inhibited the differentiation of TH17 cells by directly binding to the key transcription factor retinoid-related orphan receptor-γt (RORγt) and isoalloLCA increased the differentiation of Treg cells through the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mitoROS), which led to increased expression of FOXP3. The isoalloLCA-mediated enhancement of Treg cell differentiation required an intronic Foxp3 enhancer, the conserved noncoding sequence (CNS) 3; this represents a mode of action distinct from that of previously identified metabolites that increase Treg cell differentiation, which require CNS1. The administration of 3-oxoLCA and isoalloLCA to mice reduced TH17 cell differentiation and increased Treg cell differentiation, respectively, in the intestinal lamina propria. Our data suggest mechanisms through which bile acid metabolites control host immune responses, by directly modulating the balance of TH17 and Treg cells.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1785-z
  8. Mol Metab. 2019 Dec;pii: S2212-8778(19)30916-0. [Epub ahead of print]30 192-202
    Giroud-Gerbetant J, Joffraud M, Giner MP, Cercillieux A, Bartova S, Makarov MV, Zapata-Pérez R, Sánchez-García JL, Houtkooper RH, Migaud ME, Moco S, Canto C.
      OBJECTIVE: A decay in intracellular NAD+ levels is one of the hallmarks of physiological decline in normal tissue functions. Accordingly, dietary supplementation with NAD+ precursors can prevent, alleviate, or even reverse multiple metabolic complications and age-related disorders in diverse model organisms. Within the constellation of NAD+ precursors, nicotinamide riboside (NR) has gained attention due to its potent NAD+ biosynthetic effects in vivo while lacking adverse clinical effects. Nevertheless, NR is not stable in circulation, and its utilization is rate-limited by the expression of nicotinamide riboside kinases (NRKs). Therefore, there is a strong interest in identifying new effective NAD+ precursors that can overcome these limitations.METHODS: Through a combination of metabolomics and pharmacological approaches, we describe how NRH, a reduced form of NR, serves as a potent NAD+ precursor in mammalian cells and mice.
    RESULTS: NRH acts as a more potent and faster NAD+ precursor than NR in mammalian cells and tissues. Despite the minor structural difference, we found that NRH uses different steps and enzymes to synthesize NAD+, thus revealing a new NRK1-independent pathway for NAD+ synthesis. Finally, we provide evidence that NRH is orally bioavailable in mice and prevents cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data identify a new pathway for NAD+ synthesis and classify NRH as a promising new therapeutic strategy to enhance NAD+ levels.
    Keywords:  Metabolism; NAD(+); Nicotinamide riboside
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2019.09.013
  9. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2019 Nov 26.
    Neppala P, Banerjee S, Fanta PT, Yerba M, Porras KA, Burgoyne AM, Sicklick JK.
      Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are increasingly recognized as having diverse biology. With the development of tyrosine kinase inhibitors molecularly matched to oncogenic KIT and PDGFRA mutations, GISTs have become a quintessential model for precision oncology. However, about 5-10% of GIST lack these driver mutations and are deficient in succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), an enzyme that converts succinate to fumarate. SDH deficiency leads to accumulation of succinate, an oncometabolite that promotes tumorigenesis. SDH-deficient GISTs are clinically unique in that they generally affect younger patients and are associated with GIST-paraganglioma hereditary syndrome, also known as Carney-Stratakis Syndrome. SDH-deficient GISTs are generally resistant to tyrosine-kinase inhibitors, the standard treatment for advanced or metastatic GIST. Thus, surgical resection is the mainstay of treatment for localized disease, but recurrence is common. Clinical trials are currently underway investigating systemic agents for treatment of advanced SDH-deficient GIST. However, further studies are warranted to improve our understanding of SDH-deficient GIST disease biology, natural history, surgical approaches, and novel therapeutics.
    Keywords:  GIST; Gastrointestinal stromal tumors; SDH; Succinate dehydrogenase; Tyrosine kinase inhibitors
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10555-019-09818-0
  10. Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 28. 9(1): 17760
    Katzir R, Polat IH, Harel M, Katz S, Foguet C, Selivanov VA, Sabatier P, Cascante M, Geiger T, Ruppin E.
