bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒05‒29
forty-five papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit

  1. J Cell Biol. 2022 Jul 04. pii: e202201071. [Epub ahead of print]221(7):
      The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) is dedicated to promoting mitochondrial proteostasis and is linked to extreme longevity. The key regulator of this process is the transcription factor ATFS-1, which, upon UPRmt activation, is excluded from the mitochondria and enters the nucleus to regulate UPRmt genes. However, the repair proteins synthesized as a direct result of UPRmt activation must be transported into damaged mitochondria that had previously excluded ATFS-1 owing to reduced import efficiency. To address this conundrum, we analyzed the role of the import machinery when the UPRmt was induced. Using in vitro and in vivo analysis of mitochondrial proteins, we surprisingly find that mitochondrial import increases when the UPRmt is activated in an ATFS-1-dependent manner, despite reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. The import machinery is upregulated, and an intact import machinery is essential for UPRmt-mediated lifespan extension. ATFS-1 has a weak mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS), allowing for dynamic subcellular localization during the initial stages of UPRmt activation.
  2. STAR Protoc. 2022 Jun 17. 3(2): 101401
      Mitochondrial dynamics play critical roles in both tissue homeostasis and somatic cell reprogramming. Here, we provide integrated guidance for assessing mitochondrial function and dynamics while reprogramming human fibroblasts via an integrated analysis approach. This protocol includes instructions for mitochondrial metabolic analysis in real time and flow cytometry-based assessment of mitochondrial mass and membrane potential. We also describe a protocol for quantification of mitochondrial network and key metabolites. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Cha et al. (2021).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell culture; Cell-based Assays; Flow Cytometry/Mass Cytometry; Metabolism; Microscopy; Stem Cells
  3. Cell Death Differ. 2022 May 25.
      Binding of the mitochondrial chaperone TRAP1 to client proteins shapes bioenergetic and proteostatic adaptations of cells, but the panel of TRAP1 clients is only partially defined. Here we show that TRAP1 interacts with F-ATP synthase, the protein complex that provides most cellular ATP. TRAP1 competes with the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase cyclophilin D (CyPD) for binding to the oligomycin sensitivity-conferring protein (OSCP) subunit of F-ATP synthase, increasing its catalytic activity and counteracting the inhibitory effect of CyPD. Electrophysiological measurements indicate that TRAP1 directly inhibits a channel activity of purified F-ATP synthase endowed with the features of the permeability transition pore (PTP) and that it reverses PTP induction by CyPD, antagonizing PTP-dependent mitochondrial depolarization and cell death. Conversely, CyPD outcompetes the TRAP1 inhibitory effect on the channel. Our data identify TRAP1 as an F-ATP synthase regulator that can influence cell bioenergetics and survival and can be targeted in pathological conditions where these processes are dysregulated, such as cancer.
  4. JCI Insight. 2022 May 23. pii: e154198. [Epub ahead of print]7(10):
      Insulin secretion from pancreatic β cells is essential for glucose homeostasis. An insufficient response to the demand for insulin results in diabetes. We previously showed that β cell-specific deletion of Zfp148 (β-Zfp148KO) improves glucose tolerance and insulin secretion in mice. Here, we performed Ca2+ imaging of islets from β‑Zfp148KO and control mice fed both a chow and a Western-style diet. β-Zfp148KO islets demonstrated improved sensitivity and sustained Ca2+ oscillations in response to elevated glucose levels. β-Zfp148KO islets also exhibited elevated sensitivity to amino acid-induced Ca2+ influx under low glucose conditions, suggesting enhanced mitochondrial phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent (PEP-dependent), ATP-sensitive K+ channel closure, independent of glycolysis. RNA-Seq and proteomics of β-Zfp148KO islets revealed altered levels of enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism (specifically, SLC3A2, SLC7A8, GLS, GLS2, PSPH, PHGDH, and PSAT1) and intermediary metabolism (namely, GOT1 and PCK2), consistent with altered PEP cycling. In agreement with this, β-Zfp148KO islets displayed enhanced insulin secretion in response to l-glutamine and activation of glutamate dehydrogenase. Understanding pathways controlled by ZFP148 may provide promising strategies for improving β cell function that are robust to the metabolic challenge imposed by a Western diet.
    Keywords:  Beta cells; Calcium signaling; Endocrinology; Insulin; Metabolism
  5. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 906421
    Keywords:  cancer; cancer metabolism; drug resistance; metabolic reprogramming; targeting metabolism; tumor microenviroment (TME)
  6. Aging Cell. 2022 May 22. e13622
      Macrophage-stimulator of interferon genes (STING) signaling mediated sterile inflammation has been implicated in various age-related diseases. However, whether and how macrophage mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) regulates STING signaling in aged macrophages remains largely unknown. We found that hypoxia-reoxygenation (HR) induced STING activation in macrophages by triggering the release of macrophage mtDNA into the cytosol. Aging promoted the cytosolic leakage of macrophage mtDNA and enhanced STING activation, which was abrogated upon mtDNA depletion or cyclic GMP-AMP Synthase (cGAS) inhibition. Aged macrophages exhibited increased mitochondrial injury with impaired mitophagy. Mechanistically, a decline in the PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1)/Parkin-mediated polyubiquitination of mitochondria was observed in aged macrophages. Pink1 overexpression reversed the inhibition of mitochondrial ubiquitination but failed to promote mitolysosome formation in the aged macrophages. Meanwhile, aging impaired lysosomal biogenesis and function in macrophages by modulating the mTOR/transcription factor EB (TFEB) signaling pathway, which could be reversed by Torin-1 treatment. Consequently, Pink1 overexpression in combination with Torin-1 treatment restored mitophagic flux and inhibited mtDNA/cGAS/STING activation in aged macrophages. Moreover, besides HR-induced metabolic stress, other types of oxidative and hepatotoxic stresses inhibited mitophagy and promoted the cytosolic release of mtDNA to activate STING signaling in aged macrophages. STING deficiency protected aged mice against diverse types of sterile inflammatory liver injuries. Our findings suggest that aging impairs mitophagic flux to facilitate the leakage of macrophage mtDNA into the cytosol and promotes STING activation, and thereby provides a novel potential therapeutic target for sterile inflammatory liver injury in aged patients.
