bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒10‒09
48 papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University Hospital Cologne

  1. Cell Metab. 2022 Sep 28. pii: S1550-4131(22)00395-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      The structural and functional organization of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) remains intensely debated. Here, we show the co-existence of two separate MRC organizations in human cells and postmitotic tissues, C-MRC and S-MRC, defined by the preferential expression of three COX7A subunit isoforms, COX7A1/2 and SCAFI (COX7A2L). COX7A isoforms promote the functional reorganization of distinct co-existing MRC structures to prevent metabolic exhaustion and MRC deficiency. Notably, prevalence of each MRC organization is reversibly regulated by the activation state of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). Under oxidative conditions, the C-MRC is bioenergetically more efficient, whereas the S-MRC preferentially maintains oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) upon metabolic rewiring toward glycolysis. We show a link between the metabolic signatures converging at the PDC and the structural and functional organization of the MRC, challenging the widespread notion of the MRC as a single functional unit and concluding that its structural heterogeneity warrants optimal adaptation to metabolic function.
    Keywords:  COX7A1–2; SCAFI/COX7RP/COX7A2L; bioenergetics; glycolysis; metabolic switch; mitochondria; oxidative metabolism; pyruvate dehydrogenase; respiratory chain organizations; respiratory supercomplexes
  2. Cell Rep. 2022 Oct 04. pii: S2211-1247(22)01286-4. [Epub ahead of print]41(1): 111445
      MCL-1 is an anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family protein essential for survival of diverse cell types and is a major driver of cancer and chemoresistance. The mechanistic basis for the oncogenic supremacy of MCL-1 among its anti-apoptotic homologs is unclear and implicates physiologic roles of MCL-1 beyond apoptotic suppression. Here we find that MCL-1-dependent hematologic cancer cells specifically rely on fatty acid oxidation (FAO) as a fuel source because of metabolic wiring enforced by MCL-1 itself. We demonstrate that FAO regulation by MCL-1 is independent of its anti-apoptotic activity, based on metabolomic, proteomic, and genomic profiling of MCL-1-dependent leukemia cells lacking an intact apoptotic pathway. Genetic deletion of Mcl-1 results in transcriptional downregulation of FAO pathway proteins such that glucose withdrawal triggers cell death despite apoptotic blockade. Our data reveal that MCL-1 is a master regulator of FAO, rendering MCL-1-driven cancer cells uniquely susceptible to treatment with FAO inhibitors.
    Keywords:  BCL-2 family; CP: Cancer; CP: Metabolism; MCL-1; apoptosis; cancer; fatty acid oxidation; metabolism
  3. Mol Cell. 2022 Oct 06. pii: S1097-2765(22)00895-4. [Epub ahead of print]82(19): 3661-3676.e8
      Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, mediated by the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter, regulates oxidative phosphorylation, apoptosis, and intracellular Ca2+ signaling. Previous studies suggest that non-neuronal uniporters are exclusively regulated by a MICU1-MICU2 heterodimer. Here, we show that skeletal-muscle and kidney uniporters also complex with a MICU1-MICU1 homodimer and that human/mouse cardiac uniporters are largely devoid of MICUs. Cells employ protein-importation machineries to fine-tune the relative abundance of MICU1 homo- and heterodimers and utilize a conserved MICU intersubunit disulfide to protect properly assembled dimers from proteolysis by YME1L1. Using the MICU1 homodimer or removing MICU1 allows mitochondria to more readily take up Ca2+ so that cells can produce more ATP in response to intracellular Ca2+ transients. However, the trade-off is elevated ROS, impaired basal metabolism, and higher susceptibility to death. These results provide mechanistic insights into how tissues can manipulate mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake properties to support their unique physiological functions.
    Keywords:  calcium channels; cardiac pathophysiology; cellular metabolism; intracellular calcium signaling; membrane-transport mechanisms; mitochondrial physiology; mitochondrial proteases; organellar channels; protein complexes
  4. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 1000106
      Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell dyscrasia characterized by the clonal proliferation of antibody producing plasma cells. Despite the use of next generation proteasome inhibitors (PI), immunomodulatory agents (IMiDs) and immunotherapy, the development of therapy refractory disease is common, with approximately 20% of MM patients succumbing to aggressive treatment-refractory disease within 2 years of diagnosis. A large emphasis is placed on understanding inter/intra-tumoral genetic, epigenetic and transcriptomic changes contributing to relapsed/refractory disease, however, the contribution of cellular metabolism and intrinsic/extrinsic metabolites to therapy sensitivity and resistance mechanisms is less well understood. Cancer cells depend on specific metabolites for bioenergetics, duplication of biomass and redox homeostasis for growth, proliferation, and survival. Cancer therapy, importantly, largely relies on targeting cellular growth, proliferation, and survival. Thus, understanding the metabolic changes intersecting with a drug's mechanism of action can inform us of methods to elicit deeper responses and prevent acquired resistance. Knowledge of the Warburg effect and elevated aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells, including MM, has allowed us to capitalize on this phenomenon for diagnostics and prognostics. The demonstration that mitochondria play critical roles in cancer development, progression, and therapy sensitivity despite the inherent preference of cancer cells to engage aerobic glycolysis has re-invigorated deeper inquiry into how mitochondrial metabolism regulates tumor biology and therapy efficacy. Mitochondria are the sole source for coupled respiration mediated ATP synthesis and a key source for the anabolic synthesis of amino acids and reducing equivalents. Beyond their core metabolic activities, mitochondria facilitate apoptotic cell death, impact the activation of the cytosolic integrated response to stress, and through nuclear and cytosolic retrograde crosstalk maintain cell fitness and survival. Here, we hope to shed light on key mitochondrial functions that shape MM development and therapy sensitivity.
    Keywords:  B cell; metabolism; mitochondria; multiple myeloma; therapy
  5. Cell Metab. 2022 Oct 04. pii: S1550-4131(22)00406-5. [Epub ahead of print]34(10): 1411-1412
  6. Cell Metab. 2022 Oct 04. pii: S1550-4131(22)00402-8. [Epub ahead of print]34(10): 1424-1426
      The role of glia as active participants in brain functions has become increasingly evident. In this issue of Cell Metabolism, Herrera Moro Chao et al. reveal that astrocytes in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) bidirectionally control neuronal behavior in response to metabolic cues and that this control is disrupted in obesity.
