bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒04‒17
sixty-nine papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit

  1. Trends Biochem Sci. 2022 Apr 06. pii: S0968-0004(22)00067-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Age-associated changes in mitochondria are closely involved in aging. Apart from the established roles in bioenergetics and biosynthesis, mitochondria are signaling organelles that communicate their fitness to the nucleus, triggering transcriptional programs to adapt homeostasis stress that is essential for organismal health and aging. Emerging studies revealed that mitochondrial-to-nuclear (mito-nuclear) communication via altered levels of mitochondrial metabolites or stress signals causes various epigenetic changes, facilitating efforts to maintain homeostasis and affect aging. Here, we summarize recent studies on the mechanisms by which mito-nuclear communication modulates epigenomes and their effects on regulating the aging process. Insights into understanding how mitochondrial metabolites serve as prolongevity signals and how aging affects this communication will help us develop interventions to promote longevity and health.
    Keywords:  UPR(mt); aging; epigenetic regulation; longevity; mitochondrial metabolites; mitochondrial–nuclear communication
  2. EMBO J. 2022 Apr 12. e109390
      Mitophagy removes defective mitochondria via lysosomal elimination. Increased mitophagy coincides with metabolic reprogramming, yet it remains unknown whether mitophagy is a cause or consequence of such state changes. The signalling pathways that integrate with mitophagy to sustain cell and tissue integrity also remain poorly defined. We performed temporal metabolomics on mammalian cells treated with deferiprone, a therapeutic iron chelator that stimulates PINK1/PARKIN-independent mitophagy. Iron depletion profoundly rewired the metabolome, hallmarked by remodelling of lipid metabolism within minutes of treatment. DGAT1-dependent lipid droplet biosynthesis occurred several hours before mitochondrial clearance, with lipid droplets bordering mitochondria upon iron chelation. We demonstrate that DGAT1 inhibition restricts mitophagy in vitro, with impaired lysosomal homeostasis and cell viability. Importantly, genetic depletion of DGAT1 in vivo significantly impaired neuronal mitophagy and locomotor function in Drosophila. Our data define iron depletion as a potent signal that rapidly reshapes metabolism and establishes an unexpected synergy between lipid homeostasis and mitophagy that safeguards cell and tissue integrity.
    Keywords:  DGAT1; iron; lipid droplet; metabolism; mitophagy
  3. Med (N Y). 2022 Feb 11. 3(2): 119-136
      Background: Ketogenic diet is a potential means of augmenting cancer therapy. Here, we explore ketone body metabolism and its interplay with chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer.Methods: Metabolism and therapeutic responses of murine pancreatic cancer were studied using KPC primary tumors and tumor chunk allografts. Mice on standard high-carbohydrate diet or ketogenic diet were treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy (nab-paclitaxel, gemcitabine, cisplatin). Metabolic activity was monitored with metabolomics and isotope tracing, including 2H- and 13C-tracers, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and imaging mass spectrometry.
    Findings: Ketone bodies are unidirectionally oxidized to make NADH. This stands in contrast to the carbohydrate-derived carboxylic acids lactate and pyruvate, which rapidly interconvert, buffering NADH/NAD. In murine pancreatic tumors, ketogenic diet decreases glucose's concentration and tricarboxylic acid cycle contribution, enhances 3-hydroxybutyrate's concentration and tricarboxylic acid contribution, and modestly elevates NADH, but does not impact tumor growth. In contrast, the combination of ketogenic diet and cytotoxic chemotherapy substantially raises tumor NADH and synergistically suppresses tumor growth, tripling the survival benefits of chemotherapy alone. Chemotherapy and ketogenic diet also synergize in immune-deficient mice, although long-term growth suppression was only observed in mice with an intact immune system.
    Conclusions: Ketogenic diet sensitizes murine pancreatic cancer tumors to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Based on these data, we have initiated a randomized clinical trial of chemotherapy with standard versus ketogenic diet for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer (NCT04631445).
  4. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Apr 13.
      D-2-Hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG) is an α-ketoglutarate-derived mitochondrial metabolite that causes D-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria, a devastating developmental disorder. How D-2HG adversely affects mitochondria is largely unknown. Here, we report that in Caenorhabditis elegans, loss of the D-2HG dehydrogenase DHGD-1 causes D-2HG accumulation and mitochondrial damage. The excess D-2HG leads to a build-up of 3-hydroxypropionate (3-HP), a toxic metabolite in mitochondrial propionate oxidation, by inhibiting the 3-HP dehydrogenase HPHD-1. We demonstrate that 3-HP binds the MICOS subunit MIC60 (encoded by immt-1) and inhibits its membrane-binding and membrane-shaping activities. We further reveal that dietary and gut bacteria affect mitochondrial health by modulating the host production of 3-HP. These findings identify a feedback loop that links the toxic effects of D-2HG and 3-HP on mitochondria, thus providing important mechanistic insights into human diseases related to D-2HG and 3-HP.
  5. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2431 409-416
      Mitochondria are essential organelles that generate energy and play vital roles in cellular metabolism. The small circular mitochondrial genome encodes key components of the mitochondrial respiratory apparatus. Depletion of, or mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cause mitochondrial dysfunction and disease. mtDNA is packaged into nucleoids, which are transported throughout the cell within mitochondria. Efficient transport of nucleoids is essential in neurons, where mitochondrial function is required locally at synapses. Here I describe methods for visualization of nucleoids in Drosophila neurons using a GFP fusion of the mitochondrial transcription factor TFAM. TFAM-GFP, together with mCherry-labeled mitochondria, was used to visualize nucleoids in fixed larval segmental nerves. I also describe how these tools can be used for live imaging of nucleoid dynamics. Using Drosophila as a model system, these methods will enable further characterization and analysis of nucleoid dynamics in neurons.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; Live imaging; Mitochondrial DNA; Nucleoid; TFAM
  6. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 865686
      Voltage-gated potassium channels control neuronal excitability and cardiac action potentials. In addition, these proteins are involved in a myriad of cellular processes. The potassium channel Kv1.3 plays an essential role in the immune response mediated by leukocytes. Kv1.3 is functional both at the plasma membrane and the inner mitochondrial membrane. Plasma membrane Kv1.3 mediates cellular activation and proliferation, whereas mitochondrial Kv1.3 participates in cell survival and apoptosis. Therefore, this protein emerges as an important target in cancer therapies. Several forward-traffic motifs target the channel to the plasma membrane in a COPII-dependent manner. However, the mitochondrial import pathway for Kv1.3 is largely unknown. Here, we deciphered the mitochondrial routing of the mitoKv1.3 channel. Kv1.3 uses the TIM23 complex to translocate to the inner mitochondrial membrane. This mechanism is unconventional because the channel is a multimembrane spanning protein without a defined N-terminal presequence. We found that transmembrane domains cooperatively mediate Kv1.3 mitochondrial targeting and identified the cytosolic HSP70/HSP90 chaperone complex as a key regulator of the process. Our results provide insights into the mechanisms mediating the localization of Kv1.3 to mitochondrial membranes, further extending the knowledge of ion channel biogenesis and turnover in mitochondria.
    Keywords:  TIM-TOM complex; apoptosis; cancer; mitochondria; potassium channels
  7. Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 12. pii: S2211-1247(22)00424-7. [Epub ahead of print]39(2): 110672
      Phospholipid biosynthesis plays a role in mediating membrane-to-histone communication that influences metabolic decisions. Upon nutrient deprivation, phospholipid methylation generates a starvation signal in the form of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) depletion, leading to dynamic changes in histone methylation. Here we show that the SAM-responsive methylation of H3K36 is critical for metabolic adaptation to nutrient starvation in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We find that mutants deficient in H3K36 methylation exhibit defects in membrane integrity and pyrimidine metabolism and lose viability quickly under starvation. Adjusting the synthesis of phospholipids potently rewires metabolic pathways for nucleotide synthesis and boosts the production of antioxidants, ameliorating the defects resulting from the loss of H3K36 methylation. We further demonstrate that H3K36 methylation reciprocally regulates phospholipid synthesis by influencing redox balance. Our study illustrates an adaptive mechanism whereby phospholipid synthesis entails a histone modification to reprogram metabolism for adaptation in a eukaryotic model organism.
    Keywords:  CP: Metabolism; CP: Molecular biology; H3K36 methylation; S-adenosylmethionine; cellular metabolism; environmental adaptation; phosphatidylcholine; phosphatidylethanolamine; phospholipid; pyrimidine
  8. EMBO Rep. 2022 Apr 12. e52412
      Food intake profoundly affects systemic physiology. A large body of evidence has indicated a link between food intake and circadian rhythms, and ~24-h cycles are deemed essential for adapting internal homeostasis to the external environment. Circadian rhythms are controlled by the biological clock, a molecular system remarkably conserved throughout evolution. The circadian clock controls the cyclic expression of numerous genes, a regulatory program common to all mammalian cells, which may lead to various metabolic and physiological disturbances if hindered. Although the circadian clock regulates multiple metabolic pathways, metabolic states also provide feedback on the molecular clock. Therefore, a remarkable feature is reprogramming by nutritional challenges, such as a high-fat diet, fasting, ketogenic diet, and caloric restriction. In addition, various factors such as energy balance, histone modifications, and nuclear receptor activity are involved in the remodeling of the clock. Herein, we review the interaction of dietary components with the circadian system and illustrate the relationships linking the molecular clock to metabolism and critical roles in the remodeling process.
