bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒06‒05
forty-five papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit


  1. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 May 30. 79(6): 327
      The architecture of mitochondria adapts to physiological contexts: while mitochondrial fragmentation is usually associated to quality control and cell death, mitochondrial elongation often enhances cell survival during stress. Understanding how these events are regulated is important to elucidate how mitochondrial dynamics control cell fate. Here, we show that the tyrosine kinase Src regulates mitochondrial morphology. Deletion of Src increased mitochondrial size and reduced cellular respiration independently of mitochondrial mass, mitochondrial membrane potential or ATP levels. Re-expression of Src targeted to the mitochondrial matrix, but not of Src targeted to the plasma membrane, rescued mitochondrial morphology in a kinase activity-dependent manner. These findings highlight a novel function for Src in the control of mitochondrial dynamics.
    Keywords:  Cellular respiration; Mitochondria-shaping protein; Mitochondrial dynamics; Oxidative phosphorylation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-022-04325-y
  2. Aging Cell. 2022 Jun 01. e13620
      Mitochondria are the major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), whose aberrant production by dysfunctional mitochondria leads to oxidative stress, thus contributing to aging as well as neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Cells efficiently eliminate damaged mitochondria through a selective type of autophagy, named mitophagy. Here, we demonstrate the involvement of the atypical MAP kinase family member MAPK15 in cellular senescence, by preserving mitochondrial quality, thanks to its ability to control mitophagy and, therefore, prevent oxidative stress. We indeed demonstrate that reduced MAPK15 expression strongly decreases mitochondrial respiration and ATP production, while increasing mitochondrial ROS levels. We show that MAPK15 controls the mitophagic process by stimulating ULK1-dependent PRKN Ser108 phosphorylation and inducing the recruitment of damaged mitochondria to autophagosomal and lysosomal compartments, thus leading to a reduction of their mass, but also by participating in the reorganization of the mitochondrial network that usually anticipates their disposal. Consequently, MAPK15-dependent mitophagy protects cells from accumulating nuclear DNA damage due to mitochondrial ROS and, consequently, from senescence deriving from this chronic DNA insult. Indeed, we ultimately demonstrate that MAPK15 protects primary human airway epithelial cells from senescence, establishing a new specific role for MAPK15 in controlling mitochondrial fitness by efficient disposal of old and damaged organelles and suggesting this kinase as a new potential therapeutic target in diverse age-associated human diseases.
    Keywords:  MAP kinases; Oxidative DNA damage; autophagy; cellular senescence; mitophagy; signal transduction
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.13620
  3. Nat Metab. 2022 Jun 02.
      Since its discovery in inflammatory macrophages, itaconate has attracted much attention due to its antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activity1-3. However, instead of investigating itaconate itself, most studies used derivatized forms of itaconate and thus the role of non-derivatized itaconate needs to be scrutinized. Mesaconate, a metabolite structurally very close to itaconate, has never been implicated in mammalian cells. Here we show that mesaconate is synthesized in inflammatory macrophages from itaconate. We find that both, non-derivatized itaconate and mesaconate dampen the glycolytic activity to a similar extent, whereas only itaconate is able to repress tricarboxylic acid cycle activity and cellular respiration. In contrast to itaconate, mesaconate does not inhibit succinate dehydrogenase. Despite their distinct impact on metabolism, both metabolites exert similar immunomodulatory effects in pro-inflammatory macrophages, specifically a reduction of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-12 secretion and an increase of CXCL10 production in a manner that is independent of NRF2 and ATF3. We show that a treatment with neither mesaconate nor itaconate impairs IL-1β secretion and inflammasome activation. In summary, our results identify mesaconate as an immunomodulatory metabolite in macrophages, which interferes to a lesser extent with cellular metabolism than itaconate.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-022-00565-1
  4. Trends Cell Biol. 2022 May 30. pii: S0962-8924(22)00117-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling hub integrates multiple environmental cues to modulate cell growth and metabolism. Over the past decade considerable knowledge has been gained on the mechanisms modulating mTORC1 lysosomal recruitment and activation. However, whether and how mTORC1 is able to elicit selective responses to diverse signals has remained elusive until recently. We discuss emerging evidence for a 'non-canonical' mTORC1 signaling pathway that controls the function of microphthalmia/transcription factor E (MiT-TFE) transcription factors, key regulators of cell metabolism. This signaling pathway is mediated by a specific mechanism of substrate recruitment, and responds to stimuli that appear to converge on the lysosomal surface. We discuss the relevance of this pathway in physiological and disease conditions.
    Keywords:  FLCN; Rag GTPases; TFEB; lysosome; mTORC1
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcb.2022.04.012
  5. Cell Rep. 2022 May 31. pii: S2211-1247(22)00645-3. [Epub ahead of print]39(9): 110870
      Overcoming resistance to chemotherapies remains a major unmet need for cancers, such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Therefore, mechanistic studies to provide insight for drug development are urgently needed to overcome TNBC therapy resistance. Recently, an important role of fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) in chemoresistance has been shown. But how FAO might mitigate tumor cell apoptosis by chemotherapy is unclear. Here, we show that elevated FAO activates STAT3 by acetylation via elevated acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA). Acetylated STAT3 upregulates expression of long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase 4 (ACSL4), resulting in increased phospholipid synthesis. Elevating phospholipids in mitochondrial membranes leads to heightened mitochondrial integrity, which in turn overcomes chemotherapy-induced tumor cell apoptosis. Conversely, in both cultured tumor cells and xenograft tumors, enhanced cancer cell apoptosis by inhibiting ASCL4 or specifically targeting acetylated-STAT3 is associated with a reduction in phospholipids within mitochondrial membranes. This study demonstrates a critical mechanism underlying tumor cell chemoresistance.
    Keywords:  ACSL; CP: Cancer; CP: Metabolism; STAT3 acetylation; anti-apoptosis; chemoresistance; fatty acid oxidation; mitochondrial membrane potential; phospholipids
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110870
  6. Elife. 2022 May 31. pii: e69802. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Exercise is an effective strategy in the prevention and treatment of metabolic diseases. Alterations in the skeletal muscle proteome, including post-translational modifications, regulate its metabolic adaptations to exercise. Here, we examined the effect of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the proteome and acetylome of human skeletal muscle, revealing the response of 3168 proteins and 1263 lysine acetyl-sites on 464 acetylated proteins. We identified global protein adaptations to exercise training involved in metabolism, excitation-contraction coupling, and myofibrillar calcium sensitivity. Furthermore, HIIT increased the acetylation of mitochondrial proteins, particularly those of complex V. We also highlight the regulation of exercise-responsive histone acetyl-sites. These data demonstrate the plasticity of the skeletal muscle proteome and acetylome, providing insight into the regulation of contractile, metabolic and transcriptional processes within skeletal muscle. Herein, we provide a substantial hypothesis-generating resource to stimulate further mechanistic research investigating how exercise improves metabolic health.