  7. Cancer Metab. 2022 Oct 03. 10(1): 14
      BACKGROUND: Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the predominant subtype of kidney cancer, possesses characteristic alterations to multiple metabolic pathways, including the accumulation of cytosolic lipid droplets. However, the pathways that drive lipid droplet accumulation in ccRCC cells and their importance to cancer biology remain poorly understood.METHODS: We sought to identify the carbon sources necessary for lipid droplet accumulation using Oil red O staining and isotope-tracing lipidomics. The role of the acyl-CoA synthetase (ACSL) family members, an important group of lipid metabolic enzymes, was investigated using siRNA and drug mediated inhibition. CTB and XTT assays were performed to determine the effect of ACSL3 knockdown and lipid starvation on ccRCC cell viability and shRNA was used to study the effect of ACSL3 in an orthotopic mouse model. The relationship between ferroptosis susceptibility of ccRCC and ACSL3 controlled lipid metabolism was examined using CTB and FACS-based assays. The importance of 5-LOX in ferroptosis susceptibility in ccRCC was shown with XTT survival assays, and the expression level and predictive value of 5-LOX in TCGA ccRCC data was assessed.
    RESULTS: We found that ccRCC cells obtain the necessary substrates for lipid droplet accumulation by metabolizing exogenous serum derived lipids and not through de novo lipogenesis. We show that this metabolism of exogenous fatty acids into lipid droplets requires the enzyme acyl-CoA synthetase 3 (ACSL3) and not other ACSL family proteins. Importantly, genetic or pharmacologic suppression of ACSL3 is cytotoxic to ccRCC cells in vitro and causes a reduction of tumor weight in an orthotopic mouse model. Conversely, ACSL3 inhibition decreases the susceptibility of ccRCC cells to ferroptosis, a non-apoptotic form of cell death involving lipid peroxidation. The sensitivity of ccRCC to ferroptosis is also highly dependent on the composition of exogenous fatty acids and on 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), a leukotriene producing enzyme which produces lipid peroxides that have been implicated in other cancers but not in ccRCC.
    CONCLUSIONS: ACSL3 regulates the accumulation of lipid droplets in ccRCC and is essential for tumor growth. In addition, ACSL3 also modulates ferroptosis sensitivity in a manner dependent on the composition of exogenous fatty acids. Both functions of ACSL3 could be exploited for ccRCC therapy.
    Keywords:  5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX); Acyl-CoA synthetase 3 (ACSL3); Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC); Ferroptosis; Lipid droplets; Lipid metabolism
  8. Nature. 2022 Oct 05.
      DNA transfer from cytoplasmic organelles to the cell nucleus is a legacy of the endosymbiotic event-the majority of nuclear-mitochondrial segments (NUMTs) are thought to be ancient, preceding human speciation1-3. Here we analyse whole-genome sequences from 66,083 people-including 12,509 people with cancer-and demonstrate the ongoing transfer of mitochondrial DNA into the nucleus, contributing to a complex NUMT landscape. More than 99% of individuals had at least one of 1,637 different NUMTs, with 1 in 8 individuals having an ultra-rare NUMT that is present in less than 0.1% of the population. More than 90% of the extant NUMTs that we evaluated inserted into the nuclear genome after humans diverged from apes. Once embedded, the sequences were no longer under the evolutionary constraint seen within the mitochondrion, and NUMT-specific mutations had a different mutational signature to mitochondrial DNA. De novo NUMTs were observed in the germline once in every 104 births and once in every 103 cancers. NUMTs preferentially involved non-coding mitochondrial DNA, linking transcription and replication to their origin, with nuclear insertion involving multiple mechanisms including double-strand break repair associated with PR domain zinc-finger protein 9 (PRDM9) binding. The frequency of tumour-specific NUMTs differed between cancers, including a probably causal insertion in a myxoid liposarcoma. We found evidence of selection against NUMTs on the basis of size and genomic location, shaping a highly heterogenous and dynamic human NUMT landscape.
  9. Cell Metab. 2022 Oct 04. pii: S1550-4131(22)00399-0. [Epub ahead of print]34(10): 1428-1430
      Activated brown adipose tissue (BAT) consumes copious amounts of circulating nutrients to fuel thermogenesis. Recently writing in Nature, Seki et al. show that this property can be leveraged to limit glucose availability for cancer cells and slow tumor growth, thereby adding cancer to the growing list of diseases that can potentially be treated by activating BAT.
  10. Elife. 2022 Oct 06. pii: e80396. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Mitochondria harbor an independent genome, called mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which contains essential metabolic genes. Although mtDNA mutations occur at high frequency, they are inherited infrequently, indicating that germline mechanisms limit their accumulation. To determine how germline mtDNA is regulated, we examined the control of mtDNA quantity and quality in C. elegans primordial germ cells (PGCs). We show that PGCs combine strategies to generate a low point in mtDNA number by segregating mitochondria into lobe-like protrusions that are cannibalized by adjacent cells, and by concurrently eliminating mitochondria through autophagy, reducing overall mtDNA content twofold. As PGCs exit quiescence and divide, mtDNAs replicate to maintain a set point of ~200 mtDNAs per germline stem cell. Whereas cannibalism and autophagy eliminate mtDNAs stochastically, we show that the kinase PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), operating independently of Parkin and autophagy, preferentially reduces the fraction of mutant mtDNAs. Thus, PGCs employ parallel mechanisms to control both the quantity and quality of the founding population of germline mtDNAs.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; PINK1; autophagy; bottleneck; cell biology; developmental biology; mitochondrial DNA; primordial germ cells; purifying selection
  11. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 05. 13(1): 5874
      Organismal physiology and survival are influenced by environmental conditions and linked to protein quality control. Proteome integrity is achieved by maintaining an intricate balance between protein folding and degradation. In Caenorhabditis elegans, acute heat stress determines cell non-autonomous regulation of chaperone levels. However, how the perception of environmental changes, including physiological temperature, affects protein degradation remains largely unexplored. Here, we show that loss-of-function of dyf-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans associated with dysfunctional sensory neurons leads to defects in both temperature perception and thermal adaptation of the ubiquitin/proteasome system centered on thermosensory AFD neurons. Impaired perception of moderate temperature changes worsens ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis in intestinal cells. Brain-gut communication regulating protein turnover is mediated by upregulation of the insulin-like peptide INS-5 and inhibition of the calcineurin-regulated forkhead-box transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO. Our data indicate that perception of ambient temperature and its neuronal integration is important for the control of proteome integrity in complex organisms.