    Keywords:  circadian clock; energy metabolism; epigenetics; nutrition
  9. Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 12. pii: S2211-1247(22)00387-4. [Epub ahead of print]39(2): 110635
      Circadian genes such as Clock, Bmal1, Cryptochrome1/2, and Period1/2/3 constitute the precise circadian system. ClockΔ19 is a commonly used mouse model harboring a circadian clock gene mutation, which lacks the EXON-19-encoded 51 amino acids. Previous reports have shown that ClockΔ19 mice have severe metabolic abnormalities. Here, we report that the mitochondria of ClockΔ19 mice exhibit excessive fission and dysfunction. We also demonstrate that CLOCK binds to the RNA-binding protein PUF60 through its EXON 19. Further, we find that PUF60 directly maintains mitochondrial homeostasis through regulating Drp1 mRNA stability, while the association with CLOCK can competitively inhibit this function. In ClockΔ19 mice, CLOCKΔ19 releases PUF60, leading to enhanced Drp1 mRNA stability and persistent mitochondrial fission. Our results reveal a direct post-transcriptional role of CLOCK in regulating mitochondrial homeostasis via Drp1 mRNA stability and that the loss of EXON 19 of CLOCK in ClockΔ19 mice leads to severe mitochondrial homeostasis disorders.
    Keywords:  CP: Metabolism; CP: Molecular biology; Clock; Drp1; PUF60; mRNA stability; mitochondrial fission
  10. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2431 291-310
      Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles which form intricate networks with complex dynamics. Mitochondrial transport and distribution are essential to ensure proper cell function, especially in cells with an extremely polarised morphology such as neurons. A layer of complexity is added when considering mitochondria have their own genome, packaged into nucleoids. Major mitochondrial morphological transitions, for example mitochondrial division, often occur in conjunction with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication and changes in the dynamic behaviour of the nucleoids. However, the relationship between mtDNA dynamics and mitochondrial motility in the processes of neurons has been largely overlooked. In this chapter, we describe a method for live imaging of mitochondria and nucleoids in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells by instant structured illumination microscopy (iSIM). We also include a detailed protocol for the differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells into cells with a pronounced neuronal-like morphology and show examples of coordinated mitochondrial and nucleoid motility in the long processes of these cells.
    Keywords:  Axonal transport; Instant structured illumination microscopy (iSIM); Mitochondria; Mitochondrial DNA; Mitochondrial fission; Neuronal differentiation; Nucleoids; SH-SY5Y cells; Superresolution
  11. Cancer Res. 2022 Apr 12. pii: canres.3230.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly metastatic disease with few effective treatments. Here we show that the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) promotes PDAC cell migration, invasion, metastasis, and metabolic stress resistance by activating the Keap1-Nrf2 antioxidant program. The cystine transporter SLC7A11 was identified as a druggable target downstream of the MCU-Nrf2 axis. Paradoxically, despite the increased ability to uptake cystine, MCU-overexpressing PDAC demonstrated characteristics typical of cystine-deprived cells and were hypersensitive to cystine deprivation-induced ferroptosis. Pharmacological inhibitors of SLC7A11 effectively induced tumor regression and abrogated MCU-driven metastasis in PDAC. In patient-derived organoid models in vitro and patient-derived xenograft models in vivo, MCU-high PDAC demonstrated increased sensitivity to SLC7A11 inhibition compared to MCU-low tumors. These data suggest that MCU is able to promote resistance to metabolic stress and drive PDAC metastasis in a cystine-dependent manner. MCU-mediated cystine addiction could be exploited as a therapeutic vulnerability to inhibit PDAC tumor growth and prevent metastasis.
  12. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 858286
      The Mitofusin 2 protein (MFN2), encoded by the MFN2 gene, was first described for its role in mediating mitochondrial fusion. However, MFN2 is now recognized to play additional roles in mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy), mitochondrial motility, lipid transfer, and as a tether to other organelles including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and lipid droplets. The tethering role of MFN2 is an important mediator of mitochondrial-ER contact sites (MERCs), which themselves have many important functions that regulate mitochondria, including calcium homeostasis and lipid metabolism. Exemplifying the importance of MFN2, pathogenic variants in MFN2 are established to cause the peripheral neuropathy Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Subtype 2A (CMT2A). However, the mechanistic basis for disease is not clear. Moreover, additional pathogenic phenotypes such as lipomatosis, distal myopathy, optic atrophy, and hearing loss, can also sometimes be present in patients with CMT2A. Given these variable patient phenotypes, and the many cellular roles played by MFN2, the mechanistic underpinnings of the cellular impairments by which MFN2 dysfunction leads to disease are likely to be complex. Here, we will review what is known about the various functions of MFN2 that are impaired by pathogenic variants causing CMT2A, with a specific emphasis on the ties between MFN2 variants and MERCs.
    Keywords:  CMT2A; MFN2; lipid homeostasis; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial endoplasmic reticulum contact sites; mitophagy; mtDNA
  13. Cell Calcium. 2022 Apr 01. pii: S0143-4160(22)00058-6. [Epub ahead of print]104 102583
    Keywords:  ATP; Astrocyte; Metabolism; Mitochondrial N(a+) C(a2+) exchanger; Neurodegeneration; Neuroptotection
  14. Cancer Res. 2022 Apr 15. 82(8): 1589-1602
      Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with lung adenocarcinoma being the most common subtype. Many oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are altered in this cancer type, and the discovery of oncogene mutations has led to the development of targeted therapies that have improved clinical outcomes. However, a large fraction of lung adenocarcinomas lacks mutations in known oncogenes, and the genesis and treatment of these oncogene-negative tumors remain enigmatic. Here, we perform iterative in vivo functional screens using quantitative autochthonous mouse model systems to uncover the genetic and biochemical changes that enable efficient lung tumor initiation in the absence of oncogene alterations. Generation of hundreds of diverse combinations of tumor suppressor alterations demonstrates that inactivation of suppressors of the RAS and PI3K pathways drives the development of oncogene-negative lung adenocarcinoma. Human genomic data and histology identified RAS/MAPK and PI3K pathway activation as a common feature of an event in oncogene-negative human lung adenocarcinomas. These Onc-negativeRAS/PI3K tumors and related cell lines are vulnerable to pharmacologic inhibition of these signaling axes. These results transform our understanding of this prevalent yet understudied subtype of lung adenocarcinoma.SIGNIFICANCE: To address the large fraction of lung adenocarcinomas lacking mutations in proto-oncogenes for which targeted therapies are unavailable, this work uncovers driver pathways of oncogene-negative lung adenocarcinomas and demonstrates their therapeutic vulnerabilities.
  15. J Biol Chem. 2022 Apr 09. pii: S0021-9258(22)00361-1. [Epub ahead of print] 101921
      The neurodegenerative disease Friedreich's Ataxia arises from a deficiency of frataxin, a protein that promotes iron-sulfur cluster (ISC) assembly in mitochondria. Here, primarily using Mössbauer spectroscopy, we investigated the iron content of a yeast strain in which expression of Yeast Frataxin Homolog 1 (Yfh1), oxygenation conditions, iron concentrations, and metabolic modes were varied. We found that aerobic fermenting Yfh1-depleted cells grew slowly and accumulated FeIII nanoparticles, unlike WT cells. Under hypoxic conditions, the same mutant cells grew at rates similar to WT cells and had similar iron content, and were dominated by FeII rather than FeIII nanoparticles. Furthermore, mitochondria from mutant hypoxic cells contained approximately the same levels of ISCs as WT cells, confirming that Yfh1 is not required for ISC assembly. These cells also did not accumulate excessive iron, indicating that iron accumulation into yfh1-deficient mitochondria is stimulated by O2. In addition, in aerobic WT cells, we found that vacuoles stored FeIII, whereas under hypoxic fermenting conditions, vacuolar iron was reduced to FeII. Under respiring conditions, vacuoles of Yfh1-deficient cells contained FeIII, and nanoparticles accumulated only under aerobic conditions. Taken together, these results informed a mathematical model of iron trafficking and regulation in cells that could semi-quantitatively simulate the Yfh1-deficiency phenotype. Simulations suggested partially independent regulation in which cellular iron import is regulated by ISC activity in mitochondria, mitochondrial iron import is regulated by a mitochondrial FeII pool, and vacuolar iron import is regulated by cytosolic FeII and mitochondrial ISC activity.
    Keywords:  Electron paramagnetic resonance; cytosol; iron trafficking and regulation; mitochondria; ordinary differential equations; vacuoles
  16. Cells. 2022 Mar 31. pii: 1177. [Epub ahead of print]11(7):
      The oncogenic expression or mutation of tumor suppressors drives metabolic alteration, causing cancer cells to utilize diverse nutrients. Lactate is a known substrate for cancer cells, yet the regulatory mechanisms of lactate catabolism are limited. Here, we show that a heme-binding transcription factor, BACH1, negatively regulates lactate catabolic pathways in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. BACH1 suppresses the transcriptional expression of monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) and lactate dehydrogenase B, inhibiting lactate-mediated mitochondrial metabolism. In our studies, the depletion of BACH1 either genetically or pharmacologically increased the lactate use of TNBC cells, increasing their sensitivity to MCT1 inhibition. Thus, small inhibitory molecules (SR13800 and AZD3965) blocking MCT1 better suppressed the growth of BACH1-depleted TNBC cells than did the controls. Particularly, hemin treatment degrading BACH1 proteins induced lactate catabolism in TNBC cells, generating synthetic lethality with MCT1 inhibition. Our data indicates that targeting BACH1 generates metabolic vulnerability and increases sensitivity to lactate transporter inhibition, suggesting a potential novel combination therapy for cancer patients with TNBC.