      Altered metabolism is a hallmark of cancer, but little is still known about its regulation. In this study, we measure transcriptomic, proteomic, phospho-proteomic and fluxomics data in a breast cancer cell-line (MCF7) across three different growth conditions. Integrating these multiomics data within a genome scale human metabolic model in combination with machine learning, we systematically chart the different layers of metabolic regulation in breast cancer cells, predicting which enzymes and pathways are regulated at which level. We distinguish between two types of reactions, directly and indirectly regulated. Directly-regulated reactions include those whose flux is regulated by transcriptomic alterations (~890) or via proteomic or phospho-proteomics alterations (~140) in the enzymes catalyzing them. We term the reactions that currently lack evidence for direct regulation as (putative) indirectly regulated (~930). Many metabolic pathways are predicted to be regulated at different levels, and those may change at different media conditions. Remarkably, we find that the flux of predicted indirectly regulated reactions is strongly coupled to the flux of the predicted directly regulated ones, uncovering a tiered hierarchical organization of breast cancer cell metabolism. Furthermore, the predicted indirectly regulated reactions are predominantly reversible. Taken together, this architecture may facilitate rapid and efficient metabolic reprogramming in response to the varying environmental conditions incurred by the tumor cells. The approach presented lays a conceptual and computational basis for mapping metabolic regulation in additional cancers.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-54221-y
  11. Redox Biol. 2019 Nov 11. pii: S2213-2317(19)31369-2. [Epub ahead of print]28 101375
    Lee MY, Leonardi A, Begley TJ, Melendez JA.
      Critically important to the maintenance of the glutathione (GSH) redox cycle are the activities of many selenocysteine-containing GSH metabolizing enzymes whose translation is controlled by the epitranscriptomic writer alkylation repair homolog 8 (ALKBH8). ALKBH8 is a tRNA methyltransferase that methylates the wobble uridine of specific tRNAs to regulate the synthesis of selenoproteins. Here we demonstrate that a deficiency in the writer ALKBH8 (Alkbh8def), alters selenoprotein levels and engages senescence, regulates stress response genes and promotes mitochondrial reprogramming. Alkbh8def mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) increase many hallmarks of senescence, including senescence associated β-galactosidase, heterocromatic foci, the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p16Ink4a, markers of mitochondrial dynamics as well as the senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Alkbh8def cells also acquire a stress resistance phenotype that is accompanied by an increase in a number redox-modifying transcripts. In addition, Alkbh8def MEFs undergo a metabolic shift that is highlighted by a striking increase in the level of uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) which enhances oxygen consumption and promotes a reliance on glycolytic metabolism. Finally, we have shown that the Alkbh8 deficiency can be exploited and corresponding MEFs are killed by glycolytic inhibition. Our work demonstrates that defects in an epitransciptomic writer promote senescence and mitochondrial reprogramming and unveils a novel adaptive mechanism for coping with defects in selenocysteine utilization.
    Keywords:  Epitranscriptome; Mitochondria; Selenium; Senescence; Uncoupling protein
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2019.101375
  12. J Biol Chem. 2019 Nov 24. pii: jbc.RA119.010892. [Epub ahead of print]
    Frias MA, Mukhopadhyay S, Lehman E, Walasek A, Utter M, Menon D, Foster DA.
      mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1) promotes cell growth and proliferation in response to nutrients and growth factors. Amino acids induce lysosomal translocation of mTORC1 via the Rag GTPases. Growth factors activate Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb), which in turn, activates mTORC1 at the lysosome. Amino acids and growth factors also induce the phospholipase D (PLD)-phosphatidic acid (PA) pathway, required for mTORC1 signaling through mechanisms that are not fully understood. Here, using human and murine cell lines, along with immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, endocytosis, PLD activity, and cell viability assays, we show that exogenously supplied PA vesicles deliver mTORC1 to the lysosome in the absence of amino acids, Rag GTPases, growth factors, and Rheb. Of note, pharmacological or genetic inhibition of endogenous PLD prevented mTORC1 lysosomal translocation. We observed that precancerous cells with constitutive Rheb activation through loss of TSC complex subunit 2 (TSC2) exploit the PLD-PA pathway and thereby sustain mTORC1 activation at the lysosome in the absence of amino acids. Our findings indicate that sequential inputs from amino acids and growth factors trigger PA production required for mTORC1 translocation and activation at the lysosome.