  12. Cell Metab. 2022 Oct 04. pii: S1550-4131(22)00401-6. [Epub ahead of print]34(10): 1416-1419
      Research-based lifestyle choices can help us live healthier lives, and in this issue of Cell Metabolism, we showcase articles focused on diet and exercise interventions. Here, we take a moment to learn about the motivation and challenges behind these studies and look forward to the next steps in applying these interventions to promote metabolic health.
  13. Neurotrauma Rep. 2022 ;3(1): 415-420
      Traumatic brain injury and aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Treatment options remain limited and are hampered by our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms, including the inflammatory response observed in the brain. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been shown to activate an innate inflammatory response by acting as a damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP). Here, we show raised circulating cell-free (ccf) mtDNA levels in both cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum within 48 h of brain injury. CSF ccf-mtDNA levels correlated with clinical severity and the interleukin-6 cytokine response. These findings support the use of ccf-mtDNA as a biomarker after acute brain injury linked to the inflammatory disease mechanism.
    Keywords:  DAMP; acute brain injury; brain inflammation; mitochondrial DNA; subarachnoid hemorrhage; traumatic brain injury
  14. J Clin Pathol. 2022 Oct 05. pii: jcp-2022-208462. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: Wild-type gastrointestinal stromal tumours (wtGIST) are frequently caused by inherited pathogenic variants, or somatic alterations in the succinate dehydrogenase subunit genes (SDHx). Succinate dehydrogenase is a key enzyme in the citric acid cycle. SDH deficiency caused by SDHx inactivation leads to an accumulation of succinate, which inhibits DNA and histone demethylase enzymes, resulting in global hypermethylation. Epigenetic silencing of the DNA repair gene MGMT has proven utility as a positive predictor of the therapeutic efficacy of the alklyating drug temozolomide (TMZ) in tumours such as glioblastoma multiforme. The aim of this study was to examine MGMT promoter methylation status in a large cohort of GIST.METHODS: MGMT methylation analysis was performed on 65 tumour samples including 47 wtGIST (33 SDH-deficient wtGIST and 11 SDH preserved wtGIST) and 21 tyrosine kinase (TK) mutant GIST.
    RESULTS: MGMT promoter methylation was detected in 8 cases of SDH-deficient (dSDH) GIST but in none of the 14 SDH preserved wild-type GIST or 21 TK mutant GIST samples analysed. Mean MGMT methylation was significantly higher (p 0.0449) and MGMT expression significantly lower (p<0.0001) in dSDH wtGIST compared with TK mutant or SDH preserved GIST. No correlation was identified between SDHx subunit gene mutations or SDHC epimutation status and mean MGMT methylation levels.
    CONCLUSION: MGMT promoter hypermethylation occurs exclusively in a subset of dSDH wtGIST. Data from this study support testing of tumour MGMT promoter methylation in patients with dSDH wtGIST to identify those patients who may benefit from most from TMZ therapy.
    Keywords:  Gastrointestinal Neoplasms; Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary; Neuroendocrine Tumors; Sarcoma; Stomach Neoplasms
  15. Nature. 2022 Oct 05.
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly desmoplastic, aggressive cancer that frequently progresses and spreads by metastasis to the liver1. Cancer-associated fibroblasts, the extracellular matrix and type I collagen (Col I) support2,3 or restrain the progression of PDAC and may impede blood supply and nutrient availability4. The dichotomous role of the stroma in PDAC, and the mechanisms through which it influences patient survival and enables desmoplastic cancers to escape nutrient limitation, remain poorly understood. Here we show that matrix-metalloprotease-cleaved Col I (cCol I) and intact Col I (iCol I) exert opposing effects on PDAC bioenergetics, macropinocytosis, tumour growth and metastasis. Whereas cCol I activates discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1)-NF-κB-p62-NRF2 signalling to promote the growth of PDAC, iCol I triggers the degradation of DDR1 and restrains the growth of PDAC. Patients whose tumours are enriched for iCol I and express low levels of DDR1 and NRF2 have improved median survival compared to those whose tumours have high levels of cCol I, DDR1 and NRF2. Inhibition of the DDR1-stimulated expression of NF-κB or mitochondrial biogenesis blocks tumorigenesis in wild-type mice, but not in mice that express MMP-resistant Col I. The diverse effects of the tumour stroma on the growth and metastasis of PDAC and on the survival of patients are mediated through the Col I-DDR1-NF-κB-NRF2 mitochondrial biogenesis pathway, and targeting components of this pathway could provide therapeutic opportunities.
  16. Open Biol. 2022 Oct;12(10): 220213
      Radiation-induced oral mucositis is the most common complication for patients who receive head/neck radiotherapy. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is vital for DNA damage repair under ionizing radiation, through functioning as either the substrate for protein poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation at DNA break sites or the cofactor for multiple DNA repair-related enzymes, which therefore can result in a significant consumption of cellular NAD+ during DNA repair. Mammalian cells produce NAD+ mainly by recycling nicotinamide via the salvage pathway, in which the rate-limiting step is governed by nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT). However, whether NAMPT is co-opted under ionizing radiation to timely fine-tune NAD+ homeostasis remains elusive. Here we show that ionizing radiation evokes NAMPT activation within 30 min without apparent changes in its protein expression. AMPK rapidly phosphorylates NAMPT at S314 under ionizing radiation, which reinforces the enzymatic activity of NAMPT by increasing NAMPT binding with its substrate phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate (PRPP). AMPK-mediated NAMPT S314 phosphorylation substantially restores NAD+ level in the irradiated cells and facilitates DNA repair and cell viability. Our findings demonstrate a new post-translational modification-based signalling route, by which cells can rapidly orchestrate NAD+ metabolism to support DNA repair, thereby highlighting NAMPT as a potential target for the prevention of ionizing radiation-induced injuries.
