bims-cagime Biomed News
on Cancer, aging and metabolism
Issue of 2022‒07‒31
forty papers selected by
Kıvanç Görgülü
Technical University of Munich

  1. Nat Genet. 2022 Jul 28.
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly lethal and treatment-refractory cancer. Molecular stratification in pancreatic cancer remains rudimentary and does not yet inform clinical management or therapeutic development. Here, we construct a high-resolution molecular landscape of the cellular subtypes and spatial communities that compose PDAC using single-nucleus RNA sequencing and whole-transcriptome digital spatial profiling (DSP) of 43 primary PDAC tumor specimens that either received neoadjuvant therapy or were treatment naive. We uncovered recurrent expression programs across malignant cells and fibroblasts, including a newly identified neural-like progenitor malignant cell program that was enriched after chemotherapy and radiotherapy and associated with poor prognosis in independent cohorts. Integrating spatial and cellular profiles revealed three multicellular communities with distinct contributions from malignant, fibroblast and immune subtypes: classical, squamoid-basaloid and treatment enriched. Our refined molecular and cellular taxonomy can provide a framework for stratification in clinical trials and serve as a roadmap for therapeutic targeting of specific cellular phenotypes and multicellular interactions.
  2. Nat Biotechnol. 2022 Jul 25.
      Mutations in Ras family proteins are implicated in 33% of human cancers, but direct pharmacological inhibition of Ras mutants remains challenging. As an alternative to direct inhibition, we screened for sensitivities in Ras-mutant cells and discovered 249C as a Ras-mutant selective cytotoxic agent with nanomolar potency against a spectrum of Ras-mutant cancers. 249C binds to vacuolar (V)-ATPase with nanomolar affinity and inhibits its activity, preventing lysosomal acidification and inhibiting autophagy and macropinocytosis pathways that several Ras-driven cancers rely on for survival. Unexpectedly, potency of 249C varies with the identity of the Ras driver mutation, with the highest potency for KRASG13D and G12V both in vitro and in vivo, highlighting a mutant-specific dependence on macropinocytosis and lysosomal pH. Indeed, 249C potently inhibits tumor growth without adverse side effects in mouse xenografts of KRAS-driven lung and colon cancers. A comparison of isogenic SW48 xenografts with different KRAS mutations confirmed that KRASG13D/+ (followed by G12V/+) mutations are especially sensitive to 249C treatment. These data establish proof-of-concept for targeting V-ATPase in cancers driven by specific KRAS mutations such as KRASG13D and G12V.
  3. Cancer Res. 2022 Jul 25. pii: CAN-22-0419. [Epub ahead of print]
      Epithelial transformation and carcinogenesis are characterized by profound alterations in cell mechanics that significantly impact multiple steps of the metastatic cascade. The ability of cancer cells to grow in the primary tumor, to locally invade through the confining extracellular matrix, to survive in circulation, and to extravasate into distant vital organs all depend on specific mechanical characteristics. Importantly, recent studies have shown that the mechanical properties of cancer cells also influence their interactions with immune and stromal cells. Here, we discuss the mechanical changes that cancer cells undergo during metastasis, how these changes impact immune and stromal responses, and the implications of these new insights for therapeutic intervention.
  4. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 Jul 25.
      Oncogenic Kras-activated pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells highly rely on an unconventional glutamine catabolic pathway to sustain cell growth. However, little is known about how this pathway is regulated. Here we demonstrate that Kras mutation induces cellular O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc), a prevalent form of protein glycosylation. Malate dehydrogenase 1 (MDH1), a key enzyme in the glutamine catabolic pathway, is positively regulated by O-GlcNAcylation on serine 189 (S189). Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that S189 glycosylation on monomeric MDH1 enhances the stability of the substrate-binding pocket and strengthens the substrate interactions by serving as a molecular glue. Depletion of O-GlcNAcylation reduces MDH1 activity, impairs glutamine metabolism, sensitizes PDAC cells to oxidative stress, decreases cell proliferation and inhibits tumor growth in nude mice. Furthermore, O-GlcNAcylation levels of MDH1 are elevated in clinical PDAC samples. Our study reveals that O-GlcNAcylation contributes to pancreatic cancer growth by regulating the metabolic activity of MDH1.
  5. Nat Metab. 2022 Jul 28.
      ABSTACT: Ageing is the largest risk factor for many chronic diseases. Studies of heterochronic parabiosis, substantiated by blood exchange and old plasma dilution, show that old-age-related factors are systemically propagated and have pro-geronic effects in young mice. However, the underlying mechanisms how bloodborne factors promote ageing remain largely unknown. Here, using heterochronic blood exchange in male mice, we show that aged mouse blood induces cell and tissue senescence in young animals after one single exchange. This induction of senescence is abrogated if old animals are treated with senolytic drugs before blood exchange, therefore attenuating the pro-geronic influence of old blood on young mice. Hence, cellular senescence is neither simply a response to stress and damage that increases with age, nor a chronological cell-intrinsic phenomenon. Instead, senescence quickly and robustly spreads to young mice from old blood. Clearing senescence cells that accumulate with age rejuvenates old circulating blood and improves the health of multiple tissues.
  6. EMBO J. 2022 Jul 25. e109205
      Patient-derived organoids and cellular spheroids recapitulate tissue physiology with remarkable fidelity. We investigated how engagement with a reconstituted basement membrane in three dimensions (3D) supports the polarized, stress resilient tissue phenotype of mammary epithelial spheroids. Cells interacting with reconstituted basement membrane in 3D had reduced levels of total and actin-associated filamin and decreased cortical actin tension that increased plasma membrane protrusions to promote negative plasma membrane curvature and plasma membrane protein associations linked to protein secretion. By contrast, cells engaging a reconstituted basement membrane in 2D had high cortical actin tension that forced filamin unfolding and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) associations. Enhanced filamin-ER interactions increased levels of PKR-like ER kinase effectors and ER-plasma membrane contact sites that compromised calcium homeostasis and diminished cell viability. Consequently, cells with decreased cortical actin tension had reduced ER stress and survived better. Consistently, cortical actin tension in cellular spheroids regulated polarized basement membrane membrane deposition and sensitivity to exogenous stress. The findings implicate cortical actin tension-mediated filamin unfolding in ER function and underscore the importance of tissue mechanics in organoid homeostasis.
