bims-glucam Biomed News
on Glutamine cancer metabolism
Issue of 2021‒08‒29
fourteen papers selected by
Sreeparna Banerjee
Middle East Technical University

  1. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 24. pii: S2211-1247(21)01055-X. [Epub ahead of print]36(8): 109617
      The liver plays central roles in coordinating different metabolic processes, such as the catabolism of amino acids. In this study, we identify a loss of tyrosine catabolism and a concomitant increase in serum tyrosine levels during liver cancer development. Liver cells with disordered tyrosine catabolism, as exemplified by the suppression of a tyrosine catabolic enzyme 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPD), display augmented tumorigenic and proliferative potentials. Metabolomics profiling and isotope tracing reveal the metabolic reliance of HPD-silenced cells on glutamine, coupled with increased tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites and their associated amino acid pools. Mechanistically, HPD silencing reduces ketone bodies, which regulate the proliferative and metabolic phenotypes via the AMPK/mTOR/p70S6 kinase pathway and mTOR-dependent glutaminase (GLS) activation. Collectively, our results demonstrate a metabolic link between tyrosine and glutamine metabolism, which could be exploited as a potentially promising anticancer therapy for liver cancer.
    Keywords:  HPD; glutamine metabolism; liver cancer; mTOR signaling; tyrosine catabolism
  2. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Aug 06. pii: 3963. [Epub ahead of print]13(16):
      The glutamine metabolism has a key role in the regulation of uncontrolled tumour growth. This study aimed to evaluate the expression and prognostic significance of glutaminase in luminal breast cancer (BC). The glutaminase isoforms (GLS/GLS2) were assessed at genomic/transcriptomic levels, using METABRIC (n = 1398) and GeneMiner datasets (n = 4712), and protein using immunohistochemistry in well-characterised cohorts of Oestrogen receptor-positive/HER2-negative BC patients: ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; n = 206) and invasive breast cancer (IBC; n = 717). Glutaminase expression was associated with clinicopathological features, patient outcome and glutamine-metabolism-related genes. In DCIS, GLS alone and GLS+/GLS2- expression were risk factors for shorter local recurrence-free interval (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.001, respectively) and remained prognostic factors independent of tumour size, grade and comedo necrosis (p = 0.0008 and p = 0.003, respectively). In IBC, GLS gene copy number gain with high mRNA expression was associated with poor patient outcome (p = 0.011), whereas high GLS2 protein was predictive of a longer disease-free survival (p = 0.006). Glutaminase plays a role in the biological function of luminal BC, particularly GLS in the early non-invasive stage, which could be used as a potential biomarker to predict disease progression and a target for inhibition. Further validation is required to confirm these observations, and functional assessments are needed to explore their specific roles.
    Keywords:  DCIS; IBC; glutaminase; prognosis
  3. J Cell Sci. 2021 Jan 15. pii: jcs247056. [Epub ahead of print]134(2):
      Autophagy is deregulated in many cancers and represents an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. However, the precise contributions of autophagy to metastatic progression, the principle cause of cancer-related mortality, is only now being uncovered. While autophagy promotes primary tumor growth, metabolic adaptation and resistance to therapy, recent studies have unexpectedly revealed that autophagy suppresses the proliferative outgrowth of disseminated tumor cells into overt and lethal macrometastases. These studies suggest autophagy plays unexpected and complex roles in the initiation and progression of metastases, which will undoubtedly impact therapeutic approaches for cancer treatment. Here, we discuss the intricacies of autophagy in metastatic progression, highlighting and integrating the pleiotropic roles of autophagy on diverse cell biological processes involved in metastasis.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cancer; Metastasis; Selective Autophagy
  4. Molecules. 2021 Aug 10. pii: 4824. [Epub ahead of print]26(16):
      Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide usually treated with Tamoxifen. Tamoxifen resistance development is the most challenging issue in an initially responsive breast tumor, and mechanisms of resistance are still under investigation. The objective of this study is to develop and validate a selective, sensitive, and simultaneous high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method to explore the changes in substrates and metabolites in supernatant media of developed Tamoxifen resistance MCF-7 cells. We focus on the determination of lactate, pyruvate, and L-glutamine which enables the tracking of changes in metabolic pathways as a result of the resistance process. Chromatographic separation was achieved within 3.5 min. using a HILIC column (4.6 × 100 mm, 3.5 µm particle size) and mobile phase of 0.05 M acetic acid-ammonium acetate buffer solution pH 3.0: Acetonitrile (40:60 v/v). The linear range was 0.11-2.25, 0.012-0.227, and 0.02-0.20 mM for lactate, pyruvate, and L-glutamine, respectively. Within- and between-run accuracy was in the range 98.94-105.50% with precision (CV, %) of ≤0.86%. The results revealed a significant increase in both lactate and pyruvate production after acquiring the resistant. An increase in L-glutamine levels was also observed and could be attributed to its over production or decline in its consumption. Therefore, further tracking of genes responsible of lactate, pyruvate, and glutamine metabolic pathways should be performed in parallel to provide in-depth explanation of resistance mechanism.