    Keywords:  AMPK; NAD+; NAMPT; ionizing radiation; phosphorylation
  17. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2022 Sep 29. pii: S0959-437X(22)00096-X. [Epub ahead of print]77 101987
      Metal ions are potent catalysts and have been available for cellular biochemistry at all stages of evolution. Growing evidence suggests that metal catalysis was critical for the origin of the very first metabolic reactions. With approximately 80% of modern metabolic pathways being dependent on metal ions, metallocatalysis and homeostasis continue to be essential for intracellular metabolic networks and physiology. However, the genetic network that controls metal ion homeostasis and the impact of metal availability on metabolism is poorly understood. Here, we review recent work on gene and protein evolution relevant for better understanding metal ion biology and its role in metabolism. We highlight the importance of analysing the origin and evolution of enzyme catalysis in the context of catalytically relevant metal ions, summarise unanswered questions essential for developing a comprehensive understanding of metal ion homeostasis and advocate for the consideration of metal ion properties and availability in the design and directed evolution of novel enzymes and pathways.
  18. Nat Metab. 2022 Oct 03.
      γ-Aminobutyrate (GAB), the biochemical form of (GABA) γ-aminobutyric acid, participates in shaping physiological processes, including the immune response. How GAB metabolism is controlled to mediate such functions remains elusive. Here we show that GAB is one of the most abundant metabolites in CD4+ T helper 17 (TH17) and induced T regulatory (iTreg) cells. GAB functions as a bioenergetic and signalling gatekeeper by reciprocally controlling pro-inflammatory TH17 cell and anti-inflammatory iTreg cell differentiation through distinct mechanisms. 4-Aminobutyrate aminotransferase (ABAT) funnels GAB into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle to maximize carbon allocation in promoting TH17 cell differentiation. By contrast, the absence of ABAT activity in iTreg cells enables GAB to be exported to the extracellular environment where it acts as an autocrine signalling metabolite that promotes iTreg cell differentiation. Accordingly, ablation of ABAT activity in T cells protects against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) progression. Conversely, ablation of GABAA receptor in T cells worsens EAE. Our results suggest that the cell-autonomous control of GAB on CD4+ T cells is bimodal and consists of the sequential action of two processes, ABAT-dependent mitochondrial anaplerosis and the receptor-dependent signalling response, both of which are required for T cell-mediated inflammation.
  19. Oncogene. 2022 Oct 04.
      Cancer progression is associated with metabolic reprogramming and causes significant intracellular stress; however, the mechanisms that link cellular stress and growth signalling are not fully understood. Here, we identified a mechanism that couples the mitochondrial stress response (MSR) with tumour progression. We demonstrated that the MSR is activated in a significant proportion of human thyroid cancers via the upregulation of heat shock protein D family members and the mitokine, growth differentiation factor 15. Our study also revealed that MSR triggered AKT/S6K signalling by activating mTORC2 via activating transcription factor 4/sestrin 2 activation whilst promoting leucine transporter and nutrient-induced mTORC1 activation. Importantly, we found that an increase in mtDNA played an essential role in MSR-induced mTOR activation and that crosstalk between MYC and MSR potentiated mTOR activation. Together, these findings suggest that the MSR could be a predictive marker for aggressive human thyroid cancer as well as a useful therapeutic target.
  20. Cell Metab. 2022 Oct 04. pii: S1550-4131(22)00392-8. [Epub ahead of print]34(10): 1532-1547.e6
      The hypothalamus is key in the control of energy balance. However, strategies targeting hypothalamic neurons have failed to provide viable options to treat most metabolic diseases. Conversely, the role of astrocytes in systemic metabolic control has remained largely unexplored. Here, we show that obesity promotes anatomically restricted remodeling of hypothalamic astrocyte activity. In the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, chemogenetic manipulation of astrocytes results in bidirectional control of neighboring neuron activity, autonomic outflow, glucose metabolism, and energy balance. This process recruits a mechanism involving the astrocytic control of ambient glutamate levels, which becomes defective in obesity. Positive or negative chemogenetic manipulation of PVN astrocyte Ca2+ signals, respectively, worsens or improves metabolic status of diet-induced obese mice. Collectively, these findings highlight a yet unappreciated role for astrocytes in the direct control of systemic metabolism and suggest potential targets for anti-obesity strategy.
    Keywords:  PVN; astrocyte; energy homeostasis; glucose metabolism; glutamate; obesity
  21. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2022 Nov 21. 377(1864): 20210324
      Mitochondria are ubiquitous organelles that play a pivotal role in the supply of energy through the production of adenosine triphosphate in all eukaryotic cells. The importance of mitochondria in cells is demonstrated in the poor survival outcomes observed in patients with defects in mitochondrial gene or RNA expression. Studies have identified that mitochondria are influenced by the cell's cytoskeletal environment. This is evident in pathological conditions such as cardiomyopathy where the cytoskeleton is in disarray and leads to alterations in mitochondrial oxygen consumption and electron transport. In cancer, reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is critical for trans-differentiation of epithelial-like cells into motile mesenchymal-like cells that promotes cancer progression. The cytoskeleton is critical to the shape and elongation of neurons, facilitating communication during development and nerve signalling. Although it is recognized that cytoskeletal proteins physically tether mitochondria, it is not well understood how cytoskeletal proteins alter mitochondrial function. Since end-stage disease frequently involves poor energy production, understanding the role of the cytoskeleton in the progression of chronic pathology may enable the development of therapeutics to improve energy production and consumption and slow disease progression. This article is part of the theme issue 'The cardiomyocyte: new revelations on the interplay between architecture and function in growth, health, and disease'.