    Keywords:  BACH1; lactate catabolism; lactate transporter; novel combination therapy targeting BACH1 and MCT1; triple-negative breast cancer
  17. Pharmacol Res. 2022 Apr 10. pii: S1043-6618(22)00164-5. [Epub ahead of print]179 106219
      Metabolic dysregulation is a hallmark of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). AMPK is a crucial hub of metabolic regulation during cancer progression. We show that phytochemical Levo-tetrahydropalmatine (THP) activates AMPK-dependent autophagy to downregulate the mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis. Consequently, THP significantly decreased cell viability in two HCC cell lines, BEL-7402 and SMMC-7721. Similarly, NOX4 inhibitor diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI) induces concomitant downregulation of the mitochondrial and glycolytic metabolism. In contrast to THP, cells are less sensitive to proliferation inhibition induced by DPI treatment as compared to THP treatment did. Combined treatment of THP and DPI was found to be more efficacious in killing cancer cells than either of the agents treated individually. Indeed, the co-operative effect by the THP-DPI combination improves the pro-apoptotic activity in response to the energy depletion as outlined by a drastic decrease in ATP levels. Therapeutic regime significantly reduced the tumor growth in mice. Importantly, this is realized without causing systemic toxicity to other organs. Collectively, our work shows that the combinatorial therapy of autophagy activator THP and NOX4 inhibitor DPI may be considered as a therapeutic avenue against HCC.
    Keywords:  AMPK; Autophagy; Cancer metabolism; Chloroquine (PubChem CID: 2719); Dimethyl sulfoxide (PubChem CID: 679); Diphenyleneiodonium; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Levo-tetrahydropalmatine; Levo-tetrahydropalmatine (PubChem CID: 132535036); chloride (PubChem CID: 2733504)
  18. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 29. pii: 3738. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Mitochondria are the most complex intracellular organelles, their function combining energy production for survival and apoptosis facilitation for death. Such a multivariate physiology is structurally and functionally reflected upon their membrane configuration and lipid composition. Mitochondrial double membrane lipids, with cardiolipin as the protagonist, show an impressive level of complexity that is mandatory for maintenance of mitochondrial health and protection from apoptosis. Given that lipidomics is an emerging field in cancer research and that mitochondria are the organelles with the most important role in malignant maintenance knowledge of the mitochondrial membrane, lipid physiology in health is mandatory. In this review, we will thus describe the delicate nature of the healthy mitochondrial double membrane and its role in apoptosis. Emphasis will be given on mitochondrial membrane lipids and the changes that they undergo during apoptosis induction and progression.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; cardiolipin; ceramide; cytochrome C; double membrane; mitochondria; mitochondrial lipids
  19. Trends Biochem Sci. 2022 Apr 06. pii: S0968-0004(22)00070-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The electron transport chain (ETC) is a major currency converter that exchanges the chemical energy of fuel oxidation to proton motive force and, subsequently, ATP generation, using O2 as a terminal electron acceptor. Discussed herein, two new studies reveal that the mammalian ETC is forked. Hypoxia or H2S exposure promotes the use of fumarate as an alternate terminal electron acceptor. The fumarate/succinate and CoQH2/CoQ redox couples are nearly iso-potential, revealing that complex II is poised for facile reverse electron transfer, which is sensitive to CoQH2 and fumarate concentrations. The gas regulators, H2S and •NO, modulate O2 affinity and/or inhibit the electron transfer rate at complex IV. Their induction under hypoxia suggests a mechanism for how traffic at the ETC fork can be regulated.
    Keywords:  complex II; electron acceptor; electron transport chain; fumarate; hydrogen sulfide; hypoxia; nitric oxide
  20. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2022 Apr 14.
      Reprogrammed metabolism and high energy demand are well-established properties of cancer cells that enable tumor growth. Glycolysis is a primary metabolic pathway that supplies this increased energy demand, leading to a high rate of glycolytic flux and a greater dependence on glucose in tumor cells. Finding safe and effective means to control glycolytic flux and curb cancer cell proliferation has gained increasing interest in recent years. A critical step in glycolysis is controlled by the enzyme 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3), which converts fructose 6-phosphate (F6P) to fructose 2,6-bisphosphate (F2,6BP). F2,6BP allosterically activates the rate-limiting step of glycolysis catalyzed by PFK1 enzyme. PFKFB3 is often overexpressed in many human cancers including pancreatic, colon, prostate, and breast cancer. Hence, PFKFB3 has gained increased interest as a compelling therapeutic target. In this review, we summarize and discuss the current knowledge of PFKFB3 functions, its role in cellular pathways and cancer development, its transcriptional and post-translational activity regulation, and the multiple pharmacologic inhibitors that have been used to block PFKFB3 activity in cancer cells. While much remains to be learned, PFKFB3 continues to hold great promise as an important therapeutic target either as a single agent or in combination with current interventions for breast and other cancers.
    Keywords:  Aerobic glycolysis; Cancer; Glucose metabolism; PFKFB3; Phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase
  21. Redox Biol. 2022 Apr 06. pii: S2213-2317(22)00076-3. [Epub ahead of print]52 102304
      As essential regulators of mitochondrial quality control, mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy play key roles in maintenance of metabolic health and cellular homeostasis. Here we show that knockdown of the membrane-inserted scaffolding and structural protein caveolin-1 (Cav-1) and expression of tyrosine 14 phospho-defective Cav-1 mutant (Y14F), as opposed to phospho-mimicking Y14D, altered mitochondrial morphology, and increased mitochondrial matrix mixing, mitochondrial fusion and fission dynamics as well as mitophagy in MDA-MB-231 triple negative breast cancer cells. Further, we found that interaction of Cav-1 with mitochondrial fusion/fission machinery Mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) and Dynamin related protein 1 (Drp1) was enhanced by Y14D mutant indicating Cav-1 Y14 phosphorylation prevented Mfn2 and Drp1 translocation to mitochondria. Moreover, limiting mitochondrial recruitment of Mfn2 diminished formation of the PINK1/Mfn2/Parkin complex required for initiation of mitophagy resulting in accumulation of damaged mitochondria and ROS (mtROS). Thus, these studies indicate that phospho-Cav-1 may be an important switch mechanism in cancer cell survival which could lead to novel strategies for complementing cancer therapies.
    Keywords:  Cav-1; Dynamin-related protein 1; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitofusin 2; Mitophagy; mtROS
  22. Trends Biochem Sci. 2022 Apr 11. pii: S0968-0004(22)00075-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Alternative histone acylations integrate gene expression with cellular metabolic states. Recent measurements of cellular acyl-coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) pools highlight the potential that histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) contribute directly to the regulation of metabolite pools. A metabolite-centric view throws new light onto roles and evolution of histone PTMs.
    Keywords:  acyl-CoA; acylations; chromatin; histone modifications; metabolism; quiescence
  23. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2022 Apr 09. pii: S0005-2728(22)00028-7. [Epub ahead of print] 148559
      Although mitochondria have a central role in energy transduction and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, the regulatory mechanisms and their involvement in plant stress signaling are not fully established. The phytohormone salicylic acid (SA) is an important regulator of mitochondria-mediated ROS production and defense signaling. The role of SA and adenine nucleotides in the regulation of the mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex activity and ROS production was analyzed using WT, RNAi SDH1-1 and disrupted stress response 1 (dsr1) mutants, which show a point mutation in SDH1 subunit and are defective in SA signaling. Our results showed that SA and adenine nucleotides regulate SDH complex activity by distinct patterns, contributing to increased SDH-derived ROS production. As previously demonstrated, SA induces the succinate-quinone reductase activity of SDH complex, acting at or near the ubiquinone binding site. On the other hand, here we demonstrated that adenine nucleotides, such as AMP, ADP and ATP, induce the SDH activity provided by the SDH1 subunit. The regulation of SDH activity by adenine nucleotides is dependent on mitochondrial integrity and is prevented by atractyloside, an inhibitor of adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT), suggesting that the regulatory mechanism occurs on the mitochondrial matrix side of the inner mitochondrial membrane, and not in the intermembrane space, as previously suggested. On the other hand, in the intermembrane space, ADP and ATP limit mitochondrial oxygen consumption by a mechanism that appears to be related to cytochrome bc1 complex inhibition. Altogether, these results indicate that SA signaling and adenine nucleotides regulate the mitochondrial electron transport system and mitochondria-derived ROS production by direct effect in the electron transport system complexes, bringing new insights into mechanisms with direct implications in plant development and responses to different environmental responses, serving as a starting point for future physiological explorations.
