bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2020‒02‒23
38 papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit

  1. Nat Commun. 2020 Feb 20. 11(1): 970
    Luciani A, Schumann A, Berquez M, Chen Z, Nieri D, Failli M, Debaix H, Festa BP, Tokonami N, Raimondi A, Cremonesi A, Carrella D, Forny P, Kölker S, Diomedi Camassei F, Diaz F, Moraes CT, Di Bernardo D, Baumgartner MR, Devuyst O.
      Deregulation of mitochondrial network in terminally differentiated cells contributes to a broad spectrum of disorders. Methylmalonic acidemia (MMA) is one of the most common inherited metabolic disorders, due to deficiency of the mitochondrial methylmalonyl-coenzyme A mutase (MMUT). How MMUT deficiency triggers cell damage remains unknown, preventing the development of disease-modifying therapies. Here we combine genetic and pharmacological approaches to demonstrate that MMUT deficiency induces metabolic and mitochondrial alterations that are exacerbated by anomalies in PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy, causing the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria that trigger epithelial stress and ultimately cell damage. Using drug-disease network perturbation modelling, we predict targetable pathways, whose modulation repairs mitochondrial dysfunctions in patient-derived cells and alleviate phenotype changes in mmut-deficient zebrafish. These results suggest a link between primary MMUT deficiency, diseased mitochondria, mitophagy dysfunction and epithelial stress, and provide potential therapeutic perspectives for MMA.
  2. Cell Metab. 2020 Feb 07. pii: S1550-4131(20)30012-7. [Epub ahead of print]
    Molenaars M, Janssens GE, Williams EG, Jongejan A, Lan J, Rabot S, Joly F, Moerland PD, Schomakers BV, Lezzerini M, Liu YJ, McCormick MA, Kennedy BK, van Weeghel M, van Kampen AHC, Aebersold R, MacInnes AW, Houtkooper RH.
      Slowing down translation in either the cytosol or the mitochondria is a conserved longevity mechanism. Here, we found a non-interventional natural correlation of mitochondrial and cytosolic ribosomal proteins (RPs) in mouse population genetics, suggesting a translational balance. Inhibiting mitochondrial translation in C. elegans through mrps-5 RNAi repressed cytosolic translation. Transcriptomics integrated with proteomics revealed that this inhibition specifically reduced translational efficiency of mRNAs required in growth pathways while increasing stress response mRNAs. The repression of cytosolic translation and extension of lifespan from mrps-5 RNAi were dependent on atf-5/ATF4 and independent from metabolic phenotypes. We found the translational balance to be conserved in mammalian cells upon inhibiting mitochondrial translation pharmacologically with doxycycline. Lastly, extending this in vivo, doxycycline repressed cytosolic translation in the livers of germ-free mice. These data demonstrate that inhibiting mitochondrial translation initiates an atf-5/ATF4-dependent cascade leading to coordinated repression of cytosolic translation, which could be targeted to promote longevity.
    Keywords:  ATF4; aging; cytosolic translation; doxycycline; longevity; mitochondrial translation; polysome; ribosomes; translational balance; translational efficiency
  3. Cell Rep. 2020 Feb 18. pii: S2211-1247(20)30085-1. [Epub ahead of print]30(7): 2332-2348.e10
    Rossi A, Rigotto G, Valente G, Giorgio V, Basso E, Filadi R, Pizzo P.
      Mitochondria are key organelles for brain health. Mitochondrial alterations have been reported in several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the comprehension of the underlying mechanisms appears crucial to understand their relationship with the pathology. Using multiple genetic, pharmacological, imaging, and biochemical approaches, we demonstrate that, in different familial AD cell models, mitochondrial ATP synthesis is affected. The defect depends on reduced mitochondrial pyruvate oxidation, due to both lower Ca2+-mediated stimulation of the Krebs cycle and dampened mitochondrial pyruvate uptake. Importantly, this latter event is linked to glycogen-synthase-kinase-3β (GSK-3β) hyper-activation, leading, in turn, to impaired recruitment of hexokinase 1 (HK1) to mitochondria, destabilization of mitochondrial-pyruvate-carrier (MPC) complexes, and decreased MPC2 protein levels. Remarkably, pharmacological GSK-3β inhibition in AD cells rescues MPC2 expression and improves mitochondrial ATP synthesis and respiration. The defective mitochondrial bioenergetics influences glutamate-induced neuronal excitotoxicity, thus representing a possible target for future therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; GSK-3b; bioenergetics; calcium homeostasis; hexokinase 1; mitochondrial metabolism; mitochondrial pyruvate carrier; presenilin; pyruvate
  4. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2020 Feb 18.
    Giacomello M, Pyakurel A, Glytsou C, Scorrano L.
      Owing to their ability to efficiently generate ATP required to sustain normal cell function, mitochondria are often considered the 'powerhouses of the cell'. However, our understanding of the role of mitochondria in cell biology recently expanded when we recognized that they are key platforms for a plethora of cell signalling cascades. This functional versatility is tightly coupled to constant reshaping of the cellular mitochondrial network in a series of processes, collectively referred to as mitochondrial membrane dynamics and involving organelle fusion and fission (division) as well as ultrastructural remodelling of the membrane. Accordingly, mitochondrial dynamics influence and often orchestrate not only metabolism but also complex cell signalling events, such as those involved in regulating cell pluripotency, division, differentiation, senescence and death. Reciprocally, mitochondrial membrane dynamics are extensively regulated by post-translational modifications of its machinery and by the formation of membrane contact sites between mitochondria and other organelles, both of which have the capacity to integrate inputs from various pathways. Here, we discuss mitochondrial membrane dynamics and their regulation and describe how bioenergetics and cellular signalling are linked to these dynamic changes of mitochondrial morphology.
  5. Nat Immunol. 2020 Feb 17.
    Wang H, Franco F, Tsui YC, Xie X, Trefny MP, Zappasodi R, Mohmood SR, Fernández-García J, Tsai CH, Schulze I, Picard F, Meylan E, Silverstein R, Goldberg I, Fendt SM, Wolchok JD, Merghoub T, Jandus C, Zippelius A, Ho PC.
      Depleting regulatory T cells (Treg cells) to counteract immunosuppressive features of the tumor microenvironment (TME) is an attractive strategy for cancer treatment; however, autoimmunity due to systemic impairment of their suppressive function limits its therapeutic potential. Elucidating approaches that specifically disrupt intratumoral Treg cells is direly needed for cancer immunotherapy. We found that CD36 was selectively upregulated in intrautumoral Treg cells as a central metabolic modulator. CD36 fine-tuned mitochondrial fitness via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β signaling, programming Treg cells to adapt to a lactic acid-enriched TME. Genetic ablation of Cd36 in Treg cells suppressed tumor growth accompanied by a decrease in intratumoral Treg cells and enhancement of antitumor activity in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes without disrupting immune homeostasis. Furthermore, CD36 targeting elicited additive antitumor responses with anti-programmed cell death protein 1 therapy. Our findings uncover the unexplored metabolic adaptation that orchestrates the survival and functions of intratumoral Treg cells, and the therapeutic potential of targeting this pathway for reprogramming the TME.
