bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒02‒20
forty-four papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit

  1. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 17.
      Metabolic reprogramming is central to oncogene-induced tumorigenesis by providing the necessary building blocks and energy sources, but how oncogenic signalling controls metabolites that play regulatory roles in driving cell proliferation and tumour growth is less understood. Here we show that oncogene YAP/TAZ promotes polyamine biosynthesis by activating the transcription of the rate-limiting enzyme ornithine decarboxylase 1. The increased polyamine levels, in turn, promote the hypusination of eukaryotic translation factor 5A (eIF5A) to support efficient translation of histone demethylase LSD1, a transcriptional repressor that mediates a bulk of YAP/TAZ-downregulated genes including tumour suppressors in YAP/TAZ-activated cells. Accentuating the importance of the YAP/TAZ-polyamine-eIF5A hypusination-LSD1 axis, inhibiting polyamine biosynthesis or LSD1 suppressed YAP/TAZ-induced cell proliferation and tumour growth. Given the frequent upregulation of YAP/TAZ activity and polyamine levels in diverse cancers, our identification of YAP/TAZ as an upstream regulator and LSD1 as a downstream effector of the oncometabolite polyamine offers a molecular framework in which oncogene-induced metabolic and epigenetic reprogramming coordinately drives tumorigenesis, and suggests potential therapeutic strategies in YAP/TAZ- or polyamine-dependent human malignancies.
  2. Science. 2022 Feb 18. 375(6582): eabc4203
      Adaptation to nutrient scarcity involves an orchestrated response of metabolic and signaling pathways to maintain homeostasis. We find that in the fat body of fasting Drosophila, lysosomal export of cystine coordinates remobilization of internal nutrient stores with reactivation of the growth regulator target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1). Mechanistically, cystine was reduced to cysteine and metabolized to acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) by promoting CoA metabolism. In turn, acetyl-CoA retained carbons from alternative amino acids in the form of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates and restricted the availability of building blocks required for growth. This process limited TORC1 reactivation to maintain autophagy and allowed animals to cope with starvation periods. We propose that cysteine metabolism mediates a communication between lysosomes and mitochondria, highlighting how changes in diet divert the fate of an amino acid into a growth suppressive program.
  3. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2022 Feb 12. pii: S1084-9521(22)00050-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      The continuous dynamic reshaping of mitochondria by fusion and fission events is critical to keep mitochondrial quality and function under control in response to changes in energy and stress. Maintaining a functional, highly interconnected mitochondrial reticulum ensures rapid energy production and distribution. Moreover, mitochondrial networks act as dynamic signaling hub to adapt to the metabolic demands imposed by contraction, energy expenditure, and general metabolism. However, excessive mitochondrial fusion or fission results in the disruption of the skeletal muscle mitochondrial network integrity and activates a retrograde response from mitochondria to the nucleus, leading to muscle atrophy, weakness and influencing whole-body homeostasis. These actions are mediated via the secretion of mitochondrial-stress myokines such as FGF21 and GDF15. Here we will summarize recent discoveries in the role of mitochondrial fusion and fission in the control of muscle mass and in regulating physiological homeostasis and disease progression.
    Keywords:  Atrophy; DRP1; FGF21; Fission; Fusion; GDF15; Mitochondria; Myokines; OPA1; Skeletal muscle
  4. J Comp Physiol B. 2022 Feb 18.
      In aerobic conditions, the proton-motive force drives oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and the conversion of ADP to ATP. In hypoxic environments, OXPHOS is impaired, resulting in energy shortfalls and the accumulation of protons and lactate. This results in cellular acidification, which may impact the activity and/or integrity of mitochondrial enzymes and in turn negatively impact mitochondrial respiration and thus aerobic ATP production. Naked mole-rats (NMRs) are among the most hypoxia-tolerant mammals and putatively experience intermittent hypoxia in their underground burrows. However, if and how NMR cardiac mitochondria are impacted by lactate accumulation in hypoxia is unknown. We predicted that lactate alters mitochondrial respiration in NMR cardiac muscle. To test this, we used high-resolution respirometry to measure mitochondrial respiration in permeabilized cardiac muscle fibres from NMRs exposed to 4 h of in vivo normoxia (21% O2) or hypoxia (7% O2). We found that: (1) cardiac mitochondria cannot directly oxidize lactate, but surprisingly, (2) lactate inhibits mitochondrial respiration, and (3) decreases complex IV maximum respiratory capacity. Finally, (4) in vivo hypoxic exposure decreases the magnitude of lactate-mediated inhibition of mitochondrial respiration. Taken together, our results suggest that lactate may retard electron transport system function in NMR cardiac mitochondria, particularly in normoxia, and that NMR hearts may be primed for anaerobic metabolism.
    Keywords:  Electron transport system; Hypoxia; Lactate dehydrogenase; Oxidative phosphorylation
  5. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Feb;24(2): 148-154
      Metabolic characteristics of adult stem cells are distinct from their differentiated progeny, and cellular metabolism is emerging as a potential driver of cell fate conversions1-4. How these metabolic features are established remains unclear. Here we identified inherited metabolism imposed by functionally distinct mitochondrial age-classes as a fate determinant in asymmetric division of epithelial stem-like cells. While chronologically old mitochondria support oxidative respiration, the electron transport chain of new organelles is proteomically immature and they respire less. After cell division, selectively segregated mitochondrial age-classes elicit a metabolic bias in progeny cells, with oxidative energy metabolism promoting differentiation in cells that inherit old mitochondria. Cells that inherit newly synthesized mitochondria with low levels of Rieske iron-sulfur polypeptide 1 have a higher pentose phosphate pathway activity, which promotes de novo purine biosynthesis and redox balance, and is required to maintain stemness during early fate determination after division. Our results demonstrate that fate decisions are susceptible to intrinsic metabolic bias imposed by selectively inherited mitochondria.
  6. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 22. pii: e2115624119. [Epub ahead of print]119(8):
      Cancer metabolism, including in mitochondria, is a disease hallmark and therapeutic target, but its regulation is poorly understood. Here, we show that many human tumors have heterogeneous and often reduced levels of Mic60, or Mitofilin, an essential scaffold of mitochondrial structure. Despite a catastrophic collapse of mitochondrial integrity, loss of bioenergetics, and oxidative damage, tumors with Mic60 depletion slow down cell proliferation, evade cell death, and activate a nuclear gene expression program of innate immunity and cytokine/chemokine signaling. In turn, this induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), activates tumor cell movements through exaggerated mitochondrial dynamics, and promotes metastatic dissemination in vivo. In a small-molecule drug screen, compensatory activation of stress response (GCN2) and survival (Akt) signaling maintains the viability of Mic60-low tumors and provides a selective therapeutic vulnerability. These data demonstrate that acutely damaged, "ghost" mitochondria drive tumor progression and expose an actionable therapeutic target in metastasis-prone cancers.
