bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒03‒27
fifty papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit

  1. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 21. 13(1): 1503
      Although reprogramming of cellular metabolism is a hallmark of cancer, little is known about how metabolic reprogramming contributes to early stages of transformation. Here, we show that the histone deacetylase SIRT6 regulates tumor initiation during intestinal cancer by controlling glucose metabolism. Loss of SIRT6 results in an increase in the number of intestinal stem cells (ISCs), which translates into enhanced tumor initiating potential in APCmin mice. By tracking down the connection between glucose metabolism and tumor initiation, we find a metabolic compartmentalization within the intestinal epithelium and adenomas, where a rare population of cells exhibit features of Warburg-like metabolism characterized by high pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) activity. Our results show that these cells are quiescent cells expressing +4 ISCs and enteroendocrine markers. Active glycolysis in these cells suppresses ROS accumulation and enhances their stem cell and tumorigenic potential. Our studies reveal that aerobic glycolysis represents a heterogeneous feature of cancer, and indicate that this metabolic adaptation can occur in non-dividing cells, suggesting a role for the Warburg effect beyond biomass production in tumors.
  2. Cell Metab. 2022 Mar 15. pii: S1550-4131(22)00088-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Recent findings have demonstrated that mitochondria can be transferred between cells to control metabolic homeostasis. Although the mitochondria of brown adipocytes comprise a large component of the cell volume and undergo reorganization to sustain thermogenesis, it remains unclear whether an intercellular mitochondrial transfer occurs in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and regulates adaptive thermogenesis. Herein, we demonstrated that thermogenically stressed brown adipocytes release extracellular vesicles (EVs) that contain oxidatively damaged mitochondrial parts to avoid failure of the thermogenic program. When re-uptaken by parental brown adipocytes, mitochondria-derived EVs reduced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ signaling and the levels of mitochondrial proteins, including UCP1. Their removal via the phagocytic activity of BAT-resident macrophages is instrumental in preserving BAT physiology. Depletion of macrophages in vivo causes the abnormal accumulation of extracellular mitochondrial vesicles in BAT, impairing the thermogenic response to cold exposure. These findings reveal a homeostatic role of tissue-resident macrophages in the mitochondrial quality control of BAT.
    Keywords:  adipose tissue; brown adipocytes; extracellular vesicles; homeostasis; immunometabolism; macrophages; mitochondria; mitochondrial quality control; thermogenesis
  3. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2022 Mar 01. pii: ERC-21-0349. [Epub ahead of print]
      A fascinating class of familial paraganglioma (PGL) neuroendocrine tumors is driven by loss of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzyme succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) resulting in succinate accumulation as an oncometabolite, and other metabolic derangements. Here we exploit a S. cerevisiae yeast model of SDH loss where accumulating succinate, and possibly reactive oxygen species, poison a dioxygenase enzyme required for sulfur scavenging. Using this model we performed a chemical suppression screen for compounds that relieve dioxygenase inhibition. After testing 1280 pharmaceutically-active compounds we identified meclofenoxate HCL, and its hydrolysis product, dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), as suppressors of dioxygenase intoxication in SDH-loss yeast cells. We show that DMAE acts to alter metabolism so as to normalize the succinate:2-ketoglutarate ratio, improving dioxygenase function. This work raises the possibility that oncometabolite effects might be therapeutically suppressed by drugs that rewire metabolism to reduce the flux of carbon into pathological metabolic pathways.
  4. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Mar 24.
      Cancer cells are known for their ability to adapt variable metabolic programs depending on the availability of specific nutrients. Our previous studies have shown that uptake of fatty acids alters cellular metabolic pathways in colon cancer cells to favor fatty acid oxidation. Here, we show that fatty acids activate Drp1 to promote metabolic plasticity in cancer cells. Uptake of fatty acids (FAs) induces mitochondrial fragmentation by promoting ERK-dependent phosphorylation of Drp1 at the S616 site. This increased phosphorylation of Drp1 enhances its dimerization and interaction with Mitochondrial Fission Factor (MFF) at the mitochondria. Consequently, knockdown of Drp1 or MFF attenuates fatty acid-induced mitochondrial fission. In addition, uptake of fatty acids triggers mitophagy via a Drp1- and p62-dependent mechanism to protect mitochondrial integrity. Moreover, results from metabolic profiling analysis reveal that silencing Drp1 disrupts cellular metabolism and blocks fatty acid-induced metabolic reprograming by inhibiting fatty acid utilization. Functionally, knockdown of Drp1 decreases Wnt/β-catenin signaling by preventing fatty acid oxidation-dependent acetylation of β-catenin. As a result, Drp1 depletion inhibits the formation of tumor organoids in vitro and xenograft tumor growth in vivo. Taken together, our study identifies Drp1 as a key mediator that connects mitochondrial dynamics with fatty acid metabolism and cancer cell signaling.
  5. EMBO J. 2022 Mar 23. e109049
      Cellular metabolism must adapt to changing demands to enable homeostasis. During immune responses or cancer metastasis, cells leading migration into challenging environments require an energy boost, but what controls this capacity is unclear. Here, we study a previously uncharacterized nuclear protein, Atossa (encoded by CG9005), which supports macrophage invasion into the germband of Drosophila by controlling cellular metabolism. First, nuclear Atossa increases mRNA levels of Porthos, a DEAD-box protein, and of two metabolic enzymes, lysine-α-ketoglutarate reductase (LKR/SDH) and NADPH glyoxylate reductase (GR/HPR), thus enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics. Then Porthos supports ribosome assembly and thereby raises the translational efficiency of a subset of mRNAs, including those affecting mitochondrial functions, the electron transport chain, and metabolism. Mitochondrial respiration measurements, metabolomics, and live imaging indicate that Atossa and Porthos power up OxPhos and energy production to promote the forging of a path into tissues by leading macrophages. Since many crucial physiological responses require increases in mitochondrial energy output, this previously undescribed genetic program may modulate a wide range of cellular behaviors.
    Keywords:  immune cell infiltration; mitochondrial bioenergetics; oxidative phosphorylation; protein translation; transcription factor
  6. Cell Metab. 2022 Mar 15. pii: S1550-4131(22)00087-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of activated T cells. The switch from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis provides energy and intermediary metabolites for the biosynthesis of macromolecules to support clonal expansion and effector function. Here, we show that glycolytic reprogramming additionally controls inflammatory gene expression via epigenetic remodeling. We found that the glucose transporter GLUT3 is essential for the effector functions of Th17 cells in models of autoimmune colitis and encephalomyelitis. At the molecular level, we show that GLUT3-dependent glucose uptake controls a metabolic-transcriptional circuit that regulates the pathogenicity of Th17 cells. Metabolomic, epigenetic, and transcriptomic analyses linked GLUT3 to mitochondrial glucose oxidation and ACLY-dependent acetyl-CoA generation as a rate-limiting step in the epigenetic regulation of inflammatory gene expression. Our findings are also important from a translational perspective because inhibiting GLUT3-dependent acetyl-CoA generation is a promising metabolic checkpoint to mitigate Th17-cell-mediated inflammatory diseases.
