bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2021‒06‒20
fifty papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit


  1. Nat Commun. 2021 06 16. 12(1): 3660
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) integrates cellular nutrient signaling and hormonal cues to control metabolism. We have previously shown that constitutive nutrient signaling to mTORC1 by means of genetic activation of RagA (expression of GTP-locked RagA, or RagAGTP) in mice resulted in a fatal energetic crisis at birth. Herein, we rescue neonatal lethality in RagAGTP mice and find morphometric and metabolic alterations that span glucose, lipid, ketone, bile acid and amino acid homeostasis in adults, and a median lifespan of nine months. Proteomic and metabolomic analyses of livers from RagAGTP mice reveal a failed metabolic adaptation to fasting due to a global impairment in PPARα transcriptional program. These metabolic defects are partially recapitulated by restricting activation of RagA to hepatocytes, and revert by pharmacological inhibition of mTORC1. Constitutive hepatic nutrient signaling does not cause hepatocellular damage and carcinomas, unlike genetic activation of growth factor signaling upstream of mTORC1. In summary, RagA signaling dictates dynamic responses to feeding-fasting cycles to tune metabolism so as to match the nutritional state.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23857-8
  2. BMC Mol Cell Biol. 2021 Jun 12. 22(1): 35
      BACKGROUND: Succinate dehydrogenase (Complex II) plays a dual role in respiration by catalyzing the oxidation of succinate to fumarate in the mitochondrial Krebs cycle and transferring electrons from succinate to ubiquinone in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). Mutations in Complex II are associated with a number of pathologies. SDHD, one of the four subunits of Complex II, serves by anchoring the complex to the inner-membrane and transferring electrons from the complex to ubiquinone. Thus, modeling SDHD dysfunction could be a valuable tool for understanding its importance in metabolism and developing novel therapeutics, however no suitable models exist.RESULTS: Via CRISPR/Cas9, we mutated SDHD in HEK293 cells and investigated the in vitro role of SDHD in metabolism. Compared to the parent HEK293, the knockout mutant HEK293ΔSDHD produced significantly less number of cells in culture. The mutant cells predictably had suppressed Complex II-mediated mitochondrial respiration, but also Complex I-mediated respiration. SDHD mutation also adversely affected glycolytic capacity and ATP synthesis. Mutant cells were more apoptotic and susceptible to necrosis. Treatment with the mitochondrial therapeutic idebenone partially improved oxygen consumption and growth of mutant cells.
    CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our results suggest that SDHD is vital for growth and metabolism of mammalian cells, and that respiratory and growth defects can be partially restored with treatment of a ubiquinone analog. This is the first report to use CRISPR/Cas9 approach to construct a knockout SDHD cell line and evaluate the efficacy of an established mitochondrial therapeutic candidate to improve bioenergetic capacity.
    Keywords:  ATP synthesis; Apoptosis; CRISPR/Cas9; Complex II; Electron transport chain; Glycolysis; Idebenone; Krebs cycle; Necrosis; Oxygen consumption; ROS; Respiration; SDHD; Succinate dehydrogenase
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12860-021-00370-w
  3. Cancer Res. 2021 Jun 14.
      Succinate dehydrogenase is a key enzyme in the tricarboxylic acid cycle and the electron transport chain. All four subunits of succinate dehydrogenase are tumor suppressor genes predisposing to paraganglioma, but only mutations in the SDHB subunit are associated with increased risk of metastasis. Here we generated an Sdhd knockout chromaffin cell line and compared it with Sdhb-deficient cells. Both cell types exhibited similar SDH loss of function, metabolic adaptation, and succinate accumulation. In contrast, Sdhb-/- cells showed hallmarks of mesenchymal transition associated with increased DNA hypermethylation and a stronger pseudo-hypoxic phenotype compared with Sdhd-/- cells. Loss of SDHB specifically led to increased oxidative stress associated with dysregulated iron and copper homeostasis in the absence of NRF2 activation. High-dose ascorbate exacerbated the increase in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, leading to cell death in Sdhb-/- cells. These data establish a mechanism linking oxidative stress to iron homeostasis that specifically occurs in Sdhb-deficient cells and may promote metastasis. They also highlight high-dose ascorbate as a promising therapeutic strategy for SDHB-related cancers. SIGNIFICANCE: Loss of different succinate dehydrogenase subunits can lead to different cell and tumor phenotypes, linking stronger 2-OG-dependent dioxygenases inhibition, iron overload, and ROS accumulation following SDHB mutation.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2936
  4. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2021 Jun 17. 1-25
      Mitochondria are organelles present in most eukaryotic cells, where they play major and multifaceted roles. The classical notion of the main mitochondrial function as the powerhouse of the cell per se has been complemented by recent discoveries pointing to mitochondria as organelles affecting a number of other auxiliary processes. They go beyond the classical energy provision via acting as a relay point of many catabolic and anabolic processes, to signaling pathways critically affecting cell growth by their implication in de novo pyrimidine synthesis. These additional roles further underscore the importance of mitochondrial homeostasis in various tissues, where its deregulation promotes a number of pathologies. While it has long been known that mitochondria can move within a cell to sites where they are needed, recent research has uncovered that mitochondria can also move between cells. While this intriguing field of research is only emerging, it is clear that mobilization of mitochondria requires a complex apparatus that critically involves mitochondrial proteins of the Miro family, whose role goes beyond the mitochondrial transfer, as will be covered in this review.
    Keywords:  Miro proteins; Mitochondria; endoplasmic reticulum; intercellular transfer; mitophagy; motor proteins; respiration
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/10409238.2021.1925216
  5. Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 15. pii: S2211-1247(21)00597-0. [Epub ahead of print]35(11): 109238
      Metabolic adaptations and the signaling events that control them promote the survival of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) at the fibrotic tumor site, overcoming stresses associated with nutrient and oxygen deprivation. Recently, rewiring of NADPH production has been shown to play a key role in this process. NADPH is recycled through reduction of NADP+ by several enzymatic systems in cells. However, de novo NADP+ is synthesized only through one known enzymatic reaction, catalyzed by NAD+ kinase (NADK). In this study, we show that oncogenic KRAS promotes protein kinase C (PKC)-mediated NADK phosphorylation, leading to its hyperactivation, thus sustaining both NADP+ and NADPH levels in PDAC cells. Together, our data show that increased NADK activity is an important adaptation driven by oncogenic signaling. Our findings indicate that NADK could serve as a much-needed therapeutic target for PDAC.