    Keywords:  adenosine triphosphate; cytoskeleton; metabolic activity; mitochondria; network; voltage-dependent anion channel
  22. BMB Rep. 2022 Oct 05. pii: 5705. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are cellular organelles that perform various functions within cells. They are responsible for ATP production, cell-signal regulation, autophagy, and cell apoptosis. Because the mitochondrial proteins that perform these functions need Ca2+ ions for their activity, mitochondria have ion channels to selectively uptake Ca2+ ions from the cytoplasm. The ion channel known to play the most important role in the Ca2+ uptake in mitochondria is the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) holo-complex located in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM). This ion channel complex exists in the form of a complex consisting of the pore-forming protein through which the Ca2+ ions are transported into the mitochondrial matrix, and the auxiliary protein involved in regulating the activity of the Ca2+ uptake by the MCU holo-complex. Studies of this MCU holocomplex have long been conducted, but we didn't know in detail how mitochondria uptake Ca2+ ions through this ion channel complex or how the activity of this ion channel complex is regulated. Recently, the protein structure of the MCU holo-complex was identified, enabling the mechanism of Ca2+ uptake and its regulation by the MCU holo-complex to be confirmed. In this review, I will introduce the mechanism of action of the MCU holo-complex at the molecular level based on the Cryo-EM structure of the MCU holo-complex to help understand how mitochondria uptake the necessary Ca2+ ions through the MCU holo-complex and how these Ca2+ uptake mechanisms are regulated.
  23. Oncogenesis. 2022 Oct 04. 11(1): 59
      Glioblastoma is a difficult-to-cure disease owing to its malignancy. Under normal circumstances, cancer is dependent on the glycolytic system for growth, and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) is not well utilized. Here, we investigated the efficacy of mitochondria-targeted glioblastoma therapy in cell lines including U87MG, LN229, U373, T98G, and two patient-derived stem-like cells. When glioblastoma cells were exposed to a glucose-starved condition (100 mg/l), they rely on mitochondrial OXPHOS for growth, and mitochondrial translation product production is enhanced. Under these circumstances, drugs that inhibit mitochondrial translation, called antimicrobial agents, can cause mitochondrial dysfunction and thus can serve as a therapeutic option for glioblastoma. Antimicrobial agents activated the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2-Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 pathway, resulting in increased expression of heme oxygenase-1. Accumulation of lipid peroxides resulted from the accumulation of divalent iron, and cell death occurred via ferroptosis. In conclusion, mitochondrial OXPHOS is upregulated in glioblastoma upon glucose starvation. Under this condition, antimicrobial agents cause cell death via ferroptosis. The findings hold promise for the treatment of glioblastoma.
  24. Cancer Discov. 2022 Oct 05. 12(10): 2229
      AKT inhibits the metabolic enzyme PANK4 to promote the de novo synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA).
  25. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 976628
      Despite the tremendous success of adoptive T-cell therapies (ACT) in fighting certain hematologic malignancies, not all patients respond, a proportion experience relapse, and effective ACT of most solid tumors remains elusive. In order to improve responses to ACT suppressive barriers in the solid tumor microenvironment (TME) including insufficient nutrient availability must be overcome. Here we explored how enforced expression of the high-affinity glucose transporter GLUT3 impacted tumor-directed T cells. Overexpression of GLUT3 in primary murine CD8+ T cells enhanced glucose uptake and increased glycogen and fatty acid storage, and was associated with increased mitochondrial fitness, reduced ROS levels, higher abundance of the anti-apoptotic protein Mcl-1, and better resistance to stress. Importantly, GLUT3-OT1 T cells conferred superior control of B16-OVA melanoma tumors and, in this same model, significantly improved survival. Moreover, a proportion of treated mice were cured and protected from re-challenge, indicative of long-term T cell persistence and memory formation. Enforcing expression of GLUT3 is thus a promising strategy to improve metabolic fitness and sustaining CD8+ T cell effector function in the context of ACT.
    Keywords:  T cell engineering; adoptive cell therapy; glucose; immunotherapy; metabolism; tumor
  26. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2022 Oct 01. pii: S0165-6147(22)00199-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial ATP synthase synthesizes ATP for cellular functions; however, under various conditions, including ischemia, it hydrolyzes ATP, primarily to re-energize the mitochondria. ATP synthase inhibitory factor 1 (ATPIF1) inhibits hydrolysis of ATP by ATP synthase. Wyant and colleagues recently demonstrated that G-protein-coupled receptor 35 (GPR35) is involved in this process. This finding provides an additional framework for the novel discovery of potential therapeutic molecules against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury.
    Keywords:  ATP inhibitory factor 1; ATP synthase; G-protein-coupled receptor 35; anti-ischemic interaction; kynurenic acid; mitochondria
  27. Nat Biotechnol. 2022 Oct 06.
      Post-translational modification (PTM) of antigens provides an additional source of specificities targeted by immune responses to tumors or pathogens, but identifying antigen PTMs and assessing their role in shaping the immunopeptidome is challenging. Here we describe the Protein Modification Integrated Search Engine (PROMISE), an antigen discovery pipeline that enables the analysis of 29 different PTM combinations from multiple clinical cohorts and cell lines. We expanded the antigen landscape, uncovering human leukocyte antigen class I binding motifs defined by specific PTMs with haplotype-specific binding preferences and revealing disease-specific modified targets, including thousands of new cancer-specific antigens that can be shared between patients and across cancer types. Furthermore, we uncovered a subset of modified peptides that are specific to cancer tissue and driven by post-translational changes that occurred in the tumor proteome. Our findings highlight principles of PTM-driven antigenicity, which may have broad implications for T cell-mediated therapies in cancer and beyond.
  28. Aging Cell. 2022 Oct 05. e13721
      Mitochondrial NAD+ -dependent protein deacetylase Sirtuin3 (SIRT3) has been proposed to mediate calorie restriction (CR)-dependent metabolic regulation and lifespan extension. Here, we investigated the role of SIRT3 in CR-mediated longevity, mitochondrial function, and aerobic fitness. We report that SIRT3 is required for whole-body aerobic capacity but is dispensable for CR-dependent lifespan extension. Under CR, loss of SIRT3 (Sirt3-/- ) yielded a longer overall and maximum lifespan as compared to Sirt3+/+ mice. This unexpected lifespan extension was associated with altered mitochondrial protein acetylation in oxidative metabolic pathways, reduced mitochondrial respiration, and reduced aerobic exercise capacity. Also, Sirt3-/- CR mice exhibit lower spontaneous activity and a trend favoring fatty acid oxidation during the postprandial period. This study shows the uncoupling of lifespan and healthspan parameters (aerobic fitness and spontaneous activity) and provides new insights into SIRT3 function in CR adaptation, fuel utilization, and aging.