    Keywords:  acetylation; biochemistry; calcium sensitivity; chemical biology; computational biology; exercise; human; mitochondria; proteomics; skeletal muscle; systems biology
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.69802
  7. Prog Neurobiol. 2022 May 27. pii: S0301-0082(22)00075-2. [Epub ahead of print] 102289
      Mitochondrial health is based on a delicate balance of specific mitochondrial functions (e.g. metabolism, signaling, dynamics) that are impaired in neurodegenerative diseases. Rescuing mitochondrial function by selectively targeting mitochondrial stressors, such as reactive oxygen species, inflammation or proteotoxic insults ("bottom-up" approaches) thus is a widely investigated therapeutic strategy. While successful in preclinical studies, these approaches have largely failed to show clear clinical benefits. Promoting the capacity of mitochondria - and other cellular components - to restore a healthy cellular environment is a promising complementary or alternative approach. Herein, we provide a non-technical overview for neurologists and scientists interested in brain metabolism on neuroprotective strategies targeting mitochondria and focus on top-down interventions such as metabolic modulators, exercise, dietary restriction, brain stimulation and conditioning. We highlight general conceptual differences to bottom-up approaches and provide hypotheses on how these mechanistically comparatively poorly characterized top-down therapies may work, discussing notably mitochondrial stress responses and mitohormesis.
    Keywords:  ageing; conditioning; exercise; hormesis; mitochondria; neurodegeneration
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pneurobio.2022.102289
  8. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 May 30.
      The selenoprotein glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) prevents ferroptosis by converting lipid peroxides into nontoxic lipid alcohols. GPX4 has emerged as a promising therapeutic target for cancer treatment, but some cancer cells are resistant to ferroptosis triggered by GPX4 inhibition. Using a chemical-genetic screen, we identify LRP8 (also known as ApoER2) as a ferroptosis resistance factor that is upregulated in cancer. Loss of LRP8 decreases cellular selenium levels and the expression of a subset of selenoproteins. Counter to the canonical hierarchical selenoprotein regulatory program, GPX4 levels are strongly reduced due to impaired translation. Mechanistically, low selenium levels result in ribosome stalling at the inefficiently decoded GPX4 selenocysteine UGA codon, leading to ribosome collisions, early translation termination and proteasomal clearance of the N-terminal GPX4 fragment. These findings reveal rewiring of the selenoprotein hierarchy in cancer cells and identify ribosome stalling and collisions during GPX4 translation as ferroptosis vulnerabilities in cancer.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41589-022-01033-3
  9. J Biol Chem. 2022 May 30. pii: S0021-9258(22)00535-X. [Epub ahead of print] 102094
      The cytosolic iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster assembly (CIA) pathway delivers Fe-S clusters to nuclear and cytosolic Fe-S proteins involved in essential cellular functions. Although the delivery process is regulated by the availability of iron and oxygen, it remains unclear how CIA components orchestrate the cluster transfer under varying cellular environments. Here, we utilized a targeted proteomics assay for monitoring CIA factors and substrates to characterize the CIA machinery. We find that NUBP1 (NBP35), CIAO3 (NARFL) and CIA substrates associate with NUBP2 (CFD1), a component of the CIA scaffold complex. We also show that NUBP2 weakly associates with the CIA targeting complex (MMS19, CIAO1, CIAO2B) indicating the possible existence of a higher order complex. Interactions between CIAO3 and the CIA scaffold complex are strengthened upon iron supplementation or low oxygen tension, while iron chelation and reactive oxygen species weaken CIAO3 interactions with CIA components. We further demonstrate that CIAO3 mutants defective in Fe-S cluster binding fail to integrate into the higher order complexes. However, these mutants exhibit stronger associations with CIA substrates under conditions in which the association with the CIA targeting complex is reduced suggesting that CIAO3 and CIA substrates may associate in complexes independently of the CIA targeting complex. Together, our data suggest that CIA components potentially form a metabolon whose assembly is regulated by environmental cues and requires Fe-S cluster incorporation in CIAO3. These findings provide additional evidence that the CIA pathway adapts to changes in cellular environment through complex reorganization.
    Keywords:  Iron-sulfur protein; cytosolic iron-sulfur cluster assembly (CIA); metalloprotein; protein-protein interaction; proteomics; redox regulation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2022.102094
  10. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2022 May 30.
      Pyruvate metabolism, a central nexus of carbon homeostasis, is an evolutionarily-conserved process and aberrant pyruvate metabolism is associated with and contributes to numerous human metabolic disorders including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. As a product of glycolysis, pyruvate is primarily generated in the cytosol before being transported into the mitochondrion for further metabolism. Pyruvate entry into the mitochondrial matrix is a critical step for efficient generation of reducing equivalents and ATP and for the biosynthesis of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids from pyruvate. However, for many years the identity of the carrier protein(s) that transported pyruvate into the mitochondrial matrix remained a mystery. In 2012, the molecular-genetic identification of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC), a heterodimeric complex composed of protein subunits MPC1 and MPC2, enabled studies that shed light on the many metabolic and physiologic processes regulated by pyruvate metabolism. A better understanding of the mechanisms regulating pyruvate transport and the processes affected by pyruvate metabolism may enable novel therapeutics to modulate mitochondrial pyruvate flux to treat a variety disorders. Herein, we review our current knowledge of the MPC, discuss recent advances in the understanding of mitochondrial pyruvate metabolism in various tissue and cell types, and address some of the outstanding questions relevant to this field.