    Keywords:  KRAS; NADK; NADP+; NADPH; PDAC; PKC
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109238
  6. Nat Commun. 2021 06 17. 12(1): 3720
      Low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are crucial for maintaining cancer stem cells (CSCs) and their ability to resist therapy, but the ROS regulatory mechanisms in CSCs remains to be explored. Here, we discover that prohibitin (PHB) specifically regulates mitochondrial ROS production in glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) and facilitates GSC radiotherapeutic resistance. We find that PHB is upregulated in GSCs and is associated with malignant gliomas progression and poor prognosis. PHB binds to peroxiredoxin3 (PRDX3), a mitochondrion-specific peroxidase, and stabilizes PRDX3 protein through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Knockout of PHB dramatically elevates ROS levels, thereby inhibiting GSC self-renewal. Importantly, deletion or pharmacological inhibition of PHB potently slows tumor growth and sensitizes tumors to radiotherapy, thus providing significant survival benefits in GSC-derived orthotopic tumors and glioblastoma patient-derived xenografts. These results reveal a selective role of PHB in mitochondrial ROS regulation in GSCs and suggest that targeting PHB improves radiotherapeutic efficacy in glioblastoma.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24108-6
  7. Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 15. pii: S2211-1247(21)00631-8. [Epub ahead of print]35(11): 109264
      MYC activates different metabolic programs in a cell-type- and cell-status-dependent manner. However, the role of MYC in inflammatory macrophages has not yet been determined. Metabolic and molecular analyses reveal that MYC, but not hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1), is involved in enhancing early glycolytic flux during inflammatory macrophage polarization. Ablation of MYC decreases lactate production by regulating lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and causes increased inflammatory cytokines by regulating interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) in response to lipopolysaccharide. Moreover, myeloid-specific deletion of MYC and pharmacological inhibition of the MYC/LDH axis enhance inflammation and the bacterial clearance in vivo. These results elucidate the potential role of the MYC/LDH/IRF4 axis in inflammatory macrophages by connecting early glycolysis with inflammatory responses and suggest that modulating early glycolytic flux mediated by the MYC/LDH axis can be used to open avenues for the therapeutic modulation of macrophage polarization to fight against bacterial infection.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109264
  8. JCI Insight. 2021 Jun 17. pii: 138835. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer cells re-program cellular metabolism to maintain adequate nutrient pools to sustain proliferation. Moreover, autophagy is a regulated mechanism to breakdown dysfunctional cellular components and recycle cellular nutrients. However, the requirement for autophagy and the integration in cancer cell metabolism is not clear in colon cancer. Here we show a cell-autonomous dependency of autophagy for cell growth in colorectal cancer. Loss of epithelial autophagy inhibits tumor growth in both sporadic and colitis associated cancer models. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of autophagy inhibits cell growth in colon cancer-derived cell lines and patient-derived enteroid models. Importantly, normal colon epithelium and patient-derived normal enteroid growth was not decreased following autophagy inhibition. To couple the role of autophagy to cellular metabolism, a cell culture screen in conjunction with metabolomic analysis was performed. We identified a critical role of autophagy to maintain mitochondrial metabolites for growth. Loss of mitochondrial recycling through inhibition of mitophagy hinders colon cancer cell growth. These findings have revealed a cell-autonomous role of autophagy that plays a critical role in regulating nutrient pools in vivo and in cell models and provides therapeutic targets for colon cancer.
    Keywords:  Colorectal cancer; Gastroenterology; Oncology
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.138835
  9. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2021 Jun 15.
      Mutations in the genes encoding the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial forms of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1 and IDH2, respectively; collectively referred to as IDH) are frequently detected in cancers of various origins, including but not limited to acute myeloid leukaemia (20%), cholangiocarcinoma (20%), chondrosarcoma (80%) and glioma (80%). In all cases, neomorphic activity of the mutated enzyme leads to production of the oncometabolite D-2-hydroxyglutarate, which has profound cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous effects. The broad effects of IDH mutations on epigenetic, differentiation and metabolic programmes, together with their high prevalence across a variety of cancer types, early presence in tumorigenesis and uniform expression in tumour cells, make mutant IDH an ideal therapeutic target. Herein, we describe the current biological understanding of IDH mutations and the roles of mutant IDH in the various associated cancers. We also present the available preclinical and clinical data on various methods of targeting IDH-mutant cancers and discuss, based on the underlying pathogenesis of different IDH-mutated cancer types, whether the treatment approaches will converge or be context dependent.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41571-021-00521-0
  10. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 656604
      Skeletal muscle protein synthesis is a highly complex process, influenced by nutritional status, mechanical stimuli, repair programs, hormones, and growth factors. The molecular aspects of protein synthesis are centered around the mTORC1 complex. However, the intricacies of mTORC1 regulation, both up and downstream, have expanded overtime. Moreover, the plastic nature of skeletal muscle makes it a unique tissue, having to coordinate between temporal changes in myofiber metabolism and hypertrophy/atrophy stimuli within a tissue with considerable protein content. Skeletal muscle manages the push and pull between anabolic and catabolic pathways through key regulatory proteins to promote energy production in times of nutrient deprivation or activate anabolic pathways in times of nutrient availability and anabolic stimuli. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can be used for both energy production and signaling to induce protein synthesis. The metabolism of BCAAs occur in tandem with energetic and anabolic processes, converging at several points along their respective pathways. The fate of intramuscular BCAAs adds another layer of regulation, which has consequences to promote or inhibit muscle fiber protein anabolism. This review will outline the general mechanisms of muscle protein synthesis and describe how metabolic pathways can regulate this process. Lastly, we will discuss how BCAA availability and demand coordinate with synthesis mechanisms and identify key factors involved in intramuscular BCAA trafficking.
    Keywords:  AMPK (5′-AMP activated kinase); BCKD; branch chain amino acids; branched-chain α-ketoacid dehydrogenase; mammalian target of rapamycin; protein synthesis; skeletal muscle
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.656604
  11. Biochemistry. 2021 Jun 18.
      Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) is a key metabolic enzyme for maintaining cytosolic levels of α-ketoglutarate (AKG) and preserving the redox environment of the cytosol. Wild-type (WT) IDH1 converts isocitrate to AKG; however, mutant IDH1-R132H that is recurrent in human cancers catalyzes the neomorphic production of the oncometabolite d-2-hydroxyglutrate (D-2HG) from AKG. Recent work suggests that production of l-2-hydroxyglutarte in cancer cells can be regulated by environmental changes, including hypoxia and intracellular pH (pHi). However, it is unknown whether and how pHi affects the activity of IDH1-R132H. Here, we show that in cells IDH1-R132H can produce D-2HG in a pH-dependent manner with increased production at lower pHi. We also identify a molecular mechanism by which this pH sensitivity is achieved. We show that pH-dependent production of D-2HG is mediated by pH-dependent heterodimer formation between IDH1-WT and IDH1-R132H. In contrast, neither IDH1-WT nor IDH1-R132H homodimer formation is affected by pH. Our results demonstrate that robust production of D-2HG by IDH1-R132H relies on the coincidence of (1) the ability to form heterodimers with IDH1-WT and (2) low pHi or highly abundant AKG substrate. These data suggest cancer-associated IDH1-R132H may be sensitive to physiological or microenvironmental cues that lower pH, such as hypoxia or metabolic reprogramming. This work reveals new molecular considerations for targeted therapeutics and suggests potential synergistic effects of using catalytic IDH1 inhibitors targeting D-2HG production in combination with drugs targeting the tumor microenvironment.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.biochem.1c00059
  12. Trends Cancer. 2021 Jun 07. pii: S2405-8033(21)00104-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy is a catabolic intracellular nutrient-scavenging pathway triggered by nutrient deprivation and stress that captures and degrades intracellular proteins and organelles in lysosomes. The breakdown products are then recycled into metabolic pathways to sustain survival. Organelle turnover by autophagy contributes to quality control and suppresses inflammation. Autophagy is upregulated in many cancers and supports their growth, survival, and malignancy in a tumor cell-autonomous fashion. Host autophagy also promotes tumor growth by maintaining a supply of essential nutrients and suppressing innate and adaptive antitumor immune responses. Autophagy is also upregulated in response to cancer therapy and confers treatment resistance. Thus, autophagy is a cancer vulnerability and its inhibition is under investigation as a novel therapeutic approach.
