bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒05‒01
ninety-one papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit

  1. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 May;18(5): 461-469
      Metabolites once considered solely in catabolism or anabolism turn out to have key regulatory functions. Among these, the citric acid cycle intermediate succinate stands out owing to its multiple roles in disparate pathways, its dramatic concentration changes and its selective cell release. Here we propose that succinate has evolved as a signaling modality because its concentration reflects the coenzyme Q (CoQ) pool redox state, a central redox couple confined to the mitochondrial inner membrane. This connection is of general importance because CoQ redox state integrates three bioenergetic parameters: mitochondrial electron supply, oxygen tension and ATP demand. Succinate, by equilibrating with the CoQ pool, enables the status of this central bioenergetic parameter to be communicated from mitochondria to the rest of the cell, into the circulation and to other cells. The logic of this form of regulation explains many emerging roles of succinate in biology, and suggests future research questions.
  2. Diabetes. 2022 Apr 26. pii: db210834. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role in Type 2 Diabetes (T2D); however, the pathogenic mechanisms in pancreatic β-cells are incompletely elucidated. Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) is a key mitochondrial enzyme with dual functions in the TCA cycle and electron transport chain (ETC). Using human diabetic samples and a mouse model of β-cell-specific SDH ablation (SDHBβKO), we define SDH deficiency as a driver of mitochondrial dysfunction in β-cell failure and insulinopenic diabetes. β-Cell SDH deficiency impairs glucose-induced respiratory oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) collapse, thereby compromising glucose-stimulated ATP production, insulin secretion and β-cell growth. Mechanistically, metabolomic and transcriptomic studies reveal that the loss of SDH causes excess succinate accumulation, which inappropriately activates mTORC1-regulated metabolic anabolism, including increased SREBP-regulated lipid synthesis. These alterations, which mirror diabetes-associated human β-cell dysfunction, are partially reversed by acute mTOR inhibition with rapamycin. We propose SDH deficiency as a contributing mechanism to the progressive β-cell failure of diabetes and identify mTORC1 inhibition as a potential mitigation strategy.
  3. Nat Immunol. 2022 Apr 28.
      The NLRP3 inflammasome is linked to sterile and pathogen-dependent inflammation, and its dysregulation underlies many chronic diseases. Mitochondria have been implicated as regulators of the NLRP3 inflammasome through several mechanisms including generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here, we report that mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) complex I, II, III and V inhibitors all prevent NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Ectopic expression of Saccharomyces cerevisiae NADH dehydrogenase (NDI1) or Ciona intestinalis alternative oxidase, which can complement the functional loss of mitochondrial complex I or III, respectively, without generation of ROS, rescued NLRP3 inflammasome activation in the absence of endogenous mitochondrial complex I or complex III function. Metabolomics revealed phosphocreatine (PCr), which can sustain ATP levels, as a common metabolite that is diminished by mitochondrial ETC inhibitors. PCr depletion decreased ATP levels and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Thus, the mitochondrial ETC sustains NLRP3 inflammasome activation through PCr-dependent generation of ATP, but via a ROS-independent mechanism.
  4. EMBO J. 2022 Apr 25. e111290
      The ability of immune cells to penetrate affected tissues is highly dependent on energy provided by mitochondria, yet their involvement in promoting migration remains unclear. Recent work by Emtenani et al (2022) describes a nuclear Atossa-Porthos axis that adjusts transcription and translation of a small subset of OXPHOS genes to increase mitochondrial bioenergetics and allow macrophage tissue invasion in flies.
  5. Elife. 2022 Apr 25. pii: e75143. [Epub ahead of print]11
      How environmental cues influence peroxisome proliferation, particularly through organelles, remains largely unknown. Yeast peroxisomes metabolize fatty acids (FA), and methylotrophic yeasts also metabolize methanol. NADH and acetyl-CoA, produced by these pathways enter mitochondria for ATP production and for anabolic reactions. During the metabolism of FA and/or methanol, the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) pathway accepts NADH for ATP production and maintains cellular redox balance. Remarkably, peroxisome proliferation in Pichia pastoris was abolished in NADH shuttling- and OXPHOS mutants affecting complex I or III, or by the mitochondrial uncoupler, 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), indicating ATP depletion causes the phenotype. We show that mitochondrial OXPHOS deficiency inhibits expression of several peroxisomal proteins implicated in FA and methanol metabolism, as well as in peroxisome division and proliferation. These genes are regulated by the Snf1 complex (SNF1), a pathway generally activated by a high AMP/ATP ratio. In OXPHOS mutants, Snf1 is activated by phosphorylation, but Gal83, its interacting subunit, fails to translocate to the nucleus. Phenotypic defects in peroxisome proliferation observed in the OXPHOS mutants, and phenocopied by the Dgal83 mutant, were rescued by deletion of three transcriptional repressor genes (MIG1, MIG2 and NRG1) controlled by SNF1 signaling. Our results are interpreted in terms of a mechanism by which peroxisomal and mitochondrial proteins and/or metabolites influence redox and energy metabolism, while also influencing peroxisome biogenesis and proliferation, thereby exemplifying interorganellar communication and interplay involving peroxisomes, mitochondria, cytosol and the nucleus. We discuss the physiological relevance of this work in the context of human OXPHOS deficiencies.
    Keywords:  cell biology
  6. Sci Immunol. 2022 Apr 29. 7(70): eabm8161
      Effective T cell-mediated immune responses require the proper allocation of metabolic resources to sustain growth, proliferation, and cytokine production. Epigenetic control of the genome also governs T cell transcriptome and T cell lineage commitment and maintenance. Cellular metabolic programs interact with epigenetic regulation by providing substrates for covalent modifications of chromatin. By using complementary genetic, epigenetic, and metabolic approaches, we revealed that tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle flux fueled biosynthetic processes while controlling the ratio of succinate/α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) to modulate the activities of dioxygenases that are critical for driving T cell inflammation. In contrast to cancer cells, where succinate dehydrogenase (SDH)/complex II inactivation drives cell transformation and growth, SDH/complex II deficiency in T cells caused proliferation and survival defects when the TCA cycle was truncated, blocking carbon flux to support nucleoside biosynthesis. Replenishing the intracellular nucleoside pool partially relieved the dependence of T cells on SDH/complex II for proliferation and survival. SDH deficiency induced a proinflammatory gene signature in T cells and promoted T helper 1 and T helper 17 lineage differentiation. An increasing succinate/α-KG ratio in SDH-deficient T cells promoted inflammation by changing the pattern of the transcriptional and chromatin accessibility signatures and consequentially increasing the expression of the transcription factor, PR domain zinc finger protein 1. Collectively, our studies revealed a role of SDH/complex II in allocating carbon resources for anabolic processes and epigenetic regulation in T cell proliferation and inflammation.
  7. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. 2022 Apr 26.
      Protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensor that responds to the accumulation of misfolded proteins. Once activated, PERK initiates signalling pathways that halt general protein production, increase the efficiency of ER quality control, and maintain redox homeostasis. PERK activation also protects mitochondrial homeostasis during stress. The location of PERK at the contact sites between the ER and the mitochondria creates a PERK-mitochondria axis that allows PERK to detect stress in both organelles, adapt their functions and prevent apoptosis. During ER stress, PERK activation triggers mitochondrial hyperfusion, preventing premature apoptotic fragmentation of the mitochondria. PERK activation also increases the formation of mitochondrial cristae and the assembly of respiratory supercomplexes, enhancing cellular ATP-generating capacity. PERK strengthens mitochondrial quality control during stress by promoting the expression of mitochondrial chaperones and proteases and by increasing mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy, resulting in renewal of the mitochondrial network. But how does PERK mediate all these changes in mitochondrial homeostasis? In addition to the classic PERK-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α)-activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) pathway, PERK can activate other protective pathways - PERK-O-linked N-acetyl-glucosamine transferase (OGT), PERK-transcription factor EB (TFEB), and PERK-nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) - contributing to broader regulation of mitochondrial dynamics, metabolism, and quality control. The pharmacological activation of PERK is protective in models of neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases, such as Huntington's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and obesity, while the inhibition of PERK was protective in models of Parkinson's and prion diseases and diabetes. In this review, we address the molecular mechanisms by which PERK regulates mitochondrial dynamics, metabolism and quality control, and discuss the therapeutic potential of targeting PERK in neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases.
    Keywords:  PERK; dynamics; endoplasmic reticulum; metabolic diseases; metabolism; mitochondria; neurodegeneration; stress; unfolded protein response
  8. Tzu Chi Med J. 2022 Apr-Jun;34(2):34(2): 134-138
      Metabolic regulations play vital roles on maintaining the homeostasis of our body. Evidence have suggested that ATF3 and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) are critical for maintaining cell function, metabolism, and inflammation/anti-inflammation regulations when cells are under stress, while the upstream regulators in the stressed cells remain elusive. Recent findings have shown that tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites such as itaconate and succinate are not just mitochondrial metabolites, but rather important signaling mediators, involving in the regulations of metabolism, immune modulation. Itaconate exerts anti-inflammatory role through regulating ATF3 and NRF2 pathways under stressed conditions. In addition, itaconate inhibits succinate dehydrogenase, succinate oxidation and thus blocking succinate-mediated inflammatory processes. These findings suggest itaconate-ATF3 and itaconate-NRF2 axes are well-coordinated machineries that facilitate the rescue against cellular stress. Here, we review these fascinating discoveries, a research field may help the development of more effective therapeutic approach to manage stress-induced inflammation, tissue damage, and metabolic disorder.
    Keywords:  ATF3; Inflammasome; Itaconate; Mitochondrial stress; Nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2
  9. Autophagy. 2022 Apr 25.
      Although the role of pancreatic β-cell macroautophagy/autophagy is well known, that of β-cell mitophagy is unclear. We investigated the changes of lysosomal Ca2+ by mitochondrial or metabolic stress that can modulate TFEB activation and, additionally, the role of TFEB-induced mitophagy in β-cell function. Mitochondrial or metabolic stress induces mitophagy, which is mediated by lysosomal Ca2+ release, increased cytosolic [Ca2+] and subsequent TFEB activation. Lysosomal Ca2+ release is replenished by ER→lysosome Ca2+ refilling through ER Ca2+ exit channels, which is important for the increase of cytosolic [Ca2+] and mitophagy by mitochondria stressors. High-fat diet (HFD) feeding augments pancreatic β-cell mitophagy, probably as an adaptation to metabolic stress. HFD-induced increase of β-cell mitophagy is reduced by tfeb KO, leading to increased ROS and decreased mitochondrial complex activity or oxygen consumption in tfeb-KO islets. In tfeb Δβ-cell mice, HFD-induced glucose intolerance and β-cell dysfunction are aggravated. Expression of mitophagy receptor genes including Optn or Calcoco2 is increased by mitochondrial or metabolic stressors in a TFEB-dependent manner, likely contributing to increased mitophagy. These results suggest that lysosomal Ca2+ release in conjunction with ER→lysosome Ca2+ refilling is important for TFEB activation and mitophagy induction, which contributes to pancreatic β-cell adaptation to metabolic stress.
    Keywords:  Ca2+; TFEB; lysosome; mitophagy; pancreatic β-cells
  10. STAR Protoc. 2022 Jun 17. 3(2): 101322
      Mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) dysfunction is linked to mitochondrial disease as well as other common conditions such as diabetes, neurodegeneration, cancer, and aging. Thus, the evaluation of MRC enzymatic activities is fundamental for diagnostics and research purposes on experimental models. Here, we provide a verified and reliable protocol for mitochondria isolation from various D. melanogaster samples and subsequent measurement of the activity of MRC complexes I-V plus citrate synthase (CS) through UV-VIS spectrophotometry. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Brischigliaro et al. (2021).
    Keywords:  Cell separation/fractionation; Metabolism; Model Organisms; Protein Biochemistry
  11. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2022 ;pii: S1937-6448(22)00004-1. [Epub ahead of print]367 65-100
      Macrophages functionally adapt to a diverse set of signals, a process that is critical for their role in maintaining or restoring tissue homeostasis. This process extends to cancer, where macrophages respond to a series of inflammatory and metabolic cues that direct a maladaptive healing response. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) have altered glucose, amino acid, and lipid metabolic profiles, and interfering with this metabolic shift can blunt the ability of macrophages to promote tumor growth, metastasis, and the creation of an immunosuppressive microenvironment. Here we will review changes in metabolites and metabolic pathways in TAMs and link these with the phenotypic and functional properties of the cells. We will also discuss current strategies targeting TAM metabolism as a therapeutic intervention in cancer.