    Keywords:  Adenine nucleotides; Reactive oxygen species; Salicylic acid; Succinate dehydrogenase
  24. Gut. 2022 Apr 15. pii: gutjnl-2022-327430. [Epub ahead of print]
  25. Mol Cell Oncol. 2021 ;8(6): 1990676
      Understanding the mechanisms governing metabolic reprogramming that underlie potential vulnerabilities in cancer cells is key to developing novel therapeutic strategies. The catalytic enzyme UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase 2 (UGP2) drives the production of UDP-glucose. Our recent work demonstrated the crucial role of UGP2 in cancer growth and its regulation of cellular metabolic processes.
    Keywords:  UDP-glucose; UGP2; YAP; cancer metabolism; glycosylation
  26. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2431 533-546
      Intracellular trafficking of organelles driven by molecular motors underlies essential cellular processes. Mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, are one of the major cargoes of molecular motors. Efficient distribution of mitochondria ensures cellular fitness while defects in this process contribute to severe pathologies, such as neurodegenerative diseases. Reconstitution of the mitochondrial microtubule-based transport in vitro in a bottom-up approach provides a powerful tool to investigate the mitochondrial trafficking machinery in a controlled environment in the absence of complex intracellular interactions. In this chapter, we describe the procedures for achieving such reconstitution of mitochondrial transport.
    Keywords:  Adaptor proteins; Interference reflection microscopy; Kinesin-1; Mitochondria; Molecular motors; Motility assay; TIRF microscopy; TRAK
  27. Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 12. pii: S2211-1247(22)00410-7. [Epub ahead of print]39(2): 110658
      Blood vessel morphogenesis is driven by coordinated endothelial cell behaviors. Active remodeling of cell-cell junctions promotes cellular plasticity while preserving vascular integrity. Here, we analyze the dynamics of endothelial adherens junctions during lumen formation in angiogenic sprouts in vivo. Live imaging in zebrafish reveals that lumen expansion is accompanied by the formation of transient finger-shaped junctions. Junctional fingers are positively regulated by blood pressure, whereas flow inhibition prevents their formation. Using fluorescent reporters, we show that junctional fingers contain the mechanotransduction protein vinculin. Furthermore, genetic deletion of vinculin prevents finger formation, a junctional defect that could be rescued by transient endothelial expression of vinculin. Our findings suggest a mechanism whereby lumen expansion leads to an increase in junctional tension, triggering recruitment of vinculin and formation of junctional fingers. We propose that endothelial cells employ force-dependent junctional remodeling to counteract external forces in order to maintain vascular integrity during sprouting angiogenesis.
    Keywords:  CP: Cell biology; VE-cadherin; angiogenesis; cell-cell adhesion; junctional dynamics; lumenization; vinculin; zebrafish
  28. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Apr 11.
      Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) programs operate within carcinoma cells, where they generate phenotypes associated with malignant progression. In their various manifestations, EMT programs enable epithelial cells to enter into a series of intermediate states arrayed along the E-M phenotypic spectrum. At present, we lack a coherent understanding of how carcinoma cells control their entrance into and continued residence in these various states, and which of these states favour the process of metastasis. Here we characterize a layer of EMT-regulating machinery that governs E-M plasticity (EMP). This machinery consists of two chromatin-modifying complexes, PRC2 and KMT2D-COMPASS, which operate as critical regulators to maintain a stable epithelial state. Interestingly, loss of these two complexes unlocks two distinct EMT trajectories. Dysfunction of PRC2, but not KMT2D-COMPASS, yields a quasi-mesenchymal state that is associated with highly metastatic capabilities and poor survival of patients with breast cancer, suggesting that great caution should be applied when PRC2 inhibitors are evaluated clinically in certain patient cohorts. These observations identify epigenetic factors that regulate EMP, determine specific intermediate EMT states and, as a direct consequence, govern the metastatic ability of carcinoma cells.
  29. J Cancer. 2022 ;13(6): 1734-1744
      Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is the most common malignant bile duct tumor in the liver and the second most common primary liver cancer with increasing morbidity and poor prognosis. Metabolic aberration plays key roles in cancer progression. As a key metabolic intermediate, acetyl-CoA accumulation shows close association with cancer metastasis. However, the role of acetyl-CoA metabolic aberration in ICC is still undetermined. Here, by investigating tissue samples from ICC patients and ICC cell lines, we found that acyl-CoA thioesterase 12 (ACOT12) expression is significantly down-regulated in ICC tissues, and is associated with poor prognosis of ICC. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that ACOT12 suppressed ICC cells metastasis. Further mechanistic studies revealed that down-regulation of ACOT12 promoted ICC metastasis by inducing Slug expression and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Our findings link ACOT12-regulated-acetyl-coA metabolic aberration with ICC metastasis and imply that ACOT12 could be a prognostic marker and a potential therapeutic target for ICC metastasis.
    Keywords:  ACOT12; Acetyl-CoA; EMT; ICC; cancer metastasis; histone acetylation
  30. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Apr 11.
      Germline-soma segregation is a fundamental event during mammalian embryonic development. Here we establish the epigenetic principles of human primordial germ cell (hPGC) development using in vivo hPGCs and stem cell models recapitulating gastrulation. We show that morphogen-induced remodelling of mesendoderm enhancers transiently confers the competence for hPGC fate, but further activation favours mesoderm and endoderm fates. Consistently, reducing the expression of the mesendodermal transcription factor OTX2 promotes the PGC fate. In hPGCs, SOX17 and TFAP2C initiate activation of enhancers to establish a core germline programme, including the transcriptional repressor PRDM1 and pluripotency factors POU5F1 and NANOG. We demonstrate that SOX17 enhancers are the critical components in the regulatory circuitry of germline competence. Furthermore, activation of upstream cis-regulatory elements by an optimized CRISPR activation system is sufficient for hPGC specification. We reveal an enhancer-linked germline transcription factor network that provides the basis for the evolutionary divergence of mammalian germlines.
  31. Cell Immunol. 2022 Apr 04. pii: S0008-8749(22)00040-5. [Epub ahead of print]375 104516
      Mutations causing loss of the NF-κB regulator IκBNS, result in impaired development of innate-like B cells and defective plasma cell (PC) differentiation. Since productive PC differentiation requires B cell metabolic reprogramming, we sought to investigate processes important for this transition using the bumble mouse strain, deficient for IκBNS. We report that LPS-activated bumble B cells exhibited elevated mTOR activation levels, mitochondrial accumulation, increased OXPHOS and mROS production, along with a reduced capacity for autophagy, compared to wildtype B cells. Overall, our results demonstrate that PC differentiation in the absence of IκBNS is characterized by excessive activation during early rounds of B cell division, increased mitochondrial metabolism and decreased autophagic capacity, thus improving our understanding of the role of IκBNS in PC differentiation.
    Keywords:  B cell activation; IκBNS; Mitochondrial metabolism; Plasma cell differentiation; mTOR
  32. Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Apr 12. e0010022
      Fungal infections are a global threat, but treatments are limited due to a paucity in antifungal drug targets and the emergence of drug-resistant fungi such as Candida auris. Metabolic adaptations enable microbial growth in nutrient-scarce host niches, and they further control immune responses to pathogens, thereby offering opportunities for therapeutic targeting. Because it is a relatively new pathogen, little is known about the metabolic requirements for C. auris growth and its adaptations to counter host defenses. Here, we establish that triggering metabolic dysfunction is a promising strategy against C. auris. Treatment with pyrvinium pamoate (PP) induced metabolic reprogramming and mitochondrial dysfunction evident in disrupted mitochondrial morphology and reduced tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzyme activity. PP also induced changes consistent with disrupted iron homeostasis. Nutrient supplementation experiments support the proposition that PP-induced metabolic dysfunction is driven by disrupted iron homeostasis, which compromises carbon and lipid metabolism and mitochondria. PP inhibited C. auris replication in macrophages, which is a relevant host niche for this yeast pathogen. We propose that PP causes a multipronged metabolic hit to C. auris: it restricts the micronutrient iron to potentiate nutritional immunity imposed by immune cells, and it further causes metabolic dysfunction that compromises the utilization of macronutrients, thereby curbing the metabolic plasticity needed for growth in host environments. Our study offers a new avenue for therapeutic development against drug-resistant C. auris, shows how complex metabolic dysfunction can be caused by a single compound triggering antifungal inhibition, and provides insights into the metabolic needs of C. auris in immune cell environments. IMPORTANCE Over the last decade, Candida auris has emerged as a human pathogen around the world causing life-threatening infections with wide-spread antifungal drug resistance, including pandrug resistance in some cases. In this study, we addressed the mechanism of action of the antiparasitic drug pyrvinium pamoate against C. auris and show how metabolism could be inhibited to curb C. auris proliferation. We show that pyrvinium pamoate triggers sweeping metabolic and mitochondrial changes and disrupts iron homeostasis. PP-induced metabolic dysfunction compromises the utilization of both micro- and macronutrients by C. auris and reduces its growth in vitro and in immune phagocytes. Our findings provide insights into the metabolic requirements for C. auris growth and define the mechanisms of action of pyrvinium pamoate against C. auris, demonstrating how this compound works by inhibiting the metabolic flexibility of the pathogen. As such, our study characterizes credible avenues for new antifungal approaches against C. auris.