    Keywords:  T cells; autophagy; cancer; immune response; interferon; metabolism
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trecan.2021.05.003
  13. Dev Cell. 2021 Jun 08. pii: S1534-5807(21)00443-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Oncogenes can alter metabolism by changing the balance between anabolic and catabolic processes. However, how oncogenes regulate tumor cell biomass remains poorly understood. Using isogenic MCF10A cells transformed with nine different oncogenes, we show that specific oncogenes reduce the biomass of cancer cells by promoting extracellular vesicle (EV) release. While MYC and AURKB elicited the highest number of EVs, each oncogene selectively altered the protein composition of released EVs. Likewise, oncogenes alter secreted miRNAs. MYC-overexpressing cells require ceramide, whereas AURKB requires ESCRT to release high levels of EVs. We identify an inverse relationship between MYC upregulation and activation of the RAS/MEK/ERK signaling pathway for regulating EV release in some tumor cells. Finally, lysosome genes and activity are downregulated in the context of MYC and AURKB, suggesting that cellular contents, instead of being degraded, were released via EVs. Thus, oncogene-mediated biomass regulation via differential EV release is a new metabolic phenotype.
    Keywords:  AURKB; ESCRT; EVs; HRAS; MYC; ceramide; extracellular vesicles; lysosome; miRNAs; oncogenes
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2021.05.014
  14. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2021 Jun 13. 1-16
      Heteroplasmy refers to the coexistence of more than one variant of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA). Mutated or partially deleted mtDNAs can induce chronic metabolic impairment and cause mitochondrial diseases when their heteroplasmy levels exceed a critical threshold. These mutant mtDNAs can be maternally inherited or can arise de novo. Compelling evidence has emerged showing that mutant mtDNA levels can vary and change in a nonrandom fashion across generations and amongst tissues of an individual. However, our lack of understanding of the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of mtDNA heteroplasmy dynamics has made it difficult to predict who will inherit or develop mtDNA-associated diseases. More recently, with the advances in technology and the establishment of tractable model systems, insights into the mechanisms underlying the selection forces that modulate heteroplasmy dynamics are beginning to emerge. In this review, we summarize evidence from different organisms, showing that mutant mtDNA can experience both positive and negative selection. We also review the recently identified mechanisms that modulate heteroplasmy dynamics. Taken together, this is an opportune time to survey the literature and to identify key cellular pathways that can be targeted to develop therapies for diseases caused by heteroplasmic mtDNA mutations.
    Keywords:  Heteroplasmy dynamics; mitochondria; mitochondrial genetics; mtDNA; selection
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/10409238.2021.1934812
  15. J Biol Chem. 2021 Jun 15. pii: S0021-9258(21)00680-3. [Epub ahead of print] 100880
      More than half a century ago, reversible protein phosphorylation was first linked to mitochondrial metabolism through the regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase. Since this discovery, the number of identified mitochondrial protein phosphorylation sites has increased by orders of magnitude, driven largely by technological advances in mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomics. However, the majority of these modifications remain uncharacterized, rendering their function and relevance unclear. Nonetheless, recent studies have shown that disruption of resident mitochondrial protein phosphatases causes substantial metabolic dysfunction across organisms, suggesting that proper management of mitochondrial phosphorylation is vital for organellar and organismal homeostasis. While these data suggest that phosphorylation within mitochondria is of critical importance, significant gaps remain in our knowledge of how these modifications influence organellar function. Here, we curate publicly available datasets to map the extent of protein phosphorylation within mammalian mitochondria and to highlight the known functions of mitochondrial-resident phosphatases. We further propose models by which phosphorylation may affect mitochondrial enzyme activities, protein import and processing, and overall organellar homeostasis.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; phosphoproteomics; protein kinase; protein phosphatase; protein phosphorylation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100880
  16. Cell Metab. 2021 Jun 11. pii: S1550-4131(21)00269-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      There has been rapid growth in the use of Drosophila and other invertebrate systems to dissect mechanisms governing metabolism. New assays and approaches to physiology have aligned with superlative genetic tools in fruit flies to provide a powerful platform for posing new questions, or dissecting classical problems in metabolism and disease genetics. In multiple examples, these discoveries exploit experimental advantages as-yet unavailable in mammalian systems. Here, we illustrate how fly studies have addressed long-standing questions in three broad areas-inter-organ signaling through hormonal or neural mechanisms governing metabolism, intestinal interoception and feeding, and the cellular and signaling basis of sexually dimorphic metabolism and physiology-and how these findings relate to human (patho)physiology. The imaginative application of integrative physiology and related approaches in flies to questions in metabolism is expanding, and will be an engine of discovery, revealing paradigmatic features of metabolism underlying human diseases and physiological equipoise in health.
    Keywords:  Drosophila melanogaster; diabetes; disease; endocrinology; gastrointestinal tract; genetics; hormones; intestine; neuron; physiology; sexual dimorphism
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2021.05.018
  17. mSphere. 2021 Jun 16. e0032721
      Mitochondrial cristae are polymorphic invaginations of the inner membrane that are the fabric of cellular respiration. Both the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organization system (MICOS) and the F1FO-ATP synthase are vital for sculpting cristae by opposing membrane-bending forces. While MICOS promotes negative curvature at crista junctions, dimeric F1FO-ATP synthase is crucial for positive curvature at crista rims. Crosstalk between these two complexes has been observed in baker's yeast, the model organism of the Opisthokonta supergroup. Here, we report that this property is conserved in Trypanosoma brucei, a member of the Discoba clade that separated from the Opisthokonta ∼2 billion years ago. Specifically, one of the paralogs of the core MICOS subunit Mic10 interacts with dimeric F1FO-ATP synthase, whereas the other core Mic60 subunit has a counteractive effect on F1FO-ATP synthase oligomerization. This is evocative of the nature of MICOS-F1FO-ATP synthase crosstalk in yeast, which is remarkable given the diversification that these two complexes have undergone during almost 2 eons of independent evolution. Furthermore, we identified a highly diverged, putative homolog of subunit e, which is essential for the stability of F1FO-ATP synthase dimers in yeast. Just like subunit e, it is preferentially associated with dimers and interacts with Mic10, and its silencing results in severe defects to cristae and the disintegration of F1FO-ATP synthase dimers. Our findings indicate that crosstalk between MICOS and dimeric F1FO-ATP synthase is a fundamental property impacting crista shape throughout eukaryotes. IMPORTANCE Mitochondria have undergone profound diversification in separate lineages that have radiated since the last common ancestor of eukaryotes some eons ago. Most eukaryotes are unicellular protists, including etiological agents of infectious diseases, like Trypanosoma brucei. Thus, the study of a broad range of protists can reveal fundamental features shared by all eukaryotes and lineage-specific innovations. Here, we report that two different protein complexes, MICOS and F1FO-ATP synthase, known to affect mitochondrial architecture, undergo crosstalk in T. brucei, just as in baker's yeast. This is remarkable considering that these complexes have otherwise undergone many changes during their almost 2 billion years of independent evolution. Thus, this crosstalk is a fundamental property needed to maintain proper mitochondrial structure even if the constituent players considerably diverged.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; MICOS; Trypanosoma; evolution; mitochondria
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00327-21
  18. Transl Oncol. 2021 Jun 09. pii: S1936-5233(21)00138-8. [Epub ahead of print]14(8): 101146
      Head and neck paragangliomas (HNPGLs) are rare neoplasms that represent difficult treatment paradigms in neurotology. Germline mutations in genes encoding succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) are the cause of nearly all familial HNPGLs. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis remain unclear. Mutational analysis identified 6 out of 14 HNPGLs harboring clinicopathologic SDH gene mutations. The SDHB gene was most frequently mutated in these patients, and western blot showed loss of SDHB protein in tumors with SDHB mutations. The paraganglioma cell line (PGL-626) was established from a sample that harbored a missense SDHB mutation (c.649C > T). Spectrometric analysis using tandem mass tags identified 151 proteins significantly differentially expressed in HNPGLs compared with normal nerves. Bioinformatics analyses confirmed the high level of enrichment of oxidative phosphorylation and metabolism pathways in HNPGLs. The mitochondrial complex subunits NDUFA2, NDUFA10, and NDUFA4, showed the most significantly increased expression and were localized predominantly in the cytoplasm of PGL-626 cells. The mitochondrial complex I inhibitor metformin exerted dose-dependent inhibitory effects on PGL-626 cells via cooperative down-regulation of NDUFA2, 4, and 10, with a significant decrease in the levels of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial membrane potential. Further metabolomic analysis of PGL-626 cells showed that metabolites involved in central carbon metabolism in cancer and sphingolipid signaling pathways, pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis, and tryptophan and carbon metabolism were significantly altered after metformin treatment. Thus, this study provides insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying HNPGL tumorigenesis and identifies target correction of metabolic abnormalities as a novel therapeutic approach for this disease.
