bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2023‒02‒05
forty-nine papers selected by
Christian Frezza
University Hospital Cologne

  1. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 04. pii: 2023.01.03.522637. [Epub ahead of print]
      The molecular circadian clock, which controls rhythmic 24-hour oscillation of genes, proteins, and metabolites, is disrupted across many human cancers. Deregulated expression of MYC oncoprotein has been shown to alter expression of molecular clock genes, leading to a disruption of molecular clock oscillation across cancer types. It remains unclear what benefit cancer cells gain from suppressing clock oscillation, and how this loss of molecular clock oscillation impacts global gene expression and metabolism in cancer. We hypothesized that MYC suppresses oscillation of gene expression and metabolism to instead upregulate pathways involved in biosynthesis in a static, non-oscillatory fashion. To test this, cells from distinct cancer types with inducible MYC or the closely related N-MYC were examined, using detailed time-series RNA-sequencing and metabolomics, to determine the extent to which MYC activation disrupts global oscillation of genes, gene expression, programs, and metabolites. We focused our analyses on genes, pathways, and metabolites that changed in common across multiple cancer cell line models. We report here that MYC disrupted over 85% of oscillating genes, while instead promoting enhanced ribosomal and mitochondrial biogenesis and suppressed cell attachment pathways. Notably, when MYC is activated, biosynthetic programs that were formerly circadian flipped to being upregulated in an oscillation-free manner. Further, activation of MYC ablates the oscillation of nutrient transporter glycosylation while greatly upregulating transporter expression, cell surface localization, and intracellular amino acid pools. Finally, we report that MYC disrupts metabolite oscillations and the temporal segregation of amino acid metabolism from nucleotide metabolism. Our results demonstrate that MYC disruption of the molecular circadian clock releases metabolic and biosynthetic processes from circadian control, which may provide a distinct advantage to cancer cells.
  2. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 11. pii: 2023.01.11.523512. [Epub ahead of print]
      Neuronal activity is an energy-intensive process that is largely sustained by instantaneous fuel utilization and ATP synthesis. However, how neurons couple ATP synthesis rate to fuel availability is largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the metabolic sensor enzyme O-GlcNAc transferase regulates neuronal activity-driven mitochondrial bioenergetics. We show that neuronal activity upregulates O-GlcNAcylation mainly in mitochondria. Mitochondrial O-GlcNAcylation is promoted by activity-driven fuel consumption, which allows neurons to compensate for high energy expenditure based on fuel availability. To determine the proteins that are responsible for these adjustments, we mapped the mitochondrial O-GlcNAcome of neurons. Finally, we determine that neurons fail to meet activity-driven metabolic demand when O-GlcNAcylation dynamics are prevented. Our findings suggest that O-GlcNAcylation provides a fuel-dependent feedforward control mechanism in neurons to optimize mitochondrial performance based on neuronal activity. This mechanism thereby couples neuronal metabolism to mitochondrial bioenergetics and plays a key role in sustaining energy homeostasis.
  3. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 12. pii: 2023.01.11.523668. [Epub ahead of print]
      The folate-dependent enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) reversibly converts serine into glycine and a tetrahydrofolate-bound one-carbon unit. Such one-carbon unit production plays a critical role in development, the immune system, and cancer. Here we show that the whole-body SHMT flux acts to net consume rather than produce glycine. Pharmacological inhibition of whole-body SHMT1/2 and genetic knockout of liver SHMT2 elevated circulating glycine levels up to eight-fold. Stable isotope tracing revealed that the liver converts glycine to serine, which is then converted by serine dehydratase into pyruvate and burned in the tricarboxylic acid cycle. In response to diets deficient in serine and glycine, de novo biosynthetic flux was unaltered but SHMT2- and serine dehydratase-mediated catabolic flux was lower. Thus, glucose-derived serine synthesis does not respond to systemic demand. Instead, circulating serine and glycine homeostasis is maintained through variable consumption, with liver SHMT2 as a major glycine-consuming enzyme.
  4. Cell Rep. 2023 Jan 31. pii: S2211-1247(23)00078-5. [Epub ahead of print]42(2): 112067
      The generation of neurons from quiescent radial-glia-like neural stem cells (RGLs) in adult brain goes hand in hand with the modulation of cellular metabolism. However, it is still unclear how the exact metabolic program governs the balance between quiescent and activated RGLs. Here, we find that loss of mitochondrial D-2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase (D2HGDH) leads to aberrant accumulation of D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2-HG) and impaired RGL activation. Mechanistically, accumulated D-2-HG bonds directly to ATP-citrate lyase and competitively inhibits its enzymatic activity, thereby reducing acetyl-CoA production and diminishing histone acetylation. However, administration of acetate restores the acetyl-CoA levels via acetyl-CoA synthetase-mediated catabolism and rescues the deficiencies in histone acetylation and RGL activation caused by loss of D2HGDH. Therefore, our findings define the role of cross talk between mitochondria and the nucleus via a mitochondrial metabolite, D-2-HG, the aberrant accumulation of which hinders the regulation of histone acetylation in RGL activation and attenuates continuous neurogenesis in adult mammalian brain.
    Keywords:  ATP-citrate lyase; CP: Neuroscience; CP: Stem cell research; D-2-hydroxyglutarate; D-2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase; adult neurogenesis; histone acetylation; neural stem cells
  5. Nat Cancer. 2023 Feb 02.
      Metabolic rewiring is often considered an adaptive pressure limiting metastasis formation; however, some nutrients available at distant organs may inherently promote metastatic growth. We find that the lung and liver are lipid-rich environments. Moreover, we observe that pre-metastatic niche formation increases palmitate availability only in the lung, whereas a high-fat diet increases it in both organs. In line with this, targeting palmitate processing inhibits breast cancer-derived lung metastasis formation. Mechanistically, breast cancer cells use palmitate to synthesize acetyl-CoA in a carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1a-dependent manner. Concomitantly, lysine acetyltransferase 2a expression is promoted by palmitate, linking the available acetyl-CoA to the acetylation of the nuclear factor-kappaB subunit p65. Deletion of lysine acetyltransferase 2a or carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1a reduces metastasis formation in lean and high-fat diet mice, and lung and liver metastases from patients with breast cancer show coexpression of both proteins. In conclusion, palmitate-rich environments foster metastases growth by increasing p65 acetylation, resulting in a pro-metastatic nuclear factor-kappaB signaling.
  6. Nat Metab. 2023 Feb 02.
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) controls cell growth in response to amino acid and glucose levels. However, how mTORC1 senses glucose availability to regulate various downstream signalling pathways remains largely elusive. Here we report that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-mediated phosphorylation of WDR24, a core component of the GATOR2 complex, has a role in the glucose-sensing capability of mTORC1. Mechanistically, glucose deprivation activates AMPK, which directly phosphorylates WDR24 on S155, subsequently disrupting the integrity of the GATOR2 complex to suppress mTORC1 activation. Phosphomimetic Wdr24S155D knock-in mice exhibit early embryonic lethality and reduced mTORC1 activity. On the other hand, compared to wild-type littermates, phospho-deficient Wdr24S155A knock-in mice are more resistant to fasting and display elevated mTORC1 activity. Our findings reveal that AMPK-mediated phosphorylation of WDR24 modulates glucose-induced mTORC1 activation, thereby providing a rationale for targeting AMPK-WDR24 signalling to fine-tune mTORC1 activation as a potential therapeutic means to combat human diseases with aberrant activation of mTORC1 signalling including cancer.