    Keywords:  adipose tissue; heart; liver; mitochondrion; pyruvate
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00074.2022
  11. Cell Discov. 2022 May 31. 8(1): 52
      Cancer cells adopt metabolic reprogramming to promote cell survival under metabolic stress. A key regulator of cell metabolism is AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) which promotes catabolism while suppresses anabolism. However, the underlying mechanism of AMPK in handling metabolic stress in cancer remains to be fully understood. In this study, by performing a proteomics screening of AMPK-interacting proteins in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, we discovered the platelet isoform of phosphofructokinase 1 (PFKP), a rate-limiting enzyme in glycolysis. Moreover, PFKP was found to be highly expressed in NSCLC patients associated with poor survival. We demonstrated that the interaction of PFKP and AMPK was greatly enhanced upon glucose starvation, a process regulated by PFKP-associated metabolites. Notably, the PFKP-AMPK interaction promoted mitochondrial recruitment of AMPK which subsequently phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2 (ACC2) to enhance long-chain fatty acid oxidation, a process helping maintenance of the energy and redox homeostasis and eventually promoting cancer cell survival under glucose starvation. Collectively, we revealed a critical non-glycolysis-related function of PFKP in regulating long-chain fatty acid oxidation via AMPK to alleviate glucose starvation-induced metabolic stress in NSCLC cells.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41421-022-00406-1
  12. Cell Rep. 2022 May 31. pii: S2211-1247(22)00646-5. [Epub ahead of print]39(9): 110871
      The maintenance of genome stability relies on coordinated control of origin activation and replication fork progression. How the interplay between these processes influences human genetic disease and cancer remains incompletely characterized. Here we show that mouse cells featuring Polε instability exhibit impaired genome-wide activation of DNA replication origins, in an origin-location-independent manner. Strikingly, Trp53 ablation in primary Polε hypomorphic cells increased Polε levels and origin activation and reduced DNA damage in a transcription-dependent manner. Transcriptome analysis of primary Trp53 knockout cells revealed that the TRP53-CDKN1A/P21 axis maintains appropriate levels of replication factors and CDK activity during unchallenged S phase. Loss of this control mechanism deregulates origin activation and perturbs genome-wide replication fork progression. Thus, while our data support an impaired origin activation model for genetic diseases affecting CMG formation, we propose that loss of the TRP53-CDKN1A/P21 tumor suppressor axis induces inappropriate origin activation and deregulates genome-wide fork progression.
    Keywords:  CDKN1A/P21; CP: Molecular biology; DNA replication; Polε; TRP53; genome stability
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110871
  13. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 May 30.
      Epidemiological studies demonstrate an association between breast cancer (BC) and systemic dysregulation of glucose metabolism. However, how BC influences glucose homeostasis remains unknown. We show that BC-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) suppress pancreatic insulin secretion to impair glucose homeostasis. EV-encapsulated miR-122 targets PKM in β-cells to suppress glycolysis and ATP-dependent insulin exocytosis. Mice receiving high-miR-122 EVs or bearing BC tumours exhibit suppressed insulin secretion, enhanced endogenous glucose production, impaired glucose tolerance and fasting hyperglycaemia. These effects contribute to tumour growth and are abolished by inhibiting EV secretion or miR-122, restoring PKM in β-cells or supplementing insulin. Compared with non-cancer controls, patients with BC have higher levels of circulating EV-encapsulated miR-122 and fasting glucose concentrations but lower fasting insulin; miR-122 levels are positively associated with glucose and negatively associated with insulin. Therefore, EV-mediated impairment of whole-body glycaemic control may contribute to tumour progression and incidence of type 2 diabetes in some patients with BC.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41556-022-00919-7
  14. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 May 30. 79(6): 326
      Signaling trough p53is a major cellular stress response mechanism and increases upon nutrient stresses such as starvation. Here, we show in a human hepatoma cell line that starvation leads to robust nuclear p53 stabilization. Using BioID, we determine the cytoplasmic p53 interaction network within the immediate-early starvation response and show that p53 is dissociated from several metabolic enzymes and the kinase PAK2 for which direct binding with the p53 DNA-binding domain was confirmed with NMR studies. Furthermore, proteomics after p53 immunoprecipitation (RIME) uncovered the nuclear interactome under prolonged starvation, where we confirmed the novel p53 interactors SORBS1 (insulin receptor signaling) and UGP2 (glycogen synthesis). Finally, transcriptomics after p53 re-expression revealed a distinct starvation-specific transcriptome response and suggested previously unknown nutrient-dependent p53 target genes. Together, our complementary approaches delineate several nodes of the p53 signaling cascade upon starvation, shedding new light on the mechanisms of p53 as nutrient stress sensor. Given the central role of p53 in cancer biology and the beneficial effects of fasting in cancer treatment, the identified interaction partners and networks could pinpoint novel pharmacologic targets to fine-tune p53 activity.
    Keywords:  Interactome; Nutrient stress; Starvation; p53 signaling; p53 targets
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-022-04345-8
  15. Annu Rev Nutr. 2022 Jun 01.
      Ferroptosis is a type of regulated cell death characterized by an excessive lipid peroxidation of cellular membranes caused by the disruption of the antioxidant defense system and/or an imbalanced cellular metabolism. Ferroptosis differentiates from other forms of regulated cell death in that several metabolic pathways and nutritional aspects, including endogenous antioxidants (such as coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, and di/tetrahydrobiopterin), iron handling, energy sensing, selenium utilization, amino acids, and fatty acids, directly regulate the cells' sensitivity to lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis. As hallmarks of ferroptosis have been documented in a variety of diseases, including neurodegeneration, acute organ injury, and therapy-resistant tumors, the modulation of ferroptosis using pharmacological tools or by metabolic reprogramming holds great potential for the treatment of ferroptosis-associated diseases and cancer therapy. Hence, this review focuses on the regulation of ferroptosis by metabolic and nutritional cues and discusses the potential of nutritional interventions for therapy by targeting ferroptosis. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Nutrition, Volume 42 is August 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-nutr-062320-114541
  16. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 868465
      Mitochondrial repair is essential to metabolic homeostasis. Outer mitochondrial membrane mitofusin (MFN) proteins orchestrate mitochondrial fusion that opposes mitochondrial degeneration caused by senescence. Depending upon physiological context, MFN2 can either mediate mitochondrial fusion or recruit cytosolic Parkin to initiate mitophagic elimination. Because it is not clear how these events are counter-regulated we engineered and expressed MFN2 mutants that mimic phosphorylated or non-phosphorylatable MFN2 at its PINK1 phosphorylation sites: T111, S378, and S442. By interrogating mitochondrial fusion, polarization status, and Parkin binding/mitophagy as a function of inferred MFN2 phosphorylation, we discovered that individual MFN2 phosphorylation events act as a biological "bar-code", directing mitochondrial fate based on phosphorylation site state. Experiments in Pink1 deficient cells supported a central role for PINK1 kinase as the pivotal regulator of MFN2 functionality. Contrary to popular wisdom that Parkin-mediated ubiquitination regulates MFN-mediated mitochondrial fusion, results in Prkn null cells demonstrated the dispensability of Parkin for MFN2 inactivation. These data demonstrate that PINK1-mediated phosphorylation is necessary and sufficient, and that Parkin is expendable, to switch MFN2 from fusion protein to mitophagy effector.