  6. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Feb 18. pii: S0006-291X(20)30284-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Shin SC, Thomas D, Radhakrishnan P, Hollingsworth MA.
      Metabolic reprogramming is required for tumors to meet the bioenergetic and biosynthetic demands of malignant progression. Numerous studies have established a causal relationship between oncogenic drivers and altered metabolism, most prominently aerobic glycolysis, which supports rapid growth and affects the tumor microenvironment. Less is known about how the microenvironment modulates cancer metabolism. In the present study, we found that low extracellular pH, a common feature of solid tumors, provoked PDAC cells to decrease glycolysis and become resistant to glucose starvation. This was accompanied by increased dependency on mitochondrial metabolism, in which long-chain fatty acids became a primary fuel source. Consistent with previous reports, low pH enhanced tumor cell invasiveness. A novel finding was that limiting PDAC metabolic flexibility by either suppression of oxidative phosphorylation capacity or the pharmacological inhibition of fatty-acid oxidation prevented invasion induced by low extracellular pH. Altogether, our results suggest for the first time that targeting fatty-acid oxidation may be a viable adjunct strategy for preventing metastatic progression of pancreatic cancer mediated by the acidic tumor compartment.
    Keywords:  Acidic microenvironment; Aerobic glycolysis; EMT; Fatty-acid oxidation; Invasion; Pancreatic cancer
  7. Skelet Muscle. 2020 Feb 19. 10(1): 5
    Doig CL, Zielinska AE, Fletcher RS, Oakey LA, Elhassan YS, Garten A, Cartwright D, Heising S, Alsheri A, Watson DG, Prehn C, Adamski J, Tennant DA, Lavery GG.
      BACKGROUND: Hexose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (H6PD) is a generator of NADPH in the Endoplasmic/Sarcoplasmic Reticulum (ER/SR). Interaction of H6PD with 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 provides NADPH to support oxo-reduction of inactive to active glucocorticoids, but the wider understanding of H6PD in ER/SR NAD(P)(H) homeostasis is incomplete. Lack of H6PD results in a deteriorating skeletal myopathy, altered glucose homeostasis, ER stress and activation of the unfolded protein response. Here we further assess muscle responses to H6PD deficiency to delineate pathways that may underpin myopathy and link SR redox status to muscle wide metabolic adaptation.METHODS: We analysed skeletal muscle from H6PD knockout (H6PDKO), H6PD and NRK2 double knockout (DKO) and wild-type (WT) mice. H6PDKO mice were supplemented with the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide riboside. Skeletal muscle samples were subjected to biochemical analysis including NAD(H) measurement, LC-MS based metabolomics, Western blotting, and high resolution mitochondrial respirometry. Genetic and supplement models were assessed for degree of myopathy compared to H6PDKO.
    RESULTS: H6PDKO skeletal muscle showed adaptations in the routes regulating nicotinamide and NAD+ biosynthesis, with significant activation of the Nicotinamide Riboside Kinase 2 (NRK2) pathway. Associated with changes in NAD+ biosynthesis, H6PDKO muscle had impaired mitochondrial respiratory capacity with altered mitochondrial acylcarnitine and acetyl-CoA metabolism. Boosting NAD+ levels through the NRK2 pathway using the precursor nicotinamide riboside elevated NAD+/NADH but had no effect to mitigate ER stress and dysfunctional mitochondrial respiratory capacity or acetyl-CoA metabolism. Similarly, H6PDKO/NRK2 double KO mice did not display an exaggerated timing or severity of myopathy or overt change in mitochondrial metabolism despite depression of NAD+ availability.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest a complex metabolic response to changes in muscle SR NADP(H) redox status that result in impaired mitochondrial energy metabolism and activation of cellular NAD+ salvage pathways. It is possible that SR can sense and signal perturbation in NAD(P)(H) that cannot be rectified in the absence of H6PD. Whether NRK2 pathway activation is a direct response to changes in SR NAD(P)(H) availability or adaptation to deficits in metabolic energy availability remains to be resolved.
    Keywords:  Endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum; Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase; Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide; Nicotinamide riboside; Skeletal muscle
  8. Redox Biol. 2020 Feb 07. pii: S2213-2317(19)31353-9. [Epub ahead of print]32 101451
    Bankapalli K, Vishwanathan V, Susarla G, Sunayana N, Saladi S, Peethambaram D, D'Silva P.
      Mitochondria are indispensable organelles that perform critical cellular functions, including energy metabolism, neurotransmission, and synaptic maintenance. Mitochondrial dysfunction and impairment in the organellar homeostasis are key hallmarks implicated in the progression of neurodegenerative disorders. The members of DJ-1/ThiJ/PfpI family are highly conserved, and loss of DJ-1 (PARK7) function in humans results in the impairment of mitochondrial homeostasis, which is one of the key cellular etiology implicated in the progression of Parkinson's Disease. However, the underlying molecular mechanism involved in mitochondrial maintenance and other cellular processes by DJ-1 paralogs is poorly understood. By utilizing genetic approaches from S. cerevisiae, we uncovered intricate mechanisms associated with the mitochondrial phenotypic variations regulated by DJ-1 paralogs. The deletion of DJ-1 paralogs led to respiratory incompetence and the accumulation of enhanced functional mitochondrial mass. The lack of DJ-1 paralogs also displayed enriched mitochondrial interconnectivity due to upregulation in the fusion-mediating proteins, facilitated by the elevation in the basal cellular ROS and oxidized glutathione levels. Intriguingly, these mitochondrial phenotypes variations cause cell size abnormalities, partially suppressed by reestablishing redox balance and upregulation of fission protein levels. Besides, in the absence of DJ-1 paralogs, cells exhibited a significant delay in the cell-cycle progression in the G2/M phase, attributed to mitochondrial hyperfusion and partial DNA damage. Additionally, the aberrations in mitochondrial dynamics and cell-cycle induce cell death mediated by apoptosis. Taken together, our findings first-time provide evidence to show how DJ-1 family members regulate mitochondrial homeostasis and other intricate cellular processes, including cell cycle and apoptosis.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; DJ-1; Hsp31; Mitochondria; Parkinson disease
  9. EMBO Rep. 2020 Feb 18. e49776
    Kondadi AK, Anand R, Hänsch S, Urbach J, Zobel T, Wolf DM, Segawa M, Liesa M, Shirihai OS, Weidtkamp-Peters S, Reichert AS.