    Keywords:  cell motility; metastasis; mitochondria
  7. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2448 119-130
      Brown adipose tissue (BAT) demonstrates extraordinary metabolic capacity. Previous research using conventional radio tracers reveals that BAT can act as a sink for a diverse menu of nutrients; still, the question of how BAT utilizes these nutrients remains unclear. Recent advances in mass spectrometry (MS) coupled to stable isotope tracing methods have greatly improved our understanding of metabolism in biology. Here, we have developed a BAT-tailored metabolomics and stable isotope tracing protocol using, as an example, the universally labeled 13C-glucose, a key nutrient heavily utilized by BAT. This method enables metabolic roadmaps to be drawn and pathway fluxes to be inferred for each nutrient tracer within BAT and its application could uncover new metabolic pathways not previously appreciated for BAT physiology.
    Keywords:  Brown adipose tissue; Brown fat; Gavage; Glucose; Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS); Metabolism; Metabolomics; Stable isotope tracing; Temperature acclimation
  8. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 17. 13(1): 929
      Many cellular processes, including ribosome biogenesis, are regulated through post-transcriptional RNA modifications. Here, a genome-wide analysis of the human mitochondrial transcriptome shows that 2'-O-methylation is limited to residues of the mitoribosomal large subunit (mtLSU) 16S mt-rRNA, introduced by MRM1, MRM2 and MRM3, with the modifications installed by the latter two proteins being interdependent. MRM2 controls mitochondrial respiration by regulating mitoribosome biogenesis. In its absence, mtLSU particles (visualized by cryo-EM at the resolution of 2.6 Å) present disordered RNA domains, partial occupancy of bL36m and bound MALSU1:L0R8F8:mtACP anti-association module, allowing five mtLSU biogenesis intermediates with different intersubunit interface configurations to be placed along the assembly pathway. However, mitoribosome biogenesis does not depend on the methyltransferase activity of MRM2. Disruption of the MRM2 Drosophila melanogaster orthologue leads to mitochondria-related developmental arrest. This work identifies a key checkpoint during mtLSU assembly, essential to maintain mitochondrial homeostasis.
  9. Curr Protoc. 2022 Feb;2(2): e372
      Mitochondria have emerged as key drivers of mammalian innate immune responses, functioning as signaling hubs to trigger inflammation and orchestrating metabolic switches required for phagocyte activation. Mitochondria also contain damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), molecules that share similarity with pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and can engage innate immune sensors to drive inflammation. The aberrant release of mitochondrial DAMPs during cellular stress and injury is an increasingly recognized trigger of inflammatory responses in human diseases. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a particularly potent DAMP that engages multiple innate immune sensors, although mounting evidence suggests that cytosolic mtDNA is primarily detected via the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase-stimulator of interferon genes (cGAS-STING) pathway. cGAS and STING are widely expressed in mammalian cells and serve as key regulators of type I interferon and cytokine expression in both infectious and inflammatory diseases. Despite growing roles for the mtDNA-cGAS-STING axis in human disease, assays to quantify mtDNA release into the cytosol and approaches to link mtDNA to cGAS-STING signaling are not standardized, which increases the possibility for experimental artifacts and misinterpretation of data. Here, we present a series of protocols for assaying the release of mtDNA into the cytosol and subsequent activation of innate immune signaling in mammalian cells. We highlight genetic and pharmacological approaches to induce and inhibit mtDNA release from mitochondria. We also describe immunofluorescence microscopy and cellular fractionation assays to visualize morphological changes in mtDNA and quantify mtDNA accumulation in the cytosol. Finally, we include protocols to examine mtDNA-dependent cGAS-STING activation by RT-qPCR and western blotting. These methods can be performed with standard laboratory equipment and are highly adaptable to a wide range of mammalian cell types. They will permit researchers working across the spectrum of biological and biomedical sciences to accurately and reproducibly measure cytosolic mtDNA release and resulting innate immune responses. © 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: siRNA-mediated knockdown of TFAM to induce mtDNA instability, cytosolic release, and activation of the cGAS-STING pathway Alternate Protocol: Pharmacological induction of mtDNA release and cGAS-STING activation using ABT-737 and Q-VD-OPH Basic Protocol 2: Isolation and quantitation of DNA from cytosolic, mitochondrial, and nuclear fractions Basic Protocol 3: Pharmacological inhibition of mtDNA replication and release.
    Keywords:  STING; cGAS; innate immunity; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA
  10. J Biol Chem. 2022 Feb 11. pii: S0021-9258(22)00163-6. [Epub ahead of print] 101723
      A wide range of protein acyl modifications has been identified on enzymes across various metabolic processes; however, the impact of these modifications remains poorly understood. Protein glutarylation is a recently identified modification that can be non-enzymatically driven by glutaryl-CoA. In mammalian systems, this unique metabolite is only produced in the lysine and tryptophan oxidative pathways. To better understand the biology of protein glutarylation, we studied the relationship between enzymes within the lysine/tryptophan catabolic pathways, protein glutarylation, and regulation by the deglutarylating enzyme Sirtuin 5 (SIRT5). Here, we identify glutarylation on the lysine oxidation pathway enzyme glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase (GCDH) and show increased GCDH glutarylation when glutaryl-CoA production is stimulated by lysine catabolism. Our data reveal that glutarylation of GCDH impacts its function, ultimately decreasing lysine oxidation. We also demonstrate the ability of SIRT5 to deglutarylate GCDH, restoring its enzymatic activity. Finally, metabolomic and bioinformatic analyses indicate an expanded role for SIRT5 in regulating amino acid metabolism. Together, these data support a feedback loop model within the lysine/tryptophan oxidation pathway in which glutaryl-CoA is produced, in turn inhibiting GCDH function via glutaryl modification of GCDH lysine residues, and can be relieved by SIRT5 deacylation activity.
    Keywords:  Sirtuin; Sirtuin 5 (SIRT5); amino acid; cell metabolism; glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase (GCDH); glutarylation; liver; lysine metabolism; post-translational modification (PTM)
  11. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Feb;24(2): 168-180
      Metastatic breast cancer cells disseminate to organs with a soft microenvironment. Whether and how the mechanical properties of the local tissue influence their response to treatment remains unclear. Here we found that a soft extracellular matrix empowers redox homeostasis. Cells cultured on a soft extracellular matrix display increased peri-mitochondrial F-actin, promoted by Spire1C and Arp2/3 nucleation factors, and increased DRP1- and MIEF1/2-dependent mitochondrial fission. Changes in mitochondrial dynamics lead to increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and activate the NRF2 antioxidant transcriptional response, including increased cystine uptake and glutathione metabolism. This retrograde response endows cells with resistance to oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species-dependent chemotherapy drugs. This is relevant in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer cells dormant in the lung soft tissue, where inhibition of DRP1 and NRF2 restored cisplatin sensitivity and prevented disseminated cancer-cell awakening. We propose that targeting this mitochondrial dynamics- and redox-based mechanotransduction pathway could open avenues to prevent metastatic relapse.