    Keywords:  aging; macrophage; mitochondrial DNA; mitophagy; sterile inflammation; stimulator of interferon genes
  7. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2022 May 18. pii: S1043-2760(22)00087-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lionaki et al. report that reducing mitochondrial protein import increases Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan, through a metabolic shift that enhances the conversion of glucose into serine. Here, I discuss the promise held by these findings in the framework of therapeutic approaches to metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; fructose; glucose; lifespan; metabolic shift; mitochondrial protein import
  8. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 893396
      Mitochondrial metabolism and dynamics (fission and fusion) critically regulate cell survival and proliferation, and abnormalities in these pathways are implicated in both neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Mitochondrial fission is necessary for the growth of mutant Ras-dependent tumors. Here, we investigated whether loss of PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) - a mitochondrial kinase linked to recessive familial Parkinsonism - affects the growth of oncogenic Ras-induced tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. We show that RasG12D-transformed embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from PINK1-deficient mice display reduced growth in soft agar and in nude mice, as well as increased necrosis and decreased cell cycle progression, compared to RasG12D-transformed MEFs derived from wildtype mice. PINK1 re-expression (overexpression) at least partially rescues these phenotypes. Neither PINK1 deletion nor PINK1 overexpression altered Ras expression levels. Intriguingly, PINK1-deficient Ras-transformed MEFs exhibited elongated mitochondria and altered DRP1 phosphorylation, a key event in regulating mitochondrial fission. Inhibition of DRP1 diminished PINK1-regulated mitochondria morphological changes and tumor growth suggesting that PINK1 deficiency primarily inhibits Ras-driven tumor growth through disturbances in mitochondrial fission and associated cell necrosis and cell cycle defects. Moreover, we substantiate the requirement of PINK1 for optimal growth of Ras-transformed cells by showing that human HCT116 colon carcinoma cells (carrying an endogenous RasG13D mutation) with CRISPR/Cas9-introduced PINK1 gene deletions also show reduced mitochondrial fission and decreased growth. Our results support the importance of mitochondrial function and dynamics in regulating the growth of Ras-dependent tumor cells and provide insight into possible mechanisms underlying the lower incidence of cancers in Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
    Keywords:  PTEN-induced kinase-1 (PINK1); Ras protein; Ras-induced tumors; cell cycle; dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1); mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial metabolism
  9. Phys Biol. 2022 May 25.
      Most mammalian cells couple glucose availability to anabolic processes via the mTORC1 pathway. However, the mechanism by which fluctuations in glucose availability are rapidly translated into mTORC1 signals remains elusive. Here, we show that cells rapidly respond to changes in glucose availability through the spatial coupling of mTORC1 and tetramers of the key glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) on lysosomal surfaces in the late G1/S phases. The lysosomal localization of PKM2 tetramers enables rapid increases in local ATP concentrations around lysosomes to activate mTORC1, while bypassing the need to elevate global ATP levels in the entire cell. In essence, this spatial coupling establishes a feedforward loop to enable mTORC1 to rapidly sense and respond to changes in glucose availability. We further demonstrate that this mechanism ensures robust cell proliferation upon fluctuating glucose availability. Thus, we present mechanistic insights into the rapid response of the mTORC1 pathway to changes in glucose availability. The underlying mechanism may be applicable to the control of other cellular processes.
    Keywords:  Cancer metabolism; PKM2; Spatiotemporal Feedforward; mTORC1
  10. Nat Rev Cancer. 2022 May 25.
      Cancer cells acquire distinct metabolic preferences based on their tissue of origin, genetic alterations and degree of interaction with systemic hormones and metabolites. These adaptations support the increased nutrient demand required for increased growth and proliferation. Diet is the major source of nutrients for tumours, yet dietary interventions lack robust evidence and are rarely prescribed by clinicians for the treatment of cancer. Well-controlled diet studies in patients with cancer are rare, and existing studies have been limited by nonspecific enrolment criteria that inappropriately grouped together subjects with disparate tumour and host metabolic profiles. This imprecision may have masked the efficacy of the intervention for appropriate candidates. Here, we review the metabolic alterations and key vulnerabilities that occur across multiple types of cancer. We describe how these vulnerabilities could potentially be targeted using dietary therapies including energy or macronutrient restriction and intermittent fasting regimens. We also discuss recent trials that highlight how dietary strategies may be combined with pharmacological therapies to treat some cancers, potentially ushering a path towards precision nutrition for cancer.
  11. Metabolites. 2022 Apr 21. pii: 377. [Epub ahead of print]12(5):
      A growing number of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) have been identified that manifest 3-methylglutaconic (3MGC) aciduria as a phenotypic feature. In primary 3MGC aciduria, IEM-dependent deficiencies in leucine pathway enzymes prevent catabolism of trans-3MGC CoA. Consequently, this metabolite is converted to 3MGC acid and excreted in urine. In secondary 3MGC aciduria, however, no leucine metabolism pathway enzyme deficiencies exist. These IEMs affect mitochondrial membrane structure, electron transport chain function or ATP synthase subunits. As a result, acetyl CoA oxidation via the TCA cycle slows and acetyl CoA is diverted to trans-3MGC CoA, and then to 3MGC acid. Whereas the trans diastereomer of 3MGC CoA is the only biologically relevant diastereomer, the urine of affected subjects contains both cis- and trans-3MGC acids. Studies have revealed that trans-3MGC CoA is susceptible to isomerization to cis-3MGC CoA. Once formed, cis-3MGC CoA undergoes intramolecular cyclization, forming an anhydride that, upon hydrolysis, yields cis-3MGC acid. Alternatively, cis-3MGC anhydride can acylate protein lysine side chains. Once formed, cis-3MGCylated proteins can be deacylated by the NAD+-dependent enzyme, sirtuin 4. Taken together, the excretion of 3MGC acid in secondary 3MGC aciduria represents a barometer of defective mitochondrial function.
    Keywords:  3-methylglutaconic acid; acetyl CoA; inborn errors of metabolism; leucine; mitochondria; organic aciduria; sirtuin 4
  12. J Nutr Biochem. 2022 May 21. pii: S0955-2863(22)00127-9. [Epub ahead of print] 109056
      Obesity poses a global health challenge and is a major risk factor for diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, stroke and certain kinds of cancers. Although the effects of nicotinamide (NAM) on liver metabolism and diseases were well documented, its effects on adipose tissue are yet to be characterized. Herein, we found that NAM supplementation significantly reduced fat mass and improved glucose tolerance in obese mice. Proteomic analysis revealed that NAM supplementation upregulates mitochondrial proteins while qPCR showed that PPARα and PGC1α were both upregulated in adipose tissues, proposing that NAM increased mitochondrial biogenesis in adipose tissue. Indeed, NAM treatment increased proteins related to mitochondrial functions including OXPHOS, fatty acid oxidation, and TCA cycle. Furthermore, isotope-tracing assisted metabolic profiling revealed that NAM activated NAMPT and increased cellular NAD+ level by 30%. Unexpectedly, we found that NAM also increased glucose derived amino acids to enhance glutathione synthesis for maintaining cellular redox homeostasis. Taken together, our results demonstrated that NAM reprogramed cellular metabolism, enhanced adipose mitochondrial functions to ameliorate symptoms associated with obesity.