      The mitochondrial inner membrane can reshape under different physiological conditions. How, at which frequency this occurs in living cells, and the molecular players involved are unknown. Here, we show using state-of-the-art live-cell stimulated emission depletion (STED) super-resolution nanoscopy that neighbouring crista junctions (CJs) dynamically appose and separate from each other in a reversible and balanced manner in human cells. Staining of cristae membranes (CM), using various protein markers or two lipophilic inner membrane-specific dyes, further revealed that cristae undergo continuous cycles of membrane remodelling. These events are accompanied by fluctuations of the membrane potential within distinct cristae over time. Both CJ and CM dynamics depended on MIC13 and occurred at similar timescales in the range of seconds. Our data further suggest that MIC60 acts as a docking platform promoting CJ and contact site formation. Overall, by employing advanced imaging techniques including fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), single-particle tracking (SPT), live-cell STED and high-resolution Airyscan microscopy, we propose a model of CJ dynamics being mechanistically linked to CM remodelling representing cristae membrane fission and fusion events occurring within individual mitochondria.
    Keywords:  STED nanoscopy; crista junction; cristae; membrane dynamics; membrane potential
  10. Annu Rev Biochem. 2020 Feb 19.
    Deshwal S, Fiedler KU, Langer T.
      Mitochondria are essential metabolic hubs that dynamically adapt to physiological demands. More than 40 proteases residing in different compartments of mitochondria, termed mitoproteases, preserve mitochondrial proteostasis and are emerging as central regulators of mitochondrial plasticity. These multifaceted enzymes limit the accumulation of short-lived, regulatory proteins within mitochondria, modulate the activity of mitochondrial proteins by protein processing, and mediate the degradation of damaged proteins. Various signaling cascades coordinate the activity of mitoproteases to preserve mitochondrial homeostasis and ensure cell survival. Loss of mitoproteases severely impairs the functional integrity of mitochondria, is associated with aging, and causes pleiotropic diseases. Understanding the dual function of mitoproteases as regulatory and quality control enzymes will help unravel the role of mitochondrial plasticity in aging and disease. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry, Volume 89 is June 22, 2020. Please see for revised estimates.
  11. Biol Chem. 2020 Feb 01. pii: /j/bchm.just-accepted/hsz-2020-0101/hsz-2020-0101.xml. [Epub ahead of print]
    Callegari S, Cruz-Zaragoza LD, Rehling P.
      Mitochondrial precursor proteins with amino-terminal presequences are imported via the presequence pathway, utilizing the TIM23 complex for inner membrane translocation. Initially, the precursors pass the outer membrane through the TOM complex and are handed over to the TIM23 complex where they are sorted into the inner membrane or translocated into the matrix. This handover process depends on the receptor proteins at the inner membrane, Tim50 and Tim23, which are critical for efficient import. In this review, we summarize key findings that shaped the current concepts of protein translocation along the presequence import pathway, with a particular focus on the precursor handover process from TOM to the TIM23 complex. In addition, we discuss functions of the human TIM23 pathway and the recently uncovered pathogenic mutations in TIM50.
    Keywords:  TIM23 complex; TIM50; membrane translocation; mitochondria; presequence pathway; protein translocation
  12. Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 18. 10(1): 2835
    Kanemaru K, Suzuki J, Taiko I, Iino M.
      Mitochondrial Ca2+ dynamics are involved in the regulation of multifarious cellular processes, including intracellular Ca2+ signalling, cell metabolism and cell death. Use of mitochondria-targeted genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators has revealed intercellular and subcellular heterogeneity of mitochondrial Ca2+ dynamics, which are assumed to be determined by distinct thresholds of Ca2+ increases at each subcellular mitochondrial domain. The balance between Ca2+ influx through the mitochondrial calcium uniporter and extrusion by cation exchangers across the inner mitochondrial membrane may define the threshold; however, the precise mechanisms remain to be further explored. We here report the new red fluorescent genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators, R-CEPIA3mt and R-CEPIA4mt, which are targeted to mitochondria and their Ca2+ affinities are engineered to match the intramitochondrial Ca2+ concentrations. They enable visualization of mitochondrial Ca2+ dynamics with high spatiotemporal resolution in parallel with the use of green fluorescent probes and optogenetic tools. Thus, R-CEPIA3mt and R-CEPIA4mt are expected to be a useful tool for elucidating the mechanisms of the complex mitochondrial Ca2+ dynamics and their functions.
  13. Metabolism. 2020 Feb 12. pii: S0026-0495(20)30046-9. [Epub ahead of print] 154182
    Wei X, Wei X, Lu Z, Li L, Hu Y, Sun F, Jiang Y, Ma H, Zheng H, Yang G, Liu D, Gao P, Zhu Z.
      The impairment of podocyte protein filtration function caused by excessive mitochondrial calcium intake is a critical feature of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Ca2+ channel transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) has been reported to protect against ischemia-reperfusion induced acute renal injury, but there is no report about its role in DN. Here, we report that dietary capsaicin potently inhibits and reverses chronic renal structural and functional damages in db/db or streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice in a TRPV1-dependent manner. Activation of TRPV1 by capsaicin alleviated hyperglycemia-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in podocytes, accompanied by reduced mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs) formation and fewer Ca2+ transport from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to mitochondria. Mechanistically, TRPV1-mediated transient Ca2+ influx activated 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) that reduced the transcription of Fundc1, a key molecule participating in MAMs formation. Inhibition of AMPK or overexpression of Fundc1 obviously blocked the inhibitory effect of capsaicin on MAMs formation and functional decline in podocytes. These findings emphasize the critical role of mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis in the maintenance of normal renal function and suggest an effective intervention method to counteract DN.
    Keywords:  AMPK; Capsaicin; Diabetic nephropathy (DN); MAMs; TRPV1
  14. Proteomics. 2020 Feb 18. e1800407
    Sharma R, Ramanathan A.
      Aging biology is intimately associated with dysregulated metabolism, which is one of the hallmarks of aging. Aging related pathways such as mTOR and AMPK which are major targets of anti-aging interventions including rapamcyin, metformin and exercise, either directly regulate or intersect with metabolic pathways. In this review we outline numerous candidate bio-markers of aging that have emerged using metabolomics. Metabolomics studies also reveal that not all metabolites are created equally. A set of core 'hub' metabolites are emerging as central mediators of aging. The hub metabolites reviewed here are- Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), reduced nicotinamide dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), alpha ketoglutarate (aKG) and beta-hydroxybutyrate (βHB). These 'hub' metabolites have signaling and epigenetic roles along with their canonical roles as co-factors or intermediates of carbon metabolism. Together these hub metabolites suggest a central role of the TCA cycle in signaling and metabolic dysregulation associated with aging. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  ageing; hub metabolites; metabolomics
  15. Genes Dev. 2020 Feb 20.
    Vernier M, Dufour CR, McGuirk S, Scholtes C, Li X, Bourmeau G, Kuasne H, Park M, St-Pierre J, Audet-Walsh E, Giguère V.
      Excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) can cause oxidative stress and consequently cell injury contributing to a wide range of diseases. Addressing the critical gaps in our understanding of the adaptive molecular events downstream ROS provocation holds promise for the identification of druggable metabolic vulnerabilities. Here, we unveil a direct molecular link between the activity of two estrogen-related receptor (ERR) isoforms and the control of glutamine utilization and glutathione antioxidant production. ERRα down-regulation restricts glutamine entry into the TCA cycle, while ERRγ up-regulation promotes glutamine-driven glutathione production. Notably, we identify increased ERRγ expression/activation as a hallmark of oxidative stress triggered by mitochondrial disruption or chemotherapy. Enhanced tumor antioxidant capacity is an underlying feature of human breast cancer (BCa) patients that respond poorly to treatment. We demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of ERRγ with the selective inverse agonist GSK5182 increases antitumor efficacy of the chemotherapeutic paclitaxel on poor outcome BCa tumor organoids. Our findings thus underscore the ERRs as novel redox sensors and effectors of a ROS defense program and highlight the potential therapeutic advantage of exploiting ERRγ inhibitors for the treatment of BCa and other diseases where oxidative stress plays a central role.
    Keywords:  breast cancer; chemotherapy; gene signature; glutamine; glutathione; metabolic flux; mitochondria; nuclear receptor; organoid; oxidative stress; taxane
  16. Cell Rep. 2020 Feb 18. pii: S2211-1247(20)30115-7. [Epub ahead of print]30(7): 2321-2331.e6
    Di Marco G, Vallese F, Jourde B, Bergsdorf C, Sturlese M, De Mario A, Techer-Etienne V, Haasen D, Oberhauser B, Schleeger S, Minetti G, Moro S, Rizzuto R, De Stefani D, Fornaro M, Mammucari C.
      Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake depends on the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) complex, a highly selective channel of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM). Here, we screen a library of 44,000 non-proprietary compounds for their ability to modulate mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake. Two of them, named MCU-i4 and MCU-i11, are confirmed to reliably decrease mitochondrial Ca2+ influx. Docking simulations reveal that these molecules directly bind a specific cleft in MICU1, a key element of the MCU complex that controls channel gating. Accordingly, in MICU1-silenced or deleted cells, the inhibitory effect of the two compounds is lost. Moreover, MCU-i4 and MCU-i11 fail to inhibit mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in cells expressing a MICU1 mutated in the critical amino acids that forge the predicted binding cleft. Finally, these compounds are tested ex vivo, revealing a primary role for mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in muscle growth. Overall, MCU-i4 and MCU-i11 represent leading molecules for the development of MICU1-targeting drugs.
    Keywords:  HTS; MCU; MICU1; active compounds; high-throughput screening; mitochondrial calcium uniporter; mitochondrial calcium uptake; molecular modeling; small molecules
  17. J Mol Biol. 2020 Feb 13. pii: S0022-2836(20)30102-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Pacheu-Grau D, Wasilewski M, Oeljeklaus S, Gibhardt CS, Aich A, Chudenkova M, Dennerlein S, Deckers M, Bogeski I, Warscheid B, Chacinska A, Rehling P.
      The mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase, the terminal enzyme of the respiratory chain, contains heme and copper centers for electron transfer. The conserved COX2 subunit contains the CuA site, a binuclear copper center. The copper chaperones SCO1, SCO2, and COA6 are required for CuA center formation. Loss of function of these chaperones and the concomitant cytochrome c oxidase deficiency cause severe human disorders. Here we analyzed the molecular function of COA6 and the consequences of COA6 deficiency for mitochondria. Our analyses show that loss of COA6 causes combined complex I and complex IV deficiency and impacts membrane potential driven protein transport across the inner membrane. We demonstrate that COA6 acts as a thiol-reductase to reduce disulphide bridges of critical cysteine residues in SCO1 and SCO2. Cysteines within the CX3CXNH domain of SCO2 mediate its interaction with COA6 but are dispensable for SCO2-SCO1 interaction. Our analyses define COA6 as thiol-reductase, which is essential for CuA biogenesis.
    Keywords:  COA6; Cu(A) center; copper metallochaperones; cytochrome c oxidase; mitochondria
  18. J Biol Chem. 2020 Feb 18. pii: jbc.RA120.012739. [Epub ahead of print]
    Bouchez CL, Yoboue ED, de la Rosa Vargas LE, Salin B, Cuvellier S, Rigoulet M, Duvezin-Caubet S, Devin A.
      Heme (iron protoporphyrin IX) is a well-known prosthetic group for enzymes involved in metabolic pathways such as oxygen transport and electron transfer through the mitochondrial respiratory chain. However, heme has also been shown to be an important regulatory molecule (as "labile" heme) for diverse processes such as translation, kinase activity, and transcription in mammals, yeast, and bacteria. Taking advantage of a yeast strain deficient for heme production that enabled controlled modulation and monitoring of "labile" heme levels, here we investigated the role of "labile" heme in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis. This process is regulated by the HAP complex in yeast. Using several biochemical assays along with EM and epifluorescence microscopy, to the best of our knowledge, we show for the first time that cellular "labile" heme is critical for the post-translational regulation of HAP complex activity, most likely through the stability of the transcriptional co-activator Hap4p. Consequently, we found that "labile" heme regulates mitochondrial biogenesis and cell growth. The findings of our work highlight a new mechanism in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis by cellular metabolites.
    Keywords:  Hap4p; bioenergetics; heme; labile heme; mitochondria; mitochondrial biogenesis; oxidation-reduction (redox); oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS); transcription factor; yeast
  19. Nat Rev Cancer. 2020 Feb 17.
    Kuenzi BM, Ideker T.
      A key goal of cancer systems biology is to use big data to elucidate the molecular networks by which cancer develops. However, to date there has been no systematic evaluation of how far these efforts have progressed. In this Analysis, we survey six major systems biology approaches for mapping and modelling cancer pathways with attention to how well their resulting network maps cover and enhance current knowledge. Our sample of 2,070 systems biology maps captures all literature-curated cancer pathways with significant enrichment, although the strong tendency is for these maps to recover isolated mechanisms rather than entire integrated processes. Systems biology maps also identify previously underappreciated functions, such as a potential role for human papillomavirus-induced chromosomal alterations in ovarian tumorigenesis, and they add new genes to known cancer pathways, such as those related to metabolism, Hippo signalling and immunity. Notably, we find that many cancer networks have been provided only in journal figures and not for programmatic access, underscoring the need to deposit network maps in community databases to ensure they can be readily accessed. Finally, few of these findings have yet been clinically translated, leaving ample opportunity for future translational studies. Periodic surveys of cancer pathway maps, such as the one reported here, are critical to assess progress in the field and identify underserved areas of methodology and cancer biology.
