bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒03‒06
57 papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit

  1. Cell Rep. 2022 Mar 01. pii: S2211-1247(22)00180-2. [Epub ahead of print]38(9): 110453
      Inherited pathogenic succinate dehydrogenase (SDHx) gene mutations cause the hereditary pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma tumor syndrome. Syndromic tumors exhibit elevated succinate, an oncometabolite that is proposed to drive tumorigenesis via DNA and histone hypermethylation, mitochondrial expansion, and pseudohypoxia-related gene expression. To interrogate this prevailing model, we disrupt mouse adrenal medulla SDHB expression, which recapitulates several key molecular features of human SDHx tumors, including succinate accumulation but not 5hmC loss, HIF accumulation, or tumorigenesis. By contrast, concomitant SDHB and the neurofibromin 1 tumor suppressor disruption yields SDHx-like pheochromocytomas. Unexpectedly, in vivo depletion of the 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG) dioxygenase cofactor ascorbate reduces SDHB-deficient cell survival, indicating that SDHx loss may be better tolerated by tissues with high antioxidant capacity. Contrary to the prevailing oncometabolite model, succinate accumulation and 2-OG-dependent dioxygenase inhibition are insufficient for mouse pheochromocytoma tumorigenesis, which requires additional growth-regulatory pathway activation.
    Keywords:  SDHB; adrenal gland; ascorbate; cancer; mouse model; neuroendocrine; oncometabolite; pheochromocytoma; succinate dehydrogenase; tumor
  2. Nat Metab. 2022 Feb;4(2): 225-238
      Many types of cancer feature TP53 mutations with oncogenic properties. However, whether the oncogenic activity of mutant p53 is affected by the cellular metabolic state is unknown. Here we show that cancer-associated mutant p53 protein is stabilized by 2-hydroxyglutarate generated by malic enzyme 2. Mechanistically, malic enzyme 2 promotes the production of 2-hydroxyglutarate by adjusting glutaminolysis, as well as through a reaction that requires pyruvate and NADPH. Malic enzyme 2 depletion decreases cellular 2-hydroxyglutarate levels in vitro and in vivo, whereas elevated malic enzyme 2 expression increases 2-hydroxyglutarate production. We further show that 2-hydroxyglutarate binds directly to mutant p53, which reduces Mdm2-mediated mutant p53 ubiquitination and degradation. 2-Hydroxyglutarate supplementation is sufficient for maintaining mutant p53 protein stability in malic enzyme 2-depleted cells, and restores tumour growth of malic enzyme 2-ablated cells, but not of cells that lack mutant p53. Our findings reveal the previously unrecognized versatility of malic enzyme 2 catalytic functions, and uncover a role for mutant p53 in sensing cellular 2-hydroxyglutarate levels, which contribute to the stabilization of mutant p53 and tumour growth.
  3. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 28.
      Metabolism has been studied mainly in cultured cells or at the level of whole tissues or whole organisms in vivo. Consequently, our understanding of metabolic heterogeneity among cells within tissues is limited, particularly when it comes to rare cells with biologically distinct properties, such as stem cells. Stem cell function, tissue regeneration and cancer suppression are all metabolically regulated, although it is not yet clear whether there are metabolic mechanisms unique to stem cells that regulate their activity and function. Recent work has, however, provided evidence that stem cells do have a metabolic signature that is distinct from that of restricted progenitors and that metabolic changes influence tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Stem cell maintenance throughout life in many tissues depends upon minimizing anabolic pathway activation and cell division. Consequently, stem cell activation by tissue injury is associated with changes in mitochondrial function, lysosome activity and lipid metabolism, potentially at the cost of eroding self-renewal potential. Stem cell metabolism is also regulated by the environment: stem cells metabolically interact with other cells in their niches and are able to sense and adapt to dietary changes. The accelerating understanding of stem cell metabolism is revealing new aspects of tissue homeostasis with the potential to promote tissue regeneration and cancer suppression.
  4. Cell Metab. 2022 Mar 01. pii: S1550-4131(22)00047-X. [Epub ahead of print]34(3): 378-395
      Productive T cell responses to infection and cancer rely on coordinated metabolic reprogramming and epigenetic remodeling among the immune cells. In particular, T cell effector and memory differentiation, exhaustion, and senescence/aging are tightly regulated by the metabolism-epigenetics axis. In this review, we summarize recent advances of how metabolic circuits combined with epigenetic changes dictate T cell fate decisions and shape their functional states. We also discuss how the metabolic-epigenetic axis orchestrates T cell exhaustion and explore how physiological factors, such as diet, gut microbiota, and the circadian clock, are integrated in shaping T cell epigenetic modifications and functionality. Furthermore, we summarize key features of the senescent/aged T cells and discuss how to ameliorate vaccination- and COVID-induced T cell dysfunctions by metabolic modulations. An in-depth understanding of the unexplored links between cellular metabolism and epigenetic modifications in various physiological or pathological contexts has the potential to uncover novel therapeutic strategies for fine-tuning T cell immunity.
    Keywords:  CD8; COVID; aging; epigenetic; exhaustion; immunometabolism
  5. Cell Rep. 2022 Mar 01. pii: S2211-1247(22)00173-5. [Epub ahead of print]38(9): 110446
      The factors that promote T cell expansion are not fully known. Creatine is an abundant circulating metabolite that has recently been implicated in T cell function; however, its cell-autonomous role in immune-cell function is unknown. Here, we show that creatine supports cell-intrinsic CD8+ T cell homeostasis. We further identify creatine kinase B (CKB) as the creatine kinase isoenzyme that supports these T cell properties. Loss of the creatine transporter (Slc6a8) or Ckb results in compromised CD8+ T cell expansion in response to infection without influencing adenylate energy charge. Rather, loss of Slc6a8 or Ckb disrupts naive T cell homeostasis and weakens TCR-mediated activation of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling required for CD8+ T cell expansion. These data demonstrate a cell-intrinsic role for creatine transport and creatine transphosphorylation, independent of their effects on global cellular energy charge, in supporting CD8+ T cell homeostasis and effector function.
    Keywords:  CD8+ T cells; adoptive transfer; creatine kinase; creatine metabolism; infection
  6. Hepatology. 2022 Feb 28.
      Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1 and IDH2) are the most frequently mutated metabolic genes across human cancers. These hot-spot gain-of-function mutations cause the IDH enzyme to aberrantly generate high levels of the oncometabolite, R-2-hydroxyglutarate (R-2HG), which competitively inhibits enzymes that regulate epigenetics, DNA repair, metabolism, and other processes. Among epithelial malignancies, IDH mutations are particularly common in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA). Importantly, pharmacological inhibition of mIDH1 delays progression of mIDH1 iCCA, indicating a role for this oncogene in tumor maintenance. However, not all patients receive clinical benefit and those who do typically show stable disease rather than significant tumor regressions. The elucidation of the oncogenic functions of mIDH is needed to inform strategies that can more effectively harness mIDH as a therapeutic target. This review will discuss the biology of mIDH iCCA, including roles of mIDH in blocking cell differentiation programs and suppressing anti-tumor immunity, and the potential relevance of these effects to mIDH1 targeted therapy. We also cover opportunities for synthetic lethal therapeutic interactions that harness the altered cell state provoked by mIDH1, rather than inhibiting the mutant enzyme. Finally, we highlight key outstanding questions in the biology of this fascinating and incompletely understood oncogene.
  7. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 832159
      As the major hub of metabolic activity and an organelle sequestering pro-apoptogenic intermediates, mitochondria lie at the crossroads of cellular decisions of death and survival. Intracellular calcium is a key regulator of these outcomes with rapid, uncontrolled uptake into mitochondria, activating pro-apoptotic cascades that trigger cell death. Here, we show that calcium uptake and mitochondrial metabolism in murine T-regulatory cells (Tregs) is tuned by Notch1 activity. Based on analysis of Tregs and the HEK cell line, we present evidence that modulation of cellular calcium dynamics underpins Notch1 regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis and consequently anti-apoptotic activity. Targeted siRNA-mediated ablations reveal dependency on molecules controlling calcium release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the chaperone, glucose-regulated protein 75 (Grp75), the associated protein Voltage Dependent Anion Channel (VDAC)1 and the Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter (MCU), which together facilitate ER calcium transfer and uptake into the mitochondria. Endogenous Notch1 is detected in immune-complexes with Grp75 and VDAC1. Deficits in mitochondrial oxidative and survival in Notch1 deficient Tregs, were corrected by the expression of recombinant Notch1 intracellular domain, and in part by recombinant Grp75. Thus, the modulation of calcium dynamics and consequently mitochondrial metabolism underlies Treg survival in conditions of nutrient stress. This work positions a key role for Notch1 activity in these outcomes.
