bims-cagime Biomed News
on Cancer, aging and metabolism
Issue of 2023‒10‒29
33 papers selected by
Kıvanç Görgülü, Technical University of Munich

  1. Cells. 2023 Oct 18. pii: 2474. [Epub ahead of print]12(20):
      A basic process in cancer is the breaching of basement-membrane barriers to permit tissue invasion. Cancer cells can use proteases and physical mechanisms to produce initial holes in basement membranes, but how cells squeeze through this barrier into matrix environments is not well understood. We used a 3D invasion model consisting of cancer-cell spheroids encapsulated by a basement membrane and embedded in collagen to characterize the dynamic early steps in cancer-cell invasion across this barrier. We demonstrate that certain cancer cells extend exceptionally long (~30-100 μm) protrusions through basement membranes via actin and microtubule cytoskeletal function. These long protrusions use integrin adhesion and myosin II-based contractility to pull cells through the basement membrane for initial invasion. Concurrently, these long, organelle-rich protrusions pull surrounding collagen inward while propelling cancer cells outward through perforations in the basement-membrane barrier. These exceptionally long, contractile cellular protrusions can facilitate the breaching of the basement-membrane barrier as a first step in cancer metastasis.
    Keywords:  3D culture; basement membrane; cell protrusion; collagen; contractility; cytoskeleton; integrin; invasion; myosin II; spheroid
  2. FEBS J. 2023 Oct 24.
      Cellular senescence is a state of durable cell arrest that has been identified both in vitro and in vivo. It is associated with profound changes in gene expression and a specific secretory profile, that includes pro-inflammatory cytokines, growth factors and matrix-remodelling enzymes, referred to as the senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP). In cancer, senescence can have anti- or pro-tumour effects. On one hand, it can inhibit tumour progression in a cell autonomous manner. On the other hand, senescence can also promote tumour initiation, progression, metastatic dissemination and resistance to therapy in a paracrine manner. Therefore, despite efforts to target senescence as a potential strategy to inhibit tumour growth, senescent cancer and microenvironmental cells can eventually lead to uncontrolled proliferation and aggressive tumour phenotypes. This can happen either through overcoming senescence growth arrest or through SASP-mediated effects in adjacent tumour cells. This review will discuss how senescence affects the tumour microenvironment, including extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling, the immune system and the vascular compartment, to promote tumorigenesis, metastasis and resistance to DNA-damaging therapies. It will also discuss current approaches used in the field to target senescence: senolytics, improving the immune clearance of senescent cells and targeting the SASP.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Endothelial cells; SASP; Senolytics; Therapy-induced senescence (TIS); Tumour microenvironment (TME)
  3. J Cell Sci. 2023 Oct 15. pii: jcs261483. [Epub ahead of print]136(20):
      Tumor initiation at either primary or metastatic sites is an inefficient process in which tumor cells must fulfill a series of conditions. One critical condition involves the ability of individual tumor-initiating cells to overcome 'isolation stress', enabling them to survive within harsh isolating microenvironments that can feature nutrient stress, hypoxia, oxidative stress and the absence of a proper extracellular matrix (ECM). In response to isolation stress, tumor cells can exploit various adaptive strategies to develop stress tolerance and gain stemness features. In this Opinion, we discuss how strategies such as the induction of certain cell surface receptors and deposition of ECM proteins enable tumor cells to endure isolation stress, thereby gaining tumor-initiating potential. As examples, we highlight recent findings from our group demonstrating how exposure of tumor cells to isolation stress upregulates the G-protein-coupled receptor lysophosphatidic acid receptor 4 (LPAR4), its downstream target fibronectin and two fibronectin-binding integrins, α5β1 and αvβ3. These responses create a fibronectin-rich niche for tumor cells, ultimately driving stress tolerance, cancer stemness and tumor initiation. We suggest that approaches to prevent cancer cells from adapting to stress by suppressing LPAR4 induction, blocking its downstream signaling or disrupting fibronectin-integrin interactions hold promise as potential strategies for cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  Fibronectin; Integrins; Isolation stress; LPAR4; Metastasis; Stress tolerance; Tumor initiation; α5β1; αvβ3
  4. Cell Rep Med. 2023 Oct 11. pii: S2666-3791(23)00425-1. [Epub ahead of print] 101248
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death. Hallmarks include desmoplasia with variable extracellular matrix (ECM) architecture and a complex microenvironment with spatially defined tumor, stromal, and immune populations. Nevertheless, the role of desmoplastic spatial organization in patient/tumor variability remains underexplored, which we elucidate using two technologies. First, we quantify ECM patterning in 437 patients, revealing architectures associated with disease-free and overall survival. Second, we spatially profile the cellular milieu of 78 specimens using codetection by indexing, identifying an axis of pro-inflammatory cell interactions predictive of poorer outcomes. We discover that clinical characteristics, including neoadjuvant chemotherapy status, tumor stage, and ECM architecture, correlate with differential stromal-immune organization, including fibroblast subtypes with distinct niches. Lastly, we define unified signatures that predict survival with areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUCs) of 0.872-0.903, differentiating survivorship by 655 days. Overall, our findings establish matrix ultrastructural and cellular organizations of fibrosis linked to poorer outcomes.