    Keywords:  Phospholipase D; amino acid; cancer biology; cancer therapy; growth factor; lysosome; mTOR complex (mTORC); phosphatidic acid; phospholipid vesicle
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA119.010892
  13. Cancer Res. 2019 Nov 25. pii: canres.0638.2019. [Epub ahead of print]
    Randall EC, Lopez BGC, Peng S, Regan MS, Abdelmoula WM, Basu SS, Santagata S, Yoon H, Haigis M, Agar JN, Tran NL, Elmquist WF, White FM, Sarkaria JN, Agar NYR.
      Glioblastoma (GBM) is increasingly recognized as a disease involving dysfunctional cellular metabolism. GBMs are known to be complex heterogeneous systems containing multiple distinct cell populations and are supported by an aberrant network of blood vessels. A better understanding of glioblastoma metabolism, its variation with respect to the tumor microenvironment, and resulting regional changes in chemical composition is required. This may shed light on the observed heterogeneous drug distribution which cannot be fully described by limited or uneven disruption of the blood brain barrier. In this work we used mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) to map metabolites and lipids in patient-derived xenograft models of glioblastoma. A data analysis workflow revealed that distinctive spectral signatures were detected from different regions of the intracranial tumor model. A series of long-chain acylcarnitines were identified and detected with increased intensity at the tumor edge. A 3D MSI dataset demonstrated that these molecules were observed throughout the entire tumor/normal interface and were not confined to a single plane. mRNA sequencing demonstrated that hallmark genes related to fatty acid metabolism were more highly expressed in samples with higher acyl-carnitine content. These data suggest that cells in the core and the edge of the tumor undergo different fatty acid metabolism, resulting in different chemical environments within the tumor. This may influence drug distribution through changes in tissue drug affinity or transport, and constitute an important consideration for therapeutic strategies in the treatment of GBM.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0638
  14. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2019 ;7 274
    Zheng Q, Huang J, Wang G.
      Mitochondrial functions and telomere functions have mostly been studied independently. In recent years, it, however, has become clear that there are intimate links between mitochondria, telomeres, and telomerase subunits. Mitochondrial dysfunctions cause telomere attrition, while telomere damage leads to reprogramming of mitochondrial biosynthesis and mitochondrial dysfunctions, which has important implications in aging and diseases. In addition, evidence has accumulated that telomere-independent functions of telomerase also exist and that the protein component of telomerase TERT shuttles between the nucleus and mitochondria under oxidative stress. Our previously published data show that the RNA component of telomerase TERC is also imported into mitochondria, processed, and exported back to the cytosol. These data show a complex regulation network where telomeres, nuclear genome, and mitochondria are co-regulated by multi-localization and multi-function proteins and RNAs. This review summarizes the connections between mitochondria and telomeres, the mitochondrion-related functions of telomerase subunits, and how they play a role in crosstalk between mitochondria and the nucleus.
    Keywords:  TERC; TERT; aging; mitochondria; telomerase; telomere
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2019.00274
  15. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2019 Nov 21. pii: S0167-4889(19)30212-5. [Epub ahead of print]1867(2): 118604
    M de-Brito N, Duncan-Moretti J, C da-Costa H, Saldanha-Gama R, Paula-Neto HA, G Dorighello G, L Simões R, Barja-Fidalgo C.