    Keywords:  HPLC–MS/MS; MCF-7; Tamoxifen resistance; breast cancer; metabolic changes
  5. Nutrients. 2021 Jul 22. pii: 2498. [Epub ahead of print]13(8):
      Under stress conditions, the metabolic demand for nutrients increases, which, if not met, may slow down or indeed stop the wound from healing, thus, becoming chronic wounds. This study aims to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of arginine and glutamine supplementation on wound healing. PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines were followed for the systematic review and ten electronic databases were used. Five and 39 human studies met the inclusion criteria for arginine and glutamine, respectively. The overall meta-analysis demonstrated a significant effect of arginine supplementation on hydroxyproline content (MD: 4.49, 95% CI: 3.54, 4.45, p < 0.00001). Regarding glutamine supplementation, there was significant effect on nitrogen balance levels (MD: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.58, p < 0.0001), IL-6 levels (MD: -5.78, 95% CI: -8.71, -2.86, p = 0.0001), TNFα levels (MD: -8.15, 95% CI: -9.34, -6.96, p < 0.00001), lactulose/mannitol (L/M) ratio (MD: -0.01, 95% CI: -0.02, -0.01, p < 0.00001), patient mortality (OR: 0.48, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.72, p = 0.0004), C-reactive protein (CRP) levels (MD: -1.10, 95% CI: -1.26, -0.93, p < 0.00001) and length of hospital stay (LOS) (MD: -2.65, 95% CI: -3.10, -2.21, p < 0.00001). Regarding T-cell lymphocytes, a slight decrease was observed, although it failed to reach significance (MD: -0.16, 95% CI: -0.33, 0.01, p = 0.07). Conclusion: The wound healing might be enhanced in one or at various stages by nutritional supplementation in the right dose.
    Keywords:  arginine; collagen deposition; contraction; food; glutamine; growth factor; gut permeability; interleukin; re-epithelialization; wound healing
  6. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2021 Jan-Dec;20:20 15330338211037821
      Metabolic reprogramming is one of the most common characteristics of cancer cells. The metabolic alterations of glucose, amino acids and lipids can support the aggressive phenotype of cancer cells. Exosomes, a kind of extracellular vesicles, participate in the intercellular communication through transferring bioactive molecules. Increasing evidence has demonstrated that enzymes, metabolites and non-coding RNAs in exosomes are responsible for the metabolic alteration of cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the past and recent findings of exosomes in altering cancer metabolism and elaborate on the role of the specific enzymes, metabolites and non-coding RNAs transferred by exosomes. Moreover, we give evidence of the role of exosomes in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Finally, we discuss the existing problems in the study and application of exosomes in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
    Keywords:  amino acids; biomarkers; cancer cells; exosomes; glucose; lipids; metabolic reprogramming
  7. Metabolites. 2021 Aug 22. pii: 556. [Epub ahead of print]11(8):
      Characteristic metabolic adaptations are recognized as a cancer hallmark. Breast cancer, like other cancer types, displays cellular respiratory switches-in particular, the Warburg effect-and important fluctuations in the glutamine and choline metabolisms. This cancer remains a world health issue mainly due to the side effects associated with chemotherapy, which force a reduction in the administered dose or even a complete discontinuation of the treatment. For example, Doxorubicin is efficient to treat breast cancer but unfortunately induces severe cardiotoxicity. In the present in vitro study, selected metabolic inhibitors were evaluated alone or in combination as potential treatments against breast cancer. In addition, the same inhibitors were used to possibly potentiate the effects of Doxorubicin. As a result, the combination of CB-839 (glutaminase inhibitor) and Oxamate (lactate dehydrogenase inhibitor) and the combination of CB-839/Oxamate/D609 (a phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C inhibitor) caused significant cell mortality in both MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7, two breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, all inhibitors were able to improve the efficacy of Doxorubicin on the same cell lines. Those findings are quite encouraging with respect to the clinical goal of reducing the exposure of patients to Doxorubicin and, subsequently, the severity of the associated cardiotoxicity, while keeping the same treatment efficacy.