    Keywords:  Head and neck paragangliomas; Metabolomics; Metformin; Proteomics; SDH
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2021.101146
  19. Nat Metab. 2021 Jun 17.
      Global histone acetylation varies with changes in the nutrient and cell cycle phases; however, the mechanisms connecting these variations are not fully understood. Herein, we report that nutrient-related and cell-cycle-regulated nuclear acetate regulates global histone acetylation. Histone deacetylation-generated acetate accumulates in the nucleus and induces histone hyperacetylation. The nuclear acetate levels were controlled by glycolytic enzyme triosephosphate isomerase 1 (TPI1). Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), which is phosphorylated and activated by nutrient-activated mTORC1, phosphorylates TPI1 Ser 117 and promotes nuclear translocation of TPI1, decreases nuclear dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) and induces nuclear acetate accumulation because DHAP scavenges acetate via the formation of 1-acetyl-DHAP. CDK2 accumulates in the cytosol during the late G1/S phases. Inactivation or blockade of nuclear translocation of TPI1 abrogates nutrient-dependent and cell-cycle-dependent global histone acetylation, chromatin condensation, gene transcription and DNA replication. These results identify the mechanism of maintaining global histone acetylation by nutrient and cell cycle signals.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-021-00405-8
  20. Nat Commun. 2021 06 16. 12(1): 3673
      Mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) synthesize a critical set of proteins essential for oxidative phosphorylation. Therefore, mitoribosomal function is vital to the cellular energy supply. Mitoribosome biogenesis follows distinct molecular pathways that remain poorly understood. Here, we determine the cryo-EM structures of mitoribosomes isolated from human cell lines with either depleted or overexpressed mitoribosome assembly factor GTPBP5, allowing us to capture consecutive steps during mitoribosomal large subunit (mt-LSU) biogenesis. Our structures provide essential insights into the last steps of 16S rRNA folding, methylation and peptidyl transferase centre (PTC) completion, which require the coordinated action of nine assembly factors. We show that mammalian-specific MTERF4 contributes to the folding of 16S rRNA, allowing 16 S rRNA methylation by MRM2, while GTPBP5 and NSUN4 promote fine-tuning rRNA rearrangements leading to PTC formation. Moreover, our data reveal an unexpected involvement of the elongation factor mtEF-Tu in mt-LSU assembly, where mtEF-Tu interacts with GTPBP5, similar to its interaction with tRNA during translational elongation.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23617-8
  21. Trends Cancer. 2021 Jun 11. pii: S2405-8033(21)00106-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Melanoma is derived from melanocytes located in multiple regions of the body. Cutaneous melanoma (CM) represents the major subgroup, but less-common subtypes including uveal melanoma (UM), mucosal melanoma (MM), and acral melanoma (AM) arise that have distinct genetic profiles. Treatments effective for CM are ineffective in UM, AM, and MM, and patient survival remains poor. As reprogrammed cancer metabolism is associated with tumorigenesis, the underlying mechanisms are well studied and provide therapeutic opportunities in many cancers; however, metabolism is less well studied in rarer melanoma subtypes. We summarize current knowledge of the metabolic alterations in rare melanoma and potential applications of targeting cancer metabolism to improve the therapeutic options available to UM, AM, and MM patients.
    Keywords:  acral; melanoma; metabolism; mucosal; uveal
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trecan.2021.05.005
  22. Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 15. pii: S2211-1247(21)00596-9. [Epub ahead of print]35(11): 109237
      The formation of stress granules (SGs) is an essential aspect of the cellular response to many kinds of stress, but its adaptive role is far from clear. SG dysfunction is implicated in aging-onset neurodegenerative diseases, prompting interest in their physiological function. Here, we report that during starvation stress, SGs interact with mitochondria and regulate metabolic remodeling. We show that SG formation leads to a downregulation of fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) through the modulation of mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channels (VDACs), which import fatty acids (FAs) into mitochondria. The subsequent decrease in FAO during long-term starvation reduces oxidative damage and rations FAs for longer use. Failure to form SGs, whether caused by the genetic deletion of SG components or an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-associated mutation, translates into an inability to downregulate FAO. Because metabolic dysfunction is a common pathological element of neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS, our findings provide a direction for studying the clinical relevance of SGs.
    Keywords:  ALS; VDAC; fatty acid oxidation; lipid droplet; lipid metabolism; metabolic adaptation; mitochondria; porin; starvation; stress granule
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109237
  23. Oncogene. 2021 Jun 12.
      SOS1 ablation causes specific defective phenotypes in MEFs including increased levels of intracellular ROS. We showed that the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoTEMPO restores normal endogenous ROS levels, suggesting predominant involvement of mitochondria in generation of this defective SOS1-dependent phenotype. The absence of SOS1 caused specific alterations of mitochondrial shape, mass, and dynamics accompanied by higher percentage of dysfunctional mitochondria and lower rates of electron transport in comparison to WT or SOS2-KO counterparts. SOS1-deficient MEFs also exhibited specific alterations of respiratory complexes and their assembly into mitochondrial supercomplexes and consistently reduced rates of respiration, glycolysis, and ATP production, together with distinctive patterns of substrate preference for oxidative energy metabolism and dependence on glucose for survival. RASless cells showed defective respiratory/metabolic phenotypes reminiscent of those of SOS1-deficient MEFs, suggesting that the mitochondrial defects of these cells are mechanistically linked to the absence of SOS1-GEF activity on cellular RAS targets. Our observations provide a direct mechanistic link between SOS1 and control of cellular oxidative stress and suggest that SOS1-mediated RAS activation is required for correct mitochondrial dynamics and function.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41388-021-01886-3