  7. Blood. 2023 Feb 03. pii: blood.2022017584. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolic programs contribute to hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) fate, but it is not known whether the metabolic regulation of protein synthesis controls HSPC differentiation. Here, we show that SLC7A1/CAT1-dependent arginine uptake and its catabolism to the polyamine spermidine control human erythroid specification of HSPCs via activation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A). eIF5A activity is dependent on its hypusination, a post-translational modification resulting from the conjugation of the aminobutyl moiety of spermidine to lysine. Notably, attenuation of hypusine synthesis in erythroid progenitors--by inhibition of deoxyhypusine synthase--abrogates erythropoiesis but not myeloid cell differentiation. Proteomic profiling reveals mitochondrial translation to be a critical target of hypusinated eIF5A and accordingly, progenitors with decreased hypusine activity exhibit diminished oxidative phosphorylation. This impacted pathway is critical for eIF5A-regulated erythropoiesis as interventions augmenting mitochondrial function partially rescue human erythropoiesis under conditions of attenuated hypusination. Levels of mitochondrial ribosomal proteins were especially sensitive to the loss of hypusine and we find that the ineffective erythropoiesis linked to haploinsufficiency of RPS14 in del(5q) myelodysplastic syndrome is associated with a diminished pool of hypusinated eIF5A. Moreover, patients with RPL11-haploinsufficient Diamond-Blackfan anemia as well as CD34+ progenitors with downregulated RPL11 exhibit a markedly decreased hypusination in erythroid progenitors, concomitant with a loss of mitochondrial metabolism. Thus, eIF5A-dependent protein synthesis regulates human erythropoiesis and our data reveal a novel role for RPs in controlling eIF5A hypusination in HSPC, synchronizing mitochondrial metabolism with erythroid differentiation.
  8. Nature. 2023 Feb 01.
      Tissues derive ATP from two pathways-glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle coupled to the electron transport chain. Most energy in mammals is produced via TCA metabolism1. In tumours, however, the absolute rates of these pathways remain unclear. Here we optimize tracer infusion approaches to measure the rates of glycolysis and the TCA cycle in healthy mouse tissues, Kras-mutant solid tumours, metastases and leukaemia. Then, given the rates of these two pathways, we calculate total ATP synthesis rates. We find that TCA cycle flux is suppressed in all five primary solid tumour models examined and is increased in lung metastases of breast cancer relative to primary orthotopic tumours. As expected, glycolysis flux is increased in tumours compared with healthy tissues (the Warburg effect2,3), but this increase is insufficient to compensate for low TCA flux in terms of ATP production. Thus, instead of being hypermetabolic, as commonly assumed, solid tumours generally produce ATP at a slower than normal rate. In mouse pancreatic cancer, this is accommodated by the downregulation of protein synthesis, one of this tissue's major energy costs. We propose that, as solid tumours develop, cancer cells shed energetically expensive tissue-specific functions, enabling uncontrolled growth despite a limited ability to produce ATP.
  9. Sci Adv. 2023 Feb 03. 9(5): eade8701
      Macrophage metabolic plasticity enables repurposing of electron transport from energy generation to inflammation and host defense. Altered respiratory complex II function has been implicated in cancer, diabetes, and inflammation, but regulatory mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we show that macrophage inflammatory activation triggers Complex II disassembly and succinate dehydrogenase subunit B loss through sequestration and selective mitophagy. Mitochondrial fission supported lipopolysaccharide-stimulated succinate dehydrogenase subunit B degradation but not sequestration. We hypothesized that this Complex II regulatory mechanism might be coordinated by the mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin. Cardiolipin synthase knockdown prevented lipopolysaccharide-induced metabolic remodeling and Complex II disassembly, sequestration, and degradation. Cardiolipin-depleted macrophages were defective in lipopolysaccharide-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine production, a phenotype partially rescued by Complex II inhibition. Thus, cardiolipin acts as a critical organizer of inflammatory metabolic remodeling.
  10. Sci Adv. 2023 Feb 03. 9(5): eade8641
      Phosphatidylinositol (PI)regulating enzymes are frequently altered in cancer and have become a focus for drug development. Here, we explore the phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate 4-kinases (PI5P4K), a family of lipid kinases that regulate pools of intracellular PI, and demonstrate that the PI5P4Kα isoform influences androgen receptor (AR) signaling, which supports prostate cancer (PCa) cell survival. The regulation of PI becomes increasingly important in the setting of metabolic stress adaptation of PCa during androgen deprivation (AD), as we show that AD influences PI abundance and enhances intracellular pools of PI-4,5-P2. We suggest that this PI5P4Kα-AR relationship is mitigated through mTORC1 dysregulation and show that PI5P4Kα colocalizes to the lysosome, the intracellular site of mTORC1 complex activation. Notably, this relationship becomes prominent in mouse prostate tissue following surgical castration. Finally, multiple PCa cell models demonstrate marked survival vulnerability following stable PI5P4Kα inhibition. These results nominate PI5P4Kα as a target to disrupt PCa metabolic adaptation to castrate resistance.
  11. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 28. 14(1): 465
      Oncogenic KRAS expression generates a metabolic dependency on aerobic glycolysis, known as the Warburg effect. We report an effect of increased glycolytic flux that feeds into glycosphingolipid biosynthesis and is directly linked to KRAS oncogenic function. High resolution imaging and genetic approaches show that a defined subset of outer leaflet glycosphingolipids, including GM3 and SM4, is required to maintain KRAS plasma membrane localization, with GM3 engaging in cross-bilayer coupling to maintain inner leaflet phosphatidylserine content. Thus, glycolysis is critical for KRAS plasma membrane localization and nanoscale spatial organization. Reciprocally oncogenic KRAS selectively upregulates cellular content of these same glycosphingolipids, whose depletion in turn abrogates KRAS oncogenesis in pancreatic cancer models. Our findings expand the role of the Warburg effect beyond ATP generation and biomass building to high-level regulation of KRAS function. The positive feedforward loop between oncogenic KRAS signaling and glycosphingolipid synthesis represents a vulnerability with therapeutic potential.
