bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2023‒01‒08
thirty-one papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University Hospital Cologne

  1. Cell Metab. 2023 Jan 03. pii: S1550-4131(22)00546-0. [Epub ahead of print]35(1): 3-5
      Metabolic communication in the tumor microenvironment underscores tumor-immune interactions and affects anti-tumor immunity, yet cell-extrinsic signals driving tumor metabolic remodeling are incompletely understood. In this issue, Tsai et al. show that during initial tumorigenesis, T cell-derived IFNγ triggers STAT3 activation and c-Myc-dependent alterations of tumor cell metabolism, which potentiates immune evasion.
  2. Sci Adv. 2023 Jan 04. 9(1): eadd3216
      Myopathies secondary to mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) dysfunction can result in devastating disease. While the consequences of ETC defects have been extensively studied in culture, little in vivo data are available. Using a mouse model of severe, early-onset mitochondrial myopathy, we characterized the proteomic, transcriptomic, and metabolic characteristics of disease progression. Unexpectedly, ETC dysfunction in muscle results in reduced expression of glycolytic enzymes in our animal model and patient muscle biopsies. The decrease in glycolysis was mediated by loss of constitutive Hif1α signaling, down-regulation of the purine nucleotide cycle enzyme AMPD1, and activation of AMPK. In vivo isotope tracing experiments indicated that myopathic muscle relies on lactate import to supply central carbon metabolites. Inhibition of lactate import reduced steady-state levels of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates and compromised the life span of myopathic mice. These data indicate an unexpected mode of metabolic reprogramming in severe mitochondrial myopathy that regulates disease progression.
  3. Nat Rev Cancer. 2023 Jan 03.
      Reprogrammed metabolism is a hallmark of cancer. However, the metabolic dependency of cancer, from tumour initiation through disease progression and therapy resistance, requires a spectrum of distinct reprogrammed cellular metabolic pathways. These pathways include aerobic glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, reactive oxygen species generation, de novo lipid synthesis, fatty acid β-oxidation, amino acid (notably glutamine) metabolism and mitochondrial metabolism. This Review highlights the central roles of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins, notably STAT3, STAT5, STAT6 and STAT1, in orchestrating the highly dynamic metabolism not only of cancer cells but also of immune cells and adipocytes in the tumour microenvironment. STAT proteins are able to shape distinct metabolic processes that regulate tumour progression and therapy resistance by transducing signals from metabolites, cytokines, growth factors and their receptors; defining genetic programmes that regulate a wide range of molecules involved in orchestration of metabolism in cancer and immune cells; and regulating mitochondrial activity at multiple levels, including energy metabolism and lipid-mediated mitochondrial integrity. Given the central role of STAT proteins in regulation of metabolic states, they are potential therapeutic targets for altering metabolic reprogramming in cancer.
  4. J Biol Chem. 2022 Dec 29. pii: S0021-9258(22)01291-1. [Epub ahead of print] 102848
      In eukaryotes carnitine is best known for its ability to shuttle esterified fatty acids across mitochondrial membranes for β-oxidation. It also returns to the cytoplasm, in the form of acetyl-L-carnitine (LAC), some of the resulting acetyl groups for post-translational protein modification and lipid biosynthesis. While dietary LAC supplementation has been clinically investigated, its effects on cellular metabolism are not well understood. To explain how exogenous LAC influences mammalian cell metabolism, we synthesized isotope-labeled forms of LAC and its analogs. In cultures of glucose-limited U87MG glioma cells, exogenous LAC contributed more robustly to intracellular acetyl-CoA pools than did β-hydroxybutyrate, the predominant circulating ketone body in mammals. The fact that most LAC-derived acetyl-CoA is cytosolic is evident from strong labeling of fatty acids in U87MG cells by exogenous 13C2-acetyl-L-carnitine. We found that the addition of d3-acetyl-L-carnitine increases the supply of acetyl-CoA for cytosolic post-translational modifications due to its strong kinetic isotope effect on acetyl-CoA carboxylase, the first committed step in fatty acid biosynthesis. Surprisingly, whereas cytosolic carnitine acetyltransferase (CRAT) is believed to catalyze acetyl group transfer from LAC to Coenzyme A, CRAT-/- U87MG cells were unimpaired in their ability to assimilate exogenous LAC into acetyl-CoA. We identified carnitine octanoyltransferase (CROT) as the key enzyme in this process, implicating a role for peroxisomes in efficient LAC utilization. Our work has opened the door to further biochemical investigations of a new pathway for supplying acetyl-CoA to certain glucose-starved cells.