    Keywords:  MFN2; PINK1 kinase; Parkin; fusion; mitochondrial quality control; mitofusin regulation; phosphorylation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2022.868465
  17. Mol Cell. 2022 May 26. pii: S1097-2765(22)00442-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Stress-induced cleavage of transfer RNAs (tRNAs) into tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs) occurs across organisms from yeast to humans; yet, its mechanistic underpinnings and pathological consequences remain poorly defined. Small RNA profiling revealed increased abundance of a cysteine tRNA fragment (5'-tRFCys) during breast cancer metastatic progression. 5'-tRFCys was required for efficient breast cancer metastatic lung colonization and cancer cell survival. We identified Nucleolin as the direct binding partner of 5'-tRFCys. 5'-tRFCys promoted the oligomerization of Nucleolin and its bound metabolic transcripts Mthfd1l and Pafah1b1 into a higher-order transcript stabilizing ribonucleoprotein complex, which protected these transcripts from exonucleolytic degradation. Consistent with this, Mthfd1l and Pafah1b1 mediated pro-metastatic and metabolic effects downstream of 5'-tRFCys-impacting folate, one-carbon, and phosphatidylcholine metabolism. Our findings reveal that a tRF can promote oligomerization of an RNA-binding protein into a transcript stabilizing ribonucleoprotein complex, thereby driving specific metabolic pathways underlying cancer progression.
    Keywords:  Mthfd1l; Pafah1b1; breast cancer; metastasis; nucleolin; oligomerization; post-transcriptional; tRF; tRNA fragment; transcript stability
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2022.05.008
  18. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Jun 02.
      Bidirectional signalling between the tumour and stroma shapes tumour aggressiveness and metastasis. ATF4 is a major effector of the Integrated Stress Response, a homeostatic mechanism that couples cell growth and survival to bioenergetic demands. Using conditional knockout ATF4 mice, we show that global, or fibroblast-specific loss of host ATF4, results in deficient vascularization and a pronounced growth delay of syngeneic melanoma and pancreatic tumours. Single-cell transcriptomics of tumours grown in Atf4Δ/Δ mice uncovered a reduction in activation markers in perivascular cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). Atf4Δ/Δ fibroblasts displayed significant defects in collagen biosynthesis and deposition and a reduced ability to support angiogenesis. Mechanistically, ATF4 regulates the expression of the Col1a1 gene and levels of glycine and proline, the major amino acids of collagen. Analyses of human melanoma and pancreatic tumours revealed a strong correlation between ATF4 and collagen levels. Our findings establish stromal ATF4 as a key driver of CAF functionality, malignant progression and metastasis.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41556-022-00918-8
  19. Nat Metab. 2022 Jun 02.
      Although the immunomodulatory and cytoprotective properties of itaconate have been studied extensively, it is not known whether its naturally occurring isomers mesaconate and citraconate have similar properties. Here, we show that itaconate is partially converted to mesaconate intracellularly and that mesaconate accumulation in macrophage activation depends on prior itaconate synthesis. When added to human cells in supraphysiological concentrations, all three isomers reduce lactate levels, whereas itaconate is the strongest succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) inhibitor. In cells infected with influenza A virus (IAV), all three isomers profoundly alter amino acid metabolism, modulate cytokine/chemokine release and reduce interferon signalling, oxidative stress and the release of viral particles. Of the three isomers, citraconate is the strongest electrophile and nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) agonist. Only citraconate inhibits catalysis of itaconate by cis-aconitate decarboxylase (ACOD1), probably by competitive binding to the substrate-binding site. These results reveal mesaconate and citraconate as immunomodulatory, anti-oxidative and antiviral compounds, and citraconate as the first naturally occurring ACOD1 inhibitor.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-022-00577-x
  20. Hum Mol Genet. 2022 Jun 02. pii: ddac128. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autosomal dominant optic atrophy (DOA) is the most common inherited optic neuropathy, characterised by the preferential loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), resulting in optic nerve degeneration and progressive bilateral central vision loss. Over 60% of genetically confirmed DOA patients carry variants in the nuclear OPA1 gene, which encodes for a ubiquitously expressed, mitochondrial GTPase protein. OPA1 has diverse functions within the mitochondrial network, facilitating inner membrane fusion and cristae modelling, regulating mitochondrial DNA maintenance and coordinating mitochondrial bioenergetics. There are currently no licensed disease-modifying therapies for DOA and the disease mechanisms driving RGC degeneration are poorly understood. Here, we describe the generation of isogenic, heterozygous OPA1 null iPSC (OPA1+/-) through CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing of a control cell line, in conjunction with the generation of DOA patient-derived iPSC carrying OPA1 variants, namely, the c.2708_2711delTTAG variant (DOA iPSC), and previously reported missense variant iPSC line (c.1334G>A, DOA+ iPSC) and CRISPR/Cas9 corrected controls. A two-dimensional (2D) differentiation protocol was used to study the effect of OPA1 variants on iPSC-RGC differentiation and mitochondrial function. OPA1+/-, DOA and DOA+ iPSC showed no differentiation deficit compared to control iPSC lines, exhibiting comparable expression of all relevant markers at each stage of differentiation. OPA1+/- and OPA1 variant iPSC-RGCs exhibited impaired mitochondrial homeostasis, with reduced bioenergetic output and compromised mitochondrial DNA maintenance. These data highlight mitochondrial deficits associated with OPA1 dysfunction in human iPSC-RGCs, and establish a platform to study disease mechanisms that contribute to RGC loss in DOA, as well as potential therapeutic interventions.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddac128
  21. Cancer Res. 2022 May 31. pii: canres.4052.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Effector CD8+ T cells rely primarily on glucose metabolism to meet their biosynthetic and functional needs. However, nutritional limitations in the tumor microenvironment can cause T cell hyporesponsiveness. Therefore, T cells must acquire metabolic traits enabling sustained effector function at the tumor site to elicit a robust anti-tumor immune response. Here, we report that IL-12-stimulated CD8+ T cells have elevated intracellular acetyl CoA levels and can maintain IFNγ levels in nutrient-deprived, tumour-conditioned media (TCM). Pharmacological and metabolic analyses demonstrated an active glucose-citrate-acetyl CoA circuit in IL-12-stimulated CD8+ T cells supporting an intracellular pool of acetyl CoA in an ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY)-dependent manner. Intracellular acetyl CoA levels enhanced histone acetylation, lipid synthesis, and IFNγ production, improving the metabolic and functional fitness of CD8+ T cells in tumors. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic knockdown of ACLY severely impaired IFNγ production and viability of CD8+ T cells in nutrient-restricted conditions. Furthermore, CD8+ T cells cultured in high pyruvate-containing media in vitro acquired critical metabolic features of IL-12-stimulated CD8+ T cells and displayed improved anti-tumor potential upon adoptive transfer in murine lymphoma and melanoma models. Overall, this study delineates the metabolic configuration of CD8+ T cells required for stable effector function in tumors and presents an affordable approach to promote the efficacy of CD8+ T cells for adoptive T cell therapy.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-4052
  22. J Clin Invest. 2022 Jun 02. pii: e160852. [Epub ahead of print]
      Purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) enables the breakdown and recycling of guanine nucleosides. PNP insufficiency in humans is paradoxically associated with both immunodeficiency and autoimmunity, but the mechanistic basis for these outcomes is incompletely understood. Here we identify two immune lineage-dependent consequences of PNP inactivation dictated by distinct gene interactions. During T cell development, PNP inactivation is synthetically lethal with down-regulation of the dNTP triphosphohydrolase SAMHD1. This interaction requires deoxycytidine kinase activity and is antagonized by microenvironmental deoxycytidine. In B lymphocytes and macrophages, PNP regulates Toll like receptor 7 signaling by controlling the levels of its (deoxy)guanosine nucleoside ligands. Overriding this regulatory mechanism promotes germinal center formation in the absence of exogenous antigen and accelerates disease in a mouse model of autoimmunity. This work reveals that one purine metabolism gene protects against immunodeficiency and autoimmunity via independent mechanisms operating in distinct immune lineages and identifies PNP as a novel metabolic immune checkpoint.