    Keywords:  actin tension; endoplasmic reticulum; extracellular matrix; membrane contact sites; spheroids
  7. Nature. 2022 Jul 27.
      In response to hormones and growth factors, the class I phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) signalling network functions as a major regulator of metabolism and growth, governing cellular nutrient uptake, energy generation, reducing cofactor production and macromolecule biosynthesis1. Many of the driver mutations in cancer with the highest recurrence, including in receptor tyrosine kinases, Ras, PTEN and PI3K, pathologically activate PI3K signalling2,3. However, our understanding of the core metabolic program controlled by PI3K is almost certainly incomplete. Here, using mass-spectrometry-based metabolomics and isotope tracing, we show that PI3K signalling stimulates the de novo synthesis of one of the most pivotal metabolic cofactors: coenzyme A (CoA). CoA is the major carrier of activated acyl groups in cells4,5 and is synthesized from cysteine, ATP and the essential nutrient vitamin B5 (also known as pantothenate)6,7. We identify pantothenate kinase 2 (PANK2) and PANK4 as substrates of the PI3K effector kinase AKT8. Although PANK2 is known to catalyse the rate-determining first step of CoA synthesis, we find that the minimally characterized but highly conserved PANK49 is a rate-limiting suppressor of CoA synthesis through its metabolite phosphatase activity. Phosphorylation of PANK4 by AKT relieves this suppression. Ultimately, the PI3K-PANK4 axis regulates the abundance of acetyl-CoA and other acyl-CoAs, CoA-dependent processes such as lipid metabolism and proliferation. We propose that these regulatory mechanisms coordinate cellular CoA supplies with the demands of hormone/growth-factor-driven or oncogene-driven metabolism and growth.
  8. Nat Rev Immunol. 2022 Jul 25.
      Numerous mitochondrial constituents and metabolic products can function as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and promote inflammation when released into the cytosol or extracellular milieu. Several safeguards are normally in place to prevent mitochondria from eliciting detrimental inflammatory reactions, including the autophagic disposal of permeabilized mitochondria. However, when the homeostatic capacity of such systems is exceeded or when such systems are defective, inflammatory reactions elicited by mitochondria can become pathogenic and contribute to the aetiology of human disorders linked to autoreactivity. In addition, inefficient inflammatory pathways induced by mitochondrial DAMPs can be pathogenic as they enable the establishment or progression of infectious and neoplastic disorders. Here we discuss the molecular mechanisms through which mitochondria control inflammatory responses, the cellular pathways that are in place to control mitochondria-driven inflammation and the pathological consequences of dysregulated inflammatory reactions elicited by mitochondrial DAMPs.
  9. Cancer Discov. 2022 Jul 27. pii: CD-22-0661. [Epub ahead of print]
      Despite significant recent advances in precision medicine, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains near-uniformly lethal. While immune-modulatory therapies hold promise to meaningfully improve outcomes for PDAC patients, development of such therapies requires an improved understanding of the immune evasion mechanisms that characterize the PDAC microenvironment. Here we show that cancer cell-intrinsic glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase 2 (GOT2) shapes the immune microenvironment to suppress antitumor immunity. Mechanistically, we find that GOT2 functions beyond its established role in the malate-aspartate shuttle and promotes the transcriptional activity of nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta (PPARd), facilitated by direct fatty acid binding. While GOT2 is dispensable for cancer cell proliferation in vivo, the GOT2-PPARd axis promotes spatial restriction of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from the tumor microenvironment. Our results demonstrate a non-canonical function for an established mitochondrial enzyme in transcriptional regulation of immune evasion, which may be exploitable to promote a productive antitumor immune response.
  10. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 29. 13(1): 4406
      Emerging evidence suggests that resident macrophages within tissues are enablers of tumor growth. However, a second population of resident macrophages surrounds all visceral organs within the cavities and nothing is known about these GATA6+ large peritoneal macrophages (GLPMs) despite their ability to invade injured visceral organs by sensing danger signals. Here, we show that GLPMs invade growing metastases that breach the visceral mesothelium of the liver via the "find me signal", ATP. Depleting GLPMs either by pharmacological or genetic tools, reduces metastases growth. Apoptotic bodies from tumor cells induces programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) upregulation on GLPMs which block CD8+ T cell function. Direct targeting of GLPMs by intraperitoneal but not intravenous administration of anti-PD-L1 reduces tumor growth. Thermal ablation of liver metastases recruits huge numbers of GLPMs and enables rapid regrowth of tumors. GLPMs contribute to metastatic growth and tumor recurrence.
  11. Sci Signal. 2022 Jul 26. 15(744): eade0564
      Inhibition of a zinc transporter improves the maturation and survival of β cells.
  12. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2022 Jul 24. pii: S0360-3016(22)00738-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: The oligometastatic state is observed in patients across many malignancies, with increased recognition regarding improved outcomes after local therapies. However, there is limited data specifically regarding pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We hypothesized that an oligometastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (OPanc) phenotype would benefit from stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) to all active metastatic sites. Here, we report our institutional experience of SABR-treated OPanc to evaluate the feasibility of the approach.METHODS AND MATERIALS: A retrospective review of patients with synchronous or metachronous OPanc (one to five metastases) who received SABR to all active metastatic sites was performed. We identified a comparable group of patients with similar metastatic burden, range of CA19-9 levels, and no progression for at least five months who did not receive SABR. We compared overall survival as the primary outcome, and polyprogression-free survival and time off chemotherapy as the secondary exploratory assessments. A third group presenting with stage IV PDAC and more than five distant lesions (polymetastatic) was identified to help define expected outcomes after polyprogression.
    RESULTS: Our study included 20 patients with OPanc receiving SABR and 21 who did not. SABR was delivered to 38 metastatic tumors. Out of the 20 SABR-treated OPanc patients, 17 (85%) had six or more months of time off chemotherapy, compared to seven patients (33.3%) among the chemotherapy-treated group. Median polyprogression-free survival was 40 and 14 months (hazard ratio= 0.2, 95% confidence interval 0.07-0.54, p-value= 0.0009), and overall survival was 42 and 18 months (hazard ratio= 0.21, 95% confidence interval 0.08-0.53, p-value= 0.0003), for SABR and chemotherapy-treated cohorts, respectively.