    Keywords:  acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl‐CoA); acetylcarnitine; cell metabolism; energy metabolism; enzyme turnover; metabolic regulation; mitochondrial metabolism; peroxisome
  5. Cell Metab. 2023 Jan 03. pii: S1550-4131(22)00544-7. [Epub ahead of print]35(1): 5-7
      Lactate has emerged as a central metabolic fuel and an important signaling molecule. In this issue of Cell Metabolism, Li et al. develop a high-quality lactate sensor, allowing them to monitor lactate levels in cells, subcellular organelles, live mice, and human body fluids.
  6. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 03. 14(1): 39
      The mitochondrial F1FO-ATP synthase produces the bulk of cellular ATP. The soluble F1 domain contains the catalytic head that is linked via the central stalk and the peripheral stalk to the membrane embedded rotor of the FO domain. The assembly of the F1 domain and its linkage to the peripheral stalk is poorly understood. Here we show a dual function of the mitochondrial Hsp70 (mtHsp70) in the formation of the ATP synthase. First, it cooperates with the assembly factors Atp11 and Atp12 to form the F1 domain of the ATP synthase. Second, the chaperone transfers Atp5 into the assembly line to link the catalytic head with the peripheral stalk. Inactivation of mtHsp70 leads to integration of assembly-defective Atp5 variants into the mature complex, reflecting a quality control function of the chaperone. Thus, mtHsp70 acts as an assembly and quality control factor in the biogenesis of the F1FO-ATP synthase.
  7. Cell Metab. 2023 Jan 03. pii: S1550-4131(22)00492-2. [Epub ahead of print]35(1): 12-35
      Both aging and cancer are characterized by a series of partially overlapping "hallmarks" that we subject here to a meta-analysis. Several hallmarks of aging (i.e., genomic instability, epigenetic alterations, chronic inflammation, and dysbiosis) are very similar to specific cancer hallmarks and hence constitute common "meta-hallmarks," while other features of aging (i.e., telomere attrition and stem cell exhaustion) act likely to suppress oncogenesis and hence can be viewed as preponderantly "antagonistic hallmarks." Disabled macroautophagy and cellular senescence are two hallmarks of aging that exert context-dependent oncosuppressive and pro-tumorigenic effects. Similarly, the equivalence or antagonism between aging-associated deregulated nutrient-sensing and cancer-relevant alterations of cellular metabolism is complex. The agonistic and antagonistic relationship between the processes that drive aging and cancer has bearings for the age-related increase and oldest age-related decrease of cancer morbidity and mortality, as well as for the therapeutic management of malignant disease in the elderly.
    Keywords:  aging; cancer; carcinogenesis; metabolism; oncogenesis; tumor progression
  8. Cell Metab. 2023 Jan 03. pii: S1550-4131(22)00540-X. [Epub ahead of print]35(1): 118-133.e7
      Immunoediting sculpts immunogenicity and thwarts host anti-tumor responses in tumor cells during tumorigenesis; however, it remains unknown whether metabolic programming of tumor cells can be guided by immunosurveillance. Here, we report that T cell-mediated immunosurveillance in early-stage tumorigenesis instructs c-Myc upregulation and metabolic reprogramming in tumor cells. This previously unexplored tumor-immune interaction is controlled by non-canonical interferon gamma (IFNγ)-STAT3 signaling and supports tumor immune evasion. Our findings uncover that immunoediting instructs deregulated bioenergetic programs in tumor cells to empower them to disarm the T cell-mediated immunosurveillance by imposing metabolic tug-of-war between tumor and infiltrating T cells and forming the suppressive tumor microenvironment.