  12. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Feb;24(2): 181-193
      The accumulation of deleterious mitochondrial DNA (∆mtDNA) causes inherited mitochondrial diseases and ageing-associated decline in mitochondrial functions such as oxidative phosphorylation. Following mitochondrial perturbations, the bZIP protein ATFS-1 induces a transcriptional programme to restore mitochondrial function. Paradoxically, ATFS-1 is also required to maintain ∆mtDNAs in heteroplasmic worms. The mechanism by which ATFS-1 promotes ∆mtDNA accumulation relative to wild-type mtDNAs is unclear. Here we show that ATFS-1 accumulates in dysfunctional mitochondria. ATFS-1 is absent in healthy mitochondria owing to degradation by the mtDNA-bound protease LONP-1, which results in the nearly exclusive association between ATFS-1 and ∆mtDNAs in heteroplasmic worms. Moreover, we demonstrate that mitochondrial ATFS-1 promotes the binding of the mtDNA replicative polymerase (POLG) to ∆mtDNAs. Interestingly, inhibition of the mtDNA-bound protease LONP-1 increased ATFS-1 and POLG binding to wild-type mtDNAs. LONP-1 inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans and human cybrid cells improved the heteroplasmy ratio and restored oxidative phosphorylation. Our findings suggest that ATFS-1 promotes mtDNA replication in dysfunctional mitochondria by promoting POLG-mtDNA binding, which is antagonized by LONP-1.
  13. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jan 22. pii: 553. [Epub ahead of print]14(3):
      Tumor growth and metastasis strongly depend on adapted cell metabolism. Cancer cells adjust their metabolic program to their specific energy needs and in response to an often challenging tumor microenvironment. Glutamine metabolism is one of the metabolic pathways that can be successfully targeted in cancer treatment. The dependence of many hematological and solid tumors on glutamine is associated with mitochondrial glutaminase (GLS) activity that enables channeling of glutamine into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, generation of ATP and NADPH, and regulation of glutathione homeostasis and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Small molecules that target glutamine metabolism through inhibition of GLS therefore simultaneously limit energy availability and increase oxidative stress. However, some cancers can reprogram their metabolism to evade this metabolic trap. Therefore, the effectiveness of treatment strategies that rely solely on glutamine inhibition is limited. In this review, we discuss the metabolic and molecular pathways that are linked to dysregulated glutamine metabolism in multiple cancer types. We further summarize and review current clinical trials of glutaminolysis inhibition in cancer patients. Finally, we put into perspective strategies that deploy a combined treatment targeting glutamine metabolism along with other molecular or metabolic pathways and discuss their potential for clinical applications.
    Keywords:  cancer; cancer treatment; drug resistance; glutamine metabolism; glutaminolysis inhibition; metabolism
  14. Bone Res. 2022 Feb 15. 10(1): 14
      The majority of the mammalian skeleton is formed through endochondral ossification starting from a cartilaginous template. Cartilage cells, or chondrocytes, survive, proliferate and synthesize extracellular matrix in an avascular environment, but the metabolic requirements for these anabolic processes are not fully understood. Here, using metabolomics analysis and genetic in vivo models, we show that maintaining intracellular serine homeostasis is essential for chondrocyte function. De novo serine synthesis through phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH)-mediated glucose metabolism generates nucleotides that are necessary for chondrocyte proliferation and long bone growth. On the other hand, dietary serine is less crucial during endochondral bone formation, as serine-starved chondrocytes compensate by inducing PHGDH-mediated serine synthesis. Mechanistically, this metabolic flexibility requires ATF4, a transcriptional regulator of amino acid metabolism and stress responses. We demonstrate that both serine deprivation and PHGDH inactivation enhance ATF4 signaling to stimulate de novo serine synthesis and serine uptake, respectively, and thereby prevent intracellular serine depletion and chondrocyte dysfunction. A similar metabolic adaptability between serine uptake and de novo synthesis is observed in the cartilage callus during fracture repair. Together, the results of this study reveal a critical role for PHGDH-dependent serine synthesis in maintaining intracellular serine levels under physiological and serine-limited conditions, as adequate serine levels are necessary to support chondrocyte proliferation during endochondral ossification.
  15. J Cell Biol. 2022 03 07. pii: e202101021. [Epub ahead of print]221(3):
      ADP-ribosylation is a reversible post-translational modification where an ADP-ribose moiety is covalently attached to target proteins by ADP-ribosyltransferases (ARTs). Although best known for its nuclear roles, ADP-ribosylation is increasingly recognized as a key regulatory strategy across cellular compartments. ADP-ribosylation of mitochondrial proteins has been widely reported, but the exact nature of mitochondrial ART enzymes is debated. We have identified neuralized-like protein 4 (NEURL4) as a mitochondrial ART enzyme and show that most ART activity associated with mitochondria is lost in the absence of NEURL4. The NEURL4-dependent ADP-ribosylome in mitochondrial extracts from HeLa cells includes numerous mitochondrial proteins previously shown to be ADP-ribosylated. In particular, we show that NEURL4 is required for the regulation of mtDNA integrity via poly-ADP-ribosylation of mtLIG3, the rate-limiting enzyme for base excision repair (BER). Collectively, our studies reveal that NEURL4 acts as the main mitochondrial ART enzyme under physiological conditions and provide novel insights in the regulation of mitochondria homeostasis through ADP-ribosylation.
  16. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2448 141-153
      Thermogenic adipose tissue plays a vital function in regulating whole-body energy expenditure and nutrient homeostasis due to its capacity to dissipate chemical energy as heat, in a process called non-shivering thermogenesis. A reduction of creatine levels in adipocytes impairs thermogenic capacity and promotes diet-induced obesityKazak et al, Cell 163, 643-55, 2015; Kazak et al, Cell Metab 26, 660-671.e3, 2017; Kazak et al, Nat Metab 1, 360-370, 2019). Mechanistically, thermogenic respiration can be promoted by the liberation of an excess quantity of ADP that is dependent on addition of creatine. A model of a two-enzyme system, which we term the Futile Creatine Cycle, has been posited to support this thermogenic action of creatine. Futile creatine cycling can be monitored in purified mitochondrial preparations wherein creatine-dependent liberation of ADP is monitored through the measurement of oxygen consumption under ADP-limiting conditions. The current model proposes that, in thermogenic fat cells, mitochondria-targeted creatine kinase B (CKB) uses mitochondrial-derived ATP to phosphorylate creatine (Rahbani JF, Nature 590, 480-485, 2021). The creatine kinase reaction generates phosphocreatine and ADP, and ADP stimulates respiration. Next, a pool of mitochondrial phosphocreatine is directly hydrolyzed by a phosphatase, to regenerate creatine. The liberated creatine can then engage mitochondrial CKB to trigger another round of this cycle to support ADP-dependent respiration. In this model, the coordinated action of creatine phosphorylation and phosphocreatine hydrolysis triggers a futile cycle that produces a molar excess of mitochondrial ADP to promote thermogenic respiration (Rahbani JF, Nature 590, 480-485, 2021; Kazak and Cohen, Nat Rev Endocrinol 16, 421-436, 2020). Here, we provide a detailed method to perform respiratory measurements on isolated mitochondria and calculate the stoichiometry of creatine-dependent ADP liberation. This method provides a direct measure of the futile creatine cycle.