    Keywords:  glutathione; mitochondrial biogenesis; nicotinamide; nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+); obesity
  13. Front Physiol. 2022 ;13 859820
      Metabolic flexibility in mammals enables stressed tissues to generate additional ATP by converting large amounts of glucose into lactic acid; however, this process can cause transient local or systemic acidosis. Certain mammals are adapted to extreme environments and are capable of enhanced metabolic flexibility as a specialized adaptation to challenging habitat niches. For example, naked mole-rats (NMRs) are a fossorial and hypoxia-tolerant mammal whose metabolic responses to environmental stressors markedly differ from most other mammals. When exposed to hypoxia, NMRs exhibit robust hypometabolism but develop minimal acidosis. Furthermore, and despite a very long lifespan relative to other rodents, NMRs have a remarkably low cancer incidence. Most advanced cancers in mammals display increased production of lactic acid from glucose, irrespective of oxygen availability. This hallmark of cancer is known as the Warburg effect (WE). Most malignancies acquire this metabolic phenotype during their somatic evolution, as the WE benefits tumor growth in several ways. We propose that the peculiar metabolism of the NMR makes development of the WE inherently difficult, which might contribute to the extraordinarily low cancer rate in NMRs. Such an adaptation of NMRs to their subterranean environment may have been facilitated by modified biochemical responses with a stronger inhibition of the production of CO2 and lactic acid by a decreased extracellular pH. Since this pH-inhibition could be deeply hard-wired in their metabolic make-up, it may be difficult for malignant cells in NMRs to acquire the WE-phenotype that facilitates cancer growth in other mammals. In the present commentary, we discuss this idea and propose experimental tests of our hypothesis.
    Keywords:  Warburg effect; cancer metabolism; hypoxic metabolic response; hypoxic ventilatory response (HVR); metabolic fuel switching; metabolism; naked mole-rat; thermoregulation
  14. Nature. 2022 May 25.
      Mitochondria are epicentres of eukaryotic metabolism and bioenergetics. Pioneering efforts in recent decades have established the core protein componentry of these organelles1 and have linked their dysfunction to more than 150 distinct disorders2,3. Still, hundreds of mitochondrial proteins lack clear functions4, and the underlying genetic basis for approximately 40% of mitochondrial disorders remains unresolved5. Here, to establish a more complete functional compendium of human mitochondrial proteins, we profiled more than 200 CRISPR-mediated HAP1 cell knockout lines using mass spectrometry-based multiomics analyses. This effort generated approximately 8.3 million distinct biomolecule measurements, providing a deep survey of the cellular responses to mitochondrial perturbations and laying a foundation for mechanistic investigations into protein function. Guided by these data, we discovered that PIGY upstream open reading frame (PYURF) is an S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferase chaperone that supports both complex I assembly and coenzyme Q biosynthesis and is disrupted in a previously unresolved multisystemic mitochondrial disorder. We further linked the putative zinc transporter SLC30A9 to mitochondrial ribosomes and OxPhos integrity and established RAB5IF as the second gene harbouring pathogenic variants that cause cerebrofaciothoracic dysplasia. Our data, which can be explored through the interactive online resource, suggest biological roles for many other orphan mitochondrial proteins that still lack robust functional characterization and define a rich cell signature of mitochondrial dysfunction that can support the genetic diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases.
  15. Trends Cancer. 2022 May 23. pii: S2405-8033(22)00094-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer cells are plastic - they can assume a wide range of distinct phenotypes. Plasticity is integral to cancer initiation and progression, as well as to the emergence and maintenance of intratumoral heterogeneity. Furthermore, plastic cells can rapidly adapt to and evade therapy, which poses a challenge for effective cancer treatment. As such, targeting plasticity in cancer holds tremendous promise. Yet, the principles governing plasticity in cancer cells remain poorly understood. Here, we provide an overview of the fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie plasticity in cancer and in other biological contexts, including development and regeneration. We propose a key role for high-plasticity cell states (HPCSs) as crucial nodes for cell state transitions and enablers of intra-tumoral heterogeneity.
    Keywords:  cancer therapy; cell state transition; differentiation; intratumoral heterogeneity; plasticity; tumor evolution
  16. STAR Protoc. 2022 Jun 17. 3(2): 101403
      Lactate is a central metabolite in energy metabolism and is also involved in cell signaling and epigenetic regulations. Here, we describe an NADH-independent enzymatic assay allowing rapid, selective, and sensitive quantification of L-lactate down to the pmol range. We detail lactate extraction from intracellular and extracellular fractions, followed by total protein amount determination and enzymatic assay. This approach allows quantification of intracellular and extracellular L-lactate levels, validated by treating adherent and non-adherent cells with inhibitors of lactate transporters (MCT).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell culture; Metabolism; Protein Biochemistry
  17. Sci Adv. 2022 May 27. 8(21): eabm9120
      Cellular metabolism has been proposed to govern distinct γδ T cell effector functions, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. We show that interleukin-17 (IL-17)-producing γδ T (γδT17) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ)-producing γδ T (γδT1) cells have differential metabolic requirements and that the rate-limiting enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) acts as a metabolic checkpoint for their effector functions. Intriguingly, the transcription factor c-Maf regulates γδT17 effector function through direct regulation of IDH2 promoter activity. Moreover, mTORC2 affects the expression of c-Maf and IDH2 and subsequent IL-17 production in γδ T cells. Deletion of c-Maf in γδ T cells reduces metastatic lung cancer development, suggesting c-Maf as a potential target for cancer immune therapy. We show that c-Maf also controls IL-17 production in human γδ T cells from peripheral blood and in oral cancers. These results demonstrate a critical role of the transcription factor c-Maf in regulating γδT17 effector function through IDH2-mediated metabolic reprogramming.
  18. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 16. pii: 5550. [Epub ahead of print]23(10):
      Maintaining a robust, stable source of energy for doing chemical and physical work is essential to all living organisms. In eukaryotes, metabolic energy (ATP) production and consumption occurs in two separate compartments, the mitochondrial matrix and the cytosol. As a result, understanding eukaryotic metabolism requires knowledge of energy metabolism in each compartment and how metabolism in the two compartments is coordinated. Central to energy metabolism is the adenylate energy state ([ATP]/[ADP][Pi]). ATP is synthesized by oxidative phosphorylation (mitochondrial matrix) and glycolysis (cytosol) and each compartment provides the energy to do physical work and to drive energetically unfavorable chemical syntheses. The energy state in the cytoplasmic compartment has been established by analysis of near equilibrium metabolic reactions localized in that compartment. In the present paper, analysis is presented for energy-dependent reactions localized in the mitochondrial matrix using data obtained from both isolated mitochondria and intact tissues. It is concluded that the energy state ([ATP]f/[ADP]f[Pi]) in the mitochondrial matrix, calculated from the free (unbound) concentrations, is not different from the energy state in the cytoplasm. Corollaries are: (1) ADP in both the cytosol and matrix is selectively bound and the free concentrations are much lower than the total measured concentrations; and (2) under physiological conditions, the adenylate energy states in the mitochondrial matrix and cytoplasm are not substantially different.