    Keywords:  Immunometabolism; Metabolic reprogramming; Metabolism; Tumor microenvironment; Tumor-associated macrophages
  12. Autophagy. 2022 Apr 26. 1-2
      Cancer cells metabolize glutamine mostly through glutaminolysis, a metabolic pathway that activates MTORC1. The AMPK-MTORC1 signaling axis is a key regulator of cell growth and proliferation. Our recent investigation identified that the connection between glutamine and AMPK is not restricted to glutaminolysis. Rather, we demonstrated the crucial role of ASNS (asparagine synthetase (glutamine-hydrolyzing)) and the GABA shunt for the metabolic control of the AMPK-MTORC1 axis during glutamine sufficiency. Our results elucidated a metabolic network by which glutamine metabolism regulates the MTORC1-macroautophagy/autophagy pathway through two independent branches involving glutaminolysis and ASNS-GABA shunt.
    Keywords:  ASNS; GABA-shunt; MTORC1; glutamine; glutamoptosis
  13. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2022 Apr 25.
      Inositol is an essential nutrient, obtained either by uptake from the environment or by de novo synthesis from glucose. Inositol and its derivatives exhibit tumor-suppressive effects, potentially mediated by inhibition of the ERK-MAPK or PI3K-Akt pathways. Accordingly, many cancers have been documented to silence expression of the ISYNA1 gene, which encodes the rate-limiting enzyme of inositol synthesis. Paradoxically, recent studies have also reported upregulation of ISYNA1 in some cancers. Upregulation may reflect a compensatory response brought about by defective inositol uptake or oncogenic mutations that preclude its tumor-suppressive effects. In these scenarios, de novo synthesis of inositol may be upregulated to promote cell proliferation. The role of inositol in cancer is further complicated by its ability to inhibit the master metabolic regulator AMPK, which upon activation can either decrease cell proliferation and metastasis or promote cell survival. Due to its potential dual role in cancer, inositol homeostasis must be tightly regulated in tumor cells. Thus, whether inositol acts to suppress or promote tumor progression is determined by the metabolic profile and oncogenic background of the cancer.
    Keywords:  AMPK; Cancer; ISYNA1; Inositol; Metabolism; PI3K-Akt
  14. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2022 Apr 25. pii: S0303-7207(22)00109-5. [Epub ahead of print] 111661
      The most recognized role of mitochondria is producing more than 90% of the total cellular energy in the form of ATP. In addition, mitochondrial function encompasses the maintenance of antioxidant balance, the regulation of intracellular calcium concentrations, the progression of cell death, and the biosynthesis of purines, hemes, lipids, amino acids and steroid hormones. Mitochondria are also important hormone targets. Estrogens, progestagens, and prolactin, are among the hormones that can impact mitochondrial function and modulate the underlying adaptations to changing bioenergetic and metabolic needs. Lactation represents a metabolic challenge with significant increases in energy requirements and fluctuating levels of hormones. To meet these bioenergetic demands, liver mitochondria increase their state 3 and 4 respiration, adjust superoxide dismutase activity, and elevate succinate dehydrogenase-related respiration. Skeletal muscle mitochondria respond by increasing their respiratory control ratio and adjusting catalase activity. In this review, these adaptations are described considering the lactation hormonal milieu.
    Keywords:  Estrogens; Lactation; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial hormone receptors; Progesterone; Prolactin
  15. Trends Cell Biol. 2022 Apr 24. pii: S0962-8924(22)00084-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      More than 800 million people suffer from kidney disease. Genetic studies and follow-up animal models and cell biological experiments indicate the key role of proximal tubule metabolism. Kidneys have one of the highest mitochondrial densities. Mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial fusion and fission, and mitochondrial recycling, such as mitophagy are critical for proper mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial dysfunction can lead to an energetic crisis, orchestrate different types of cell death (apoptosis, necroptosis, pyroptosis, and ferroptosis), and influence cellular calcium levels and redox status. Collectively, mitochondrial defects in renal tubules contribute to epithelial atrophy, inflammation, or cell death, orchestrating kidney disease development.
    Keywords:  cell death; inflammation; kidney disease; mitochondria; mitophagy; renal tubule cell
  16. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 May 03. 119(18): e2200549119
      SignificancePrimary mitochondrial diseases (PMDs) are the most prevalent inborn metabolic disorders, affecting an estimated 1 in 4,200 individuals. Endurance exercise is generally known to improve mitochondrial function, but its indication in the heterogeneous group of PMDs is unclear. We determined the relationship between mitochondrial mutations, endurance exercise response, and the underlying molecular pathways in mice with distinct mitochondrial mutations. This revealed that mitochondria are crucial regulators of exercise capacity and exercise response. Endurance exercise proved to be mostly beneficial across the different mitochondrial mutant mice with the exception of a worsened dilated cardiomyopathy in ANT1-deficient mice. Thus, therapeutic exercises, especially in patients with PMDs, should take into account the physical and mitochondrial genetic status of the patient.
    Keywords:  endurance exercise; mitochondrial disease; skeletal muscle adaption
  17. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 May;18(5): 470-481
      T cells orchestrate adaptive immunity against pathogens and other immune challenges, but their dysfunction can also mediate the pathogenesis of cancer and autoimmunity. Metabolic adaptation in response to immunological and microenvironmental signals contributes to T cell function and fate decision. Lipid metabolism has emerged as a key regulator of T cell responses, with selective lipid metabolites serving as metabolic rheostats to integrate environmental cues and interplay with intracellular signaling processes. Here, we discuss how extracellular, de novo synthesized and membrane lipids orchestrate T cell biology. We also describe the roles of lipids as regulators of intracellular signaling at the levels of transcriptional, epigenetic and post-translational regulation in T cells. Finally, we summarize therapeutic targeting of lipid metabolism and signaling, and conclude with a discussion of important future directions. Understanding the molecular and functional interplay between lipid metabolism and T cell biology will ultimately inform therapeutic intervention for human disease.
  18. J Biol Chem. 2022 Apr 20. pii: S0021-9258(22)00408-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101968
      Iron accumulates with age in mammals, and its possible implications in altering metabolic responses are not fully understood. Here we report that both high-iron diet and advanced age in mice consistently altered gene expression of many pathways, including those governing the oxidative stress response and the circadian clock. We used a metabolomic approach to reveal similarities between metabolic profiles and the daily oscillation of clock genes in old and iron-overloaded mouse livers. In addition, we show that phlebotomy decreased iron accumulation in old mice, partially restoring the metabolic patterns and amplitudes of the oscillatory expression of clock genes Per1 and Per2. We further identified that the transcriptional regulation of iron occurred through a reduction in AMP-modulated methylation of histone H3K9 in the Per1 and H3K4 in the Per2 promoters, respectively. Taken together, our results indicate that iron accumulation with age can affect metabolic patterns and the circadian clock.
    Keywords:  aging; circadian clock; histone methylation; iron metabolism; metabolism
  19. FEBS J. 2022 Apr 29.
      Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are highly plastic and are broadly grouped into two major functional states, namely the pro-inflammatory M1-type and the pro-tumoral M2-type. Conversion of the functional states of TAMs is regulated by various cytokines, chemokines growth factors, and other secreted factors in the microenvironment. Dysregulated metabolism is a hallmark of cancer. Emerging evidence suggests that metabolism governs the TAM differentiation and functional conversation in support of tumor growth and metastasis. Aside from the altered metabolism reprogramming in TAMs, extracellular metabolites secreted by cancer, stromal, and/or other cells within the tumor microenvironment have been found to regulate TAMs through passive competition for metabolite availability and direct regulation via receptor/transporter-mediated signaling reaction. In this review, we focus on the regulatory roles of different metabolites and metabolic pathways in TAM conversion and function. We also discuss if the dysregulated metabolism in TAMs can be exploited for the development of new therapeutic strategies against cancer.
    Keywords:  immunotherapy; macrophage polarization and conversion; metabolic pathways; tumor-associated macrophages
  20. Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 29. 13(1): 2350
      Cell fate commitment is driven by dynamic changes in chromatin architecture and activity of lineage-specific transcription factors (TFs). The chromatin assembly factor-1 (CAF-1) is a histone chaperone that regulates chromatin architecture by facilitating nucleosome assembly during DNA replication. Accumulating evidence supports a substantial role of CAF-1 in cell fate maintenance, but the mechanisms by which CAF-1 restricts lineage choice remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate how CAF-1 influences chromatin dynamics and TF activity during lineage differentiation. We show that CAF-1 suppression triggers rapid differentiation of myeloid stem and progenitor cells into a mixed lineage state. We find that CAF-1 sustains lineage fidelity by controlling chromatin accessibility at specific loci, and limiting the binding of ELF1 TF at newly-accessible diverging regulatory elements. Together, our findings decipher key traits of chromatin accessibility that sustain lineage integrity and point to a powerful strategy for dissecting transcriptional circuits central to cell fate commitment.
  21. Nat Metab. 2022 Apr;4(4): 476-494
      Resulting from impaired collagen turnover, fibrosis is a hallmark of adipose tissue (AT) dysfunction and obesity-associated insulin resistance (IR). Prolidase, also known as peptidase D (PEPD), plays a vital role in collagen turnover by degrading proline-containing dipeptides but its specific functional relevance in AT is unknown. Here we show that in human and mouse obesity, PEPD expression and activity decrease in AT, and PEPD is released into the systemic circulation, which promotes fibrosis and AT IR. Loss of the enzymatic function of PEPD by genetic ablation or pharmacological inhibition causes AT fibrosis in mice. In addition to its intracellular enzymatic role, secreted extracellular PEPD protein enhances macrophage and adipocyte fibro-inflammatory responses via EGFR signalling, thereby promoting AT fibrosis and IR. We further show that decreased prolidase activity is coupled with increased systemic levels of PEPD that act as a pathogenic trigger of AT fibrosis and IR. Thus, PEPD produced by macrophages might serve as a biomarker of AT fibro-inflammation and could represent a therapeutic target for AT fibrosis and obesity-associated IR and type 2 diabetes.
  22. J Nutr Biochem. 2022 Apr 20. pii: S0955-2863(22)00071-7. [Epub ahead of print] 109000
      Whether treatment with folic acid (FA) affects human breast cancer positively or negatively remains unclear. We subjected human MCF-7 cells, a human breast cancer cell line, to suboptimal FA at low levels (10 nM; LF) and high levels (50 μM; HF) and investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying their effects through metabolic flux and systematic proteomics analyses. The data indicated that LF induced and HF aggravated 2-fold higher mitochondrial toxicity in terms of suppressed oxidative respiration, increased fermented glycolysis, and enhanced anchorage-independent oncospheroid formation. Quantitative proteomics and Gene Ontology enrichment analysis were used to profile LF- and HF-altered proteins involved in metabolism, apoptosis, and malignancy pathways. Through STRING analysis, we identified a connection network between LF- and HF-altered proteins with mTOR. Rapamycin-induced blockage of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling, which regulates metabolism, differentially inhibited LF- and HF-modulated protein signatures of mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase ubiquinone flavoprotein 2, mitochondrial glutathione peroxidase 4, kynureninase, and alpha-crystallin B chain as well as programmed cell death 5 in transcript levels; it subsequently diminished apoptosis and oncospheroid formation in LF/HF-exposed cells. Taken together, our data indicate that suboptimal FA treatment rewired oncogenic metabolism and mTORC1-mediated proteomics signatures to promote breast cancer development.
    Keywords:  folic acid; human breast cancers; malignancy transformation; oncogenic metabolism; proteomic signatures
  23. Cell Rep Methods. 2021 Jun 21. 1(2): 100039
      Patient-derived cell lines are often used in pre-clinical cancer research, but some cell lines are too different from tumors to be good models. Comparison of genomic and expression profiles can guide the choice of pre-clinical models, but typically not all features are equally relevant. We present TumorComparer, a computational method for comparing cellular profiles with higher weights on functional features of interest. In this pan-cancer application, we compare ∼600 cell lines and ∼8,000 tumor samples of 24 cancer types, using weights to emphasize known oncogenic alterations. We characterize the similarity of cell lines and tumors within and across cancers by using multiple datum types and rank cell lines by their inferred quality as representative models. Beyond the assessment of cell lines, the weighted similarity approach is adaptable to patient stratification in clinical trials and personalized medicine.