    Keywords:  Beige adipocytes; Brown adipocytes; Clark-type electrode; Futile creatine cycle; Mitochondria; P/O ratio; Respiration; Thermogenesis
  17. Redox Biol. 2022 Feb 12. pii: S2213-2317(22)00036-2. [Epub ahead of print]51 102264
      Unraveling the role of VDAC3 within living cells is challenging and still requires a definitive answer. Unlike VDAC1 and VDAC2, the outer mitochondrial membrane porin 3 exhibits unique biophysical features that suggest unknown cellular functions. Electrophysiological studies on VDAC3 carrying selective cysteine mutations and mass spectrometry data about the redox state of such sulfur containing amino acids are consistent with a putative involvement of isoform 3 in mitochondrial ROS homeostasis. Here, we thoroughly examined this issue and provided for the first time direct evidence of the role of VDAC3 in cellular response to oxidative stress. Depletion of isoform 3 but not isoform 1 significantly exacerbated the cytotoxicity of redox cyclers such as menadione and paraquat, and respiratory complex I inhibitors like rotenone, promoting uncontrolled accumulation of mitochondrial free radicals. High-resolution respirometry of transiently transfected HAP1-ΔVDAC3 cells expressing the wild type or the cysteine-null mutant VDAC3 protein, unequivocally confirmed that VDAC3 cysteines are indispensable for protein ability to counteract ROS-induced oxidative stress.
    Keywords:  Complex I; Cysteine; High-resolution respirometry; Mitochondria; ROS; VDAC3
  18. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 Feb 18. e14753
      Blood vessel formation is dependent on metabolic adaption in endothelial cells. Glucose and fatty acids are essential substrates for ATP and biomass production; however, the metabolism of other substrates remains poorly understood. Ketone bodies are important nutrients for cardiomyocytes during starvation or consumption of carbohydrate-restrictive diets. This raises the question whether cardiac endothelial cells would not only transport ketone bodies but also consume some of these to achieve their metabolic needs. Here, we report that cardiac endothelial cells are able to oxidize ketone bodies and that this enhances cell proliferation, migration, and vessel sprouting. Mechanistically, this requires succinyl-CoA:3-oxoacid-CoA transferase, a key enzyme of ketone body oxidation. Targeted metabolite profiling revealed that carbon from ketone bodies got incorporated into tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates as well as other metabolites fueling biomass production. Elevation of ketone body levels by a high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet transiently increased endothelial cell proliferation in mouse hearts. Notably, in a mouse model of heart hypertrophy, ketogenic diet prevented blood vessel rarefication. This suggests a potential beneficial role of dietary intervention in heart diseases.
    Keywords:  angiogenesis; endothelial cell; heart; ketogenic diet; ketone bodies
  19. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 18. 13(1): 967
      Inhibition of the master growth regulator mTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1) slows ageing across phyla, in part by reducing protein synthesis. Various stresses globally suppress protein synthesis through the integrated stress response (ISR), resulting in preferential translation of the transcription factor ATF-4. Here we show in C. elegans that inhibition of translation or mTORC1 increases ATF-4 expression, and that ATF-4 mediates longevity under these conditions independently of ISR signalling. ATF-4 promotes longevity by activating canonical anti-ageing mechanisms, but also by elevating expression of the transsulfuration enzyme CTH-2 to increase hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production. This H2S boost increases protein persulfidation, a protective modification of redox-reactive cysteines. The ATF-4/CTH-2/H2S pathway also mediates longevity and increased stress resistance from mTORC1 suppression. Increasing H2S levels, or enhancing mechanisms that H2S influences through persulfidation, may represent promising strategies for mobilising therapeutic benefits of the ISR, translation suppression, or mTORC1 inhibition.
  20. Cell Rep. 2022 02 15. pii: S2211-1247(22)00112-7. [Epub ahead of print]38(7): 110391
      The metabolism of activated macrophages relies on aerobic glycolysis, while mitochondrial oxidation is disrupted. In lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages, the citrate carrier (CIC) exports citrate from mitochondria to enhance glycolytic genes through histone acetylation. CIC inhibition or Slc25a1 knockdown reduces the occupancy of H3K9ac to hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) binding sites in promoters of glycolytic genes to restrain glycolysis. HIF-1α also transcriptionally upregulates immune-responsive gene 1 for itaconate production, which is inhibited by CIC blocking. Isotopic tracing of [U-13C6] glucose shows that CIC blockage prevents citrate accumulation and itaconate production by reducing glycolytic flux and facilitating metabolic flux in the TCA cycle. Isotopic tracing of [U-13C5] glutamine reveals that CIC inhibition reduces succinate accumulation from glutaminolysis and the gamma-aminobutyric acid shunt by enhancing mitochondrial oxidation. By restraining glycolysis, CIC inhibition increases NAD+ content to ensure mitochondrial biogenesis for oxidative phosphorylation. Furthermore, blockage of citrate export reduces cerebral thrombosis by inactivation of peripheral macrophages.
    Keywords:  HIF-1α; Irg1; citrate carrier; itaconate; succinate
  21. Cell Rep. 2022 02 15. pii: S2211-1247(22)00091-2. [Epub ahead of print]38(7): 110370
      The transition between quiescence and activation in neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) is coupled with reversible changes in energy metabolism with key implications for lifelong NSPC self-renewal and neurogenesis. How this metabolic plasticity is ensured between NSPC activity states is unclear. We find that a state-specific rewiring of the mitochondrial proteome by the i-AAA peptidase YME1L is required to preserve NSPC self-renewal. YME1L controls the abundance of numerous mitochondrial substrates in quiescent NSPCs, and its deletion activates a differentiation program characterized by broad metabolic changes causing the irreversible shift away from a fatty-acid-oxidation-dependent state. Conditional Yme1l deletion in adult NSPCs in vivo results in defective self-renewal and premature differentiation, ultimately leading to NSPC pool depletion. Our results disclose an important role for YME1L in coordinating the switch between metabolic states of NSPCs and suggest that NSPC fate is regulated by compartmentalized changes in protein network dynamics.