  12. Cancer Res. 2023 Jan 30. pii: CAN-22-1844. [Epub ahead of print]
      Angiogenesis is vital for tumor growth and metastasis. Emerging evidence suggests that metabolic reprogramming in endothelial cells (ECs) may affect angiogenesis. Here, we showed that multiple regulators in the fructose metabolism pathway, especially fructose transporter SLC2A5 and fructose-metabolizing enzyme ketohexokinase (KHK), were upregulated in tumor endothelial cells from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In mouse models with hepatoma xenografts or with Myc/sgp53-induced liver cancer, dietary fructose enhanced tumor angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis, which could be attenuated by treatment with an inhibitor of SLC2A5. Furthermore, vessel growth was substantially increased in fructose-containing matrigel compared to PBS-matrigel. Inhibiting fructose metabolism in EC cells in vivo using EC-targeted nanoparticles loaded with siRNA against KHK significantly abolished fructose-induced tumor angiogenesis. Fructose treatment promoted the proliferation, migration and tube formation of ECs and stimulated mitochondrial respiration and ATP production. Elevated fructose metabolism activated AMPK to fuel mitochondrial respiration, resulting in enhanced EC migration. Fructose metabolism was increased under hypoxic conditions as a result of HIF1α-mediated upregulation of multiple genes in the fructose metabolism pathway. These findings highlight the significance of fructose metabolism in ECs for promoting tumor angiogenesis. Restricting fructose intake or targeting fructose metabolism is a potential strategy to reduce angiogenesis and suppress tumor growth.
  13. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 22. pii: 2023.01.22.525071. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cytotrophoblasts fuse to form and renew syncytiotrophoblasts necessary to maintain placental health throughout gestation. During cytotrophoblast to syncytiotrophoblast differentiation, cells undergo regulated metabolic and transcriptional reprogramming. Mitochondria play a critical role in differentiation events in cellular systems, thus we hypothesized that mitochondrial metabolism played a central role in trophoblast differentiation. In this work, we employed static and stable isotope tracing untargeted metabolomics methods along with gene expression and histone acetylation studies in an established cell culture model of trophoblast differentiation. Trophoblast differentiation was associated with increased abundance of the TCA cycle intermediates citrate and α-ketoglutarate. Citrate was preferentially exported from mitochondria in the undifferentiated state but was retained to a larger extent within mitochondria upon differentiation. Correspondingly, differentiation was associated with decreased expression of the mitochondrial citrate transporter (CIC). CRISPR/Cas9 disruption of the mitochondrial citrate carrier showed that CIC is required for biochemical differentiation of trophoblasts. Loss of CIC resulted in broad alterations in gene expression and histone acetylation. These gene expression changes were partially rescued through acetate supplementation. Taken together, these results highlight a central role for mitochondrial citrate metabolism in orchestrating histone acetylation and gene expression during trophoblast differentiation.
  14. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 19. pii: 2023.01.19.524708. [Epub ahead of print]
      A complex interplay between mRNA translation and cellular respiration has been recently unveiled, but its regulation in humans is poorly characterized in either health or disease. Cancer cells radically reshape both biosynthetic and bioenergetic pathways to sustain their aberrant growth rates. In this regard, we have shown that the molecular chaperone TRAP1 not only regulates the activity of respiratory complexes, behaving alternatively as an oncogene or a tumor suppressor, but also plays a concomitant moonlighting function in mRNA translation regulation. Herein we identify the molecular mechanisms involved, demonstrating that TRAP1: i) binds both mitochondrial and cytosolic ribosomes as well as translation elongation factors, ii) slows down translation elongation rate, and iii) favors localized translation in the proximity of mitochondria. We also provide evidence that TRAP1 is coexpressed in human tissues with the mitochondrial translational machinery, which is responsible for the synthesis of respiratory complex proteins. Altogether, our results show an unprecedented level of complexity in the regulation of cancer cell metabolism, strongly suggesting the existence of a tight feedback loop between protein synthesis and energy metabolism, based on the demonstration that a single molecular chaperone plays a role in both mitochondrial and cytosolic translation, as well as in mitochondrial respiration.
  15. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 31. 14(1): 512
      The human gut microbiota produces dozens of small molecules that circulate in blood, accumulate to comparable levels as pharmaceutical drugs, and influence host physiology. Despite the importance of these metabolites to human health and disease, the origin of most microbially-produced molecules and their fate in the host remains largely unknown. Here, we uncover a host-microbe co-metabolic pathway for generation of hippuric acid, one of the most abundant organic acids in mammalian urine. Combining stable isotope tracing with bacterial and host genetics, we demonstrate reduction of phenylalanine to phenylpropionic acid by gut bacteria; the host re-oxidizes phenylpropionic acid involving medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD). Generation of germ-free male and female MCAD-/- mice enabled gnotobiotic colonization combined with untargeted metabolomics to identify additional microbial metabolites processed by MCAD in host circulation. Our findings uncover a host-microbe pathway for the abundant, non-toxic phenylalanine metabolite hippurate and identify β-oxidation via MCAD as a novel mechanism by which mammals metabolize microbiota-derived metabolites.
  16. Endocr Rev. 2023 Feb 02. pii: bnad004. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria both sense biochemical and energetic input in addition to communicating signals regarding the energetic state of the cell. Increasingly, these signaling organelles are key for regulating different cell functions. This review summarizes recent advances in mitochondrial communication in striated muscle, with specific focus on the processes by which mitochondria communicate with each other, other organelles and across distant organ systems. Inter-mitochondrial communication in striated muscle is mediated via conduction of the mitochondrial membrane potential to adjacent mitochondria, physical interactions, mitochondrial fusion or fission and via nannotunnels, allowing for the exchange of proteins, mitochondrial DNA, nucleotides, and peptides. Within striated muscle cells, mitochondria-organelle communication can modulate overall cell function. The various mechanisms in which mitochondria communicate mitochondrial fitness to the rest of the body suggest that extracellular mitochondrial signaling is key during health and disease. Whereas mitochondrial-derived vesicles might excrete mitochondrial-derived endocrine compounds, stimulation of mitochondrial stress can lead to the release of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) into the circulation to modulate whole-body physiology. Circulating mitochondrial DNA are well-known alarmins that trigger the immune system and may help to explain low-grade inflammation in various chronic diseases. Impaired mitochondrial function and communication are central in common heart and skeletal muscle pathologies, including cardiomyopathies, insulin resistance, and sarcopenia. Lastly, important new advances in research in mitochondrial endocrinology, communication, medical horizons and translational aspects are discussed.
    Keywords:  FGF21; GDF15; mitochondria-organelle interactions; mitochondrial cristae; mitochondrial dynamics; myokines; respiratory supercomplexes
  17. Autophagy. 2023 Feb 01. 1-3
      Age-related human pathologies present with a multitude of molecular and metabolic phenotypes, which individually or synergistically contribute to tissue degeneration. However, current lack of understanding of the interdependence of these molecular pathologies limits the potential range of existing therapeutic intervention strategies. In our study, we set out to understand the chain of molecular events, which underlie the loss of cellular viability in macroautophagy/autophagy deficiency associated with aging and age-related disease. We discover a novel axis linking autophagy, a cellular waste disposal pathway, and a metabolite, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). The axis connects multiple organelles, molecules and stress response pathways mediating cellular demise when autophagy becomes dysfunctional. By elucidating the steps on the path from efficient mitochondrial recycling to NAD maintenance and ultimately cell viability, we highlight targets potentially receptive to therapeutic interventions in a range of genetic and age-related diseases associated with autophagy dysfunction.Abbreviations: IMM: inner mitochondrial membrane; NAD: nicotinamide dinucleotide; OXPHOS: oxidative phosphorylation; PARP: poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase; ROS: reactive oxygen species.
