bims-meprid Biomed News
on Metabolic-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in differentiation and disease
Issue of 2021‒11‒07
four papers selected by
Alessandro Carrer
Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine

  1. Cell Rep. 2021 Nov 02. pii: S2211-1247(21)01384-X. [Epub ahead of print]37(5): 109911
      Suppressive regulatory T cell (Treg) differentiation is controlled by diverse immunometabolic signaling pathways and intracellular metabolites. Here we show that cell-permeable α-ketoglutarate (αKG) alters the DNA methylation profile of naive CD4 T cells activated under Treg polarizing conditions, markedly attenuating FoxP3+ Treg differentiation and increasing inflammatory cytokines. Adoptive transfer of these T cells into tumor-bearing mice results in enhanced tumor infiltration, decreased FoxP3 expression, and delayed tumor growth. Mechanistically, αKG leads to an energetic state that is reprogrammed toward a mitochondrial metabolism, with increased oxidative phosphorylation and expression of mitochondrial complex enzymes. Furthermore, carbons from ectopic αKG are directly utilized in the generation of fatty acids, associated with lipidome remodeling and increased triacylglyceride stores. Notably, inhibition of either mitochondrial complex II or DGAT2-mediated triacylglyceride synthesis restores Treg differentiation and decreases the αKG-induced inflammatory phenotype. Thus, we identify a crosstalk between αKG, mitochondrial metabolism and triacylglyceride synthesis that controls Treg fate.
    Keywords:  CAR T cells; DNA methylation; T cell differentiation; TCA cycle; Th1; Treg; lipidome; mitochondrial metabolism; triacylglyceride synthesis; α-ketoglutarate
  2. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2021 Nov 03. 6(1): 375
      The scope and variety of the metabolic intermediates from the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle that are engaged in epigenetic regulation of the chromatin function in the nucleus raise an outstanding question about how timely and precise supply/consumption of these metabolites is achieved in the nucleus. We report here the identification of a nonclassical TCA cycle in the nucleus (nTCA cycle). We found that all the TCA cycle-associated enzymes including citrate synthase (CS), aconitase 2 (ACO2), isocitrate dehydrogenase 3 (IDH3), oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (OGDH), succinyl-CoA synthetase (SCS), fumarate hydratase (FH), and malate dehydrogenase 2 (MDH2), except for succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), a component of electron transport chain for generating ATP, exist in the nucleus. We showed that these nuclear enzymes catalyze an incomplete TCA cycle similar to that found in cyanobacteria. We propose that the nTCA cycle is implemented mainly to generate/consume metabolic intermediates, not for energy production. We demonstrated that the nTCA cycle is intrinsically linked to chromatin dynamics and transcription regulation. Together, our study uncovers the existence of a nonclassical TCA cycle in the nucleus that links the metabolic pathway to epigenetic regulation.
  3. Mol Carcinog. 2021 Nov 02.
      Ursolic acid (UA) is a triterpenoid phytochemical with a strong anticancer effect. The metabolic rewiring, epigenetic reprogramming, and chemopreventive effect of UA in prostate cancer (PCa) remain unknown. Herein, we investigated the efficacy of UA in PCa xenograft, and its biological effects on cellular metabolism, DNA methylation, and transcriptomic using multi-omics approaches. The metabolomics was quantified by liquid-chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) while epigenomic CpG methylation in parallel with transcriptomic gene expression was studied by next-generation sequencing technologies. UA administration attenuated the growth of transplanted human VCaP-Luc cells in immunodeficient mice. UA regulated several cellular metabolites and metabolism-related signaling pathways including S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), methionine, glucose 6-phosphate, CDP-choline, phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis, glycolysis, and nucleotide sugars metabolism. RNA-seq analyses revealed UA regulated several signaling pathways, including CXCR4 signaling, cancer metastasis signaling, and NRF2-mediated oxidative stress response. Epigenetic reprogramming study with DNA Methyl-seq uncovered a list of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) associated with UA treatment. Transcriptome-DNA methylome correlative analysis uncovered a list of genes, of which changes in gene expression correlated with the promoter CpG methylation status. Altogether, our results suggest that UA regulates metabolic rewiring of metabolism including SAM potentially driving epigenetic CpG methylation reprogramming, and transcriptomic signaling resulting in the overall anticancer chemopreventive effect.
    Keywords:  cancer; epigenome; metabolome; transcriptome; ursolic acid
  4. J Clin Invest. 2021 Nov 01. pii: e146187. [Epub ahead of print]131(21):
      Although serine metabolism plays a crucial role in the proliferation and survival of tumor cells, how it supports tumor cell migration remains poorly understood. Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) catalyzes the oxidation of 3-phosphoglycerate to 3-phosphonooxypyruvate, the first committed step in de novo serine biosynthesis. Here we show that PHGDH was monoubiquitinated by cullin 4A-based E3 ligase complex at lysine 146 in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, which enhanced PHGDH activity by recruiting a chaperone protein, DnaJ homolog subfamily A member 1, to promote its tetrameric formation, thereby increasing the levels of serine, glycine, and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Increased levels of SAM upregulated the expression of cell adhesion genes (laminin subunit gamma 2 and cysteine rich angiogenic inducer 61) by initiating SET domain containing 1A-mediated trimethylation of histone H3K4, thereby promoting tumor cell migration and CRC metastasis. Intriguingly, SAM levels in tumors or blood samples correlated with the metastatic recurrence of patients with CRC. Our finding not only reveals a potentially new role and mechanism of SAM-promoted tumor metastasis but also demonstrates a regulatory mechanism of PHGDH activity by monoubiquitination.
    Keywords:  Amino acid metabolism; Cell migration/adhesion; Colorectal cancer; Metabolism; Oncology