    Keywords:  Autoimmune diseases; Immunology; Immunotherapy; Metabolism; T cell development
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI160852
  23. Sci Signal. 2022 May 31. 15(736): eadd1844
      A bacterial metabolite promotes the progression of colorectal cancer.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.add1844
  24. Nat Commun. 2022 May 31. 13(1): 3023
      The ability to alter the genomes of living cells is key to understanding how genes influence the functions of organisms and will be critical to modify living systems for useful purposes. However, this promise has long been limited by the technical challenges involved in genetic engineering. Recent advances in gene editing have bypassed some of these challenges but they are still far from ideal. Here we use FuncLib to computationally design Cas9 enzymes with substantially higher donor-independent editing activities. We use genetic circuits linked to cell survival in yeast to quantify Cas9 activity and discover synergistic interactions between engineered regions. These hyperactive Cas9 variants function efficiently in mammalian cells and introduce larger and more diverse pools of insertions and deletions into targeted genomic regions, providing tools to enhance and expand the possible applications of CRISPR-based gene editing.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30598-9
  25. J Clin Invest. 2022 Jun 02. pii: e149906. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial proteostasis, regulated by the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), is crucial for maintenance of cellular functions and survival. Elevated oxidative and proteotoxic stress in mitochondria must be attenuated by the activation of ubiquitous UPRmt to promote prostate cancer (PCa) growth. Here we show that the two key components of the UPRmt, heat shock protein 60 (HSP60, a mitochondrial chaperonin) and caseinolytic protease (ClpP, a mitochondrial protease) were required for the development of advanced PCa. HSP60 regulated ClpP expression via c-Myc and physically interacted with ClpP to restore mitochondrial functions promoting cancer cell survival. HSP60 maintained the ATP-producing functions of mitochondria, which activated β-catenin pathway leading to the upregulation of c-Myc. We identified an UPRmt inhibitor that blocked HSP60 interaction with ClpP and abrogated survival signaling without altering HSP60 chaperonin function. Disruption of HSP60-ClpP interaction by UPRmt inhibitor triggered metabolic stress and impeded PCa promoting signaling. Treatment with UPRmt inhibitor, or genetic ablation of Hsp60, inhibited PCa growth and progression. Together, our findings identify that HSP60-ClpP mediated UPRmt is essential for prostate tumorigenesis and HSP60-ClpP interaction represents a therapeutic vulnerability in PCa.
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell stress; Mitochondria; Oncology; Prostate cancer
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI149906
  26. Genes Dev. 2022 Jun 02.
      The differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into a lineage-committed state is a dynamic process involving changes in cellular metabolism, epigenetic modifications, post-translational modifications, gene expression, and RNA processing. Here we integrated data from metabolomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic assays to characterize how alterations in NAD+ metabolism during the differentiation of mouse ESCs lead to alteration of the PARP1-mediated ADP-ribosylated (ADPRylated) proteome and mRNA isoform specialization. Our metabolomic analyses indicate that mESCs use distinct NAD+ biosynthetic pathways in different cell states: the de novo pathway in the pluripotent state, and the salvage and Preiss-Handler pathways as differentiation progresses. We observed a dramatic induction of PARP1 catalytic activity driven by enhanced nuclear NAD+ biosynthesis during the early stages of mESC differentiation (e.g., within 12 h of LIF removal). PARP1-modified proteins in mESCs are enriched for biological processes related to stem cell maintenance, transcriptional regulation, and RNA processing. The PARP1 substrates include core spliceosome components, such as U2AF35 and U2AF65, whose splicing functions are modulated by PARP1-mediated site-specific ADP-ribosylation. Finally, we observed that splicing is dysregulated genome-wide in Parp1 knockout mESCs. Together, these results demonstrate a role for the NAD+-PARP1 axis in the maintenance of mESC state, specifically in the splicing program during differentiation.
    Keywords:  ADP-ribosylation; NAD+ biosynthesis; PARP1; Preiss–Handler pathway; U2AF35; U2AF65; de novo pathway; embryonic stem cells (ESCs); metabolomics; nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+); proteomics; salvage pathway; spliceosome; splicing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.349335.121
  27. BMB Rep. 2022 Jun 02. pii: 5619. [Epub ahead of print]
      Recent studies have revealed that the immune system plays a critical role in various physiological processes beyond its classical pathogen control activity. Even under a sterile condition, various cells and tissues can utilize the immune system to meet a specific demand for proper physiological functions. Particularly, a strong link between immunity and metabolism has been identified. Studies have identified the reciprocal regulation between these two systems. For example, immune signals can regulate metabolism, and metabolism (cellular or systemic) can regulate immunity. In this review, we will summarize recent findings on this reciprocal regulation between immunity and metabolism, and discuss potential biological rules behind this interaction with integrative perspectives.