    Keywords:  Aging; DNA damage; NAD; PARP; ROS; autophagy; mitochondria; mitophagy; sirtuins
  18. Bioessays. 2023 Jan 29. e2200160
      Mitochondria hold diverse and pivotal roles in fundamental processes that govern cell survival, differentiation, and death, in addition to organismal growth, maintenance, and aging. The mitochondrial protein import system is a major contributor to mitochondrial biogenesis and lies at the crossroads between mitochondrial and cellular homeostasis. Recent findings highlight the mitochondrial protein import system as a signaling hub, receiving inputs from other cellular compartments and adjusting its function accordingly. Impairment of protein import, in a physiological, or disease context, elicits adaptive responses inside and outside mitochondria. In this review, we discuss recent developments, relevant to the mechanisms of mitochondrial protein import regulation, with a particular focus on quality control, proteostatic and metabolic cellular responses, triggered upon impairment of mitochondrial protein import.
    Keywords:  metabolism; mitochondrial protein import; mitochondrial unfolded protein response; mitophagy; proteostasis
  19. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 02. 14(1): 562
      Flavin containing monooxygenases (FMOs) are promiscuous enzymes known for metabolizing a wide range of exogenous compounds. In C. elegans, fmo-2 expression increases lifespan and healthspan downstream of multiple longevity-promoting pathways through an unknown mechanism. Here, we report that, beyond its classification as a xenobiotic enzyme, fmo-2 expression leads to rewiring of endogenous metabolism principally through changes in one carbon metabolism (OCM). These changes are likely relevant, as we find that genetically modifying OCM enzyme expression leads to alterations in longevity that interact with fmo-2 expression. Using computer modeling, we identify decreased methylation as the major OCM flux modified by FMO-2 that is sufficient to recapitulate its longevity benefits. We further find that tryptophan is decreased in multiple mammalian FMO overexpression models and is a validated substrate for FMO-2. Our resulting model connects a single enzyme to two previously unconnected key metabolic pathways and provides a framework for the metabolic interconnectivity of longevity-promoting pathways such as dietary restriction. FMOs are well-conserved enzymes that are also induced by lifespan-extending interventions in mice, supporting a conserved and important role in promoting health and longevity through metabolic remodeling.
  20. Nat Metab. 2023 Jan 30.
      The accumulation of acidic metabolic waste products within the tumor microenvironment inhibits effector functions of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). However, it remains unclear how an acidic environment affects T cell metabolism and differentiation. Here we show that prolonged exposure to acid reprograms T cell intracellular metabolism and mitochondrial fitness and preserves T cell stemness. Mechanistically, elevated extracellular acidosis impairs methionine uptake and metabolism via downregulation of SLC7A5, therefore altering H3K27me3 deposition at the promoters of key T cell stemness genes. These changes promote the maintenance of a 'stem-like memory' state and improve long-term in vivo persistence and anti-tumor efficacy in mice. Our findings not only reveal an unexpected capacity of extracellular acidosis to maintain the stem-like properties of T cells, but also advance our understanding of how methionine metabolism affects T cell stemness.
  21. PNAS Nexus. 2022 Sep;1(4): pgac192
      Mitochondria are cellular organelles of crucial relevance for the survival of metazoan organisms. Damage to the mitochondrial DNA can give rise to a variety of mitochondrial diseases and is thought also to be involved in the aging process. The fate of mtDNA mutants is controlled by their synthesis as well as degradation and mathematical models can help to better understand this complex interplay. We present here a model that combines a replicative advantage for mtDNA mutants with selective degradation enabled by mitochondrial fission and fusion processes. The model not only shows that the cell has efficient means to deal with (many) types of mutants but, surprisingly, also predicts that under certain conditions a stable co-existence of mutant and wild-type mtDNAs is possible. We discuss how this new finding might explain how mitochondria can be at the heart of processes with such different phenotypes as mitochondrial diseases and aging.
    Keywords:  aging; mathematical model; mitochondrial disease
  22. Elife. 2023 Feb 01. pii: e82283. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Mitochondrial dysfunction has been reported in obesity and insulin resistance, but primary genetic mitochondrial dysfunction is generally not associated with these, arguing against a straightforward causal relationship. A rare exception, recently identified in humans, is a syndrome of lower body adipose loss, leptin-deficient severe upper body adipose overgrowth, and insulin resistance caused by the p.Arg707Trp mutation in MFN2, encoding mitofusin 2. How the resulting selective form of mitochondrial dysfunction leads to tissue- and adipose depot-specific growth abnormalities and systemic biochemical perturbation is unknown. To address this, Mfn2R707W/R707W knock-in mice were generated and phenotyped on chow and high fat diets. Electron microscopy revealed adipose-specific mitochondrial morphological abnormalities. Oxidative phosphorylation measured in isolated mitochondria was unperturbed, but the cellular integrated stress response was activated in adipose tissue. Fat mass and distribution, body weight, and systemic glucose and lipid metabolism were unchanged, however serum leptin and adiponectin concentrations, and their secretion from adipose explants were reduced. Pharmacological induction of the integrated stress response in wild-type adipocytes also reduced secretion of leptin and adiponectin, suggesting an explanation for the in vivo findings. These data suggest that the p.Arg707Trp MFN2 mutation selectively perturbs mitochondrial morphology and activates the integrated stress response in adipose tissue. In mice, this does not disrupt most adipocyte functions or systemic metabolism, whereas in humans it is associated with pathological adipose remodelling and metabolic disease. In both species, disproportionate effects on leptin secretion may relate to cell autonomous induction of the integrated stress response.
    Keywords:  cell biology; mouse
  23. Nat Metab. 2023 Jan;5(1): 80-95
      Methylmalonic aciduria (MMA) is an inborn error of metabolism with multiple monogenic causes and a poorly understood pathogenesis, leading to the absence of effective causal treatments. Here we employ multi-layered omics profiling combined with biochemical and clinical features of individuals with MMA to reveal a molecular diagnosis for 177 out of 210 (84%) cases, the majority (148) of whom display pathogenic variants in methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MMUT). Stratification of these data layers by disease severity shows dysregulation of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and its replenishment (anaplerosis) by glutamine. The relevance of these disturbances is evidenced by multi-organ metabolomics of a hemizygous Mmut mouse model as well as through identification of physical interactions between MMUT and glutamine anaplerotic enzymes. Using stable-isotope tracing, we find that treatment with dimethyl-oxoglutarate restores deficient tricarboxylic acid cycling. Our work highlights glutamine anaplerosis as a potential therapeutic intervention point in MMA.