    Keywords:  Grp75; NOTCH1; Tregs; apoptosis; calcium; mammalian cells; mitochondria; oxphos
  8. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 841054
      Kidney cancer is one of the top ten cancer diagnosed worldwide and its incidence has increased the last 20 years. Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (ccRCC) are characterized by mutations that inactivate the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene and evidence indicated alterations in metabolic pathways, particularly in glutamine metabolism. We previously identified a small molecule, STF-62247, which target VHL-deficient renal tumors by affecting late-stages of autophagy and lysosomal signaling. In this study, we investigated ccRCC metabolism in VHL-deficient and proficient cells exposed to the small molecule. Metabolomics profiling using 1H NMR demonstrated that STF-62247 increases levels of glucose, pyruvate, glycerol 3-phosphate while glutamate, asparagine, and glutathione significantly decreased. Diminution of glutamate and glutamine was further investigated using mass spectrometry, western blot analyses, enzymatic activities, and viability assays. We found that expression of SLC1A5 increases in VHL-deficient cells treated with STF-62247, possibly to stimulate glutamine uptake intracellularly to counteract the diminution of this amino acid. However, exogenous addition of glutamine was not able to rescue cell viability induced by the small molecule. Instead, our results showed that VHL-deficient cells utilize glutamine to produce fatty acid in response to STF-62247. Surprisingly, this occurs through oxidative phosphorylation in STF-treated cells while control cells use reductive carboxylation to sustain lipogenesis. We also demonstrated that STF-62247 stimulated expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD1) and peripilin2 (PLIN2) to generate accumulation of lipid droplets in VHL-deficient cells. Moreover, the carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A), which control the entry of fatty acid into mitochondria for β-oxidation, also increased in response to STF-62247. CPT1A overexpression in ccRCC is known to limit tumor growth. Together, our results demonstrated that STF-62247 modulates cellular metabolism of glutamine, an amino acid involved in the autophagy-lysosome process, to support lipogenesis, which could be implicated in the signaling driving to cell death.
    Keywords:  CCRCC kidney cancer; cancer; fatty acid; glutamine (Gln); lipid droplet (LD); metabolomics; von Hippel – Lindau
  9. J Bone Miner Res. 2022 Feb 27.
      Enchondromas and chondrosarcomas are common cartilage neoplasms that are either benign or malignant respectively. The majority of these tumors harbor mutations in either IDH1 or IDH2. Glutamine metabolism has been implicated as a critical regulator of tumors with IDH mutations. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we demonstrated that glutaminase-mediated glutamine metabolism played distinct roles in enchondromas and chondrosarcomas with IDH1 or IDH2 mutations. Glutamine affected cell differentiation and viability in these tumors differently through different downstream metabolites. During murine enchondroma-like lesion development, glutamine-derived α-ketoglutarate promoted hypertrophic chondrocyte differentiation and regulated chondrocyte proliferation. Deletion of glutaminase in chondrocytes with Idh1 mutation increased the number and size of enchondroma-like lesions. In contrast, pharmacological inhibition of glutaminase in chondrosarcoma xenografts reduced overall tumor burden partially because glutamine-derived non-essential amino acids played an important role in preventing cell apoptosis. This study demonstrates that glutamine metabolism plays different roles in tumor initiation and cancer maintenance. Supplementation of α-ketoglutarate and inhibiting GLS may provide a therapeutic approach to suppress enchondroma and chondrosarcoma tumor growth respectively.
  10. Mol Cell. 2022 Mar 03. pii: S1097-2765(22)00112-5. [Epub ahead of print]82(5): 920-932.e7
      IDO1 oxidizes tryptophan (TRP) to generate kynurenine (KYN), the substrate for 1-carbon and NAD metabolism, and is implicated in pro-cancer pathophysiology and infection biology. However, the mechanistic relationships between IDO1 in amino acid depletion versus product generation have remained a longstanding mystery. We found an unrecognized link between IDO1 and cell survival mediated by KYN that serves as the source for molecules that inhibit ferroptotic cell death. We show that this effect requires KYN export from IDO1-expressing cells, which is then available for non-IDO1-expressing cells via SLC7A11, the central transporter involved in ferroptosis suppression. Whether inside the "producer" IDO1+ cell or the "receiver" cell, KYN is converted into downstream metabolites, suppressing ferroptosis by ROS scavenging and activating an NRF2-dependent, AHR-independent cell-protective pathway, including SLC7A11, propagating anti-ferroptotic signaling. IDO1, therefore, controls a multi-pronged protection pathway from ferroptotic cell death, underscoring the need to re-evaluate the use of IDO1 inhibitors in cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  GCN2; IDO1; NRF2; SLC7A11; cancer; ferroptosis; kynurenine; metabolism; tryptophan
  11. iScience. 2022 Feb 18. 25(2): 103787
      Glucose homeostasis is maintained by modulation of metabolic flux. Enzymes and metabolites regulate the involved metabolic pathways. Dysregulation of glucose homeostasis is a pathological event in obesity. Analyzing metabolic pathways and the mechanisms contributing to obesity-associated dysregulation in vivo is challenging. Here, we introduce OMELET: Omics-Based Metabolic Flux Estimation without Labeling for Extended Trans-omic Analysis. OMELET uses metabolomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic data to identify relative changes in metabolic flux, and to calculate contributions of metabolites, enzymes, and transcripts to the changes in metabolic flux. By evaluating the livers of fasting ob/ob mice, we found that increased metabolic flux through gluconeogenesis resulted primarily from increased transcripts, whereas that through the pyruvate cycle resulted from both increased transcripts and changes in substrates of metabolic enzymes. With OMELET, we identified mechanisms underlying the obesity-associated dysregulation of metabolic flux in the liver.
    Keywords:  Metabolomics;; Proteomics; Systems biology; Transcriptomics
  12. Trends Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 24. pii: S0962-8924(22)00034-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Intracellular long-lived proteins (LLPs) provide structural support for several highly stable protein complexes and assemblies that play essential roles in ensuring cellular homeostasis and function. Recently, mitochondrial long-lived proteins (mt-LLPs) were discovered within inner mitochondria membranes (IMMs) and cristae invagination in tissues with old postmitotic cells. This observation is at odds with the fact that mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that are continually remodeled through processes of fission, fusion, biogenesis, and multiple quality control pathways. In this opinion article, we propose that a subset of the mitochondrial proteome persists over long time frames and these mt-LLPs provide key structural support for the lifelong maintenance of mitochondrial structure.
    Keywords:  cristae ultrastructure; long-lived proteins; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; protein turnover; stable structures
  13. Science. 2022 Mar 04. 375(6584): eabk2432
    FCA Consortium§
      For more than 100 years, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been one of the most studied model organisms. Here, we present a single-cell atlas of the adult fly, Tabula Drosophilae, that includes 580,000 nuclei from 15 individually dissected sexed tissues as well as the entire head and body, annotated to >250 distinct cell types. We provide an in-depth analysis of cell type-related gene signatures and transcription factor markers, as well as sexual dimorphism, across the whole animal. Analysis of common cell types between tissues, such as blood and muscle cells, reveals rare cell types and tissue-specific subtypes. This atlas provides a valuable resource for the Drosophila community and serves as a reference to study genetic perturbations and disease models at single-cell resolution.