    Keywords:  aerobic fitness; calorie restriction; fatty acid oxidation; fuel switching; lifespan; mitochondrial acetylation; mitochondrial respiration; sirtuins
  29. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Oct 11. 119(41): e2208255119
      Aneuploidy, the incorrect number of whole chromosomes, is a common feature of tumors that contributes to their initiation and evolution. Preventing aneuploidy requires properly functioning kinetochores, which are large protein complexes assembled on centromeric DNA that link mitotic chromosomes to dynamic spindle microtubules and facilitate chromosome segregation. The kinetochore leverages at least two mechanisms to prevent aneuploidy: error correction and the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). BubR1, a factor involved in both processes, was identified as a cancer dependency and therapeutic target in multiple tumor types; however, it remains unclear what specific oncogenic pressures drive this enhanced dependency on BubR1 and whether it arises from BubR1's regulation of the SAC or error-correction pathways. Here, we use a genetically controlled transformation model and glioblastoma tumor isolates to show that constitutive signaling by RAS or MAPK is necessary for cancer-specific BubR1 vulnerability. The MAPK pathway enzymatically hyperstimulates a network of kinetochore kinases that compromises chromosome segregation, rendering cells more dependent on two BubR1 activities: counteracting excessive kinetochore-microtubule turnover for error correction and maintaining the SAC. This work expands our understanding of how chromosome segregation adapts to different cellular states and reveals an oncogenic trigger of a cancer-specific defect.
    Keywords:  BubR1; MAPK; aneuploidy; kinetochore; mitosis
  30. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2022 Nov 21. 377(1864): 20210322
      The heart meets the high energy demands of constant muscle contraction and calcium cycling primarily through the conversion of fatty acids into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by a large volume of mitochondria. As such, the spatial relationships among lipid droplets (LDs), mitochondria, the sarcotubular system and the contractile apparatus are critical to the efficient distribution of energy within the cardiomyocyte. However, the connectivity among components of the cardiac cellular energy distribution system during postnatal development remains unclear. Here, we use volume electron microscopy to demonstrate that the sarcomere branches uniting the myofibrillar network occur more than twice as frequently during early postnatal development as in mature cardiomyocytes. Moreover, we show that the mitochondrial networks arranged in parallel to the contractile apparatus are composed of larger, more compact mitochondria with greater connectivity to adjacent mitochondria in mature as compared with early postnatal cardiomyocytes. Finally, we find that connectivity among mitochondria, LDs and the sarcotubular network is greater in developing than in mature muscles. These data suggest that physical connectivity among cellular structures may facilitate the communication needed to coordinate developmental processes within the cardiac muscle cell. This article is part of the theme issue 'The cardiomyocyte: new revelations on the interplay between architecture and function in growth, health, and disease'.
    Keywords:  heart development; lipid droplets; mitochondria; sarcomere branching
  31. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 04. 13(1): 5845
      Autophagy is crucial for maintaining cellular energy homeostasis and for cells to adapt to nutrient deficiency, and nutrient sensors regulating autophagy have been reported previously. However, the role of eiptranscriptomic modifications such as m6A in the regulation of starvation-induced autophagy is unclear. Here, we show that the m6A reader YTHDF3 is essential for autophagy induction. m6A modification is up-regulated to promote autophagosome formation and lysosomal degradation upon nutrient deficiency. METTL3 depletion leads to a loss of functional m6A modification and inhibits YTHDF3-mediated autophagy flux. YTHDF3 promotes autophagy by recognizing m6A modification sites around the stop codon of FOXO3 mRNA. YTHDF3 also recruits eIF3a and eIF4B to facilitate FOXO3 translation, subsequently initiating autophagy. Overall, our study demonstrates that the epitranscriptome regulator YTHDF3 functions as a nutrient responder, providing a glimpse into the post-transcriptional RNA modifications that regulate metabolic homeostasis.
  32. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 06. 13(1): 5891
      During blood vessel development, endothelial cells become specified toward arterial or venous fates to generate a circulatory network that provides nutrients and oxygen to, and removes metabolic waste from, all tissues. Arterial-venous specification occurs in conjunction with suppression of endothelial cell cycle progression; however, the mechanistic role of cell cycle state is unknown. Herein, using Cdh5-CreERT2;R26FUCCI2aR reporter mice, we find that venous endothelial cells are enriched for the FUCCI-Negative state (early G1) and BMP signaling, while arterial endothelial cells are enriched for the FUCCI-Red state (late G1) and TGF-β signaling. Furthermore, early G1 state is essential for BMP4-induced venous gene expression, whereas late G1 state is essential for TGF-β1-induced arterial gene expression. Pharmacologically induced cell cycle arrest prevents arterial-venous specification defects in mice with endothelial hyperproliferation. Collectively, our results show that distinct endothelial cell cycle states provide distinct windows of opportunity for the molecular induction of arterial vs. venous fate.
  33. Nat Rev Urol. 2022 Oct 03.
      Lipid droplet formation is a defining histological feature in clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) but the underlying mechanisms and importance of this biological behaviour have remained enigmatic. De novo fatty acid (FA) synthesis, uptake and suppression of FA oxidation have all been shown to contribute to lipid storage, which is a necessary tumour adaptation rather than a bystander effect. Clinical studies and mechanistic investigations into the roles of different enzymes in FA metabolism pathways have revealed new metabolic vulnerabilities that hold promise for clinical effect. Several metabolic alterations are associated with worse clinical outcomes in patients with ccRCC, as lipogenic genes drive tumorigenesis. Enzymes involved in the intrinsic FA metabolism pathway include FA synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, ATP citrate lyase, stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1, cluster of differentiation 36, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A and the perilipin family, and each might be potential therapeutic targets in ccRCC owing to the link between lipid deposition and ccRCC risk. Adipokines and lipid species are potential biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment monitoring in patients with ccRCC. FA metabolism could potentially be targeted for therapeutic intervention in ccRCC as small-molecule inhibitors targeting the pathway have shown promising results in preclinical models.