    Keywords:  architecture; cancer; cell interactions; cell networks; codex; desmoplasia; fibrosis; machine learning; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; spatial biology
  5. Cell. 2023 Oct 18. pii: S0092-8674(23)01081-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lysosomes serve dual antagonistic functions in cells by mediating anabolic growth signaling and the catabolic turnover of macromolecules. How these janus-faced activities are regulated in response to cellular nutrient status is poorly understood. We show here that lysosome morphology and function are reversibly controlled by a nutrient-regulated signaling lipid switch that triggers the conversion between peripheral motile mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling-active and static mTORC1-inactive degradative lysosomes clustered at the cell center. Starvation-triggered relocalization of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI(4)P)-metabolizing enzymes reshapes the lysosomal surface proteome to facilitate lysosomal proteolysis and to repress mTORC1 signaling. Concomitantly, lysosomal phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI(3)P), which marks motile signaling-active lysosomes in the cell periphery, is erased. Interference with this PI(3)P/PI(4)P lipid switch module impairs the adaptive response of cells to altering nutrient supply. Our data unravel a key function for lysosomal phosphoinositide metabolism in rewiring organellar membrane dynamics in response to cellular nutrient status.
    Keywords:  catabolism; functional proteomics; live correlative light and electron microscopy; lysosomes; mTOR; myotubularin; nutrient signaling; nutrients; phosphoinositides
  6. Nature. 2023 Oct 25.
      Identifying metabolic steps that are specifically required for the survival of cancer cells but are dispensable in normal cells remains a challenge1. Here we report a therapeutic vulnerability in a sugar nucleotide biosynthetic pathway that can be exploited in cancer cells with only a limited impact on normal cells. A systematic examination of conditionally essential metabolic enzymes revealed that UXS1, a Golgi enzyme that converts one sugar nucleotide (UDP-glucuronic acid, UDPGA) to another (UDP-xylose), is essential only in cells that express high levels of the enzyme immediately upstream of it, UGDH. This conditional relationship exists because UXS1 is required to prevent excess accumulation of UDPGA, which is produced by UGDH. UXS1 not only clears away UDPGA but also limits its production through negative feedback on UGDH. Excess UDPGA disrupts Golgi morphology and function, which impedes the trafficking of surface receptors such as EGFR to the plasma membrane and diminishes the signalling capacity of cells. UGDH expression is elevated in several cancers, including lung adenocarcinoma, and is further enhanced during chemoresistant selection. As a result, these cancer cells are selectively dependent on UXS1 for UDPGA detoxification, revealing a potential weakness in tumours with high levels of UGDH.
  7. J Vis Exp. 2023 Oct 06.
      The physiology and pathophysiology of the pancreas are complex. Diseases of the pancreas, such as pancreatitis and pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) have high morbidity and mortality. Intravital imaging (IVI) is a powerful technique enabling the high-resolution imaging of tissues in both healthy and diseased states, allowing for real-time observation of cell dynamics. IVI of the murine pancreas presents significant challenges due to the deep visceral and compliant nature of the organ, which make it highly prone to damage and motion artifacts. Described here is the process of implantation of the Stabilized Window for Intravital imaging of the murine Pancreas (SWIP). The SWIP allows IVI of the murine pancreas in normal healthy states, during the transformation from the healthy pancreas to acute pancreatitis induced by cerulein, and in malignant states such as pancreatic tumors. In conjunction with genetically labeled cells or the administration of fluorescent dyes, the SWIP enables the measurement of single-cell and subcellular dynamics (including single-cell and collective migration) as well as serial imaging of the same region of interest over multiple days. The ability to capture tumor cell migration is of particular importance as the primary cause of cancer-related mortality in PDAC is the overwhelming metastatic burden. Understanding the physiological dynamics of metastasis in PDAC is a critical unmet need and crucial for improving patient prognosis. Overall, the SWIP provides improved imaging stability and expands the application of IVI in the healthy pancreas and malignant pancreas diseases.