  24. Nat Metab. 2021 Jun 14.
      Pre-operative exercise therapy improves outcomes for many patients who undergo surgery. Despite the well-known effects on tolerance to systemic perturbation, the mechanisms by which pre-operative exercise protects the organ that is operated on from inflammatory injury are unclear. Here, we show that four-week aerobic pre-operative exercise significantly attenuates liver injury and inflammation from ischaemia and reperfusion in mice. Remarkably, these beneficial effects last for seven more days after completing pre-operative exercising. We find that exercise specifically drives Kupffer cells toward an anti-inflammatory phenotype with trained immunity via metabolic reprogramming. Mechanistically, exercise-induced HMGB1 release enhances itaconate metabolism in the tricarboxylic acid cycle that impacts Kupffer cells in an NRF2-dependent manner. Therefore, these metabolites and cellular/molecular targets can be investigated as potential exercise-mimicking pharmaceutical candidates to protect against liver injury during surgery.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-021-00402-x
  25. Autoimmun Rev. 2021 Jun 09. pii: S1568-9972(21)00139-7. [Epub ahead of print]20(8): 102867
      Relevant reviews highlight the association between dysfunctional mitochondria and inflammation, but few studies address the contribution of mitochondria and mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contact sites (MERCs) to cellular homeostasis and inflammatory signaling. The present review outlines the important role of mitochondria in cellular homeostasis and how dysfunctional mitochondrion can release and misplace mitochondrial components (cardiolipin, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and mitochondrial formylated peptides) through multiple mechanisms. These components can act as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and induce an inflammatory response via pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Accumulation of damaged ROS-generating mitochondria, accompanied by the release of mitochondrial DAMPs, can activate PRRs such as the NLRP3 inflammasome, TLR9, cGAS/STING, and ZBP1. This process would explain the chronic inflammation that is observed in autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), type I diabetes (T1D), and Sjögren's syndrome. This review also provides a comprehensive overview of the importance of MERCs to mitochondrial function and morphology, cellular homeostasis, and the inflammatory response. MERCs play an important role in calcium homeostasis by mediating the transfer of calcium from the ER to the mitochondria and thereby facilitating the production of ATP. They also contribute to the synthesis and transfer of phospholipids, protein folding in the ER, mitochondrial fission, mitochondrial fusion, initiation of autophagosome formation, regulation of cell death/survival signaling, and regulation of immune responses. Therefore, alterations within MERCs could increase inflammatory signaling, modulate ER stress responses, cell homeostasis, and ultimately, the cell fate. This study shows severe ultrastructural alterations of mitochondria in salivary gland cells from Sjögren's syndrome patients for the first time, which could trigger alterations in cellular bioenergetics. This finding could explain symptoms such as fatigue and malfunction of the salivary glands in Sjögren's syndrome patients, which would contribute to the chronic inflammatory pathology of the disease. However, this is only a first step in solving this complex puzzle, and several other important factors such as changes in mitochondrial morphology, functionality, and their important contacts with other organelles require further in-depth study. Future work should focus on detecting the key milestones that are related to inflammation in patients with autoimmune diseases, such as Sjögren´s syndrome.
    Keywords:  DAMPs (mitochondrial damage-associated molecular patterns); Inflammation (chronic inflammation); MERCs (mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum contact sites); Mitochondria (dysfunctional mitochondria); PRRs (pattern recognition receptors); ROS (reactive oxygen species)
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2021.102867
  26. Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2021 ;19 3034-3041
      Human serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) regulates the serine-glycine one carbon metabolism and plays a role in cancer metabolic reprogramming. Two SHMT isozymes are acting in the cell: SHMT1 encoding the cytoplasmic isozyme, and SHMT2 encoding the mitochondrial one. Here we present a molecular model built on experimental data reporting the interaction between SHMT1 protein and SHMT2 mRNA, recently discovered in lung cancer cells. Using a stochastic dynamic model, we show that RNA moieties dynamically regulate serine and glycine concentration, shaping the system behaviour. For the first time we observe an active functional role of the RNA in the regulation of the serine-glycine metabolism and availability, which unravels a complex layer of regulation that cancer cells exploit to fine tune amino acids availability according to their metabolic needs. The quantitative model, complemented by an experimental validation in the lung adenocarcinoma cell line H1299, exploits RNA molecules as metabolic switches of the SHMT1 activity. Our results pave the way for the development of RNA-based molecules able to unbalance serine metabolism in cancer cells.
    Keywords:  Metabolic networks; RNA-binding protein; RNA-protein interactions; Serine/Glycine metabolism
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csbj.2021.05.019
  27. Plant Cell. 2021 Jun 17. pii: koab148. [Epub ahead of print]
      Malate oxidation by plant mitochondria enables the generation of both oxaloacetate (OAA) and pyruvate for tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle function, potentially eliminating the need for pyruvate transport into mitochondria in plants. Here we show that the absence of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier 1 (MPC1) causes the co-commitment loss of its putative orthologs, MPC3/MPC4, and eliminates pyruvate transport into Arabidopsis thaliana mitochondria, proving it is essential for MPC complex function. While the loss of either MPC or mitochondrial pyruvate-generating NAD-malic enzyme (NAD-ME) did not cause vegetative phenotypes, the lack of both reduced plant growth and caused an increase in cellular pyruvate levels, indicating a block in respiratory metabolism, and elevated the levels of branched-chain amino acids at night, a sign of alterative substrate provision for respiration. 13C-pyruvate feeding of leaves lacking MPC showed metabolic homeostasis was largely maintained except for alanine and glutamate, indicating that transamination contributes to restoration of the metabolic network to an operating equilibrium by delivering pyruvate independently of MPC into the matrix. Inhibition of alanine aminotransferases (AlaAT) when MPC1 is absent resulted in extremely retarded phenotypes in Arabidopsis, suggesting all pyruvate-supplying enzymes work synergistically to support the TCA cycle for sustained plant growth.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koab148
  28. Nat Methods. 2021 Jun 14.
      Lysosomes are critical for cellular metabolism and are heterogeneously involved in various cellular processes. The ability to measure lysosomal metabolic heterogeneity is essential for understanding their physiological roles. We therefore built a single-lysosome mass spectrometry (SLMS) platform integrating lysosomal patch-clamp recording and induced nano-electrospray ionization (nanoESI)/mass spectrometry (MS) that enables concurrent metabolic and electrophysiological profiling of individual enlarged lysosomes. The accuracy and reliability of this technique were validated by supporting previous findings, such as the transportability of lysosomal cationic amino acids transporters such as PQLC2 and the lysosomal trapping of lysosomotropic, hydrophobic weak base drugs such as lidocaine. We derived metabolites from single lysosomes in various cell types and classified lysosomes into five major subpopulations based on their chemical and biological divergence. Senescence and carcinoma altered metabolic profiles of lysosomes in a type-specific manner. Thus, SLMS can open more avenues for investigating heterogeneous lysosomal metabolic changes during physiological and pathological processes.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-021-01182-8
  29. Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 15. pii: S2211-1247(21)00617-3. [Epub ahead of print]35(11): 109252
      Heme is an iron-containing porphyrin of vital importance for cell energetic metabolism. High rates of heme synthesis are commonly observed in proliferating cells. Moreover, the cell-surface heme exporter feline leukemia virus subgroup C receptor 1a (FLVCR1a) is overexpressed in several tumor types. However, the reasons why heme synthesis and export are enhanced in highly proliferating cells remain unknown. Here, we illustrate a functional axis between heme synthesis and heme export: heme efflux through the plasma membrane sustains heme synthesis, and implementation of the two processes down-modulates the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle flux and oxidative phosphorylation. Conversely, inhibition of heme export reduces heme synthesis and promotes the TCA cycle fueling and flux as well as oxidative phosphorylation. These data indicate that the heme synthesis-export system modulates the TCA cycle and oxidative metabolism and provide a mechanistic basis for the observation that both processes are enhanced in cells with high-energy demand.
