bims-meprid Biomed News
on Metabolic-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in differentiation and disease
Issue of 2021‒11‒28
eight papers selected by
Alessandro Carrer
Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine

  1. Cells. 2021 Oct 30. pii: 2962. [Epub ahead of print]10(11):
      Macrophage stimulation by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) like lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or lipoteichoic acid (LTA) drives a proinflammatory phenotype and induces a metabolic reprogramming to sustain the cell's function. Nevertheless, the relationship between metabolic shifts and gene expression remains poorly explored. In this context, the metabolic enzyme ATP citrate lyase (ACLY), the producer of citrate-derived acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA), plays a critical role in supporting a proinflammatory response. Through immunocytochemistry and cytosol-nucleus fractionation, we found a short-term ACLY nuclear translocation. Protein immunoprecipitation unveiled the role of nuclear ACLY in NF-κB acetylation and in turn its full activation in human PBMC-derived macrophages. Notably, sepsis in the early hyperinflammatory phase triggers ACLY-mediated NF-κB acetylation. The ACLY/NF-κB axis increases the expression levels of proinflammatory genes, including SLC25A1-which encodes the mitochondrial citrate carrier-and ACLY, thus promoting the existence of a proinflammatory loop involving SLC25A1 and ACLY genes.
    Keywords:  ACLY; NF-κB; PAMPs; gene expression; immunometabolism; inflammation; macrophages; nuclear translocation; p65 acetylation; sepsis
  2. Front Genet. 2021 ;12 768996
      Epigenetic modifications are responsible for finetuning gene expression profiles to the needs of cells, tissues, and organisms. To rapidly respond to environmental changes, the activity of chromatin modifiers critically depends on the concentration of a handful of metabolites that act as substrates and co-factors. In this way, these enzymes act as metabolic sensors that directly link gene expression to metabolic states. Although metabolites can easily diffuse through the nuclear pore, molecular mechanisms must be in place to regulate epigenetic marker deposition in specific nuclear subdomains or even on single loci. In this review, I explore the possible subcellular sites of metabolite production that influence the epigenome. From the relationship between cytoplasmic metabolism and nuclear metabolite deposition, I converse to the description of a compartmentalized nuclear metabolism. Last, I elaborate on the possibility of metabolic enzymes to operate in phase-separated nuclear microdomains formed by multienzyme and chromatin-bound protein complexes.
    Keywords:  chromatin; compartmentalization; epigenetics; liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS); nuclear metabolism
  3. Immunol Rev. 2021 Nov 24.
      Micronutrients are essential small molecules required by organisms in minute quantity for survival. For instance, vitamins and minerals, the two major categories of micronutrients, are central for biological processes such as metabolism, cell replication, differentiation, and immune response. Studies estimated that around two billion humans worldwide suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, also known as "hidden hunger," linked to weakened immune responses. While micronutrients affect the immune system at multiple levels, recent studies showed that micronutrients potentially impact the differentiation and function of immune cells as cofactors for epigenetic enzymes, including the 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase (2OGDD) family involved in histone and DNA demethylation. Here, we will first provide an overview of the role of DNA methylation in T cells and B cells, followed by the micronutrients ascorbate (vitamin C) and iron, two critical cofactors for 2OGDD. We will discuss the emerging evidence of these micronutrients could regulate adaptive immune response by influencing epigenetic remodeling.
    Keywords:  B cells; DNA methylation; T cells; epigenetics; iron; micronutrients; vitamin C
  4. Cell Signal. 2021 Nov 17. pii: S0898-6568(21)00290-4. [Epub ahead of print] 110201
      O-GlcNAcylation is a post-translational modification occurring on serine/threonine residues of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins, mediated by the enzymes OGT and OGA which catalyze the addition or removal of the UDP-GlcNAc moieties, respectively. Structural changes brought by this modification lead to alternations of protein stability, protein-protein interactions, and phosphorylation. Importantly, O-GlcNAcylation is a nutrient sensor by coupling nutrient sensing with cellular signaling. Elevated levels of OGT and O-GlcNAc have been reported in a variety of cancers and has been linked to regulation of multiple cancer signaling pathways. In this review, we discuss the most recent findings on the role of O-GlcNAcylation as a metabolic sensor in signaling pathways and immune response in cancer.