    Keywords:  OMA1; YME1L; adult neurogenesis; metabolic rewiring; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial proteome; neural stem cells; proliferation; self-renewal
  22. Bioessays. 2022 Feb 15. e2100271
      There is a debate regarding the function of Drp1, a GTPase involved in mitochondrial fission, during the elimination of mitochondria by autophagy. A number of experiments indicate that Drp1 is needed to eliminate mitochondria during mitophagy, either by reducing the mitochondrial size or by providing a noncanonical mitophagy function. Yet, other convincing experimental results support the conclusion that Drp1 is not necessary. Here, we review the possible functions for Drp1 in mitophagy and autophagy, depending on tissues, organisms and stresses, and discuss these apparent discrepancies. In this regard, it appears that the reduction of mitochondria size is often required for mitophagy but not always in a Drp1-dependent manner. Finally, we speculate on Drp1-independent mitochondrial fission mechanism that may take place during mitophagy and on noncanonical roles, which Drp1 may play such as modulating organelle contact sites dynamic during the autophagosome formation.
    Keywords:  Dnm1; Drp1; MERCs; autophagosome; fission; mitochondria; mitophagy
  23. Cancer Res. 2022 Feb 17. pii: canres.3013.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Inactivating mutations of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) are highly prevalent in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Improved understanding of the vulnerabilities of VHL-deficient ccRCC could lead to improved treatment strategies. The activity of DNA dioxygenase TET2 is significantly reduced in multiple cancers by different mechanisms, but its role in ccRCC progression remains unclear. Here, we report that increased expression of TET2, but not TET1 and TET3, is negatively associated with tumor metastasis and advanced tumor stage and positively associated with good prognosis uniquely in ccRCC among all 33 types of cancer in the TCGA datasets. TET2 restrained glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway metabolism in a VHL deficiency-dependent manner, thereby suppressing ccRCC progression. Notably, TET2 and VHL mutations tended to co-occur in ccRCC, providing genetic evidence that they cooperate to inhibit the progression of ccRCC. Mechanistically, TET2 was recruited by transcription factor HNF4α to activate FBP1 expression, which antagonized the function of HIF1/2α in metabolic reprogramming to impede ccRCC growth. Stimulating the TET2-FBP1 axis with vitamin C repressed the growth of VHL-deficient ccRCC with wild-type TET2 and increased the sensitivity to glycolysis inhibitors. Moreover, combined expression levels of the HNF4α-TET2-FBP1 axis served as a biomarker of prognosis in ccRCC patients. This study reveals a unique function of TET2 in the suppression of tumor metabolism and HIF signaling, and it also provides therapeutic targets, potential drugs, and prognostic markers for the management of ccRCC.
  24. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 717881
      Metabolic alterations are critical events in cancers, which often contribute to tumor pathophysiology. While aerobic glycolysis is a known characteristic of cancer-related metabolism, recent studies have shed light on mitochondria-related metabolic pathways in cancer biology, including oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), amino acid and lipid metabolism, nucleic acid metabolism, and redox regulation. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women; thus, elucidation of breast cancer-related metabolic alteration will help to develop cancer drugs for many patients. We here aim to define the contribution of mitochondrial metabolism to breast cancer biology. The relevance of OXPHOS in breast cancer has been recently defined by the discovery of COX7RP, which promotes mitochondrial respiratory supercomplex assembly and glutamine metabolism: the latter is also shown to promote nucleic acid and fatty acid biosynthesis as well as ROS defense regulation. In this context, the estrogen-related receptor (ERR) family nuclear receptors and collaborating coactivators peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1 (PGC-1) are essential transcriptional regulators for both energy production and cancer-related metabolism. Summarizing recent findings of mitochondrial metabolism in breast cancer, this review will aim to provide a clue for the development of alternative clinical management by modulating the activities of responsible molecules involved in disease-specific metabolic alterations.
    Keywords:  ERR; OxPhos; breast cancer; metabolism; mitochondria
  25. Front Neurosci. 2022 ;16 784880
      Mitochondrial network is constantly in a dynamic and regulated balance of fusion and fission processes, which is known as mitochondrial dynamics. Mitochondria make physical contacts with almost every other membrane in the cell thus impacting cellular functions. Mutations in mitochondrial dynamics genes are known to cause neurogenetic diseases. To better understand the consequences on the cellular phenotype and pathophysiology of neurogenetic diseases associated with defective mitochondrial dynamics, we have compared the fibroblasts phenotypes of (i) patients carrying pathogenic variants in genes involved in mitochondrial dynamics such as DRP1 (also known as DNM1L), GDAP1, OPA1, and MFN2, and (ii) patients carrying mutated genes that their dysfunction affects mitochondria or induces a mitochondrial phenotype, but that are not directly involved in mitochondrial dynamic network, such as FXN (encoding frataxin, located in the mitochondrial matrix), MED13 (hyperfission phenotype), and CHKB (enlarged mitochondria phenotype). We identified mitochondrial network alterations in all patients' fibroblasts except for CHKB Q198*/Q198*. Functionally, all fibroblasts showed mitochondrial oxidative stress, without membrane potential abnormalities. The lysosomal area and distribution were abnormal in GDAP1 W67L/W67L, DRP1 K75E/+, OPA1 F570L/+, and FXN R165C/GAA fibroblasts. These lysosomal alterations correlated with mitochondria-lysosome membrane contact sites (MCSs) defects in GDAP1 W67L/W67L exclusively. The study of mitochondrial contacts in all samples further revealed a significant decrease in MFN2 R104W/+ fibroblasts. GDAP1 and MFN2 are outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) proteins and both are related to Charcot-Marie Tooth neuropathy. Here we identified their constitutive interaction as well as MFN2 interaction with LAMP-1. Therefore MFN2 is a new mitochondria-lysosome MCSs protein. Interestingly, GDAP1 W67L/W67L and MFN2 R104W/+ fibroblasts carry pathogenic changes that occur in their catalytic domains thus suggesting a functional role of GDAP1 and MFN2 in mitochondria-lysosome MCSs. Finally, we observed starvation-induced autophagy alterations in DRP1 K75E/+, GDAP1 W67L/W67L, OPA1 F570L/+, MFN2 R104W/+, and CHKB Q198*/Q198* fibroblasts. These genes are related to mitochondrial membrane structure or lipid composition, which would associate the OMM with starvation-induced autophagy. In conclusion, the study of mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondria-lysosome axis in a group of patients with different neurogenetic diseases has deciphered common and unique cellular phenotypes of degrading and non-degrading pathways that shed light on pathophysiological events, new biomarkers and pharmacological targets for these disorders.
    Keywords:  lysosome; membrane contact sites (MCSs); mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; neurogenetic diseases
  26. Cell Rep. 2022 02 15. pii: S2211-1247(22)00086-9. [Epub ahead of print]38(7): 110365
      AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) are metabolic kinases that co-ordinate nutrient supply with cell growth. AMPK negatively regulates mTORC1, and mTORC1 reciprocally phosphorylates S345/7 in both AMPK α-isoforms. We report that genetic or torin1-induced loss of α2-S345 phosphorylation relieves suppression of AMPK signaling; however, the regulatory effect does not translate to α1-S347 in HEK293T or MEF cells. Dephosphorylation of α2-S345, but not α1-S347, transiently targets AMPK to lysosomes, a cellular site for activation by LKB1. By mass spectrometry, we find that α2-S345 is basally phosphorylated at 2.5-fold higher stoichiometry than α1-S347 in HEK293T cells and, unlike α1, phosphorylation is partially retained after prolonged mTORC1 inhibition. Loss of α2-S345 phosphorylation in endogenous AMPK fails to sustain growth of MEFs under amino acid starvation conditions. These findings uncover an α2-specific mechanism by which AMPK can be activated at lysosomes in the absence of changes in cellular energy.
