bims-meprid Biomed News
on Metabolic-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in differentiation and disease
Issue of 2021‒11‒14
seven papers selected by
Alessandro Carrer
Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine

  1. iScience. 2021 Nov 19. 24(11): 103244
      Acetylation coordinates many biological processes to ensure cells respond appropriately to nutrients. However, how acetylation regulates lipid surplus-induced inflammation remains poorly understood. Here, we found that a high-fat diet (HFD) enhanced mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation, which enhanced acetyl-CoA levels in the liver of the large yellow croaker. The HFD activated ACLY to govern the "citrate transport" to transfer acetyl-CoA from the mitochondria to the nucleus. Elevated acetyl-CoA activated CBP to increase p65 acetylation and then aggravated inflammation. SIRT1 was deactivated with a decline in NAD+/NADH, which further aggravated inflammation. Therefore, acetylation-dependent regulation of transcription factor activity is an adaptation to proinflammatory stimuli under nutrient stress, which was also confirmed in AML12 hepatocytes. In vitro octanoate stimulation further verified that acetyl-CoA derived from fatty acid β-oxidation mediated acetylation homeostasis in the nucleus. The broad therapeutic prospects of intermediate metabolites and acetyltransferases/deacetylases might provide critical insights for the treatment of metabolic diseases in vertebrates.
    Keywords:  Cellular physiology; Immunology; Pathophysiology
  2. Immunity. 2021 Nov 03. pii: S1074-7613(21)00448-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Antigenic stimulation promotes T cell metabolic reprogramming to meet increased biosynthetic, bioenergetic, and signaling demands. We show that the one-carbon (1C) metabolism enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 2 (MTHFD2) regulates de novo purine synthesis and signaling in activated T cells to promote proliferation and inflammatory cytokine production. In pathogenic T helper-17 (Th17) cells, MTHFD2 prevented aberrant upregulation of the transcription factor FoxP3 along with inappropriate gain of suppressive capacity. MTHFD2 deficiency also promoted regulatory T (Treg) cell differentiation. Mechanistically, MTHFD2 inhibition led to depletion of purine pools, accumulation of purine biosynthetic intermediates, and decreased nutrient sensor mTORC1 signaling. MTHFD2 was also critical to regulate DNA and histone methylation in Th17 cells. Importantly, MTHFD2 deficiency reduced disease severity in multiple in vivo inflammatory disease models. MTHFD2 is thus a metabolic checkpoint to integrate purine metabolism with pathogenic effector cell signaling and is a potential therapeutic target within 1C metabolism pathways.
    Keywords:  CD4(+) T cells; CRISPR screen; MTHFD2; T cell differentiation; inflammation; mTORC1; metabolic checkpoint; methylation; one carbon metabolism; purine metabolism
  3. ACS Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 12.
      The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum possesses a unique Acetyl-CoA Synthetase (PfACS), which provides acetyl moieties for different metabolic and regulatory cellular pathways. We characterized PfACS and studied its role focusing on epigenetic modifications using the var gene family as reporter genes. For this, mutant lines to modulate plasmodial ACS expression by degron-mediated protein degradation and ribozyme-induced transcript decay were created. Additionally, an inhibitor of the human Acetyl-CoA Synthetase 2 was tested for its effectiveness in interfering with PfACS. The knockdown of PfACS or its inhibition resulted in impaired parasite growth. Decreased levels of PfACS also led to differential histone acetylation patterns, altered variant gene expression, and concomitantly decreased cytoadherence of infected red blood cells containing knocked-down parasites. Further, ChIP analysis revealed the presence of PfACS in many loci in ring stage parasites, underscoring its involvement in the regulation of chromatin. Due to its central function in the plasmodial metabolism and significant differences to human ACS, PfACS is an interesting target for drug development.