  20. Curr Biol. 2020 Feb 04. pii: S0960-9822(20)30001-4. [Epub ahead of print]
    Schäfer K, Künzler P, Klingl A, Eubel H, Carrie C.
      Twin arginine translocation (TAT) pathways have been extensively studied in bacteria and chloroplasts for their role in membrane translocation of folded proteins. However, an increasing number of organisms have been found to contain mitochondria-located TAT subunits, including plant mitochondria, which contain TAT subunits, though in an unusual arrangement with only TatB and TatC subunits. To date, no confirmed function has been attributed to mitochondrial TAT pathways in any organism. Using a truncation mutant approach, we demonstrate that the plant mitochondrial TatB (MTTATB) is required for complex III biogenesis. More specifically, MTTATB performs at a late stage in complex III biogenesis, conveying the translocation of the C terminus of the Rieske FeS subunit back across the inner membrane. This work confirms that plant mitochondria retained a functional TAT pathway for the Rieske FeS translocation, most likely from the original mitochondrial ancestor. It is hypothesized that the original mitochondria contained a bacteria-derived TAT pathway required for at least the Rieske FeS translocation. In several eukaryotic lineages, this mitochondrial TAT pathway was lost and replaced by BCS1. Interestingly, plant mitochondria appear to assemble complex III in the same subunit order as yeast and mammals but in contrast use bacteria-like assembly factors for this process.
    Keywords:  Rieske FeS protein; complex III; complex III assembly; mitochondria; mitochondrial evolution; mitochondrial protein import
  21. Cell Rep. 2020 Feb 10. pii: S2211-1247(20)30099-1. [Epub ahead of print]
    De S, Campbell C, Venkitaraman AR, Esposito A.
      Cell-autonomous changes in p53 expression govern the duration and outcome of cell-cycle arrest at the G2 checkpoint for DNA damage. Here, we report that mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling integrates extracellular cues with p53 dynamics to determine cell fate at the G2 checkpoint. Optogenetic tools and quantitative cell biochemistry reveal transient oscillations in MAPK activity dependent on ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated kinase after DNA damage. MAPK inhibition alters p53 dynamics and p53-dependent gene expression after checkpoint enforcement, prolonging G2 arrest. In contrast, sustained MAPK signaling induces the phosphorylation of CDC25C, and consequently, the accumulation of pro-mitotic kinases, thereby relaxing checkpoint stringency and permitting cells to evade prolonged G2 arrest and senescence induction. We propose a model in which this MAPK-mediated mechanism integrates extracellular cues with cell-autonomous p53-mediated signals, to safeguard genomic integrity during tissue proliferation. Early steps in oncogene-driven carcinogenesis may imbalance this tumor-suppressive mechanism to trigger genome instability.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; MAPK/ERK pathway; cellular decisions; checkpoint fidelity; checkpoint signalling; p53; signalling dynamics
  22. J Pathol. 2020 Feb 21.
    Macklin PS, Yamamoto A, Browning L, Hofer M, Adam J, Pugh CW.
      In this review article, we examine the importance of low levels of oxygen (hypoxia) in cancer biology. We provide a brief description of how mammalian cells sense oxygen. The hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway is currently the best characterised oxygen sensing system, but recent work has revealed that mammals also use an oxygen-sensing system found in plants to regulate the abundance of some proteins and peptides with an amino-terminal cysteine residue. We discuss how the HIF pathway is affected during the growth of solid tumours, which develop in microenvironments with gradients of oxygen availability. We then introduce the concept of 'pseudohypoxia', a state of constitutive, oxygen-independent HIF system activation that occurs due to oncogenic stimulation in a number of specific tumour types that are of immediate relevance to diagnostic histopathologists. Finally, we provide an overview of the different methods to quantify tumour hypoxia, emphasising the importance of pre-analytic factors in interpreting the results of tissue-based studies. We review recent approaches to targeting hypoxia/HIF system activation for therapeutic benefit since their targeted application may require knowledge of which hypoxia signalling components are being utilised by a given tumour. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  CAIX; Cancer; Clear cell renal cell carcinoma; Histology; Hypoxia; Hypoxia-inducible factor; Immunohistochemistry; Immunotherapy; Neoplasia; Oxygen; Pseudohypoxia; Therapeutics; Therapy; Tumour
  23. BMC Mol Cell Biol. 2020 Feb 18. 21(1): 5
    Hafner A, Kublo L, Tsabar M, Lahav G, Stewart-Ornstein J.
      BACKGROUND: The tumor suppressor p53 is a major regulator of the DNA damage response and has been suggested to selectively bind and activate cell-type specific gene expression programs. However recent studies and meta-analyses of genomic data propose largely uniform, and condition independent p53 binding and thus question the selective and cell-type dependent function of p53.RESULTS: To systematically assess the cell-type specificity of p53, we measured its association with DNA in 12 p53 wild-type cancer cell lines, from a range of epithelial linages, in response to ionizing radiation. We found that the majority of bound sites were occupied across all cell lines, however we also identified a subset of binding sites that were specific to one or a few cell lines. Unlike the shared p53-bound genome, which was not dependent on chromatin accessibility, the association of p53 with these atypical binding sites was well explained by chromatin accessibility and could be modulated by forcing cell state changes such as the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study reconciles previous conflicting views in the p53 field, by demonstrating that although the majority of p53 DNA binding is conserved across cell types, there is a small set of cell line specific binding sites that depend on cell state.
    Keywords:  ChIP-seq; Chromatin; DNA damage; Gene expression; p53
  24. Cancer Lett. 2020 Feb 13. pii: S0304-3835(20)30071-9. [Epub ahead of print]476 34-47
    Gu C, Yang H, Chang K, Zhang B, Xie F, Ye J, Chang R, Qiu X, Wang Y, Qu Y, Wang J, Li M.
      Succinate is an important intermediate of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Recently discovered roles of succinate demonstrate its involvement in immunity and cancer biology; however, the precise underlying mechanisms of its involvement in these additional roles remain to be determined. In the present study, succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) B was decreased in uterine endometrial cancer cells (UECC) under negative regulation of estrogen. This decrease was the result of lower expression levels of ubiquitin C (UBC), which was associated with the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and specificity protein 1. The decreased levels of SDHB resulted in the accumulation of succinate in UECC, and thus, a decrease in the production of fumaric acid. Succinate downregulated voltage-gated potassium channel subfamily Q member 1 (KCNQ1) levels by activating serum/glucocorticoid regulated kinase 1 and promoted the growth of UECC in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with melatonin restricted estrogen/UBC/SDHB-induced succinate accumulation and upregulated expression of KCNQ1 and reduced the succinate-mediated growth of UECC in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, overexpression of melatonin receptor 1B amplified the inhibitory effects of melatonin on succinate-mediated UECC growth. Together, the data in the present study suggest that melatonin suppresses UECC progression by inhibiting estrogen/UBC/SDHB-induced succinate accumulation. The present study provides a scientific basis for potential therapeutic strategies and targets in UEC, particularly for patients with abnormally low levels of SDHB.