    Keywords:  CCLP; TCGA; cancer genomics; cancer therapy; cell lines; decision support; oncogenic alterations; patient stratification; web application; weighted similarity
  24. Trends Cancer. 2022 Apr 22. pii: S2405-8033(22)00089-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tumor cell-intrinsic metabolic features can affect the cancer-immunity dialogue. In a recent paper published in Cancer Cell, Liao et al. demonstrate that IFNγ produced by T cells, together with arachidonic acid, can induce acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 4 (ACSL4)-mediated ferroptosis, correlating with increased immunosurveillance and response to checkpoint blockade.
    Keywords:  PARP; immunogenic cell death; immunotherapy
  25. Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 26. pii: S2211-1247(22)00494-6. [Epub ahead of print]39(4): 110733
      Hepatic gluconeogenesis from amino acids contributes significantly to diabetic hyperglycemia, but the molecular mechanisms involved are incompletely understood. Alanine transaminases (ALT1 and ALT2) catalyze the interconversion of alanine and pyruvate, which is required for gluconeogenesis from alanine. We find that ALT2 is overexpressed in the liver of diet-induced obese and db/db mice and that the expression of the gene encoding ALT2 (GPT2) is downregulated following bariatric surgery in people with obesity. The increased hepatic expression of Gpt2 in db/db liver is mediated by activating transcription factor 4, an endoplasmic reticulum stress-activated transcription factor. Hepatocyte-specific knockout of Gpt2 attenuates incorporation of 13C-alanine into newly synthesized glucose by hepatocytes. In vivo Gpt2 knockdown or knockout in liver has no effect on glucose concentrations in lean mice, but Gpt2 suppression alleviates hyperglycemia in db/db mice. These data suggest that ALT2 plays a significant role in hepatic gluconeogenesis from amino acids in diabetes.
    Keywords:  ATF4; CP: Metabolism; GPT2; amino acids; gluconeogenesis; liver
  26. Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 29. 13(1): 2340
      The dynamin-like GTPases Mitofusin 1 and 2 (Mfn1 and Mfn2) are essential for mitochondrial function, which has been principally attributed to their regulation of fission/fusion dynamics. Here, we report that Mfn1 and 2 are critical for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) primarily through control of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content. Whereas Mfn1 and Mfn2 individually were dispensable for glucose homeostasis, combined Mfn1/2 deletion in β-cells reduced mtDNA content, impaired mitochondrial morphology and networking, and decreased respiratory function, ultimately resulting in severe glucose intolerance. Importantly, gene dosage studies unexpectedly revealed that Mfn1/2 control of glucose homeostasis was dependent on maintenance of mtDNA content, rather than mitochondrial structure. Mfn1/2 maintain mtDNA content by regulating the expression of the crucial mitochondrial transcription factor Tfam, as Tfam overexpression ameliorated the reduction in mtDNA content and GSIS in Mfn1/2-deficient β-cells. Thus, the primary physiologic role of Mfn1 and 2 in β-cells is coupled to the preservation of mtDNA content rather than mitochondrial architecture, and Mfn1 and 2 may be promising targets to overcome mitochondrial dysfunction and restore glucose control in diabetes.
  27. J Biol Chem. 2022 Apr 23. pii: S0021-9258(22)00422-7. [Epub ahead of print] 101982
      Friedreich's Ataxia (FRDA) is a degenerative disease caused by a decrease in the mitochondrial protein frataxin, which is involved in iron-sulfur cluster (ISC) synthesis. Diminutions in frataxin result in decreased ISC synthesis, increased mitochondrial iron accumulation, and impaired mitochondrial function. Here we show that conditions that result in increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) in yeast or mammalian cell culture give rise to increased turnover of frataxin, but not of other ISC synthesis proteins. We demonstrate that the mitochondrial Lon protease is involved in frataxin degradation and that iron export through the mitochondrial metal transporter Mmt1 protects yeast frataxin from degradation. We also determined that when FRDA fibroblasts were grown in media containing elevated iron, mitochondrial ROS increased and frataxin decreased compared to WT fibroblasts. Furthermore, we screened a library of FDA-approved compounds and identified 38 compounds that increased yeast frataxin levels, including the azole Bifonazole, antiparasitic Fipronil, anti-tumor compound Dibenzoylmethane (DBM), antihypertensive 4-hydroxychalcone (4'-OHC), and a non-specific anion channel inhibitor 4,4-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2-sulfonic acid (DIDS). We show that top hits 4'-OHC and DBM increased mRNA levels of transcription factor Nrf2 in FRDA patient-derived fibroblasts, as well as downstream antioxidant targets thioredoxin (TXN), glutathione reductase (GSR), and superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2). Taken together, these findings reveal that FRDA progression may be in part due to oxidant-mediated decreases in frataxin, and that some approved compounds may be effective in increasing mitochondrial frataxin in FRDA, delaying disease progression.
    Keywords:  ROS; Yfh1; compounds; frataxin; iron; iron-sulfur clusters; mitochondria; screen; yeast
  28. Nat Cancer. 2022 Apr;3(4): 471-485
      Aberrant expression of MYC transcription factor family members predicts poor clinical outcome in many human cancers. Oncogenic MYC profoundly alters metabolism and mediates an antioxidant response to maintain redox balance. Here we show that MYCN induces massive lipid peroxidation on depletion of cysteine, the rate-limiting amino acid for glutathione (GSH) biosynthesis, and sensitizes cells to ferroptosis, an oxidative, non-apoptotic and iron-dependent type of cell death. The high cysteine demand of MYCN-amplified childhood neuroblastoma is met by uptake and transsulfuration. When uptake is limited, cysteine usage for protein synthesis is maintained at the expense of GSH triggering ferroptosis and potentially contributing to spontaneous tumor regression in low-risk neuroblastomas. Pharmacological inhibition of both cystine uptake and transsulfuration combined with GPX4 inactivation resulted in tumor remission in an orthotopic MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma model. These findings provide a proof of concept of combining multiple ferroptosis targets as a promising therapeutic strategy for aggressive MYCN-amplified tumors.
  29. J Cell Physiol. 2022 Apr 28.
      Necroptosis, a recently described form of programmed cell death, is the main way of alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) death in acute lung injury (ALI). While the mechanism of how to trigger necroptosis in AECs during ALI has been rarely evaluated. Long optic atrophy protein 1 (L-OPA1) is a crucial mitochondrial inner membrane fusion protein, and its deficiency impairs mitochondrial function. This study aimed to investigate the role of L-OPA1 deficiency-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction in AECs necroptosis. We comprehensively investigated the detailed contribution and molecular mechanism of L-OPA1 deficiency in AECs necroptosis by inhibiting or activating L-OPA1. Firstly, our data showed that L-OPA1 expression was down-regulated in the lungs and AECs under the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. Furthermore, inhibition of L-OPA1 aggravated the pathological injury, inflammatory response, and necroptosis in the lungs of LPS-induced ALI mice. In vitro, inhibition of L-OPA1 induced necroptosis of AECs, while activation of L-OPA1 alleviated necroptosis of AECs under the LPS challenge. Mechanistically, inhibition of L-OPA1 aggravated necroptosis of AECs by inducing mitochondrial fragmentation and reducing mitochondrial membrane potential. While activation of L-OPA1 had the opposite effects. In summary, these findings indicate for the first time that L-OPA1 deficiency mediates mitochondrial fragmentation, induces necroptosis of AECs, and exacerbates ALI in mice. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  L-OPA1; acute lung injury; alveolar epithelial cells; mitochondrial fragmentation; necroptosis
  30. Dev Cell. 2022 Apr 25. pii: S1534-5807(22)00212-X. [Epub ahead of print]57(8): 1024-1036.e5
      The transcription factor Myc drives cell growth across animal phyla and is activated in most forms of human cancer. However, it is unclear which Myc target genes need to be regulated to induce growth and whether multiple targets act additively or if induction of each target is individually necessary. Here, we identified Myc target genes whose regulation is conserved between humans and flies and deleted Myc-binding sites (E-boxes) in the promoters of fourteen of these genes in Drosophila. E-box mutants of essential genes were homozygous viable, indicating that the E-boxes are not required for basal expression. Eight E-box mutations led to Myc-like phenotypes; the strongest mutant, ppanEbox-/-, also made the flies resistant to Myc-induced cell growth without affecting Myc-induced apoptosis. The ppanEbox-/- flies are healthy and display only a minor developmental delay, suggesting that it may be possible to treat or prevent tumorigenesis by targeting individual downstream targets of Myc.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; Myc proto-oncogene; cancer; cell competition; cellular growth; ribosome
  31. Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 25. 13(1): 2210
      The Notch signalling pathway is a master regulator of cell fate transitions in development and disease. In the brain, Notch promotes neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation, regulates neuronal migration and maturation and can act as an oncogene or tumour suppressor. How NOTCH and its transcription factor RBPJ activate distinct gene regulatory networks in closely related cell types in vivo remains to be determined. Here we use Targeted DamID (TaDa), requiring only thousands of cells, to identify NOTCH and RBPJ binding in NSCs and their progeny in the mouse embryonic cerebral cortex in vivo. We find that NOTCH and RBPJ associate with a broad network of NSC genes. Repression of NSC-specific Notch target genes in intermediate progenitors and neurons correlates with decreased chromatin accessibility, suggesting that chromatin compaction may contribute to restricting NOTCH-mediated transactivation.
  32. Science. 2022 Apr 29. 376(6592): eabi8175
      Establishing causal relationships between genetic alterations of human cancers and specific phenotypes of malignancy remains a challenge. We sequentially introduced mutations into healthy human melanocytes in up to five genes spanning six commonly disrupted melanoma pathways, forming nine genetically distinct cellular models of melanoma. We connected mutant melanocyte genotypes to malignant cell expression programs in vitro and in vivo, replicative immortality, malignancy, rapid tumor growth, pigmentation, metastasis, and histopathology. Mutations in malignant cells also affected tumor microenvironment composition and cell states. Our melanoma models shared genotype-associated expression programs with patient melanomas, and a deep learning model showed that these models partially recapitulated genotype-associated histopathological features as well. Thus, a progressive series of genome-edited human cancer models can causally connect genotypes carrying multiple mutations to phenotype.
  33. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 May;18(5): 451-460
      Over the past few years, we have seen an explosion of novel genetically encoded tools for measuring and manipulating metabolism in live cells and animals. Here, we will review the genetically encoded tools that are available, describe how these tools can be used and outline areas where future development is needed in this fast-paced field. We will focus on tools for direct measurement and manipulation of metabolites. Metabolites are master regulators of metabolism and physiology through their action on metabolic enzymes, signaling enzymes, ion channels and transcription factors, among others. We hope that this Perspective will encourage more people to use these novel reagents or even join this exciting new field to develop novel tools for measuring and manipulating metabolism.
  34. J Invest Dermatol. 2022 Apr 22. pii: S0022-202X(22)00301-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in SLC45A2 are responsible for oculocutaneous albinism type 4 in many species and associated with melanoma susceptibility, but the molecular mechanism is unclear. Here, we used Slc45a2-deficient melanocyte and mouse models to elucidate the roles of Slc45a2 in melanogenesis and melanoma metastasis. We find that the acidified cellular environment impairs the activity of key melanogenic enzyme tyrosinase in Slc45a2-deficient melanocytes. Slc45a2 is identified as a proton/glucose exporter in melanosomes, and its ablation increases acidification of melanosomal pH through enhanced glycolysis. Intriguingly, 13C-glucose labeled metabolic flux and biochemical assays show that melanosomes are active glucose-metabolizing organelles, indicating that elevated glycolysis mainly occurs in melanosomes due to Slc45a2-deficiency. Moreover, Slc45a2-deficiency significantly up-regulates the activities of glycolytic enzymes and PI3K/Akt signaling to promote glycolysis-dependent survival and metastasis of melanoma cells. Collectively, our study reveals that the H+/glucose exporter Slc45a2 mediates melanin synthesis and melanoma metastasis primarily via modulating melanosomal glucose metabolism.
    Keywords:  Slc45a2; glucose uptake; melanoma metastasis; melanosomal glycolysis
  35. Trends Cell Biol. 2022 Apr 25. pii: S0962-8924(22)00079-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Most solid cancer-related deaths result from metastasis, a multistep process in which cancer cells exit the primary site, intravasate into the bloodstream, extravasate, and colonize distant organs. Colonization is facilitated by clonal selection and the high phenotypic plasticity of cancer cells that creates reversible switching of cellular states. Cancer cell plasticity leads to intratumor heterogeneity and fitness, yielding cells with molecular and cellular programs that facilitate survival and colonization. While cancer cell plasticity is sometimes limited to the process of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), recent studies have broadened its definition. Plasticity arises from both cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic factors and is a major obstacle to efficacious anti-cancer therapies. Here, we discuss the multifaceted notion of cancer cell plasticity associated with metastatic colonization.