    Keywords:  Candida auris; antifungal agents; fungal pathogens; iron; metabolism; mitochondrial metabolism
  33. Sci Signal. 2022 Apr 12. 15(729): eabm5011
      Toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation induces glycolysis and the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), both of which are critical for inflammatory responses in macrophages. Here, we demonstrated that cyclin J, a TLR-inducible member of the cyclin family, reduced cytokine production in macrophages by coordinately controlling glycolysis and mitochondrial functions. Cyclin J interacted with cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), which increased the phosphorylation of a subset of CDK substrates, including the transcription factor FoxK1 and the GTPase Drp1. Cyclin J-dependent phosphorylation of FoxK1 decreased the transcription of glycolytic genes and Hif-1α activation, whereas hyperactivation of Drp1 by cyclin J-dependent phosphorylation promoted mitochondrial fragmentation and impaired the production of mitochondrial ROS. In mice, cyclin J in macrophages limited the growth of tumor xenografts and protected against LPS-induced shock but increased the susceptibility to bacterial infection. Collectively, our findings indicate that cyclin J-CDK signaling promotes antitumor immunity and the resolution of inflammation by opposing the metabolic changes that drive inflammatory responses in macrophages.
  34. Cell Metab. 2022 Apr 09. pii: S1550-4131(22)00125-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      We investigate the extent to which human genetic data are incorporated into studies that hypothesize novel links between genes and metabolic disease. To lower the barriers to using genetic data, we present an approach to enable researchers to evaluate human genetic support for experimentally determined hypotheses.
  35. Mol Cell Oncol. 2021 ;8(6): 2007028
      How oxidative stress promotes aging-related human diseases like cancer and neurodegeneration remains unclear. Here, we discuss the origins and implications of an oxidative-stress response recently reported to destabilize the mitochondrial (mt) genome via unscheduled RNA/DNA hybrid (R-loop) accumulation, by impairing the recruitment of RNAseH1 to the regulatory regions of mtDNA.
    Keywords:  BRCA2; Oxidative stress; PRPF8; R-loops; RNA-DNA hybrid; SETX; cancer; genomic instability; mitochondria; mtDNA replication; neurodegeneration
  36. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 26. pii: 3650. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Given the popularity of ketogenic diets, their potential long-term consequences deserve to be more carefully monitored. Mitochondrially derived formate has a critical role in mammalian one-carbon (1C) metabolism and development. The glycine cleavage system (GCS) accounts for another substantial source for mitochondrially derived 1C units.OBJECTIVE: We investigated how the ketogenic state modulates mitochondrial formate generation and partitioning of 1C metabolic fluxes.
    DESIGN: HepG2 cells treated with physiological doses (1 mM and 10 mM) of β-hydroxybutyrate (βHB) were utilized as the in vitro ketogenic model. Eight-week male C57BL/6JNarl mice received either a medium-chain fatty-acid-enriched ketogenic diet (MCT-KD) or a control diet AIN 93M for 8 weeks. Stable isotopic labeling experiments were conducted.
    RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: MCT-KD is effective in weight and fat loss. Deoxythymidine (dTMP) synthesis from the mitochondrial GCS-derived formate was significantly suppressed by βHB and consumption of MCT-KD. Consistently, plasma formate concentrations, as well as the metabolic fluxes from serine and glycine, were suppressed by MCT-KD. MCT-KD also decreased the fractional contribution of mitochondrially derived formate in methionine synthesis from serine. With the worldwide application, people and medical professionals should be more aware of the potential metabolic perturbations when practicing a long-term ketogenic diet.
    Keywords:  glycine cleavage system; ketogenic diet; medium-chain triglycerides; mitochondrial formate production; one-carbon metabolism; stable isotopic labeling experiments
  37. Science. 2022 Apr 15. 376(6590): eabf8271
      Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) remain without effective therapies. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway is a potential therapeutic target, but conflicting interpretations have been proposed for how mTORC1 controls lipid homeostasis. We show that selective inhibition of mTORC1 signaling in mice, through deletion of the RagC/D guanosine triphosphatase-activating protein folliculin (FLCN), promotes activation of transcription factor E3 (TFE3) in the liver without affecting other mTORC1 targets and protects against NAFLD and NASH. Disease protection is mediated by TFE3, which both induces lipid consumption and suppresses anabolic lipogenesis. TFE3 inhibits lipogenesis by suppressing proteolytic processing and activation of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and by interacting with SREBP-1c on chromatin. Our data reconcile previously conflicting studies and identify selective inhibition of mTORC1 as a potential approach to treat NASH and NAFLD.
  38. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Apr 14. pii: clincanres.0470.2022. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: To investigate the metabolism of SS and elucidate the effect of malic enzyme 1 absence on SS redox homeostasis.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: ME1 expression was measured in SS clinical samples, SS cell lines, and tumors from a SS mouse model. The effect of ME1 absence on glucose metabolism was evaluated utilizing Seahorse assays, metabolomics, and C13tracings. The impact of ME1 absence on SS redox homeostasis was evaluated by metabolomics, cell death assays with inhibitors of antioxidant systems, and measurements intracellular ROS. The susceptibility of ME1 null SS to ferroptosis induction was interrogated in in vitro and in vivo.
    RESULTS: ME1 absence in SS was confirmed in clinical samples, SS cell lines, and a SS tumor model. Investigation of SS glucose metabolism revealed that ME1 null cells exhibit higher rates of glycolysis and higher flux of glucose into the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), which is necessary to produce NADPH. Evaluation of cellular redox homeostasis demonstrated that ME1 absence shifts dependence from the glutathione system to the thioredoxin system. Concomitantly, ME1 absence drives the accumulation of ROS and labile iron. ROS and iron accumulation enhances the susceptibility of ME1 null cells to ferroptosis induction with inhibitors of xCT (erastin and ACXT-3102). In vivo xenograft models of ME1 null SS demonstrate significantly increased tumor response to ACX`T-3102 compared to ME1 expressing controls.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate the translational potential of targeting redox homeostasis in ME1 null cancers, and establish the preclinical rational for a phase 1 trial of ACXT-3102 in synovial sarcoma patients.
  39. Elife. 2022 Apr 11. pii: e76557. [Epub ahead of print]11
      High frequencies of mutant mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in human cells lead to cellular defects that are associated with aging and disease. Yet much remains to be understood about the dynamics of the generation of mutant mtDNAs and their relative replicative fitness that informs their fate within cells and tissues. To address this, we utilize long-read single-molecule sequencing to track mutational trajectories of mtDNA in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This model has numerous advantages over mammalian systems due to its much larger mtDNA and ease of artificially competing mutant and wild-type mtDNA copies in cells. We show a previously unseen pattern that constrains subsequent excision events in mtDNA fragmentation in yeast. We also provide evidence for the generation of rare and contentious non-periodic mtDNA structures that lead to persistent diversity within individual cells. Finally, we show that measurements of relative fitness of mtDNA fit a phenomenological model that highlights important biophysical parameters governing mtDNA fitness. Altogether, our study provides techniques and insights into the dynamics of large structural changes in genomes that we show are applicable to more complex organisms like humans.
    Keywords:  S. cerevisiae; computational biology; genetics; genomics; systems biology
  40. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Apr 15. 41(1): 144
      Metabolites are intermediate products of cellular metabolism catalysed by various enzymes. Metabolic remodelling, as a biochemical fingerprint of cancer cells, causes abnormal metabolite accumulation. These metabolites mainly generate energy or serve as signal transduction mediators via noncovalent interactions. After the development of highly sensitive mass spectrometry technology, various metabolites were shown to covalently modify proteins via forms of lysine acylation, including lysine acetylation, crotonylation, lactylation, succinylation, propionylation, butyrylation, malonylation, glutarylation, 2-hydroxyisobutyrylation and β-hydroxybutyrylation. These modifications can regulate gene expression and intracellular signalling pathways, highlighting the extensive roles of metabolites. Lysine acetylation is not discussed in detail in this review since it has been broadly investigated. We focus on the nine aforementioned novel lysine acylations beyond acetylation, which can be classified into two categories: histone acylations and nonhistone acylations. We summarize the characteristics and common functions of these acylation types and, most importantly, provide a glimpse into their fine-tuned control of tumorigenesis and potential value in tumour diagnosis, monitoring and therapy.
    Keywords:  Epigenetic modification; Lysine acylation; Metabolites; Tumour
  41. Cancer Res. 2022 Apr 15. 82(8): 1464-1466
      Dietary interventions including alterations in the amount or type of specific macronutrients have been shown to mediate antineoplastic effects in preclinical tumor models, but the underlying mechanisms are only partially understood. In this issue of Cancer Research, Wei and colleagues demonstrate that restoring ketogenesis in the colorectal cancer microenvironment decreases the KLF5-dependent synthesis of CXCL12 by cancer-associated fibroblasts, ultimately enhancing tumor infiltration by immune effector cells and increasing the therapeutic efficacy of an immune checkpoint inhibitor specific for PD-1. These findings provide a novel, therapeutically actionable link between suppressed ketogenesis and immunoevasion in the colorectal cancer microenvironment. See related article by Wei et al., p. 1575.