    Keywords:  ACLY; ATP-citrate lyase; GLUT1; GLUT3; Th17 cells; acetyl-CoA; glucose metabolism; glycolysis; histone acetylation; immunometabolism
  7. EMBO J. 2022 Mar 21. e110466
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) tumor cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients and therefore must adapt their metabolism to ensure proliferation. In some physiological states, cells rely on ketone bodies to satisfy their metabolic needs, especially during nutrient stress. Here, we show that PDA cells can activate ketone body metabolism and that β-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB) is an alternative cell-intrinsic or systemic fuel that can promote PDA growth and progression. PDA cells activate enzymes required for ketogenesis, utilizing various nutrients as carbon sources for ketone body formation. By assessing metabolic gene expression from spontaneously arising PDA tumors in mice, we find HMG-CoA lyase (HMGCL), involved in ketogenesis, to be among the most deregulated metabolic enzymes in PDA compared to normal pancreas. In vitro depletion of HMGCL impedes migration, tumor cell invasiveness, and anchorage-independent tumor sphere compaction. Moreover, disrupting HMGCL drastically decreases PDA tumor growth in vivo, while βOHB stimulates metastatic dissemination to the liver. These findings suggest that βOHB increases PDA aggressiveness and identify HMGCL and ketogenesis as metabolic targets for limiting PDA progression.
    Keywords:  HMGCL; ketone bodies; metastasis; pancreatic cancer; β-hydroxybutyrate
  8. Nat Metab. 2022 Mar 21.
      Tumour cells utilize multiple strategies to evade the immune system, but the underlying metabolic mechanisms remain poorly understood. The pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) complex converts pyruvate to acetyl-coenzyme A in mitochondria, thereby linking glycolysis to the ricarboxylic acid cycle. Here we show that the PDH complex E1 subunit α (PDHE1α) is also located in the cytosol. Cytosolic PDHE1α interacts with IKKβ and protein phosphatase 1B, thereby facilitating the inhibition of the NF-κB pathway. Cytosolic PDHE1α can be phosphorylated at S327 by ERK2 and translocated into mitochondria. Decreased cytosolic PDHE1α levels restore NF-κB signalling, whereas increased mitochondrial PDHE1α levels drive α-ketoglutarate production and promote reactive oxygen species detoxification. Synergistic activation of NF-κB and reactive oxygen species detoxification promotes tumour cell survival and enhances resistance to cytotoxic lymphocytes. Consistently, low levels of PDHE1α phosphorylation are associated with poor prognosis of patients with lung cancer. Our findings show a mechanism through which phosphorylation-dependent subcellular translocation of PDHE1α promotes tumour immune evasion.
  9. Cells. 2022 Mar 21. pii: 1053. [Epub ahead of print]11(6):
      Mitochondrial fusion is essential to mitochondrial fitness and cellular health. Neurons of patients with genetic neurodegenerative diseases often exhibit mitochondrial fragmentation, reflecting an imbalance in mitochondrial fusion and fission (mitochondrial dysdynamism). Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease type 2A is the prototypical disorder of impaired mitochondrial fusion caused by mutations in the fusion protein mitofusin (MFN)2. Yet, cultured CMT2A patient fibroblast mitochondria are often reported as morphologically normal. Metabolic stress might evoke pathological mitochondrial phenotypes in cultured patient fibroblasts, providing a platform for the pre-clinical individualized evaluation of investigational therapeutics. Here, substitution of galactose for glucose in culture media was used to redirect CMT2A patient fibroblasts (MFN2 T105M, R274W, H361Y, R364W) from glycolytic metabolism to mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, which provoked characteristic mitochondrial fragmentation and depolarization and induced a distinct transcriptional signature. Pharmacological MFN activation of metabolically reprogrammed fibroblasts partially reversed the mitochondrial abnormalities in CMT2A and CMT1 and a subset of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease patients, implicating addressable mitochondrial dysdynamism in these illnesses.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial dynamics; mitofusin; neurodegenerative diseases
  10. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 24. 13(1): 1582
      Mitochondrial fission is critically important for controlling mitochondrial morphology, function, quality and transport. Drp1 is the master regulator driving mitochondrial fission, but exactly how Drp1 is regulated remains unclear. Here, we identified Drosophila Clueless and its mammalian orthologue CLUH as key regulators of Drp1. As with loss of drp1, depletion of clueless or CLUH results in mitochondrial elongation, while as with drp1 overexpression, clueless or CLUH overexpression leads to mitochondrial fragmentation. Importantly, drp1 overexpression rescues adult lethality, tissue disintegration and mitochondrial defects of clueless null mutants in Drosophila. Mechanistically, Clueless and CLUH promote recruitment of Drp1 to mitochondria from the cytosol. This involves CLUH binding to mRNAs encoding Drp1 receptors MiD49 and Mff, and regulation of their translation. Our findings identify a crucial role of Clueless and CLUH in controlling mitochondrial fission through regulation of Drp1.
  11. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Mar 10. pii: 1433. [Epub ahead of print]14(6):
      The tumor microenvironment, in particular the extracellular matrix (ECM), plays a pivotal role in controlling tumor initiation and progression. In particular, the interaction between cancer cells and the ECM promotes cancer cell growth and invasion, leading to the formation of distant metastasis. Alterations in cancer cell metabolism is a key hallmark of cancer, which is often associated with alterations in mitochondrial dynamics. Recent research highlighted that, changes in mitochondrial dynamics are associated with cancer migration and metastasis-these has been extensively reviewed elsewhere. However, less is known about the interplay between the extracellular matrix and mitochondria functions. In this review, we will highlight how ECM remodeling associated with tumorigenesis contribute to the regulation of mitochondrial function, ultimately promoting cancer cell metabolic plasticity, able to fuel cancer invasion and metastasis.
    Keywords:  extracellular matrix; mitochondria dynamics; tumor microenvironment
  12. Mol Cell. 2022 Mar 14. pii: S1097-2765(22)00166-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The product of hexokinase (HK) enzymes, glucose-6-phosphate, can be metabolized through glycolysis or directed to alternative metabolic routes, such as the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) to generate anabolic intermediates. HK1 contains an N-terminal mitochondrial binding domain (MBD), but its physiologic significance remains unclear. To elucidate the effect of HK1 mitochondrial dissociation on cellular metabolism, we generated mice lacking the HK1 MBD (ΔE1HK1). These mice produced a hyper-inflammatory response when challenged with lipopolysaccharide. Additionally, there was decreased glucose flux below the level of GAPDH and increased upstream flux through the PPP. The glycolytic block below GAPDH is mediated by the binding of cytosolic HK1 with S100A8/A9, resulting in GAPDH nitrosylation through iNOS. Additionally, human and mouse macrophages from conditions of low-grade inflammation, such as aging and diabetes, displayed increased cytosolic HK1 and reduced GAPDH activity. Our data indicate that HK1 mitochondrial binding alters glucose metabolism through regulation of GAPDH.