    Keywords:  IFNγ; Myc; STAT3; immunoediting; immunosurveillance; tumor immunology
  9. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jan 10. 120(2): e2204750120
      Exercise is a nonpharmacological intervention that improves health during aging and a valuable tool in the diagnostics of aging-related diseases. In muscle, exercise transiently alters mitochondrial functionality and metabolism. Mitochondrial fission and fusion are critical effectors of mitochondrial plasticity, which allows a fine-tuned regulation of organelle connectiveness, size, and function. Here we have investigated the role of mitochondrial dynamics during exercise in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that in body-wall muscle, a single exercise session induces a cycle of mitochondrial fragmentation followed by fusion after a recovery period, and that daily exercise sessions delay the mitochondrial fragmentation and physical fitness decline that occur with aging. Maintenance of proper mitochondrial dynamics is essential for physical fitness, its enhancement by exercise training, and exercise-induced remodeling of the proteome. Surprisingly, among the long-lived genotypes we analyzed (isp-1,nuo-6, daf-2, eat-2, and CA-AAK-2), constitutive activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) uniquely preserves physical fitness during aging, a benefit that is abolished by impairment of mitochondrial fission or fusion. AMPK is also required for physical fitness to be enhanced by exercise, with our findings together suggesting that exercise may enhance muscle function through AMPK regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. Our results indicate that mitochondrial connectivity and the mitochondrial dynamics cycle are essential for maintaining physical fitness and exercise responsiveness during aging and suggest that AMPK activation may recapitulate some exercise benefits. Targeting mechanisms to optimize mitochondrial fission and fusion, as well as AMPK activation, may represent promising strategies for promoting muscle function during aging.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; aging; exercise; mitochondrial fission; mitochondrial fusion
  10. FEBS J. 2023 Jan 03.
      Exploring mechanisms responsible for brown adipose tissue's (BAT) high metabolic activity is crucial to exploit its energy dissipating ability for therapeutic purposes. Basigin (Bsg), a multifunctional highly glycosylated transmembrane protein - was recently proposed as one of 98 critical markers allowing to distinguish "white" and "brown" adipocytes, yet its function in thermogenic brown adipocytes is unknown. Here, we report that Bsg is negatively associated with obesity in mice. In contrast, Bsg expression increased in the mature adipocyte fraction of BAT upon cold acclimation. Additionally, Bsg levels were highly induced during brown adipocyte maturation in vitro, and were further increased upon β-adrenergic stimulation in a HIF-1α dependent manner. siRNA-mediated Bsg gene silencing in cultured brown adipocytes did not impact adipogenesis nor mitochondrial function. However, a significant decrease in mitochondrial respiration, lipolysis and Ucp1 transcription was observed in adipocytes lacking Bsg, when activated by norepinephrine. Furthermore, using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry-time-of-flight (GC/MS-TOF) analysis to assess the composition of cellular metabolites, we demonstrate that brown adipocytes lacking Bsg have lower levels of intracellular lactate and acetoacetate (AcAc). Bsg was additionally required to regulate intracellular AcAc and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediate levels in NE-stimulated adipocytes. Our study highlights the critical role of Bsg in active brown adipocytes, possibly by controlling cellular metabolism.
    Keywords:  Adipocyte; Basigin; Brown adipose tissue; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Thermogenesis; Ucp1
  11. Cell Rep. 2022 Dec 23. pii: S2211-1247(22)01798-3. [Epub ahead of print] 111899
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis requires molecular regulators that tailor mitochondrial bioenergetics to the needs of protein folding. For instance, calnexin maintains mitochondria metabolism and mitochondria-ER contacts (MERCs) through reactive oxygen species (ROS) from NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4). However, induction of ER stress requires a quick molecular rewiring of mitochondria to adapt to new energy needs. This machinery is not characterized. We now show that the oxidoreductase ERO1⍺ covalently interacts with protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK) upon treatment with tunicamycin. The PERK-ERO1⍺ interaction requires the C-terminal active site of ERO1⍺ and cysteine 216 of PERK. Moreover, we show that the PERK-ERO1⍺ complex promotes oxidization of MERC proteins and controls mitochondrial dynamics. Using proteinaceous probes, we determined that these functions improve ER-mitochondria Ca2+ flux to maintain bioenergetics in both organelles, while limiting oxidative stress. Therefore, the PERK-ERO1⍺ complex is a key molecular machinery that allows quick metabolic adaptation to ER stress.
