bims-meprid Biomed News
on Metabolic-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in differentiation and disease
Issue of 2022‒01‒16
eight papers selected by
Alessandro Carrer
Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine

  1. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 793428
      Epigenetic modifications and metabolism are two fundamental biological processes. During tumorigenesis and cancer development both epigenetic and metabolic alterations occur and are often intertwined together. Epigenetic modifications contribute to metabolic reprogramming by modifying the transcriptional regulation of metabolic enzymes, which is crucial for glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, and amino acid metabolism. Metabolites provide substrates for epigenetic modifications, including histone modification (methylation, acetylation, and phosphorylation), DNA and RNA methylation and non-coding RNAs. Simultaneously, some metabolites can also serve as substrates for nonhistone post-translational modifications that have an impact on the development of tumors. And metabolic enzymes also regulate epigenetic modifications independent of their metabolites. In addition, metabolites produced by gut microbiota influence host metabolism. Understanding the crosstalk among metabolism, epigenetic modifications, and gene expression in cancer may help researchers explore the mechanisms of carcinogenesis and progression to metastasis, thereby provide strategies for the prevention and therapy of cancer. In this review, we summarize the progress in the understanding of the interactions between cancer metabolism and epigenetics.
    Keywords:  clinical trails; epigenetic modifications; gut microbiota; metabolic enzymes; metabolic reprogramming
  2. Cell Rep Med. 2021 Dec 21. 2(12): 100469
      The most frequently mutated metabolic genes in human cancer are those encoding the enzymes isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) and IDH2; these mutations have so far been identified in more than 20 tumor types. Since IDH mutations were first reported in glioma over a decade ago, extensive research has revealed their association with altered cellular processes. Mutations in IDH lead to a change in enzyme function, enabling efficient conversion of 2-oxoglutarate to R-2-hydroxyglutarate (R-2-HG). It is proposed that elevated cellular R-2-HG inhibits enzymes that regulate transcription and metabolism, subsequently affecting nuclear, cytoplasmic, and mitochondrial biochemistry. The significance of these biochemical changes for tumorigenesis and potential for therapeutic exploitation remains unclear. Here we comprehensively review reported direct and indirect metabolic changes linked to IDH mutations and discuss their clinical significance. We also review the metabolic effects of first-generation mutant IDH inhibitors and highlight the potential for combination treatment strategies and new metabolic targets.
    Keywords:  2-oxoglutarate; IDH inhibition; R-2-HG; R-2-hydoxyglutarate; TCA cycle; cancer metabolism; chromatin modification; histone modification; metabolic target; mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase; redox metabolism
  3. Chem Res Toxicol. 2022 Jan 12.
      2-Hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) is an unconventional oncometabolite of α-ketoglutarate. Isocitrate dehydrogenase mutation is generally acknowledged to be the main cause of 2-HG accumulation. In isocitrate dehydrogenase mutant tumors, 2-HG accumulation inhibits α-ketoglutarate/Fe(II)-dependent dioxygenases, resulting in epigenetic alterations. Recently, the increase of 2-HG has also been observed in the cases of mitochondrial dysfunction and hypoxia. In these cases, 2-HG not only inhibits α-ketoglutarate/Fe(II)-dependent dioxygenases to regulate epigenetics but also affects other cellular pathways, such as regulating hypoxia-inducible transcription factors and glycolysis. These provide a new perspective for the study of 2-HG.
  4. ACS Chem Biol. 2022 Jan 11.
      Biosynthesis of the hydroxamic acid siderophore desferrioxamine D1 (DFOD1, 6), which is the N-acetylated analogue of desferrioxamine B (DFOB, 5), has been delineated. Enzyme-independent Ac-CoA-mediated N-acetylation of 5 produced 6, in addition to three constitutional isomers containing an N-O-acetyl group installed at either one of the three hydroxamic acid groups of 5. The formation of N-Ac-DFOB (DFOD1, 6) and the composite of N-O-acetylated isomers N-O-Ac-DFOB[001] (6a), N-O-Ac-DFOB[010] (6b), and N-O-Ac-DFOB[100] (6c) (defined as the N-O-Ac motif positioned within the terminal amine, internal, or N-acetylated region of 5, respectively), was pH-dependent, with 6a-6c dominant at pH < 8.5 and 6 dominant at pH > 8.5. The trend in the pH dependence was consistent with the pKa values of the NH3+ (pKa ∼ 10) and N-OH (pKa ∼ 8.5-9) groups in 5. The N- and N-O-acetyl motifs can be conceived as a post-biosynthetic modification (PBM) of a nonproteinaceous secondary metabolite, akin to a post-translational modification (PTM) of a protein. The pH-labile N-O-acetyl group could act as a reversible switch to modulate the properties and functions of secondary metabolites, including hydroxamic acid siderophores. An alternative (most likely minor) biosynthetic pathway for 6 showed that the nonribosomal peptide synthetase-independent siderophore synthetase DesD was competent in condensing N'-acetyl-N-succinyl-N-hydroxy-1,5-diaminopentane (N'-Ac-SHDP, 7) with the dimeric hydroxamic acid precursor (AHDP-SHDP, 4) native to 5 biosynthesis to generate 6. The strategy of diversifying protein structure and function using PTMs could be paralleled in secondary metabolites with the use of PBMs.