    Keywords:  AMPK; energy homeostasis; kinase; lysosome; mTORC1; metabolic signaling; phosphorylation
  27. Cell Stress. 2022 Feb;6(2): 21-29
      Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent, oxidative form of cell death that is countered mainly by glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) and the production of glutathione (GSH), which is formed from cysteine. The identification of the cancers that may benefit from pharmacological ferroptotic induction is just emerging. We recently demonstrated that inducing ferroptosis genetically or pharmacologically in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma (NB) is a novel and effective way to kill these cells. MYCN increases iron metabolism and subsequent hydroxyl radicals through increased expression of the transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) and low levels of the ferroportin receptor. To counter increased hydroxyl radicals, MYCN binds to the promoter of SLC3A2 (solute carrier family 3 member 2). SLC3A2 is a subunit of system Xc-, which is the cysteine-glutamate antiporter that exports glutamate and imports cystine. Cystine is converted to cysteine intracellularly. Here, we investigated other ways MYCN may increase cysteine levels. By performing metabolomics in a syngeneic NB cell line either expressing MYCN or GFP, we demonstrate that the transsulfuration pathway is activated by MYCN. Furthermore, we demonstrate that MYCN-amplified NB cell lines and tumors have higher levels of cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS), the rate-limiting enzyme in transsulfuration, which leads to higher levels of the thioether cystathionine (R-S-(2-amino-2-carboxyethyl)-l-homocysteine). In addition, MYCN-amplified NB tumors have high levels of methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP), an enzyme that helps salvage methionine following polyamine metabolism. MYCN directly binds to the promoter of MTAP. We propose that MYCN orchestrates both enhanced cystine uptake and enhanced activity of the transsulfuration pathway to counteract increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) from iron-induced Fenton reactions, ultimately contributing to a ferroptosis vulnerability in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.
    Keywords:  MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma; cystathionine; cysteine; ferroptosis; methionine; transsulfuration pathway
  28. Sci Adv. 2022 Feb 18. 8(7): eabm6570
      Biomolecular condensates formed via liquid-liquid phase separation enable spatial and temporal organization of enzyme activity. Phase separation in many eukaryotic condensates has been shown to be responsive to intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, although the consequences of these mechanisms for enzymes sequestered within the condensates are unknown. Here, we show that ATP depletion promotes phase separation in bacterial condensates composed of intrinsically disordered proteins. Enhanced phase separation promotes the sequestration and activity of a client kinase enabling robust signaling and maintenance of viability under the stress posed by nutrient scarcity. We propose that a diverse repertoire of condensates can serve as control knobs to tune enzyme sequestration and reactivity in response to the metabolic state of bacterial cells.
  29. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 16. 13(1): 889
      The existence of non-canonical nicotinamide adenine diphosphate (NAD) 5'-end capped RNAs is now well established. Nevertheless, the biological function of this nucleotide metabolite cap remains elusive. Here, we show that the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cytoplasmic 5'-end exoribonuclease Xrn1 is also a NAD cap decapping (deNADding) enzyme that releases intact NAD and subsequently degrades the RNA. The significance of Xrn1 deNADding is evident in a deNADding deficient Xrn1 mutant that predominantly still retains its 5'-monophosphate exonuclease activity. This mutant reveals Xrn1 deNADding is necessary for normal growth on non-fermenting sugar and is involved in modulating mitochondrial NAD-capped RNA levels and may influence intramitochondrial NAD levels. Our findings uncover a contribution of mitochondrial NAD-capped RNAs in overall NAD regulation with the deNADding activity of Xrn1 fulfilling a central role.
  30. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jan 24. pii: 585. [Epub ahead of print]14(3):
      Leucine is an essential, ketogenic amino acid with proteinogenic, metabolic, and signaling roles. It is readily imported from the bloodstream into the brain parenchyma. Therefore, it could serve as a putative substrate that is complementing glucose for sustaining the metabolic needs of brain tumor cells. Here, we investigated the ability of cultured human cancer cells to metabolize leucine. Indeed, cancer cells dispose of leucine from their environment and enrich their media with the metabolite 2-oxoisocaproate. The enrichment of the culture media with a high level of leucine stimulated the production of 3-hydroxybutyrate. When 13C6-leucine was offered, it led to an increased appearance of the heavier citrate isotope with a molar mass greater by two units in the culture media. The expression of 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase (MCC), an enzyme characteristic for the irreversible part of the leucine catabolic pathway, was detected in cultured cancer cells and human tumor samples by immunoprobing methods. Our results demonstrate that these cancer cells can catabolize leucine and furnish its carbon atoms into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Furthermore, the release of 3-hydroxybutyrate and citrate by cancer cells suggests their capability to exchange these metabolites with their milieu and the capability to participate in their metabolism. This indicates that leucine could be an additional substrate for cancer cell metabolism in the brain parenchyma. In this way, leucine could potentially contribute to the synthesis of metabolites such as lipids, which require the withdrawal of citrate from the TCA cycle.
    Keywords:  3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase; acetyl-CoA; branched-chain amino acid; cancer cells; citrate; ketone bodies; leucine; metabolism
  31. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jan 24. pii: 1284. [Epub ahead of print]23(3):
      The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) is an evolutionarily conserved protein that binds ribosomes to facilitate the translation of peptide motifs with consecutive prolines or combinations of prolines with glycine and charged amino acids. It has also been linked to other molecular functions and cellular processes, such as nuclear mRNA export and mRNA decay, proliferation, differentiation, autophagy, and apoptosis. The growing interest in eIF5A relates to its association with the pathogenesis of several diseases, including cancer, viral infection, and diabetes. It has also been proposed as an anti-aging factor: its levels decay in aged cells, whereas increasing levels of active eIF5A result in the rejuvenation of the immune and vascular systems and improved brain cognition. Recent data have linked the role of eIF5A in some pathologies with its function in maintaining healthy mitochondria. The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A is upregulated under respiratory metabolism and its deficiency reduces oxygen consumption, ATP production, and the levels of several mitochondrial metabolic enzymes, as well as altering mitochondria dynamics. However, although all the accumulated data strongly link eIF5A to mitochondrial function, the precise molecular role and mechanisms involved are still unknown. In this review, we discuss the findings linking eIF5A and mitochondria, speculate about its role in regulating mitochondrial homeostasis, and highlight its potential as a target in diseases related to energy metabolism.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS; TCA; eIF5A; mitochondria; mitochondrial respiration; spermidine; translation
  32. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 22. pii: e2200788119. [Epub ahead of print]119(8):
  33. Sci Adv. 2022 Feb 18. 8(7): eabl6083
      Although DNA damage is intricately linked to metabolism, the metabolic alterations that occur in response to DNA damage are not well understood. We use a DNA repair-deficient model of ERCC1-XPF in Caenorhabditis elegans to gain insights on how genotoxic stress drives aging. Using multi-omic approach, we discover that nuclear DNA damage promotes mitochondrial β-oxidation and drives a global loss of fat depots. This metabolic shift to β-oxidation generates acetyl-coenzyme A to promote histone hyperacetylation and an associated change in expression of immune-effector and cytochrome genes. We identify the histone acetyltransferase MYS-1, as a critical regulator of this metabolic-epigenetic axis. We show that in response to DNA damage, polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially arachidonic acid (AA) and AA-related lipid mediators, are elevated and this is dependent on mys-1. Together, these findings reveal that DNA damage alters the metabolic-epigenetic axis to drive an immune-like response that can promote age-associated decline.