    Keywords:  1H-NMR; CB-839; D609; Doxorubicin; Oxamate; breast cancer; metabolic inhibitors; metabonomic
  8. Bone Res. 2021 Aug 23. 9(1): 38
      Glucose metabolism is fundamental for the functions of all tissues, including cartilage. Despite the emerging evidence related to glucose metabolism in the regulation of prenatal cartilage development, little is known about the role of glucose metabolism and its biochemical basis in postnatal cartilage growth and homeostasis. We show here that genetic deletion of the glucose transporter Glut1 in postnatal cartilage impairs cell proliferation and matrix production in growth plate (GPs) but paradoxically increases cartilage remnants in the metaphysis, resulting in shortening of long bones. On the other hand, articular cartilage (AC) with Glut1 deficiency presents diminished cellularity and loss of proteoglycans, which ultimately progress to cartilage fibrosis. Moreover, predisposition to Glut1 deficiency severely exacerbates injury-induced osteoarthritis. Regardless of the disparities in glucose metabolism between GP and AC chondrocytes under normal conditions, both types of chondrocytes demonstrate metabolic plasticity to enhance glutamine utilization and oxidation in the absence of glucose availability. However, uncontrolled glutamine flux causes collagen overmodification, thus affecting extracellular matrix remodeling in both cartilage compartments. These results uncover the pivotal and distinct roles of Glut1-mediated glucose metabolism in two of the postnatal cartilage compartments and link some cartilage abnormalities to altered glucose/glutamine metabolism.
  9. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Aug 20. pii: 4184. [Epub ahead of print]13(16):
      Tumor growth causes cancer cells to become hypoxic. A hypoxic condition is a hallmark of cancer. Metabolism of cancer cells differs from metabolism of normal cells. Cancer cells prefer the process of glycolysis as a source of ATP. Process of glycolysis generates only two molecules of ATP per one molecule of glucose, whereas the complete oxidative breakdown of one molecule of glucose yields 36 molecules of ATP. Therefore, cancer cells need more molecules of glucose in comparison with normal cells. Increased uptake of glucose by these cells is due to overexpression of glucose transporters, especially GLUT1 and GLUT3, that are hypoxia responsive, as well as other glucose transport proteins. Increased expression of these carrier proteins may be used in anticancer therapy. This phenomenon is used in diagnostic techniques such as FDG-PET. It is also suggested, and there are observations, that therapeutic inhibition of glucose transporters may be a method in treatment of cancer patients. On the other hand, there are described cases, in which upregulation of glucose transporters, as, for example, NIS, which is used in radioiodine therapy, can help patients with cancer. The aim of this review is the presentation of possibilities, and how glucose transporters can be used in anticancer therapy.
    Keywords:  GLUT proteins; cancers therapy; sodium-dependent glucose cotransporters
  10. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 700374
      Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells comprise a unique subset of lymphocytes that are primed for activation and possess innate NK-like functional features. Currently, iNKT cell-based immunotherapies remain in early clinical stages, and little is known about the ability of these cells to survive and retain effector functions within the solid tumor microenvironment (TME) long-term. In conventional T cells (TCONV), cellular metabolism is linked to effector functions and their ability to adapt to the nutrient-poor TME. In contrast, the bioenergetic requirements of iNKT cells - particularly those of human iNKT cells - at baseline and upon stimulation are not well understood; neither is how these requirements affect effector functions such as production of cytokines and cytolytic proteins. We find that unlike TCONV, human iNKT cells are not dependent upon glucose or glutamine for these effector functions upon stimulation with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28. Additionally, transcriptional profiling revealed that stimulated human iNKT cells are less glycolytic than TCONV and display higher expression of fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway genes. Furthermore, stimulated iNKT cells displayed higher mitochondrial mass and membrane potential relative to TCONV. Real-time Seahorse metabolic flux analysis revealed that stimulated human iNKT cells utilize fatty acids as substrates for oxidation more than stimulated TCONV. Together, our data suggest that human iNKT cells possess different bioenergetic requirements from TCONV and display a more oxidative metabolic program relative to effector TCONV. Importantly, iNKT cell-based immunotherapeutic strategies could co-opt such unique features of iNKT cells to improve their efficacy and longevity of anti-tumor responses.