    Keywords:  cytoplasm; energy metabolism; metabolic integration; mitochondrial matrix
  19. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2399 123-149
      Mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) transforms the reductive power of NADH or FADH2 oxidation into a proton gradient between the matrix and cytosolic sides of the inner mitochondrial membrane, that ATP synthase uses to generate ATP. This process constitutes a bridge between carbohydrates' central metabolism and ATP-consuming cellular functions. Moreover, the RC is responsible for a large part of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation that play signaling and oxidizing roles in cells. Mathematical methods and computational analysis are required to understand and predict the possible behavior of this metabolic system. Here we propose a software tool that helps to analyze individual steps of respiratory electron transport in their dynamics, thus deepening understanding of the mechanism of energy transformation and ROS generation in the RC. This software's core is a kinetic model of the RC represented by a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). This model enables the analysis of complex dynamic behavior of the RC, including multistationarity and oscillations. The proposed RC modeling method can be applied to study respiration and ROS generation in various organisms and naturally extended to explore carbohydrates' metabolism and linked metabolic processes.
    Keywords:  Central energetic metabolism; Electron transport chain; Kinetic model; Ordinary differential equations; ROS generation; Reactive oxygen species; Respiratory chain; Respiratory complexes
  20. Front Physiol. 2022 ;13 868820
      The ATP synthase is an essential multifunctional enzyme complex of mitochondria that produces most of cellular ATP, shapes the structure of the inner membrane into cristae and regulates the signals that control cell fate or demise. The ATPase Inhibitory Factor 1 (IF1) functions in vivo as a physiological regulator of the ATP synthase and thereby controls mitochondrial structure and function, and the retrograde signaling pathways that reprogram nuclear gene expression. However, IF1 is not ubiquitously expressed in mammals, showing tissue-restricted expression in humans and mice and large expression differences between the two species in some tissues. Herein, we summarized key regulatory functions of IF1 for tissue homeostasis, with special emphasis on the deleterious effects that its genetic ablation in neurons has in learning. The development and characterization of tissue-specific mouse models with regulated expression of IF1 will be crucial to disentangle the contribution of the ATP synthase/IF1 axis in pathophysiology.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; ATPase inhibitory factor 1; Mitohormesis; cellular signaling; learning; neurons; oxidative phosphorylation; reactive oxygen species
  21. Nat Metab. 2022 May 26.
      Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) is the gatekeeper enzyme of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Here we show that the deglycase DJ-1 (encoded by PARK7, a key familial Parkinson's disease gene) is a pacemaker regulating PDH activity in CD4+ regulatory T cells (Treg cells). DJ-1 binds to PDHE1-β (PDHB), inhibiting phosphorylation of PDHE1-α (PDHA), thus promoting PDH activity and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Park7 (Dj-1) deletion impairs Treg survival starting in young mice and reduces Treg homeostatic proliferation and cellularity only in aged mice. This leads to increased severity in aged mice during the remission of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Dj-1 deletion also compromises differentiation of inducible Treg cells especially in aged mice, and the impairment occurs via regulation of PDHB. These findings provide unforeseen insight into the complicated regulatory machinery of the PDH complex. As Treg homeostasis is dysregulated in many complex diseases, the DJ-1-PDHB axis represents a potential target to maintain or re-establish Treg homeostasis.
  22. MicroPubl Biol. 2022 ;2022
      The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPR mt ) is an important stress response that ensures the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis in response to various types of cellular stress. We previously described a genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans genes, which when inactivated cause UPR mt activation, and reported genes identified that encode mitochondrial proteins. We now report additional genes identified in the screen. Importantly, these include genes that encode non-mitochondrial proteins involved in processes such as the control of gene expression, post-translational modifications, cell signaling and cellular trafficking. Interestingly, we identified several genes that have been proposed to participate in the transfer of lipids between peroxisomes, ER and mitochondria, suggesting that lipid transfer between these organelles is essential for mitochondrial homeostasis. In conclusion, this study shows that the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis is not only dependent on mitochondrial processes but also relies on non-mitochondrial processes and pathways. Our results reinforce the notion that mitochondrial function and cellular function are intimately connected.
  23. J Clin Invest. 2022 May 26. pii: e145660. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion/deletions syndromes (MDDS) encompass a clinically and etiologically heterogenous group of mitochondrial disorders due to impaired mtDNA maintenance. Among the most frequent causes of MDDS are defects in nucleoside/nucleotide metabolism, which is critical for synthesis and homeostasis of the deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) substrates of mtDNA replication. A central enzyme for generating dNTPs is ribonucleotide reductase, a critical mediator of de novo nucleotide synthesis composed of catalytic RRM1 subunits in complex with RRM2 or p53R2. Here, we report five probands from four families who presented with ptosis and ophthalmoplegia, plus other manifestations and multiple mtDNA deletions in muscle. We identified three RRM1 loss-of-function variants, including a dominant catalytic site variant (NP_001024.1: p.N427K) and two homozygous recessive variants at p.R381, which has evolutionarily conserved interactions with the specificity site. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations indicate mechanisms by which RRM1 variants affect protein structure. Cultured primary skin fibroblasts of probands manifested mtDNA depletion under cycling conditions, indicating impaired de novo nucleotide synthesis. Fibroblasts also exhibited aberrant nucleoside diphosphate and dNTP pools and mtDNA ribonucleotide incorporation. Our data reveal primary RRM1 deficiency and, by extension, impaired de novo nucleotide synthesis are causes of MDDS.
    Keywords:  Genetic diseases; Genetics; Mitochondria; Molecular pathology
  24. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 890419
      TEAD4 (TEA Domain Transcription Factor 4) is well recognized as the DNA-anchor protein of YAP transcription complex, which is modulated by Hippo, a highly conserved pathway in Metazoa that controls organ size through regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis. To acquire full transcriptional activity, TEAD4 requires co-activator, YAP (Yes-associated protein) or its homolog TAZ (transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif) the signaling hub that relays the extracellular stimuli to the transcription of target genes. Growing evidence suggests that TEAD4 also exerts its function in a YAP-independent manner through other signal pathways. Although TEAD4 plays an essential role in determining that differentiation fate of the blastocyst, it also promotes tumorigenesis by enhancing metastasis, cancer stemness, and drug resistance. Upregulation of TEAD4 has been reported in several cancers, including colon cancer, gastric cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer and serves as a valuable prognostic marker. Recent studies show that TEAD4, but not other members of the TEAD family, engages in regulating mitochondrial dynamics and cell metabolism by modulating the expression of mitochondrial- and nuclear-encoded electron transport chain genes. TEAD4's functions including oncogenic activities are tightly controlled by its subcellular localization. As a predominantly nuclear protein, its cytoplasmic translocation is triggered by several signals, such as osmotic stress, cell confluency, and arginine availability. Intriguingly, TEAD4 is also localized in mitochondria, although the translocation mechanism remains unclear. In this report, we describe the current understanding of TEAD4 as an oncogene, epigenetic regulator and mitochondrial modulator. The contributing mechanisms will be discussed.