  28. J Biol Chem. 2022 May 30. pii: S0021-9258(22)00534-8. [Epub ahead of print] 102093
      Autophagy is an essential cellular process involving degradation of superfluous or defective macromolecules and organelles as a form of homeostatic recycling. Initially proposed to be a 'bulk' degradation pathway, a more nuanced appreciation of selective autophagy pathways has developed in the literature in recent years. As a glycogen-selective autophagy process, 'glycophagy' is emerging as a key metabolic route of transport and delivery of glycolytic fuel substrate. Study of glycophagy is at an early stage. Enhanced understanding of this major non-canonical pathway of glycogen flux will provide important opportunities for new insights into cellular energy metabolism. In addition, glycogen metabolic mishandling is centrally involved in the pathophysiology of several metabolic diseases in a wide range of tissues, including liver, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and brain. Thus, advances in this exciting new field are of broad multi-disciplinary interest relevant to many cell types and metabolic states. Here, we review the current evidence of glycophagy involvement in homeostatic cellular metabolic processes and of molecular mediators participating in glycophagy flux, We integrate information from a variety of settings including cell lines, primary cell culture systems, ex vivo tissue preparations, genetic disease models and clinical glycogen disease states.
    Keywords:  Atg8; Gabarapl1; Stbd1; autophagy; glycogen; glycophagy; lysosome
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2022.102093
  29. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2022 Jun 01.
      SIGNIFICANCE: A burgeoning literature has attributed varied physiological effects to H2S, which is a product of eukaryotic sulfur amino acid metabolism. Protein persulfidation represents a major focus of studies elucidating the mechanism underlying H2S signaling. On the other hand, the capacity of H2S to induce reductive stress by targeting the electron transport chain (ETC), and signal by reprogramming redox metabolism have only recently begun to be elucidated.RECENT ADVANCES: In contrast to the nonspecific reaction of H2S with oxidized cysteines to form protein persulfides, its inhibition of complex IV represents a specific mechanism of action. Studies on the dual impact of H2S as an ETC substrate and an inhibitor have led to the exciting discovery of ETC plasticity and the use of fumarate as a terminal electron acceptor. H2S oxidation combined with complex IV targeting generate mitochondrial reductive stress, which is signaled through the metabolic network, leading to increased aerobic glycolysis, glutamine-dependent reductive carboxylation and lipogenesis.
    CRITICAL ISSUES: Insights into H2S-induced metabolic reprogramming are ushering in a paradigm shift for understanding the mechanism of its cellular action. It will be critical to reevaluate the physiological effects of H2S e.g., cytoprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury, through the framework of metabolic reprogramming and ETC remodeling by H2S.
    FUTURE DIRECTIONS: The metabolic ramifications of H2S in other cellular compartments, e.g., the endoplasmic reticulum and the nucleus, as well as the intersections between hypoxia and H2S signaling are important future directions that merit elucidation.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1089/ars.2022.0067
  30. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 894591
      Porphyrin and iron are ubiquitous and essential for sustaining life in virtually all living organisms. Unlike iron, which exists in many forms, porphyrin macrocycles are mostly functional as metal complexes. The iron-containing porphyrin, heme, serves as a prosthetic group in a wide array of metabolic pathways; including respiratory cytochromes, hemoglobin, cytochrome P450s, catalases, and other hemoproteins. Despite playing crucial roles in many biological processes, heme, iron, and porphyrin intermediates are potentially cytotoxic. Thus, the intersection of porphyrin and iron metabolism at heme synthesis, and intracellular trafficking of heme and its porphyrin precursors are tightly regulated processes. In this review, we discuss recent advances in understanding the physiological dynamics of eukaryotic ferrochelatase, a mitochondrially localized metalloenzyme. Ferrochelatase catalyzes the terminal step of heme biosynthesis, the insertion of ferrous iron into protoporphyrin IX to produce heme. In most eukaryotes, except plants, ferrochelatase is localized to the mitochondrial matrix, where substrates are delivered and heme is synthesized for trafficking to multiple cellular locales. Herein, we delve into the structural and functional features of ferrochelatase, as well as its metabolic regulation in the mitochondria. We discuss the regulation of ferrochelatase via post-translational modifications, transportation of substrates and product across the mitochondrial membrane, protein-protein interactions, inhibition by small-molecule inhibitors, and ferrochelatase in protozoal parasites. Overall, this review presents insight on mitochondrial heme homeostasis from the perspective of ferrochelatase.
    Keywords:  ferrochelatase; heme; iron; metabolon; porphyria; porphyrin
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2022.894591
  31. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 882867
      Mitochondria regulate steroid hormone synthesis, and in turn sex hormones regulate mitochondrial function for maintaining cellular homeostasis and controlling inflammation. This crosstalk can explain sex differences observed in several pathologies such as in metabolic or inflammatory disorders. Nod-like receptor X1 (NLRX1) is a mitochondria-associated innate receptor that could modulate metabolic functions and attenuates inflammatory responses. Here, we showed that in an infectious model with the human protozoan parasite, Leishmania guyanensis, NLRX1 attenuated inflammation in females but not in male mice. Analysis of infected female and male bone marrow derived macrophages showed both sex- and genotype-specific differences in both inflammatory and metabolic profiles with increased type I interferon production, mitochondrial respiration, and glycolytic rate in Nlrx1-deficient female BMDMs in comparison to wild-type cells, while no differences were observed between males. Transcriptomics of female and male BMDMs revealed an altered steroid hormone signaling in Nlrx1-deficient cells, and a "masculinization" of Nlrx1-deficient female BMDMs. Thus, our findings suggest that NLRX1 prevents uncontrolled inflammation and metabolism in females and therefore may contribute to the sex differences observed in infectious and inflammatory diseases.
    Keywords:  inflammation; innate immunity; metabolism; nod-like receptor X1; sex
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.882867
  32. Antibodies (Basel). 2022 Apr 30. pii: 32. [Epub ahead of print]11(2):
      Adoptive cell therapy holds great promise for treating a myriad of diseases, especially cancer. Within the last decade, immunotherapy has provided a significant leap in the successful treatment of leukemia. The research conducted throughout this period to understand the interrelationships between cancer cells and infiltrating immune cells winds up having one very common feature, bioenergetics. Cancer cells and immune cells both need ATP to perform their individual functions and cancer cells have adopted means to limit immune cell activity via changes in immune cell bioenergetics that redirect immune cell behavior to encourage tumor growth. Current leading strategies for cancer treatment super-charge an individual's own immune cells against cancer. Successful Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells (CAR T) target pathways that ultimately influence bioenergetics. In the last decade, scientists identified that mitochondria play a crucial role in T cell physiology. When modifying T cells to create chimeras, a unique mitochondrial fitness emerges that establishes stemness and persistence. This review highlights many of the key findings leading to this generation's CAR T treatments and the work currently being done to advance immunotherapy, to empower not just T cells but other immune cells as well against a variety of cancers.