    Keywords:  EMT; colonization; dormancy; metastasis; microenvironment; plasticity
  36. Urology. 2022 Apr 22. pii: S0090-4295(22)00303-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether bilateral, multifocal clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) patients can be differentiated by VHL mutation analysis into cases that represent either multiple independently arising primary tumors, or a single primary tumor which has spread ipsilaterally as well as to the contralateral kidney. The nature of kidney cancer multifocality outside of known hereditary syndromes is as yet poorly understood.MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA from multiple tumors per patient were evaluated for somatic VHL gene mutation and hypermethylation. A subset of tumors with shared VHL mutations were analyzed with targeted, next-generation sequencing assays.
    RESULTS: This cohort contained 5 patients with multiple tumors that demonstrated a shared somatic VHL mutation consistent with metastatic spread including to the contralateral kidney. In several cases this was substantiated by additional shared somatic mutations in ccRCC-associated genes. In contrast, the remaining 14 patients with multiple tumors demonstrated unique, unshared VHL alterations in every analyzed tumor, consistent with independently arising kidney tumors. None of these latter patients showed any evidence of local spread or distant metastasis.
    CONCLUSION: The spectrum of VHL alterations within evaluated bilateral, multifocal ccRCC tumors from a single patient can distinguish between multiple independent tumor growth and metastasis. This can be performed using currently available clinical genetic tests and will improve the accuracy of patient diagnosis and prognosis, as well as informing appropriate management.
    Keywords:  VHL; bilateral tumors; clear cell renal cell carcinoma; metastasis; multifocal tumors; mutation
  37. Life Sci. 2022 Apr 22. pii: S0024-3205(22)00271-5. [Epub ahead of print] 120571
      Mitochondrial complex I (CI), the first multiprotein enzyme complex of the oxidative phosphorylation system, plays a crucial role in cellular energy production. CI deficiency is associated with a variety of clinical phenotypes, including Leigh syndrome. At the cellular level, an increased NAD(P)H concentration is one of the hallmarks in CI-deficiency.AIMS: Here, we aimed to attenuate increased NAD(P)H levels by stimulation of ATP-dependent cassette (ABC)A1 and ABCG1-mediated cellular cholesterol efflux with various PPARα and LXRα agonists.
    MAIN METHODS: Mitochondrial CI-deficient fibroblasts and chemically-induced CI-deficient HeLa cells were used to study the dose-dependent effects of various PPARα and LXRα on cellular NAD(P)H levels and cholesterol efflux.
    KEY FINDINGS: In patient-derived mitochondrial CI-deficient fibroblasts, GW590735, astaxanthin, oleoylethanolamide, and GW3965 significantly reduced the enhanced NAD(P)H levels in CI-deficient fibroblasts. Similar effects were observed in chemically-induced CI-impaired HeLa cells, in which BMS-687453, Wy14643, GW7647, T0901317, DMHCA also demonstrated a beneficial effect. Surprisingly, no effect on ABCA1- and ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux in HeLa cells and fibroblasts was found after treatment with these compounds. The reduction in NAD(P)H levels by GW590735 could be partially reversed by inhibition of fatty acid synthase and β-oxidation, which suggests that its beneficial effects are possibly mediated via stimulation of fatty acid metabolism rather than cholesterol efflux.
    SIGNIFICANCE: Collectively, PPARα and LXRα stimulation resulted in attenuated cellular NAD(P)H levels in CI-impaired HeLa cells and patient-derived fibroblasts and could eventually have a therapeutic potential in CI deficiency.
    Keywords:  Liver X receptor α; Mitochondrial complex I deficiency; Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (phosphate); Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor α; Redox state
  38. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 May 03. 119(18): e2117559119
      SignificanceThe endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is one of the most structurally visible and functionally important organelles in the cell. Utilizing superresolution microscopy, we here unveil that in the mammalian cell, the peripheral ER adopts two distinct, well-defined tubule forms of contrasting structures, molecular signatures, and functions, with one of the two curiously being ribbon-like, ultranarrow sheets of fixed widths. With fast multicolor microscopy, we further show how the two tubule forms dynamically interconvert while differentially accommodating proteins in the living cell.
    Keywords:  ER tubules; ER-shaping proteins; endoplasmic reticulum; organelle morphology; superresolution microscopy
  39. Mol Cell. 2022 Apr 19. pii: S1097-2765(22)00318-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Gene activation by mammalian transcription factors (TFs) requires multivalent interactions of their low-complexity domains (LCDs), but how such interactions regulate transcription remains unclear. It has been proposed that extensive LCD-LCD interactions culminating in liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of TFs is the dominant mechanism underlying transactivation. Here, we investigated how tuning the amount and localization of LCD-LCD interactions in vivo affects transcription of endogenous human genes. Quantitative single-cell and single-molecule imaging reveals that the oncogenic TF EWS::FLI1 requires a narrow optimum of LCD-LCD interactions to activate its target genes associated with GGAA microsatellites. Increasing LCD-LCD interactions toward putative LLPS represses transcription of these genes in patient-derived cells. Likewise, ectopically creating LCD-LCD interactions to sequester EWS::FLI1 into a well-documented LLPS compartment, the nucleolus, inhibits EWS::FLI1-driven transcription and oncogenic transformation. Our findings show how altering the balance of LCD-LCD interactions can influence transcriptional regulation and suggest a potential therapeutic strategy for targeting disease-causing TFs.
    Keywords:  EWS::FLI1; Ewing sarcoma; intrinsically disordered regions; liquid-liquid phase separation; low-complexity domains; multivalent interactions; nucleolus; single-cell and single-molecule imaging; transcription factor; transcriptional control
  40. JCI Insight. 2022 Apr 26. pii: e147814. [Epub ahead of print]
      Hvcn1 is a voltage-gated proton channel, which reduces cytosol acidification and facilitates the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The increased expression of this channel in some cancers, has led to proposing Hvcn1 antagonists as potential therapeutics.While its role in most leukocytes has been studied in-depth, the function of Hvcn1 in T-cells remains poorly defined. We show that HVCN1 plays a non-redundant role in protecting naïve T-cells from intracellular acidification during priming. Despite sharing overall functional impairment in vivo and in vitro, Hvcn1-deficient CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells display profound differences during the transition from naïve to primed T-cells, including in the preservation of TCR signaling, cellular division and death. These selective features result, at least in part, from a substantially different metabolic response to intracellular acidification associated with priming. While Hvcn1-deficient naïve CD4+ T-cells reprogram to rescue the glycolytic pathway, naïve CD8+ T-cells, which express high levels of this channel in the mitochondria, respond by metabolically compensating mitochondrial dysfunction, at least in part via AMPK activation.These observations imply heterogeneity between adaptation of naïve CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells to intracellular acidification during activation.
    Keywords:  Adaptive immunity; Immunology
  41. Diabetes. 2022 Apr 26. pii: db210800. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial glucose metabolism is essential for stimulated insulin release from pancreatic beta cells. Whether mitofusin gene expression, and hence mitochondrial network integrity, is important for glucose or incretin signalling has not previously been explored. Here, we generated mice with beta cell-selective, adult-restricted deletion of the mitofusin genes Mfn1 and Mfn2 (βMfn1/2 dKO). βMfn1/2 dKO mice displayed elevated fed and fasted glycaemia and a >five-fold decrease in plasma insulin. Mitochondrial length, glucose-induced polarisation, ATP synthesis, cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca2+ increases were all reduced in dKO islets. In contrast, oral glucose tolerance was more modestly affected in βMfn1/2 dKO mice and GLP-1 or GIP receptor agonists largely corrected defective GSIS through enhanced EPAC-dependent signalling. Correspondingly, cAMP increases in the cytosol, as measured with an Epac-camps based sensor, were exaggerated in dKO mice. Mitochondrial fusion and fission cycles are thus essential in the beta cell to maintain normal glucose, but not incretin, sensing. These findings broaden our understanding of the roles of mitofusins in beta cells, the potential contributions of altered mitochondrial dynamics to diabetes development and the impact of incretins on this process.
  42. Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 28. 13(1): 2321
      Coatomer complex I (COPI) mediates retrograde vesicular trafficking from Golgi to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and within Golgi compartments. Deficiency in subunit alpha causes COPA syndrome and is associated with type I IFN signalling, although the upstream innate immune sensor involved was unknown. Using in vitro models we find aberrant activation of the STING pathway due to deficient retrograde but probably not intra-Golgi transport. Further we find the upstream cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS as essentially required to drive type I IFN signalling. Genetic deletion of COPI subunits COPG1 or COPD similarly induces type I IFN activation in vitro, which suggests that inflammatory diseases associated with mutations in other COPI subunit genes may exist. Finally, we demonstrate that inflammation in COPA syndrome patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells and COPI-deficient cell lines is ameliorated by treatment with the small molecule STING inhibitor H-151, suggesting targeted inhibition of the cGAS/STING pathway as a promising therapeutic approach.
  43. Lab Invest. 2022 Apr 29.
      Abnormal Drp1 activation and subsequent excessive mitochondrial fission play a critical role in ischemia-reperfusion injury (I/RI). Although fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) protects organs against I/RI and regulates metabolism, which indicates that FGF21 is involved in mitochondria homeostasis, the detailed mechanism remains unclear. Herein, we investigated whether FGF21 had an effect on Drp1 activation during skeletal muscle I/RI. Drp1 phosphorylation and its translocation to mitochondria, as regulated by FGF21, was examined in mouse and C2C12 cell I/RI models. Mice overexpressing FGF21 displayed alleviation of serum index, histological lesions and apoptosis levels. Moreover, FGF21 markedly decreased cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) and Drp1 phosphorylation at Ser616, accompanied by reduced accumulation in mitochondria. In parallel in vitro studies, cells with FGF21 knockdown displayed enhanced Drp1 activation, and the reverse effect was found when FGF21 was added. More importantly, FGF21 attenuated mitochondrial fission with linear mitochondria rather than fragmented mitochondria. Furthermore, a CDK1 inhibitor reduced Drp1 activation and mitochondrial fission due to FGF21 knockdown. This study shows that FGF21 inhibits Drp1 activation to protect mitochondria from fission, thereby rescuing cells from I/RI-induced apoptosis. Our findings may provide a new therapeutic approach to ameliorate skeletal muscle I/RI.
  44. Sci Adv. 2022 Apr 29. 8(17): eabn2018
      Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) is the main mechanism by which mammalian cells control their cell surface proteome. Proper operation of the pivotal CME cargo adaptor AP2 requires membrane-localized Fer/Cip4 homology domain-only proteins (FCHO). Here, live-cell enhanced total internal reflection fluorescence-structured illumination microscopy shows that FCHO marks sites of clathrin-coated pit (CCP) initiation, which mature into uniform-sized CCPs comprising a central patch of AP2 and clathrin corralled by an FCHO/Epidermal growth factor potential receptor substrate number 15 (Eps15) ring. We dissect the network of interactions between the FCHO interdomain linker and AP2, which concentrates, orients, tethers, and partially destabilizes closed AP2 at the plasma membrane. AP2's subsequent membrane deposition drives its opening, which triggers FCHO displacement through steric competition with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, clathrin, cargo, and CME accessory factors. FCHO can now relocate toward a CCP's outer edge to engage and activate further AP2s to drive CCP growth/maturation.
  45. Cell Stress. 2022 Apr;6(4): 45-60
      Glioblastoma (GBM) is a fatal disease with recurrences often associated with radioresistance. Although often effective at treating newly diagnosed GBM, increasing evidence suggests that radiotherapy-induced alterations in tumor metabolism promote GBM recurrence and aggressiveness. Using isogenic radiosensitive and radioresistant GBM cell lines and patient-derived xenolines, we found that acquired radioresistance is associated with a shift from a glycolytic metabolism to a more oxidative metabolism marked by a substantial increase in the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex cytochrome c oxidase (CcO). This elevated CcO activity was associated with a switch in the isoform expression of the CcO regulatory subunit COX4, from COX4-2 to COX4-1, assembly of CcO-containing mitochondrial supercomplexes (SCs), and reduced superoxide (O2 •-) production. Overexpression of COX4-1 in the radiosensitive cells was sufficient to promote the switch from glycolytic to oxidative metabolism and the incorporation of CcO into SCs, with a concomitant reduction in O2 •- production. Conversely, silencing of COX4-1 expression in normally radioresistant cells reduced CcO activity, promoted the disassembly of mitochondrial SCs, and increased O2 •- production. Additionally, gain or loss of COX4-1 expression was sufficient to induce the radioresistant or radiosensitive phenotype, respectively. Our results demonstrate that COX4-1 promotes SC assembly in GBM cells, and SC assembly may in turn regulate the production of reactive oxygen species and thus the acquisition of radioresistance in GBM.