    Keywords:  Tead4; cancer; epigenetics; mitochondria; oxphos
  25. Cell Rep. 2022 May 24. pii: S2211-1247(22)00633-7. [Epub ahead of print]39(8): 110860
      Protein ubiquitination is an essential process that rapidly regulates protein synthesis, function, and fate in dynamic environments. Within its non-proteolytic functions, we showed that K63-linked polyubiquitinated conjugates heavily accumulate in yeast cells exposed to oxidative stress, stalling ribosomes at elongation. K63-ubiquitinated conjugates accumulate mostly because of redox inhibition of the deubiquitinating enzyme Ubp2; however, the role and regulation of ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2) in this pathway remained unclear. Here, we show that the E2 Rad6 associates and modifies ribosomes during stress. We further demonstrate that Rad6 and its human homolog UBE2A are redox regulated by forming a reversible disulfide with the E1 ubiquitin-activating enzyme (Uba1). This redox regulation is part of a negative feedback regulation, which controls the levels of K63 ubiquitination under stress. Finally, we show that Rad6 activity is necessary to regulate translation, antioxidant defense, and adaptation to stress, thus providing an additional physiological role for this multifunctional enzyme.
    Keywords:  CP: Molecular biology; K63-linked ubiquitination; Rad6; oxidative stress; ribosome ubiquitination; stress response; translation
  26. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2482 301-310
      Indirect calorimetry probes the relationship between fuel consumed and energy produced, and in doing so provides an estimation of whole-body energy expenditure and fuel preference. When assayed continuously in real-time, rhythms appear and illuminate the temporal regulation of energy metabolism by the circadian clock. Here we describe a method for recording circadian energy metabolism in mice using indirect calorimetry-enabled metabolic cages, encompassing mouse entrainment, experimental design, data acquisition and analysis, troubleshooting of common problems, and important considerations. This method is adaptable to the end user's equipment and serves as an effective tool to study, for example, mutant mice, dietary interventions, drug treatments, or circadian disruption.
    Keywords:  Circadian clock; Circadian rhythm; Energy metabolism; In vivo recording; Indirect calorimetry; Metabolic cage; Real-time recording
  27. Science. 2022 May 27. 376(6596): eabe1505
      In castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), the loss of androgen receptor (AR) dependence leads to clinically aggressive tumors with few therapeutic options. We used ATAC-seq (assay for transposase-accessible chromatin sequencing), RNA-seq, and DNA sequencing to investigate 22 organoids, six patient-derived xenografts, and 12 cell lines. We identified the well-characterized AR-dependent and neuroendocrine subtypes, as well as two AR-negative/low groups: a Wnt-dependent subtype, and a stem cell-like (SCL) subtype driven by activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcription factors. We used transcriptomic signatures to classify 366 patients, which showed that SCL is the second most common subtype of CRPC after AR-dependent. Our data suggest that AP-1 interacts with the YAP/TAZ and TEAD proteins to maintain subtype-specific chromatin accessibility and transcriptomic landscapes in this group. Together, this molecular classification reveals drug targets and can potentially guide therapeutic decisions.
  28. Nat Commun. 2022 May 25. 13(1): 2904
      All living organisms have the ability to sense nutrient levels to coordinate cellular metabolism. Despite the importance of nutrient-sensing pathways that detect the levels of amino acids and glucose, how the availability of these two types of nutrients is integrated is unclear. Here, we show that glucose availability regulates the central nutrient effector mTORC1 through intracellular leucine sensor leucyl-tRNA synthetase 1 (LARS1). Glucose starvation results in O-GlcNAcylation of LARS1 on residue S1042. This modification inhibits the interaction of LARS1 with RagD GTPase and reduces the affinity of LARS1 for leucine by promoting phosphorylation of its leucine-binding site by the autophagy-activating kinase ULK1, decreasing mTORC1 activity. The lack of LARS1 O-GlcNAcylation constitutively activates mTORC1, supporting its ability to sense leucine, and deregulates protein synthesis and leucine catabolism under glucose starvation. This work demonstrates that LARS1 integrates leucine and glucose availability to regulate mTORC1 and the metabolic fate of leucine.
