bims-meprid Biomed News
on Metabolic-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in differentiation and disease
Issue of 2021‒09‒12
three papers selected by
Alessandro Carrer
Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine

  1. Elife. 2021 09 07. pii: e62394. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Inducible regulatory T (iTreg) cells play a central role in immune suppression. As iTreg cells are differentiated from activated T (Th0) cells, cell metabolism undergoes dramatic changes, including a shift from fatty acid synthesis (FAS) to fatty acid oxidation (FAO). Although the reprogramming in fatty acid metabolism is critical, the mechanism regulating this process during iTreg differentiation is still unclear. Here we have revealed that the enzymatic activity of ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY) declined significantly during iTreg differentiation upon transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) stimulation. This reduction was due to CUL3-KLHL25-mediated ACLY ubiquitination and degradation. As a consequence, malonyl-CoA, a metabolic intermediate in FAS that is capable of inhibiting the rate-limiting enzyme in FAO, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), was decreased. Therefore, ACLY ubiquitination and degradation facilitate FAO and thereby iTreg differentiation. Together, we suggest TGFβ1-CUL3-KLHL25-ACLY axis as an important means regulating iTreg differentiation and bring insights into the maintenance of immune homeostasis for the prevention of immune diseases.
    Keywords:  ATP-citrate lyase; CUL3-KLHL25; E. coli; TGFβ1; human; iTreg; immunology; inflammation; mouse; ubiquitination; virus
  2. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 10. 12(1): 5376
      Natural killer (NK) cells are important early responders against viral infections. Changes in metabolism are crucial to fuel NK cell responses, and altered metabolism is linked to NK cell dysfunction in obesity and cancer. However, very little is known about the metabolic requirements of NK cells during acute retroviral infection and their importance for antiviral immunity. Here, using the Friend retrovirus mouse model, we show that following infection NK cells increase nutrient uptake, including amino acids and iron, and reprogram their metabolic machinery by increasing glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism. Specific deletion of the amino acid transporter Slc7a5 has only discrete effects on NK cells, but iron deficiency profoundly impaires NK cell antiviral functions, leading to increased viral loads. Our study thus shows the requirement of nutrients and metabolism for the antiviral activity of NK cells, and has important implications for viral infections associated with altered iron levels such as HIV and SARS-CoV-2.
  3. Blood Adv. 2021 Sep 07. pii: bloodadvances.2021004750. [Epub ahead of print]
      As part of the inflammatory response by macrophages, Irg1 is induced resulting in millimolar quantities of itaconate being produced. This immunometabolite remodels the macrophage metabolome and acts as an antimicrobial agent when excreted. Itaconate is not synthesized within the erythron, but instead may be acquired from central macrophages within the erythroid island. Previously we reported that itaconate inhibits hemoglobinzation of developing erythroid cells. Herein we demonstrate that this is accomplished by inhibition of tetrapyrrole synthesis. In differentiating erythroid precursors, cellular heme and protoporphyrin IX synthesis are reduced by itaconate at an early step in the pathway. In addition, itaconate causes global alterations in cellular metabolite pools resulting in elevated levels of succinate, 2-hydroxyglutarate, pyruvate, glyoxylate, and intermediates of glycolytic shunts. Itaconate taken up by the developing erythron can be converted to itaconyl-CoA by the enzyme succinyl-CoA:glutarate-CoA transferase. Propionyl-CoA, propionyl-carnitine, methylmalonic acid, heptadecanoic acid and nonanoic acid, as well as the aliphatic amino acids threonine, valine, methionine, and isoleucine are increased, likely due to the impact of endogenous itaconyl-CoA synthesis. We further show that itaconyl-CoA is a competitive inhibitor of the erythroid-specific 5-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS2), the first and rate-limiting step in heme synthesis. These findings strongly support our hypothesis that the inhibition of heme synthesis observed in chronic inflammation is mediated not only by iron limitation, but also by limitation of tetrapyrrole synthesis at the point of ALAS2 catalysis by itaconate. Thus, we propose that macrophage-derived itaconate promotes anemia during an inflammatory response in the erythroid compartment.