    Keywords:  GAPDH; S-nitrosylation; hexokinase; inflammation; innate immunity; macrophage; metabolism; mitochondria; pentose phosphate pathway; subcellular localization
  13. Bioessays. 2022 Mar 23. e2100258
      Mitochondria have been fundamental to the eco-physiological success of eukaryotes since the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). They contribute essential functions to eukaryotic cells, above and beyond classical respiration. Mitochondria interact with, and complement, metabolic pathways occurring in other organelles, notably diversifying the chloroplast metabolism of photosynthetic organisms. Here, we integrate existing literature to investigate how mitochondrial metabolism varies across the landscape of eukaryotic evolution. We illustrate the mitochondrial remodelling and proteomic changes undergone in conjunction with major evolutionary transitions. We explore how the mitochondrial complexity of the LECA has been remodelled in specific groups to support subsequent evolutionary transitions, such as the acquisition of chloroplasts in photosynthetic species and the emergence of multicellularity. We highlight the versatile and crucial roles played by mitochondria during eukaryotic evolution, extending from its huge contribution to the development of the LECA itself to the dynamic evolution of individual eukaryote groups, reflecting both their current ecologies and evolutionary histories.
    Keywords:  mass spectrometry; mitoproteome; multicellularity; parasite; photosynthesis; plastid; protist
  14. Hepatology. 2022 Mar 21.
      Sam50, a key component of the sorting and assembly machinery (SAM) complex, is also involved in bridging mitochondrial outer- and inner-membrane contacts. However, the physiological and pathological functions of Sam50 remain largely unknown. Here, we show that Sam50 interacts with MICOS and ATAD3 to form the Sam50-MICOS-ATAD3-mtDNA axis, which maintains mtDNA stability. Loss of Sam50 causes mtDNA aggregation. Furthermore, Sam50 cooperates with Mic60 to bind to cardiolipin, maintaining the integrity of mitochondrial membranes. Sam50 depletion leads to cardiolipin externalization, which causes mitochondrial outer- and inner-membrane (including crista membrane) remodeling, triggering Bax mitochondrial recruitment, mtDNA aggregation and release. Physiologically, acetaminophen (APAP, an effective antipyretic and analgesic)-caused Sam50 reduction or Sam50 liver-specific knockout induces mtDNA release, leading to activation of the cGAS-STING pathway and liver inflammation in mice. Moreover, exogenous expression of Sam50 remarkably attenuates APAP-induced liver hepatoxicity. Thus, our findings uncover the critical role of Sam50 in maintaining mitochondrial membrane integrity and mtDNA stability in hepatocytes, and reveal that Sam50 depletion-induced cardiolipin externalization is a new signal of mtDNA release and controls mtDNA-dependent innate immunity.
    Keywords:  Sam50; acetaminophen; cGAS-STING; cardiolipin; mtDNA release
  15. J Clin Invest. 2022 Mar 22. pii: e153436. [Epub ahead of print]
      The synthesis of serine from glucose is a key metabolic pathway supporting cellular proliferation in healthy and malignant cells. Despite this, the role that this aspect of metabolism plays in germinal center biology and pathology is not known. Here, we performed a comprehensive characterization of the role of the serine synthesis pathway in germinal center B cells and lymphomas derived from these cells. We demonstrated that upregulation of a functional serine synthesis pathway is a metabolic hallmark of B-cell activation and the germinal center reaction. Inhibition of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the first and rate limiting enzyme in this pathway, led to defective germinal formation and impaired high-affinity antibody production. In addition, overexpression of enzymes involved in serine synthesis was a characteristic of germinal center B-cell derived lymphomas, with high levels of expression being predictive of reduced overall survival in diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Inhibition of PHGDH induced apoptosis in lymphoma cells reducing disease progression. These findings establish PHGDH as a critical player in humoral immunity and a clinically relevant target in lymphoma.
    Keywords:  Amino acid metabolism; Immunoglobulins; Immunology; Lymphomas; Metabolism
  16. Biomolecules. 2022 Feb 24. pii: 361. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      The present article will not attempt to deal with sulfide per se as a signaling molecule but will aim to examine the consequences of sulfide oxidation by mitochondrial sulfide quinone reductase in mammalian cells. This oxidation appears first as a priority to avoid self-poisoning by endogenous sulfide and second to occur with the lowest ATP/O2 ratio when compared to other mitochondrial substrates. This is explained by the injection of electrons in the respiratory chain after complex I (as for succinate) and by a sulfur oxidation step implying a dioxygenase that consumes oxygen but does not contribute to mitochondrial bioenergetics. Both contribute to increase cellular oxygen consumption if sulfide is provided below its toxic level (low µM). Accordingly, if oxygen supply or respiratory chain activity becomes a limiting factor, small variations in sulfide release impact the cellular ATP/ADP ratio, a major metabolic sensor.
    Keywords:  ATP/ADP ratio; bioenergetics; dioxygenase; mitochondria; oxygen; oxygen-sensing; redox state; succinate
  17. J Biol Chem. 2022 Mar 22. pii: S0021-9258(22)00298-8. [Epub ahead of print] 101858
      The mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP) is a Ca2+-dependent megachannel that plays an important role in mitochondrial physiology and cell fate. Cyclophilin D (CyPD) is a well-characterized PTP regulator, and its binding to the PTP favors pore opening. It has previously been shown that p53 physically interacts with CyPD and opens the PTP during necrosis. Accumulating studies also suggest that the F-ATP synthase contributes to the regulation and formation of the PTP. F-ATP synthase inhibitory factor 1 (IF1) is a natural inhibitor of F-ATP synthase activity; however, whether IF1 participates in the modulation of PTP opening is basically unknown. Here, we demonstrate using calcium retention capacity assay that IF1 overexpression promotes mitochondrial permeability transition via opening of the PTP. Intriguingly, we show that IF1 can interact with the p53-CyPD complex and facilitate cell death. We also demonstrate that the presence of IF1 is necessary for the formation of p53-CyPD complex. Therefore, we suggest that IF1 regulates the PTP via interaction with the p53-CyPD complex, and that IF1 is necessary for the inducing effect of p53-CyPD complex on PTP opening.
    Keywords:  F-ATP synthase inhibitory factor 1; cyclophilin D; mitochondria; mitochondrial permeability transition; p53
  18. Am J Transplant. 2022 Mar 24.
      Mitochondria released from injured cells activate endothelial cells (ECs), fostering inflammatory processes, including allograft rejection. Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) senses endogenous mitochondrial DNA, triggering innate immune activation via NF-κB signaling. Here we show that exogenous mitochondria exposure induces EC STING-NF-κB activation, promoting EC/ effector memory T-cell adhesion, which is abrogated by NF-κB and STING inhibitors. STING activation in mitochondrion-activated ECs is independent of canonical cGMP-AMP synthetase sensing/signaling, but rather is mediated by interferon gamma-inducible factor 16 (IFI16) and can be inhibited by IFI16 inhibition. Internalized mitochondria undergo mitofusion and STING-dependent mitophagy, leading to selective sequestration of internalized mitochondria. Exposure of donor hearts to exogenous mitochondria activates murine heart ECs in vivo. Collectively, our results suggest that IFI16-STING-NF-κB signaling regulates exogenous mitochondrion-induced EC activation and mitophagy, and exogenous mitochondria foster T-cell-mediated CoBRR. These data suggest a novel, donor-directed, therapeutic approach toward mitigating perioperative allograft immunogenicity.
    Keywords:  Endothelial cells; NF-κB; interferon gamma-inducible factor 16; mitochondria; stimulator of interferon genes
  19. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Mar 23.