  29. Biomol Concepts. 2022 May 26. 13(1): 272-288
      Following structural determination by recent advances in electron cryomicroscopy, it is now well established that the respiratory Complexes I-IV in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) are organized into supercomplexes in the respirasome. Nonetheless, the reason for the existence of the OXPHOS supercomplexes and their functional role remains an enigma. Several hypotheses have been proposed for the existence of these supercomplex supercomplexes. A commonly-held view asserts that they enhance catalysis by substrate channeling. However, this - and other views - has been challenged based on structural and biophysical information. Hence, new ideas, concepts, and frameworks are needed. Here, a new model of energy transfer in OXPHOS is developed on the basis of biochemical data on the pure competitive inhibition of anionic substrates like succinate by the classical anionic uncouplers of OXPHOS (2,4-dinitrophenol, carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone, and dicoumarol), and pharmacological data on the unique site-selective, energy-linked inhibition of energy conservation pathways in mitochondria induced by the guanidine derivatives. It is further found that uncouplers themselves are site-specific and exhibit differential selectivity and efficacy in reversing the inhibition caused by the Site 1/Complex I or Site 2/Complexes II-III-selective guanidine derivatives. These results lead to new vistas and sufficient complexity in the network of energy conservation pathways in the mitochondrial respiratory chain that necessitate discrete points of interaction with two classes of guanidine derivatives and uncoupling agents and thereby separate and distinct energy transfer pathways between Site 1 and Site 2 and the intermediate that energizes adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis by Complex V. Interpretation based on Mitchell's single-ion chemiosmotic theory that postulates only a single energy pool is inadequate to rationalize the data and account for the required complexity. The above results and available information are shown to be explained by Nath's two-ion theory of energy coupling and ATP synthesis, involving coupled movement of succinate anions and protons, along with the requirement postulated by the theory for maintenance of homeostasis and ion translocation across the energy-transducing membrane of both succinate monoanions and succinate dianions by Complexes I-V in the OXPHOS supercomplexes. The new model of energy transfer in mitochondria is mapped onto the solved structures of the supercomplexes and integrated into a consistent model with the three-dimensional electron microscope computer tomography visualization of the internal structure of the cristae membranes in mammalian mitochondria. The model also offers valuable insights into diseased states induced in type 2 diabetes and especially in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases that involve mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Keywords:  2,4-dinitrophenol; Alzheimer’s disease; Complexes I–V; Gunnar Hollunger’s pioneering work in pharmacology; Mitchell’s single-ion chemiosmotic theory; Nath’s torsional mechanism of energy transduction and ATP synthesis; Nath’s two-ion theory of energy coupling; OXPHOS supercomplexes; Paolo Bernardi’s pioneering work on cell death and ATP; alkylguanidines; carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone; competitive inhibition of succinate with the anionic uncouplers of OXPHOS; coupling of proton and succinate anion transport; dicoumarol; differential release of inhibition by pharmacological agents by uncouplers; functional role of the OXPHOS supercomplexes; inhibition of succinate entry by uncouplers; integrated mitochondrial function; interaction of site-specific guanidine derivatives with mitochondria; mitochondrial dysfunction; new definition of mitochondrial respiration; new model of energy transfer in mitochondria; octylguanidines; oxidative phosphorylation; phenethylbiguanides; sensing of local electrical potential, Δψ; supramolecular biology; supramolecular chemistry; translocation of succinate monoanions and succinate dianions across cristae membranes; two distinct energy conservation pathways between the electron transport chain and FOF1-ATP synthase; type 2 diabetes
  30. Nat Commun. 2022 May 26. 13(1): 2958
      The pleiotropic function of long noncoding RNAs is well recognized, but their direct role in governing metabolic homeostasis is less understood. Here, we describe a human adipocyte-specific lncRNA, ADIPINT, that regulates pyruvate carboxylase, a pivotal enzyme in energy metabolism. We developed an approach, Targeted RNA-protein identification using Orthogonal Organic Phase Separation, which identifies that ADIPINT binds to pyruvate carboxylase and validated the interaction with electron microscopy. ADIPINT knockdown alters the interactome and decreases the abundance and enzymatic activity of pyruvate carboxylase in the mitochondria. Reduced ADIPINT or pyruvate carboxylase expression lowers adipocyte lipid synthesis, breakdown, and lipid content. In human white adipose tissue, ADIPINT expression is increased in obesity and linked to fat cell size, adipose insulin resistance, and pyruvate carboxylase activity. Thus, we identify ADIPINT as a regulator of lipid metabolism in human white adipocytes, which at least in part is mediated through its interaction with pyruvate carboxylase.
  31. Mol Cell. 2022 May 14. pii: S1097-2765(22)00434-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      RAF protein kinases are effectors of the GTP-bound form of small guanosine triphosphatase RAS and function by phosphorylating MEK. We showed here that the expression of ARAF activated RAS in a kinase-independent manner. Binding of ARAF to RAS displaced the GTPase-activating protein NF1 and antagonized NF1-mediated inhibition of RAS. This reduced ERK-dependent inhibition of RAS and increased RAS-GTP. By this mechanism, ARAF regulated the duration and consequences of RTK-induced RAS activation and supported the RAS output of RTK-dependent tumor cells. In human lung cancers with EGFR mutation, amplification of ARAF was associated with acquired resistance to EGFR inhibitors, which was overcome by combining EGFR inhibitors with an inhibitor of the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 to enhance inhibition of nucleotide exchange and RAS activation.
    Keywords:  ARAF; ERK signaling; NF1; RAS-GTP; drug sensitivity; receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor
  32. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2022 May 25.
      Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death characterized by the accumulation of lipid peroxides in an iron-dependent manner. Ferroptotic cell death is modulated by many metabolic pathways, such as pathways governing the metabolism of sugars, lipids, amino acids, and iron, as well as mitochondrial activity and redox homeostasis. Tumor metastasis and therapy resistance are the main obstacles to curing cancers. Because tumor cells usually exhibit higher iron dependence than normal cells, they may be more susceptible to ferroptosis despite being resistant to other forms of cell death. Moreover, recent evidence has suggested that ferroptosis is involved in tumor-host interactions, modulates the tumor microenvironment, and serves as an anti-metastatic mechanism. Thus, inducing ferroptosis in tumor cells has the potential to improve cancer treatment. Here, we review ferroptosis-regulating mechanisms and the roles of ferroptosis in malignant progression, including the tumor-host interactions, metastasis, and cancer therapy response.
    Keywords:  Ferroptosis; Metastasis; Therapy response; Tumor-host interactions
  33. Cancer Cell. 2022 May 18. pii: S1535-6108(22)00215-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      T cell exhaustion is a major impediment to antitumor immunity. However, it remains elusive how other immune cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) contribute to this dysfunctional state. Here, we show that the biology of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and exhausted T cells (Tex) in the TME is extensively linked. We demonstrate that in vivo depletion of TAMs reduces exhaustion programs in tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells and reinvigorates their effector potential. Reciprocally, transcriptional and epigenetic profiling reveals that Tex express factors that actively recruit monocytes to the TME and shape their differentiation. Using lattice light sheet microscopy, we show that TAM and CD8+ T cells engage in unique, long-lasting, antigen-specific synaptic interactions that fail to activate T cells but prime them for exhaustion, which is then accelerated in hypoxic conditions. Spatially resolved sequencing supports a spatiotemporal self-enforcing positive feedback circuit that is aligned to protect rather than destroy a tumor.
    Keywords:  T cell exhaustion; antitumor immunity; immunotherapy; tumor microenvironment; tumor-associated macrophages
  34. Metabolites. 2022 May 23. pii: 469. [Epub ahead of print]12(5):
      Several cancers, including breast cancers, show dependence on glutamine metabolism. The purpose of the present study was to determine the mechanistic basis and impact of differential glutamine metabolism in nonmetastatic and metastatic murine mammary cancer cells. Universally labeled 13C5-glutamine metabolic tracing, qRT-PCR, measures of reductive-oxidative balance, and exogenous ammonium chloride treatment were used to assess glutamine reprogramming. Results show that 4 mM media concentration of glutamine, compared with 2 mM, reduced viability only in metastatic cells, and that this decrease in viability was accompanied by increased incorporation of glutamine-derived carbon into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. While increased glutamine metabolism in metastatic cells occurred in tandem with a decrease in the reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio, treatment with the antioxidant molecule N-acetylcysteine did not rescue cell viability. However, the viability of metastatic cells was more sensitive to ammonium chloride treatment compared with nonmetastatic cells, suggesting a role of metabolic reprogramming in averting nitrogen cytotoxicity in nonmetastatic cells. Overall, these results demonstrate the ability of nonmetastatic cancer cells to reprogram glutamine metabolism and that this ability may be lost in metastatic cells.