    Keywords:  COX4; GBM; cytochrome c oxidase; mitochondria; radioresistance; supercomplexes; superoxide
  46. Life Sci Alliance. 2022 Aug;pii: e202201385. [Epub ahead of print]5(8):
      Protein O-GlcNAcylation is a dynamic, nutrient-sensitive mono-glycosylation deposited on numerous nucleo-cytoplasmic and mitochondrial proteins, including transcription factors, epigenetic regulators, and histones. However, the role of protein O-GlcNAcylation on epigenome regulation in response to nutrient perturbations during development is not well understood. Herein we recapitulated early human embryonic neurogenesis in cell culture and found that pharmacological up-regulation of O-GlcNAc levels during human embryonic stem cells' neuronal differentiation leads to up-regulation of key neurogenic transcription factor genes. This transcriptional de-repression is associated with reduced H3K27me3 and increased H3K4me3 levels on the promoters of these genes, perturbing promoter bivalency possibly through increased EZH2-Thr311 phosphorylation. Elevated O-GlcNAc levels also lead to increased Pol II-Ser5 phosphorylation and affect H2BS112O-GlcNAc and H2BK120Ub1 on promoters. Using an in vivo rat model of maternal hyperglycemia, we show similarly elevated O-GlcNAc levels and epigenetic dysregulations in the developing embryo brains because of hyperglycemia, whereas pharmacological inhibition of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) restored these molecular changes. Together, our results demonstrate O-GlcNAc mediated sensitivity of chromatin to nutrient status, and indicate how metabolic perturbations could affect gene expression during neurodevelopment.
  47. Nature. 2022 Apr 27.
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the most frequent forms of cancer, and new strategies for its prevention and therapy are urgently needed1. Here we identify a metabolite signalling pathway that provides actionable insights towards this goal. We perform a dietary screen in autochthonous animal models of CRC and find that ketogenic diets exhibit a strong tumour-inhibitory effect. These properties of ketogenic diets are recapitulated by the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which reduces the proliferation of colonic crypt cells and potently suppresses intestinal tumour growth. We find that BHB acts through the surface receptor Hcar2 and induces the transcriptional regulator Hopx, thereby altering gene expression and inhibiting cell proliferation. Cancer organoid assays and single-cell RNA sequencing of biopsies from patients with CRC provide evidence that elevated BHB levels and active HOPX are associated with reduced intestinal epithelial proliferation in humans. This study thus identifies a BHB-triggered pathway regulating intestinal tumorigenesis and indicates that oral or systemic interventions with a single metabolite may complement current prevention and treatment strategies for CRC.
  48. Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 26. pii: S2211-1247(22)00482-X. [Epub ahead of print]39(4): 110721
      The resistance to transcription factor-mediated reprogramming into pluripotent stem cells is one of the distinctive features of cancer cells. Here we dissect the profiles of reprogramming factor binding and the subsequent transcriptional response in cancer cells to reveal its underlying mechanisms. Using clear cell sarcomas (CCSs), we show that the driver oncogene EWS/ATF1 misdirects the reprogramming factors to cancer-specific enhancers and thereby impairs the transcriptional response toward pluripotency that is otherwise provoked. Sensitization to the reprogramming cue is observed in other cancer types when the corresponding oncogenic signals are pharmacologically inhibited. Exploiting this oncogene dependence of the transcriptional "stiffness," we identify mTOR signaling pathways downstream of EWS/ATF1 and discover that inhibiting mTOR activity substantially attenuates the propagation of CCS cells in vitro and in vivo. Our results demonstrate that the early transcriptional response to cell fate perturbations can be a faithful readout to identify effective therapeutics targets in cancer cells.
    Keywords:  CP: Cancer; MyoD1; OSKM; cancer cell identity; cancer therapeutics; driver oncogenic signal; reprogramming; resistance to reprogramming; transcriptional response
  49. Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 26. pii: S2211-1247(22)00498-3. [Epub ahead of print]39(4): 110737
      Transient receptor potential vanilloid 5 (TRPV5) is a kidney-specific Ca2+-selective ion channel that plays a key role in Ca2+ homeostasis. The basal activity of TRPV5 is balanced through activation by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) and inhibition by Ca2+-bound calmodulin (CaM). Parathyroid hormone (PTH), the key extrinsic regulator of Ca2+ homeostasis, increases the activity of TRPV5 via protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation. Metabolic acidosis leads to reduced TRPV5 activity independent of PTH, causing hypercalciuria. Using cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM), we show that low pH inhibits TRPV5 by precluding PI(4,5)P2 activation. We capture intermediate conformations at low pH, revealing a transition from open to closed state. In addition, we demonstrate that PI(4,5)P2 is the primary modulator of channel gating, yet PKA controls TRPV5 activity by preventing CaM binding and channel inactivation. Our data provide detailed molecular mechanisms for regulation of TRPV5 by two key extrinsic modulators, low pH and PKA.
    Keywords:  CP: Molecular biology; CP: Neuroscience; CaM; PI(4,5)P(2); PKA; TRP channel; calmodulin; cryo-EM; cryoelectron microscopy; pH; protein kinase A; transient receptor potential channel
  50. Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 26. pii: S2211-1247(22)00516-2. [Epub ahead of print]39(4): 110752
      High-risk forms of B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) remain a therapeutic challenge. Leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) self-renew and spark relapse and therefore have been the subject of intensive investigation; however, the properties of LICs in high-risk B-ALL are not well understood. Here, we use single-cell transcriptomics and quantitative xenotransplantation to understand LICs in MLL-rearranged (MLL-r) B-ALL. Compared with reported LIC frequencies in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), engraftable LICs in MLL-r B-ALL are abundant. Although we find that multipotent, self-renewing LICs are enriched among phenotypically undifferentiated B-ALL cells, LICs with the capacity to replenish the leukemic cellular diversity can emerge from more mature fractions. While inhibiting oxidative phosphorylation blunts blast proliferation, this intervention promotes LIC emergence. Conversely, inhibiting hypoxia and glycolysis impairs MLL-r B-ALL LICs, providing a therapeutic benefit in xenotransplantation systems. These findings provide insight into the aggressive nature of MLL-r B-ALL and provide a rationale for therapeutic targeting of hypoxia and glycolysis.
    Keywords:  CP: Cancer; CP: Metabolism; leukemia; metabolism; stem cell
  51. Physiol Rev. 2022 Apr 25.
      As a central hub for cellular metabolism and intracellular signalling, the mitochondrion is a pivotal organelle, dysfunction of which has been linked to several human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders, and in particular Parkinson's disease. An inherent challenge that mitochondria face is the continuous exposure to diverse stresses which increase their likelihood of dysregulation. In response, eukaryotic cells have evolved sophisticated quality control mechanisms to monitor, identify, repair and/or eliminate abnormal or misfolded proteins within the mitochondrion and/or the dysfunctional mitochondrion itself. Chaperones identify unstable or otherwise abnormal conformations in mitochondrial proteins and can promote their refolding to recover their correct conformation and stability. However, if repair is not possible, the abnormal protein is selectively degraded to prevent potentially damaging interactions with other proteins or its oligomerization into toxic multimeric complexes. The autophagic-lysosomal system and the ubiquitin-proteasome system mediate the selective and targeted degradation of such abnormal or misfolded protein species. Mitophagy (a specific kind of autophagy) mediates the selective elimination of dysfunctional mitochondria, in order to prevent the deleterious effects the dysfunctional organelles within the cell. Despite our increasing understanding of the molecular responses toward dysfunctional mitochondria, many key aspects remain relatively poorly understood. Herein, we review the emerging mechanisms of mitochondrial quality control including quality control strategies coupled to mitochondrial import mechanisms. In addition, we review the molecular mechanisms regulating mitophagy with an emphasis on the regulation of PINK1/PARKIN-mediated mitophagy in cellular physiology and in the context of Parkinson's disease cell biology.
    Keywords:  PINK1/Parkin; Parkinson's disease; mitochondrial quality control; mitophagy; protein quality control
  52. Dev Cell. 2022 Apr 27. pii: S1534-5807(22)00250-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metastatic colonization is the primary cause of death from colorectal cancer (CRC). We employed genome-scale in vivo short hairpin RNA (shRNA) screening and validation to identify 26 promoters of CRC liver colonization. Among these genes, we identified a cluster that contains multiple targetable genes, including ITPR3, which promoted liver-metastatic colonization and elicited similar downstream gene expression programs. ITPR3 is a caffeine-sensitive inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) receptor that releases calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum and enhanced metastatic colonization by inducing expression of RELB, a transcription factor that is associated with non-canonical NF-κB signaling. Genetic, cell biological, pharmacologic, and clinical association studies revealed that ITPR3 and RELB drive CRC colony formation by promoting cell survival upon substratum detachment or hypoxic exposure. RELB was sufficient to drive colonization downstream of ITPR3. Our findings implicate the ITPR3/calcium/RELB axis in CRC metastatic colony formation and uncover multiple clinico-pathologically associated targetable proteins as drivers of CRC metastatic colonization.
    Keywords:  ITPR3; RELB; calcium; colorectal cancer; hypoxia; metastasis; non-canonical NF-κB
  53. Nat Rev Cancer. 2022 Apr 27.
      The natural mammalian polyamines putrescine, spermidine and spermine are essential for both normal and neoplastic cell function and replication. Dysregulation of metabolism of polyamines and their requirements is common in many cancers. Both clinical and experimental depletion of polyamines have demonstrated their metabolism to be a rational target for therapy; however, the mechanisms through which polyamines can establish a tumour-permissive microenvironment are only now emerging. Recent data indicate that polyamines can play a major role in regulating the antitumour immune response, thus likely contributing to the existence of immunologically 'cold' tumours that do not respond to immune checkpoint blockade. Additionally, the interplay between the microbiota and associated tissues creates a tumour microenvironment in which polyamine metabolism, content and function can all be dramatically altered on the basis of microbiota composition, dietary polyamine availability and tissue response to its surrounding microenvironment. The goal of this Perspective is to introduce the reader to the many ways in which polyamines, polyamine metabolism, the microbiota and the diet interconnect to establish a tumour microenvironment that facilitates the initiation and progression of cancer. It also details ways in which polyamine metabolism and function can be successfully targeted for therapeutic benefit, including specifically enhancing the antitumour immune response.
  54. Blood. 2022 Apr 29. pii: blood.2021013990. [Epub ahead of print]
      Altered metabolism is one of the hallmarks of cell division and of cancer. CLL cells circulate between peripheral blood (PB) and lymph nodes (LN), where they receive proliferative and pro-survival signals from surrounding cells. Yet insight into the metabolism of LN CLL and how this may relate to therapeutic responses is lacking. To obtain insight into CLL LN metabolism, we applied a two-tiered strategy. First, we sampled PB from 8 patients at baseline, and after 3-month ibrutinib (IBR) treatment, which forces egress of CLL cells from LNs. Second, we applied in vitro B-cell receptor (BCR) or CD40 stimulation to mimic the LN microenvironment, and performed metabolomics and transcriptomics. The combined analyses indicated prominent changes in purine, glucose and glutamate metabolism occurring in the LN. CD40 signaling mostly regulated amino acid metabolism, tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) and energy production. BCR signaling preferably engaged glucose and glycerol metabolism, and several biosynthesis routes. Pathway analyses demonstrated opposite effects of in vitro stimulation versus IBR treatment. In agreement, the metabolic regulator MYC and its target genes were induced after BCR/CD40 stimulation and suppressed by IBR. Next, 13C-fluxomics performed on CD40/BCR-stimulated cells confirmed a strong contribution of glutamine as fuel for the TCA cycle while glucose was mainly converted into lactate and ribose-5-phosphate. Finally, inhibition of glutamine import with V9302 attenuated CD40/BCR-induced resistance to venetoclax. Altogether, these data provide insight into crucial metabolic changes driven by CLL LN microenvironment. The prominent use of amino acids as fuel for the TCA cycle suggests new therapeutic vulnerabilities.