  24. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2022 Dec;87(12): 1477-1486
      At the first sight, the transcription factor Nrf2 as a master regulator of cellular antioxidant systems, and mitochondria as the main source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), should play the opposite roles in determining the pace of aging. However, since the causes of aging cannot be confined to the oxidative stress, the role of Nrf2 role cannot be limited to the regulation of antioxidant systems, and moreover, the role of mitochondria is not confined to the ROS production. In this review, we discussed only one aspect of this problem, namely, the molecular mechanisms of interaction between Nrf2 and mitochondria that influence the rate of aging and the lifespan. Experimental data accumulated so far show that the Nrf2 activity positively affects both the mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondrial quality control. Nrf2 influences the mitochondrial function through various mechanisms, e.g., regulation of nuclear genome-encoded mitochondrial proteins and changes in the balance of ROS or other metabolites that affect the functioning of mitochondria. In turn, multiple regulatory proteins functionally associated with the mitochondria affect the Nrf2 activity and even form mutual regulatory loops with Nrf2. We believe that these loops enable the fine-tuning of the cellular redox balance and, possibly, of the cellular metabolism as a whole. It has been commonly accepted for a long time that all mitochondrial regulatory signals are mediated by the nuclear genome-encoded proteins, whereas the mitochondrial genome encodes only a few respiratory chain proteins and two ribosomal RNAs. Relatively recently, mtDNA-encoded signal peptides have been discovered. In this review, we discuss the data on their interactions with the nuclear regulatory systems, first of all, Nrf2, and their possible involvement in the regulation of the aging rate. The interactions between regulatory cascades that link the programs ensuring the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and cellular responses to the oxidative stress are a significant part of both aging and anti-aging programs. Therefore, understanding these interactions will be of great help in searching for the molecular targets to counteract aging-associated diseases and aging itself.
    Keywords:  Nrf2; aging; aging diseases; antioxidants; lifespan; mitochondria; oxidative stress
  25. J Neurochem. 2023 Feb 01.
      Isotopic assays of brain glucose utilization rates have been used for more than four decades to establish relationships between energetics, functional activity, and neurotransmitter cycling. Limitations of these methods include the relatively long time (1-60 min) for determination of labeled metabolite levels and the lack of cellular resolution. Identification and quantification of fuels for neurons and astrocytes that support activation and higher brain functions are a major, unresolved issues. Glycolysis is preferentially upregulated during activation even though oxygen level and supply are adequate, causing lactate concentrations to quickly rise during alerting, sensory processing, cognitive tasks, and memory consolidation. However, the fate of lactate (rapid release from brain or cell-cell shuttling coupled with local oxidation) is long-disputed. Genetically-encoded biosensors can determine intracellular metabolite concentrations and report real-time lactate level responses to sensory, behavioral, and biochemical challenges at the cellular level. Kinetics and time courses of cellular lactate concentration changes are informative, but accurate biosensor calibration is required for quantitative comparisons of lactate levels in astrocytes and neurons. An in vivo calibration procedure for the Laconic lactate biosensor involves intracellular lactate depletion by intravenous pyruvate-mediated trans-acceleration of lactate efflux followed by sensor saturation by intravenous infusion of high doses of lactate plus ammonium chloride. In the present paper, the validity of this procedure is questioned because rapid lactate-pyruvate interconversion in blood, preferential neuronal oxidation of both monocarboxylates, on-going glycolytic metabolism, and cellular volumes were not taken into account. Calibration pitfalls for the Laconic lactate biosensor also apply to other metabolite biosensors that are standardized in vivo by infusion of substrates that can be metabolized in peripheral tissues. We discuss how technical shortcomings negate the conclusion that Laconic sensor calibrations support the existence of an in vivo astrocyte-neuron lactate concentration gradient linked to lactate shuttling from astrocytes to neurons to fuel neuronal activity.
    Keywords:  Laconic; calibration; genetically-encoded biosensor; pyruvate/lactate metabolism; sensor saturation; trans-acceleration
  26. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Feb 07. 120(6): e2212072120
      Cancer treatments targeting DNA repair deficiencies often encounter drug resistance, possibly due to alternative metabolic pathways that counteract the most damaging effects. To identify such alternative pathways, we screened for metabolic pathways exhibiting synthetic lethality with inhibition of the DNA damage response kinase Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) using a metabolism-centered Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 library. Our data revealed Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) as a key factor involved in desensitizing cancer cells to ATM inhibition both in vitro and in vivo. Cells depleted of KEAP1 exhibited an aberrant overexpression of the cystine transporter SLC7A11, robustly accumulated cystine inducing disulfide stress, and became hypersensitive to ATM inhibition. These hallmarks were reversed in a reducing cellular environment indicating that disulfide stress was a crucial factor. In The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) pan-cancer datasets, we found that ATM levels negatively correlated with KEAP1 levels across multiple solid malignancies. Together, our results unveil ATM and KEAP1 as new targetable vulnerabilities in solid tumors.
    Keywords:  ATM; DNA repair; KEAP1; drug resistance; redox metabolism
  27. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2023 Jan 27. pii: S0959-440X(23)00004-0. [Epub ahead of print]79 102530
      Recent work in structural biology is shedding light on how many of the enzymes of intermediary metabolism are self- and co-assembling into large, filamentous polymers or agglomerates to organize and regulate the complex and essential biochemical pathways in cells. Filament assembly provides an additional layer of regulation by modulating the intrinsic allostery of the enzyme protomers which tunes activity in response to a variety of environmental cues. Enzyme filaments dynamically assemble and disassemble in response to changes in metabolite levels and environmental cues, shifting metabolic flux on a more rapid timescale than transcriptional or translational reprogramming. Here we present recent examples of high-resolution structures of filaments from proteins in intermediary metabolism and we discuss how filament assembly modulates the activities of these and other proteins.
    Keywords:  Allostery; Apolar filaments; Cryo electron microscopy; Filament assembly; Metabolic enzymes
  28. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 18. pii: 2023.01.16.524176. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cristae membrane state plays a central role in regulating mitochondrial function and cellular metabolism. The protein Optic atrophy 1 (Opa1) is an important crista remodeler that exists as two forms in the mitochondrion, a membrane-anchored long form (l-Opa1) and a processed short form (s-Opa1). The mechanisms for how Opa1 influences cristae shape have remained unclear due to the lack of native 3D views of cristae morphology. We perform in situ cryo-electron tomography of cryo-focused ion beam milled mouse embryonic fibroblasts with well-defined Opa1 states to understand how each form of Opa1 influences cristae architecture. In our tomograms, we observe elongated mitochondria with a notable stacking phenotype, as well as an absence of tubular cristae, when only l-Opa1 is present. In contrast, when mitochondria contain mainly s-Opa1, we observe irregular cristae packing, an increase in globular cristae, and decreased matrix condensation. Notably, we find the absence of l-Opa1 results in mitochondria with wider cristae junctions. BH3 profiling reveals that absence of l-Opa1 reduces cytochrome c release in response to pro-apoptotic stimuli and protects cells from apoptosis induced by anti-cancer agents. We discuss the implications Opa1-dependent cristae morphologies in cell death initiation.Highlights: In situ ultrastructural characterization of mitochondrial cristae with different forms of Opa1. Mitochondria with predominantly l-Opa1 show cristae stacking, longer cristae compared to WT, but also a reduction of globular cristae and no tubular cristae.Mitochondria with mostly s-Opa1 showed irregular cristae packing with wider cristae junctions and more narrow cristae than WT.BH3 profiling show Opa1-knock-out cells have reduced apoptotic priming and reduced sensitivity to apoptosis-inducing agents, and the presence l-Opa1 restores a WT protective apoptotic response.