      Mitochondrial ATP synthase is vital not only for cellular energy production but also for energy dissipation and cell death. ATP synthase c-ring was suggested to house the leak channel of mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT), which activates during excitotoxic ischemic insult. In this present study, we purified human c-ring from both eukaryotic and prokaryotic hosts to biophysically characterize its channel activity. We show that purified c-ring forms a large multi-conductance, voltage-gated ion channel that is inhibited by the addition of ATP synthase F1 subcomplex. In contrast, dissociation of F1 from FO occurs during excitotoxic neuronal death suggesting that the F1 constitutes the gate of the channel. mPT is known to dissipate the osmotic gradient across the inner membrane during cell death. We show that ATP synthase c-subunit knock down (KD) prevents the osmotic change in response to high calcium and eliminates large conductance, Ca2+ and CsA sensitive channel activity of mPT. These findings elucidate the gating mechanism of the ATP synthase c-subunit leak channel (ACLC) and suggest how ACLC opening is regulated by cell stress in a CypD-dependent manner.
  20. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 24. 12(1): 5143
      Glycolytic and mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, which are two major energy sources in tumors, are potential targets in cancer treatment. Metabolic reprogramming from glycolysis to mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and vice versa is an adaptive strategy with which tumor cells obtain energy to survive and thrive under the compromised conditions of glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration. Developing highly potent, nontoxic, and tumor-selective oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) inhibitors may help advance therapeutic targeting of mitochondrial drugs in cancer. The FDA-approved antimalarial drug atovaquone (ATO), a mitochondrial complex III inhibitor, was repurposed in cancer treatment. Here, we developed a new class of PEGylated mitochondria-targeted ATO (Mito-(PEG)n-ATO). Depending on the PEGylation chain length (n), Mito-PEG-ATO analogs inhibit both mitochondrial complex I- and complex III-induced oxygen consumption in human pancreatic (MiaPaCa-2) and brain (U87MG) cancer cells. Mito-PEG5-ATO is one of the most potent antiproliferative mitochondria-targeted compounds (IC50 = 38 nM) in MiaPaCa-2 cells, and is more effective than other inhibitors of OXPHOS in MiaPaCa-2 and U87MG cells. Furthermore, we show that the combined use of the most potent OXPHOS-targeted inhibitors (Mito-PEG5-ATO) and inhibitors of monocarboxylate transporters (MCT-1 and MCT-4), Krebs cycle redox metabolism, or glutaminolysis will synergistically abrogate tumor cell proliferation. Potential clinical benefits of these combinatorial therapies are discussed.
  21. J Biol Chem. 2022 Mar 17. pii: S0021-9258(22)00285-X. [Epub ahead of print] 101845
      Enzymes within the de novo purine biosynthetic pathway spatially organize into dynamic intracellular assemblies called purinosomes. The formation of purinosomes has been correlated with growth conditions resulting in high purine demand, and therefore, the cellular advantage of complexation has been hypothesized to enhance metabolite flux through the pathway. However, the properties of this cellular structure are unclear. Here, we define the purinosome in a transient expression system as a biomolecular condensate using fluorescence microscopy. We show that purinosomes, as denoted by formylglycinamidine ribonucleotide synthase (FGAMS) granules in purine-depleted HeLa cells, are spherical and appear to coalesce when two come into contact, all liquid-like characteristics that are consistent with previously reported condensates. We further explored the biophysical and biochemical means that drive the liquid-liquid phase separation of these structures. We found that the process of enzyme condensation into purinosomes is likely driven by the oligomeric state of the pathway enzymes and not a result of intrinsic disorder, the presence of low complexity domains, the assistance of RNA scaffolds, or changes in intracellular pH. Lastly, we demonstrate that the heat shock protein HSP90 helps to regulate the physical properties of the condensate and maintain their liquid-like state inside HeLa cells. We show that disruption of HSP90 activity induced the transformation of FGAMS clusters into more irregularly-shaped condensates, suggesting that its chaperone activity is essential for purinosomes to retain their liquid-like properties. This refined view of the purinosome offers new insight into how metabolic enzymes spatially organize into dynamic condensates within human cells.
    Keywords:  liquid condensate; liquid-liquid phase separation; metabolism; protein complex; purine biosynthesis
  22. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Mar 16. pii: 1516. [Epub ahead of print]14(6):
      To successfully generate distant metastases, metastatic progenitor cells must simultaneously possess mesenchymal characteristics, resist to anoïkis, migrate and invade directionally, resist to redox and shear stresses in the systemic circulation, and possess stem cell characteristics. These cells primarily originate from metabolically hostile areas of the primary tumor, where oxygen and nutrient deprivation, together with metabolic waste accumulation, exert a strong selection pressure promoting evasion. Here, we followed the hypothesis according to which metastasis as a whole implies the existence of metabolic sensors. Among others, mitochondria are singled out as a major source of superoxide that supports the metastatic phenotype. Molecularly, stressed cancer cells increase mitochondrial superoxide production, which activates the transforming growth factor-β pathway through src directly within mitochondria, ultimately activating focal adhesion kinase Pyk2. The existence of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants constitutes an opportunity to interfere with the metastatic process. Here, using aggressive triple-negative and HER2-positive human breast cancer cell lines as models, we report that MitoQ inhibits all the metastatic traits that we tested in vitro. Compared to other mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, MitoQ already successfully passed Phase I safety clinical trials, which provides an important incentive for future preclinical and clinical evaluations of this drug for the prevention of breast cancer metastasis.
    Keywords:  MitoQ; breast cancer; clonogenicity; invasion; metastasis; migration; mitochondria; mitochondria-targeted antioxidant; mitochondrial superoxide; spheroids
  23. Nat Rev Cancer. 2022 Mar 25.
      Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent form of regulated cell death that is triggered by the toxic build-up of lipid peroxides on cellular membranes. In recent years, ferroptosis has garnered enormous interest in cancer research communities, partly because it is a unique cell death modality that is mechanistically and morphologically different from other forms of cell death, such as apoptosis, and therefore holds great potential for cancer therapy. In this Review, we summarize the current understanding of ferroptosis-inducing and ferroptosis defence mechanisms, dissect the roles and mechanisms of ferroptosis in tumour suppression and tumour immunity, conceptualize the diverse vulnerabilities of cancer cells to ferroptosis, and explore therapeutic strategies for targeting ferroptosis in cancer.
  24. Biology (Basel). 2022 Feb 27. pii: 380. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      S-15176 difumarate salt, a derivative of the anti-ischemic metabolic drug trimetazidine, has been intensively studied for its impact on cellular metabolism in animal models of ischemia-reperfusion injury of the liver, heart, spinal cord, and other organs. Despite evidence of some reduction in oxidative damage to cells, the results of therapy with S-15176 have been mostly disappointing, possibly because of the lack of data on its underlying mechanisms. Here, we aimed to investigate in more detail the role of complexes I-IV of the electron transport chain and membrane permeability transition in mitochondrial toxicity associated with S-15176. Using rat thymocyte and liver mitochondria, we demonstrated that: (1) acute exposure to S-15176 (10 to 50 μM) dose-dependently decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential; (2) S-15176 suppressed the ADP-stimulated (State 3) and uncoupled (State 3UDNP) respiration of mitochondria energized with succinate or malate/glutamate, but not ascorbate/TMPD, and increased the resting respiration (State 4) when using all the substrate combinations; (3) S-15176 directly inhibited the activity of the respiratory complex III; (4) low doses of S-15176 diminished the rate of H2O2 production by mitochondria; (5) at concentrations of above 30 μM, S-15176 reduced calcium retention capacity and contributed to mitochondrial membrane permeabilization. Taken together, these findings suggest that S-15176 at tissue concentrations reached in animals can impair mitochondrial function through suppression of the cytochrome bc1 complex and an increase in the nonspecific membrane permeability.