  55. Front Mol Biosci. 2022 ;9 863296
      Copper is an essential metal micronutrient with biological roles ranging from energy metabolism to cell signaling. Recent studies have shown that copper regulation is altered by fat accumulation in both rodent and cell models with phenotypes consistent with copper deficiency, including the elevated expression of the copper transporter, ATP7B. This study examines the changes in the copper trafficking mechanisms of liver cells exposed to excess fatty acids. Fatty acid uptake was induced in liver hepatocarcinoma cells, HepG2, by treatment with the saturated fatty acid, palmitic acid. Changes in chaperones, transporters, and chelators demonstrate an initial state of copper overload in the cell that over time shifts to a state of copper deficiency. This deficiency is due to sequestration of copper both into the membrane-bound copper protein, hephaestin, and lysosomal units. These changes are independent of changes in copper concentration, supporting perturbations in copper localization at the subcellular level. We hypothesize that fat accumulation triggers an initial copper miscompartmentalization within the cell, due to disruptions in mitochondrial copper balance, which induces a homeostatic response to cytosolic copper overload. This leads the cell to activate copper export and sequestering mechanisms that in turn induces a condition of cytosolic copper deficiency. Taken together, this work provides molecular insights into the previously observed phenotypes in clinical and rodent models linking copper-deficient states to obesity-associated disorders.
    Keywords:  copper; fatty acid metabolism and signaling; homeostasis; metabolic disease; metal homeostasis
  56. Cell Rep Methods. 2021 May 24. 1(1): 100002
      Mitochondria sustain the energy demand of the cell. The composition and functional state of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system are informative indicators of organelle bioenergetic capacity. Here, we describe a highly sensitive and reproducible method for a single-cell quantification of mitochondrial CI- and CIV-containing respiratory supercomplexes (CI∗CIV-SCs) as an alternative means of assessing mitochondrial respiratory chain integrity. We apply a proximity ligation assay (PLA) and stain CI∗CIV-SCs in fixed human and mouse brains, tumorigenic cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived neural precursor cells (NPCs), and neurons. Spatial visualization of CI∗CIV-SCs enables the detection of mitochondrial lesions in various experimental models, including complex tissues undergoing degenerative processes. We report that comparative assessments of CI∗CIV-SCs facilitate the quantitative profiling of even subtle mitochondrial variations by overcoming the confounding effects that mixed cell populations have on other measurements. Together, our PLA-based analysis of CI∗CIV-SCs is a sensitive and complementary technique for detecting cell-type-specific mitochondrial perturbations in fixed materials.
    Keywords:  brain; in-situ imaging analysis; mitochondria; mitochondrial diseases; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial respiratory supercomplexes; proximity ligation assay
  57. Nat Rev Cancer. 2022 Apr 29.
      Cancer cells can organize and communicate in functional networks. Similarly to other networks in biology and sociology, these can be highly relevant for growth and resilience. In this Perspective, we demonstrate by the example of glioblastomas and other incurable brain tumours how versatile multicellular tumour networks are formed by two classes of long intercellular membrane protrusions: tumour microtubes and tunnelling nanotubes. The resulting networks drive tumour growth and resistance to standard therapies. This raises the question of how to disconnect brain tumour networks to halt tumour growth and whether this can make established therapies more effective. Emerging principles of tumour networks, their potential relevance for tumour types outside the brain and translational implications, including clinical trials that are already based on these discoveries, are discussed.
  58. Mol Biol Evol. 2022 Apr 28. pii: msac090. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are essential organelles in eukaryotic cells that provide critical support for energetic and metabolic homeostasis. Although the elimination of pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in somatic cells has been observed, the mechanisms for somatic cells to maintain proper functions despite their mtDNA mutation load are poorly understood. In this study, we analyzed somatic mtDNA mutations in more than 30,000 single human peripheral and bone marrow mononuclear cells. We observed a significant overrepresentation of homoplasmic mtDNA mutations in B, T and NK lymphocytes. Intriguingly, their overall mutational burden was lower than that in hematopoietic progenitors and myeloid cells. This characteristic mtDNA mutational landscape indicates a genetic bottleneck during lymphoid development, as confirmed with single cell datasets from multiple platforms and individuals. We further demonstrated that mtDNA replication lags behind cell proliferation in both pro-B and pre-B progenitor cells, thus likely causing the genetic bottleneck by diluting mtDNA copies per cell. Through computational simulations and approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), we recapitulated this lymphocyte-specific mutational landscape and estimated the minimal mtDNA copies as <30 in T, B, and NK lineages. Our integrative analysis revealed a novel discovery of a lymphoid-specific mtDNA genetic bottleneck, thus illuminating a potential mechanism used by highly metabolically active immune cells to limit their mtDNA mutation load.
  59. Sci Adv. 2022 Apr 29. 8(17): eabm7012
      The immune checkpoint B7-H3 (CD276) is a member of the B7 family that has been studied in the tumor microenvironment and immunotherapy, but its potential role in metabolism remains largely unknown. Here, we show that B7-H3 is highly expressed in mouse and human adipose tissue at steady state, with the highest levels in adipocyte progenitor cells. B7-H3 is rapidly down-regulated upon the initiation of adipocyte differentiation. Combined RNA sequencing and metabolic studies reveal that B7-H3 stimulates glycolytic and mitochondrial activity of adipocyte progenitors. Loss of B7-H3 in progenitors results in impaired oxidative metabolism program and increased lipid accumulation in derived adipocytes. Consistent with these observations, mice knocked out for B7-H3 develop spontaneous obesity, metabolic dysfunction, and adipose tissue inflammation. Our results reveal an unexpected metabolic role for B7-H3 in adipose tissue and open potential new avenues for the treatment of metabolic diseases by targeting the B7-H3 pathway.
  60. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Apr 23. pii: noac112. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: TERT promoter mutations are observed in 80% of wild-type IDH glioblastoma (GBM). Moreover, the upstream TERT transcription factor GABPB1 was recently identified as a cancer-specific therapeutic target for tumors harboring a TERT promoter mutation. In that context, non-invasive imaging biomarkers are needed for the detection of TERT modulation.METHODS: Multiple GBM models were investigated as cells and in vivo tumors and the impact of TERT silencing, either directly or by targeting GABPB1, was determined using 1H and hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Changes in associated metabolic enzymes were also investigated.
    RESULTS: 1H-MRS revealed that lactate and glutathione (GSH) were the most significantly altered metabolites when either TERT or GABPB1 was silenced, and lactate and GSH levels were correlated with cellular TERT expression. Consistent with the drop in lactate, 13C-MRS showed that hyperpolarized [1- 13C]lactate production from [1- 13C]pyruvate was also reduced when TERT was silenced. Mechanistically, the reduction in GSH was associated with a reduction in pentose phosphate pathway flux, reduced activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and reduced NADPH. The drop in lactate and hyperpolarized lactate were associated with reductions in glycolytic flux, NADH, and expression/activity of GLUT1, monocarboxylate transporters, and lactate dehydrogenase A.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that MRS-detectable GSH, lactate and lactate production could serve as metabolic biomarkers of response to emerging TERT-targeted therapies for GBM with activating TERT promoter mutations. Importantly these biomarkers are readily translatable to the clinic, and thus could ultimately improve GBM patient management.
    Keywords:  Glioblastoma; Hyperpolarized 13C-MRS; Imaging biomarkers; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS); Metabolism
  61. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Apr 26.
      Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most prevalent malignant primary brain tumour in adults. GBM typically has a poor prognosis, mainly due to a lack of effective treatment options leading to tumour persistence or recurrence. We investigated the therapeutic potential of targeting anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins in GBM. Levels of anti-apoptotic BCL-xL and MCL-1 were consistently increased in GBM compared with non-malignant cells and tissue. Moreover, we found that relative to their differentiated counterparts, patient-derived GBM stem-like cells also displayed higher expression of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family members. High anti-apoptotic BCL-xL and MCL-1 expression correlated with heightened susceptibility of GBM to BCL-2 family protein-targeting BH3-mimetics. This is indicative of increased apoptotic priming. Indeed, GBM displayed an obligate requirement for MCL-1 expression in both tumour development and maintenance. Investigating this apoptotic sensitivity, we found that sequential inhibition of BCL-xL and MCL-1 led to robust anti-tumour responses in vivo, in the absence of overt toxicity. These data demonstrate that BCL-xL and MCL-1 pro-survival function is a fundamental prerequisite for GBM survival that can be therapeutically exploited by BH3-mimetics.
  62. Development. 2022 Apr 29. pii: dev.200277. [Epub ahead of print]
      Melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) in zebrafish serve as an on-demand source of melanocytes during growth and regeneration, but metabolic programs associated with their activation and regenerative processes are not well known. Here, using live imaging coupled with scRNA-sequencing, we discovered that during regeneration quiescent McSCs activate a dormant embryonic neural crest transcriptional program followed by an aldehyde dehydrogenase (Aldh) 2 metabolic switch to generate progeny. Unexpectedly, while ALDH2 is well known for its aldehyde clearing mechanisms, we find that in regenerating McSCs Aldh2 activity is required to generate formate - the one-carbon (1C) building block for nucleotide biosynthesis - through formaldehyde metabolism. Consequently, we find that disrupting the 1C cycle with low doses of methotrexate causes melanocyte regeneration defects. In the absence of Aldh2, we find that purines are the metabolic end product sufficient for activated McSCs to generate progeny. Together, our work reveals McSCs undergo a two-step cell state transition during regeneration, and that the reaction products of Aldh2 enzymes have tissue-specific stem cell functions that meet metabolic demands in regeneration.
    Keywords:  Aldh2; Formaldehyde; Melanocyte stem cell; Metabolism; Purines; Regeneration
  63. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 May;18(5): 441-450
      Metabolic reprogramming is observed across all cancer types. Indeed, the success of many classic chemotherapies stems from their targeting of cancer metabolism. Contemporary research in this area has refined our understanding of tumor-specific metabolic mechanisms and has revealed strategies for exploiting these vulnerabilities selectively. Based on this growing understanding, new small-molecule tools and drugs have been developed to study and target tumor metabolism. Here, we highlight allosteric modulation of metabolic enzymes as an attractive mechanism of action for small molecules that target metabolic enzymes. We then discuss the mechanistic insights garnered from their application in cancer studies and highlight the achievements of this approach in targeting cancer metabolism. Finally, we discuss technological advances in drug discovery for allosteric modulators of enzyme activity.
  64. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 May 03. 119(18): e2112781119
      SignificanceRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a debilitating chronic inflammatory disease in which symptoms exhibit a strong time-of-day rhythmicity. RA is commonly associated with metabolic disturbance and increased incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, yet the mechanisms underlying this metabolic dysregulation remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that rhythmic inflammation drives reorganization of metabolic programs in distal liver and muscle tissues. Chronic inflammation leads to mitochondrial dysfunction and dysregulation of fatty acid metabolism, including accumulation of inflammation-associated ceramide species in a time-of-day-dependent manner. These findings reveal multiple points for therapeutic intervention centered on the circadian clock, metabolic dysregulation, and inflammatory signaling.
    Keywords:  ceramide; circadian clock; inflammation; mitochondria; rheumatoid arthritis
  65. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2022 Apr 01. 27(4): 118
      INTRODUCTION: Accumulating evidence suggests that mitochondrial structural and functional defects are present in human placentas affected by pregnancy related disorders, but mitophagy pathways in human trophoblast cells/placental tissues have not been investigated.METHODS: In this study, we investigated three major mitophagy pathways mediated by PRKN, FUNDC1, and BNIP3/BNIP3L in response to AMPK activation by AICAR and knockdown of PRKAA1/2 (AKD) in human trophoblast cell line BeWo and the effect of AKD on mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production.
    RESULTS: Autophagy flux assay demonstrated that AMPK signaling activation stimulates autophagy, evidenced increased LC3II and SQSTM1 protein abundance in the whole cell lysates and mitochondrial fractions, and mitophagy flux assay demonstrated that the activation of AMPK signaling stimulates mitophagy via PRKN and FUNDC1 mediated but not BNIP3/BNIP3L mediated pathways. The stimulatory regulation of AMPK signaling on mitophagy was confirmed by AKD which reduced the abundance of LC3II, SQSTM1, PRKN, and FUNDC1 proteins, but increased the abundance of BNIP3/BNIP3L proteins. Coincidently, AKD resulted in elevated mitochondrial membrane potential and reduced mitochondrial ATP production, compared to control BeWo cells.