    Keywords:  acetyl-CoA synthetase; destabilizing domain; histone modification; ribozyme; var genes
  4. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Oct 26. pii: 5365. [Epub ahead of print]13(21):
      Cancer cells are able to reprogram their glucose metabolism and retain energy via glycolysis even under aerobic conditions. They activate the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP), and the complex interplay of O-linked N-acetylglucosaminylation (O-GlcNAcylation) via deprivation of nutrients or increase in cellular stress results in the proliferation, progression, and metastasis of cancer cells. Notably, cancer is one of the emerging diseases associated with O-GlcNAcylation. In this review, we summarize studies that delineate the role of O-GlcNAcylation in cancer, including its modulation in metastasis, function with receptor tyrosine kinases, and resistance to chemotherapeutic agents, such as cisplatin. In addition, we discuss the function of O-GlcNAcylation in eliciting immune responses associated with immune surveillance in the tumor microenvironment. O-GlcNAcylation is increasingly accepted as one of the key players involved in the activation and differentiation of T cells and macrophages. Finally, we discuss the prognostic role of O-GlcNAcylation and potential therapeutic agents such as O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine-transferase inhibitors, which may help overcome the resistance mechanism associated with the reprogramming of glucose metabolism.
    Keywords:  O-GlcNAc transferase; O-GlcNAcase; O-GlcNAcylation; cancer; cellular stress; immune surveillance
  5. Curr Protoc. 2021 Nov;1(11): e277
      Proteins can be lysine-acetylated both enzymatically, by lysine acetyltransferases (KATs), and non-enzymatically, by acetyl-CoA and/or acetyl-phosphate. Such modification can be reversed by lysine deacetylases classified as NAD+ -dependent sirtuins or by classical Zn2+ -dependent deacetylases (KDACs). The regulation of protein lysine acetylation events by KATs and sirtuins/KDACs, or by non-enzymatic processes, is often assessed only indirectly by mass spectrometry or by mutational studies in cells. Mutational approaches to study lysine acetylation are limited, as these often poorly mimic lysine acetylation. Here, we describe protocols to assess the direct regulation of protein lysine acetylation by both sirtuins/KDACs and KATs, as well as non-enzymatically. We first describe a protocol for the production of site-specific lysine-acetylated proteins using a synthetic biological approach, the genetic code expansion concept (GCEC). These natively folded, lysine-acetylated proteins can then be used as direct substrates for sirtuins and KDACs. This approach addresses various limitations encountered with other methods. First, results from sirtuin/KDAC-catalyzed deacetylation assays obtained using acetylated peptides as substrates can vary considerably compared to experiments using natively folded substrate proteins. In addition, producing lysine-acetylated proteins for deacetylation assays by using recombinantly expressed KATs is difficult, as these often do not yield proteins that are homogeneously and quantitatively lysine acetylated. Moreover, KATs are often huge multi-domain proteins, which are difficult to recombinantly express and purify in soluble form. We also describe protocols to study the direct regulation of protein lysine acetylation, both enzymatically, by sirtuins/KDACs and KATs, and non-enzymatically, by acetyl-CoA and/or acetyl-phosphate. The latter protocol also includes a section that explains how specific lysine acetylation sites can be detected by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The protocols described here can be useful for providing a more detailed understanding of the enzymatic and non-enzymatic regulation of lysine acetylation sites, an important aspect to judge their physiological significance. © 2021 The Authors. Current Protocols published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: Preparation of N-(ε)-lysine-acetylated proteins using the genetic code expansion concept (GCEC) Basic Protocol 2: In vitro sirtuin (SIRT)-catalyzed deacetylation of lysine-acetylated proteins prepared by the GCEC Basic Protocol 3: In vitro KDAC/HDAC-catalyzed deacetylation of lysine-acetylated proteins Basic Protocol 4: In vitro lysine acetylation of recombinantly expressed proteins by lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) Basic Protocol 5: In vitro non-enzymatic lysine acetylation of proteins by acetyl-CoA and/or acetyl-phosphate.
    Keywords:  genetic code expansion; lysine acetylation; lysine acetyltransferases; lysine deacetylases; sirtuins