  29. Nature. 2023 Feb 01.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Metabolism
  30. Adv Cancer Res. 2023 ;pii: S0065-230X(22)00058-6. [Epub ahead of print]157 195-228
      Tumor growth and metastasis can be promoted by a small sub-population of cancer cells, termed cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). While CSCs possess capability in self-renewing and differentiating, the hierarchy of CSCs during tumor growth is highly plastic. This plasticity in CSCs fate and function can be regulated by signals from the tumor microenvironment. One emerging pathway in CSCs that connects the alteration in microenvironment and signaling network in cancer cells is the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP). The final product of HBP, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc), is utilized for glycosylating of membrane and secreted proteins, but also nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins by the post-translational modification O-GlcNAcylation. O-GlcNAcylation and its enzyme, O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), are upregulated in nearly all cancers and been linked to regulate many cancer cell phenotypes. Recent studies have begun to connect OGT and O-GlcNAcylation to regulation of CSCs. In this review, we will discuss the emerging role of OGT and O-GlcNAcylation in regulating fate and plasticity of CSCs, as well as the potential in targeting OGT/O-GlcNAcylation in CSCs.
    Keywords:  Cancer stem cell; Glycosylation; Hexosamine biosynthetic pathway; O-GlcNAc transferase; O-GlcNAcylation; Tumor-initiating cell
  31. PNAS Nexus. 2022 Nov;1(5): pgac276
      Respiratory complex I [NADH:ubiquinone (UQ) oxidoreductase] captures the free energy released from NADH oxidation and UQ reduction to pump four protons across an energy-transducing membrane and power ATP synthesis. Mechanisms for long-range energy coupling in complex I have been proposed from structural data but not yet evaluated by robust biophysical and biochemical analyses. Here, we use the powerful bacterial model system Paracoccus denitrificans to investigate 14 mutations of key residues in the membrane-domain Nqo13/ND4 subunit, defining the rates and reversibility of catalysis and the number of protons pumped per NADH oxidized. We reveal new insights into the roles of highly conserved charged residues in lateral energy transduction, confirm the purely structural role of the Nqo12/ND5 transverse helix, and evaluate a proposed hydrated channel for proton uptake. Importantly, even when catalysis is compromised the enzyme remains strictly coupled (four protons are pumped per NADH oxidized), providing no evidence for escape cycles that circumvent blocked proton-pumping steps.
    Keywords:  NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase; biological energy transduction; electron transport chain; proton pumping; respiratory chain
  32. Cancer Discov. 2023 Jan 30. pii: CD-22-0805. [Epub ahead of print]
      KRAS is the most frequently mutated oncogene in human lung adenocarcinomas (hLUAD) and activating mutations frequently co-occur with loss-of-function mutations in TP53 or STK11/LKB1. However, mutation of all three genes is rarely observed in hLUAD, even though engineered co-mutation is highly aggressive in mouse lung adenocarcinoma (mLUAD). Here we provide a mechanistic explanation for this difference by uncovering an evolutionary divergence in regulation of triosephosphate isomerase (TPI1). In hLUAD, TPI1 activity is regulated via phosphorylation at Ser21 by the Salt Inducible Kinases (SIKs) in an LKB1-dependent manner, modulating flux between completion of glycolysis and production of glycerol lipids. In mice, Ser21 of TPI1 is a Cys residue which can be oxidized to alter TPI1 activity without a need for SIKs or LKB1. Our findings suggest this metabolic flexibility is critical in rapidly growing cells with KRAS and TP53 mutations, explaining why loss of LKB1 creates a liability in these tumors.
  33. EMBO J. 2023 Feb 02. e112094
      DNA-PKcs is a key regulator of DNA double-strand break repair. Apart from its canonical role in the DNA damage response, DNA-PKcs is involved in the cellular response to oxidative stress (OS), but its exact role remains unclear. Here, we report that DNA-PKcs-deficient human cells display depolarized mitochondria membrane potential (MMP) and reoriented metabolism, supporting a role for DNA-PKcs in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). DNA-PKcs directly interacts with mitochondria proteins ANT2 and VDAC2, and formation of the DNA-PKcs/ANT2/VDAC2 (DAV) complex supports optimal exchange of ADP and ATP across mitochondrial membranes to energize the cell via OXPHOS and to maintain MMP. Moreover, we demonstrate that the DAV complex temporarily dissociates in response to oxidative stress to attenuate ADP-ATP exchange, a rate-limiting step for OXPHOS. Finally, we found that dissociation of the DAV complex is mediated by phosphorylation of DNA-PKcs at its Thr2609 cluster by ATM kinase. Based on these findings, we propose that the coordination between the DAV complex and ATM serves as a novel oxidative stress checkpoint to decrease ROS production from mitochondrial OXPHOS and to hasten cellular recovery from OS.
    Keywords:  ANT2; ATM; DNA-PKcs; VDAC2; mitochondrial oxidative stress checkpoint
  34. medRxiv. 2023 Jan 19. pii: 2023.01.19.23284696. [Epub ahead of print]
      Human mitochondria contain a high copy number, maternally transmitted genome (mtDNA) that encodes 13 proteins required for oxidative phosphorylation. Heteroplasmy arises when multiple mtDNA variants co-exist in an individual and can exhibit complex dynamics in disease and in aging. As all proteins involved in mtDNA replication and maintenance are nuclear-encoded, heteroplasmy levels can, in principle, be under nuclear genetic control, however this has never been shown in humans. Here, we develop algorithms to quantify mtDNA copy number (mtCN) and heteroplasmy levels using blood-derived whole genome sequences from 274,832 individuals of diverse ancestry and perform GWAS to identify nuclear loci controlling these traits. After careful correction for blood cell composition, we observe that mtCN declines linearly with age and is associated with 92 independent nuclear genetic loci. We find that nearly every individual carries heteroplasmic variants that obey two key patterns: (1) heteroplasmic single nucleotide variants are somatic mutations that accumulate sharply after age 70, while (2) heteroplasmic indels are maternally transmitted as mtDNA mixtures with resulting levels influenced by 42 independent nuclear loci involved in mtDNA replication, maintenance, and novel pathways. These nuclear loci do not appear to act by mtDNA mutagenesis, but rather, likely act by conferring a replicative advantage to specific mtDNA molecules. As an illustrative example, the most common heteroplasmy we identify is a length variant carried by >50% of humans at position m.302 within a G-quadruplex known to serve as a replication switch. We find that this heteroplasmic variant exerts cis -acting genetic control over mtDNA abundance and is itself under trans -acting genetic control of nuclear loci encoding protein components of this regulatory switch. Our study showcases how nuclear haplotype can privilege the replication of specific mtDNA molecules to shape mtCN and heteroplasmy dynamics in the human population.