  42. Int J Biol Sci. 2022 ;18(6): 2484-2496
      Cancer cells frequently undergo metabolic reprogramming to support tumorigenicity and malignancy, which is recognized as a hallmark of cancer. In addition to glycolysis and glutaminolysis, alterations in fatty acid (FA) metabolism have received increasing concerns in the past few years. Recently, accumulating evidence has shown that fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) is abnormally activated in various tumors, which is associated with the machinery of proliferation, stemness, metastasis, and radiochemotherapeutic resistance of cancer cells. Acyl-CoA synthetases 3 (ACSL3) belongs to a family of enzymes responsible for converting free long-chain FAs into fatty acyl-CoA esters, which act as substrates both for lipid synthesis and FAO. Here, we demonstrate that transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1) induces the up-regulation of ACSL3 through sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1) signaling to promote energy metabolic reprogramming in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) cells. ACSL3 mediates the epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis of CRC cells by activation of FAO pathway to produce ATP and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), which sustain redox homeostasis and fuel cancer cells for invasion and distal metastasis. Thus, targeting ACSL3 and FAO metabolic pathways might be exploited for therapeutic gain for CRC and other FAs- addicted cancers.
    Keywords:  Acyl-CoA synthetases 3; Colorectal carcinoma; Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; Fatty acid β-oxidation; Metastasis
  43. Cancer Gene Ther. 2022 Apr 14.
      Mitochondrial serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT2) catalyzes the conversion of serine to glycine and concomitantly produces one-carbon units to support cell growth and is upregulated in various cancer cells. SHMT2 knockdown triggers cell apoptosis; however, the detailed mechanism of apoptosis induced by SHMT2 inactivation remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that SHMT2 supports the proliferation of bladder cancer (BC) cells by maintaining redox homeostasis. SHMT2 knockout decreased the pools of purine and one-carbon units and delayed cell cycle progression in a manner that was rescued by formate, demonstrating that SHMT2-mediated one-carbon units are essential for BC cell proliferation. SHMT2 deficiency promoted the accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) by decreasing the NADH/NAD+, NADPH/NADP+, and GSH/GSSG ratios, leading to a loss in mitochondrial membrane potential, release of cytochrome c, translocation of Bcl-2 family protein and activation of caspase-3. Notably, blocking ROS production with the one-carbon donor formate and the ROS scavenger N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) effectively rescued SHMT2 deficiency-induced cell apoptosis via the intrinsic signaling pathway. Treatment with the SHMT inhibitor SHIN1 resulted in a significant inhibitory effect on cell proliferation and induced cell apoptosis. Formate and NAC rescued SHIN1-induced cell apoptosis. Our findings reveal an important mechanism by which the loss of SHMT2 triggers ROS-dependent, mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis, which gives insight into the link between serine metabolism and cell apoptosis and provides a promising target for BC treatment and drug discovery.
  44. Commun Biol. 2022 Apr 12. 5(1): 349
      Protein O-GlcNAcylation is increasingly recognized as an important cellular regulatory mechanism, in multiple organs including the heart. However, the mechanisms leading to O-GlcNAcylation in mitochondria and the consequences on their function remain poorly understood. In this study, we use an in vitro reconstitution assay to characterize the intra-mitochondrial O-GlcNAc system without potential cytoplasmic confounding effects. We compare the O-GlcNAcylome of isolated cardiac mitochondria with that of mitochondria acutely exposed to NButGT, a specific inhibitor of glycoside hydrolase. Amongst the 409 O-GlcNAcylated mitochondrial proteins identified, 191 display increased O-GlcNAcylation in response to NButGT. This is associated with enhanced Complex I (CI) activity, increased maximal respiration in presence of pyruvate-malate, and a striking reduction of mitochondrial ROS release, which could be related to O-GlcNAcylation of specific subunits of ETC complexes (CI, CIII) and TCA cycle enzymes. In conclusion, our work underlines the existence of a dynamic mitochondrial O-GlcNAcylation system capable of rapidly modifying mitochondrial function.
  45. J Nanobiotechnology. 2022 Apr 12. 20(1): 188
      BACKGROUND: Calcium ions (Ca2+) participates in various intracellular signal cascades and especially plays a key role in pathways relevant to cancer cells. Mitochondrial metabolism stimulated by calcium overload can trigger the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP), which leads to cancer cell death.METHODS: Herein, a mitochondrial pathway for tumour growth inhibition was built via the double-activation of MPTP channel. Fe2+ doped covalent organic frameworks (COF) was synthesised and applied as template to grow CaCO3 shell. Then O2 was storaged into Fe2+ doped COF, forming O2-FeCOF@CaCO3 nanocomposite. After modification with folic acid (FA), O2-FeCOF@CaCO3@FA (OFCCF) can target breast cancer cells and realize PDT/Ca2+ overload synergistic treatment.
    RESULTS: COF can induce the production of 1O2 under 650 nm irradiation for photodynamic therapy (PDT). Low pH and hypoxia in tumour microenvironment (TME) can activate the nanocomposite to release oxygen and Ca2+. The released O2 can alleviate hypoxia in TME, thus enhancing the efficiency of COF-mediated PDT. Abundant Ca2+ were released and accumulated in cancer cells, resulting in Ca2+ overload. Notably, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ overload ensure the sustained opening of MPTP, which leads to the change of mitochondria transmembrane potential, the release of cytochrome c (Cyt c) and the activation of caspases 3 for cancer cell apoptosis.
    CONCLUSION: This multifunctional nanosystem with TME responded abilities provided a novel strategy for innovative clinical cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Ca2+ overload; Covalent organic frameworks; Hypoxia; MPTP; Photodynamic therapy
  46. Elife. 2022 Apr 11. pii: e74531. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Autophagy receptor (or adaptor) proteins facilitate lysosomal destruction of various organelles in response to cellular stress, including nutrient deprivation. To what extent membrane-resident autophagy receptors also respond to organelle-restricted cues to induce selective autophagy remains poorly understood. We find that latent activation of the yeast pexophagy receptor Atg36 by the casein kinase Hrr25 in rich media is repressed by the ATPase activity of Pex1/6, the catalytic subunits of the exportomer AAA+ transmembrane complex enabling protein import into peroxisomes. Quantitative proteomics of purified Pex3, an obligate Atg36 coreceptor, support a model in which the exportomer tail anchored to the peroxisome membrane represses Atg36 phosphorylation on Pex3 without assistance from additional membrane factors. Indeed, we reconstitute inhibition of Atg36 phosphorylation in vitro using soluble Pex1/6 and define an N-terminal unstructured region of Atg36 that enables regulation by binding to Pex1. Our findings uncover a mechanism by which a compartment-specific AAA+ complex mediating organelle biogenesis and protein quality control staves off induction of selective autophagy.
    Keywords:  Atg36; Hrr25; Pex1/6; S. cerevisiae; cell biology; pexophagy; receptor; selective autophagy
  47. Nat Cancer. 2022 Apr 14.
      Diffuse midline gliomas (DMGs) bearing driver mutations of histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27M) are incurable brain tumors with unique epigenomes. Here, we generated a syngeneic H3K27M mouse model to study the amino acid metabolic dependencies of these tumors. H3K27M mutant cells were highly dependent on methionine. Interrogating the methionine cycle dependency through a short-interfering RNA screen identified the enzyme methionine adenosyltransferase 2A (MAT2A) as a critical vulnerability in these tumors. This vulnerability was not mediated through the canonical mechanism of MTAP deletion; instead, DMG cells have lower levels of MAT2A protein, which is mediated by negative feedback induced by the metabolite decarboxylated S-adenosyl methionine. Depletion of residual MAT2A induces global depletion of H3K36me3, a chromatin mark of transcriptional elongation perturbing oncogenic and developmental transcriptional programs. Moreover, methionine-restricted diets extended survival in multiple models of DMG in vivo. Collectively, our results suggest that MAT2A presents an exploitable therapeutic vulnerability in H3K27M gliomas.
  48. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 26. pii: 3652. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Recent mouse model experiments support an instrumental role for senescent cells in age-related diseases and senescent cells may be causal to certain age-related pathologies. A strongly supported hypothesis is that extranuclear chromatin is recognized by the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase-stimulator of interferon genes pathway, which in turn leads to the induction of several inflammatory cytokines as part of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. This sterile inflammation increases with chronological age and age-associated disease. More recently, several intracellular and extracellular metabolic changes have been described in senescent cells but it is not clear whether any of them have functional significance. In this review, we highlight the potential effect of dietary and age-related metabolites in the modulation of the senescent phenotype in addition to discussing how experimental conditions may influence senescent cell metabolism, especially that of energy regulation. Finally, as extracellular citrate accumulates following certain types of senescence, we focus on the recently reported role of extracellular citrate in aging and age-related pathologies. We propose that citrate may be an active component of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype and via its intake through the diet may even contribute to the cause of age-related disease.