  5. Immunity. 2022 Jan 11. pii: S1074-7613(21)00545-8. [Epub ahead of print]55(1): 1-3
      The role of folate-dependent one carbon (1C) metabolism in CD4+ T cell polarization is incompletely understood. In this issue of Immunity, Sugiura et al. (2021) provide evidence that blocking the 1C metabolic enzyme MTHFD2 may curb pro-inflammatory CD4+ T cells, while redirecting them toward a regulatory T cell phenotype.
  6. J Immunother Cancer. 2022 Jan;pii: e003543. [Epub ahead of print]10(1):
      BACKGROUND: Granzyme B is a key effector of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), and its expression level positively correlates with the response of patients with mesothelioma to immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy. Whether metabolic pathways regulate Gzmb expression in CTLs is incompletely understood.METHODS: A tumor-specific CTL and tumor coculture model and a tumor-bearing mouse model were used to determine the role of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) in CTL function and tumor immune evasion. A link between granzyme B expression and patient survival was analyzed in human patients with epithelioid mesothelioma.
    RESULTS: Mesothelioma cells alone are sufficient to activate tumor-specific CTLs and to enhance aerobic glycolysis to induce a PD-1hi Gzmblo CTL phenotype. However, inhibition of lactate dehydrogenase A, the key enzyme of the aerobic glycolysis pathway, has no significant effect on tumor-induced CTL activation. Tumor cells induce H3K9me3 deposition at the promoter of G6pd, the gene that encodes the rate-limiting enzyme G6PD in the pentose phosphate pathway, to downregulate G6pd expression in tumor-specific CTLs. G6PD activation increases acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) production to increase H3K9ac deposition at the Gzmb promoter and to increase Gzmb expression in tumor-specific CTLs converting them from a Gzmblo to a Gzmbhi phenotype, thus increasing CTL tumor lytic activity. Activation of G6PD increases Gzmb+ tumor-specific CTLs and suppresses tumor growth in tumor-bearing mice. Consistent with these findings, GZMB expression level was found to correlate with increased survival in patients with epithelioid mesothelioma.
    CONCLUSION: G6PD is a metabolic checkpoint in tumor-activated CTLs. The H3K9me3/G6PD/acetyl-CoA/H3K9ac/Gzmb pathway is particularly important in CTL activation and immune evasion in epithelioid mesothelioma.
    Keywords:  T lymphocytes; immune evasion; metabolic networks and pathways; programmed cell death 1 receptor; tumor escape
  7. Cytokine. 2022 Jan 05. pii: S1043-4666(21)00378-1. [Epub ahead of print]151 155789
      Gliomas are the most frequent type of brain tumors, with a high mortality rate and a lack of efficient targeted therapy. Methionine is an essential amino acid, and restriction of methionine in the diet has been found to prevent metabolic diseases and aging, inhibit cancer growth and improve cancer treatment. However, mechanisms of action by which methionine metabolism affects gliomas remain largely unclear. The present study found that methionine starvation of glioma cells significantly increased the expression of CXCL8. Mechanistically, E3 ubiquitin ligase was found to mediate the ubiquitinated degradation of the histone demethylase LSD1 via CBL, reducing LSD1 protein stability and, enhancing H3K4me1 modification of the CXCL8 gene. CXCL8 was found to be involved in regulating the reprogramming of glycerophospholipid metabolism, enabling it to respond to a methionine-deprived environment. CXCL8 expression was significantly higher in glioma than in normal brain tissue samples, with elevated CXCL8 being associated with poor prognosis. In summary, CBL-mediated degradation of LSD1 acts as an anti-braking system and serves as a quick adaptive mechanism for re-remodeling epigenetic modifications. This, in turn, promotes cell proliferation, even in a methionine-restricted environment. Taken together, these findings indicate that the CBL/LSD1/CXCL8 axis is a novel mechanistic connection linking between methionine metabolism, histone methylation and glycerophospholipid reprogramming in the tumor microenvironment.
    Keywords:  CBL; CXCL8; Glioma; Histone methylation; LSD1; Metabolism reprogram; Methionine
  8. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2022 Mar;29 101196
      Background: The expressions of genes related to lipid metabolism are decreased in adipocytes with insulin resistance. In this study, we examined the effects of fatty acids on the reduced expressions and histone acetylation of lipid metabolism-related genes in 3T3-L1 adipocytes treated with insulin resistance induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α.Methods: Short-, medium-, and long-chain fatty acid were co-administered with TNF-α in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Then, mRNA expressions and histone acetylation of genes involved in lipid metabolism were determined using mRNA microarrays, qRT-PCR, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays.
    Results: We found in microarray and subsequent qRT-PCR analyses that the expression levels of several lipid metabolism-related genes, including Gpd1, Cidec, and Cyp4b1, were reduced by TNF-α treatment and restored by co-treatment with a short-chain fatty acid (C4: butyric acid) and medium-chain fatty acids (C8: caprylic acid and C10: capric acid). The pathway analysis of the microarray showed that capric acid enhanced mRNA levels of genes in the PPAR signaling pathway and adipogenesis genes in the TNF-α-treated adipocytes. Histone acetylation around Cidec and Gpd1 genes were also reduced by TNF-α treatment and recovered by co-administration with short- and medium-chain fatty acids.
    General significance: Medium- and short-chain fatty acids induce the expressions of Cidec and Gpd1, which are lipid metabolism-related genes in insulin-resistant adipocytes, by promoting histone acetylation around these genes.
    Keywords:  Adipocyte; Histone acetylation; Insulin resistance; Medium-chain fatty acid; Short-chain fatty acid