    Keywords:  Metabolism; O-GlcNAc; OGT; Signaling; Transcription; cancer
  5. J Exp Med. 2021 Dec 06. pii: e20210639. [Epub ahead of print]218(12):
      T cells possess distinguishing effector functions and drive inflammatory disorders. We have previously identified IL-5-producing Th2 cells as the pathogenic population predominantly involved in the pathology of allergic inflammation. However, the cell-intrinsic signaling pathways that control the pathogenic Th2 cell function are still unclear. We herein report the high expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1) in the pathogenic CD4+ T cell population in the lung and skin. The genetic deletion of CD4+ T cell-intrinsic ACC1 dampened eosinophilic and basophilic inflammation in the lung and skin by constraining IL-5 or IL-3 production. Mechanistically, ACC1-dependent fatty acid biosynthesis induces the pathogenic cytokine production of CD4+ T cells via metabolic reprogramming and the availability of acetyl-CoA for epigenetic regulation. We thus identified a distinct phenotype of the pathogenic T cell population in the lung and skin, and ACC1 was shown to be an essential regulator controlling the pathogenic function of these populations to promote type 2 inflammation.
  6. Cells. 2021 Nov 02. pii: 2986. [Epub ahead of print]10(11):
      Nutritional intake impacts the human epigenome by directing epigenetic pathways in normal cell development via as yet unknown molecular mechanisms. Consequently, imbalance in the nutritional intake is able to dysregulate the epigenetic profile and drive cells towards malignant transformation. Here we present a novel epigenetic effect of the essential nutrient, NAD. We demonstrate that impairment of DNMT1 enzymatic activity by NAD-promoted ADP-ribosylation leads to demethylation and transcriptional activation of the CEBPA gene, suggesting the existence of an unknown NAD-controlled region within the locus. In addition to the molecular events, NAD- treated cells exhibit significant morphological and phenotypical changes that correspond to myeloid differentiation. Collectively, these results delineate a novel role for NAD in cell differentiation, and indicate novel nutri-epigenetic strategies to regulate and control gene expression in human cells.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; NAD; epigenetics; gene regulation
  7. J Nutr Biochem. 2021 Nov 18. pii: S0955-2863(21)00328-4. [Epub ahead of print] 108908
      Succinic acid widely exists in foods and is used as a food additive. Succinate not only serves as an energy substrate, but also induces protein succinylation. Histone succinylation activates gene transcription. The brown adipose tissue (BAT) is critical for prevention of obesity and metabolic dysfunction, and the fetal stage is pivotal for BAT development. Up to now, the role of maternal succinate supplementation on fetal BAT development and offspring BAT function remains unexamined. To test, female C57BL/6J mice (2-month-old) were separated into two groups, received with or without 0.5% succinic acid in drinking water during gestation and lactation. After weaning, female offspring were challenged with high fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks. Newborn, female weanling, and HFD female offspring mice were analyzed. For neonatal and weaning mice, the BAT weight relative to the whole body weight was significantly increased in the succinate group. The expression of PGC-1α, a key transcription co-activator promoting mitochondrial biogenesis, was elevated in BAT of female neonatal and offspring born to succinate-fed dams. Consistently, maternal succinate supplementation enhanced thermogenesis and the expression of thermogenic genes in offspring BAT. Additionally, maternal succinate supplementation protected female offspring against HFD-induced obesity. Furthermore, in C3H10T1/2 cells, succinate supplementation promoted PGC-1α expression and brown adipogenesis. Mechanistically, succinate supplementation increased permissive histone succinylation and H3K4me3 modification in the Ppargc1a promoter, which correlated with the higher expression of Ppargc1a. In conclusion, maternal succinate supplementation during pregnancy and lactation enhanced fetal BAT development and offspring BAT thermogenesis, which prevented HFD-induced obesity and metabolism dysfunction in offspring.
    Keywords:  Brown adipose tissue; Maternal; Metabolism; Offspring; Succinate
  8. Int J Biol Sci. 2021 ;17(15): 4223-4237
      Lipid metabolites are emerging as pivotal regulators of protein function and cell signaling. The availability of intracellular fatty acid is tightly regulated by glycolipid metabolism and may affect human body through many biological mechanisms. Recent studies have demonstrated palmitate, either from exogenous fatty acid uptake or de novo fatty acid synthesis, may serve as the substrate for protein palmitoylation and regulate protein function via palmitoylation. Palmitoylation, the most-studied protein lipidation, encompasses the reversible covalent attachment of palmitate moieties to protein cysteine residues. It controls various cellular physiological processes and alters protein stability, conformation, localization, membrane association and interaction with other effectors. Dysregulation of palmitoylation has been implicated in a plethora of diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, cancers, neurological disorders and infections. Accordingly, it could be one of the molecular mechanisms underlying the impact of palmitate metabolite on cellular homeostasis and human diseases. Herein, we explore the relationship between lipid metabolites and the regulation of protein function through palmitoylation. We review the current progress made on the putative role of palmitate in altering the palmitoylation of key proteins and thus contributing to the pathogenesis of various diseases, among which we focus on metabolic disorders, cancers, inflammation and infections, neurodegenerative diseases. We also highlight the opportunities and new therapeutics to target palmitoylation in disease development.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Inflammation; Lipid metabolism; Neurodegeneration; Palmitoylation