    Keywords:  S-15176; electron transport chain; mitochondria; mitochondrial membrane permeabilization; mitochondrial membrane potential; mitochondrial respiration
  25. Life (Basel). 2022 Mar 10. pii: 401. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      The ATP synthase is a mitochondrial inner membrane complex whose function is essential for cell bioenergy, being responsible for the conversion of ADP into ATP and playing a role in mitochondrial cristae morphology organization. The enzyme is composed of 18 protein subunits, 16 nuclear DNA (nDNA) encoded and two mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encoded, organized in two domains, FO and F1. Pathogenetic variants in genes encoding structural subunits or assembly factors are responsible for fatal human diseases. Emerging evidence also underlines the role of ATP-synthase in neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and motor neuron diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Post-translational modification, epigenetic modulation of ATP gene expression and protein level, and the mechanism of mitochondrial transition pore have been deemed responsible for neuronal cell death in vivo and in vitro models for neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we will explore ATP synthase assembly and function in physiological and pathological conditions by referring to the recent cryo-EM studies and by exploring human disease models.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; cell death; mitochondria; neurodegenerative diseases
  26. Annu Rev Biochem. 2022 Feb 23.
      Over the past fifteen years, we have unveiled a new mechanism by which cells achieve greater efficiency in de novo purine biosynthesis. This mechanism relies on the compartmentalization of de novo purine biosynthetic enzymes into a dynamic complex called the purinosome. In this review, we highlight our current understanding of the purinosome with emphasis on its biophysical properties and function and on the cellular mechanisms that regulate its assembly. We propose a model for functional purinosomes in which they consist of at least ten enzymes that localize near mitochondria and carry out de novo purine biosynthesis by metabolic channeling. We conclude by discussing challenges and opportunities associated with studying the purinosome and analogous metabolons. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry, Volume 91 is June 2022. Please see for revised estimates.
  27. Dev Cell. 2022 Mar 14. pii: S1534-5807(22)00121-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Invasive cells use transient, energy-consuming protrusions to breach basement membrane (BM) barriers. Using the ATP sensor PercevalHR during anchor cell (AC) invasion in Caenorhabditis elegans, we show that BM invasion is accompanied by an ATP burst from mitochondria at the invasive front. RNAi screening and visualization of a glucose biosensor identified two glucose transporters, FGT-1 and FGT-2, which bathe invasive front mitochondria with glucose and facilitate the ATP burst to form protrusions. FGT-1 localizes at high levels along the invasive membrane, while FGT-2 is adaptive, enriching most strongly during BM breaching and when FGT-1 is absent. Cytosolic glycolytic enzymes that process glucose for mitochondrial ATP production cluster with invasive front mitochondria and promote higher mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels. Finally, we show that UNC-6 (netrin), which polarizes invasive protrusions, also orients FGT-1. These studies reveal a robust and integrated energy acquisition, processing, and delivery network that powers BM breaching.
    Keywords:  ATP; basement membrane; biosensor; cell invasion; glucose transporters; glycolytic enzyme clustering; invasive protrusions; live imaging; mitochondria
  28. Nat Microbiol. 2022 Mar 21.
      Microbial communities are composed of cells of varying metabolic capacity, and regularly include auxotrophs that lack essential metabolic pathways. Through analysis of auxotrophs for amino acid biosynthesis pathways in microbiome data derived from >12,000 natural microbial communities obtained as part of the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), and study of auxotrophic-prototrophic interactions in self-establishing metabolically cooperating yeast communities (SeMeCos), we reveal a metabolically imprinted mechanism that links the presence of auxotrophs to an increase in metabolic interactions and gains in antimicrobial drug tolerance. As a consequence of the metabolic adaptations necessary to uptake specific metabolites, auxotrophs obtain altered metabolic flux distributions, export more metabolites and, in this way, enrich community environments in metabolites. Moreover, increased efflux activities reduce intracellular drug concentrations, allowing cells to grow in the presence of drug levels above minimal inhibitory concentrations. For example, we show that the antifungal action of azoles is greatly diminished in yeast cells that uptake metabolites from a metabolically enriched environment. Our results hence provide a mechanism that explains why cells are more robust to drug exposure when they interact metabolically.
  29. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 786031
      It is widely believed that cellular senescence plays a critical role in both aging and cancer, and that senescence is a fundamental, permanent growth arrest that somatic cells cannot avoid. Here we show that Myc plays an important role in self-renewal of esophageal epithelial cells, contributing to their resistance to cellular senescence. Myc is homogeneously expressed in basal cells of the esophageal epithelium and Myc positively regulates their self-renewal by maintaining their undifferentiated state. Indeed, Myc knockout induced a loss of the undifferentiated state of esophageal epithelial cells resulting in cellular senescence while forced MYC expression promoted oncogenic cell proliferation. A superoxide scavenger counteracted Myc knockout-induced senescence, therefore suggesting that a mitochondrial superoxide takes part in inducing senescence. Taken together, these analyses reveal extremely low levels of cellular senescence and senescence-associated phenotypes in the esophageal epithelium, as well as a critical role for Myc in self-renewal of basal cells in this organ. This provides new avenues for studying and understanding the links between stemness and resistance to cellular senescence.
    Keywords:  MYC; aging; cancer; mitochondria highlights; senescence
  30. EMBO Rep. 2022 Mar 23. e54278
      Iron is not only essential but also a toxic trace element. Under iron repletion, ferritin maintains cellular iron homeostasis by storing iron to avoid iron toxicity. Under iron depletion, the ferritin-specific autophagy adaptor NCOA4 delivers ferritin to lysosomes via macroautophagy to enable cells to use stored iron. Here, we show that NCOA4 also plays crucial roles in the regulation of ferritin fate under iron repletion. NCOA4 forms insoluble condensates via multivalent interactions generated by the binding of iron to its intrinsically disordered region. This sequesters NCOA4 away from ferritin and allows ferritin accumulation in the early phase of iron repletion. Under prolonged iron repletion, NCOA4 condensates can deliver ferritin to lysosomes via a TAX1BP1-dependent non-canonical autophagy pathway, thereby preventing relative iron deficiency due to excessive iron storage and reduced iron uptake. Together, these observations suggest that the NCOA4-ferritin axis modulates intracellular iron homeostasis in accordance with cellular iron availability.
    Keywords:  NCOA4; autophagy; ferritin; iron metabolism; phase separation
  31. Dis Model Mech. 2022 Mar 01. pii: dmm049298. [Epub ahead of print]15(3):
      Cachexia, a wasting syndrome that is often associated with cancer, is one of the primary causes of death in cancer patients. Cancer cachexia occurs largely due to systemic metabolic alterations stimulated by tumors. Despite the prevalence of cachexia, our understanding of how tumors interact with host tissues and how they affect metabolism is limited. Among the challenges of studying tumor-host tissue crosstalk are the complexity of cancer itself and our insufficient knowledge of the factors that tumors release into the blood. Drosophila is emerging as a powerful model in which to identify tumor-derived factors that influence systemic metabolism and tissue wasting. Strikingly, studies that are characterizing factors derived from different fly tumor cachexia models are identifying both common and distinct cachectic molecules, suggesting that cachexia is more than one disease and that fly models can help identify these differences. Here, we review what has been learned from studies of tumor-induced organ wasting in Drosophila and discuss the open questions.