    CONCLUSIONS: Management of OPanc with SABR as local regional therapy could improve outcomes in a selected population and warrants prospective evaluation.
  13. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2022 Jul 30.
      PURPOSE: Aurora Kinase A (AKA) inhibition with gemcitabine represents a potentially synergistic cancer treatment strategy via mitotic catastrophe. The feasibility, safety, and preliminary efficacy of alisertib (MLN8237), an oral AKA inhibitor, with gemcitabine was evaluated in this open-label phase I trial with dose escalation and expansion.METHODS: Key inclusion criteria included advanced solid tumor with any number of prior chemotherapy regimens in the dose escalation phase, and advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma with up to two prior chemotherapy regimens. Four dose levels (DLs 1-4) of alisertib (20, 30, 40, or 50 mg) were evaluated in 3 + 3 design with gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 in 28-day cycles.
    RESULTS: In total, 21 subjects were treated in dose escalation and 5 subjects were treated in dose expansion at DL4. Dose-limiting toxicities were observed in 1 of 6 subjects each in DL3 and DL4. All subjects experienced treatment-related adverse events. Grade ≥ 3 treatment-related adverse events were observed in 73% of subjects, with neutropenia observed in 54%. Out of 22 subjects evaluable for response, 2 subjects (9%) had partial response and 14 subjects (64%) had stable disease. Median PFS was 4.1 months (95% CI 2.1-4.5). No significant changes in pharmacokinetic parameters for gemcitabine or its metabolite dFdU were observed with alisertib co-administration.
    CONCLUSIONS: This trial established the recommended phase 2 dose of alisertib 50 mg to be combined with gemcitabine. Gemcitabine and alisertib are a feasible strategy with potential for disease control in multiple heavily pre-treated tumors, though gastrointestinal and hematologic toxicity was apparent.
    Keywords:  Alisertib; Aurora kinase a; Gemcitabine; Pharmacokinetics; Phase I
  14. Autophagy. 2022 Jul 28.
      PINK1-PRKN/Parkin-mediated mitophagy represents an important mitochondrial quality control (MQC) pathway that clears damaged/dysfunctional mitochondria. Although the conjugation of mammalian Atg8-family proteins (mATG8s) to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) is a defining step in autophagy, its role in mitophagy remains unclear. In our recent study, we found that the mATG8 conjugation system is not required for PINK1-PRKN-mediated mitochondria clearance. Instead, mATG8 conjugation system-independent mitochondria clearance relies on secretory autophagy, in a process we term as the autophagic secretion of mitochondria (ASM). As ASM results in the spurious activation of the CGAS-STING1 pathway, we propose that defects in mATG8 lipidation may promote inflammation through ASM.
    Keywords:  Extracellular vesicles; PINK1-PRKN; inflammation; mATG8 conjugation system; mitochondrial quality control; mitophagy; secretory autophagy
  15. Gastroenterology. 2022 Jul 20. pii: S0016-5085(22)00823-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Pancreatic cancer (PDAC) is a highly lethal malignancy, requiring efficient detection when the primary tumor is still resectable. We had previously developed the MxPancreasScore comprising nine analytes and serum CA19-9, achieving an accuracy of 90.6%. The necessity for five different analytic platforms and multiple analytic runs however hindered clinical applicability. Therefore, we aimed to develop a simpler single-analytical run, single-platform diagnostic signature.METHODS: 941 patients (PDAC=356, CP=304, non-pancreatic disease=281) in three multicenter independent test and validation cohorts (ID, VD1, VD2) were evaluated. Targeted quantitative plasma metabolite analysis was performed on a LC-MS/MS platform. A machine learning aided algorithm identified an improved (i-Metabolic) and minimalistic metabolic (m-Metabolic) signatures, and compared for performance.
    RESULTS: The i-Metabolic Signature, (12 analytes plus CA19-9) distinguished PDAC from CP with AUC (95%CI) of 97.2 (97.1-97.3)%, 93.5 (93.4-93.7)%, and 92.2 (92.1-92.3)% in the ID-, VD1- and VD2 cohorts, respectively. In the VD2 cohort, the m-Metabolic signature (4 analytes plus CA19-9) discriminated PDAC from CP with a sensitivity of 77.3% and specificity of 89.6% with an overall accuracy of 82.4%. For the subsets of PDAC patients with resectable stages IA-IIB tumors (N=45), the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were 73.2%, 89.6%, and 82.7% respectively; for those with detectable CA19.9 >2 U/ml, 81.6%, 88.7% and 84.5% respectively; and for those with CA19.9 <37 U/ml, 39.7%, 94.1%, and 76.3% respectively.
    CONCLUSIONS: The single-platform, single-run, m-Metabolic signature of just four metabolites used in combination with serum CA19-9 levels is an innovative accurate diagnostic tool for PDAC at the time of clinical presentation, warranting further large-scale evaluation.
    Keywords:  CA19-9; chronic pancreatitis; diagnostic signature; metabolic signature; pancreatic cancer
  16. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Aug 02. 119(31): e2204407119
      Cellular metabolism is regulated over space and time to ensure that energy production is efficiently matched with consumption. Fluorescent biosensors are useful tools for studying metabolism as they enable real-time detection of metabolite abundance with single-cell resolution. For monitoring glycolysis, the intermediate fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (FBP) is a particularly informative signal as its concentration is strongly correlated with flux through the whole pathway. Using GFP insertion into the ligand-binding domain of the Bacillus subtilis transcriptional regulator CggR, we developed a fluorescent biosensor for FBP termed HYlight. We demonstrate that HYlight can reliably report the real-time dynamics of glycolysis in living cells and tissues, driven by various metabolic or pharmacological perturbations, alone or in combination with other physiologically relevant signals. Using this sensor, we uncovered previously unknown aspects of β-cell glycolytic heterogeneity and dynamics.
    Keywords:  fructose 1,6-bisphosphate; glycolysis; β-cells
  17. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2022 Jul 28.
      BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy induces a cachectic-like phenotype, accompanied by skeletal muscle wasting, weakness and mitochondrial dysfunction. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1 alpha (PGC1α), a regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, is often reduced in cachectic skeletal muscle. Overexpression of PGC1α has yielded mixed beneficial results in cancer cachexia, yet investigations using such approach in a chemotherapy setting are limited. Utilizing transgenic mice, we assessed whether overexpression of PGC1α could combat the skeletal muscle consequences of cisplatin.METHODS: Young (2 month) and old (18 month) wild-type (WT) and PGC1α transgenic male and female mice (Tg) were injected with cisplatin (C; 2.5 mg/kg) for 2 weeks, while control animals received saline (n = 5-9/group). Animals were assessed for muscle mass and force, motor unit connectivity, and expression of mitochondrial proteins.
    RESULTS: Young WT + C mice displayed reduced gastrocnemius mass (male: -16%, P < 0.0001; female: -11%, P < 0.001), muscle force (-6%, P < 0.05, both sexes), and motor unit number estimation (MUNE; male: -53%, P < 0.01; female: -51%, P < 0.01). Old WT + C male and female mice exhibited gastrocnemius wasting (male: -22%, P < 0.05; female: -27%, P < 0.05), muscle weakness (male: -20%, P < 0.0001; female: -17%, P < 0.01), and loss of MUNE (male: -82%, P < 0.01; female: -62%, P < 0.05), suggesting exacerbated cachexia compared with younger animals. Overexpression of PGC1α had mild protective effects on muscle mass in young Tg + C male only (gastrocnemius: +10%, P < 0.05); however, force and MUNE were unchanged in both young Tg + C male and female, suggesting preservation of neuromuscular function. In older male, protective effects associated with PGC1α overexpression were heighted with Tg + C demonstrating preserved muscle mass (gastrocnemius: +34%, P < 0.001), muscle force (+13%, P < 0.01), and MUNE (+3-fold, P < 0.05). Similarly, old female Tg + C did not exhibit muscle wasting or reductions in MUNE, and had preserved muscle force (+11%, P < 0.05) compared with female WT + C. Follow-up molecular analysis demonstrated that aged WT animals were more susceptible to cisplatin-induced loss of mitochondrial proteins, including PGC1α, OPA1, cytochrome-C, and Cox IV.
    CONCLUSIONS: In our study, the negative effects of cisplatin were heighted in aged animals, whereas overexpression of PGC1α was sufficient to combat the neuromuscular dysfunction caused by cisplatin, especially in older animals. Hence, our observations indicate that aged animals may be more susceptible to develop chemotherapy side toxicities and that mitochondria-targeted strategies may serve as a tool to prevent chemotherapy-induced muscle wasting and weakness.
    Keywords:  Chemotherapy; Cisplatin; PGC1α; Skeletal muscle; cachexia
  18. JCI Insight. 2022 Jul 26. pii: e158737. [Epub ahead of print]
      Increased red cell distribution width (RDW), which measures erythrocyte volume (MCV) variability (anisocytosis), has been linked to early mortality in many diseases and in older adults through unknown mechanisms. Hypoxic stress has been proposed as a potential mechanism. However, experimental models to investigate the link between increased RDW and reduced survival are lacking. Here, we show that lifelong hypobaric hypoxia (~10% O2) increases erythrocyte numbers, hemoglobin and RDW, while reducing longevity in male mice. Compound heterozygous knockout (chKO) mutations in succinate dehydrogenase (Sdh; mitochondrial complex II) genes Sdhb, Sdhc and Sdhd reduce Sdh subunit protein levels, RDW, and increase healthy lifespan compared to wild-type (WT) mice in chronic hypoxia. RDW-SD, a direct measure of MCV variability, and the standard deviation of MCV (1SD-RDW) show the most statistically significant reductions in Sdh hKO mice. Tissue metabolomic profiling of 147 common metabolites shows the largest increase in succinate with elevated succinate to fumarate and succinate to oxoglutarate (2-ketoglutarate) ratios in Sdh hKO mice. These results demonstrate that mitochondrial complex II level is an underlying determinant of both RDW and healthy lifespan in hypoxia, and suggest that therapeutic targeting of Sdh might reduce high RDW-associated clinical mortality in hypoxic diseases.
    Keywords:  Hematology; Hypoxia; Mitochondria; Pulmonology
  19. STAR Protoc. 2022 Sep 16. 3(3): 101563
      Innate lymphoid cells 2 (ILC2) play a significant role in the tumorigenesis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). An important aspect of ILC2-mediated tumorigenesis is the expansion of the resident ILC2 and simultaneous recruitment of the peripheral ILC2. Here, we describe a protocol for isolation, enrichment, and DiD labeling of ILC2 for in vivo tracking of ILC2s in the mouse. Further, we describe steps for the adoptive transfer of ILC2 to a recipient mouse model of PDAC. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Alam et al. (2022).
    Keywords:  Cancer; Cell Biology; Cell culture; Cell isolation; Immunology; Model Organisms
  20. Nat Immunol. 2022 Jul 26.
      Emergent physical properties of tissues are not readily understood by reductionist studies of their constituent cells. Here, we show molecular signals controlling cellular, physical, and structural properties and collectively determine tissue mechanics of lymph nodes, an immunologically relevant adult tissue. Lymph nodes paradoxically maintain robust tissue architecture in homeostasis yet are continually poised for extensive expansion upon immune challenge. We find that in murine models of immune challenge, cytoskeletal mechanics of a cellular meshwork of fibroblasts determine tissue tension independently of extracellular matrix scaffolds. We determine that C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2)-podoplanin signaling regulates the cell surface mechanics of fibroblasts, providing a mechanically sensitive pathway to regulate lymph node remodeling. Perturbation of fibroblast mechanics through genetic deletion of podoplanin attenuates T cell activation. We find that increased tissue tension through the fibroblastic stromal meshwork is required to trigger the initiation of fibroblast proliferation and restore homeostatic cellular ratios and tissue structure through lymph node expansion.
  21. Science. 2022 Jul 29. 377(6605): 489-495
      Our understanding of the physical principles organizing the genome in the nucleus is limited by the lack of tools to directly exert and measure forces on interphase chromosomes in vivo and probe their material nature. Here, we introduce an approach to actively manipulate a genomic locus using controlled magnetic forces inside the nucleus of a living human cell. We observed viscoelastic displacements over micrometers within minutes in response to near-piconewton forces, which are consistent with a Rouse polymer model. Our results highlight the fluidity of chromatin, with a moderate contribution of the surrounding material, revealing minor roles for cross-links and topological effects and challenging the view that interphase chromatin is a gel-like material. Our technology opens avenues for future research in areas from chromosome mechanics to genome functions.