  34. Cell Metab. 2022 Oct 04. pii: S1550-4131(22)00396-5. [Epub ahead of print]34(10): 1422-1424
      Diet influences intestinal microbiota, inflammation, and metabolism. Kawano et al. show that dietary sugar engaged upper gut innate lymphoid cells to replace segmented filamentous bacteria with a pathobiont. Added sugar worsened early metabolic disease by lowering protective Th17 immunity, thereby promoting intestinal lipid absorption and obesity in high-fat-diet-fed mice.
  35. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Oct 11. 119(41): e2207303119
      In live cells, phase separation is thought to organize macromolecules into membraneless structures known as biomolecular condensates. Here, we reconstituted transcription in condensates from purified mitochondrial components using optimized in vitro reaction conditions to probe the structure-function relationships of biomolecular condensates. We find that the core components of the mt-transcription machinery form multiphasic, viscoelastic condensates in vitro. Strikingly, the rates of condensate-mediated transcription are substantially lower than in solution. The condensate-mediated decrease in transcriptional rates is associated with the formation of vesicle-like structures that are driven by the production and accumulation of RNA during transcription. The generation of RNA alters the global phase behavior and organization of transcription components within condensates. Coarse-grained simulations of mesoscale structures at equilibrium show that the components stably assemble into multiphasic condensates and that the vesicles formed in vitro are the result of dynamical arrest. Overall, our findings illustrate the complex phase behavior of transcribing, multicomponent condensates, and they highlight the intimate, bidirectional interplay of structure and function in transcriptional condensates.
    Keywords:  biomolecular condensates; mitochondrial genome; phase separation; transcription; vesicles
  36. J Cell Biol. 2022 12 05. pii: e202111137. [Epub ahead of print]221(12):
      Adipocytes are the main cell type in adipose tissue, which is a critical regulator of metabolism, highly specialized in storing energy as fat. Adipocytes differentiate from multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) through adipogenesis, a tightly controlled differentiation process involving close interplay between metabolic transitions and sequential programs of gene expression. However, the specific gears driving this interplay remain largely obscure. Additionally, the metabolite nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is becoming increasingly recognized as a regulator of lipid metabolism, and a promising therapeutic target for dyslipidemia and obesity. Here, we explored how NAD+ bioavailability controls adipogenic differentiation from hMSC. We found a previously unappreciated repressive role for NAD+ on adipocyte commitment, while a functional NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 appeared crucial for terminal differentiation of pre-adipocytes. Repressing NAD+ biosynthesis during adipogenesis promoted the adipogenic transcriptional program, while two-photon microscopy and extracellular flux analyses suggest that SIRT1 activity mostly relies on the metabolic switch. Interestingly, SIRT1 controls subcellular compartmentalization of redox metabolism during adipogenesis.
  37. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 03. 13(1): 5745
      Diverse processes in cancer are mediated by enzymes, which most proximally exert their function through their activity. High-fidelity methods to profile enzyme activity are therefore critical to understanding and targeting the pathological roles of enzymes in cancer. Here, we present an integrated set of methods for measuring specific protease activities across scales, and deploy these methods to study treatment response in an autochthonous model of Alk-mutant lung cancer. We leverage multiplexed nanosensors and machine learning to analyze in vivo protease activity dynamics in lung cancer, identifying significant dysregulation that includes enhanced cleavage of a peptide, S1, which rapidly returns to healthy levels with targeted therapy. Through direct on-tissue localization of protease activity, we pinpoint S1 cleavage to the tumor vasculature. To link protease activity to cellular function, we design a high-throughput method to isolate and characterize proteolytically active cells, uncovering a pro-angiogenic phenotype in S1-cleaving cells. These methods provide a framework for functional, multiscale characterization of protease dysregulation in cancer.
  38. Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 07. 12(1): 16810
      External signaling controls cell-cycle entry until cells irreversibly commit to the cell cycle to ensure faithful DNA replication. This process is tightly regulated by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and the retinoblastoma protein (Rb). Here, using live-cell sensors for CDK4/6 and CDK2 activities, we propose that CDK4/6 initiates Rb inactivation and CDK2 activation, which coordinates the timing of cell-cycle commitment and sequential G1/S transition. Our data show that CDK4/6 activation induces Rb inactivation and thereby E2F activation, driving a gradual increase in CDK2 activity. We found that rapid CDK4/6 inhibition can reverse cell-cycle entry until CDK2 activity reaches to high levels. This suggests that high CDK2 activity is required to initiate CDK2-Rb positive feedback and CDK4/6-indpendent cell-cycle progression. Since CDK2 activation also facilitates initiation of DNA replication, the timing of CDK2-Rb positive feedback is coupled with the G1/S transition. Our experiments, which acutely increased CDK2 activity by cyclin E1 overexpression, indicate that cells commit to the cell cycle before triggering DNA replication. Together, our data suggest that CDK4/6 inactivates Rb to begin E2F and CDK2 activation, and high CDK2 activity is necessary and sufficient to generate a bistable switch for Rb phosphorylation before DNA replication. These findings highlight how cells initiate the cell cycle and subsequently commit to the cell cycle before the G1/S transition.
  39. Med (N Y). 2022 Sep 29. pii: S2666-6340(22)00403-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Malignant rhabdoid tumors (MRTs) and Wilms' tumors (WTs) are rare and aggressive renal tumors of infants and young children comprising ∼5% of all pediatric cancers. MRTs are among the most genomically stable cancers, and although WTs are genomically heterogeneous, both generally lack therapeutically targetable genetic mutations.METHODS: Comparative protein activity analysis of MRTs (n = 68) and WTs (n = 132) across TCGA and TARGET cohorts, using metaVIPER, revealed elevated exportin 1 (XPO1) inferred activity. In vitro studies were performed on a panel of MRT and WT cell lines to evaluate effects on proliferation and cell-cycle progression following treatment with the selective XPO1 inhibitor selinexor. In vivo anti-tumor activity was assessed in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of MRTs and WTs.