    Keywords:   Drosophila ; Cachectic factors; Cancer cachexia; Organ wasting
  32. Cell Stem Cell. 2022 Mar 22. pii: S1934-5909(22)00097-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes (PSC-CMs) provide an unprecedented opportunity to study human heart development and disease, but they are functionally and structurally immature. Here, we induce efficient human PSC-CM (hPSC-CM) maturation through metabolic-pathway modulations. Specifically, we find that peroxisome-proliferator-associated receptor (PPAR) signaling regulates glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation (FAO) in an isoform-specific manner. While PPARalpha (PPARa) is the most active isoform in hPSC-CMs, PPARdelta (PPARd) activation efficiently upregulates the gene regulatory networks underlying FAO, increases mitochondrial and peroxisome content, enhances mitochondrial cristae formation, and augments FAO flux. PPARd activation further increases binucleation, enhances myofibril organization, and improves contractility. Transient lactate exposure, which is frequently used for hPSC-CM purification, induces an independent cardiac maturation program but, when combined with PPARd activation, still enhances oxidative metabolism. In summary, we investigate multiple metabolic modifications in hPSC-CMs and identify a role for PPARd signaling in inducing the metabolic switch from glycolysis to FAO in hPSC-CMs.
    Keywords:  PPAR signaling; cardiac maturation; fatty acid oxidation; metabolism; stem cells
  33. J Hematol Oncol. 2022 Mar 21. 15(1): 30
      BACKGROUND: Isocitrate dehydrogenase-2 (IDH2) is a mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes the metabolic conversion between isocitrate and alpha-ketoglutarate (α-KG) in the TCA cycle. IDH2 mutation is an oncogenic event in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) due to the generation of 2-hydroxyglutarate. However, the role of wild-type IDH2 in AML remains unknown, despite patients with it suffer worse clinical outcome than those harboring mutant type.METHODS: IDH2 expression in AML cell lines and patient samples was evaluated by RT-qPCR, western blotting and database analyses. The role of wild-type IDH2 in AML cell survival and proliferation was tested using genetic knockdown and pharmacological inhibition in AML cells and animal models. LC-MS, GC-MS, isotope metabolic tracing, and molecular analyses were performed to reveal the underlying mechanisms.
    RESULTS: We found that wild-type IDH2 was overexpressed in AML and played a major role in promoting leukemia cell survival and proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Metabolomic analyses revealed an active IDH2-mediated reductive TCA cycle that promoted the conversion of α-KG to isocitrate/citrate to facilitate glutamine utilization for lipid synthesis in AML cells. Suppression of wild-type IDH2 by shRNA resulted in elevated α-KG and decreased isocitrate/citrate, leading to reduced lipid synthesis, a significant decrease in c-Myc downregulated by α-KG, and an inhibition of AML viability and proliferation. Importantly, pharmacological inhibition of IDH2 showed significant therapeutic effect in mice inoculated with AML cells with wt-IDH2 and induced a downregulation of C-MYC in vivo.
    CONCLUSIONS: Wt-IDH2 is an essential molecule for AML cell survival and proliferation by promoting conversion of α-KG to isocitrate for lipid synthesis and by upregulating c-Myc expression and could be a potential therapeutic target in AML.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia; Alpha-ketoglutarate; Lipid synthesis; TCA cycle; Wild-type IDH2; c-Myc
  34. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 22. 13(1): 1544
      Rhabdoid tumors (RT) are rare and highly aggressive pediatric neoplasms. Their epigenetically-driven intertumoral heterogeneity is well described; however, the cellular origin of RT remains an enigma. Here, we establish and characterize different genetically engineered mouse models driven under the control of distinct promoters and being active in early progenitor cell types with diverse embryonic onsets. From all models only Sox2-positive progenitor cells give rise to murine RT. Using single-cell analyses, we identify distinct cells of origin for the SHH and MYC subgroups of RT, rooting in early stages of embryogenesis. Intra- and extracranial MYC tumors harbor common genetic programs and potentially originate from fetal primordial germ cells (PGCs). Using PGC specific Smarcb1 knockout mouse models we validate that MYC RT originate from these progenitor cells. We uncover an epigenetic imbalance in MYC tumors compared to PGCs being sustained by epigenetically-driven subpopulations. Importantly, treatments with the DNA demethylating agent decitabine successfully impair tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. In summary, our work sheds light on the origin of RT and supports the clinical relevance of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors against this disease.
  35. Adv Clin Chem. 2022 ;pii: S0065-2423(21)00075-5. [Epub ahead of print]107 79-138
      Metabolism is a highly regulated process that provides nutrients to cells and essential building blocks for the synthesis of protein, DNA and other macromolecules. In healthy biological systems, metabolism maintains a steady state in which the concentrations of metabolites are relatively constant yet are subject to metabolic demands and environmental stimuli. Rare genetic disorders, such as inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), cause defects in regulatory enzymes or proteins leading to metabolic pathway disruption and metabolite accumulation or deficiency. Traditionally, the laboratory diagnosis of IEMs has been limited to analytical methods that target specific metabolites such as amino acids and acyl carnitines. This approach is effective as a screening method for the most common IEM disorders but lacks the comprehensive coverage of metabolites that is necessary to identify rare disorders that present with nonspecific clinical symptoms. Fortunately, advancements in technology and data analytics has introduced a new field of study called metabolomics which has allowed scientists to perform comprehensive metabolite profiling of biological systems to provide insight into mechanism of action and gene function. Since metabolomics seeks to measure all small molecule metabolites in a biological specimen, it provides an innovative approach to evaluating disease in patients with rare genetic disorders. In this review we provide insight into the appropriate application of metabolomics in clinical settings. We discuss the advantages and limitations of the method and provide details related to the technology, data analytics and statistical modeling required for metabolomic profiling of patients with IEMs.
    Keywords:  Clinical metabolomics; Inborn errors of metabolism; Mass spectrometry; Rare disease; Small molecule biomarkers
  36. Dev Cell. 2022 Mar 15. pii: S1534-5807(22)00126-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      The protein kinase mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) functions as a central regulator of metabolism, integrating diverse nutritional and hormonal cues to control anabolic processes, organismal physiology, and even aging. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding the regulation of mTOR signaling and the metabolic regulation of the four macromolecular building blocks of the cell: carbohydrate, nucleic acid, lipid, and protein by mTOR. We review the role of mTOR in the control of organismal physiology and aging through its action in key tissues and discuss the potential for clinical translation of mTOR inhibition for the treatment and prevention of diseases of aging.