  14. Cell Rep. 2022 Mar 01. pii: S2211-1247(22)00171-1. [Epub ahead of print]38(9): 110444
      Accumulation of senescent cells affects organismal aging and the prevalence of age-associated disease. Emerging evidence suggests that activation of autophagy protects against age-associated diseases and promotes longevity, but the roles and regulatory mechanisms of autophagy in cellular senescence are not well understood. Here, we identify the transcription factor, MondoA, as a regulator of cellular senescence, autophagy, and mitochondrial homeostasis. MondoA protects against cellular senescence by activating autophagy partly through the suppression of an autophagy-negative regulator, Rubicon. In addition, we identify peroxiredoxin 3 (Prdx3) as another downstream regulator of MondoA essential for mitochondrial homeostasis and autophagy. Rubicon and Prdx3 work independently to regulate senescence. Furthermore, we find that MondoA knockout mice have exacerbated senescence during ischemic acute kidney injury (AKI), and a decrease of MondoA in the nucleus is correlated with human aging and ischemic AKI. Our results suggest that decline of MondoA worsens senescence and age-associated disease.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; MondoA; Rubicon; aging; autophagy; cellular senescence; kidney; mitochondrial homeostasis; mml-1; peroxiredoxin 3
  15. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 28. 13(1): 1090
      LKB1 is among the most frequently altered tumor suppressors in lung adenocarcinoma. Inactivation of Lkb1 accelerates the growth and progression of oncogenic KRAS-driven lung tumors in mouse models. However, the molecular mechanisms by which LKB1 constrains lung tumorigenesis and whether the cancer state that stems from Lkb1 deficiency can be reverted remains unknown. To identify the processes governed by LKB1 in vivo, we generated an allele which enables Lkb1 inactivation at tumor initiation and subsequent Lkb1 restoration in established tumors. Restoration of Lkb1 in oncogenic KRAS-driven lung tumors suppressed proliferation and led to tumor stasis. Lkb1 restoration activated targets of C/EBP transcription factors and drove neoplastic cells from a progenitor-like state to a less proliferative alveolar type II cell-like state. We show that C/EBP transcription factors govern a subset of genes that are induced by LKB1 and depend upon NKX2-1. We also demonstrate that a defining factor of the alveolar type II lineage, C/EBPα, constrains oncogenic KRAS-driven lung tumor growth in vivo. Thus, this key tumor suppressor regulates lineage-specific transcription factors, thereby constraining lung tumor development through enforced differentiation.
  16. Elife. 2022 Mar 02. pii: e75658. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Mitochondrial biogenesis has two major steps: the transcriptional activation of nuclear genome-encoded mitochondrial proteins and the import of nascent mitochondrial proteins that are synthesized in the cytosol. These nascent mitochondrial proteins are aggregation-prone and can cause cytosolic proteostasis stress. The transcription factor-dependent transcriptional regulations and the TOM-TIM complex-dependent import of nascent mitochondrial proteins have been extensively studied. Yet, little is known regarding how these two steps of mitochondrial biogenesis coordinate with each other to avoid the cytosolic accumulation of these aggregation-prone nascent mitochondrial proteins. Here we show that in budding yeast, Tom70, a conserved receptor of the TOM complex, moonlights to regulate the transcriptional activity of mitochondrial proteins. Tom70's transcription regulatory role is conserved in Drosophila. The dual roles of Tom70 in both transcription/biogenesis and import of mitochondrial proteins allow the cells to accomplish mitochondrial biogenesis without compromising cytosolic proteostasis. The age-related reduction of Tom70, caused by reduced biogenesis and increased degradation of Tom70, is associated with the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, mtDNA, and mitochondrial proteins. While loss of Tom70 accelerates aging and age-related mitochondrial defects, overexpressing TOM70 delays these mitochondrial dysfunctions and extends the replicative lifespan. Our results reveal unexpected roles of Tom70 in mitochondrial biogenesis and aging.
    Keywords:  S. cerevisiae; cell biology
  17. Brain. 2022 Mar 04. pii: awab303. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are essential organelles found in every eukaryotic cell, required to convert food into usable energy. Therefore, it is not surprising that mutations in either mtDNA or nuclear DNA-encoded genes of mitochondrial proteins cause diseases affecting the oxidative phosphorylation system, which are heterogeneous from a clinical, genetic, biochemical and molecular perspective and can affect patients at any age. Despite all this, it is surprising that our understanding of the mechanisms governing mitochondrial gene expression and its associated pathologies remain superficial and therapeutic interventions largely unexplored. We recently showed that loss of the mitochondrial matrix protease caseinolytic protease proteolytic subunit (CLPP) ameliorates phenotypes in cells characterized by defects in oxidative phosphorylation maintenance. Here, we build upon this finding by showing that CLPP depletion is indeed beneficial in vivo for various types of neuronal populations, including Purkinje cells in the cerebellum and cortical and hippocampal neurons in the forebrain, as it strongly improves distinct phenotypes of mitochondria encephalopathy, driven by the deficiency of the mitochondrial aspartyl tRNA synthase DARS2. In the absence of CLPP, neurodegeneration of DARS2-deficient neurons is delayed as they present milder oxidative phosphorylation dysfunction. This in turn leads to a decreased neuroinflammatory response and significantly improved motor functions in both double-deficient models (Purkinje cell-specific or forebrain neuron-specific Dars2/Clpp double knockout mice). We propose that diminished turnover of respiratory complex I caused by the loss of CLPP is behind the improved phenotype in Dars2/Clpp double knockout animals, even though this intervention might not restore respiratory complex I activity but rather improve mitochondrial cristae morphology or help maintain the NAD+/NADH ratio inside mitochondria. These results also open the possibility of targeting CLPP activity in many other mitochondrial encephalopathies characterized by respiratory complex I instability.
    Keywords:  CLPP protease; DARS2 deficiency; LBSL; mitochondrial diseases
  18. Mol Cell. 2022 Mar 03. pii: S1097-2765(22)00108-3. [Epub ahead of print]82(5): 1066-1077.e7
      The mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) translocates into the nucleus, facilitating histone acetylation by producing acetyl-CoA. We describe a noncanonical pathway for nuclear PDC (nPDC) import that does not involve nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). Mitochondria cluster around the nucleus in response to proliferative stimuli and tether onto the nuclear envelope (NE) via mitofusin-2 (MFN2)-enriched contact points. A decrease in nuclear MFN2 levels decreases mitochondria tethering and nPDC levels. Mitochondrial PDC crosses the NE and interacts with lamin A, forming a ring below the NE before crossing through the lamin layer into the nucleoplasm, in areas away from NPCs. Effective blockage of NPC trafficking does not decrease nPDC levels. The PDC-lamin interaction is maintained during cell division, when lamin depolymerizes and disassembles before reforming daughter nuclear envelopes, providing another pathway for nPDC entry during mitosis. Our work provides a different angle to understanding mitochondria-to-nucleus communication and nuclear metabolism.
    Keywords:  acetylation; cell cycle; lamin; metabolism; mitochondria; mitofusin; nucleus; protein trafficking; pyruvate dehydrogenase complex; tethering
  19. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 24. pii: S1357-2725(22)00034-6. [Epub ahead of print] 106189
      Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) possesses a vital role in mammalian cells due to its activity as a rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) from nicotinamide. NAD is an essential redox cofactor, but it also functions as a substrate for NAD-consuming enzymes, regulating multiple cellular processes such as DNA repair and gene expression, fundamental to sustain tumor growth and survival and energetic needs. A common strategy that several tumor types adopt to sustain NAD synthesis is to over-express NAMPT. However, beside its intracellular functions, this enzyme has a second life outside of cells exerting cytokine-like functions and mediating pro-inflammatory conditions activating signaling pathways. While the effects of NAMPT/NAD axis on energetic metabolism in tumors has been well-established, increasing evidence demonstrated the impact of NAMPT over-expression (intra-/extra-cellular) on several tumor cellular processes, including DNA repair, gene expression, signaling pathways, proliferation, invasion, stemness, phenotype plasticity, metastatization, angiogenesis, immune regulation, and drug resistance. For all these reasons, NAMPT targeting has emerged as promising anti-cancer strategy to deplete NAD and impair cellular metabolism, but also to counteract the other NAMPT-related functions. In this review, we summarize the key role of NAMPT in multiple biological processes implicated in cancer biology and the impact of NAMPT inhibition as therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  NAD; NAMPT; cancer biology; cancer therapy; immune cell regulation; metabolism; tumor microenvironment
  20. Aging Cell. 2022 Mar 02. e13564
      Aged cardiomyocytes develop a mismatch between energy demand and supply, the severity of which determines the onset of heart failure, and become prone to undergo cell death. The FoF1-ATP synthase is the molecular machine that provides >90% of the ATP consumed by healthy cardiomyocytes and is proposed to form the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), an energy-dissipating channel involved in cell death. We investigated whether aging alters FoF1-ATP synthase self-assembly, a fundamental biological process involved in mitochondrial cristae morphology and energy efficiency, and the functional consequences this may have. Purified heart mitochondria and cardiomyocytes from aging mice displayed an impaired dimerization of FoF1-ATP synthase (blue native and proximity ligation assay), associated with abnormal mitochondrial cristae tip curvature (TEM). Defective dimerization did not modify the in vitro hydrolase activity of FoF1-ATP synthase but reduced the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation in intact mitochondria (in which membrane architecture plays a fundamental role) and increased cardiomyocytes' susceptibility to undergo energy collapse by mPTP. High throughput proteomics and fluorescence immunolabeling identified glycation of 5 subunits of FoF1-ATP synthase as the causative mechanism of the altered dimerization. In vitro induction of FoF1-ATP synthase glycation in H9c2 myoblasts recapitulated the age-related defective FoF1-ATP synthase assembly, reduced the relative contribution of oxidative phosphorylation to cell energy metabolism, and increased mPTP susceptibility. These results identify altered dimerization of FoF1-ATP synthase secondary to enzyme glycation as a novel pathophysiological mechanism involved in mitochondrial cristae remodeling, energy deficiency, and increased vulnerability of cardiomyocytes to undergo mitochondrial failure during aging.