      Macrophages (MO) are versatile cells, assuming distinct functional phenotypes depending on the activating stimulus and the microenvironment. The differential activation of macrophages is supported by profound intracellular metabolic changes, being well accepted that the M1/M(LPS+IFN-γ) phenotype rely on aerobic glycolysis, while M2/M(IL-4) macrophages depend on oxidative metabolism. On the other hand, although tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are characterized by their high expression of M2/M(IL-4) markers, is currently unclear whether TAMs present the same oxidative metabolic profile of M2/M(IL-4) cells. Herein, we demonstrate for the first time that despite their high expression of M2/M(IL-4) markers, TAMs show high glycolytic activity, with high lactate secretion similar to the M1/M(LPS+ IFN-γ) phenotype. This activity seems to be essential for the M2 profile of TAMs, since the inhibition of glycolysis, but not the impairment of the oxidative phosphorylation or pentose phosphate pathway, diminished the expression of M2/M(IL-4) markers. These novel data indicate that TAMs, although are usually phenotyped as M2/M(IL-4)-like macrophages, they are metabolically distinct from these cells, being rather similar to M1/M(LPS+IFN-γ) macrophages, depending on the glycolytic metabolism to support their profile and functions.
    Keywords:  Glycolysis; Macrophage; Metabolism; Phenotype maintenance; Tumor-associated macrophages
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2019.118604
  16. Nat Chem Biol. 2019 Nov 25.
    Black WB, Zhang L, Mak WS, Maxel S, Cui Y, King E, Fong B, Sanchez Martinez A, Siegel JB, Li H.
      Biological production of chemicals often requires the use of cellular cofactors, such as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+). These cofactors are expensive to use in vitro and difficult to control in vivo. We demonstrate the development of a noncanonical redox cofactor system based on nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN+). The key enzyme in the system is a computationally designed glucose dehydrogenase with a 107-fold cofactor specificity switch toward NMN+ over NADP+ based on apparent enzymatic activity. We demonstrate that this system can be used to support diverse redox chemistries in vitro with high total turnover number (~39,000), to channel reducing power in Escherichia coli whole cells specifically from glucose to a pharmaceutical intermediate, levodione, and to sustain the high metabolic flux required for the central carbon metabolism to support growth. Overall, this work demonstrates efficient use of a noncanonical cofactor in biocatalysis and metabolic pathway design.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41589-019-0402-7
  17. Cell Rep. 2019 Nov 26. pii: S2211-1247(19)31430-5. [Epub ahead of print]29(9): 2634-2645.e5
    Low MSY, Brodie EJ, Fedele PL, Liao Y, Grigoriadis G, Strasser A, Kallies A, Willis SN, Tellier J, Shi W, Gabriel S, O'Donnell K, Pitt C, Nutt SL, Tarlinton D.
      The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) is critical for the development, maintenance, and function of plasma cells. The mechanism by which IRF4 exerts its action in mature plasma cells has been elusive due to the death of all such cells upon IRF4 loss. While we identify apoptosis as a critical pathway for the death of plasma cells caused by IRF4 loss, we also determine that IRF4 did not regulate the intrinsic apoptotic pathway directly. By using an inducible IRF4 deletion system in the presence of the overexpression of anti-apoptotic BCL2, we identify genes whose expression is coordinated by IRF4 and that in turn specify plasma cell identity and mitochondrial homeostasis.
    Keywords:  BLIMP1; antibody; cell survival; gene expression; humoral immunity; metabolism; myeloma
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.10.097
  18. Nat Immunol. 2019 Nov 25.
    Di Gioia M, Spreafico R, Springstead JR, Mendelson MM, Joehanes R, Levy D, Zanoni I.
      Pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) have the capacity to couple inflammatory gene expression to changes in macrophage metabolism, both of which influence subsequent inflammatory activities. Similar to their microbial counterparts, several self-encoded damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) induce inflammatory gene expression. However, whether this symmetry in host responses between PAMPs and DAMPs extends to metabolic shifts is unclear. Here, we report that the self-encoded oxidized phospholipid oxPAPC alters the metabolism of macrophages exposed to lipopolysaccharide. While cells activated by lipopolysaccharide rely exclusively on glycolysis, macrophages exposed to oxPAPC also use mitochondrial respiration, feed the Krebs cycle with glutamine, and favor the accumulation of oxaloacetate in the cytoplasm. This metabolite potentiates interleukin-1β production, resulting in hyperinflammation. Similar metabolic adaptions occur in vivo in hypercholesterolemic mice and human subjects. Drugs that interfere with oxPAPC-driven metabolic changes reduce atherosclerotic plaque formation in mice, thereby underscoring the importance of DAMP-mediated activities in pathophysiological conditions.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-019-0539-2
  19. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Nov 25. pii: 201909987. [Epub ahead of print]
    Anand A, Chen K, Yang L, Sastry AV, Olson CA, Poudel S, Seif Y, Hefner Y, Phaneuf PV, Xu S, Szubin R, Feist AM, Palsson BO.