    Keywords:  amino acids; lipids; mTOR; mTORC1; mTORC2; metabolism; protein; rapamycin
  37. J Biol Chem. 2022 Mar 21. pii: S0021-9258(22)00293-9. [Epub ahead of print] 101853
      There is growing evidence that mammalian cells deploy a mitochondria-associated metabolon called the purinosome to perform channeled de novo purine biosynthesis (DNPB). However, the molecular mechanisms of this substrate-channeling pathway are not well defined. Here, we present molecular evidence of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) between the human bifunctional phosphoribosylaminoimidazole carboxylase/succinocarboxamide synthetase (PAICS) and other known DNPB enzymes. We employed two orthogonal approaches: bimolecular fluorescence complementation, to probe PPIs inside live, intact cells; and co-immunoprecipitation using StrepTag-labelled PAICS that was reintegrated into the genome of PAICS-knockout HeLa cells (crPAICS). With the exception of amidophosphoribosyltransferase (PPAT), the first enzyme of the DNPB pathway, we discovered PAICS interaction with all other known DNPB enzymes and with MTHFD1, an enzyme which supplies the 10-formyltetrahydrofolate cofactor essential for DNPB. We show these interactions are present in cells grown in both purine-depleted and purine-rich conditions, suggesting at least a partial assembly of these enzymes may be present regardless of the activity of the DNPB pathway. We also demonstrate that tagging of PAICS on its C-terminus disrupts these interactions, and that this disruption is correlated with disturbed DNPB activity. Finally, we show that crPAICS cells with reintegrated N-terminally tagged PAICS regained effective DNPB with metabolic signatures of channeled synthesis, whereas crPAICS cells that reintegrated C-terminally tagged PAICS exhibit reduced DNPB intermediate pools and a perturbed partitioning of inosine monophosphate (IMP) into AMP and GMP. Our results provide molecular evidence in support of purinosomes and suggest perturbing PPIs between DNPB enzymes negatively impacts metabolite flux through this important pathway.
    Keywords:  bimolecular fluorescence; co-immunoprecipitation; complementation; de novo purine biosynthesis; metabolic channeling; protein complex; purinosome
  38. Cells. 2022 Mar 12. pii: 974. [Epub ahead of print]11(6):
      Endonuclease G (ENDOG) is a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial-localized nuclease. Although its precise biological function remains unclear, its proximity to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) makes it an excellent candidate to participate in mtDNA replication, metabolism and maintenance. Indeed, several roles for ENDOG have been hypothesized, including maturation of RNA primers during mtDNA replication, splicing of polycistronic transcripts and mtDNA repair. To date, ENDOG has been deemed as a determinant of cardiac hypertrophy, but no pathogenic variants or genetically defined patients linked to this gene have been described. Here, we report biallelic ENDOG variants identified by NGS in a patient with progressive external ophthalmoplegia, mitochondrial myopathy and multiple mtDNA deletions in muscle. The absence of the ENDOG protein in the patient's muscle and fibroblasts indicates that the identified variants are pathogenic. The presence of multiple mtDNA deletions supports the role of ENDOG in mtDNA maintenance; moreover, the patient's clinical presentation is very similar to mitochondrial diseases caused by mutations in other genes involved in mtDNA homeostasis. Although the patient's fibroblasts did not present multiple mtDNA deletions or delay in the replication process, interestingly, we detected an accumulation of low-level heteroplasmy mtDNA point mutations compared with age-matched controls. This may indicate a possible role of ENDOG in mtDNA replication or repair. Our report provides evidence of the association of ENDOG variants with mitochondrial myopathy.
    Keywords:  ENDOG; endonuclease G; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial myopathy; multiple mtDNA deletions
  39. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 25. 12(1): 5196
      Aging in mammals leads to reduction in genes encoding the 45-subunit mitochondrial electron transport chain complex I. It has been hypothesized that normal aging and age-related diseases such as Parkinson's disease are in part due to modest decrease in expression of mitochondrial complex I subunits. By contrast, diminishing expression of mitochondrial complex I genes in lower organisms increases lifespan. Furthermore, metformin, a putative complex I inhibitor, increases healthspan in mice and humans. In the present study, we investigated whether loss of one allele of Ndufs2, the catalytic subunit of mitochondrial complex I, impacts healthspan and lifespan in mice. Our results indicate that Ndufs2 hemizygous mice (Ndufs2+/-) show no overt impairment in aging-related motor function, learning, tissue histology, organismal metabolism, or sensitivity to metformin in a C57BL6/J background. Despite a significant reduction of Ndufs2 mRNA, the mice do not demonstrate a significant decrease in complex I function. However, there are detectable transcriptomic changes in individual cell types and tissues due to loss of one allele of Ndufs2. Our data indicate that a 50% decline in mRNA of the core mitochondrial complex I subunit Ndufs2 is neither beneficial nor detrimental to healthspan.
  40. Cancer Cell. 2022 Mar 15. pii: S1535-6108(22)00118-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      In this issue of Cancer Cell, Liao et al. demonstrate that CD8+ T cell-secreted interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) rewires cancer cell lipid metabolism via the enzyme acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 4 (ACSL4). ACSL4 activates polyunsaturated fatty acids and sensitizes cancer cells to ferroptosis in immunotherapy-relevant settings. These findings provide insights into how the metabolic and immune milieu could be used to promote ferroptosis.
  41. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 24. 12(1): 5073
      Methionine restriction (MR) extends lifespan and improves several markers of health in rodents. However, the proximate mechanisms of MR on these physiological benefits have not been fully elucidated. The essential amino acid methionine plays numerous biological roles and limiting its availability in the diet directly modulates methionine metabolism. There is growing evidence that redox regulation of methionine has regulatory control on some aspects of cellular function but interactions with MR remain largely unexplored. We tested the functional role of the ubiquitously expressed methionine repair enzyme methionine sulfoxide reductase A (MsrA) on the metabolic benefits of MR in mice. MsrA catalytically reduces both free and protein-bound oxidized methionine, thus playing a key role in its redox state. We tested the extent to which MsrA is required for metabolic effects of MR in adult mice using mice lacking MsrA. As expected, MR in control mice reduced body weight, altered body composition, and improved glucose metabolism. Interestingly, lack of MsrA did not impair the metabolic effects of MR on these outcomes. Moreover, females had blunted MR responses regardless of MsrA status compared to males. Overall, our data suggests that MsrA is not required for the metabolic benefits of MR in adult mice.
  42. Mol Cell Biochem. 2022 Mar 25.
      The nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential redox cofactor, involved in various physiological and molecular processes, including energy metabolism, epigenetics, aging, and metabolic diseases. NAD+ repletion ameliorates muscular dystrophy and improves the mitochondrial and muscle stem cell function and thereby increase lifespan in mice. Accordingly, NAD+ is considered as an anti-oxidant and anti-aging molecule. NAD+ plays a central role in energy metabolism and the energy produced is used for movements, thermoregulation, and defense against foreign bodies. The dietary precursors of NAD+ synthesis is targeted to improve NAD+ biosynthesis; however, studies have revealed conflicting results regarding skeletal muscle-specific effects. Recent advances in the activation of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase in the NAD+ salvage pathway and supplementation of NAD+ precursors have led to beneficial effects in skeletal muscle pathophysiology and function during aging and associated metabolic diseases. NAD+ is also involved in the epigenetic regulation and post-translational modifications of proteins that are involved in various cellular processes to maintain tissue homeostasis. This review provides detailed insights into the roles of NAD+ along with molecular mechanisms during aging and disease conditions, such as the impacts of age-related NAD+ deficiencies on NAD+-dependent enzymes, including poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARPs), CD38, and sirtuins within skeletal muscle, and the most recent studies on the potential of nutritional supplementation and distinct modes of exercise to replenish the NAD+ pool.