  22. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Aug 02. 119(31): e2203167119
      Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) mediate essential interactions throughout the extracellular matrix (ECM), providing signals that regulate cellular growth and development. Altered HSPG composition during tumorigenesis strongly aids cancer progression. Heparanase (HPSE) is the principal enzyme responsible for extracellular heparan sulfate catabolism and is markedly up-regulated in aggressive cancers. HPSE overactivity degrades HSPGs within the ECM, facilitating metastatic dissemination and releasing mitogens that drive cellular proliferation. Reducing extracellular HPSE activity reduces cancer growth, but few effective inhibitors are known, and none are clinically approved. Inspired by the natural glycosidase inhibitor cyclophellitol, we developed nanomolar mechanism-based, irreversible HPSE inhibitors that are effective within physiological environments. Application of cyclophellitol-derived HPSE inhibitors reduces cancer aggression in cellulo and significantly ameliorates murine metastasis. Mechanism-based irreversible HPSE inhibition is an unexplored anticancer strategy. We demonstrate the feasibility of such compounds to control pathological HPSE-driven malignancies.
    Keywords:  cancer; covalent inhibition; heparan sulfate; heparanase; metastasis
  23. Diabetes. 2022 Jul 26. pii: db220035. [Epub ahead of print]
      Caveolin-1 (cav1) is an important structural and signaling component of plasma membrane invaginations called caveolae and is abundant in adipocytes. As previously reported, adipocyte-specific ablation of the cav1 gene (ad-cav1KO mouse) does not result in elimination of the protein, as cav1 protein traffics to adipocytes from neighboring endothelial cells. However, this mouse is a functional knockout as adipocyte caveolar structures are depleted. Compared to controls, ad-cav1KO mice on a high-fat diet (HFD) display improved whole-body glucose clearance despite complete loss of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, blunted insulin-stimulated AKT activation in metabolic tissues and partial lipodystrophy. The cause is increased insulin-independent glucose uptake by white adipose tissue (AT) and reduced hepatic gluconeogenesis. Furthermore, high fat fed ad-cav1KO mice display significant AT inflammation, fibrosis, mitochondrial dysfunction, and dysregulated lipid metabolism. The glucose clearance phenotype of the ad-cav1KO mice is at least partially mediated by AT small extracellular vesicles (AT-sEVs). Injection of control mice with AT-sEVs from ad-cav1KO mice phenocopies ad-cav1KO characteristics. Interestingly, AT-sEVs from ad-cav1KO mice propagate the phenotype of the AT to the liver. These data indicate that adipocyte cav1 is essential for healthy adaptation of the AT to overnutrition and prevents aberrant propagation of negative phenotypes to other organs by EVs.
  24. Turk Patoloji Derg. 2022 Jun 01.
      OBJECTIVE: While the presence and number of metastatic lymph nodes (LNs) are important prognostic factors for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), there is no recommendation to specify metastatic regional LN localization in the current staging system. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic effect of regional metastatic LN localizations in PDAC.MATERIAL AND METHOD: Metastatic sites of 101 consecutive PDAC patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy were classified as peripancreatic, perigastric, hepatica communis, hepatoduodenal, and superior mesenteric artery. The frequency of metastasis in each region and the association between the presence of metastasis in each site and overall and disease-free survival were statistically analyzed.
    RESULTS: Eighty cases (79.2%) had peripancreatic, 7 (6.9%) had perigastric, 6 (5.9%) had hepatica communis, 7 (6.9%) had hepatoduodenal, and 4 (4%) had superior mesenteric artery LN metastasis. The overall and disease-free survival values were significantly shorter in patients with hepatoduodenal LN metastasis (log rank; p= 0.001, p=0.017, respectively). The presence of metastatic superior mesenteric artery LN was significantly associated with shorter disease-free survival in univariate analysis (p=0.017). Hepatoduodenal LN metastasis was an independent predictor of mortality (p=0.005) in multivariate analysis.
    CONCLUSION: The presence of hepatoduodenal LN metastasis is an independent poor prognostic factor for mortality. The presence of metastatic LN in the superior mesenteric artery region was significantly associated with shorter disease-free survival time, although not an independent predictor. We conclude that the metastatic regional LN sites, especially the hepatoduodenal region, have an impact on the prognosis, and should be included in synoptic pathology reports.
  25. Nutrients. 2022 Jul 21. pii: 2983. [Epub ahead of print]14(14):
      Later life changes in body weight may be associated with an increased risk of mortality in older adults. The objective of this study was to examine whether weight change over four years was associated with a 17-year mortality risk in older adults. Participants were 1664 community-dwelling adults aged ≥65 years in the longitudinal Enquete de Sante' Psychologique-Risques, Incidence et Traitement (ESPRIT) study. Outcomes were all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer mortality. Weight change was defined as difference between weight at baseline and 4 years, categorised into: weight stable (±&lt;5% weight change), weight loss (≥5%) and weight gain (≥5%). Association between weight change and mortality risk was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards models. Over 17 years of follow-up (median 15 years), 565 participants died. Compared to stable weight participants, those with ≥ 5% weight loss had an increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.00-1.56, p = 0.05) and CVD mortality (HR: 1.53, 95% CI: 1.10-2.14, p = 0.01), but not cancer mortality (HR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.50-1.39, p = 0.49). Weight gain of ≥5% was not associated with increased mortality (HR: 1.05, 95% CI: 0.76-1.45, p = 0.74). Weight monitoring in older adults could help identify weight loss at its early stages to better target interventions to maintain nutritional reserve and prevent premature mortality.
    Keywords:  aged; ageing; body weight; body weight maintenance; healthy aging; mortality; older adults; weight change; weight gain; weight loss
  26. STAR Protoc. 2022 Sep 16. 3(3): 101577
      Soft fibrin gels are used to select tumorigenic cells and regulate the stemness and metastasis of colorectal cancer cells via mechanotransduction. This protocol details steps to produce two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) extracellular matrices for substrate rigidity manipulation and tumorigenic cell selection. We also describe how it can be applied to tumor mechanotransductive research by colony growth monitoring and cell isolation. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Chang et al. (2022).