    Keywords:  ATP; ROS; aging; dicarbonyl stress; mitochondria
  21. J Clin Invest. 2022 Mar 01. pii: e131053. [Epub ahead of print]
      Germline mutations that activate genes in the canonical RAS/MAPK signaling pathway are responsible for rare human developmental disorders known as RASopathies. Here, we analyzed the molecular determinants of Costello syndrome (CS) using a mouse model expressing HRAS p.G12S, patient skin fibroblasts, hiPSC-derived human cardiomyocytes, a HRAS p.G12V zebrafish model and human fibroblasts expressing lentiviral constructs carrying HRAS p.G12S or HRAS p.G12A mutations. The findings revealed alteration of mitochondrial proteostasis and defective oxidative phosphorylation in the heart and skeletal muscle of Costello mice that were also found in the cell models of the disease. The underpinning mechanisms involved the inhibition of the AMPK signaling pathway by mutant forms of HRAS, leading to alteration of mitochondrial proteostasis and bioenergetics. Pharmacological activation of mitochondrial bioenergetics and quality control restored organelle function in HRAS p.G12A and p.G12S cell models, reduced left ventricle hypertrophy in the CS mice and diminished the occurrence of developmental defects in the CS zebrafish model. Collectively, these findings highlight the importance of mitochondrial proteostasis in the pathophysiology of RASopathies and suggest that patients with Costello syndrome may benefit from treatment with mitochondrial modulators.
    Keywords:  Bioenergetics; Metabolism
  22. Curr Opin Syst Biol. 2022 Mar;pii: 100407. [Epub ahead of print]29
      In multicellular organisms, metabolism is compartmentalized at many levels, including tissues and organs, different cell types, and subcellular compartments. Compartmentalization creates a coordinated homeostatic system where each compartment contributes to the production of energy and biomolecules the organism needs to carrying out specific metabolic tasks. Experimentally studying metabolic compartmentalization and metabolic interactions between cells and tissues in multicellular organisms is challenging at a systems level. However, recent progress in computational modeling provides an alternative approach to this problem. Here we discuss how integrating metabolic network modeling with omics data offers an opportunity to reveal metabolic states at the level of organs, tissues and, ultimately, individual cells. We review the current status of genome-scale metabolic network models in multicellular organisms, methods to study metabolic compartmentalization in silico, and insights gained from computational analyses. We also discuss outstanding challenges and provide perspectives for the future directions of the field.
  23. Cell Rep Med. 2022 Feb 15. 3(2): 100500
      Immune checkpoint blockade (CPB) improves melanoma outcomes, but many patients still do not respond. Tumor mutational burden (TMB) and tumor-infiltrating T cells are associated with response, and integrative models improve survival prediction. However, integrating immune/tumor-intrinsic features using data from a single assay (DNA/RNA) remains underexplored. Here, we analyze whole-exome and bulk RNA sequencing of tumors from new and published cohorts of 189 and 178 patients with melanoma receiving CPB, respectively. Using DNA, we calculate T cell and B cell burdens (TCB/BCB) from rearranged TCR/Ig sequences and find that patients with TMBhigh and TCBhigh or BCBhigh have improved outcomes compared to other patients. By combining pairs of immune- and tumor-expressed genes, we identify three gene pairs associated with response and survival, which validate in independent cohorts. The top model includes lymphocyte-expressed MAP4K1 and tumor-expressed TBX3. Overall, RNA or DNA-based models combining immune and tumor measures improve predictions of melanoma CPB outcomes.
    Keywords:  T cell receptor; TMB; cancer genomics; cancer immunotherapy; immune checkpoint blockade; integrative model; melanoma; melanoma subtype; tumor mutational burden
  24. Cell Calcium. 2022 Feb 23. pii: S0143-4160(22)00042-2. [Epub ahead of print]104 102567
      The cardiac Na+/Ca2+ Exchanger (NCX1) controls Ca2+ extrusion from the cytosol by mediating bidirectional exchange of Na+ for Ca2+, and therefore controls cardiac relaxation. Insulin regulates Ca2+ handling in cardiac tissue through NCX1, however how insulin changes NCX1 activity is poorly understood. Palmitoylation is the only post-translational modification identified to alter NCX1 activity. Here we show that insulin triggers local structural re-arrangements within existing NCX1 dimers by inducing their palmitoylation, thus tunes NCX1 inactivation through a zDHHC5-dependent mechanism in multiple cell types. By activating fatty acid and fatty acyl CoA synthesis insulin promotes palmitoylation of the zDHHC5 active site, which leads to enhanced NCX1 palmitoylation. Our findings represent a new mechanism to regulate the palmitoylation of numerous zDHHC5 substrates.
    Keywords:  Acylation; Cardiac function; Diabetes; Fatty acylCoA; zDHHC-PAT
  25. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 803213
    Keywords:  cancer metabolism; immune evasion; immunomodulation; microenvironment; tumor metastasis
  26. Free Radic Biol Med. 2022 Feb 23. pii: S0891-5849(22)00075-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Professor Bruce Ames demonstrated that nutritional recommendations should be adjusted in order to 'tune-up' metabolism and reduce mitochondria decay, a hallmark of aging and many disease processes. A major subset of tunable nutrients are the minerals, which despite being integral to every aspect of metabolism are often deficient in the typical Western diet. Mitochondria are particularly rich in minerals, where they function as essential cofactors for mitochondrial physiology and overall cellular health. Yet substantial knowledge gaps remain in our understanding of the form and function of these minerals needed for metabolic harmony. Some of the minerals have known activities in the mitochondria but with incomplete regulatory detail, whereas other minerals have no established mitochondrial function at all. A comprehensive metallome of the mitochondria is needed to fully understand the patterns and relationships of minerals within metabolic processes and cellular development. This brief overview serves to highlight the current progress towards understanding mineral homeostasis in the mitochondria and to encourage more research activity in key areas. Future work may likely reveal that adjusting the amounts of specific nutritional minerals has longevity benefits for human health.
    Keywords:  Differentiation; Metals; Minerals; Mitochondria; Redox
  27. Nat Immunol. 2022 Feb 28.
      Chronic inflammation triggers compensatory immunosuppression to stop inflammation and minimize tissue damage. Studies have demonstrated that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress augments the suppressive phenotypes of immune cells; however, the molecular mechanisms underpinning this process and how it links to the metabolic reprogramming of immunosuppressive macrophages remain elusive. In the present study, we report that the helper T cell 2 cytokine interleukin-4 and the tumor microenvironment increase the activity of a protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK)-signaling cascade in macrophages and promote immunosuppressive M2 activation and proliferation. Loss of PERK signaling impeded mitochondrial respiration and lipid oxidation critical for M2 macrophages. PERK activation mediated the upregulation of phosphoserine aminotransferase 1 (PSAT1) and serine biosynthesis via the downstream transcription factor ATF-4. Increased serine biosynthesis resulted in enhanced mitochondrial function and α-ketoglutarate production required for JMJD3-dependent epigenetic modification. Inhibition of PERK suppressed macrophage immunosuppressive activity and could enhance the efficacy of immune checkpoint programmed cell death protein 1 inhibition in melanoma. Our findings delineate a previously undescribed connection between PERK signaling and PSAT1-mediated serine metabolism critical for promoting immunosuppressive function in M2 macrophages.