    Keywords:  ALAS1; FLVCR; FLVCR1; FLVCR1a; cancer; heme; metabolism; oxidative phosphorylation; tricarboxylic acid cycle
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109252
  30. EMBO J. 2021 Jun 14. e107176
      Dendritic cell (DC) activation by viral RNA sensors such as TLR3 and MDA-5 is critical for initiating antiviral immunity. Optimal DC activation is promoted by type I interferon (IFN) signaling which is believed to occur in either autocrine or paracrine fashion. Here, we show that neither autocrine nor paracrine type I IFN signaling can fully account for DC activation by poly(I:C) in vitro and in vivo. By controlling the density of type I IFN-producing cells in vivo, we establish that instead a quorum of type I IFN-producing cells is required for optimal DC activation and that this process proceeds at the level of an entire lymph node. This collective behavior, governed by type I IFN diffusion, is favored by the requirement for prolonged cytokine exposure to achieve DC activation. Furthermore, collective DC activation was found essential for the development of innate and adaptive immunity in lymph nodes. Our results establish how collective rather than cell-autonomous processes can govern the initiation of immune responses.
    Keywords:  cytokine signaling; dendritic cell activation; quorum sensing; type I IFN
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2020107176
  31. Sci Adv. 2021 May;pii: eabg6165. [Epub ahead of print]7(21):
      Virus-infected cells and cancers share metabolic commonalities that stem from their insatiable need to replicate while evading the host immune system. These similarities include hijacking signaling mechanisms that induce metabolic rewiring in the host to up-regulate nucleotide metabolism and, in parallel, suppress the immune response. In both cancer and viral infections, the host immune cells and, specifically, lymphocytes augment nucleotide synthesis to support their own proliferation and effector functions. Consequently, established treatment modalities targeting nucleotide metabolism against cancers and virally infected cells may result in restricted immune response. Encouragingly, following the introduction of immunotherapy against cancers, multiple studies improved our understanding for improving antigen presentation to the immune system. We propose here that understanding the immune consequences of targeting nucleotide metabolism against cancers may be harnessed to optimize therapy against viral infections.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abg6165
  32. Nat Commun. 2021 06 14. 12(1): 3607
      Ribosomes are recycled for a new round of translation initiation by dissociation of ribosomal subunits, messenger RNA and transfer RNA from their translational post-termination complex. Here we present cryo-EM structures of the human 55S mitochondrial ribosome (mitoribosome) and the mitoribosomal large 39S subunit in complex with mitoribosome recycling factor (RRFmt) and a recycling-specific homolog of elongation factor G (EF-G2mt). These structures clarify an unusual role of a mitochondria-specific segment of RRFmt, identify the structural distinctions that confer functional specificity to EF-G2mt, and show that the deacylated tRNA remains with the dissociated 39S subunit, suggesting a distinct sequence of events in mitoribosome recycling. Furthermore, biochemical and structural analyses reveal that the molecular mechanism of antibiotic fusidic acid resistance for EF-G2mt is markedly different from that of mitochondrial elongation factor EF-G1mt, suggesting that the two human EF-Gmts have evolved diversely to negate the effect of a bacterial antibiotic.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23726-4
  33. Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 15. pii: S2211-1247(21)00618-5. [Epub ahead of print]35(11): 109253
      Tumor vessel co-option is poorly understood, yet it is a resistance mechanism against anti-angiogenic therapy (AAT). The heterogeneity of co-opted endothelial cells (ECs) and pericytes, co-opting cancer and myeloid cells in tumors growing via vessel co-option, has not been investigated at the single-cell level. Here, we use a murine AAT-resistant lung tumor model, in which VEGF-targeting induces vessel co-option for continued growth. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of 31,964 cells reveals, unexpectedly, a largely similar transcriptome of co-opted tumor ECs (TECs) and pericytes as their healthy counterparts. Notably, we identify cell types that might contribute to vessel co-option, i.e., an invasive cancer-cell subtype, possibly assisted by a matrix-remodeling macrophage population, and another M1-like macrophage subtype, possibly involved in keeping or rendering vascular cells quiescent.
    Keywords:  anti-angiogenic therapy; cancer cells; endothelial cells; macrophages; metastasis; pericytes; resistance; single-cell RNA sequencing; tumor angiogenesis; tumor vessel co-option
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109253
  34. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2021 Jun 14. pii: a037838. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lung cancer is a heterogeneous disease that is subdivided into histopathological subtypes with distinct behaviors. Each subtype is characterized by distinct features and molecular alterations that influence tumor metabolism. Alterations in tumor metabolism can be exploited by imaging modalities that use metabolite tracers for the detection and characterization of tumors. Microenvironmental factors, including nutrient and oxygen availability and the presence of stromal cells, are a critical influence on tumor metabolism. Recent technological advances facilitate the direct evaluation of metabolic alterations in patient tumors in this complex microenvironment. In addition, molecular alterations directly influence tumor cell metabolism and metabolic dependencies that influence response to therapy. Current therapeutic approaches to target tumor metabolism are currently being developed and translated into the clinic for patient therapy.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a037838
  35. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2021 Jun;8(11): 2004507
      Mitochondrial epigenetics is rising as intriguing notion for its potential involvement in aging and diseases, while the details remain largely unexplored. Here it is shown that among the 13 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encoded genes, NADH-dehydrogenase 6 (ND6) transcript is primarily decreased in obese and type 2 diabetes populations, which negatively correlates with its distinctive hypermethylation. Hepatic mtDNA sequencing in mice unveils that ND6 presents the highest methylation level, which dramatically increases under diabetic condition due to enhanced mitochondrial translocation of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) promoted by free fatty acid through adenosine 5'-monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation. Hepatic knockdown of ND6 or overexpression of Dnmt1 similarly impairs mitochondrial function and induces systemic insulin resistance both in vivo and in vitro. Genetic or chemical targeting hepatic DNMT1 shows significant benefits against insulin resistance associated metabolic disorders. These findings highlight the pivotal role of ND6 epigenetic network in regulating mitochondrial function and onset of insulin resistance, shedding light on potential preventive and therapeutic strategies of insulin resistance and related metabolic disorders from a perspective of mitochondrial epigenetics.
    Keywords:  DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1); insulin resistance; mitochondrial NADH‐dehydrogenase 6 (ND6); mitochondrial dysfunction; obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202004507
  36. Nat Commun. 2021 06 15. 12(1): 3619
      L-2-Hydroxyglutarate (L-2-HG) plays important roles in diverse physiological processes, such as carbon starvation response, tumorigenesis, and hypoxic adaptation. Despite its importance and intensively studied metabolism, regulation of L-2-HG metabolism remains poorly understood and none of regulator specifically responded to L-2-HG has been identified. Based on bacterial genomic neighborhood analysis of the gene encoding L-2-HG oxidase (LhgO), LhgR, which represses the transcription of lhgO in Pseudomonas putida W619, is identified in this study. LhgR is demonstrated to recognize L-2-HG as its specific effector molecule, and this allosteric transcription factor is then used as a biorecognition element to construct an L-2-HG-sensing FRET sensor. The L-2-HG sensor is able to conveniently monitor the concentrations of L-2-HG in various biological samples. In addition to bacterial L-2-HG generation during carbon starvation, biological function of the L-2-HG dehydrogenase and hypoxia induced L-2-HG accumulation are also revealed by using the L-2-HG sensor in human cells.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23723-7
  37. Cell Metab. 2021 Jun 08. pii: S1550-4131(21)00233-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tumor acidosis promotes disease progression through a stimulation of fatty acid (FA) metabolism in cancer cells. Instead of blocking the use of FAs by acidic cancer cells, we examined whether excess uptake of specific FAs could lead to antitumor effects. We found that n-3 but also remarkably n-6 polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) selectively induced ferroptosis in cancer cells under ambient acidosis. Upon exceeding buffering capacity of triglyceride storage into lipid droplets, n-3 and n-6 PUFA peroxidation led to cytotoxic effects in proportion to the number of double bonds and even more so in the presence of diacylglycerol acyltransferase inhibitors (DGATi). Finally, an n-3 long-chain PUFA-rich diet significantly delayed mouse tumor growth when compared with a monounsaturated FA-rich diet, an effect further accentuated by administration of DGATi or ferroptosis inducers. These data point out dietary PUFA as a selective adjuvant antitumor modality that may efficiently complement pharmacological approaches.