    Keywords:  ammonium toxicity; breast cancer; glutamine metabolism; metabolic reprogramming; metastasis
  35. Cell Rep. 2022 May 24. pii: S2211-1247(22)00628-3. [Epub ahead of print]39(8): 110855
      Hypusine is a post-translational modification on eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A). The last step of hypusine biosynthesis, deoxyhypusine hydroxylation, is an oxygen-dependent reaction. Here we show that deletion of the deoxyhypusine hydroxylase Lia1 compromises yeast respiration through translation downregulation of selected proteins in the respiration pathway. The translation suppression, because of the lack of deoxyhypusine hydroxylation, mainly affects translation of the N termini of the proteins, independent of the presence of proline residues but likely dependent on the interaction between the N-terminal nascent peptide and the ribosomal peptide exit tunnel. Proteomics and biochemical studies reveal that Lia1 deletion decreases N-terminal translation of proteins involved in mitochondrial respiration, oxidative stress response, and protein folding. Our work uncovers functions of the hypusine modification by considering the substrate requirement of the post-translational modification, highlights the unique challenges of translating the N termini of proteins, and reveals an oxygen-sensing mechanism in eukaryotic cells.
    Keywords:  CP: Metabolism; CP: Molecular biology; deoxyhypusine hydroxylase; hypusine; oxidative phosphorylation; oxygen sensing; translation
  36. Dev Cell. 2022 May 17. pii: S1534-5807(22)00331-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      The breast is a dynamic organ whose response to physiological and pathophysiological conditions alters its disease susceptibility, yet the specific effects of these clinical variables on cell state remain poorly annotated. We present a unified, high-resolution breast atlas by integrating single-cell RNA-seq, mass cytometry, and cyclic immunofluorescence, encompassing a myriad of states. We define cell subtypes within the alveolar, hormone-sensing, and basal epithelial lineages, delineating associations of several subtypes with cancer risk factors, including age, parity, and BRCA2 germline mutation. Of particular interest is a subset of alveolar cells termed basal-luminal (BL) cells, which exhibit poor transcriptional lineage fidelity, accumulate with age, and carry a gene signature associated with basal-like breast cancer. We further utilize a medium-depletion approach to identify molecular factors regulating cell-subtype proportion in organoids. Together, these data are a rich resource to elucidate diverse mammary cell states.
    Keywords:  BRCA1; BRCA2; CyTOF mass cytometry; aging; breast cancer; cell state plasticity; mammary biology; multi-omic single-cell atlas; multiplexed tissue staining; organoids; scRNA-Seq
  37. Nat Metab. 2022 May 23.
      Regulatory T (Treg) cells are critical for maintaining immune homeostasis and preventing autoimmunity. Here, we show that the non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) regulates Treg function to prevent autoimmunity. Deletion of transketolase (TKT), an indispensable enzyme of non-oxidative PPP, in Treg cells causes a fatal autoimmune disease in mice, with impaired Treg suppressive capability despite regular Treg numbers and normal Foxp3 expression levels. Mechanistically, reduced glycolysis and enhanced oxidative stress induced by TKT deficiency triggers excessive fatty acid and amino acid catabolism, resulting in uncontrolled oxidative phosphorylation and impaired mitochondrial fitness. Reduced α-KG levels as a result of reductive TCA cycle activity leads to DNA hypermethylation, thereby limiting functional gene expression and suppressive activity of TKT-deficient Treg cells. We also find that TKT levels are frequently downregulated in Treg cells of people with autoimmune disorders. Our study identifies the non-oxidative PPP as an integrator of metabolic and epigenetic processes that control Treg function.
  38. Trends Cancer. 2022 May 19. pii: S2405-8033(22)00093-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mammalian cell cycle has been extensively studied regarding cancer etiology, progression, and therapeutic intervention. The canonical cell cycle framework is supported by a plethora of data pointing to a relatively simple linear pathway in which mitogenic signals are integrated in a stepwise fashion to allow progression through G1/S with coordinate actions of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK)4/6 and CDK2 on the RB tumor suppressor. Recent work on adaptive mechanisms and intrinsic heterogeneous dependencies indicates that G1/S control of the cell cycle is a variable signaling pathway rather than an invariant engine that drives cell division. These alterations can limit the effectiveness of pharmaceutical agents but provide new avenues for therapeutic interventions. These findings support a dystopian view of the cell cycle in cancer where the canonical utopian cell cycle is often not observed. However, recognizing the extent of cell cycle heterogeneity likely creates new opportunities for precision therapeutic approaches specifically targeting these states.
    Keywords:  CDK4; CDK6; CHK1; RB; abemaciclib; ambra1; aurora kinase; cyclin D1; cyclin E; p16(INK4A); p27(KIP1); palbociclib
  39. Nature. 2022 May 25.
      Birds and mammals independently evolved the highest metabolic rates among living animals1. Their metabolism generates heat that enables active thermoregulation1, shaping the ecological niches they can occupy and their adaptability to environmental change2. The metabolic performance of birds, which exceeds that of mammals, is thought to have evolved along their stem lineage3-10. However, there is no proxy that enables the direct reconstruction of metabolic rates from fossils. Here we use in situ Raman and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy to quantify the in vivo accumulation of metabolic lipoxidation signals in modern and fossil amniote bones. We observe no correlation between atmospheric oxygen concentrations11 and metabolic rates. Inferred ancestral states reveal that the metabolic rates consistent with endothermy evolved independently in mammals and plesiosaurs, and are ancestral to ornithodirans, with increasing rates along the avian lineage. High metabolic rates were acquired in pterosaurs, ornithischians, sauropods and theropods well before the advent of energetically costly adaptations, such as flight in birds. Although they had higher metabolic rates ancestrally, ornithischians reduced their metabolic abilities towards ectothermy. The physiological activities of such ectotherms were dependent on environmental and behavioural thermoregulation12, in contrast to the active lifestyles of endotherms1. Giant sauropods and theropods were not gigantothermic9,10, but true endotherms. Endothermy in many Late Cretaceous taxa, in addition to crown mammals and birds, suggests that attributes other than metabolism determined their fate during the terminal Cretaceous mass extinction.