  28. Cell Rep. 2022 Mar 01. pii: S2211-1247(22)00175-9. [Epub ahead of print]38(9): 110448
      Progression through G1/S phase of the cell cycle is coordinated by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) activities. Here, we find that the requirement for different CDK activities and cyclins in driving cancer cell cycles is highly heterogeneous. The differential gene requirements associate with tumor origin and genetic alterations. We define multiple mechanisms for G1/S progression in RB-proficient models, which are CDK4/6 independent and elicit resistance to FDA-approved inhibitors. Conversely, RB-deficient models are intrinsically CDK4/6 independent, but exhibit differential requirements for cyclin E. These dependencies for CDK and cyclins associate with gene expression programs that denote intrinsically different cell-cycle states. Mining therapeutic sensitivities shows that there are reciprocal vulnerabilities associated with RB1 or CCND1 expression versus CCNE1 or CDKN2A. Together, these findings illustrate the complex nature of cancer cell cycles and the relevance for precision therapeutic intervention.
    Keywords:  CDK; E2F; RB; cyclin; cyclin D1; cyclin E; p16; p27
  29. Elife. 2022 Mar 01. pii: e69223. [Epub ahead of print]11
      The hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP) produces the essential metabolite UDP-GlcNAc and plays a key role in metabolism, health, and aging. The HBP is controlled by its rate-limiting enzyme glutamine fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase (GFPT/GFAT) that is directly inhibited by UDP-GlcNAc in a feedback loop. HBP regulation by GFPT is well studied but other HBP regulators have remained obscure. Elevated UDP‑GlcNAc levels counteract the glycosylation toxin tunicamycin (TM) and thus we screened for TM resistance in haploid mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) using random chemical mutagenesis to determine alternative HBP regulation. We identified the N‑acetylglucosamine deacetylase AMDHD2 that catalyzes a reverse reaction in the HBP and its loss strongly elevated UDP-GlcNAc. To better understand AMDHD2, we solved the crystal structure and found that loss-of-function is caused by protein destabilization or interference with its catalytic activity. Finally, we show that mESCs express AMDHD2 together with GFPT2 instead of the more common paralog GFPT1. Compared with GFPT1, GFPT2 had a much lower sensitivity to UDP-GlcNAc inhibition, explaining how AMDHD2 loss-of-function resulted in HBP activation. This HBP configuration in which AMDHD2 serves to balance GFPT2 activity was also observed in other mESCs and, consistently, the GFPT2:GFPT1 ratio decreased with differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Together, our data reveal a critical function of AMDHD2 in limiting UDP‑GlcNAc production in cells that use GFPT2 for metabolite entry into the HBP.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; chemical biology; genetics; genomics; mouse
  30. Dis Model Mech. 2022 Feb 01. pii: dmm049519. [Epub ahead of print]15(2):
      Several cancers and rare genetic diseases are caused by dysregulation in the RAS signaling pathway. RAS proteins serve as molecular switches that regulate pathways involved in cellular growth, differentiation and survival. These pathways have been an intense area of investigation for four decades, since the initial identification of somatic RAS mutations linked to human cancers. In the past few years, inhibitors against several RAS effectors, as well as direct inhibitors of the K-RAS mutant G12C, have been developed. This Special Issue in DMM includes original Research articles on RAS-driven cancers and RASopathies. The articles provide insights into mechanisms and biomarkers, and evaluate therapeutic targets. Several articles also present new disease models, whereas others describe technologies or approaches to evaluate the function of RAS in vivo. The collection also includes a series of Review articles on RAS biology and translational aspects of defining and treating RAS-driven diseases. In this Editorial, we summarize this collection and discuss the potential impact of the articles within this evolving area of research. We also identify areas of growth and possible future developments.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Developmental disorders; RAS inhibitor; RAS pathway
  31. Cell Metab. 2022 Mar 01. pii: S1550-4131(22)00046-8. [Epub ahead of print]34(3): 487-501.e8
      The Krebs cycle-derived metabolite itaconate and its derivatives suppress the inflammatory response in pro-inflammatory "M1" macrophages. However, alternatively activated "M2" macrophages can take up itaconate. We therefore examined the effect of itaconate and 4-octyl itaconate (OI) on M2 macrophage activation. We demonstrate that itaconate and OI inhibit M2 polarization and metabolic remodeling. Examination of IL-4 signaling revealed inhibition of JAK1 and STAT6 phosphorylation by both itaconate and OI. JAK1 activation was also inhibited by OI in response to IL-13, interferon-β, and interferon-γ in macrophages and in T helper 2 (Th2) cells. Importantly, JAK1 was directly modified by itaconate derivatives at multiple residues, including cysteines 715, 816, 943, and 1130. Itaconate and OI also inhibited JAK1 kinase activity. Finally, OI treatment suppressed M2 macrophage polarization and JAK1 phosphorylation in vivo. We therefore identify itaconate and OI as JAK1 inhibitors, suggesting a new strategy to inhibit JAK1 in M2 macrophage-driven diseases.
    Keywords:  Jak-STAT; Krebs cycle; M2 macrophage; immunometabolism; itaconate; macrophages
  32. JCI Insight. 2022 Mar 01. pii: e150696. [Epub ahead of print]
      The importance of healthy mitochondrial function is implicated in the prevention of chronic/diabetic kidney diseases (CKD/DKD). Sex differences also play an important role in DKD. Our previous studies revealed that mitochondrial substrate overload (modeled by homozygous deletion of carnitine acetyl-transferase - CrAT) in proximal tubules causes renal injury. Here we demonstrate the importance of intact mitochondrial substrate efflux by titrating the amount of overload through the generation of a heterozygous CrAT knockout model ("PT-CrATHET" mouse). Intriguingly, these animals developed renal injury similarly to their homozygous counterparts. Mitochondria were structurally and functionally impaired in both sexes. Transcriptomic analyses, however, revealed striking sex differences. Male mice shut down fatty acid oxidation and several other metabolism-related pathways. Females had a significantly weaker transcriptional response in metabolism but activation of inflammatory pathways was prominent. Proximal tubular cells from PT-CrATHET mice of both sexes exhibited a shift towards a more glycolytic phenotype, but females were still able to oxidize fatty acid-based substrates. Our results demonstrate that maintaining mitochondrial substrate metabolism balance is crucial to satisfy proximal tubular energy demand. Our findings have potentially broad implications as both the glycolytic shift and the sexual dimorphisms discovered herein offer new modalities for future interventions for treating kidney disease.
    Keywords:  Chronic kidney disease; Fatty acid oxidation; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Nephrology
  33. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2022 Feb 23. pii: S1369-5266(22)00025-5. [Epub ahead of print]66 102196
      Plants, as autotrophic organisms, capture light energy to convert carbon dioxide into ATP, NADPH, and sugars, which are essential for the biosynthesis of building blocks, cell proliferation, biomass accumulation, and reproductive fitness. The Target Of Rapamycin (TOR) signalling pathway is a master regulator in sensing energy and nutrients, adapting the metabolic network and cell behaviour in response to environmental resource availability. In the past years, exciting advances in this endeavour have pointed out this pathway's importance in controlling metabolic homeostasis in various biological processes and systems. In this review, we discuss these recent discoveries highlighting the need for a metabolic threshold for the proper function of this kinase complex at the cellular level and across distinct tissues and organs to control growth and development in plants.
    Keywords:  Metabolic homeostasis; Metabolism; Plant growth; TOR signalling
  34. Nat Cancer. 2022 Feb;3(2): 232-250
      Models that recapitulate the complexity of human tumors are urgently needed to develop more effective cancer therapies. We report a bank of human patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and matched organoid cultures from tumors that represent the greatest unmet need: endocrine-resistant, treatment-refractory and metastatic breast cancers. We leverage matched PDXs and PDX-derived organoids (PDxO) for drug screening that is feasible and cost-effective with in vivo validation. Moreover, we demonstrate the feasibility of using these models for precision oncology in real time with clinical care in a case of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) with early metastatic recurrence. Our results uncovered a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug with high efficacy against the models. Treatment with this therapy resulted in a complete response for the individual and a progression-free survival (PFS) period more than three times longer than their previous therapies. This work provides valuable methods and resources for functional precision medicine and drug development for human breast cancer.