      Evolution fine-tunes biological pathways to achieve a robust cellular physiology. Two and a half billion years ago, rapidly rising levels of oxygen as a byproduct of blooming cyanobacterial photosynthesis resulted in a redox upshift in microbial energetics. The appearance of higher-redox-potential respiratory quinone, ubiquinone (UQ), is believed to be an adaptive response to this environmental transition. However, the majority of bacterial species are still dependent on the ancient respiratory quinone, naphthoquinone (NQ). Gammaproteobacteria can biosynthesize both of these respiratory quinones, where UQ has been associated with aerobic lifestyle and NQ with anaerobic lifestyle. We engineered an obligate NQ-dependent γ-proteobacterium, Escherichia coli ΔubiC, and performed adaptive laboratory evolution to understand the selection against the use of NQ in an oxic environment and also the adaptation required to support the NQ-driven aerobic electron transport chain. A comparative systems-level analysis of pre- and postevolved NQ-dependent strains revealed a clear shift from fermentative to oxidative metabolism enabled by higher periplasmic superoxide defense. This metabolic shift was driven by the concerted activity of 3 transcriptional regulators (PdhR, RpoS, and Fur). Analysis of these findings using a genome-scale model suggested that resource allocation to reactive oxygen species (ROS) mitigation results in lower growth rates. These results provide a direct elucidation of a resource allocation tradeoff between growth rate and ROS mitigation costs associated with NQ usage under oxygen-replete condition.
    Keywords:  genome-scale model; naphthoquinone; oxidative stress; respiration
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1909987116
  20. Front Genet. 2019 ;10 1043
    Otero L, Martínez-Rosales C, Barrera E, Pantano S, Salinas G.
      Helminths use an alternative mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) under hypoxic conditions, such as those found in the gastrointestinal tract. In this alternative ETC, fumarate is the final electron acceptor and rhodoquinone (RQ) serves as an electron carrier. RQ receives electrons from reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide through complex I and donates electrons to fumarate through complex II. In this latter reaction, complex II functions in the opposite direction to the conventional ETC (i.e., as fumarate reductase instead of succinate dehydrogenase). Studies in Ascaris suum indicate that this is possible due to changes in complex II, involving alternative succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunits SDHA and SDHD, derived from duplicated genes. We analyzed helminth genomes and found that distinct lineages have different gene duplications of complex II subunits (SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, and SDHD). Similarly, we found lineage-specific duplications in genes encoding complex I subunits that interact with quinones (NDUF2 and NDUF7). The phylogenetic analysis of ETC subunits revealed a complex history with independent evolutionary events involving gene duplications and losses. Our results indicated that there is not a common evolutionary event related to ETC subunit genes linked to RQ. The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans uses RQ and has two genes encoding SDHA (sdha-1 and sdha-2) and two genes encoding NDUF2 (nduf2-1 and nduf2-2). sdha-1 and nduf2-1 are essential genes and have a similar expression pattern during C. elegans lifecycle. Using knockout strains, we found that sdha-2 and nduf2-2 are not essential, even in hypoxia. Yet, sdha-2 and nduf2-2 expression is increased in the early embryo and in dauer larvae, stages where there is low oxygen tension. Strikingly, sdha-1 and sdha-2 as well as nduf2-1 and nduf2-2 showed inverted expression profiles during the C. elegans life cycle. Finally, we found that sdha-2 and nduf2-2 knockout mutant strain progeny is affected. Our results indicate that different complex I and II subunit gene duplications provide increased fitness to worms.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; electron transport chain; gas-1; helminth; hypoxia; nematode; platyhelminth; rhodoquinone
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.01043
  21. J Biol Chem. 2019 Nov 27. pii: jbc.RA119.010032. [Epub ahead of print]
    Liu M, Saha N, Gajan A, Saadat N, Gupta SV, Pile LA.