    CONCLUSIONS: In summary, AMPK signaling stimulates mitophagy in human trophoblast cells via PRKN and FUNDC1 mediated mitophagy pathways and AMPK regulated mitophagy contributes to the maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial ATP production.
    Keywords:  AMPK; ATP production; BeWo; human; mitochondria; mitophagy; trophoblast
  66. Proc Biol Sci. 2022 Apr 27. 289(1973): 20220456
      Hibernation is a natural state of suspended animation that many mammals experience and has been interpreted as an adaptive strategy for saving energy. However, the actual amount of savings that hibernation represents, and particularly its dependence on body mass (the 'scaling') has not been calculated properly. Here, we estimated the scaling of daily energy expenditure of hibernation (DEEH), covering a range of five orders of magnitude in mass. We found that DEEH scales isometrically with mass, which means that a gram of hibernating bat has a similar metabolism to that of a gram of bear, 20 000 times larger. Given that metabolic rate of active animals scales allometrically, the point where these scaling curves intersect with DEEH represents the mass where energy savings by hibernation are zero. For BMR, these zero savings are attained for a relatively small bear (approx. 75 kg). Calculated on a per cell basis, the cellular metabolic power of hibernation was estimated to be 1.3 × 10-12 ± 2.6 × 10-13 W cell-1, which is lower than the minimum metabolism of isolated mammalian cells. This supports the idea of the existence of a minimum metabolism that permits cells to survive under a combination of cold and hypoxia.
    Keywords:  allometry; dormancy; endothermy; hibernation; mammals; metabolism
  67. J Neurosci Methods. 2022 Apr 25. pii: S0165-0270(22)00133-9. [Epub ahead of print] 109606
      BACKGROUND: Drosophila melanogaster is a leading genetic model for studying the neural regulation of sleep. Sleep is associated with changes in behavior and physiological state that are largely conserved across species. The investigation of sleep in flies has predominantly focus on behavioral readouts of sleep because physiological measurements, including changes in brain activity and metabolic rate are less accessible. We have previously used stop-flow indirect calorimetry to measure whole body metabolic rate in single flies and have shown that in flies, like mammals, metabolic rate is reduced during sleep.NEW METHOD: Here, we describe a modified version of this system that allows for efficient and highly sensitive acquisition of CO2 output from single flies.
    RESULTS: In this modified system, we show that sleep-dependent changes in metabolic rate are diminished in aging flies, supporting the notion that sleep quality is reduced as flies age. We also describe a modification that allows for simultaneous acquisition of CO2 and O2 levels, providing a respiratory quotient that quantifies how metabolic stores are utilized. We find that the respiratory quotient identified in flies on an all-sugar diet is suggestive of lipogenesis, where the dietary sugar provided to the flies is being converted to fat.
    COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHODS AND CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, the measurement of metabolic rate via indirect calorimetry not only provides a physiological readout of sleep depth, but also provides insight the metabolic regulation of nutrient utilization, with broad applications to genetic studies in flies.
    Keywords:  Aging; CO(2) output; Drosophila; Indirect calorimetry; Metabolism
  68. Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 27. 13(1): 2267
      Oncogenic fusion proteins generated by chromosomal translocations play major roles in cancer. Among them, fusions between EWSR1 and transcription factors generate oncogenes with powerful chromatin regulatory activities, capable of establishing complex gene expression programs in permissive precursor cells. Here we define the epigenetic and 3D connectivity landscape of Clear Cell Sarcoma, an aggressive cancer driven by the EWSR1-ATF1 fusion gene. We find that EWSR1-ATF1 displays a distinct DNA binding pattern that requires the EWSR1 domain and promotes ATF1 retargeting to new distal sites, leading to chromatin activation and the establishment of a 3D network that controls oncogenic and differentiation signatures observed in primary CCS tumors. Conversely, EWSR1-ATF1 depletion results in a marked reconfiguration of 3D connectivity, including the emergence of regulatory circuits that promote neural crest-related developmental programs. Taken together, our study elucidates the epigenetic mechanisms utilized by EWSR1-ATF1 to establish regulatory networks in CCS, and points to precursor cells in the neural crest lineage as candidate cells of origin for these tumors.
  69. Science. 2022 Apr 29. 376(6592): 476-483
      Genotoxic therapy such as radiation serves as a frontline cancer treatment, yet acquired resistance that leads to tumor reoccurrence is frequent. We found that cancer cells maintain viability during irradiation by reversibly increasing genome-wide DNA breaks, thereby limiting premature mitotic progression. We identify caspase-activated DNase (CAD) as the nuclease inflicting these de novo DNA lesions at defined loci, which are in proximity to chromatin-modifying CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) sites. CAD nuclease activity is governed through phosphorylation by DNA damage response kinases, independent of caspase activity. In turn, loss of CAD activity impairs cell fate decisions, rendering cancer cells vulnerable to radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks. Our observations highlight a cancer-selective survival adaptation, whereby tumor cells deploy regulated DNA breaks to delimit the detrimental effects of therapy-evoked DNA damage.
  70. Immunometabolism. 2022 ;pii: e220008. [Epub ahead of print]4(2):
      Hematopoietic homeostasis depends on the close regulation of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) activity in the bone marrow. Quiescence and activation in response to stress, among other changes in state, are mediated by shifts in HSC metabolic activity. Although HSC steady-state metabolism is well established, the mechanisms driving HSC activation, proliferation, and differentiation in response to stress remain poorly understood. Here we discuss a study by Mistry et al. that describes a novel metabolic mechanism that fuels HSC activation and expansion. The authors show that to meet their metabolic needs in response to infection, hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells uptake free fatty acids from their microenvironment via CD36 to fuel fatty acid oxidation. These exciting findings suggest that in the context of infection, HSCs undergo a metabolic shift toward fatty acid metabolism that drives emergency hematopoiesis and raise questions about the role of the microenvironment in this process.
    Keywords:  CD36; fatty-acid oxidation; hematopoiesis; hematopoietic stem cells; infection; oxidative phosphorylation
  71. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 May 03. 119(18): e2201859119
      SignificanceThe liver has a complex cellular architecture that is essential for its function. In this work, we show that BRAP, a ubiquitin ligase of poorly understood function, is required for maintenance of proper liver morphology. BRAP deletion in the liver causes disruption of its normal architecture and inflammation due to altered expression of genes involved in cell growth and extracellular interactions. This work sheds light on the mechanisms that maintain proper liver structure and has implications for liver disease.
    Keywords:  Hippo pathway; liver; ubiquitin ligase
  72. Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 25. 13(1): 2232
      ATP synthases are macromolecular machines consisting of an ATP-hydrolysis-driven F1 motor and a proton-translocation-driven FO motor. The F1 and FO motors oppose each other's action on a shared rotor subcomplex and are held stationary relative to each other by a peripheral stalk. Structures of resting mitochondrial ATP synthases revealed a left-handed curvature of the peripheral stalk even though rotation of the rotor, driven by either ATP hydrolysis in F1 or proton translocation through FO, would apply a right-handed bending force to the stalk. We used cryoEM to image yeast mitochondrial ATP synthase under strain during ATP-hydrolysis-driven rotary catalysis, revealing a large deformation of the peripheral stalk. The structures show how the peripheral stalk opposes the bending force and suggests that during ATP synthesis proton translocation causes accumulation of strain in the stalk, which relaxes by driving the relative rotation of the rotor through six sub-steps within F1, leading to catalysis.
  73. J Biol Chem. 2022 Apr 26. pii: S0021-9258(22)00424-0. [Epub ahead of print] 101984
      A major challenge in eukaryotic cells is the proper distribution of nuclear-encoded proteins to the correct organelles. For a subset of mitochondrial proteins, a signal sequence at the N-terminus (MTS) is recognized by protein complexes to ensure their proper translocation into the organelle. However, the early steps of mitochondrial protein targeting remain undeciphered. The cytosolic chaperone NAC, that in yeast is represented as the two different heterodimers αβ- and αβ'-NAC, has been proposed to be involved during the early steps of mitochondrial protein targeting. We have previously described that the mitochondrial outer membrane protein Sam37 interacts with αβ'-NAC and together promote the import of specific mitochondrial precursor proteins. In this work, we aimed to detect the region in the MTS of mitochondrial precursors relevant for their recognition by αβ'-NAC during their sorting to the mitochondria. We used targeting signals of different mitochondrial proteins (αβ'-NAC-dependent Oxa1 and αβ'-NAC-independent Mdm38) and fused them to green-fluorescent protein (GFP) to study their intracellular localization by biochemical and microscopy methods, and additionally followed their import kinetics in vivo. Our results reveal the presence of a positively charged amino acid cluster in the MTS of select mitochondrial precursors, such as Oxa1 and Fum1, which are crucial for their recognition by αβ'-NAC. Furthermore, we explored the presence of this cluster at the N-terminus of the mitochondrial proteome and propose a set of precursors whose proper localization depends on both αβ'-NAC and Sam37.
  74. Neurochem Int. 2022 Apr 25. pii: S0197-0186(22)00069-9. [Epub ahead of print] 105344
      Substantia Nigra Pars-compacta (SNpc), in the basal ganglion region, is a primary source of dopamine release. These dopaminergic neurons require more energy than other neurons, as they are highly arborized and redundant. Neurons meet most of their energy demand (∼90%) from mitochondria. Oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) is the primary pathway for energy production. Many genes involved in Parkinson's disease (PD) have been associated with OxPhos, especially complex I. Abrogation in complex I leads to reduced ATP formation in these neurons, succumbing to death by inducing apoptosis. This review discusses the interconnection between complex I-associated PD genes and specific mitochondrial metabolic factors (MMFs) of OxPhos. Interestingly, all the complex I-associated PD genes discussed here have been linked to the Akt signaling pathway; thus, neuron survival is promoted and smooth mitochondrial function is ensured. Any changes in these genes disrupt the Akt pathway, which hampers the opening of the permeability transition pore (PTP) via GSK3β dephosphorylation; promotes destabilization of OxPhos; and triggers the release of pro-apoptotic factors.
    Keywords:  Akt signaling pathway; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial metabolic factors; Neurodegeneration; Oxidative phosphorylation; Parkinson's disease
  75. Nat Genet. 2022 Apr 25.
      HOXB13, a homeodomain transcription factor, critically regulates androgen receptor (AR) activities and androgen-dependent prostate cancer (PCa) growth. However, its functions in AR-independent contexts remain elusive. Here we report HOXB13 interaction with histone deacetylase HDAC3, which is disrupted by the HOXB13 G84E mutation that has been associated with early-onset PCa. Independently of AR, HOXB13 recruits HDAC3 to lipogenic enhancers to catalyze histone deacetylation and suppress lipogenic regulators such as fatty acid synthase. Analysis of human tissues reveals that the HOXB13 gene is hypermethylated and downregulated in approximately 30% of metastatic castration-resistant PCa. HOXB13 loss or G84E mutation leads to lipid accumulation in PCa cells, thereby promoting cell motility and xenograft tumor metastasis, which is mitigated by pharmaceutical inhibition of fatty acid synthase. In summary, we present evidence that HOXB13 recruits HDAC3 to suppress de novo lipogenesis and inhibit tumor metastasis and that lipogenic pathway inhibitors may be useful to treat HOXB13-low PCa.
  76. Zhejiang Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2021 Jan 25. 50(7): 1-11
      Conventional therapies for malignant tumors have limitations and disadvantages. In recent years, the cancer starvation therapy has emerged which intends to deprive cancer cells of nutritional supply. There are several approaches to"starve" cancer cells: to intervene tumor angiogenesis by targeted inhibition of angiogenic factors or their receptors and integrins; to block the blood supply of cancer cells by embolizing or compressing blood vessels; to intervene metabolic process of cancer cells by inhibition of the signal pathways of mitochondrial serine-glycine-one earbon metabolism, glycolysis and amino acid metabolism; cancer starvation therapy can be employed with oxidation therapy, chemotherapy, sonodynamic therapy, anti-autophagy therapy or other therapies to achieve synergistic effects. This article reviews the research progress of cancer starvation therapy in recent years and discusses the existing problems.