    Keywords:  ageing; cancer; citrate; energy; metabolism; senescence; telomere; transport
  49. PLoS Comput Biol. 2022 Apr 11. 18(4): e1009999
      Accurate measurements of metabolic fluxes in living cells are central to metabolism research and metabolic engineering. The gold standard method is model-based metabolic flux analysis (MFA), where fluxes are estimated indirectly from mass isotopomer data with the use of a mathematical model of the metabolic network. A critical step in MFA is model selection: choosing what compartments, metabolites, and reactions to include in the metabolic network model. Model selection is often done informally during the modelling process, based on the same data that is used for model fitting (estimation data). This can lead to either overly complex models (overfitting) or too simple ones (underfitting), in both cases resulting in poor flux estimates. Here, we propose a method for model selection based on independent validation data. We demonstrate in simulation studies that this method consistently chooses the correct model in a way that is independent on errors in measurement uncertainty. This independence is beneficial, since estimating the true magnitude of these errors can be difficult. In contrast, commonly used model selection methods based on the χ2-test choose different model structures depending on the believed measurement uncertainty; this can lead to errors in flux estimates, especially when the magnitude of the error is substantially off. We present a new approach for quantification of prediction uncertainty of mass isotopomer distributions in other labelling experiments, to check for problems with too much or too little novelty in the validation data. Finally, in an isotope tracing study on human mammary epithelial cells, the validation-based model selection method identified pyruvate carboxylase as a key model component. Our results argue that validation-based model selection should be an integral part of MFA model development.
  50. Cell. 2022 Apr 14. pii: S0092-8674(22)00337-3. [Epub ahead of print]185(8): 1444-1444.e1
      The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (Ppargc1a) gene encodes several PGC-1α isoforms that regulate mitochondrial bioenergetics and cellular adaptive processes. Expressing specific PGC-1α isoforms in mice can confer protection in different disease models. This SnapShot summarizes how regulation of Ppargc1a transcription, splicing, translation, protein stability, and activity underlies its multifaceted functions. To view this SnapShot, open or download the PDF.
  51. Science. 2022 Apr 15. 376(6590): eabh1623
      Human cells produce thousands of lipids that change during cell differentiation and can vary across individual cells of the same type. However, we are only starting to characterize the function of these cell-to-cell differences in lipid composition. Here, we measured the lipidomes and transcriptomes of individual human dermal fibroblasts by coupling high-resolution mass spectrometry imaging with single-cell transcriptomics. We found that the cell-to-cell variations of specific lipid metabolic pathways contribute to the establishment of cell states involved in the organization of skin architecture. Sphingolipid composition is shown to define fibroblast subpopulations, with sphingolipid metabolic rewiring driving cell-state transitions. Therefore, cell-to-cell lipid heterogeneity affects the determination of cell states, adding a new regulatory component to the self-organization of multicellular systems.
  52. Immunity. 2022 Apr 12. pii: S1074-7613(22)00130-3. [Epub ahead of print]55(4): 671-685.e10
      Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) has pleiotropic effects on cancer immune checkpoint blockade (ICB), including roles in ICB resistance. We analyzed gene expression in ICB-sensitive versus ICB-resistant tumor cells and identified a strong association between interferon-mediated resistance and expression of Ripk1, a regulator of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily receptors. Genetic interaction screening revealed that in cancer cells, RIPK1 diverted TNF signaling through NF-κB and away from its role in cell death. This promoted an immunosuppressive chemokine program by cancer cells, enhanced cancer cell survival, and decreased infiltration of T and NK cells expressing TNF superfamily ligands. Deletion of RIPK1 in cancer cells compromised chemokine secretion, decreased ARG1+ suppressive myeloid cells linked to ICB failure in mice and humans, and improved ICB response driven by CASP8-killing and dependent on T and NK cells. RIPK1-mediated resistance required its ubiquitin scaffolding but not kinase function. Thus, cancer cells co-opt RIPK1 to promote cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic resistance to immunotherapy.
  53. Cell Metab. 2022 Apr 05. pii: S1550-4131(22)00098-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Emerging evidence indicates that the accretion of senescent cells is linked to metabolic disorders. However, the underlying mechanisms and metabolic consequences of cellular senescence in obesity remain obscure. In this study, we found that obese adipocytes are senescence-susceptible cells accompanied with genome instability. Additionally, we discovered that SREBP1c may play a key role in genome stability and senescence in adipocytes by modulating DNA-damage responses. Unexpectedly, SREBP1c interacted with PARP1 and potentiated PARP1 activity during DNA repair, independent of its canonical lipogenic function. The genetic depletion of SREBP1c accelerated adipocyte senescence, leading to immune cell recruitment into obese adipose tissue. These deleterious effects provoked unhealthy adipose tissue remodeling and insulin resistance in obesity. In contrast, the elimination of senescent adipocytes alleviated adipose tissue inflammation and improved insulin resistance. These findings revealed distinctive roles of SREBP1c-PARP1 axis in the regulation of adipocyte senescence and will help decipher the metabolic significance of senescence in obesity.
    Keywords:  DNA repair process; PARP1; SASP; SREBP1c; adipocyte; adipose tissue inflammation; cellular senescence; energy homeostasis; insulin resistance; obesity
  54. Nature. 2022 Apr 13.
    Keywords:  Ageing; Cancer; Genetics
  55. Aging (Albany NY). 2022 Apr 11. 14(undefined):
      Metabolic reprogramming and elevated glycolysis levels are associated with tumor progression. However, despite cancer cells selectively inhibiting or expressing certain metabolic enzymes, it is unclear whether differences in gene profiles influence patient outcomes. Therefore, identifying the differences in enzyme action may facilitate discovery of gene ontology variations to characterize tumors. Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (F-1,6-BP) is an important intermediate in glucose metabolism, particularly in cancer. Gluconeogenesis and glycolysis require fructose-1,6-bisphosphonates 1 (FBP1) and fructose-bisphosphate aldolase A (ALDOA), which participate in F-1,6-BP conversion. Increased expression of ALDOA and decreased expression of FBP1 are associated with the progression of various forms of cancer in humans. However, the exact molecular mechanism by which ALDOA and FBP1 are involved in the switching of F-1,6-BP is not yet known. As a result of their pancancer pattern, the relationship between ALDOA and FBP1 in patient prognosis is reversed, particularly in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and liver hepatocellular carcinoma (LIHC). Using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we observed that FBP1 expression was low in patients with LUAD and LIHC tumors, which was distinct from ALDOA. A similar trend was observed in the analysis of Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) datasets. By dissecting downstream networks and possible upstream regulators, using ALDOA and FBP1 as the core, we identified common signatures and interaction events regulated by ALDOA and FBP1. Notably, the identified effectors dominated by ALDOA or FBP1 were distributed in opposite patterns and can be considered independent prognostic indicators for patients with LUAD and LIHC. Therefore, uncovering the effectors between ALDOA and FBP1 will lead to novel therapeutic strategies for cancer patients.
    Keywords:  ALDOA; FBP1; bioinformatics; cancer metabolism; prognosis
  56. J Biol Chem. 2022 Apr 06. pii: S0021-9258(22)00337-4. [Epub ahead of print] 101897
      In the glucose-rich milieu of red blood cells, asexually-replicating malaria parasites mainly rely on glycolysis for ATP production, with limited carbon flux through the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. By contrast, gametocytes and mosquito-stage parasites exhibit an increased dependence on the TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation for more economical energy generation. Prior genetic studies supported these stage-specific metabolic preferences by revealing that six out of eight TCA cycle enzymes are completely dispensable during the asexual blood stages of P. falciparum, with only fumarate hydratase (FH) and malate-quinone oxidoreductase (MQO) being refractory to deletion. Several hypotheses have been put forth to explain the possible essentiality of FH and MQO, including their participation in a malate shuttle between the mitochondrial matrix and the cytosol. However, using newer genetic techniques like CRISPR and DiCre, we were able to generate deletion strains of FH and MQO in P. falciparum. We employed metabolomic analyses to characterize a double knockout mutant of FH and MQO (ΔFM) and identified changes in purine salvage and urea cycle metabolism that may help to limit fumarate accumulation. Correspondingly, we found that the ΔFM mutant was more sensitive to exogenous fumarate, which is known to cause toxicity by modifying and inactivating proteins and metabolites. Overall, our data indicate that P. falciparum is able to adequately compensate for the loss of FH and MQO, rendering them unsuitable targets for drug development.
    Keywords:  DiCre; Malaria; Metabolomics; Plasmodium falciparum; apartate shuttle; mitochondrion; oxaloacetate; tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle
  57. Bioact Mater. 2022 Dec;18 492-506
      Understanding mechanisms underlying the heterogeneity of multipotent stem cells offers invaluable insights into biogenesis and tissue development. Extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness has been acknowledged as a crucial factor regulating stem cell fate. However, how cells sense stiffness cues and adapt their metabolism activity is still unknown. Here we report the novel role of mitochondrial phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK2) in enhancing osteogenesis in 3D ECM via glycolysis. We experimentally mimicked the physical characteristics of 3D trabeculae network of normal and osteoporotic bone with different microstructure and stiffness, observing that PCK2 promotes osteogenesis in 3D ECM with tunable stiffness in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, PCK2 enhances the rate-limiting metabolic enzyme pallet isoform phosphofructokinase (PFKP) in 3D ECM, and further activates AKT/extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) cascades, which directly regulates osteogenic differentiation of MSCs. Collectively, our findings implicate an intricate crosstalk between cell mechanics and metabolism, and provide new perspectives for strategies of osteoporosis.