    Keywords:  Biophysics; Biotechnology and bioengineering; Cancer; Cell Biology
  27. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jul 15. pii: 7824. [Epub ahead of print]23(14):
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is associated with poor prognosis because it is often detected at an advanced stage, and drug resistance interferes with treatment. However, the mechanism underlying drug resistance in PDAC remains unclear. Here, we investigated metabolic changes between a parental PDAC cell line and a gemcitabine (GEM)-resistant PDAC cell line. We established a GEM-resistant cell line, MIA-G, from MIA-PaCa-2 parental (MIA-P) cells using continuous therapeutic-dose GEM treatment. MIA-G cells were also more resistant to 5-fluorouracil in comparison to MIA-P cells. Metabolic flux analysis showed a higher oxygen consumption rate (OCR) in MIA-G cells than in MIA-P cells. Notably, OCR was suppressed by GEM treatment only in MIA-G cells. GEM treatment increased mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) in MIA-P cells, but not in MIA-G cells. Glutamine uptake and peroxidase levels were elevated in MIA-G cells. The antioxidants N-acetyl-L-cysteine and vitamin C increased the sensitivity to GEM in both cell lines. In MIA-G cells, the expression of the mitochondrial transcription factor A also decreased. Furthermore, rotenone reduced the sensitivity of MIA-P cells to GEM. These findings suggest that the suppression of oxidative phosphorylation contributes to GEM resistance by reducing ROS production. Our study provides a new approach for reducing GEM resistance in PDAC.
    Keywords:  ROS; drug resistance; energy metabolism; gemcitabine; pancreatic ductal carcinoma
  28. NAR Cancer. 2022 Sep;4(3): zcac022
      A problematic feature of many human cancers is a lack of understanding of mechanisms controlling organ-specific patterns of metastasis, despite recent progress in identifying many mutations and transcriptional programs shown to confer this potential. To address this gap, we developed a methodology that enables different aspects of the metastatic process to be comprehensively characterized at a clonal resolution. Our approach exploits the application of a computational pipeline to analyze and visualize clonal data obtained from transplant experiments in which a cellular DNA barcoding strategy is used to distinguish the separate clonal contributions of two or more competing cell populations. To illustrate the power of this methodology, we demonstrate its ability to discriminate the metastatic behavior in immunodeficient mice of a well-established human metastatic cancer cell line and its co-transplanted LRRC15 knockdown derivative. We also show how the use of machine learning to quantify clone-initiating cell (CIC) numbers and their subsequent metastatic progeny generated in different sites can reveal previously unknown relationships between different cellular genotypes and their initial sites of implantation with their subsequent respective dissemination patterns. These findings underscore the potential of such combined genomic and computational methodologies to identify new clonally-relevant drivers of site-specific patterns of metastasis.
  29. iScience. 2022 Aug 19. 25(8): 104696
      Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) enter the vasculature from solid tumors and disseminate widely to initiate metastases. Mining the metastatic-enriched molecular signatures of CTCs before, during, and after treatment holds unique potential in personalized oncology. Their extreme rarity, however, requires isolation from large blood volumes at high yield and purity, yet they overlap leukocytes in size and other biophysical properties. Additionally, many CTCs lack EpCAM that underlies much of affinity-based capture, complicating their separation from blood. Here, we provide a comprehensive introduction of CTC isolation technology, by analyzing key separation modes and integrated isolation strategies. Attention is focused on recent progress in microfluidics, where an accelerating evolution is occurring in high-throughput sorting of cells along multiple dimensions.
    Keywords:  Biotechnology; Cell biology; Technical aspects of cell biology
  30. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 25. 13(1): 4303
      Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles whose fragmentation by fission is critical to their functional integrity and cellular homeostasis. Here, we develop a method via optogenetic control of mitochondria-lysosome contacts (MLCs) to induce mitochondrial fission with spatiotemporal accuracy. MLCs can be achieved by blue-light-induced association of mitochondria and lysosomes through various photoactivatable dimerizers. Real-time optogenetic induction of mitochondrial fission is tracked in living cells to measure the fission rate. The optogenetic method partially restores the mitochondrial functions of SLC25A46-/- cells, which display defects in mitochondrial fission and hyperfused mitochondria. The optogenetic MLCs system thus provides a platform for studying mitochondrial fission and treating mitochondrial diseases.
  31. Nanomedicine. 2022 Jul 20. pii: S1549-9634(22)00069-7. [Epub ahead of print] 102583
      Fluorescent-intraoperative navigation is a visual technique that allows surgeons to accurately distinguish malignant and normal tissues during surgery. It has the advantages of immediacy, high resolution, and high specificity. However, a single fluorescent source cannot provide sufficient surgical information. Multicolour carbon dots (CDs) are more suitable since they provide outstanding water solubility, photostability, and multicolour-fluorescence imaging. Here, we prepared an optical probe with CD-based multicolour-fluorescence imaging via a hydrothermal method. CDs can be endocytosed by tumour cells, and after intravenous injection, they can effectively accumulate at the tumour site. In a pancreatic cancer mouse model, we demonstrated the multicolour-fluorescence imaging capabilities of CDs, which aided the accurate resection of tumours under fluorescent-intraoperative navigation. Stereoscopic fluorescence microscopy imaging and H&E staining proved that the removed tissue belonged to the pancreatic tumour. This study emphasizes the potential of CDs for fluorescence-guided intraoperative resection and expands the application of CDs in biological fields.