  35. Nat Rev Cancer. 2022 Mar 03.
      Senescence is a cellular response to a variety of stress signals that is characterized by a stable withdrawal from the cell cycle and major changes in cell morphology and physiology. While most research on senescence has been performed on non-cancer cells, it is evident that cancer cells can also mount a senescence response. In this Review, we discuss how senescence can be induced in cancer cells. We describe the distinctive features of senescent cancer cells and how these changes in cellular physiology might be exploited for the selective eradication of these cells (senolysis). We discuss activation of the host immune system as a particularly attractive way to clear senescent cancer cells. Finally, we consider the challenges and opportunities provided by a 'one-two punch' sequential treatment of cancer with pro-senescence therapy followed by senolytic therapy.
  36. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 01. 13(1): 1105
      Acute myeloid leukemia remains difficult to treat due to strong genetic heterogeneity between and within individual patients. Here, we show that Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1) acts as a targetable determinant of different metabolic states in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). PDK1low AMLs are OXPHOS-driven, are enriched for leukemic granulocyte-monocyte progenitor (L-GMP) signatures, and are associated with FLT3-ITD and NPM1cyt mutations. PDK1high AMLs however are OXPHOSlow, wild type for FLT3 and NPM1, and are enriched for stemness signatures. Metabolic states can even differ between genetically distinct subclones within individual patients. Loss of PDK1 activity releases glycolytic cells into an OXPHOS state associated with increased ROS levels resulting in enhanced apoptosis in leukemic but not in healthy stem/progenitor cells. This coincides with an enhanced dependency on glutamine uptake and reduced proliferation in vitro and in vivo in humanized xenograft mouse models. We show that human leukemias display distinct metabolic states and adaptation mechanisms that can serve as targets for treatment.
  37. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 03. 13(1): 1135
      The energy-dissipating capacity of brown adipose tissue through thermogenesis can be targeted to improve energy balance. Mammalian 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase, a key nutrient sensor for maintaining cellular energy status, is a known therapeutic target in Type II diabetes. Despite its well-established roles in regulating glucose metabolism in various tissues, the functions of AMPK in the intestine remain largely unexplored. Here we show that AMPKα1 deficiency in the intestine results in weight gain and impaired glucose tolerance under high fat diet feeding, while metformin administration fails to ameliorate these metabolic disorders in intestinal AMPKα1 knockout mice. Further, AMPKα1 in the intestine communicates with brown adipose tissue to promote thermogenesis. Mechanistically, we uncover a link between intestinal AMPKα1 activation and BAT thermogenic regulation through modulating anti-microbial peptide-controlled gut microbiota and the metabolites. Our findings identify AMPKα1-mediated mechanisms of intestine-BAT communication that may partially underlie the therapeutic effects of metformin.
  38. J Vis Exp. 2022 Feb 10.
      Most of the cell's energy is obtained through the degradation of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids by different pathways that converge on the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system, which is regulated in response to cellular demands. The lipid molecule Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is essential in this process by transferring electrons to complex III in the electron transport chain (ETC) through constant oxidation/reduction cycles. Mitochondria status and, ultimately, cellular health can be assessed by measuring ETC oxygen consumption using respirometric assays. These studies are typically performed in established or primary cell lines that have been cultured for several days. In both cases, the respiration parameters obtained may have deviated from normal physiological conditions in any given organ or tissue. Additionally, the intrinsic characteristics of cultured single fibers isolated from skeletal muscle impede this type of analysis. This paper presents an updated and detailed protocol for the analysis of respiration in freshly isolated mitochondria from mouse skeletal muscle. We also provide solutions to potential problems that could arise at any step of the process. The method presented here could be applied to compare oxygen consumption rates in diverse transgenic mouse models and study the mitochondrial response to drug treatments or other factors such as aging or sex. This is a feasible method to respond to crucial questions about mitochondrial bioenergetics metabolism and regulation.
  39. Sci Transl Med. 2022 Mar 02. 14(634): eabl6992
      SERAC1 deficiency is associated with the mitochondrial 3-methylglutaconic aciduria with deafness, (hepatopathy), encephalopathy, and Leigh-like disease [MEGD(H)EL] syndrome, but the role of SERAC1 in mitochondrial physiology remains unknown. Here, we generated Serac1-/- mice that mimic the major diagnostic clinical and biochemical phenotypes of the MEGD(H)EL syndrome. We found that SERAC1 localizes to the outer mitochondrial membrane and is a protein component of the one-carbon cycle. By interacting with the mitochondrial serine transporter protein SFXN1, SERAC1 facilitated and was required for SFXN1-mediated serine transport from the cytosol to the mitochondria. Loss of SERAC1 impaired the one-carbon cycle and disrupted the balance of the nucleotide pool, which led to primary mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion in mice, HEK293T cells, and patient-derived immortalized lymphocyte cells due to insufficient supply of nucleotides. Moreover, both in vitro and in vivo supplementation of nucleosides/nucleotides restored mtDNA content and mitochondrial function. Collectively, our findings suggest that MEGD(H)EL syndrome shares both clinical and molecular features with the mtDNA depletion syndrome, and nucleotide supplementation may be an effective therapeutic strategy for MEGD(H)EL syndrome.
  40. Endocrinology. 2022 Feb 26. pii: bqac023. [Epub ahead of print]
      Obesity is associated with perturbations in incretin production and whole-body glucose metabolism, but the precise underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), which mediates the biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD +), a key regulator of cellular energy metabolism, plays a critical role in obesity-associated intestinal pathophysiology and systemic metabolic complications. To this end, we generated a novel mouse model, namely intestinal epithelial cell-specific Nampt knockout (INKO) mice. INKO mice displayed diminished glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) production, at least partly contributing to reduced early-phase insulin secretion and postprandial hyperglycemia. Mechanistically, loss of NAMPT attenuated the Wnt signaling pathway, resulting in insufficient GLP-1 production. We also found that diet-induced obese mice had compromised intestinal NAMPT-mediated NAD + biosynthesis and the Wnt signaling pathway, associated with impaired GLP-1 production and whole-body glucose metabolism, resembling the INKO mice. Finally, administration of a key NAD + intermediate, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), restored intestinal NAD + levels and obesity-associated metabolic derangements, manifested by a decrease in ileal Proglucagon expression and GLP-1 production as well as postprandial hyperglycemia in INKO and diet-induced obese mice. Collectively, our study provides mechanistic and therapeutic insights into intestinal NAD + biology related to obesity-associated dysregulation of GLP-1 production and postprandial hyperglycemia.
    Keywords:  GLP-1; NAD +; NAMPT; intestine; obesity; postprandial glucose metabolism
  41. Nat Rev Cancer. 2022 Mar 02.
      Genomic analyses in cancer have been enormously impactful, leading to the identification of driver mutations and development of targeted therapies. But the functions of the vast majority of somatic mutations and copy number variants in tumours remain unknown, and the causes of resistance to targeted therapies and methods to overcome them are poorly defined. Recent improvements in mass spectrometry-based proteomics now enable direct examination of the consequences of genomic aberrations, providing deep and quantitative characterization of tumour tissues. Integration of proteins and their post-translational modifications with genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic data constitutes the new field of proteogenomics, and is already leading to new biological and diagnostic knowledge with the potential to improve our understanding of malignant transformation and therapeutic outcomes. In this Review we describe recent developments in proteogenomics and key findings from the proteogenomic analysis of a wide range of cancers. Considerations relevant to the selection and use of samples for proteogenomics and the current technologies used to generate, analyse and integrate proteomic with genomic data are described. Applications of proteogenomics in translational studies and immuno-oncology are rapidly emerging, and the prospect for their full integration into therapeutic trials and clinical care seems bright.
  42. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 28. 13(1): 1074
      Calorie restriction abates aging and cardiometabolic disease by activating metabolic signaling pathways, including nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) biosynthesis and salvage. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is rate-limiting in NAD+ salvage, yet hepatocyte NAMPT actions during fasting and metabolic duress remain unclear. We demonstrate that hepatocyte NAMPT is upregulated in fasting mice, and in isolated hepatocytes subjected to nutrient withdrawal. Mice lacking hepatocyte NAMPT exhibit defective FGF21 activation and thermal regulation during fasting, and are sensitized to diet-induced glucose intolerance. Hepatocyte NAMPT overexpression induced FGF21 and adipose browning, improved glucose homeostasis, and attenuated dyslipidemia in obese mice. Hepatocyte SIRT1 deletion reversed hepatocyte NAMPT effects on dark-cycle thermogenesis, and hepatic FGF21 expression, but SIRT1 was dispensable for NAMPT insulin-sensitizing, anti-dyslipidemic, and light-cycle thermogenic effects. Hepatocyte NAMPT thus conveys key aspects of the fasting response, which selectively dissociate through hepatocyte SIRT1. Modulating hepatocyte NAD+ is thus a potential mechanism through which to attenuate fasting-responsive disease.