    Keywords:  CP: Metabolism; CP: Molecular biology; ER; ER stress; ERO1; MAMs; MERCs; PERK; bioenergetics; endoplasmic reticulum; mitochondria; mitochondria-associated membranes; mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum contacts; oxidoreductase
  12. Subcell Biochem. 2023 ;102 77-98
      Mitochondria are subcellular organelles present in most eukaryotic cells which play a significant role in numerous aspects of cell biology. These include carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism to generate cellular energy through oxidative phosphorylation, apoptosis, cell signalling, haem biosynthesis and reactive oxygen species production. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a feature of many human ageing tissues, and since the discovery that mitochondrial DNA mutations were a major underlying cause of changes in oxidative phosphorylation capacity, it has been proposed that they have a role in human ageing. However, there is still much debate on whether mitochondrial DNA mutations play a causal role in ageing or are simply a consequence of the ageing process. This chapter describes the structure of mammalian mitochondria, and the unique features of mitochondrial genetics, and reviews the current evidence surrounding the role of mitochondrial DNA mutations in the ageing process. It then focusses on more recent discoveries regarding the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in stem cell ageing and age-related inflammation.
    Keywords:  Ageing; Cellular damage; DNA; Free radical damage; Mitochondria; Molecular damage; Mutations
  13. EMBO Rep. 2023 Jan 02. e55643
      Extensive desmoplasia and poor vasculature renders pancreatic tumors severely hypoxic, contributing to their aggressiveness and therapy resistance. Here, we identify the HuR/MYB/HIF1α axis as a critical regulator of the metabolic plasticity and hypoxic survival of pancreatic cancer cells. HuR undergoes nuclear-to-cytoplasmic translocation under hypoxia and stabilizes MYB transcripts, while MYB transcriptionally upregulates HIF1α. Upon MYB silencing, pancreatic cancer cells fail to survive and adapt metabolically under hypoxia, despite forced overexpression of HIF1α. MYB induces the transcription of several HIF1α-regulated glycolytic genes by directly binding to their promoters, thus enhancing the recruitment of HIF1α to hypoxia-responsive elements through its interaction with p300-dependent histone acetylation. MYB-depleted pancreatic cancer cells exhibit a dramatic reduction in tumorigenic ability, glucose-uptake and metabolism in orthotopic mouse model, even after HIF1α restoration. Together, our findings reveal an essential role of MYB in metabolic reprogramming that supports pancreatic cancer cell survival under hypoxia.
    Keywords:  HIF1α; MYB; hypoxia; metabolic reprogramming; pancreatic cancer
  14. STAR Protoc. 2022 Dec 16. pii: S2666-1667(22)00702-X. [Epub ahead of print]3(4): 101822
      The accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, yet the dynamics of mitochondrial turnover in neurons are unclear. Here, we describe a protocol to monitor the degradation of spectrally distinct, "aged" mitochondrial populations. We describe the preparation and transfection of primary rat hippocampal neuron cultures. We detail a mitochondrial-damaging assay, a SNAP pulse-chase labeling paradigm, and live imaging to visualize the mitochondrial network. Finally, we provide steps to quantify mitochondrial turnover via lysosomal fusion. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Evans and Holzbaur (2020a).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell culture; Cell-based Assays; Metabolism; Microscopy; Molecular Biology; Molecular/Chemical Probes; Neuroscience
  15. J Biol Chem. 2023 Jan 02. pii: S0021-9258(22)01308-4. [Epub ahead of print] 102865
      Mitochondrial ribosomes are specialized to translate the 13 membrane proteins encoded in the mitochondrial genome, which shapes the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes essential for cellular energy metabolism. Despite the importance of mitochondrial translation control, it is challenging to identify and quantify the mitochondrial-encoded proteins due to their hydrophobic nature and low abundance. Here, we introduce a mass spectrometry-based proteomic method that combines biochemical isolation of mitochondria with pulse stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (pSILAC). Our method provides the highest protein identification rate with the shortest measurement time among currently available methods, enabling us to quantify 12 out of the 13 mitochondrial-encoded proteins. We applied this method to uncover the global picture of (post-)translational regulation of both mitochondrial- and nuclear-encoded subunits of OXPHOS complexes. We found that inhibition of mitochondrial translation led to degradation of orphan nuclear-encoded subunits that are considered to form subcomplexes with the mitochondrial-encoded subunits. This method should be readily applicable to study mitochondrial translation programs in many contexts, including oxidative stress and mitochondrial disease.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; OXPHOS; Protein complex; Proteomics; Translation; pulse SILAC
  16. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 03. 14(1): 30
      The mitochondrial translation machinery highly diverged from its bacterial counterpart. This includes deviation from the universal genetic code, with AGA and AGG codons lacking cognate tRNAs in human mitochondria. The locations of these codons at the end of COX1 and ND6 open reading frames, respectively, suggest they might function as stop codons. However, while the canonical stop codons UAA and UAG are known to be recognized by mtRF1a, the release mechanism at AGA and AGG codons remains a debated issue. Here, we show that upon the loss of another member of the mitochondrial release factor family, mtRF1, mitoribosomes accumulate specifically at AGA and AGG codons. Stalling of mitoribosomes alters COX1 transcript and protein levels, but not ND6 synthesis. In addition, using an in vitro reconstituted mitochondrial translation system, we demonstrate the specific peptide release activity of mtRF1 at the AGA and AGG codons. Together, our results reveal the role of mtRF1 in translation termination at non-canonical stop codons in mitochondria.