  35. Nat Rev Cancer. 2023 Jan 30.
      Tumours display an astonishing variation in the spatial distribution, composition and activation state of immune cells, which impacts their progression and response to immunotherapy. Shedding light on the mechanisms that govern the diversity and function of immune cells in the tumour microenvironment will pave the way for the development of more tailored immunomodulatory strategies for the benefit of patients with cancer. Cancer cells, by virtue of their paracrine and juxtacrine communication mechanisms, are key contributors to intertumour heterogeneity in immune contextures. In this Review, we discuss how cancer cell-intrinsic features, including (epi)genetic aberrations, signalling pathway deregulation and altered metabolism, play a key role in orchestrating the composition and functional state of the immune landscape, and influence the therapeutic benefit of immunomodulatory strategies. Moreover, we highlight how targeting cancer cell-intrinsic parameters or their downstream immunoregulatory pathways is a viable strategy to manipulate the tumour immune milieu in favour of antitumour immunity.
  36. Metab Eng. 2023 Jan 29. pii: S1096-7176(23)00018-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The optimization of animal feeds and cell culture media are problems of interest to a wide range of industries and scientific disciplines. Both problems are dictated by the properties of an organism's metabolism. However, due to the tremendous complexity of metabolic systems, it can be difficult to predict how metabolism will respond to changes in nutrient availability. A common tool used to capture the complexity of metabolism in a computational framework is a genome-scale metabolic model (GEM). GEMs are useful for predicting the fluxes of reactions within an organism's metabolism. To optimize feed or media, in silico experiments can be performed with GEMs by systematically varying nutritional constraints and predicting metabolic activity. In this way, the influence of various nutritional changes on metabolic outcomes can be evaluated. However, this methodology does not guarantee an optimal solution. Here, we develop a nutrition algorithm that utilizes linear programming to search the entire flux solution space of possible dietary intervention strategies to identify the most efficient changes to nutrition for a desirable metabolic outcome. We illustrate the utility of the nutrition algorithm on GEMs of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell metabolism and find that the nutrition algorithm makes predictions that not only align with experimental findings but reveal new insights into promising feeding strategies. We show that the nutrition algorithm is highly versatile and customizable to meet the user's needs. For instance, we demonstrate that the nutrition algorithm can be used to predict feed/media compositions that maximize profit margins. While the nutrition algorithm can be used to define an optimal feed/medium ab initio, it can also identify minimal changes to be made to an existing feed/medium to drive the largest metabolic shift. Moreover, the nutrition algorithm can target multiple metabolic pathways simultaneously with only a marginal increase in computational expense. While the nutrition algorithm has its limitations, we believe that this tool can be leveraged in a broad range of biotechnological applications to enhance the feed/medium optimization process.
    Keywords:  Aquaculture; COBRA; Chinese hamster ovary cells; Genome-scale metabolic model; Linear programming; Metabolic modeling; Nutrition
  37. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2023 Feb 01.
      Circadian rhythms that influence mammalian homeostasis and overall health have received increasing interest over the past two decades. The molecular clock, which is present in almost every cell, drives circadian rhythms while being a cornerstone of physiological outcomes. The skeletal muscle clock has emerged as a primary contributor to metabolic health, as the coordinated expression of the core clock factors BMAL1 and CLOCK with the muscle-specific transcription factor MYOD1 facilitates the circadian and metabolic programme that supports skeletal muscle physiology. The phase of the skeletal muscle clock is sensitive to the time of exercise, which provides a rationale for exploring the interactions between the skeletal muscle clock, exercise and metabolic health. Here, we review the underlying mechanisms of the skeletal muscle clock that drive muscle physiology, with a particular focus on metabolic health. Additionally, we highlight the interaction between exercise and the skeletal muscle clock as a means of reinforcing metabolic health and discuss the possible implications of the time of exercise as a chronotherapeutic approach.
  38. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2022 Dec;87(12): 1487-1497
      In this work, we decided to initiate a discussion concerning heterogeneity of mitochondria, suggesting that it is time to build classification of mitochondria, like the one that exists for their progenitors, α-proteobacteria, proposing possible separation of mitochondrial strains and maybe species. We continue to adhere to the general line that mitochondria are friends and foes: on the one hand, they provide the cell and organism with the necessary energy and signaling molecules, and, on the other hand, participate in destruction of the cell and the organism. Current understanding that the activity of mitochondria is not only limited to energy production, but also that these alternative non-energetic functions are unique and irreplaceable in the cell, allowed us to speak about the strong subordination of the entire cellular metabolism to characteristic functional manifestations of mitochondria. Mitochondria are capable of producing not only ATP, but also iron-sulfur clusters, steroid hormones, heme, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, participate in thermogenesis, regulate cell death, proliferation and differentiation, participate in detoxification, etc. They are a mandatory attribute of eukaryotic cells, and, so far, no eukaryotic cells performing a non-parasitic or non-symbiotic life style have been found that lack mitochondria. We believe that the structural-functional intracellular, intercellular, inter-organ, and interspecific diversity of mitochondria is large enough to provide grounds for creating a mitochondrial nomenclature. The arguments for this are given in this analytical work.
    Keywords:  bacteria; diseases; heterogeneity; heteroplasmy; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA; phenotype; structure; taxonomy
  39. FEBS Open Bio. 2023 Feb 01.
      Fibrosis driven by excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) is the hallmark of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Myofibroblasts, which are the cells responsible for ECM production, are activated by cross-talk with injured proximal tubule and immune cells. Emerging evidence suggests that alterations in metabolism are not only a feature of but also play an influential role in the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis. The application of omics technologies to cell-tracing animal models and follow-up functional data suggest that cell type-specific metabolic shifts have particular roles in the fibrogenic response. In this review, we cover the main metabolic reprogramming outcomes in renal fibrosis and provide a future perspective of the field of renal fibrometabolism.
    Keywords:  fatty acid oxidation; glycolysis; kidney fibrosis; mitochondria; myofibroblasts; tubular epithelial cells
  40. Sci Adv. 2023 Feb 03. 9(5): eabq1858
      The glycocalyx component and sialomucin podocalyxin (PODXL) is required for normal tissue development by promoting apical membranes to form between cells, triggering lumen formation. Elevated PODXL expression is also associated with metastasis and poor clinical outcome in multiple tumor types. How PODXL presents this duality in effect remains unknown. We identify an unexpected function of PODXL as a decoy receptor for galectin-3 (GAL3), whereby the PODXL-GAL3 interaction releases GAL3 repression of integrin-based invasion. Differential cortical targeting of PODXL, regulated by ubiquitination, is the molecular mechanism controlling alternate fates. Both PODXL high and low surface levels occur in parallel subpopulations within cancer cells. Orthotopic intraprostatic xenograft of PODXL-manipulated cells or those with different surface levels of PODXL define that this axis controls metastasis in vivo. Clinically, interplay between PODXL-GAL3 stratifies prostate cancer patients with poor outcome. Our studies define the molecular mechanisms and context in which PODXL promotes invasion and metastasis.