    Keywords:  CAR T; bioenergetics; immunotherapy; metabolism
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/antib11020032
  33. Nature. 2022 Jun 01.
      Disseminated cancer cells from primary tumours can seed in distal tissues, but may take several years to form overt metastases, a phenomenon that is termed tumour dormancy. Despite its importance in metastasis and residual disease, few studies have been able to successfully characterize dormancy within melanoma. Here we show that the aged lung microenvironment facilitates a permissive niche for efficient outgrowth of dormant disseminated cancer cells-in contrast to the aged skin, in which age-related changes suppress melanoma growth but drive dissemination. These microenvironmental complexities can be explained by the phenotype switching model, which argues that melanoma cells switch between a proliferative cell state and a slower-cycling, invasive state1-3. It was previously shown that dermal fibroblasts promote phenotype switching in melanoma during ageing4-8. We now identify WNT5A as an activator of dormancy in melanoma disseminated cancer cells within the lung, which initially enables the efficient dissemination and seeding of melanoma cells in metastatic niches. Age-induced reprogramming of lung fibroblasts increases their secretion of the soluble WNT antagonist sFRP1, which inhibits WNT5A in melanoma cells and thereby enables efficient metastatic outgrowth. We also identify the tyrosine kinase receptors AXL and MER as promoting a dormancy-to-reactivation axis within melanoma cells. Overall, we find that age-induced changes in distal metastatic microenvironments promote the efficient reactivation of dormant melanoma cells in the lung.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04774-2
  34. Nature. 2022 Jun 01.
      The sexual strain of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, indigenous to Tunisia and several Mediterranean islands, is a hermaphrodite1,2. Here we isolate individual chromosomes and use sequencing, Hi-C3,4 and linkage mapping to assemble a chromosome-scale genome reference. The linkage map reveals an extremely low rate of recombination on chromosome 1. We confirm suppression of recombination on chromosome 1 by genotyping individual sperm cells and oocytes. We show that previously identified genomic regions that maintain heterozygosity even after prolonged inbreeding make up essentially all of chromosome 1. Genome sequencing of individuals isolated in the wild indicates that this phenomenon has evolved specifically in populations from Sardinia and Corsica. We find that most known master regulators5-13 of the reproductive system are located on chromosome 1. We used RNA interference14,15 to knock down a gene with haplotype-biased expression, which led to the formation of a more pronounced female mating organ. On the basis of these observations, we propose that chromosome 1 is a sex-primed autosome primed for evolution into a sex chromosome.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04757-3
  35. Int J Biol Sci. 2022 ;18(8): 3470-3483
      Inactive von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) is linked to metabolic reprogramming and plays pivotal roles in the pathogenesis of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Here, we identify a previously unknown oncogenic role for inactive VHL in actively triggering histone lactylation to promote ccRCC progression. In patients with ccRCC, inactive VHL positively correlates with the presence of histone lactylation, and high levels of histone lactylation indicates poor patient prognosis. Inactive VHL-triggered histone lactylation contributes to ccRCC progression by activating the transcription of platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ). In turn, PDGFRβ signaling is shown to stimulate histone lactylation, thereby forming an oncogenic positive feedback loop in ccRCC. Target correction of aberrant histone lactylation represses the growth and metastasis of ccRCC in vivo. More importantly, the combined inhibition of histone lactylation and PDGFRβ significantly reinforces the therapeutic efficacy. This work underscores the importance of histone lactylation in facilitating ccRCC progression and suggests targeting the positive feedback loop between histone lactylation and PDGFRβ signaling might provide a promising therapeutic strategy for ccRCC patients.
    Keywords:  Histone lactylation; PDGFRβ; ccRCC; inactive VHL
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.7150/ijbs.73398
  36. Cell Rep. 2022 May 31. pii: S2211-1247(22)00670-2. [Epub ahead of print]39(9): 110895
      The ATP-dependent nucleosome remodeler Mi-2/CHD4 broadly modulates chromatin landscapes to repress transcription and to maintain genome integrity. Here we use individual nucleotide resolution crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP) to show that Drosophila Mi-2 associates with thousands of mRNA molecules in vivo. Biochemical data reveal that recombinant dMi-2 preferentially binds to G-rich RNA molecules using two intrinsically disordered regions of unclear function. Pharmacological inhibition of transcription and RNase digestion approaches establish that RNA inhibits the association of dMi-2 with chromatin. We also show that RNA inhibits dMi-2-mediated nucleosome mobilization by competing with the nucleosome substrate. Importantly, this activity is shared by CHD4, the human homolog of dMi-2, strongly suggesting that RNA-mediated regulation of remodeler activity is an evolutionary conserved mechanism. Our data support a model in which RNA serves to protect actively transcribed regions of the genome from dMi-2/CHD4-mediated establishment of repressive chromatin structures.
    Keywords:  ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling; CP: Molecular biology; NuRD; RNA; chromatin; gene regulation; iCLIP
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110895
  37. Nature. 2022 Jun 01.
      Clonal expansions driven by somatic mutations become pervasive across human tissues with age, including in the haematopoietic system, where the phenomenon is termed clonal haematopoiesis1-4. The understanding of how and when clonal haematopoiesis develops, the factors that govern its behaviour, how it interacts with ageing and how these variables relate to malignant progression remains limited5,6. Here we track 697 clonal haematopoiesis clones from 385 individuals 55 years of age or older over a median of 13 years. We find that 92.4% of clones expanded at a stable exponential rate over the study period, with different mutations driving substantially different growth rates, ranging from 5% (DNMT3A and TP53) to more than 50% per year (SRSF2P95H). Growth rates of clones with the same mutation differed by approximately ±5% per year, proportionately affecting slow drivers more substantially. By combining our time-series data with phylogenetic analysis of 1,731 whole-genome sequences of haematopoietic colonies from 7 individuals from an older age group, we reveal distinct patterns of lifelong clonal behaviour. DNMT3A-mutant clones preferentially expanded early in life and displayed slower growth in old age, in the context of an increasingly competitive oligoclonal landscape. By contrast, splicing gene mutations drove expansion only later in life, whereas TET2-mutant clones emerged across all ages. Finally, we show that mutations driving faster clonal growth carry a higher risk of malignant progression. Our findings characterize the lifelong natural history of clonal haematopoiesis and give fundamental insights into the interactions between somatic mutation, ageing and clonal selection.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04785-z
  38. J Mol Med (Berl). 2022 Jun;100(6): 963-971
      Patients with oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) defects causing mitochondrial diseases appear particularly vulnerable to infections. Although OxPhos defects modulate cytokine production in vitro and in animal models, little is known about how circulating leukocytes of patients with inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) defects respond to acute immune challenges. In a small cohort of healthy controls (n = 21) and patients (n = 12) with either the m.3243A > G mutation or single, large-scale mtDNA deletions, we examined (i) cytokine responses (IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β) in response to acute lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure and (ii) sensitivity to the immunosuppressive effects of glucocorticoid signaling (dexamethasone) on cytokine production. In dose-response experiments to determine the half-maximal effective LPS concentration (EC50), relative to controls, leukocytes from patients with mtDNA deletions showed 74-79% lower responses for IL-6 and IL-1β (pIL-6 = 0.031, pIL-1β = 0.009). Moreover, whole blood from patients with mtDNA deletions (pIL-6 = 0.006), but not patients with the m.3243A > G mutation, showed greater sensitivity to the immunosuppressive effects of dexamethasone. Together, these ex vivo data provide preliminary evidence that some systemic OxPhos defects may compromise immune cytokine responses and increase the sensitivity to immune cytokine suppression by glucocorticoids. Further work in larger cohorts is needed to define the nature of immune dysregulation in patients with mitochondrial disease, and their potential implications for disease phenotypes. KEY MESSAGES: Little is known about leukocyte cytokine responses in patients with mitochondrial diseases. Leukocytes of patients with mtDNA deletions show blunted LPS sensitivity and cytokine responses. Leukocytes of patients with mtDNA deletions are more sensitive to glucocorticoid-mediated IL-6 suppression. Work in larger cohorts is needed to delineate potential immune alterations in mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  3243A > G; Cytokine; Glucocorticoid; Inflammation; Inflammation Suppression; Interleukin; Mitochondrial disease; mtDNA deletion