  17. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2023 Jan 04. e13921
      Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ ) is an evolutionarily highly conserved coenzyme with multi-faceted cell functions, including energy metabolism, molecular signaling processes, epigenetic regulation, and DNA repair. Since the discovery that lower NAD+ levels are a shared characteristic of various diseases and ageing per se, several NAD+ -boosting strategies have emerged. Other than pharmacological and nutritional approaches, exercise is thought to restore NAD+ homeostasis through metabolic adaption to chronically recurring states of increased energy demand. In this review we discuss the impact of acute exercise and exercise training on tissue-specific NAD+ metabolism of rodents and humans to highlight the potential value as NAD+ -boosting strategy. By interconnecting results from different investigations, we aim to draw attention to tissue-specific alterations in NAD+ metabolism and the associated implications for whole-body NAD+ homeostasis. Acute exercise led to profound alterations of intracellular NAD+ metabolism in various investigations, with the magnitude and direction of changes being strongly dependent on the applied exercise modality, cell type, and investigated animal model or human population. Exercise training elevated NAD+ levels and NAD+ metabolism enzymes in various tissues. Based on these results, we discuss molecular mechanisms that might connect acute exercise-induced disruptions of NAD+ /NADH homeostasis to chronic exercise adaptions in NAD+ metabolism. Taking this hypothesis-driven approach, we hope to inspire future research on the molecular mechanisms of exercise as NAD+ -modifying lifestyle intervention, thereby elucidating the potential therapeutic value in NAD+ -related pathologies.
    Keywords:  NAD+; NADH; Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide; exercise; health; metabolism
  18. Cancer Res. 2023 Jan 03. pii: CAN-22-2045. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) exhibits severe hypoxia, which is associated with chemoresistance and worse patient outcome. It has been reported that hypoxia induces metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells. However, it is not well known whether metabolic reprogramming contributes to hypoxia. Here, we established that increased glutamine catabolism is a fundamental mechanism inducing hypoxia, and thus chemoresistance, in PDAC cells. An extracellular matrix (ECM) component-based in vitro 3D cell printing model with patient-derived PDAC cells that recapitulates the hypoxic status in PDAC tumors showed that chemoresistant PDAC cells exhibit markedly enhanced glutamine catabolism compared to chemoresponsive PDAC cells. The augmented glutamine metabolic flux increased the oxygen consumption rate via mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), promoting hypoxia and hypoxia-induced chemoresistance. Targeting glutaminolysis relieved hypoxia and improved chemotherapy efficacy in vitro and in vivo. This work suggests that targeting the glutaminolysis-OXPHOS-hypoxia axis is a novel therapeutic target for treating patients with chemoresistant PDAC.
  19. Nat Metab. 2023 Jan 02.
      Enhanced glycolysis and accumulation of lactate is a common feature in various types of cancer. Intracellular lactate drives a recently described type of posttranslational modification, lysine lactylation (Kla), on core histones. However, the impact of lactylation on biological processes of tumour cells remains largely unknown. Here we show a global lactylome profiling on a prospectively collected hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cohort. Integrative lactylome and proteome analysis of the tumours and adjacent livers identifies 9,275 Kla sites, with 9,256 sites on non-histone proteins, indicating that Kla is a prevalent modification beyond histone proteins and transcriptional regulation. Notably, Kla preferentially affects enzymes involved in metabolic pathways, including the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and carbohydrate, amino acid, fatty acid and nucleotide metabolism. We further verify that lactylation at K28 inhibits the function of adenylate kinase 2, facilitating the proliferation and metastasis of HCC cells. Our study therefore reveals that Kla plays an important role in regulating cellular metabolism and may contribute to HCC progression.