  43. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Mar 04. 13(3): 206
      Aerobic glycolysis (the Warburg effect) has been demonstrated to facilitate tumor progression by producing lactate, which has important roles as a proinflammatory and immunosuppressive mediator. However, how aerobic glycolysis is directly regulated is largely unknown. Here, we show that ectopic Zeb1 directly increases the transcriptional expression of HK2, PFKP, and PKM2, which are glycolytic rate-determining enzymes, thus promoting the Warburg effect and breast cancer proliferation, migration, and chemoresistance in vitro and in vivo. In addition, Zeb1 exerts its biological effects to induce glycolytic activity in response to hypoxia via the PI3K/Akt/HIF-1α signaling axis, which contributes to fostering an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). Mechanistically, breast cancer cells with ectopic Zeb1 expression produce lactate in the acidic tumor milieu to induce the alternatively activated (M2) macrophage phenotype through stimulation of the PKA/CREB signaling pathway. Clinically, the expression of Zeb1 is positively correlated with dysregulation of aerobic glycolysis, accumulation of M2-like tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and a poor prognosis in breast cancer patients. In conclusion, these findings identify a Zeb1-dependent mechanism as a driver of breast cancer progression that acts by stimulating tumor-macrophage interplay, which could be a viable therapeutic target for the treatment of advanced human cancers.
  44. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 01. 13(1): 1100
      Despite the success of therapies targeting oncogenes in cancer, clinical outcomes are limited by residual disease that ultimately results in relapse. This residual disease is often characterized by non-genetic adaptive resistance, that in melanoma is characterised by altered metabolism. Here, we examine how targeted therapy reprograms metabolism in BRAF-mutant melanoma cells using a genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screen and global gene expression profiling. Using this systematic approach we demonstrate post-transcriptional regulation of metabolism following BRAF inhibition, involving selective mRNA transport and translation. As proof of concept we demonstrate the RNA processing kinase U2AF homology motif kinase 1 (UHMK1) associates with mRNAs encoding metabolism proteins and selectively controls their transport and translation during adaptation to BRAF-targeted therapy. UHMK1 inactivation induces cell death by disrupting therapy induced metabolic reprogramming, and importantly, delays resistance to BRAF and MEK combination therapy in multiple in vivo models. We propose selective mRNA processing and translation by UHMK1 constitutes a mechanism of non-genetic resistance to targeted therapy in melanoma by controlling metabolic plasticity induced by therapy.
  45. Elife. 2022 Mar 01. pii: e75821. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Neurotransmitters are generated by de novo synthesis and are essential for sustained, high-frequency synaptic transmission. Histamine, a monoamine neurotransmitter, is synthesized through decarboxylation of histidine by Histidine decarboxylase (Hdc). However, little is known about how histidine is presented to Hdc as a precursor. Here, we identified a specific histidine transporter, TADR (Torn And Diminished Rhabdomeres), which is required for visual transmission in Drosophila. Both TADR and Hdc localized to neuronal terminals, and mutations in tadr reduced levels of histamine, thus disrupting visual synaptic transmission and phototaxis behavior. These results demonstrate that a specific amino acid transporter provides precursors for monoamine neurotransmitters, providing the first genetic evidence that a histidine amino acid transporter plays a critical role in synaptic transmission. These results suggest that TADR-dependent local de novo synthesis of histamine is required for synaptic transmission.
    Keywords:  D. melanogaster; cell biology; neuroscience
  46. Mol Oncol. 2022 Mar 01.
      Primary clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) has been previously characterized, but the genomic landscape of metastatic ccRCC is largely unexplored. Here, we performed Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) in 68 samples from 44 patients with ccRCC, including 52 samples from a metastatic site. SETD2, PBRM1, APC and VHL were the most frequently mutated genes in the metastatic ccRCC cohort. RBM10 and FBXW7 were also among the 10 most frequently mutated genes in metastatic tissues. Recurrent somatic copy number variations (CNV) were observed at the previously identified regions 3p25, 9p21 and 14q25, but also at 6p21 (CDKN1A) and 13q14 (RB1). No statistically significant differences were found between samples from therapy-naïve and pretreated patients. Clonal evolution analyses with multiple samples from 13 patients suggested that early appearance of CNVs at 3p25, 9p21 and 14q25 may be associated with rapid clinical progression. Overall, the genomic landscapes of primary and metastatic ccRCC seem to share frequent CNVs at 3p25, 9p21 and 14q25. Future work will clarify the implication of RBM10 and FBXW7 mutations and 6p21 and 13q14 CNVs in metastatic ccRCC.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Genomics; Immunotherapy; Kidney; Metastasis; VEGF
  47. Cell. 2022 Feb 25. pii: S0092-8674(22)00137-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      In multicellular organisms, cells actively sense and control their own population density. Synthetic mammalian quorum-sensing circuits could provide insight into principles of population control and extend cell therapies. However, a key challenge is reducing their inherent sensitivity to "cheater" mutations that evade control. Here, we repurposed the plant hormone auxin to enable orthogonal mammalian cell-cell communication and quorum sensing. We designed a paradoxical population control circuit, termed "Paradaux," in which auxin stimulates and inhibits net cell growth at different concentrations. This circuit limited population size over extended timescales of up to 42 days of continuous culture. By contrast, when operating in a non-paradoxical regime, population control became more susceptible to mutational escape. These results establish auxin as a versatile "private" communication system and demonstrate that paradoxical circuit architectures can provide robust population control.
    Keywords:  auxin; cell population control; mammalian synthetic biology; paradoxical control; quorum sensing; synthetic circuits; synthetic signaling
  48. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 27. 1-12
      Mutations in the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) are ubiquitous in humans and can lead to a broad spectrum of disorders. However, due to the presence of multiple mtDNA molecules in the cell, co-existence of mutant and wild-type mtDNAs (termed heteroplasmy) can mask disease phenotype unless a threshold of mutant molecules is reached. Importantly, the mutant mtDNA level can change across lifespan as mtDNA segregates in an allele- and cell-specific fashion, potentially leading to disease. Segregation of mtDNA is mainly evident in hepatic cells, resulting in an age-dependent increase of mtDNA variants, including non-synonymous potentially deleterious mutations. Here we modeled mtDNA segregation using a well-established heteroplasmic mouse line with mtDNA of NZB/BINJ and C57BL/6N origin on a C57BL/6N nuclear background. This mouse line showed a pronounced age-dependent NZB mtDNA accumulation in the liver, thus leading to enhanced respiration capacity per mtDNA molecule. Remarkably, liver-specific atg7 (autophagy related 7) knockout abolished NZB mtDNA accumulat ion, resulting in close-to-neutral mtDNA segregation through development into adulthood. prkn (parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase) knockout also partially prevented NZB mtDNA accumulation in the liver, but to a lesser extent. Hence, we propose that age-related liver mtDNA segregation is a consequence of macroautophagic clearance of the less-fit mtDNA. Considering that NZB/BINJ and C57BL/6N mtDNAs have a level of divergence comparable to that between human Eurasian and African mtDNAs, these findings have potential implications for humans, including the safe use of mitochondrial replacement therapy.
    Keywords:  Atg7; NZB; heteroplasmy; mitochondria; mitophagy; parkin
  49. Dev Cell. 2022 02 28. pii: S1534-5807(22)00067-3. [Epub ahead of print]57(4): 466-479.e6
      The cytoplasm is a crowded, visco-elastic environment whose physical properties change according to physiological or developmental states. How the physical properties of the cytoplasm impact cellular functions in vivo remains poorly understood. Here, we probe the effects of cytoplasmic concentration on microtubules by applying osmotic shifts to fission yeast, moss, and mammalian cells. We show that the rates of both microtubule polymerization and depolymerization scale linearly and inversely with cytoplasmic concentration; an increase in cytoplasmic concentration decreases the rates of microtubule polymerization and depolymerization proportionally, whereas a decrease in cytoplasmic concentration leads to the opposite. Numerous lines of evidence indicate that these effects are due to changes in cytoplasmic viscosity rather than cellular stress responses or macromolecular crowding per se. We reconstituted these effects on microtubules in vitro by tuning viscosity. Our findings indicate that, even in normal conditions, the viscosity of the cytoplasm modulates the reactions that underlie microtubule dynamic behaviors.