    Keywords:  acidosis; cancer; diacylglycerol acyltransferase; docosahexaenoic acid; fatty acids; ferroptosis; lipid droplets; peroxidation; polyunsaturated fatty acids; spheroids
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2021.05.016
  38. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Jun 16. 12(7): 621
      Clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC) reprogram carbon metabolism responses to hypoxia, thereby promoting utilization of glutamine. Recently, sirtuin 4 (SIRT4), a novel molecular has turned out to be related to alternating glutamine metabolism and modulating the tumor microenvironment. However, the role of SIRT4 in ccRCC remains poorly understood. Here, we illustrated that the expression of SIRT4 is markedly reduced in cancerous tissues, and closely associated with malignancy stage, grade, and prognosis. In ccRCC cells, SIRT4 exerted its proapoptotic activity through enhancing intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is part of an endogenous defense system against oxidative stress. Nevertheless, overexpression of SIRT4 hindered the upregulation of HO-1 in von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)-proficient cells and repressed its expression in VHL-deficient cells. This discrepancy indicated that competent VHL withstands the inhibitory role of SIRT4 on HIF-1α/HO-1. Functionally, overexpression of HO-1 counteracted the promotional effects of SIRT4 on ROS accumulation and apoptosis. Mechanistically, SIRT4 modulates ROS and HO-1 expression via accommodating p38-MAPK phosphorylation. By contrast, downregulation of p38-MAPK by SB203580 decreased intracellular ROS level and enhanced the expression of HO-1. Collectively, this work revealed a potential role for SIRT4 in the stimulation of ROS and the modulation of apoptosis. SIRT4/HO-1 may act as a potential therapeutic target, especially in VHL-deficient ccRCCs.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-03901-7
  39. Mol Metab. 2021 Jun 14. pii: S2212-8778(21)00118-6. [Epub ahead of print] 101273
      OBJECTIVE: Retinal ischemic disease is a major cause of vision loss. Current treatment options are limited to late stage disease and the molecular mechanisms of the initial insult are not fully understood. We have previously shown that deletion of the mitochondrial arginase isoform, arginase 2 (A2), limits neurovascular injury in models of ischemic retinopathy. Here, we investigated the involvement of A2-mediated alterations in mitochondrial dynamics and function in the pathology.METHODS: We used wild type (WT), global A2 knockout (A2KO-) mice, cell-specific A2 knockout mice subjected to retinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and bovine retinal endothelial cells (BRECs) subjected to oxygen glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) insult. We used western blotting to measure levels of cell stress and death markers and the mitochondrial fragmentation protein, dynamin related protein 1(Drp1) along with live cell mitochondrial labelling and Seahorse XF analysis to evaluate mitochondrial fragmentation and function, respectively.
    RESULTS: We found that the global deletion of A2 limited I/R-induced disruption of retinal layers, fundus abnormalities and albumin extravasation. The specific deletion of A2 in endothelial cells was protective against I/R-induced neurodegeneration. The OGD/R insult in BRECs increased A2 expression and induced cell stress and cell death along with decreased mitochondrial respiration, increased Drp1 expression and mitochondrial fragmentation. The overexpression of A2 in BREC also decreased mitochondrial respiration, promoted increases in expression of Drp1, mitochondrial fragmentation, cell stress, and resulted in decreased cell survival. In contrast, overexpression of the cytosolic isoform, arginase 1 (A1), had no effect on these parameters.
    CONCLUSION: This study is the first to show that A2 in endothelial cells mediates retinal ischemic injury through a mechanism involving alterations in mitochondrial dynamics and function.
    Keywords:  Retina; arginase; endothelial cells; ischemia; mitochondria
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2021.101273
  40. Mass Spectrom Rev. 2021 Jun 18.
      In recent years, metabolomics has emerged as a pivotal approach for the holistic analysis of metabolites in biological systems. The rapid progress in analytical equipment, coupled to the rise of powerful data processing tools, now provides unprecedented opportunities to deepen our understanding of the relationships between biochemical processes and physiological or phenotypic conditions in living organisms. However, to obtain unbiased data coverage of hundreds or thousands of metabolites remains a challenging task. Among the panel of available analytical methods, targeted and untargeted mass spectrometry approaches are among the most commonly used. While targeted metabolomics usually relies on multiple-reaction monitoring acquisition, untargeted metabolomics use either data-independent acquisition (DIA) or data-dependent acquisition (DDA) methods. Unlike DIA, DDA offers the possibility to get real, selective MS/MS spectra and thus to improve metabolite assignment when performing untargeted metabolomics. Yet, DDA settings are more complex to establish than DIA settings, and as a result, DDA is more prone to errors in method development and application. Here, we present a tutorial which provides guidelines on how to optimize the technical parameters essential for proper DDA experiments in metabolomics applications. This tutorial is organized as a series of rules describing the impact of the different parameters on data acquisition and data quality. It is primarily intended to metabolomics users and mass spectrometrists that wish to acquire both theoretical background and practical tips for developing effective DDA methods.
    Keywords:  DDA; Q-TOF; cycle time; exclusion list; mass window; precursor selection; tandem mass spectrometry