  20. Methods Mol Biol. 2023 ;2614 109-120
      One method of immune evasion that cancer cells employ is the secretion of immune regulatory metabolites into the tumor microenvironment (TME). These metabolites can promote immunosuppressive cell subsets, while inhibiting key tumor-killing subsets, such as T cells. Thus, the identification of these metabolites may help develop methods for improving cell-based therapy. However, after identifying a potential immune regulatory metabolite, it is crucial to assess the impacts of the metabolite on T cell immunobiology. In this chapter, we describe an in vitro method of testing and analyzing the influence of a specific metabolite on T cell proliferation and function.
    Keywords:  Human T cells; Immunosuppressive; Metabolites; T cell function
  21. Cancer Sci. 2023 Jan 05.
      To meet cellular bioenergetic and biosynthetic demands, cancer cells remodel their metabolism to increase glycolytic flux, a phenomenon known as the Warburg effect and believed to contribute to cancer malignancy. Among glycolytic enzymes, phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK1) has been shown to act as a rate-limiting enzyme and to facilitate the Warburg effect in cancer cells. In this study, however, we found that decreased PFK1 activity did not affect cell survival or proliferation in cancer cells. This raised a question regarding the importance of PFK1 in malignancy. To gain insights into the role of PFK1 in cancer metabolism and the possibility of adopting it as a novel anti-cancer therapeutic target, we screened for genes that caused lethality when they were knocked down in the presence of tryptolinamide (TLAM), a PFK1 inhibitor. The screen revealed a synthetic chemical-genetic interaction between genes encoding subunits of ATP synthase (complex V) and TLAM. Indeed, after TLAM treatment, the sensitivity of HeLa cells to oligomycin A (OMA), an ATP synthase inhibitor, was 13,000 times higher than that of untreated cells. Furthermore, this sensitivity potentiation by TLAM treatment was recapitulated by genetic mutations of PFK1. By contrast, TLAM did not potentiate the sensitivity of normal fibroblast cell lines to OMA, possibly due to their reduced energy demands compared to cancer cells. We also showed that the PFK1-mediated glycolytic pathway can act as an energy reservoir. Selective potentiation of the efficacy of ATP synthase inhibitors by PFK1 inhibition may serve as a foundation for novel anti-cancer therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; PFK1; Warburg effect; glycolysis; shRNA screening
  22. Cell. 2022 Dec 26. pii: S0092-8674(22)01377-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aging is driven by hallmarks fulfilling the following three premises: (1) their age-associated manifestation, (2) the acceleration of aging by experimentally accentuating them, and (3) the opportunity to decelerate, stop, or reverse aging by therapeutic interventions on them. We propose the following twelve hallmarks of aging: genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, disabled macroautophagy, deregulated nutrient-sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, altered intercellular communication, chronic inflammation, and dysbiosis. These hallmarks are interconnected among each other, as well as to the recently proposed hallmarks of health, which include organizational features of spatial compartmentalization, maintenance of homeostasis, and adequate responses to stress.