      The SIN3 histone-modifying complex regulates the expression of multiple methionine catabolic genes, including SAM synthetase (Sam-S), as well as S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM) levels. To further dissect the relationship between methionine catabolism and epigenetic regulation by SIN3, we sought to identify genes and metabolic pathways controlled by SIN3 and SAM-S in Drosophila melanogaster. Using several approaches, including RNAi-mediated gene silencing, RNA-seq- and quantitative RT-PCR-based transcriptomics, and ultra-high performance LC-MS/MS- and GC/MS- based metabolomics, we found that as a global transcriptional regulator, SIN3 impacted a wide range of genes and pathways. In contrast, SAM-S affected only a narrow range of genes and pathways. The expression and levels of additional genes and metabolites, however, were altered in Sin3A+Sam-S dual knockdown cells. This analysis revealed that SIN3 and SAM-S regulate overlapping pathways, many of which involve one-carbon and central carbon metabolisms. In some cases, the factors acted independently; in some others, redundantly; and for a third set, in opposition. Together, these results obtained from experiments with the chromatin regulator SIN3 and the metabolic enzyme SAM-S, uncover a complex relationship between metabolism and epigenetic regulation.
    Keywords:  SAM synthetase; SIN3; chromatin; epigenetics; gene regulation; glycolysis; histone modification; metabolism; transcription; tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle) (Krebs cycle)
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA119.010032
  22. Cell Death Dis. 2019 Nov 26. 10(12): 889
    Rigo A, Ferrarini I, Lorenzetto E, Darra E, Liparulo I, Bergamini C, Sissa C, Cavalieri E, Vinante F.
      α-Bisabolol (BSB) is a plant-derived sesquiterpene alcohol able to trigger regulated cell death in transformed cells, while deprived of the general toxicity in several mouse models. Here, we investigated the involvement of lysosomal and mitochondrial compartments in the cytotoxic effects of BSB, with a specific focus on the BH3-only activator protein BID. We found that BSB particularly accumulated in cancer cell lines, displaying a higher amount of lipid rafts as compared to normal blood cells. By means of western blotting and microscopy techniques, we documented rapid BSB-induced BID translocation to lysosomes and mitochondria, both of them becoming dysfunctional. Lysosomal membranes were permeabilized, thus blocking the cytoprotective autophagic flux and provoking cathepsin B leakage into the cytosol. Multiple flow cytometry-based experiments demonstrated the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential due to pore formation across the lipid bilayer. These parallel events converged on neoplastic cell death, an outcome significantly prevented by BID knockdown. Therefore, BSB promoted BID redistribution to the cell death executioner organelles, which in turn activated anti-autophagic and proapoptotic mechanisms. This is an example of how xenohormesis can be exploited to modulate basic cellular programs in cancer.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-019-2126-8
  23. Nat Commun. 2019 Nov 28. 10(1): 5426
    Kosillo P, Doig NM, Ahmed KM, Agopyan-Miu AHCW, Wong CD, Conyers L, Threlfell S, Magill PJ, Bateup HS.
      Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in TSC1 or TSC2, which encode proteins that negatively regulate mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1). TSC is associated with significant cognitive, psychiatric, and behavioral problems, collectively termed TSC-Associated Neuropsychiatric Disorders (TAND), and the cell types responsible for these manifestations are largely unknown. Here we use cell type-specific Tsc1 deletion to test whether dopamine neurons, which modulate cognitive, motivational, and affective behaviors, are involved in TAND. We show that loss of Tsc1 and constitutive activation of mTORC1 in dopamine neurons causes somatodendritic hypertrophy, reduces intrinsic excitability, alters axon terminal structure, and impairs striatal dopamine release. These perturbations lead to a selective deficit in cognitive flexibility, preventable by genetic reduction of the mTOR-binding protein Raptor. Our results establish a critical role for Tsc1-mTORC1 signaling in setting the functional properties of dopamine neurons, and indicate that dopaminergic dysfunction may contribute to cognitive inflexibility in TSC.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13396-8
  24. Nat Commun. 2019 Nov 28. 10(1): 5423
    Hausser J, Szekely P, Bar N, Zimmer A, Sheftel H, Caldas C, Alon U.