  34. Theranostics. 2022 ;12(3): 1321-1332
      KRAS mutations are one of the most common gene mutations linked to cancer, presenting in approximately 25% of all tumors, especially pancreatic, lung, and colorectal cancers. Mutant KRAS has long been considered an undruggable target, stalling progress in direct KRAS targeting for many years, while targeted drug delivery into KRAS mutant cells utilizing their transformed metabolic behavior might present an alternative opportunity. Macropinocytosis, a nonselective, fluid-phase, endocytic route, was found to be upregulated as a metabolic feature in KRAS-driven tumors and plays a critical role in nutrient acquisition from extracellular fluids. With the observation that a variety of drug delivery systems could be internalized by KRAS mutant cancer cells through macropinocytosis, exploiting macropinocytosis for intracellular delivery of therapeutics into KRAS mutant tumor cells is emerging as a new drug delivery expedition. In this article, we summarized cancer biology studies that examined KRAS mutation-induced macropinocytosis, reviewed recent studies exploiting macropinocytosis enhancement for KRAS mutant cancer cell-selective drug delivery, and discussed the potential opportunities, challenges and pitfalls of this strategy.
    Keywords:  KRAS; Macropinocytosis; drug delivery; pancreatic cancer
  35. Endocrinology. 2022 Feb 16. pii: bqac018. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dysfunction in adipose tissue has been associated with type 2 diabetes, but it is unclear whether it is a cause or the consequence. Mitochondrial complex I is a major site of reactive oxygen species generation and a therapeutic target. Here we report that genetic deletion of the complex I subunit Ndufs4 specifically in adipose tissue results in an increased propensity to develop diet-induced weight gain, glucose intolerance, and elevated levels of fat inflammatory genes. This outcome is apparent in young males but not in young females, suggesting that females are relatively protected from the adverse consequences of adipose mitochondrial dysfunction for metabolic health. Mutant mice of both sexes exhibit defects in brown adipose tissue thermogenesis. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) signaling in adipose tissue is selectively blunted in male mutant mice relative to wild-type littermates, consistent with sex-dependent regulation of its autocrine/paracrine action in adipocytes. Together, these findings support that adipocyte-specific mitochondrial dysfunction is sufficient to induce tissue inflammation and can cause systemic glucose abnormalities in male mice.
    Keywords:  FGF21; Ndufs4; impaired glucose tolerance; inflammation; mitochondria
  36. Elife. 2022 02 14. pii: e73796. [Epub ahead of print]11
      The pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma microenvironment is composed of a variety of cell types and marked by extensive fibrosis and inflammation. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are abundant, and they are important mediators of disease progression and invasion. TAMs are polarized in situ to a tumor promoting and immunosuppressive phenotype via cytokine signaling and metabolic crosstalk from malignant epithelial cells and other components of the tumor microenvironment. However, the specific distinguishing features and functions of TAMs remain poorly defined. Here, we generated tumor-educated macrophages (TEMs) in vitro and performed detailed, multiomic characterization (i.e., transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics). Our results reveal unique genetic and metabolic signatures of TEMs, the veracity of which were queried against our in-house single-cell RNA sequencing dataset of human pancreatic tumors. This analysis identified expression of novel, metabolic TEM markers in human pancreatic TAMs, including ARG1, ACLY, and TXNIP. We then utilized our TEM model system to study the role of mutant Kras signaling in cancer cells on TEM polarization. This revealed an important role for granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and lactate on TEM polarization, molecules released from cancer cells in a mutant Kras-dependent manner. Lastly, we demonstrate that GM-CSF dysregulates TEM gene expression and metabolism through PI3K-AKT pathway signaling. Collectively, our results define new markers and programs to classify pancreatic TAMs, how these are engaged by cancer cells, and the precise signaling pathways mediating polarization.
    Keywords:  cancer biology; human; immunology; inflammation; metabolomics; mouse; pancreatic cancer; proteomics; tumor-associated macrophages
  37. Dev Cell. 2022 Feb 04. pii: S1534-5807(22)00040-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Skeletal stem cells (SSCs) reside within a three-dimensional extracellular matrix (ECM) compartment and differentiate into multiple cell lineages, thereby controlling tissue maintenance and regeneration. Within this environment, SSCs can proteolytically remodel the surrounding ECM in response to growth factors that direct lineage commitment via undefined mechanisms. Here, we report that Mmp14-dependent ECM remodeling coordinates canonical Wnt signaling and guides stem cell fate by triggering an integrin-activated reorganization of the SCC cytoskeleton that controls nuclear lamin A/C levels via the linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes. In turn, SSC lamin A/C levels dictate the localization of emerin, an inner nuclear membrane protein whose ability to regulate β-catenin activity modulates Wnt signaling while directing lineage commitment in vitro and in vivo. These findings define a previously undescribed axis wherein SSCs use Mmp14-dependent ECM remodeling to control cytoskeletal and nucleoskeletal organization, thereby governing Wnt-dependent stem cell fate decisions.
    Keywords:  Mmp14; Wnt; adipogenesis; beta-catenin; collagen; emerin; extracellular matrix; lamin; matrix metalloproteinase; osteogenesis; stem cells
  38. J Biol Chem. 2022 Feb 14. pii: S0021-9258(22)00169-7. [Epub ahead of print] 101729
      Elevated fasting blood glucose (FBG) is associated with increased risks of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular-associated mortality. G6PC2 is predominantly expressed in islets, encodes a glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit that converts glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) to glucose, and has been linked with variations in FBG in genome-wide association studies. Deletion of G6pc2 in mice has been shown to lead to lower FBG without affecting fasting plasma insulin levels in vivo. At 5 mM glucose, pancreatic islets from G6pc2 knockout (KO) mice exhibit no glucose cycling, increased glycolytic flux, and enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). However, the broader effects of G6pc2 KO on β-cell metabolism and redox regulation are unknown. Here we used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and metabolic flux analysis in βTC3 cells, a murine pancreatic β-cell line, to examine the role of G6pc2 in regulating glycolytic and mitochondrial fluxes. We found that deletion of G6pc2 led to ∼60% increases in glycolytic and citric acid cycle (CAC) fluxes at both 5 and 11 mM glucose concentrations. Furthermore, intracellular insulin content and GSIS were enhanced by up to ∼2-fold, along with increased cytosolic redox potential and reductive carboxylation flux. Normalization of fluxes relative to net glucose uptake revealed upregulation in two NADPH-producing pathways in the CAC. These results demonstrate that G6pc2 regulates GSIS by modulating not only glycolysis but also, independently, citric acid cycle activity in β-cells. Overall, our findings implicate G6PC2 as a potential therapeutic target for enhancing insulin secretion and lowering FBG, which could benefit individuals with prediabetes, T2D, and obesity.