  23. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jan 10. 120(2): e2214829120
      Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a global health challenge whose incidence is growing worldwide. Previous evidence strongly supported the notion that the circadian clock controls physiological homeostasis of the liver and plays a key role in hepatocarcinogenesis. Despite the progress, cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning this HCC-clock crosstalk remain unknown. Addressing this knowledge gap, we show here that although the human HCC cells Hep3B, HepG2, and Huh7 displayed variations in circadian rhythm profiles, all cells relied on the master circadian clock transcription factors, BMAL1 and CLOCK, for sustained cell growth. Down-regulating Bmal1 or Clock in the HCC cells induced apoptosis and arrested cell cycle at the G2/M phase. Mechanistically, we found that inhibiting Bmal1/Clock induced dysregulation of the cell cycle regulators Wee1 and p21 which cooperatively contribute to tumor cell death. Bmal1/Clock knockdown caused downregulation of Wee1 that led to apoptosis activation and upregulation of p21 which arrested the cell cycle at the G2/M phase. Collectively, our results suggest that the circadian clock regulators BMAL1 and CLOCK promote HCC cell proliferation by controlling Wee1 and p21 levels, thereby preventing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Our findings shed light on cellular impact of the clock proteins for maintaining HCC oncogenesis and provide proof-of-principle for developing cancer therapy based on modulation of the circadian clock.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; cell cycle; circadian clock; hepatocellular carcinoma
  24. Cell Metab. 2023 Jan 03. pii: S1550-4131(22)00541-1. [Epub ahead of print]35(1): 166-183.e11
      Microproteins (MPs) are a potentially rich source of uncharacterized metabolic regulators. Here, we use ribosome profiling (Ribo-seq) to curate 3,877 unannotated MP-encoding small ORFs (smORFs) in primary brown, white, and beige mouse adipocytes. Of these, we validated 85 MPs by proteomics, including 33 circulating MPs in mouse plasma. Analyses of MP-encoding mRNAs under different physiological conditions (high-fat diet) revealed that numerous MPs are regulated in adipose tissue in vivo and are co-expressed with established metabolic genes. Furthermore, Ribo-seq provided evidence for the translation of Gm8773, which encodes a secreted MP that is homologous to human and chicken FAM237B. Gm8773 is highly expressed in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, and intracerebroventricular administration of recombinant mFAM237B showed orexigenic activity in obese mice. Together, these data highlight the value of this adipocyte MP database in identifying MPs with roles in fundamental metabolic and physiological processes such as feeding.
    Keywords:  Ribo-seq; brown adipose tissue; data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry; diet-induced obesity; microproteins; ribosome profiling; secreted microproteins; small ORFs; white adipose tissue
  25. Free Radic Biol Med. 2022 Dec 31. pii: S0891-5849(22)01132-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      The polymerase delta interacting protein 2 (Poldip2) is a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein required for oxidative metabolism. Under hypoxia, Poldip2 expression is repressed by an unknown mechanism. Therefore, low levels of Poldip2 are required to maintain glycolytic metabolism. The Cellular Communication Network Factor 2 (CCN2, Connective tissue growth factor, CTGF) is a profibrogenic molecule highly expressed in cancer and vascular inflammation in advanced atherosclerosis. Because CCN2 is upregulated under hypoxia and is associated with glycolytic metabolism, we hypothesize that Poldip2 downregulation is responsible for the upregulation of profibrotic signaling under hypoxia. Here, we report that Poldip2 is repressed under hypoxia by a mechanism that requires the activation of the enhancer of zeste homolog 2 repressive complex (EZH2) downstream from the Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2 (CDK2). Importantly, we found that Poldip2 repression is required for CCN2 expression downstream of metabolic inhibition of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS)-dependent stabilization of the serum response factor. Pharmacological or gene expression inhibition of CDK2 under hypoxia reverses Poldip2 downregulation, the inhibition of the UPS, and the expression of CCN2, collagen, and fibronectin. Thus, our findings connect cell cycle regulation and proteasome activity to mitochondrial function and fibrotic responses under hypoxia.
    Keywords:  CCN2; Cell cycle; Hypoxia; Mitochondria; Poldip2; Proteasome
  26. Nature. 2023 Jan 04.
      To survive, animals must convert sensory information into appropriate behaviours1,2. Vision is a common sense for locating ethologically relevant stimuli and guiding motor responses3-5. How circuitry converts object location in retinal coordinates to movement direction in body coordinates remains largely unknown. Here we show through behaviour, physiology, anatomy and connectomics in Drosophila that visuomotor transformation occurs by conversion of topographic maps formed by the dendrites of feature-detecting visual projection neurons (VPNs)6,7 into synaptic weight gradients of VPN outputs onto central brain neurons. We demonstrate how this gradient motif transforms the anteroposterior location of a visual looming stimulus into the fly's directional escape. Specifically, we discover that two neurons postsynaptic to a looming-responsive VPN type promote opposite takeoff directions. Opposite synaptic weight gradients onto these neurons from looming VPNs in different visual field regions convert localized looming threats into correctly oriented escapes. For a second looming-responsive VPN type, we demonstrate graded responses along the dorsoventral axis. We show that this synaptic gradient motif generalizes across all 20 primary VPN cell types and most often arises without VPN axon topography. Synaptic gradients may thus be a general mechanism for conveying spatial features of sensory information into directed motor outputs.