    Keywords:  Extracellular matrix; Mesenchymal stem cells; Osteogenesis; Osteoporosis; PCK2; Stiffness
  58. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Apr 05. pii: 4022. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), leucine, isoleucine and valine, are essential amino acids widely studied for their crucial role in the regulation of protein synthesis mainly through the activation of the mTOR signaling pathway and their emerging recognition as players in the regulation of various physiological and metabolic processes, such as glucose homeostasis. BCAA supplementation is primarily used as a beneficial nutritional intervention in chronic liver and kidney disease as well as in muscle wasting disorders. However, downregulated/upregulated plasma BCAAs and their defective catabolism in various tissues, mainly due to altered enzymatic activity of the first two enzymes in their catabolic pathway, BCAA aminotransferase (BCAT) and branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase (BCKD), have been investigated in many nutritional and disease states. The current review focused on the underlying mechanisms of altered BCAA catabolism and its contribution to the pathogenesis of a numerous pathological conditions such as diabetes, heart failure and cancer. In addition, we summarize findings that indicate that the recovery of the dysregulated BCAA catabolism may be associated with an improved outcome and the prevention of serious disease complications.
    Keywords:  BCKAs; T2DM; cancer; catabolic enzymes; catabolism; heart failure; isoleucine; leucine; valine
  59. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Apr 11.
      Skeletal muscle has long been recognized as an inhospitable site for disseminated tumour cells (DTCs). Yet its antimetastatic nature has eluded a thorough mechanistic examination. Here, we show that DTCs traffic to and persist within skeletal muscle in mice and in humans, which raises the question of how this tissue suppresses colonization. Results from mouse and organotypic culture models along with metabolomic profiling suggested that skeletal muscle imposes a sustained oxidative stress on DTCs that impairs their proliferation. Functional studies demonstrated that disrupting reduction-oxidation homeostasis via chemogenetic induction of reactive oxygen species slowed proliferation in a more fertile organ: the lung. Conversely, enhancement of the antioxidant potential of tumour cells through ectopic expression of catalase in the tumour or host mitochondria allowed robust colonization of skeletal muscle. These findings reveal a profound metabolic bottleneck imposed on DTCs and sustained by skeletal muscle. A thorough understanding of this biology could reveal previously undocumented DTC vulnerabilities that can be exploited to prevent metastasis in other more susceptible tissues.
  60. Dev Cell. 2022 Apr 06. pii: S1534-5807(22)00205-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Organ formation requires integrating signals to coordinate proliferation, specify cell fates, and shape tissue. Tracing these events and signals remains a challenge, as intermediate states across many critical transitions are unresolvable over real time and space. Here, we designed a unique computational approach to decompose a non-linear differentiation process into key components to resolve the signals and cell behaviors that drive a rapid transition, using the hair follicle dermal condensate as a model. Combining scRNA sequencing with genetic perturbation, we reveal that proliferative Dkk1+ progenitors transiently amplify to become quiescent dermal condensate cells by the mere spatiotemporal patterning of Wnt/β-catenin and SHH signaling gradients. Together, they deterministically coordinate a rapid transition from proliferation to quiescence, cell fate specification, and morphogenesis. Moreover, genetically repatterning these gradients reproduces these events autonomously in "slow motion" across more intermediates that resolve the process. This analysis unravels two morphogen gradients that intersect to coordinate events of organogenesis.
    Keywords:  Wnt; dermal condensate; dermis; development; hair follicle; morphogen; niche; single-cell RNA-seq; sonic hedgehog
  61. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2022 Apr 07. pii: S0003-9861(22)00084-4. [Epub ahead of print] 109199
      The tumor microenvironment (TME) promotes the malignant transformation of cancer cells, mainly through metabolic reprogramming. As one of the most prominent features of the TME, hypoxia contributes to cancer cell death resistance, invasion, metastasis, and therapy-resistant phenotypes. As an important cofactor for various enzymes, iron is essential for ATP generation, antioxidant protein function, and DNA-damage repair in hypoxic cancer cells. Iron metabolism, as a promoter of aggressive hypoxic cancer cell biology, has attracted an increasing amount of attention. Iron utilization, storage, and efflux are enhanced in hypoxic cancer cells, which further contributes to cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, ferroptosis resistance, and immune escape. This review describes the relationship between iron metabolism and proliferation, metastasis, and ferroptosis of hypoxic cancer cells, as well as several iron-targeted cancer therapy strategies. Understanding the hypoxia-specific regulatory mechanism of iron metabolism could aid the development of targeted therapy against refractory hypoxic cancer cells.
    Keywords:  Ferroptosis; Hypoxia; Iron metabolism; Metabolic reprogramming; The tumor microenvironment
  62. Curr Biol. 2022 Apr 08. pii: S0960-9822(22)00491-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      For the maintenance of epithelial homeostasis, various aberrant or dysfunctional cells are actively eliminated from epithelial layers. This cell extrusion process mainly falls into two modes: cell-competition-mediated extrusion and apoptotic extrusion. However, it is not clearly understood whether and how these processes are governed by common molecular mechanisms. In this study, we demonstrate that the reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels are elevated within a wide range of epithelial layers around extruding transformed or apoptotic cells. The downregulation of ROS suppresses the extrusion process. Furthermore, ATP is extracellularly secreted from extruding cells, which promotes the ROS level and cell extrusion. Moreover, the extracellular ATP and ROS pathways positively regulate the polarized movements of surrounding cells toward extruding cells in both cell-competition-mediated and apoptotic extrusion. Hence, extracellular ATP acts as an "extrude me" signal and plays a prevalent role in cell extrusion, thereby sustaining epithelial homeostasis and preventing pathological conditions or disorders.
    Keywords:  ROS; RasV12; Scribble; apoptosis; cell competition; cell extrusion; cell migration; epithelia; extracellular ATP; mouse intestine
  63. Brief Bioinform. 2022 Apr 13. pii: bbac118. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cellular senescence (CS), a state of permanent growth arrest, is intertwined with tumorigenesis. Due to the absence of specific markers, characterizing senescence levels and senescence-related phenotypes across cancer types remain unexplored. Here, we defined computational metrics of senescence levels as CS scores to delineate CS landscape across 33 cancer types and 29 normal tissues and explored CS-associated phenotypes by integrating multiplatform data from ~20 000 patients and ~212 000 single-cell profiles. CS scores showed cancer type-specific associations with genomic and immune characteristics and significantly predicted immunotherapy responses and patient prognosis in multiple cancers. Single-cell CS quantification revealed intra-tumor heterogeneity and activated immune microenvironment in senescent prostate cancer. Using machine learning algorithms, we identified three CS genes as potential prognostic predictors in prostate cancer and verified them by immunohistochemical assays in 72 patients. Our study provides a comprehensive framework for evaluating senescence levels and clinical relevance, gaining insights into CS roles in cancer- and senescence-related biomarker discovery.
    Keywords:  cellular senescence; immunotherapy; machine learning; pan-cancer; single-cell
  64. Curr Opin Immunol. 2022 Apr 08. pii: S0952-7915(22)00018-8. [Epub ahead of print]75 102173
      A hallmark of the innate immune system is its ability to rapidly initiate short-lived or sustained transcriptional programs in a cell-specific and pathogen-specific manner that is dependent on dynamic chromatin states. Much of the epigenetic landscape is set during cellular differentiation; however, pathogens and other environmental cues also induce changes in chromatin that can either promote tolerance or 'train' innate immune cells for amplified secondary responses. We review chromatin processes that enable innate immune cell differentiation and functional transcriptional responses in naive or experienced cells, in concert with signal transduction and cellular metabolic shifts. We discuss how immune chromatin mechanisms are maladapted in disease and novel therapeutic approaches for cellular reprogramming.
  65. Cell Death Discov. 2022 Apr 11. 8(1): 195
      Oxidative stress is a state in which the accumulation of reactive oxygen species exceeds the capacity of cellular antioxidant systems. Both apoptosis and necrosis are observed under oxidative stress, and we have reported that these two forms of cell death are induced in H2O2-stimulated HeLa cells depending on the concentration of H2O2. Weak H2O2 stimulation induces apoptosis, while strong H2O2 stimulation induces necrosis. However, the detailed mechanisms controlling the switching between these forms of cell death depending on the level of oxidative stress remain elusive. Here, we found that NAD+ metabolism is a key factor in determining the form of cell death in H2O2-stimulated HeLa cells. Under both weak and strong H2O2 stimulation, intracellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) was depleted to a similar extent by poly (ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymerase 1 (PARP1)-dependent consumption. However, the intracellular NAD+ concentration recovered under weak H2O2 stimulation but not under strong H2O2 stimulation. NAD+ recovery was mediated by nicotinamide (NAM) phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT)-dependent synthesis via the NAD+ salvage pathway, which was suggested to be impaired only under strong H2O2 stimulation. Furthermore, downstream of NAD+, the dynamics of the intracellular ATP concentration paralleled those of NAD+, and ATP-dependent caspase-9 activation via apoptosome formation was thus impaired under strong H2O2 stimulation. Collectively, these findings suggest that NAD+ dynamics balanced by PARP1-dependent consumption and NAMPT-dependent production are important to determine the form of cell death activated under oxidative stress.
  66. Nature. 2022 Apr 13.
    Keywords:  Ageing; Genetics; Particle physics