    FINDINGS: metaVIPER analysis identified markedly aberrant activation of XPO1 in MRTs and WTs compared with other tumor types. All MRT and most WT cell lines demonstrated baseline, aberrant XPO1 activity with in vitro sensitivity to selinexor via cell-cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis. In vivo, XPO1 inhibitors significantly abrogated tumor growth in PDX models, inducing effective disease control with sustained treatment. Corroborating human relevance, we present a case report of a child with multiply relapsed WTs with prolonged disease control on selinexor.
    CONCLUSIONS: We report on a novel systems-biology-based comparative framework to identify non-genetically encoded vulnerabilities in genomically quiescent pediatric cancers. These results have provided preclinical rationale for investigation of XPO1 inhibitors in an upcoming investigator-initiated clinical trial of selinexor in children with MRTs and WTs and offer opportunities for exploration of inferred XPO1 activity as a potential predictive biomarker for response.
    FUNDING: This work was funded by CureSearch for Children's Cancer, Alan B. Slifka Foundation, NIH (U01 CA217858, S10 OD012351, and S10 OD021764), Michael's Miracle Cure, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, Cannonball Kids Cancer, Conquer Cancer the ASCO Foundation, Cycle for Survival, Paulie Strong Foundation, and the Grayson Fund.
    Keywords:  PDX; Preclinical research; Wilms tumors; eltanexor; exportin 1; malignant rhabdoid tumors; patient-derived xenograft model; precision medicine; selinexor
  40. Trends Cell Biol. 2022 Sep 28. pii: S0962-8924(22)00211-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Gamete (sperm and oocyte) genomes are transcriptionally silent until embryonic genome activation (EGA) following fertilization. EGA in humans had been thought to occur around the eight-cell stage, but recent findings suggest that it is triggered in one-cell embryos, by fertilization. Phosphorylation and other post-translational modifications during fertilization may instate transcriptionally favorable chromatin and activate oocyte-derived transcription factors (TFs) to initiate EGA. Expressed genes lay on cancer-associated pathways and their identities predict upregulation by MYC and other cancer-associated TFs. One interpretation of this is that the onset of EGA, and the somatic cell trajectory to cancer, are mechanistically related: cancer initiates epigenetically. We describe how fertilization might be linked to the initiation of EGA and involve distinctive processes recapitulated in cancer.
    Keywords:  embryonic genome activation (EGA); fertilization; initiation of cancer; totipotency; transcription factor (TF); zygote
  41. Mol Cell. 2022 Sep 20. pii: S1097-2765(22)00899-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Although the mammalian mtDNA transcription machinery is simple and resembles bacteriophage systems, there are many reports that nuclear transcription regulators, as exemplified by MEF2D, MOF, PGC-1α, and hormone receptors, are imported into mammalian mitochondria and directly interact with the mtDNA transcription machinery. However, the supporting experimental evidence for this concept is open to alternate interpretations, and a main issue is the difficulty in distinguishing indirect regulation of mtDNA transcription, caused by altered nuclear gene expression, from direct intramitochondrial effects. We provide a critical discussion and experimental guidelines to stringently assess roles of intramitochondrial factors implicated in direct regulation of mammalian mtDNA transcription.
  42. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2022 Sep 28. pii: S0959-437X(22)00098-3. [Epub ahead of print]77 101989
      Cancer evolution is driven by the concerted action of multiple molecular alterations, which emerge and are selected during tumor progression. An alteration is selected when it provides an advantage to the tumor cell. However, the advantage provided by a specific alteration depends on the tumor lineage, cell epigenetic state, and presence of additional alterations. In this case, we say that an evolutionary dependency exists between an alteration and what influences its selection. Epistatic interactions between altered genes lead to evolutionary dependencies (EDs), by favoring or vetoing specific combinations of events. Large-scale cancer genomics studies have discovered examples of such dependencies, and showed that they influence tumor progression, disease phenotypes, and therapeutic response. In the past decade, several algorithmic approaches have been proposed to infer EDs from large-scale genomics datasets. These methods adopt diverse strategies to address common challenges and shed new light on cancer evolutionary trajectories. Here, we review these efforts starting from a simple conceptualization of the problem, presenting the tackled and still unmet needs in the field, and discussing the implications of EDs in cancer biology and precision oncology.
  43. Mol Neurobiol. 2022 Oct 06.
      Disruptions of brain energy and neurotransmitter metabolism are associated with several pathological conditions including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Transgenic rodent models, and in vitro preparations hereof, are often applied for studying pathological aspects of brain metabolism. However, despite the conserved cerebral development across mammalian species, distinct differences in cellular composition and structure may influence metabolism of the rodent and human brain. To address this, we investigated the metabolic function of acutely isolated brain slices and non-synaptic mitochondria obtained from the cerebral cortex of mice and neurosurgically resected neocortical tissue of humans. Utilizing dynamic isotope labeling with 13C-enriched metabolic substrates, we show that metabolism of glucose, acetate, β-hydroxybutyrate, and glutamine operates at lower rates in human cerebral cortical slices when compared to mouse slices. In contrast, human cerebral cortical slices display a higher capacity for converting exogenous glutamate into glutamine, which subsequently supports neuronal GABA synthesis, whereas mouse slices primarily convert glutamate into aspartate. In line with the reduced metabolic rate of the human brain slices, isolated non-synaptic mitochondria of the human cerebral cortex have a lower oxygen consumption rate when provided succinate as substrate. However, when provided pyruvate and malate, human mitochondria display a higher coupled respiration and lower proton leak, signifying a more efficient mitochondrial coupling compared to mouse mitochondria. This study reveals key differences between mouse and human brain metabolism concerning both neurons and astrocytes, which must be taken into account when applying in vitro rodent preparations as a model system of the human brain.
    Keywords:  Animal models; Astrocytes; Glutamate; Glutamine; Ketone bodies; Mitochondria; Neurotransmitter recycling