    Keywords:  Aging; Diabetes; Epigenetics; Muscle diseases; NAD+; Redox
  43. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 23. 13(1): 1562
      Protein synthesis is a cyclical process consisting of translation initiation, elongation, termination and ribosome recycling. The release factors SBDS and EFL1-both mutated in the leukemia predisposition disorder Shwachman-Diamond syndrome - license entry of nascent 60S ribosomal subunits into active translation by evicting the anti-association factor eIF6 from the 60S intersubunit face. We find that in mammalian cells, eIF6 holds all free cytoplasmic 60S subunits in a translationally inactive state and that SBDS and EFL1 are the minimal components required to recycle these 60S subunits back into additional rounds of translation by evicting eIF6. Increasing the dose of eIF6 in mice in vivo impairs terminal erythropoiesis by sequestering post-termination 60S subunits in the cytoplasm, disrupting subunit joining and attenuating global protein synthesis. These data reveal that ribosome maturation and recycling are dynamically coupled by a mechanism that is disrupted in an inherited leukemia predisposition disorder.
  44. Biomolecules. 2022 Mar 10. pii: 427. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      Mitochondria, the cell's major energy producers, also act as signaling hubs, interacting with other organelles both directly and indirectly. Despite having its own circular genome, the majority of mitochondrial proteins are encoded by nuclear DNA. To respond to changes in cell physiology, the mitochondria must send signals to the nucleus, which can, in turn, upregulate gene expression to alter metabolism or initiate a stress response. This is known as retrograde signaling. A variety of stimuli and pathways fall under the retrograde signaling umbrella. Mitochondrial dysfunction has already been shown to have severe implications for human health. Disruption of retrograde signaling, whether directly associated with mitochondrial dysfunction or cellular environmental changes, may also contribute to pathological deficits. In this review, we discuss known signaling pathways between the mitochondria and the nucleus, examine the possibility of direct contacts, and identify pathological consequences of an altered relationship.
    Keywords:  MAMs; integrated stress response; mitochondria; nucleus; retrograde signaling
  45. Metabolites. 2022 Mar 13. pii: 241. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      Three genetically determined enzyme defects of purine de novo synthesis (PDNS) have been identified so far in humans: adenylosuccinate lyase (ADSL) deficiency, 5-amino-4-imidazole carboxamide-ribosiduria (AICA-ribosiduria), and deficiency in bifunctional enzyme phosphoribosylaminoimidazole carboxylase and phosphoribosylaminoimidazolesuccinocarboxamide synthase (PAICS). Clinical signs of these defects are mainly neurological, such as seizures, psychomotor retardation, epilepsy, autistic features, etc. This work aims to describe the metabolic changes of CRISPR-Cas9 genome-edited HeLa cells deficient in the individual steps of PDNS to better understand known and potential defects of the pathway in humans. High-performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry was used for both targeted and untargeted metabolomic analyses. The statistically significant features from the untargeted study were identified by fragmentation analysis. Data from the targeted analysis were processed in Cytoscape software to visualize the most affected metabolic pathways. Statistical significance of PDNS intermediates preceding deficient enzymes was the highest (p-values 10 × 10-7-10 × 10-15) in comparison with the metabolites from other pathways (p-values of up to 10 × 10-7). Disturbed PDNS resulted in an altered pool of adenine and guanine nucleotides. However, the adenylate energy charge was not different from controls. Different profiles of acylcarnitines observed among deficient cell lines might be associated with a specific enzyme deficiency rather than global changes related to the PDNS pathway. Changes detected in one-carbon metabolism might reduce the methylation activity of the deficient cells, thus affecting the modification state of DNA, RNA, and proteins.
    Keywords:  HeLa cells; mass spectrometry; metabolomics; purine de novo synthesis; rare metabolic disorders
  46. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 21. 13(1): 1511
      Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains the top challenge to radiotherapy with only 25% one-year survival after diagnosis. Here, we reveal that co-enhancement of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation (FAO) enzymes (CPT1A, CPT2 and ACAD9) and immune checkpoint CD47 is dominant in recurrent GBM patients with poor prognosis. A glycolysis-to-FAO metabolic rewiring is associated with CD47 anti-phagocytosis in radioresistant GBM cells and regrown GBM after radiation in syngeneic mice. Inhibition of FAO by CPT1 inhibitor etomoxir or CRISPR-generated CPT1A-/-, CPT2-/-, ACAD9-/- cells demonstrate that FAO-derived acetyl-CoA upregulates CD47 transcription via NF-κB/RelA acetylation. Blocking FAO impairs tumor growth and reduces CD47 anti-phagocytosis. Etomoxir combined with anti-CD47 antibody synergizes radiation control of regrown tumors with boosted macrophage phagocytosis. These results demonstrate that enhanced fat acid metabolism promotes aggressive growth of GBM with CD47-mediated immune evasion. The FAO-CD47 axis may be targeted to improve GBM control by eliminating the radioresistant phagocytosis-proofing tumor cells in GBM radioimmunotherapy.
  47. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Mar 16. pii: 560. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      Sulfur is an essential element for life. However, the soil microbe Pseudomonas (P.) fluorescens can survive in a low sulfur environment. When cultured in a sulfur-deficient medium, the bacterium reprograms its metabolic pathways to produce α-ketoglutarate (KG) and regenerate this keto-acid from succinate, a by-product of ROS detoxification. Succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) and KG decarboxylase (KGDC) work in partnership to synthesize KG. This process is further aided by the increased activity of the enzymes glutamate decarboxylase (GDC) and γ-amino-butyrate transaminase (GABAT). The pool of succinate semialdehyde (SSA) generated is further channeled towards the formation of the antioxidant. Spectrophotometric analyses, HPLC experiments and electrophoretic studies with intact cells and cell-free extracts (CFE) pointed to the metabolites (succinate, SSA, GABA) and enzymes (SSADH, GDC, KGDC) contributing to this KG-forming metabolic machinery. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) revealed significant increase in transcripts of such enzymes as SSADH, GDC and KGDC. The findings of this study highlight a novel pathway involving keto-acids in ROS scavenging. The cycling of succinate into KG provides an efficient means of combatting an oxidative environment. Considering the central role of KG in biological processes, this metabolic network may be operative in other living systems.
    Keywords:  KG; glutamate decarboxylase; metabolic network; oxidative stress; succinate recycling; sulfur stress
  48. Trends Cancer. 2022 Mar 17. pii: S2405-8033(22)00040-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutational processes and nongenetic phenotypic state transitions represent distinct paradigms for understanding acquired resistance to targeted therapies. While ample empirical evidence supports both paradigms, they are typically viewed as mutually exclusive. However, a growing body of evidence points to the multifactorial nature of resistance, where resistant tumor cell phenotypes integrate the influence of multiple mutational and epigenetic changes. This leads to growing calls for a conceptual framework capable of incorporating the effects of genetic and nongenetic mechanisms. Here, we argue that the original Darwinian paradigm centered on the concept of natural selection, rather than its mutation-centric reinterpretation, might provide the optimal backbone for a much-needed synthesis.
    Keywords:  Darwinian evolution; acquired resistance; cellular reprogramming; targeted therapy