    Keywords:  KCNQ1; Melatonin receptor; Specificity protein 1; Succinate dehydrogenase B; Ubiquitin C
  25. Nat Commun. 2020 Feb 19. 11(1): 908
    Zhao B, Liu P, Fukumoto T, Nacarelli T, Fatkhutdinov N, Wu S, Lin J, Aird KM, Tang HY, Liu Q, Speicher DW, Zhang R.
      Cyclic cGMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) is a pattern recognition cytosolic DNA sensor that is essential for cellular senescence. cGAS promotes inflammatory senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) through recognizing cytoplasmic chromatin during senescence. cGAS-mediated inflammation is essential for the antitumor effects of immune checkpoint blockade. However, the mechanism by which cGAS recognizes cytoplasmic chromatin is unknown. Here we show that topoisomerase 1-DNA covalent cleavage complex (TOP1cc) is both necessary and sufficient for cGAS-mediated cytoplasmic chromatin recognition and SASP during senescence. TOP1cc localizes to cytoplasmic chromatin and TOP1 interacts with cGAS to enhance the binding of cGAS to DNA. Retention of TOP1cc to cytoplasmic chromatin depends on its stabilization by the chromatin architecture protein HMGB2. Functionally, the HMGB2-TOP1cc-cGAS axis determines the response of orthotopically transplanted ex vivo therapy-induced senescent cells to immune checkpoint blockade in vivo. Together, these findings establish a HMGB2-TOP1cc-cGAS axis that enables cytoplasmic chromatin recognition and response to immune checkpoint blockade.
  26. Front Genet. 2019 ;10 1393
    Reyes A, Rusecka J, Tońska K, Zeviani M.
      RNase H1 is able to recognize DNA/RNA heteroduplexes and to degrade their RNA component. As a consequence, it has been implicated in different aspects of mtDNA replication such as primer formation, primer removal, and replication termination, and significant differences have been reported between control and mutant RNASEH1 skin fibroblasts from patients. However, neither mtDNA depletion nor the presence of deletions have been described in skin fibroblasts while still presenting signs of mitochondrial dysfunction (lower mitochondrial membrane potential, reduced oxygen consumption, slow growth in galactose). Here, we show that RNase H1 has an effect on mtDNA transcripts, most likely through the regulation of 7S RNA and other R-loops. The observed effect on both mitochondrial mRNAs and 16S rRNA results in decreased mitochondrial translation and subsequently mitochondrial dysfunction in cells carrying mutations in RNASEH1.
    Keywords:  7S DNA; 7S RNA; RNase H1; mitochondria; mitochondrial disease; mtDNA; transcription; translation
  27. Nat Chem Biol. 2020 Mar;16(3): 278-290
    Kapralov AA, Yang Q, Dar HH, Tyurina YY, Anthonymuthu TS, Kim R, St Croix CM, Mikulska-Ruminska K, Liu B, Shrivastava IH, Tyurin VA, Ting HC, Wu YL, Gao Y, Shurin GV, Artyukhova MA, Ponomareva LA, Timashev PS, Domingues RM, Stoyanovsky DA, Greenberger JS, Mallampalli RK, Bahar I, Gabrilovich DI, Bayır H, Kagan VE.
      Ferroptotic death is the penalty for losing control over three processes-iron metabolism, lipid peroxidation and thiol regulation-that are common in the pro-inflammatory environment where professional phagocytes fulfill their functions and yet survive. We hypothesized that redox reprogramming of 15-lipoxygenase (15-LOX) during the generation of pro-ferroptotic signal 15-hydroperoxy-eicosa-tetra-enoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (15-HpETE-PE) modulates ferroptotic endurance. Here, we have discovered that inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)/NO•-enrichment of activated M1 (but not alternatively activated M2) macrophages/microglia modulates susceptibility to ferroptosis. Genetic or pharmacologic depletion/inactivation of iNOS confers sensitivity on M1 cells, whereas NO• donors empower resistance of M2 cells to ferroptosis. In vivo, M1 phagocytes, in comparison to M2 phagocytes, exert higher resistance to pharmacologically induced ferroptosis. This resistance is diminished in iNOS-deficient cells in the pro-inflammatory conditions of brain trauma or the tumour microenvironment. The nitroxygenation of eicosatetraenoyl (ETE)-PE intermediates and oxidatively truncated species by NO• donors and/or suppression of NO• production by iNOS inhibitors represent a novel redox mechanism of regulation of ferroptosis in pro-inflammatory conditions.
  28. Nature. 2020 Feb 19.
    Moral JA, Leung J, Rojas LA, Ruan J, Zhao J, Sethna Z, Ramnarain A, Gasmi B, Gururajan M, Redmond D, Askan G, Bhanot U, Elyada E, Park Y, Tuveson DA, Gönen M, Leach SD, Wolchok JD, DeMatteo RP, Merghoub T, Balachandran VP.
      Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) regulate inflammation and immunity in mammalian tissues1,2. Although ILC2s are found in cancers of these tissues3, their roles in cancer immunity and immunotherapy are unclear. Here we show that ILC2s infiltrate pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) to activate tissue-specific tumour immunity. Interleukin-33 (IL33) activates tumour ILC2s (TILC2s) and CD8+ T cells in orthotopic pancreatic tumours but not heterotopic skin tumours in mice to restrict pancreas-specific tumour growth. Resting and activated TILC2s express the inhibitory checkpoint receptor PD-1. Antibody-mediated PD-1 blockade relieves ILC2 cell-intrinsic PD-1 inhibition to expand TILC2s, augment anti-tumour immunity, and enhance tumour control, identifying activated TILC2s as targets of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Finally, both PD-1+ TILC2s and PD-1+ T cells are present in most human PDACs. Our results identify ILC2s as anti-cancer immune cells for PDAC immunotherapy. More broadly, ILC2s emerge as tissue-specific enhancers of cancer immunity that amplify the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. As ILC2s and T cells co-exist in human cancers and share stimulatory and inhibitory pathways, immunotherapeutic strategies to collectively target anti-cancer ILC2s and T cells may be broadly applicable.
  29. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Feb 18. 1-16
    Chauhan AS, Zhuang L, Gan B.
      AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a master regulator of energy homeostasis that functions to restore the energy balance by phosphorylating its substrates during altered metabolic conditions. AMPK activity is tightly controlled by diverse regulators including its upstream kinases LKB1 and CaMKK2. Recent studies have also identified the localization of AMPK at different intracellular compartments as another key mechanism for regulating AMPK signaling in response to specific stimuli. This review discusses the AMPK signaling associated with different subcellular compartments, including lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, nucleus, and cell junctions. Because altered AMPK signaling is associated with various pathologic conditions including cancer, targeting AMPK signaling in different subcellular compartments may present attractive therapeutic approaches for treatment of disease.