    Keywords:  cytokine production and cytotoxicity; fatty acid oxidation (FAO); glycolysis; human invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT) cells; immunometabolism
  11. Biofactors. 2021 Aug 28.
      It was 80 years after the Otto Warburg discovery of aerobic glycolysis, a major hallmark in the understanding of cancer. The Warburg effect is the preference of cancer cell for glycolysis that produces lactate even when sufficient oxygen is provided. "reverse Warburg effect" refers to the interstitial tissue communications with adjacent epithelium, that in the process of carcinogenesis, is needed to be explored. Among these cell-cell communications, the contact between epithelial cells; between epithelial cells and matrix; and between fibroblasts and inflammatory cells in the underlying matrix. Cancer involves dysregulation of Warburg and reverse Warburg cellular metabolic pathways. How these gene and protein-based regulatory mechanisms have functioned has been the basis for this review. The importance of the Warburg in oxidative phosphorylation suppression, with increased glycolysis in cancer growth and proliferation is emphasized. Studies that are directed at pathways that would be expected to shift cell metabolism to an increased oxidation and to a decrease in glycolysis are emphasized. Key enzymes required for oxidative phosphorylation, and affect the inhibition of fatty acid metabolism and glutamine dependence are conferred. The findings are of special interest to cancer pharmacotherapy. Studies described in this review are concerned with the effects of therapeutic modalities that are intimately related to the Warburg effect. These interactions described may be helpful as adjuvant therapy in controlling the process of proliferation and metastasis.
    Keywords:  Warburg; aerobic; anaerobic; cancer; glycolysis; metastasis; proliferation; tumorigenesis
  12. Nat Commun. 2021 08 24. 12(1): 5103
      Hypercholesterolemia and dyslipidemia are associated with an increased risk for many cancer types and with poor outcomes in patients with established disease. Whereas the mechanisms by which this occurs are multifactorial we determine that chronic exposure of cells to 27-hydroxycholesterol (27HC), an abundant circulating cholesterol metabolite, selects for cells that exhibit increased cellular uptake and/or lipid biosynthesis. These cells exhibit substantially increased tumorigenic and metastatic capacity. Notably, the metabolic stress imposed upon cells by the accumulated lipids requires sustained expression of GPX4, a negative regulator of ferroptotic cell death. We show that resistance to ferroptosis is a feature of metastatic cells and further demonstrate that GPX4 knockdown attenuates the enhanced tumorigenic and metastatic activity of 27HC resistant cells. These findings highlight the general importance of ferroptosis in tumor growth and metastasis and suggest that dyslipidemia/hypercholesterolemia impacts cancer pathogenesis by selecting for cells that are resistant to ferroptotic cell death.
  13. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 21. pii: 9028. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      The second messenger 2'3'-cyclic-GMP-AMP (cGAMP) is thought to be transmitted from brain carcinomas to astrocytes via gap junctions, which functions to promote metastasis in the brain parenchyma. In the current study, we established a method to introduce cGAMP into astrocytes, which simulates the state of astrocytes that have been invaded by cGAMP around tumors. Astrocytes incorporating cGAMP were analyzed by metabolomics, which demonstrated that cGAMP increased glutamate production and astrocyte secretion. The same trend was observed for γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Conversely, glutamine production and secretion were decreased by cGAMP treatment. Due to the fundamental role of astrocytes in regulation of the glutamine-glutamate cycle, such metabolic changes may represent a potential mechanism and therapeutic target for alteration of the central nervous system (CNS) environment and the malignant transformation of brain carcinomas.
    Keywords:  astrocyte; cGAMP; glutamate; metabolome shift; metastatic brain tumor
  14. Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 26. 11(1): 17249
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most lethal disease worldwide. Despite an urgent need for therapeutic advance, selective target identification in a preclinical phase is hampered by molecular and metabolic variations between cellular models. To foster optimal model selection from a translational perspective, we performed untargeted ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry-based polar metabolomics and lipidomics to non-transformed (CCD841-CON and FHC) and transformed (HCT116, HT29, Caco2, SW480 and SW948) colon cell lines as well as tissue samples from ten colorectal cancer patients. This unveiled metabolic signatures discriminating the transformed from the non-transformed state. Metabolites involved in glutaminolysis, tryptophan catabolism, pyrimidine, lipid and carnitine synthesis were elevated in transformed cells and cancerous tissue, whereas those involved in the glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle, urea cycle and redox reactions were lowered. The degree of glutaminolysis and lipid synthesis was specific to the colon cancer cell line at hand. Thus, our study exposed pathways that are specifically associated with the transformation state and revealed differences between colon cancer cell lines that should be considered when targeting cancer-associated pathways.