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00109-022-02206-2
  39. Nat Nanotechnol. 2022 May 30.
      The cytosolic innate immune sensor cyclic GMP-AMP synthase-stimulator of interferon genes (cGAS-STING) pathway is crucial for priming adaptive antitumour immunity through antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Natural agonists, such as cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs), activate the cGAS-STING pathway, but their clinical translation is impeded by poor cytosolic entry and serum stability, low specificity and rapid tissue clearance. Here we developed an ultrasound (US)-guided cancer immunotherapy platform using nanocomplexes composed of 2'3'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP) electrostatically bound to biocompatible branched cationic biopolymers that are conjugated onto APC-targeting microbubbles (MBs). The nanocomplex-conjugated MBs engaged with APCs and efficiently delivered cGAMP into the cytosol via sonoporation, resulting in activation of cGAS-STING and downstream proinflammatory pathways that efficiently prime antigen-specific T cells. This bridging of innate and adaptive immunity inhibited tumour growth in both localized and metastatic murine cancer models. Our findings demonstrate that targeted local activation of STING in APCs under spatiotemporal US stimulation results in systemic antitumour immunity and improves the therapeutic efficacy of checkpoint blockade, thus paving the way towards novel image-guided strategies for targeted immunotherapy of cancer.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-022-01134-z
  40. Cell. 2022 May 24. pii: S0092-8674(22)00536-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    GLASS Consortium
      The factors driving therapy resistance in diffuse glioma remain poorly understood. To identify treatment-associated cellular and genetic changes, we analyzed RNA and/or DNA sequencing data from the temporally separated tumor pairs of 304 adult patients with isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-wild-type and IDH-mutant glioma. Tumors recurred in distinct manners that were dependent on IDH mutation status and attributable to changes in histological feature composition, somatic alterations, and microenvironment interactions. Hypermutation and acquired CDKN2A deletions were associated with an increase in proliferating neoplastic cells at recurrence in both glioma subtypes, reflecting active tumor growth. IDH-wild-type tumors were more invasive at recurrence, and their neoplastic cells exhibited increased expression of neuronal signaling programs that reflected a possible role for neuronal interactions in promoting glioma progression. Mesenchymal transition was associated with the presence of a myeloid cell state defined by specific ligand-receptor interactions with neoplastic cells. Collectively, these recurrence-associated phenotypes represent potential targets to alter disease progression.
    Keywords:  genomics; glioblastoma; glioma; hypermutation; macrophages; microenvironment; neurons; single-cell; spatial imaging; treatment resistance
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2022.04.038
  41. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 02. 13(1): 3075
      Hippo signaling restricts tissue growth by inhibiting the transcriptional effector YAP. Here we uncover a role of Hippo signaling and a tumor suppressor function of YAP in estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. We find that inhibition of Hippo/MST1/2 or activation of YAP blocks the ERα transcriptional program and ER+ breast cancer growth. Mechanistically, the Hippo pathway transcription factor TEAD physically interacts with ERα to increase its promoter/enhancer occupancy whereas YAP inhibits ERα/TEAD interaction, decreases ERα occupancy on its target promoters/enhancers, and promotes ERα degradation by the proteasome. Furthermore, YAP inhibits hormone-independent transcription of ERα gene (ESR1). Consistently, high levels of YAP correlate with good prognosis of ER+ breast cancer patients. Finally, we find that pharmacological inhibition of Hippo/MST1/2 impeded tumor growth driven by hormone therapy resistant ERα mutants, suggesting that targeting the Hippo-YAP-TEAD signaling axis could be a potential therapeutical strategy to overcome endocrine therapy resistance conferred by ERα mutants.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30831-5
  42. Cancer Discov. 2022 Jun 02. 12(6): 1405
      Overexpression of PRODH2 augments CAR T-cell proliferation, effector function, and memory phenotype.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-RW2022-054
  43. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 858379
      The immune checkpoint programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is expressed on the cell surface of tumor cells and is key for maintaining an immunosuppressive microenvironment through its interaction with the programmed death 1 (PD-1). Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is a highly immunogenic cancer characterized by an aberrant aerobic glycolytic metabolism and is known to overexpress PD-L1. Multiple immunotherapies have been approved for the treatment of ccRCC, including cytokines and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Recently the intrinsic role of PD-L1 and interferon gamma (IFNγ) signaling have been studied in several types of tumor cells, yet it remains unclear how they affect the metabolism and signaling pathways of ccRCC. Using metabolomics, metabolic assays and RNAseq, we showed that IFNγ enhanced aerobic glycolysis and tryptophan metabolism in ccRCC cells in vitro and induced the transcriptional expression of signaling pathways related to inflammation, cell proliferation and cellular energetics. These metabolic and transcriptional effects were partially reversed following transient PD-L1 silencing. Aerobic glycolysis, as well as signaling pathways related to inflammation, were not induced by IFNγ when PD-L1 was silenced, however, tryptophan metabolism and activation of Jak2 and STAT1 were maintained. Our data demonstrate that PD-L1 expression is required to mediate some of IFNγ's effect in ccRCC cells and highlight the importance of PD-L1 signaling in regulating the metabolism of ccRCC cells in response to inflammatory signals.
    Keywords:  CD274); PD-L1 (B7-H1; clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC); glycolysis; interferon gamma; kynurenine; metabolism; tryptophan
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2022.858379