    Keywords:  crowding; cytoplasm; cytoskeleton dynamics; density; diffusion; fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe; microtubules; mitosis; rheology; viscosity
  50. EMBO J. 2022 Mar 03. e109890
      Endothelial cells differ from other cell types responsible for the formation of the vascular wall in their unusual reliance on glycolysis for most energy needs, which results in extensive production of lactate. We find that endothelium-derived lactate is taken up by pericytes, and contributes substantially to pericyte metabolism including energy generation and amino acid biosynthesis. Endothelial-pericyte proximity is required to facilitate the transport of endothelium-derived lactate into pericytes. Inhibition of lactate production in the endothelium by deletion of the glucose transporter-1 (GLUT1) in mice results in loss of pericyte coverage in the retina and brain vasculatures, leading to the blood-brain barrier breakdown and increased permeability. These abnormalities can be largely restored by oral lactate administration. Our studies demonstrate an unexpected link between endothelial and pericyte metabolisms and the role of endothelial lactate production in the maintenance of the blood-brain barrier integrity. In addition, our observations indicate that lactate supplementation could be a useful therapeutic approach for GLUT1 deficiency metabolic syndrome patients.
    Keywords:  BBB permeability; Glucose; endothelial metabolism; lactate; pericyte metabolism
  51. Aging Cell. 2022 Mar 02. e13578
      The expression of the pluripotency factors OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and MYC (OSKM) can convert somatic differentiated cells into pluripotent stem cells in a process known as reprogramming. Notably, partial and reversible reprogramming does not change cell identity but can reverse markers of aging in cells, improve the capacity of aged mice to repair tissue injuries, and extend longevity in progeroid mice. However, little is known about the mechanisms involved. Here, we have studied changes in the DNA methylome, transcriptome, and metabolome in naturally aged mice subject to a single period of transient OSKM expression. We found that this is sufficient to reverse DNA methylation changes that occur upon aging in the pancreas, liver, spleen, and blood. Similarly, we observed reversion of transcriptional changes, especially regarding biological processes known to change during aging. Finally, some serum metabolites and biomarkers altered with aging were also restored to young levels upon transient reprogramming. These observations indicate that a single period of OSKM expression can drive epigenetic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic changes toward a younger configuration in multiple tissues and in the serum.
    Keywords:  OSKM; Yamanaka; aging; epigenetic clocks; pluripotency; reprogramming; transcriptomic clocks
  52. Nat Cancer. 2022 Feb;3(2): 156-172
      The folate metabolism enzyme MTHFD2 (methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase/cyclohydrolase) is consistently overexpressed in cancer but its roles are not fully characterized, and current candidate inhibitors have limited potency for clinical development. In the present study, we demonstrate a role for MTHFD2 in DNA replication and genomic stability in cancer cells, and perform a drug screen to identify potent and selective nanomolar MTHFD2 inhibitors; protein cocrystal structures demonstrated binding to the active site of MTHFD2 and target engagement. MTHFD2 inhibitors reduced replication fork speed and induced replication stress followed by S-phase arrest and apoptosis of acute myeloid leukemia cells in vitro and in vivo, with a therapeutic window spanning four orders of magnitude compared with nontumorigenic cells. Mechanistically, MTHFD2 inhibitors prevented thymidine production leading to misincorporation of uracil into DNA and replication stress. Overall, these results demonstrate a functional link between MTHFD2-dependent cancer metabolism and replication stress that can be exploited therapeutically with this new class of inhibitors.
  53. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 01. 13(1): 1096
      Altered methionine metabolism is associated with weight gain in obesity. The methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT), catalyzing the first reaction of the methionine cycle, plays an important role regulating lipid metabolism. However, its role in obesity, when a plethora of metabolic diseases occurs, is still unknown. By using antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) and genetic depletion of Mat1a, here, we demonstrate that Mat1a deficiency in diet-induce obese or genetically obese mice prevented and reversed obesity and obesity-associated insulin resistance and hepatosteatosis by increasing energy expenditure in a hepatocyte FGF21 dependent fashion. The increased NRF2-mediated FGF21 secretion induced by targeting Mat1a, mobilized plasma lipids towards the BAT to be catabolized, induced thermogenesis and reduced body weight, inhibiting hepatic de novo lipogenesis. The beneficial effects of Mat1a ASO were abolished following FGF21 depletion in hepatocytes. Thus, targeting Mat1a activates the liver-BAT axis by increasing NRF2-mediated FGF21 secretion, which prevents obesity, insulin resistance and hepatosteatosis.
  54. Transl Psychiatry. 2022 Feb 28. 12(1): 87
      Stress is the foremost environmental factor involved in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, individual differences among people are critical as some people exhibit vulnerability while other are resilient to repeated exposure to stress. Among the others, a recent theory postulates that alterations of energy metabolism might contribute to the development of psychopathologies. Here we show that the bioenergetic status in the ventral hippocampus (vHip), a brain subregion tightly involved in the regulation of MDD, defined the development of vulnerability or resilience following two weeks of chronic mild stress. Among the different metabolomic signatures observed, the glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid cycle may be specifically involved in defining vulnerability, revealing a previously unappreciated mechanism of sensitivity to stress. These findings point to mitochondrial morphology and recycling as critical in the ability to cope with stress. We show that vulnerable rats favor mitochondrial fusion to counteract the overproduction of reactive oxidative species whereas resilient rats activate fission to guarantee metabolic efficiency. Our results indicate that the modulation of the energetic metabolite profile in vHip under chronic stress exposure may represent a mechanism to explain the difference between vulnerable and resilient rats, unraveling novel and promising targets for specific therapeutic interventions.
  55. EMBO J. 2022 Mar 01. e109463
      In order to support bone marrow regeneration after myeloablation, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) actively divide to provide both stem and progenitor cells. However, the mechanisms regulating HSC function and cell fate choice during hematopoietic recovery remain unclear. We herein provide novel insights into HSC regulation during regeneration by focusing on mitochondrial metabolism and ATP citrate lyase (ACLY). After 5-fluorouracil-induced myeloablation, HSCs highly expressing endothelial protein C receptor (EPCRhigh ) were enriched within the stem cell fraction at the expense of more proliferative EPCRLow HSCs. These EPCRHigh HSCs were initially more primitive than EPCRLow HSCs and enabled stem cell expansion by enhancing histone acetylation, due to increased activity of ACLY in the early phase of hematopoietic regeneration. In the late phase of recovery, HSCs enhanced differentiation potential by increasing the accessibility of cis-regulatory elements in progenitor cell-related genes, such as CD48. In conditions of reduced mitochondrial metabolism and ACLY activity, these HSCs maintained stem cell phenotypes, while ACLY-dependent histone acetylation promoted differentiation into CD48+ progenitor cells. Collectively, these results indicate that the dynamic control of ACLY-dependent metabolism and epigenetic alterations is essential for HSC regulation during hematopoietic regeneration.
    Keywords:  Acly; bone marrow regeneration; hematopoietic stem cells; mitochondrial metabolism
  56. Dev Cell. 2022 Feb 28. pii: S1534-5807(22)00077-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Organ morphogenesis involves dynamic changes of tissue properties while cells adapt to their mechanical environment through mechanosensitive pathways. How mechanical cues influence cell behaviors during morphogenesis remains unclear. Here, we studied the formation of the zebrafish atrioventricular canal (AVC) where cardiac valves develop. We show that the AVC forms within a zone of tissue convergence associated with the increased activation of the actomyosin meshwork and cell-orientation changes. We demonstrate that tissue convergence occurs with a reduction of cell volume triggered by mechanical forces and the mechanosensitive channel TRPP2/TRPV4. Finally, we show that the extracellular matrix component hyaluronic acid controls cell volume changes. Together, our data suggest that multiple force-sensitive signaling pathways converge to modulate cell volume. We conclude that cell volume reduction is a key cellular feature activated by mechanotransduction during cardiovascular morphogenesis. This work further identifies how mechanical forces and extracellular matrix influence tissue remodeling in developing organs.
    Keywords:  ECM; actomyosin; cell polarity; endocardium; mechanobiology; mechanotransduction; notch; shear stress; zebrafish