    Keywords:  AMPK; CaMKK2; LKB1; cell junction; endoplasmic reticulum; lysosome; mitochondria; nucleus
  30. Nature. 2020 Feb 19.
    Hu B, Jin C, Zeng X, Resch JM, Jedrychowski MP, Yang Z, Desai BN, Banks AS, Lowell BB, Mathis D, Spiegelman BM.
      The sympathetic nervous system innervates peripheral organs to regulate their function and maintain homeostasis, whereas target cells also produce neurotrophic factors to promote sympathetic innervation1,2. The molecular basis of this bi-directional communication remains to be fully determined. Here we use thermogenic adipose tissue from mice as a model system to show that T cells, specifically γδ T cells, have a crucial role in promoting sympathetic innervation, at least in part by driving the expression of TGFβ1 in parenchymal cells via the IL-17 receptor C (IL-17RC). Ablation of IL-17RC specifically in adipose tissue reduces expression of TGFβ1 in adipocytes, impairs local sympathetic innervation and causes obesity and other metabolic phenotypes that are consistent with defective thermogenesis; innervation can be fully rescued by restoring TGFβ1 expression. Ablating γδ Τ cells and the IL-17RC signalling pathway also impairs sympathetic innervation in other tissues such as salivary glands. These findings demonstrate coordination between T cells and parenchymal cells to regulate sympathetic innervation.
  31. J Clin Invest. 2020 Feb 18. pii: 133215. [Epub ahead of print]
    Guedan S, Madar A, Casado-Medrano V, Shaw CE, Wing A, Liu F, Young RM, June CH, Posey AD.
      Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies can eliminate relapsed and refractory tumors, but the durability of anti-tumor activity requires in vivo persistence. Differential signaling through the CAR costimulatory domain can alter the T cell metabolism, memory differentiation, as well as influence long-term persistence. CAR-T cells costimulated with 4-1BB or ICOS persist in xenograft models but those constructed with CD28 exhibit rapid clearance. Here, we show that a single amino acid residue in CD28 drove T cell exhaustion and hindered the persistence of CD28-based CAR-T cells and substituting this asparagine to phenylalanine (CD28-YMFM) promoted durable anti-tumor control. In addition, CD28-YMFM CAR-T cells exhibited reduced T cell differentiation and exhaustion as well as increased skewing towards Th17 cells. Reciprocal modification of ICOS-containing CAR-T cells abolished in vivo persistence and anti-tumor activity. This finding suggests modifications to the co-stimulatory domains of CAR-T cells can enable longer persistence and thereby improve anti-tumor response.
    Keywords:  Cancer immunotherapy; Immunology; T cells; Therapeutics
  32. Nat Commun. 2020 Feb 20. 11(1): 968
    Mitra R, Adams CM, Jiang W, Greenawalt E, Eischen CM.
      Recently, both 5p and 3p miRNA strands are being recognized as functional instead of only one, leaving many miRNA strands uninvestigated. To determine whether both miRNA strands, which have different mRNA-targeting sequences, cooperate to regulate pathways/functions across cancer types, we evaluate genomic, epigenetic, and molecular profiles of >5200 patient samples from 14 different cancers, and RNA interference and CRISPR screens in 290 cancer cell lines. We identify concordantly dysregulated miRNA 5p/3p pairs that coordinately modulate oncogenic pathways and/or cell survival/growth across cancers. Down-regulation of both strands of miR-30a and miR-145 recurrently increased cell cycle pathway genes and significantly reduced patient survival in multiple cancers. Forced expression of all four strands show cooperativity, reducing cell cycle pathways and inhibiting lung cancer cell proliferation and migration. Therefore, we identify miRNA whose 5p/3p strands function together to regulate core tumorigenic processes/pathways and reveal a previously unknown pan-cancer miRNA signature with patient prognostic power.
  33. J Mol Biol. 2020 Feb 13. pii: S0022-2836(20)30098-X. [Epub ahead of print]
    Morris AR, Stanton DL, Roman D, Liu AC.
      The mammalian circadian clock regulates a wide variety of physiological and behavioral processes. In turn, its disruption is associated with sleep deficiency, metabolic syndrome, neurological and psychiatric disorders, and cancer. At the turn of the century, the circadian clock was determined to be regulated by a transcriptional negative feedback mechanism composed of a dozen core clock genes. More recently, large-scale genomic studies have expanded the clock into a complex network composed of thousands of gene outputs and inputs. A major task of circadian research is to utilize systems biological approaches to uncover the governing principles underlying cellular oscillatory behavior and advance understanding of biological functions at the genomic level with spatiotemporal resolution. This review focuses on the genes and pathways that provide inputs to the circadian clock. Several emerging examples include AMP-activated protein kinase AMPK, nutrient/energy sensor mTOR, NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT1, hypoxia-inducible factor HIF1α, oxidative stress-inducible factor NRF2, and the proinflammatory factor NF-κB. These input pathways, among others that continue to be revealed, reflect the extensive interplay between the clock and cell physiology through the regulation of core clock genes and proteins. While the scope of this crosstalk is well-recognized, precise molecular links are scarce and the underlying regulatory mechanisms are not well understood. Future research must leverage genetic and genomic tools and technologies, network analysis, and computational modeling to characterize additional modifiers and input pathways. This systems-based framework promises to advance understanding of the circadian timekeeping system and may enable the enhancement of circadian functions through related input pathways.
    Keywords:  Circadian clock; NF-κB; cell homeostasis; mTOR; systems biology
  34. Nat Immunol. 2020 Feb 17.
    Weisel FJ, Mullett SJ, Elsner RA, Menk AV, Trivedi N, Luo W, Wikenheiser D, Hawse WF, Chikina M, Smita S, Conter LJ, Joachim SM, Wendell SG, Jurczak MJ, Winkler TH, Delgoffe GM, Shlomchik MJ.
      Germinal center B cells (GCBCs) are critical for generating long-lived humoral immunity. How GCBCs meet the energetic challenge of rapid proliferation is poorly understood. Dividing lymphocytes typically rely on aerobic glycolysis over oxidative phosphorylation for energy. Here we report that GCBCs are exceptional among proliferating B and T cells, as they actively oxidize fatty acids (FAs) and conduct minimal glycolysis. In vitro, GCBCs had a very low glycolytic extracellular acidification rate but consumed oxygen in response to FAs. [13C6]-glucose feeding revealed that GCBCs generate significantly less phosphorylated glucose and little lactate. Further, GCBCs did not metabolize glucose into tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates. Conversely, [13C16]-palmitic acid labeling demonstrated that GCBCs generate most of their acetyl-CoA and acetylcarnitine from FAs. FA oxidation was functionally important, as drug-mediated and genetic dampening of FA oxidation resulted in a selective reduction of GCBCs. Hence, GCBCs appear to uncouple rapid proliferation from aerobic glycolysis.