    Keywords:  Anti-angiogenesis; Neoplasms; Review; Starvation therapy; Synergistic therapy; Tumor metabolism
  77. Cell Death Discov. 2022 Apr 23. 8(1): 225
      Angiopoietin-like-4 (ANGPTL4), a secreted glycoprotein that is mainly known as a regulator in lipid metabolism, now, is also indicated to be involved in the regulation of cancer progression and metastasis. However, little is known about not only biological functions, but also underlying mechanism of ANGPTL4 in the progression of osteosarcoma (OS). Here, we discovered that ANGPTL4 is downregulated in OS, and is associated with branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism. The BCAAs (valine, leucine, and isoleucine) are essential amino acids that play an important role in metabolic regulation. Aberrant BCAA metabolism is also found in various cancers and is associated with tumor progression, including proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. In this study, we indicated that the negative relation between the expression of ANGPTL4 and BCAA catabolism in OS samples and cell lines. The knockdown of ANGPTL4 in OS cells resulted in the accumulation of BCAAs, which in turn activated the mTOR signaling pathway, enhancing OS cell proliferation. Thus, reduced expression of ANGPTL4 is associated with the progression of OS. Taken together, our results demonstrated that the ANGPTL4/BCAA/mTOR axis is an important pathway in OS progression and may be a potential therapeutic target to slow OS progression.
  78. Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 28. 13(1): 2300
      While the genomes of normal tissues undergo dynamic changes over time, little is understood about the temporal-spatial dynamics of genomes in premalignant tissues that progress to cancer compared to those that remain cancer-free. Here we use whole genome sequencing to contrast genomic alterations in 427 longitudinal samples from 40 patients with stable Barrett's esophagus compared to 40 Barrett's patients who progressed to esophageal adenocarcinoma (ESAD). We show the same somatic mutational processes are active in Barrett's tissue regardless of outcome, with high levels of mutation, ESAD gene and focal chromosomal alterations, and similar mutational signatures. The critical distinction between stable Barrett's versus those who progress to cancer is acquisition and expansion of TP53-/- cell populations having complex structural variants and high-level amplifications, which are detectable up to six years prior to a cancer diagnosis. These findings reveal the timing of common somatic genome dynamics in stable Barrett's esophagus and define key genomic features specific to progression to esophageal adenocarcinoma, both of which are critical for cancer prevention and early detection strategies.
  79. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 Apr 20. pii: S0006-291X(22)00597-6. [Epub ahead of print]611 99-106
      In recent years, cancer metabolism has attracted attention as a therapeutic target, and glutamine metabolism is considered one of the most important metabolic processes in cancer. Solute carrier family 1 member 5 (SLC1A5) is a sodium channel that functions as a glutamine transporter. In various cancer types, SLC1A5 gene expression is enhanced, and cancer cell growth is suppressed by inhibition of SLC1A5. However, the involvement of SLC1A5 in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is unclear. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the clinical importance of SLC1A5 in ccRCC using The Cancer Genome Atlas database. Our findings confirmed that SLC1A5 was a prognosis factor for poor survival in ccRCC. Furthermore, loss-of-function assays using small interfering RNAs or an SLC1A5 inhibitor (V9302) in human ccRCC cell lines (A498 and Caki1) showed that inhibition of SLC1A5 significantly suppressed tumor growth, invasion, and migration. Additionally, inhibition of SLC1A5 by V9302 in vivo significantly suppressed tumor growth, and the antitumor effects of SLC1A5 inhibition were related to cellular senescence. Our findings may improve our understanding of ccRCC and the development of new treatment strategies for ccRCC.
    Keywords:  Cellular senescence; Glutamine transporter; Renal cell carcinoma; Solute carrier family 1 member 5; V9302
  80. Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 26. pii: S2211-1247(22)00491-0. [Epub ahead of print]39(4): 110730
      Mammals have limited regenerative capacity, whereas some vertebrates, like fish and salamanders, are able to regenerate their organs efficiently. The regeneration in these species depends on cell dedifferentiation followed by proliferation. We generate a mouse model that enables the inducible expression of the four Yamanaka factors (Oct-3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc, or 4F) specifically in hepatocytes. Transient in vivo 4F expression induces partial reprogramming of adult hepatocytes to a progenitor state and concomitantly increases cell proliferation. This is indicated by reduced expression of differentiated hepatic-lineage markers, an increase in markers of proliferation and chromatin modifiers, global changes in DNA accessibility, and an acquisition of liver stem and progenitor cell markers. Functionally, short-term expression of 4F enhances liver regenerative capacity through topoisomerase2-mediated partial reprogramming. Our results reveal that liver-specific 4F expression in vivo induces cellular plasticity and counteracts liver failure, suggesting that partial reprogramming may represent an avenue for enhancing tissue regeneration.
    Keywords:  CP: Stem cell research; dedifferentiation; liver; regeneration; reprogramming
  81. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 739631
      The invasiveness and high proliferation rate of growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas (GHPAs) are closely related to poor prognosis in patients. We previously reported that abnormal glycolysis participates in this process; however, the role of mitochondria in the invasion and proliferation of GHPAs remains unknown. In the current study, stereological methods were first used to quantitatively calculate the number and morphology of mitochondria. The results revealed that the numbers, volumes and membrane areas of mitochondria were decreased in invasive GHPAs (IGHPAs) samples compared to noninvasive GHPAs (NIGHPAs) samples. Furthermore, significantly downregulated mRNA and protein levels of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) were detected in IGHPAs, but no notable changes in fusion related molecules (Mfn1, Mfn2 and OPA1) were detected, suggesting that the abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in IGHPAs are characterized by hypofission. Mitochondrial hypofission caused by Mdivi-1, a specific Drp1 inhibitor, enhanced the invasion and proliferation of GH3 cell lines and primary cells from patients with GHPAs in vitro and in vivo, while overexpression of Drp1 reversed these processes. Mechanistically, mitochondrial hypofission might activate signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Specifically, elevated nuclear pSTAT3Y705 may promote GH3 cell invasion by upregulating the activity of matrix metalloproteinase 2/9, and elevated mitochondrial pSTAT3S727 may promote GH3 cell proliferation by inhibiting the mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway. Taken together, our findings suggest that mitochondrial hypofission induced by Drp1 might strengthen the invasion and proliferation of GHPA tumor cells by activating STAT3, providing us with a new perspective on how mitochondria regulate the development of IGHPAs.
    Keywords:  DRP1; growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas; invasion; mitochondrial fission; proliferation; stat3
  82. Nat Med. 2022 Apr 28.
      Public neoantigens (NeoAgs) represent an elite class of shared cancer-specific epitopes derived from recurrently mutated driver genes. Here we describe a high-throughput platform combining single-cell transcriptomic and T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing to establish whether mutant PIK3CA, among the most frequently genomically altered driver oncogenes, generates an immunogenic public NeoAg. Using this strategy, we developed a panel of TCRs that recognize an endogenously processed neopeptide encompassing a common PIK3CA hotspot mutation restricted by the prevalent human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*03:01 allele. Mechanistically, immunogenicity to this public NeoAg arises from enhanced neopeptide/HLA complex stability caused by a preferred HLA anchor substitution. Structural studies indicated that the HLA-bound neopeptide presents a comparatively 'featureless' surface dominated by the peptide's backbone. To bind this epitope with high specificity and affinity, we discovered that a lead TCR clinical candidate engages the neopeptide through an extended interface facilitated by an unusually long CDR3β loop. In patients with diverse malignancies, we observed NeoAg clonal conservation and spontaneous immunogenicity to the neoepitope. Finally, adoptive transfer of TCR-engineered T cells led to tumor regression in vivo in mice bearing PIK3CA-mutant tumors but not wild-type PIK3CA tumors. Together, these findings establish the immunogenicity and therapeutic potential of a mutant PIK3CA-derived public NeoAg.
  83. Cell. 2022 Apr 28. pii: S0092-8674(22)00444-5. [Epub ahead of print]185(9): 1451-1454
      Natural killer (NK)-based therapies against cancer are emerging, but the understanding of NK cell functions needs to be completed to optimize these treatments. In this issue, Pan et al. (2022) show that pro-apoptotic molecules, such as BH3-mimetics, synergize with NK cells to induce mitochondria-driven apoptosis in tumor cells, thereby enhancing the efficacy of NK cell therapies.
  84. Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2022 Apr;pii: a006203. [Epub ahead of print]8(3):
      Metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) remains an incurable malignancy, despite recent advances in systemic therapies. Genetic syndromes associated with kidney cancer account for only 5%-8% of all diagnosed kidney malignancies, and genetic predispositions to kidney cancer predisposition are still being studied. Genomic testing for kidney cancer is useful for disease molecular subtyping but provides minimal therapeutic information. Understanding how aberrations drive RCC development and how their contextual influences, such as chromosome loss, genome instability, and DNA methylation changes, may alter therapeutic response is of importance. We report the case of a 36-yr-old female with aggressive, metastatic RCC and a significant family history of cancer, including RCC. This patient harbors a novel, pathogenic, germline ATM mutation along with a rare germline variant of unknown significance in the BAP1 gene. In addition, somatic loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in BAP1 and ATM genes, somatic mutation and LOH in the VHL gene, copy losses in Chromosomes 9p and 14, and genome instability are also noted in the tumor, potentially dictating this patient's aggressive clinical course. Further investigation is warranted to evaluate the association of ATM and BAP1 germline mutations with increased risk of RCC and if these mutations should lead to enhanced and early screening.
    Keywords:  clear cell renal cell carcinoma
  85. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Apr 25.
      A decline in skeletal muscle mass and low muscular strength are prognostic factors in advanced human cancers. Here we found that breast cancer suppressed O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) protein modification in muscle through extracellular-vesicle-encapsulated miR-122, which targets O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT). Mechanistically, O-GlcNAcylation of ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) competed with NEK10-mediated phosphorylation and increased K48-linked ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation; the miR-122-mediated decrease in OGT resulted in increased RYR1 abundance. We further found that muscular protein O-GlcNAcylation was regulated by hypoxia and lactate through HIF1A-dependent OGT promoter activation and was elevated after exercise. Suppressed O-GlcNAcylation in the setting of cancer, through increasing RYR1, led to higher cytosolic Ca2+ and calpain protease activation, which triggered cleavage of desmin filaments and myofibrillar destruction. This was associated with reduced skeletal muscle mass and contractility in tumour-bearing mice. Our findings link O-GlcNAcylation to muscular protein homoeostasis and contractility and reveal a mechanism of cancer-associated muscle dysregulation.
  86. Nature. 2022 Apr 27.
    Keywords:  Cell biology; Lab life; Psychology
  87. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 May;18(5): 433
  88. PLoS Pathog. 2022 Apr 29. 18(4): e1010503
      Polyamines are critical metabolites involved in various cellular processes and often dysregulated in cancers. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus (KSHV), a defined human oncogenic virus, leads to profound alterations of host metabolic landscape to favor development of KSHV-associated malignancies. In our studies, we identified that polyamine biosynthesis and eIF5A hypusination are dynamically regulated by KSHV infection through modulation of key enzymes (ODC1 and DHPS) of these pathways. During KSHV latency, ODC1 and DHPS are upregulated along with increase of hypusinated eIF5A (hyp-eIF5A), while hyp-eIF5A is further induced along with reduction of ODC1 and intracellular polyamines during KSHV lytic reactivation. In return these metabolic pathways are required for both KSHV lytic reactivation and de novo infection. Further analysis unraveled that synthesis of critical KSHV latent and lytic proteins (LANA, RTA) depends on hypusinated-eIF5A. We also demonstrated that KSHV infection can be efficiently and specifically suppressed by inhibitors targeting these pathways. Collectively, our results illustrated that the dynamic and profound interaction of a DNA tumor virus (KSHV) with host polyamine biosynthesis and eIF5A hypusination pathways promote viral propagation, thus defining new therapeutic targets to treat KSHV-associated malignancies.
  89. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 May 03. 119(18): e2114672119
      Altered tissue mechanics and metabolism have gained significant attention as drivers of tumorigenesis, and mechanoresponsive metabolism has been implicated in migration and metastasis. However, heterogeneity in cell populations makes it difficult to link changes in behavior with metabolism, as individual cell behaviors are not necessarily reflected in population-based measurements. As such, the impact of increased collagen deposition, a tumor-associated collagen signature, on metabolism remains ambiguous. Here, we utilize a wide range of collagen densities to alter migration ability and study the bioenergetics of individual cells over time. Sorting cells based on their level of motility revealed energetics are a function of collagen density only for highly motile cells, not the entire population or cells with low motility. Changes in migration with increasing collagen density were correlated with cellular energetics, where matrix conditions most permissive to migration required less energy usage during movement and migrated more efficiently. These findings reveal a link between matrix mechanics, migratory phenotype, and bioenergetics and suggest that energetic costs are determined by the extracellular matrix and influence cell motility.
    Keywords:  cell migration; extracellular matrix; heterogeneity; mechanobiology; metabolism