  27. Cell Metab. 2023 Jan 03. pii: S1550-4131(22)00543-5. [Epub ahead of print]35(1): 150-165.e4
      Time-restricted feeding (TRF) is an emerging behavioral nutrition intervention that involves a daily cycle of feeding and fasting. In both animals and humans, TRF has pleiotropic health benefits that arise from multiple organ systems, yet the molecular basis of TRF-mediated benefits is not well understood. Here, we subjected mice to isocaloric ad libitum feeding (ALF) or TRF of a western diet and examined gene expression changes in samples taken from 22 organs and brain regions collected every 2 h over a 24-h period. We discovered that TRF profoundly impacts gene expression. Nearly 80% of all genes show differential expression or rhythmicity under TRF in at least one tissue. Functional annotation of these changes revealed tissue- and pathway-specific impacts of TRF. These findings and resources provide a critical foundation for future mechanistic studies and will help to guide human time-restricted eating (TRE) interventions to treat various disease conditions with or without pharmacotherapies.
    Keywords:  circadian clock; feeding-fasting rhythms; hepatic metabolomics; metabolic flexibility; metabolic syndrome; multi-tissue transcriptomics; time-restricted feeding
  28. Nat Cell Biol. 2023 Jan 05.
      Phenotypic plasticity associated with the hybrid epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is crucial to metastatic seeding and outgrowth. However, the mechanisms governing the hybrid EMT state remain poorly defined. Here we showed that deletion of the epigenetic regulator MLL3, a tumour suppressor frequently altered in human cancer, promoted the acquisition of hybrid EMT in breast cancer cells. Distinct from other EMT regulators that mediate only unidirectional changes, MLL3 loss enhanced responses to stimuli inducing EMT and mesenchymal-epithelial transition in epithelial and mesenchymal cells, respectively. Consequently, MLL3 loss greatly increased metastasis by enhancing metastatic colonization. Mechanistically, MLL3 loss led to increased IFNγ signalling, which contributed to the induction of hybrid EMT cells and enhanced metastatic capacity. Furthermore, BET inhibition effectively suppressed the growth of MLL3-mutant primary tumours and metastases. These results uncovered MLL3 mutation as a key driver of hybrid EMT and metastasis in breast cancer that could be targeted therapeutically.
  29. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 03. 14(1): 1
      Pancreatic cancer is characterized by abundant desmoplasia, a dense stroma composed of extra-cellular and cellular components, with cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) being the major cellular component. However, the tissue(s) of origin for CAFs remains controversial. Here we determine the tissue origin of pancreatic CAFs through comprehensive lineage tracing studies in mice. We find that the splanchnic mesenchyme, the fetal cell layer surrounding the endoderm from which the pancreatic epithelium originates, gives rise to the majority of resident fibroblasts in the normal pancreas. In a genetic mouse model of pancreatic cancer, resident fibroblasts expand and constitute the bulk of CAFs. Single cell RNA profiling identifies gene expression signatures that are shared among the fetal splanchnic mesenchyme, adult fibroblasts and CAFs, suggesting a persistent transcriptional program underlies splanchnic lineage differentiation. Together, this study defines the phylogeny of the mesenchymal component of the pancreas and provides insights into pancreatic morphogenesis and tumorigenesis.
  30. Sci Adv. 2023 Jan 04. 9(1): eadc8917
      Although excessive lipid accumulation is a hallmark of obesity-related pathologies, some lipids are beneficial. Oleic acid (OA), the most abundant monounsaturated fatty acid (FA), promotes health and longevity. Here, we show that OA benefits Caenorhabditis elegans by activating the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident transcription factor SKN-1A (Nrf1/NFE2L1) in a lipid homeostasis response. SKN-1A/Nrf1 is cleared from the ER by the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) machinery and stabilized when proteasome activity is low and canonically maintains proteasome homeostasis. Unexpectedly, OA increases nuclear SKN-1A levels independently of proteasome activity, through lipid droplet-dependent enhancement of ERAD. In turn, SKN-1A reduces steatosis by reshaping the lipid metabolism transcriptome and mediates longevity from OA provided through endogenous accumulation, reduced H3K4 trimethylation, or dietary supplementation. Our findings reveal an unexpected mechanism of FA signal transduction, as well as a lipid homeostasis pathway that provides strategies for opposing steatosis and aging, and may mediate some benefits of the OA-rich Mediterranean diet.