  40. Biomedicines. 2022 May 22. pii: 1199. [Epub ahead of print]10(5):
      The Krebs cycle in cells that contain mitochondria is necessary for both energy production and anabolic processes. In given cell/condition, the Krebs cycle is dynamic but remains at a steady state. In this article, we first aimed at comparing the properties of a closed cycle versus the same metabolism in a linear array. The main finding is that, unlike a linear metabolism, the closed cycle can reach a steady state (SS) regardless of the nature and magnitude of the disturbance. When the cycle is modeled with input and output reactions, the "open" cycle is robust and reaches a steady state but with exceptions that lead to sustained accumulation of intermediate metabolites, i.e., conditions at which no SS can be achieved. The modeling of the cycle in cancer, trying to obtain marked reductions in flux, shows that these reductions are limited and therefore the Warburg effect is moderate at most. In general, our results of modeling the cycle in different conditions and looking for the achievement, or not, of SS, suggest that the cycle may have a regulation, not yet discovered, to go from an open cycle to a closed one. Said regulation could allow for reaching the steady state, thus avoiding the unwanted effects derived from the aberrant accumulation of metabolites in the mitochondria. The information in this paper might be useful to evaluate metabolism-modifying medicines.
    Keywords:  anaplerotic reactions; broken Krebs cycle; carcinoma; citric acid cycle; mitophagy
  41. Sci Immunol. 2022 May 27. 7(71): eabh4271
      Memory CD8+ T cells are characterized by their ability to persist long after the initial antigen encounter and their capacity to generate a rapid recall response. Recent studies have identified a role for metabolic reprogramming and mitochondrial function in promoting the longevity of memory T cells. However, detailed mechanisms involved in promoting their rapid recall response are incompletely understood. Here, we identify a role for the initial and continued activation of the trifunctional rate-limiting enzyme of the de novo pyrimidine synthesis pathway CAD (carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase 2, aspartate transcarbamylase, and dihydroorotase) as critical in promoting the rapid recall response of previously activated CD8+ T cells. We found that CAD was rapidly phosphorylated upon naïve T cell activation in an mTORC1-dependent manner, yet remained phosphorylated long after initial activation. Previously activated CD8+ T cells displayed continued de novo pyrimidine synthesis in the absence of mitogenic signals, and interfering with this pathway diminished the speed and magnitude of cytokine production upon rechallenge. Inhibition of CAD did not affect cytokine transcript levels but diminished available pre-rRNA (ribosomal RNA), the polycistronic rRNA precursor whose synthesis is the rate-limiting step in ribosomal biogenesis. CAD inhibition additionally decreased levels of detectable ribosomal proteins in previously activated CD8+ T cells. Conversely, overexpression of CAD improved both the cytokine response and proliferation of memory T cells. Overall, our studies reveal a critical role for CAD-induced pyrimidine synthesis and ribosomal biogenesis in promoting the rapid recall response characteristic of memory T cells.
  42. Dev Cell. 2022 May 15. pii: S1534-5807(22)00306-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      The changes that drive differentiation facilitate the emergence of abnormal cells that need to be removed before they contribute to further development or the germline. Consequently, in mice in the lead-up to gastrulation, ∼35% of embryonic cells are eliminated. This elimination is caused by hypersensitivity to apoptosis, but how it is regulated is poorly understood. Here, we show that upon exit of naive pluripotency, mouse embryonic stem cells lower their mitochondrial apoptotic threshold, and this increases their sensitivity to cell death. We demonstrate that this enhanced apoptotic response is induced by a decrease in mitochondrial fission due to a reduction in the activity of dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1). Furthermore, we show that in naive pluripotent cells, DRP1 prevents apoptosis by promoting mitophagy. In contrast, during differentiation, reduced mitophagy levels facilitate apoptosis. Together, these results indicate that during early mammalian development, DRP1 regulation of mitophagy determines the apoptotic response.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; early development; embryonic stem cell differentiation; mitochondrial dynamics; mitophagy; pluripotency
  43. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 May 20. pii: 1005. [Epub ahead of print]11(5):
      S-D-lactoylglutathione (SDL) is an intermediate of the glutathione-dependent metabolism of methylglyoxal (MGO) by glyoxalases. MGO is an electrophilic compound that is inevitably produced in conjunction with glucose breakdown and is essentially metabolized via the glyoxalase route. In the last decades, MGO metabolism and its cytotoxic effects have been under active investigation, while almost nothing is known about SDL. This article seeks to fill the gap by presenting an overview of the chemistry, biochemistry, physiological role and clinical importance of SDL. The effects of intracellular SDL are investigated in three main directions: as a substrate for post-translational protein modifications, as a reservoir for mitochondrial reduced glutathione and as an energy currency. In essence, all three approaches point to one direction, namely, a metabolism-related regulatory role, enhancing the cellular defense against insults. It is also suggested that an increased plasma concentration of SDL or its metabolites may possibly serve as marker molecules in hemolytic states, particularly when the cause of hemolysis is a disturbance of the pay-off phase of the glycolytic chain. Finally, SDL could also represent a useful marker in such metabolic disorders as diabetes mellitus or ketotic states, in which its formation is expected to be enhanced. Despite the lack of clear-cut evidence underlying the clinical and experimental findings, the investigation of SDL metabolism is a promising field of research.
    Keywords:  N-lact(o)ylation; S-D-lactoylglutathione; S-glutathionylation; cytoskeleton; glyoxalases; methylglyoxal
  44. EMBO Rep. 2022 May 25. e55423
      Can we devise ways for the ultra-rich to put their wealth to good use?
  45. Mol Metab. 2022 May 19. pii: S2212-8778(22)00085-0. [Epub ahead of print] 101516
      OBJECTIVE: The prostate is metabolically unique: it produces high levels of citrate for secretion via a truncated tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle to maintain male fertility. In prostate cancer (PCa), this phenotype is reprogrammed, making it an interesting therapeutic target. However, how the truncated prostate TCA cycle works is still not completely understood.METHODS: We optimized targeted metabolomics in mouse and human organoid models in ex vivo primary culture. We then used stable isotope tracer analyses to identify the pathways that fuel citrate synthesis.
    RESULTS: First, mouse and human organoids were shown to recapitulate the unique citrate-secretory program of the prostate, thus representing a novel model that reproduces this unusual metabolic profile. Using stable isotope tracer analysis, several key nutrients were shown to allow the completion of the prostate TCA cycle, revealing a much more complex metabolic profile than originally anticipated. Indeed, along with the known pathway of aspartate replenishing oxaloacetate, glutamine was shown to fuel citrate synthesis through both glutaminolysis and reductive carboxylation in a GLS1-dependent manner. In human organoids, aspartate entered the TCA cycle at the malate entry point, upstream of oxaloacetate. Our results demonstrate that the citrate-secretory phenotype of prostate organoids is supported by the known aspartate-oxaloacetate-citrate pathway, but also by at least three additional pathways: glutaminolysis, reductive carboxylation, and aspartate-malate conversion.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our results add a significant new dimension to the prostate citrate-secretory phenotype, with at least four distinct pathways being involved in citrate synthesis. Better understanding this distinctive citrate metabolic program will have applications in both male fertility as well as in the development of novel targeted anti-metabolic therapies for PCa.
    Keywords:  TCA cycle; androgen; fertility; organoids; prostate cancer