      Recent advances have enabled powerful methods to sort tumors into prognosis and treatment groups. We are still missing, however, a general theoretical framework to understand the vast diversity of tumor gene expression and mutations. Here we present a framework based on multi-task evolution theory, using the fact that tumors need to perform multiple tasks that contribute to their fitness. We find that trade-offs between tasks constrain tumor gene-expression to a continuum bounded by a polyhedron whose vertices are gene-expression profiles, each specializing in one task. We find five universal cancer tasks across tissue-types: cell-division, biomass and energy, lipogenesis, immune-interaction and invasion and tissue-remodeling. Tumors that specialize in a task are sensitive to drugs that interfere with this task. Driver, but not passenger, mutations tune gene-expression towards specialization in specific tasks. This approach can integrate additional types of molecular data into a framework of tumor diversity grounded in evolutionary theory.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13195-1
  25. Cancer Discov. 2019 Nov 27. pii: CD-19-0463. [Epub ahead of print]
    Clarke TL, Tang R, Chakraborty D, Van Rechem C, Ji F, Mishra S, Ma A, Kaniskan HU, Jin J, Lawrence MS, Sadreyev RI, Whetstine JR.
      Acquired chromosomal DNA copy gains are a feature of many tumors; however, the mechanisms that underpin oncogene amplification are poorly understood. Recent studies have begun to uncover the importance of epigenetic states and histone lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) and demethylases (KDMs) in regulating transient site-specific DNA copy number gains (TSSGs). In this study, we reveal a critical interplay between a myriad of lysine methyltransferases and demethylases in modulating H3K4/9/27 methylation balance in order to control extrachromosomal amplification of the EGFR oncogene. This study further establishes that cellular signals (hypoxia and epidermal growth factor) are able to directly promote EGFR amplification through modulation of the enzymes controlling EGFR copy gains. Moreover, we demonstrate that chemical inhibitors targeting specific KMTs and KDMs are able to promote or block extrachromosomal EGFR amplification, which identifies potential therapeutic strategies for controlling EGFR copy number heterogeneity in cancer, and in turn, drug response.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-0463
  26. Cell Rep. 2019 Nov 26. pii: S2211-1247(19)31440-8. [Epub ahead of print]29(9): 2565-2569.e3
    Bornes L, van Scheppingen RH, Beerling E, Schelfhorst T, Ellenbroek SIJ, Seinstra D, van Rheenen J.
      Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has long been thought to be crucial for metastasis. Recently a study challenged this idea by demonstrating that metastases were seeded by tumor cells that were not marked by an EMT lineage-tracing reporter on the basis of the expression of the mesenchymal marker fsp1. However, the results of this study and their interpretation are under debate. Here, we combine the lineage-tracing reporter with our real-time EMT-state reporter and show that the fsp1-based EMT lineage-tracing reporter does not mark all disseminating mesenchymal cells with metastatic potential. Our findings demonstrate that fsp1-mediated lineage tracing does not allow any conclusions about the requirement of EMT for metastasis. Instead our data are fully consistent with previous reports that EMT is not a binary phenomenon but rather a spectrum of cellular states.
    Keywords:  E-cadherin; EMT; cancer; dissemination; epithelia; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; fsp1; mesenchymal; metastasis; plasticity
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.10.107
  27. Metabolomics. 2019 Nov 26. 15(12): 154
    Lindsay RT, Demetriou D, Manetta-Jones D, West JA, Murray AJ, Griffin JL.
      INTRODUCTION: Relative oxidation of different metabolic substrates in the heart varies both physiologically and pathologically, in order to meet metabolic demands under different circumstances. 13C labelled substrates have become a key tool for studying substrate use-yet an accurate model is required to analyse the complex data produced as these substrates become incorporated into the Krebs cycle.OBJECTIVES: We aimed to generate a network model for the quantitative analysis of Krebs cycle intermediate isotopologue distributions measured by mass spectrometry, to determine the 13C labelled proportion of acetyl-CoA entering the Krebs cycle.