    Keywords:  Carbon dots; Fluorescent probe; Multicolour; Nano-theranostic; cancer therapy
  32. Soft Matter. 2022 Jul 27.
      Metastatic cancers are chemoresistant, involving complex interplay between disseminated cancer cell aggregates and the distant organ microenvironment (extracellular matrix and stromal cells). Conventional metastasis surrogates (scratch/wound healing, Transwell migration assays) lack 3D architecture and ECM presence. Metastasis studies can therefore significantly benefit from biomimetic 3D in vitro models recapitulating the complex cascade of distant organ invasion and colonization by collective clusters of cells. We aimed to engineer reproducible and quantifiable 3D models of highly therapy-resistant cancer processes: (i) colorectal cancer liver metastasis; and (ii) breast cancer lung metastasis. Metastatic seeds are engineered using 3D tumor spheroids to recapitulate the 3D aggregation of cancer cells both in the tumor and in circulation throughout the metastatic cascade of many cancers. Metastatic soil was engineered by decellularizing porcine livers and lungs to generate biomatrix scaffolds, followed by extensive materials characterization. HCT116 colorectal and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer spheroids were generated on hanging drop arrays to initiate clustered metastatic seeding into liver and lung biomatrix scaffolds, respectively. Between days 3-7, biomatrix cellular colonization was apparent with increased metabolic activity and the presence of cellular nests evaluated via multiphoton microscopy. HCT116 and MDA-MB-231 cells colonized liver and lung biomatrices, and at least 15% of the cells invaded more than 20 μm from the surface. Engineered metastases also expressed increased signatures of genes associated with the metastatic epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Importantly, inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-9 inhibited metastatic invasion into the biomatrix. Furthermore, metastatic nests were significantly more chemoresistant (>3 times) to the anti-cancer drug oxaliplatin, compared to 3D spheroids. Together, our data indicated that HCT116 and MDA-MB-231 spheroids invade, colonize, and proliferate in livers and lungs establishing metastatic nests in 3D settings in vitro. The metastatic nature of these cells was confirmed with functional readouts regarding EMT and chemoresistance. Modeling the dynamic metastatic cascade in vitro has potential to identify therapeutic targets to treat or prevent metastatic progression in chemoresistant metastatic cancers.
  33. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jul 20. pii: 3528. [Epub ahead of print]14(14):
      Pancreatic cancer is known to have the lowest survival outcomes among all major cancers, and unfortunately, this has only been marginally improved over last four decades. The innate characteristics of pancreatic cancer include an aggressive and fast-growing nature from powerful driver mutations, a highly defensive tumor microenvironment and the upregulation of advantageous survival pathways such as autophagy. Autophagy involves targeted degradation of proteins and organelles to provide a secondary source of cellular supplies to maintain cell growth. Elevated autophagic activity in pancreatic cancer is recognized as a major survival pathway as it provides a plethora of support for tumors by supplying vital resources, maintaining tumour survival under the stressful microenvironment and promoting other pathways involved in tumour progression and metastasis. The combination of these features is unique to pancreatic cancer and present significant resistance to chemotherapeutic strategies, thus, indicating a need for further investigation into therapies targeting this crucial pathway. This review will outline the autophagy pathway and its regulation, in addition to the genetic landscape and tumor microenvironment that contribute to pancreatic cancer severity. Moreover, this review will also discuss the mechanisms of novel therapeutic strategies that inhibit autophagy and how they could be used to suppress tumor progression.
    Keywords:  autophagy; autophagy inhibitors; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; stress; tumor microenvironment
  34. Ann Diagn Pathol. 2022 Jul 22. pii: S1092-9134(22)00118-6. [Epub ahead of print]60 152016
      BACKGROUND: Genomic profiling of tumors is available, but whether the small fragment obtained via endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle biopsy (EUS-FNB) is sufficient for these examinations is unknown. Here we investigated whether EUS-FNB specimens are suitable for genomic profiling to identify oncogenic and drug-matched mutations.METHODS: We constructed a pancreatobiliary cancer panel for targeted panel sequencing that covered 60 significantly mutated genes and compared the results with those of whole-exome sequencing (WES). In total, 20 and 53 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues obtained via surgery and EUS-FNB were analyzed, respectively. First, we examined the DNA quality and genomic profiles of 20 paired samples from 20 malignant lesions obtained via surgery and EUS-FNB. We then tested 33 samples obtained via EUS-FNB from 24 malignant and 9 benign lesions for the discrimination of malignancy. Finally, we explored drug-matched mutations from EUS-FNB specimens.
    RESULTS: Although the DNA quantity obtained via surgery was higher than that obtained via EUS-FNB (P = 0.017), the DNA quality and mean depth were equivalent (P = 0.441 and P = 0.251). Panel sequencing of EUS-FNB specimens identified more oncogenic mutations than WES (90 % vs. 50 %). Furthermore, the number of oncogenic mutations did not differ between EUS-FNB and surgically resected specimens. Genomic profiling of EUS-FNB specimens enabled the discrimination of malignancy with 98 % accuracy. Of 44 malignant lesions, drug-matched alterations were identified in 14 % (6/44) of malignant lesions.
    CONCLUSION: EUS-FNB specimens can be widely utilized for diagnostic purposes, discrimination of malignancy, and detection of drug-matched mutations for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
    Keywords:  Genomics; Mutation; Neoplasms; Oncogenes; Pancreatic cancer
  35. Biomedicines. 2022 Jul 05. pii: 1596. [Epub ahead of print]10(7):
      Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved and tightly regulated process that plays an important role in maintaining cellular homeostasis. It involves regulation of various genes that function to degrade unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components, and to recycle metabolic substrates. Autophagy is modulated by many factors, such as nutritional status, energy level, hypoxic conditions, endoplasmic reticulum stress, hormonal stimulation and drugs, and these factors can regulate autophagy both upstream and downstream of the pathway. In cancer, autophagy acts as a double-edged sword depending on the tissue type and stage of tumorigenesis. On the one hand, autophagy promotes tumor progression in advanced stages by stimulating tumor growth. On the other hand, autophagy inhibits tumor development in the early stages by enhancing its tumor suppressor activity. Moreover, autophagy drives resistance to anticancer therapy, even though in some tumor types, its activation induces lethal effects on cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the biological mechanisms of autophagy and its dual role in cancer. In addition, we report the current understanding of autophagy in some cancer types with markedly high incidence and/or lethality, and the existing therapeutic strategies targeting autophagy for the treatment of cancer.