  35. Nat Commun. 2020 Feb 21. 11(1): 997
    Zhang B, Ci X, Tao R, Ni JJ, Xuan X, King JL, Xia S, Li Y, Frierson HF, Lee DK, Xu J, Osunkoya AO, Dong JT.
      Prostate development depends on balanced cell proliferation and differentiation, and acetylated KLF5 is known to alter epithelial proliferation. It remains elusive whether post-translational modifications of transcription factors can differentially determine adult stem/progenitor cell fate. Here we report that, in human and mouse prostates, Klf5 is expressed in both basal and luminal cells, with basal cells preferentially expressing acetylated Klf5. Functionally, Klf5 is indispensable for maintaining basal progenitors, their luminal differentiation, and the proliferation of their basal and luminal progenies. Acetylated Klf5 is also essential for basal progenitors' maintenance and proper luminal differentiation, as deacetylation of Klf5 causes excess basal-to-luminal differentiation; attenuates androgen-mediated organoid organization; and retards postnatal prostate development. In basal progenitor-derived luminal cells, Klf5 deacetylation increases their proliferation and attenuates their survival and regeneration following castration and subsequent androgen restoration. Mechanistically, Klf5 deacetylation activates Notch signaling. Klf5 and its acetylation thus contribute to postnatal prostate development and regeneration by controlling basal progenitor cell fate.
  36. Nat Commun. 2020 Feb 18. 11(1): 931
    Aslan K, Turco V, Blobner J, Sonner JK, Liuzzi AR, Núñez NG, De Feo D, Kickingereder P, Fischer M, Green E, Sadik A, Friedrich M, Sanghvi K, Kilian M, Cichon F, Wolf L, Jähne K, von Landenberg A, Bunse L, Sahm F, Schrimpf D, Meyer J, Alexander A, Brugnara G, Röth R, Pfleiderer K, Niesler B, von Deimling A, Opitz C, Breckwoldt MO, Heiland S, Bendszus M, Wick W, Becher B, Platten M.
      Intrinsic malignant brain tumors, such as glioblastomas are frequently resistant to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) with few hypermutated glioblastomas showing response. Modeling patient-individual resistance is challenging due to the lack of predictive biomarkers and limited accessibility of tissue for serial biopsies. Here, we investigate resistance mechanisms to anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 therapy in syngeneic hypermutated experimental gliomas and show a clear dichotomy and acquired immune heterogeneity in ICB-responder and non-responder tumors. We made use of this dichotomy to establish a radiomic signature predicting tumor regression after pseudoprogression induced by ICB therapy based on serial magnetic resonance imaging. We provide evidence that macrophage-driven ICB resistance is established by CD4 T cell suppression and Treg expansion in the tumor microenvironment via the PD-L1/PD-1/CD80 axis. These findings uncover an unexpected heterogeneity of response to ICB in strictly syngeneic tumors and provide a rationale for targeting PD-L1-expressing tumor-associated macrophages to overcome resistance to ICB.
  37. Oncogene. 2020 Feb 19.
    Brown TP, Bhattacharjee P, Ramachandran S, Sivaprakasam S, Ristic B, Sikder MOF, Ganapathy V.
      GPR81 is a G-protein-coupled receptor for lactate, which is upregulated in breast cancer and plays an autocrine role to promote tumor growth by tumor cell-derived lactate. Here we asked whether lactate has any paracrine role via activation of GPR81 in cells present in tumor microenvironment to help tumor growth. First, we showed that deletion of Gpr81 suppresses breast cancer growth in a constitutive breast cancer mouse model (MMTV-PyMT-Tg). We then used a syngeneic transplant model by monitoring tumor growth from a mouse breast cancer cell line (AT-3, Gpr81-negative) implanted in mammary fat pad of wild-type mice and Gpr81-null mice. Tumor growth was suppressed in Gpr81-null mice compared with wild-type mice. There were more tumor-infiltrating T cells and MHCIIhi-immune cells in tumors from Gpr81-null mice compared with tumors from wild-type mice. RNA-seq analysis of tumors indicated involvement of immune cells and antigen presentation in Gpr81-dependent tumor growth. Antigen-presenting dendritic cells expressed Gpr81 and activation of this receptor by lactate suppressed cell-surface presentation of MHCII. Activation of Gpr81 in dendritic cells was associated with decreased cAMP, IL-6 and IL-12. These findings suggest that tumor cell-derived lactate activates GPR81 in dendritic cells and prevents presentation of tumor-specific antigens to other immune cells. This paracrine mechanism is complementary to the recently discovered autocrine mechanism in which lactate induces PD-L1 in tumor cells via activation of GPR81 in tumor cells, thus providing an effective means for tumor cells to evade immune system. As such, blockade of GPR81 signaling could boost cancer immunotherapy.
  38. Pflugers Arch. 2020 Feb 20.
    Zhu SC, Chen C, Wu YN, Ahmed M, Kitmitto A, Greenstein AS, Kim SJ, Shao YF, Zhang YH.
      Recent evidence suggests that mitochondrial complex II is an essential mediator of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of fatty acid supplementation or high-fat diet (HFD) on cardiac mitochondrial activity. The changes of complex I and complex II activities and mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate (OCR) following hypoxia and re-oxygenation under these conditions were studied. Our results have shown that OCR (mitochondrial activity) was significantly increased with palmitoylcarnitine supplementation in mitochondria-enriched fraction from C57BL/6 mice hearts. Mitochondrial complex I activity was unaffected by palmitoylcarnitine but complex II activity was enhanced. Re-oxygenation following 30-min hypoxia transiently increased OCR but such an effect on OCR was abolished by complex II inhibitor, malonate, but not by complex I inhibitor, rotenone, despite that complex I activity was significantly increased with re-oxygenation following hypoxia in the presence of palmitoylcarnitine. Furthermore, OCR and complex II activity were significantly increased in the mitochondria from high-fat diet mice heart compared with those of normal or low-fat diet mice. Re-oxygenation to mitochondria following 30-min hypoxia increased OCR in all three groups but significantly more in HFD. Malonate abolished re-oxygenation-induced OCR increment in all groups. Our results indicate that complex II activity and OCR are enhanced with palmitoylcarnitine or in HFD mice heart. Although re-oxygenation following hypoxia enhanced complex II and complex I activities, complex II plays an important role in increasing mitochondrial activity, which may be instrumental in myocardial injury following ischemic reperfusion.
    Keywords:  Complex II; Heart; High-fat diet; Hypoxia; Mitochondria; Reperfusion