    Keywords:  G6PC2; Glucose uptake; Glycolysis; Insulin secretion; Metabolic flux analysis; Systems Biology
  39. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 15. 1-3
      The circadian clock drives daily cycles of physiology and behavioral outputs to keep organisms in tune with the environment. Cyclic oscillations in levels of the clock proteins maintain circadian rhythmicity. In our recent work, we have discovered the interdependence of the circadian clock and chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), a selective form of lysosomal protein degradation. Central and peripheral degradation of core clock proteins by CMA (selective chronophagy) modulates circadian rhythm. Loss of CMA in vivo disrupts physiological circadian cycling, resembling defects observed in aging, a condition with reduced CMA. Conversely, the circadian clock temporally regulates CMA activity in a tissue-specific manner, contributing to remodeling of a distinct subproteome at different circadian times. This timely remodeling cannot be sustained when CMA fails, despite rerouting of some CMA substrates to other degradation pathways.
    Keywords:  Central clock; chaperones; circadian rhythms; lysosomes; organelle proteomics; peripheral clock
  40. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2022 Feb 18. e2103687
      Dysregulation of hormones is considered a risk factor for obesity-mediated breast tumorigenesis; however, obesity is associated with poor outcomes among women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which is a hormone-independent breast cancer subtype. Thus, identifying the driving force behind the obesity-breast cancer relationship is an urgent need. Here it is identified that diet-induced obesity (DIO) facilitates tumorigenesis of TNBC cells. Mechanistically, DIO induces a metabolic addiction to fatty acid oxidation (FAO), accompanied by coordinated activation of Yes-associated protein (YAP) signaling. Specifically, YAP governs mitochondrial redox homeostasis via transcriptional regulation of antioxidant-related enzymes, which renders tumor cells capable of extenuating FAO-elicited mitochondrial oxidative stress. Moreover, adipocytes-derived fatty acids are identified to be responsible for enhancing the FAO-YAP axis and antioxidative capacity, and higher expression of an obesity signature in breast cancer patients is positively correlated with YAP signaling and antioxidant genes. The findings uncover the crucial role of YAP in dictating mitochondrial redox homeostasis for obesity-mediated metabolic adaptation and breast tumor progression.
    Keywords:  YAP; breast cancer; fatty acid oxidation; obesity; oxidative phosphorylation
  41. Nat Metab. 2022 Feb 14.
      The mechanisms promoting disturbed white adipocyte function in obesity remain largely unclear. Herein, we integrate white adipose tissue (WAT) metabolomic and transcriptomic data from clinical cohorts and find that the WAT phosphocreatine/creatine ratio is increased and creatine kinase-B expression and activity is decreased in the obese state. In human in vitro and murine in vivo models, we demonstrate that decreased phosphocreatine metabolism in white adipocytes alters adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase activity via effects on adenosine triphosphate/adenosine diphosphate levels, independently of WAT beigeing. This disturbance promotes a pro-inflammatory profile characterized, in part, by increased chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) production. These data suggest that the phosphocreatine/creatine system links cellular energy shuttling with pro-inflammatory responses in human and murine white adipocytes. Our findings provide unexpected perspectives on the mechanisms driving WAT inflammation in obesity and may present avenues to target adipocyte dysfunction.
  42. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2022 Feb 15.
      SIGNIFICANCE: Macrophages are immune sentinels located throughout the body that function in both the amplification and resolution of the inflammatory response. The circadian clock has emerged as a central regulator of macrophage inflammation. Reduction-oxidation (REDOX) reactions are central to both circadian clock and macrophage function. Recent Advances: Circadian regulation of metabolism controls the macrophage inflammatory response, whereby disruption of the clock causes dysfunctional inflammation. Altering metabolism and reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS) production rescues the inflammatory phenotype of clock-disrupted macrophages.CRITICAL ISSUES: The circadian clock possesses many layers of regulation. Understanding how REDOX reactions coordinate clock function is critical to uncover the full extent of circadian regulation of macrophage inflammation. We provide insights into how circadian regulation of REDOX affects macrophage pattern recognition receptor signaling, immunometabolism, phagocytosis, and inflammasome activation.
    FUTURE DIRECTIONS: Many diseases associated with aberrant macrophage derived inflammation exhibit time of day rhythms in disease symptoms and severity and are sensitive to circadian disruption. Macrophage function is highly dependent on REDOX reactions that signal through RONS. Future studies are needed to evaluate the extent of circadian control of macrophage inflammation, specifically in the context of REDOX signaling.
  43. Nature. 2022 Feb 14.
      Integration of sensory and molecular inputs from the environment shapes animal behaviour. A major site of exposure to environmental molecules is the gastrointestinal tract, in which dietary components are chemically transformed by the microbiota1 and gut-derived metabolites are disseminated to all organs, including the brain2. In mice, the gut microbiota impacts behaviour3, modulates neurotransmitter production in the gut and brain4,5, and influences brain development and myelination patterns6,7. The mechanisms that mediate the gut-brain interactions remain poorly defined, although they broadly involve humoral or neuronal connections. We previously reported that the levels of the microbial metabolite 4-ethylphenyl sulfate (4EPS) were increased in a mouse model of atypical neurodevelopment8. Here we identified biosynthetic genes from the gut microbiome that mediate the conversion of dietary tyrosine to 4-ethylphenol (4EP), and bioengineered gut bacteria to selectively produce 4EPS in mice. 4EPS entered the brain and was associated with changes in region-specific activity and functional connectivity. Gene expression signatures revealed altered oligodendrocyte function in the brain, and 4EPS impaired oligodendrocyte maturation in mice and decreased oligodendrocyte-neuron interactions in ex vivo brain cultures. Mice colonized with 4EP-producing bacteria exhibited reduced myelination of neuronal axons. Altered myelination dynamics in the brain have been associated with behavioural outcomes7,9-14. Accordingly, we observed that mice exposed to 4EPS displayed anxiety-like behaviours, and pharmacological treatments that promote oligodendrocyte differentiation prevented the behavioural effects of 4EPS. These findings reveal that a gut-derived molecule influences complex behaviours in mice through effects on oligodendrocyte function and myelin patterning in the brain.