    METHODS: A model was generated, and validated ex vivo using isotopic distributions measured from isolated hearts perfused with buffer containing 11 mM glucose in total, with varying fractions of universally labelled with 13C. The model was then employed to determine the relative oxidation of glucose and triacylglycerol by hearts perfused with 11 mM glucose and 0.4 mM equivalent Intralipid (a triacylglycerol mixture).
    RESULTS: The contribution of glucose to Krebs cycle oxidation was measured to be 79.1 ± 0.9%, independent of the fraction of buffer glucose which was U-13C labelled, or of which Krebs cycle intermediate was assessed. In the presence of Intralipid, glucose and triglyceride were determined to contribute 58 ± 3.6% and 35.6 ± 0.8% of acetyl-CoA entering the Krebs cycle, respectively.
    CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate the accuracy of a functional model of Krebs cycle metabolism, which can allow quantitative determination of the effects of therapeutics and pathology on cardiac substrate metabolism.
    Keywords:  Fluxomics; Heart; Isotopomer analysis; Krebs cycle; LC–MS/MS; Metabolic substrate switching; TCA cycle
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11306-019-1618-y
  28. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019 ;1206 329-357
    Yang J, Zhou R, Ma Z.
      Autophagy is a lysosome-dependent catabolic process. Both extra- and intra-cellular components are engulfed in autophagic vacuoles and degraded to simple molecules, such as monosaccharides, fatty acids and amino acids. Then, these molecules can be further used to produce ATP through catabolic reactions and/or provide building blocks for the synthesis of essential proteins. Therefore, we consider autophagy a critical and fine-tuned process in maintaining energy homeostasis. The complicated relationships between autophagy and energy metabolism have raised broad interest and have been extensively studied. In this chapter, we summarize the relationships enabling autophagy to control or modulate energy metabolism and allowing metabolic pathways to regulate autophagy. Specifically, we review the correlations between autophagy and energy homeostasis in terms of oxidative phosphorylation, reactive oxygen species in mitochondria, glycolysis, metabolism of glycogen and protein, and so on. An understanding of the role of autophagy in energy homeostasis could help us better appreciate how autophagy determines cell fate under stressful conditions or pathological processes.
    Keywords:  ATP; Amino acid; Autophagy; Carbohydrate; Energy; Glycogen
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-0602-4_16
  29. Trends Biochem Sci. 2019 Nov 22. pii: S0968-0004(19)30230-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    de Diego I, Müller-Eigner A, Peleg S.
      Recent studies demonstrated that alcohol consumption can induce epigenetic changes in the brain, although the exact mechanism underlying such changes remained unclear. Now, a report by Mews et al. shows a direct link between alcohol consumption and histone acetylation changes in the brain, which are mediated by the neuronal acetyl-CoA synthase, ACSS2.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tibs.2019.11.002
  30. Nature. 2019 Nov;575(7784): 576-577
    Callaway E.
      
    Keywords:  Publishing; Scientific community; Structural biology
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-03648-4
  31. Nat Ecol Evol. 2019 Dec;3(12): 1743-1753
    Kshitiz , Afzal J, Maziarz JD, Hamidzadeh A, Liang C, Erkenbrack EM, Nam H, Haeger JD, Pfarrer C, Hoang T, Ott T, Spencer T, Pavličev M, Antczak DF, Levchenko A, Wagner GP.
      Among mammals, placental invasion is correlated with vulnerability to malignancy. Animals with more invasive placentation (for example, humans) are more vulnerable to malignancy. To explain this correlation, we propose the hypothesis of 'Evolved Levels of Invasibility' proposing that the evolution of invasibility of stromal tissue affects both placental and cancer invasion. We provide evidence for this using an in vitro model. We find that bovine endometrial and skin fibroblasts are more resistant to invasion than are their human counterparts. Gene expression profiling identified genes with high expression in human but not in bovine fibroblasts. Knocking down a subset of them in human fibroblasts leads to stronger resistance to cancer cell invasion. Identifying the evolutionary determinants of stromal invasibility can provide important insights to develop rational antimetastatic therapeutics.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-1046-4