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/mas.21715
  41. Mol Oncol. 2021 Jun 16.
      DNA hypermethylation is frequently observed in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) and correlates with poor clinical outcomes. However, the detailed function of DNA hypermethylation in ccRCC has not fully been uncovered. Here, we show the role of DNA methylation in ccRCC progression through the identification of a target(s) of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Our preclinical model of ccRCC using the serial orthotopic inoculation model showed the upregulation of DNMT3B in advanced ccRCC. Pre-treatment of advanced ccRCC cells with 5-aza-deoxycytidine, a DNMT inhibitor, attenuated the formation of primary tumors through the induction of apoptosis. DNA methylated sites were analyzed genome-wide using methylation array in reference to RNA-sequencing data. The gene encoding ubiquinol cytochrome c reductase hinge protein (UQCRH), one of the components of mitochondrial complex III, was extracted as a methylation target in advanced ccRCC. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the expression of UQCRH in human ccRCC tissues was lower than normal adjacent tissues. Silencing of UQCRH attenuated the cytochrome c release in response to apoptotic stimuli and resulted in enhancement of primary tumor formation in vivo, implying the tumor-suppressive role of UQCRH. Moreover, 5-aza-deoxycytidine enhanced the therapeutic efficiency of mTOR inhibitor everolimus in vivo. These findings suggested that the DNMT3B-induced methylation of UQCRH may contribute to renal cancer progression and implicated clinical significance of DNMT inhibitor as a therapeutic option for ccRCC.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; UQCRH; apoptosis; renal cancer
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.13040
  42. Cancer Res. 2021 Jun 18. pii: canres.1392.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tumor metabolism supports the energetic and biosynthetic needs of rapidly proliferating cancer cells and modifies intra- and intercellular signaling to enhance cancer cell invasion, metastasis, and immune evasion. Prostate cancer exhibits unique metabolism with high rates of de novo fatty acid synthesis driven by activation of the androgen receptor (AR). Increasing evidence suggests that activation of this pathway is functionally important to promote prostate cancer aggressiveness. However, the mechanisms by which fatty acid synthesis are beneficial to prostate cancer have not been well defined. In this Review, we summarize evidence indicating that fatty acid synthesis drives progression of prostate cancer. We also explore explanations for this phenomenon and discuss future directions for targeting this pathway for patient benefit.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-1392
  43. EMBO J. 2021 Jun 14. e108130
      While intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) occupies a key position in the bioenergetic metabolism of all the cellular compartments that form the tumor microenvironment (TME), extracellular ATP operates as a potent signal transducer. The net effects of purinergic signaling on the biology of the TME depend not only on the specific receptors and cell types involved, but also on the activation status of cis- and trans-regulatory circuitries. As an additional layer of complexity, extracellular ATP is rapidly catabolized by ectonucleotidases, culminating in the accumulation of metabolites that mediate distinct biological effects. Here, we discuss the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which ATP and its degradation products influence cancer immunosurveillance, with a focus on therapeutically targetable circuitries.
    Keywords:  ADORA2A; CD39; CD73; autophagy; immune checkpoint inhibitors; immunogenic cell death
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2021108130
  44. Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 15. pii: S2211-1247(21)00611-2. [Epub ahead of print]35(11): 109246
      Succinate functions both as a classical TCA cycle metabolite and an extracellular metabolic stress signal sensed by the mainly Gi-coupled succinate receptor SUCNR1. In the present study, we characterize and compare effects and signaling pathways activated by succinate and both classes of non-metabolite SUCNR1 agonists. By use of specific receptor and pathway inhibitors, rescue in G-protein-depleted cells and monitoring of receptor G protein activation by BRET, we identify Gq rather than Gi signaling to be responsible for SUCNR1-mediated effects on basic transcriptional regulation. Importantly, in primary human M2 macrophages, in which SUCNR1 is highly expressed, we demonstrate that physiological concentrations of extracellular succinate act through SUCNR1-activated Gq signaling to efficiently regulate transcription of immune function genes in a manner that hyperpolarizes their M2 versus M1 phenotype. Thus, sensing of stress-induced extracellular succinate by SUCNR1 is an important transcriptional regulator in human M2 macrophages through Gq signaling.
    Keywords:  G protein; GPR91; Gq signaling; M2 macrophages; SUCNR1; non-metabolite ligands; succinate
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109246
  45. Neoplasia. 2021 Jun 13. pii: S1476-5586(21)00035-X. [Epub ahead of print]23(7): 653-662
      Tumor hypoxia is known to promote the acquisition of more aggressive phenotypes in human transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), including drug resistance. Accumulating evidence suggests that mitochondria play a central role in the chemoresistance of TCC. However, the role of mitochondria in the hypoxia-induced drug resistance in TCC remains elusive. The present study investigated the function of mitochondria in the drug resistance using a TCC cell line under hypoxic conditions. In vitro hypoxia (0.1% O2, 48 h) was achieved by incubating TCC cells in air chamber. Mitochondrial events involving hypoxia-induced drug resistance were assessed. Hypoxia significantly reduced the cisplatin-induced apoptosis of TCC cells. Additionally, hypoxia substantially decreased the level of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by cisplatin treatment. Analogously, elimination of mitochondrial ROS significantly rescued cells from cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Hypoxia enhanced mitochondrial hyperpolarization, which was not related to ATP production or the reversal of ATP synthase activity. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) amplification efficiency data illustrated that hypoxia significantly prevented oxidative damage to the mitogenome. Moreover, transmission electron microscopy revealed that cisplatin-induced disruption of the mitochondrial ultrastructure was abated under hypoxic conditions. Notably, depletion of mtDNA by ethidium bromide abrogated hypoxia-induced resistance to cisplatin. Taken together, the present study demonstrated that TCC cells exposed to hypoxic conditions rendered mitochondria less sensitive to oxidative stress induced by cisplatin treatment, leading to enhanced drug resistance.
    Keywords:  Drug resistance; Hypoxia; Mitochondria; Oxidative stress; mtDNA
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neo.2021.05.013
  46. Elife. 2021 Jun 16. pii: e63104. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Typified by oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), mitochondria catalyze a wide variety of cellular processes seemingly critical for malignant growth. As such, there is considerable interest in targeting mitochondrial metabolism in cancer. However, notwithstanding the few drugs targeting mutant dehydrogenase activity, nearly all hopeful 'mito-therapeutics' cannot discriminate cancerous from non-cancerous OXPHOS and thus suffer from a limited therapeutic index. The present project was based on the premise that the development of efficacious mitochondrial-targeted anti-cancer compounds requires answering two fundamental questions: 1) is mitochondrial bioenergetics in fact different between cancer and non-cancer cells? and 2) If so, what are the underlying mechanisms? Such information is particularly critical for the subset of human cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), in which alterations in mitochondrial metabolism are implicated in various aspects of cancer biology (e.g., clonal expansion and chemoresistance). Herein, we leveraged an in-house diagnostic biochemical workflow to comprehensively evaluate mitochondrial bioenergetic efficiency and capacity in various hematological cell types, with a specific focus on OXPHOS dynamics in AML. Consistent with prior reports, clonal cell expansion, characteristic of leukemia, was universally associated with a hyper-metabolic phenotype which included increases in basal and maximal glycolytic and respiratory flux. However, despite having nearly 2-fold more mitochondria per cell, clonally expanding hematopoietic stem cells, leukemic blasts, as well as chemoresistant AML were all consistently hallmarked by intrinsic limitations in oxidative ATP synthesis (i.e., OXPHOS). Remarkably, by performing experiments across a physiological span of ATP free energy (i.e, ΔGATP), we provide direct evidence that, rather than contributing to cellular ΔGATP, leukemic mitochondria are particularly poised to consume ATP. Relevant to AML biology, acute restoration of OXPHOS kinetics proved highly cytotoxic to leukemic blasts, suggesting that active OXPHOS repression supports aggressive disease dissemination in AML. Taken together, these findings argue against ATP being the primary output of mitochondria in leukemia and provide proof-of-principle that restoring, rather than disrupting, OXPHOS and/or cellular ΔGATP in cancer may represent an untapped therapeutic avenue for combatting hematological malignancy and chemoresistance.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; cancer biology; chemical biology; human
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.63104
  47. Nat Rev Genet. 2021 Jun 18.
      Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) identifies cell subpopulations within tissue but does not capture their spatial distribution nor reveal local networks of intercellular communication acting in situ. A suite of recently developed techniques that localize RNA within tissue, including multiplexed in situ hybridization and in situ sequencing (here defined as high-plex RNA imaging) and spatial barcoding, can help address this issue. However, no method currently provides as complete a scope of the transcriptome as does scRNA-seq, underscoring the need for approaches to integrate single-cell and spatial data. Here, we review efforts to integrate scRNA-seq with spatial transcriptomics, including emerging integrative computational methods, and propose ways to effectively combine current methodologies.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41576-021-00370-8