  41. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 04. pii: 2023.01.04.522718. [Epub ahead of print]
      Circadian clocks may mediate lifespan extension by caloric or dietary restriction (DR). We find that the core clock transcription factor Clock is crucial for a robust longevity and fecundity response to DR in Drosophila . To identify clock-controlled mediators, we performed RNA-sequencing from abdominal fat bodies across the 24 h day after just 5 days under control or DR diets. In contrast to more chronic DR regimens, we did not detect significant changes in the rhythmic expression of core clock genes. Yet we discovered that DR induced de novo rhythmicity or increased expression of rhythmic clock output genes. Network analysis revealed that DR increased network connectivity in one module comprised of genes encoding proteasome subunits. Adult, fat body specific RNAi knockdown demonstrated that proteasome subunits contribute to DR-mediated lifespan extension. Thus, clock control of output links DR-mediated changes in rhythmic transcription to lifespan extension.
  42. Elife. 2023 Feb 02. pii: e80721. [Epub ahead of print]12
      An extensive fibroinflammatory stroma rich in macrophages is a hallmark of pancreatic cancer. In this disease, it is well appreciated that macrophages are immunosuppressive and contribute to the poor response to immunotherapy; however, the mechanisms of immune suppression are complex and not fully understood. Immunosuppressive macrophages are classically defined by expression of the enzyme Arginase 1 (Arg1), which we demonstrated is potently expressed in pancreatic tumor associated macrophages from both human patients and mouse models. While routinely used as a polarization marker, Arg1 also catabolizes arginine, an amino acid required for T cell activation and proliferation. To investigate this metabolic function, we used a genetic and a pharmacologic approach to target Arg1 in pancreatic cancer. Genetic inactivation of Arg1 in macrophages, using a dual recombinase genetically engineered mouse model of pancreatic cancer, delayed formation of invasive disease, while increasing CD8+ T cell infiltration. Additionally, Arg1 deletion induced compensatory mechanisms, including Arg1 overexpression in epithelial cells, namely Tuft cells, and Arg2 overexpression in a subset of macrophages. To overcome these compensatory mechanisms, we used a pharmacological approach to inhibit arginase. Treatment of established tumors with the arginase inhibitor CB-1158 exhibited further increased CD8+ T cell infiltration, beyond that seen with the macrophage-specific knockout, and sensitized the tumors to anti-PD1 immune checkpoint blockade. Our data demonstrate that Arg1 drives immune suppression in pancreatic cancer by depleting Arginine and inhibiting T cell activation.
    Keywords:  cancer biology; human; mouse
  43. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 28. 14(1): 458
      Eukaryotic arginylation is an essential post-translational modification that modulates protein stability and regulates protein half-life. Arginylation is catalyzed by a family of enzymes known as the arginyl-tRNA transferases (ATE1s), which are conserved across the eukaryotic domain. Despite their conservation and importance, little is known regarding the structure, mechanism, and regulation of ATE1s. In this work, we show that ATE1s bind a previously undiscovered [Fe-S] cluster that is conserved across evolution. We characterize the nature of this [Fe-S] cluster and find that the presence of the [Fe-S] cluster in ATE1 is linked to its arginylation activity, both in vitro and in vivo, and the initiation of the yeast stress response. Importantly, the ATE1 [Fe-S] cluster is oxygen-sensitive, which could be a molecular mechanism of the N-degron pathway to sense oxidative stress. Taken together, our data provide the framework of a cluster-based paradigm of ATE1 regulatory control.
  44. Cancer Cell. 2023 Feb 02. pii: S1535-6108(23)00003-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Angioimmunoblastic T cell lymphoma (AITL) is a peripheral T cell lymphoma that originates from T follicular helper (Tfh) cells and exhibits a prominent tumor microenvironment (TME). IDH2 and TET2 mutations co-occur frequently in AITL, but their contribution to tumorigenesis is poorly understood. We developed an AITL mouse model that is driven by Idh2 and Tet2 mutations. Malignant Tfh cells display aberrant transcriptomic and epigenetic programs that impair TCR signaling. Neoplastic Tfh cells bearing combined Idh2 and Tet2 mutations show altered cross-talk with germinal center B cells that promotes B cell clonal expansion while decreasing Fas-FasL interaction and reducing B cell apoptosis. The plasma cell count and angiogenesis are also increased in the Idh2-mutated tumors, implying a major relationship between Idh2 mutation and the characteristic AITL TME. Our mouse model recapitulates several features of human IDH2-mutated AITL and provides a rationale for exploring therapeutic targeting of Tfh-TME cross-talk for AITL patients.
    Keywords:  Angioimmunoblastic T cell lymphoma; Idh2; T follicular helper cells; Tet2; cytokines; epigenetics; germinal center B cells; preclinical mouse model; therapeutic agents; tumor microenvironment
  45. Nat Chem Biol. 2023 Feb 02.
      Protein S-persulfidation (P-SSH) is recognized as a common posttranslational modification. It occurs under basal conditions and is often observed to be elevated under stress conditions. However, the mechanism(s) by which proteins are persulfidated inside cells have remained unclear. Here we report that 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfur transferase (MPST) engages in direct protein-to-protein transpersulfidation reactions beyond its previously known protein substrates thioredoxin and MOCS3/Uba4, associated with H2S generation and transfer RNA thiolation, respectively. We observe that depletion of MPST in human cells lowers overall intracellular protein persulfidation levels and identify a subset of proteins whose persulfidation depends on MPST. The predicted involvement of these proteins in the adaptation to stress responses supports the notion that MPST-dependent protein persulfidation promotes cytoprotective functions. The observation of MPST-independent protein persulfidation suggests that other protein persulfidases remain to be identified.
  46. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 04. pii: 2023.01.04.522722. [Epub ahead of print]
      In untargeted metabolomics, multiple ions are often measured for each original metabolite, including isotopic forms and in-source modifications, such as adducts and fragments. Without prior knowledge of the chemical identity or formula, computational organization and interpretation of these ions is challenging, which is the deficit of previous software tools that perform the task using network algorithms. We propose here a generalized tree structure to annotate ions to relationships to the original compound and infer neutral mass. An algorithm is presented to convert mass distance networks to this tree structure with high fidelity. This method is useful for both regular untargeted metabolomics and stable isotope tracing experiments. It is implemented as a Python package (khipu), and provides a JSON format for easy data exchange and software interoperability. By generalized pre-annotation, khipu makes it feasible to connect metabolomics data with common data science tools, and supports flexible experimental designs.