    Keywords:  anoikis; autophagy; cancer; therapy; tumor promotion; tumor suppression
  36. Elife. 2022 Jul 28. pii: e81002. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Interpreting the function and metabolism of enzymatic DNA modifications requires both position-specific and global quantities. Sequencing-based techniques that deliver the former have become broadly accessible, but analytical methods for the global quantification of DNA modifications have thus far been applied mostly to individual problems. We established a mass spectrometric method for the sensitive and accurate quantification of multiple enzymatic DNA modifications. Then, we isolated DNA from 124 archean, bacterial, fungal, plant, and mammalian species, and several tissues and created a resource of global DNA modification quantities. Our dataset provides insights into the general nature of enzymatic DNA modifications, reveals unique biological cases, and provides complementary quantitative information to normalize and assess the accuracy of sequencing-based detection of DNA modifications. We report that only three of the studied DNA modifications, methylcytosine (5mdC), methyladenine (N6mdA) and hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmdC), were detected above a picomolar detection limit across species, and dominated in higher eukaryotes (5mdC), in bacteria (N6mdA), or the vertebrate central nervous systems (5hmdC). All three modifications were detected simultaneously in only one of the tested species, Raphanus sativus. In contrast, these modifications were either absent or detected only at trace quantities, across all yeasts and insect genomes studied. Further, we reveal interesting biological cases. For instance, in Allium cepa, Helianthus annuus, or Andropogon gerardi, more than 35% of cytosines were methylated. Additionally, next to the mammlian CNS, 5hmdC was also detected in plants like Lepidium sativum and was found on 8% of cytosines in the Garra barreimiae brain samples. Thus, identifying unexpected levels of DNA modifications in several wild species, our resource underscores the need to address biological diversity for studying DNA modifications.
    Keywords:  D. melanogaster; E. coli; S. cerevisiae; biochemistry; chemical biology; dna epigenetic modification; human; liquid chromatography; mass spectrometry; mouse
  37. Anticancer Res. 2022 Aug;42(8): 3889-3894
      BACKGROUND/AIM: The regimen of nanoliposomal irinotecan plus 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin (Nal-IRI/FL) was approved in Japan as second-line chemotherapy after gemcitabine-based treatment for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in 2020. We examined the difference in outcome between patients treated with second-line folinic acid, fluorouracil, irinotecan hydrochloride and oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX) and those treated with nal-IRI/FL after first-line gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel (GnP).PATIENTS AND METHODS: The outcomes of 34 patients with PDAC who received second-line FOLFIRINOX (n=21) or nal-IRI/FL (n=13) after GnP at our Department from January 2016 to June 2021 were reviewed retrospectively.
    RESULTS: Patient backgrounds did not differ between the groups. Dose reduction was more frequently required for treatment with FOLFIRINOX than with nal-IRI/FL (86% vs. 46%, p=0.022). Pegfilgrastim and aprepitant were used more frequently in the FOLFIRINOX group (both p<0.01). Progression-free survival (5.9 vs. 8.3 months) and overall survival (9.1 vs. 11.2 months) did not differ significantly between the groups. The frequency of grade 3 (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events) or higher adverse events was similar between the groups. All-grade peripheral neuropathy was more common in the FOLFIRINOX group (100% vs. 77%, p=0.048).
    CONCLUSION: FOLFIRINOX and nal-IRI/FL as second-line therapy after GnP provided similar prognoses, although supportive treatment and dose reduction were more frequently required for FOLFIRINOX.
    Keywords:  FOLFIRINOX; Pancreatic cancer; nal-IRI; pegfilgrastim; peripheral neuropathy; second-line chemotherapy
  38. Elife. 2022 Jul 29. pii: e80497. [Epub ahead of print]11
      The essential biometal manganese (Mn) serves as a cofactor for several enzymes that are crucial for the prevention of human diseases. Whether intracellular Mn levels may be sensed and modulate intracellular signaling events has so far remained largely unexplored. The highly conserved target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1, mTORC1 in mammals) protein kinase requires divalent metal cofactors such as magnesium (Mg2+) to phosphorylate effectors as part of a homeostatic process that coordinates cell growth and metabolism with nutrient and/or growth factor availability. Here, our genetic approaches reveal that TORC1 activity is stimulated in vivo by elevated cytoplasmic Mn levels, which can be induced by loss of the Golgi-resident Mn2+ transporter Pmr1 and which depend on the natural resistance-associated macrophage protein (NRAMP) metal ion transporters Smf1 and Smf2. Accordingly, genetic interventions that increase cytoplasmic Mn2+ levels antagonize the effects of rapamycin in triggering autophagy, mitophagy, and Rtg1-Rtg3-dependent mitochondrion-to-nucleus retrograde signaling. Surprisingly, our in vitro protein kinase assays uncovered that Mn2+ activates TORC1 substantially better than Mg2+, which is primarily due to its ability to lower the Km for ATP, thereby allowing more efficient ATP coordination in the catalytic cleft of TORC1. These findings, therefore, provide both a mechanism to explain our genetic observations in yeast and a rationale for how fluctuations in trace amounts of Mn can become physiologically relevant. Supporting this notion, TORC1 is also wired to feedback control mechanisms that impinge on Smf1 and Smf2. Finally, we also show that Mn2+-mediated control of TORC1 is evolutionarily conserved in mammals, which may prove relevant for our understanding of the role of Mn in human diseases.
    Keywords:  NRAMP transporter; S. cerevisiae; TORC1; autophagy; biochemistry; chemical biology; genetics; genomics; human; manganese; mitophagy
  39. Cancer Epidemiol. 2022 Jul 25. pii: S1877-7821(22)00135-7. [Epub ahead of print]80 102230
      OBJECTIVE: To describe time-trends in incidence, characteristics, treatments, and survival in pancreatic cancer patients in Denmark during 1980-2019.DESIGN: A nationwide population-based cohort study of all Danish patients diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic cancer during the study period. Data was obtained from individual-level cross linkage between Danish healthcare registries. We present descriptive characteristics and survival estimates, which was obtained using the Kaplan-Meier estimator and Cox proportional hazards regression models.
    RESULTS: During the study period, 32,107 patients were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In the most recent period, the age-standardized incidence rate was 17.7 per 100,000 person-years. Throughout the study period, between 18.4% and 27.5% of patients had no tumor staging performed, and approximately half of the patient were only offered best supportive care. The proportion of patients treated with surgery doubled during the study period, and the use of adjuvant and neoadjuvant oncological therapy increased substantially. Median survival after surgical resection also increased to 25.8 months in the most recent time period.
    CONCLUSION: Pancreatic cancer incidence is increasing in Denmark, and this increase is projected to continue. The proportion of patients offered curative-intent treatment increased, which translates into an increase in overall survival. All numbers are comparable to best international standards.
    Keywords:  Cancer treatment; Incidence; Mortality; Pancreatic cancer; Time-trends