  8. PLoS Comput Biol. 2023 Oct 23. 19(10): e1011379
      Most computational methods that infer somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs) from bulk sequencing of DNA analyse tumour samples individually. However, the sequencing of multiple tumour samples from a patient's disease is an increasingly common practice. We introduce Refphase, an algorithm that leverages this multi-sampling approach to infer haplotype-specific copy numbers through multi-sample phasing. We demonstrate Refphase's ability to infer haplotype-specific SCNAs and characterise their intra-tumour heterogeneity, to uncover previously undetected allelic imbalance in low purity samples, and to identify parallel evolution in the context of whole genome doubling in a pan-cancer cohort of 336 samples from 99 tumours.
  9. Proteomics. 2023 Oct 26. e2300020
      Cancer-associated cachexia is a wasting syndrome that results in dramatic loss of whole-body weight, predominantly due to loss of skeletal muscle mass. It has been established that cachexia inducing cancer cells secrete proteins and extracellular vesicles (EVs) that can induce muscle atrophy. Though several studies examined these cancer-cell derived factors, targeting some of these components have shown little or no clinical benefit. To develop new therapies, understanding of the dysregulated proteins and signaling pathways that regulate catabolic gene expression during muscle wasting is essential. Here, we sought to examine the effect of conditioned media (CM) that contain secreted factors and EVs from cachexia inducing C26 colon cancer cells on C2C12 myotubes using mass spectrometry-based label-free quantitative proteomics. We identified significant changes in the protein profile of C2C12 cells upon exposure to C26-derived CM. Functional enrichment analysis revealed enrichment of proteins associated with inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, muscle catabolism, ROS production, and ER stress in CM treated myotubes. Furthermore, strong downregulation in muscle structural integrity and development and/or regenerative pathways were observed. Together, these enriched proteins in atrophied muscle could be utilized as potential muscle wasting markers and the dysregulated biological processes could be employed for therapeutic benefit in cancer-induced muscle wasting.
    Keywords:  C26 colon carcinoma; C2C12 myotubes; cancer-associated cachexia; impaired myogenesis; muscle atrophy
  10. Mol Cell. 2023 Oct 20. pii: S1097-2765(23)00800-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lactate has long been considered a cellular waste product. However, we found that as extracellular lactate accumulates, it also enters the mitochondrial matrix and stimulates mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) activity. The resulting increase in mitochondrial ATP synthesis suppresses glycolysis and increases the utilization of pyruvate and/or alternative respiratory substrates. The ability of lactate to increase oxidative phosphorylation does not depend on its metabolism. Both L- and D-lactate are effective at enhancing ETC activity and suppressing glycolysis. Furthermore, the selective induction of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation by unmetabolized D-lactate reversibly suppressed aerobic glycolysis in both cancer cell lines and proliferating primary cells in an ATP-dependent manner and enabled cell growth on respiratory-dependent bioenergetic substrates. In primary T cells, D-lactate enhanced cell proliferation and effector function. Together, these findings demonstrate that lactate is a critical regulator of the ability of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation to suppress glucose fermentation.
    Keywords:  TCA cycle; electron transport chain; glycolysis; lactate; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation
  11. Nat Rev Cancer. 2023 Oct 26.
      Cancers undergo sequential changes to proton (H+) concentration and sensing that are consequences of the disease and facilitate its further progression. The impact of protonation state on protein activity can arise from alterations to amino acids or their titration. Indeed, many cancer-initiating mutations influence pH balance, regulation or sensing in a manner that enables growth and invasion outside normal constraints as part of oncogenic transformation. These cancer-supporting effects become more prominent when tumours develop an acidic microenvironment owing to metabolic reprogramming and disordered perfusion. The ensuing intracellular and extracellular pH disturbances affect multiple aspects of tumour biology, ranging from proliferation to immune surveillance, and can even facilitate further mutagenesis. As a selection pressure, extracellular acidosis accelerates disease progression by favouring acid-resistant cancer cells, which are typically associated with aggressive phenotypes. Although acid-base disturbances in tumours often occur alongside hypoxia and lactate accumulation, there is now ample evidence for a distinct role of H+-operated responses in key events underpinning cancer. The breadth of these actions presents therapeutic opportunities to change the trajectory of disease.
  12. bioRxiv. 2023 Oct 09. pii: 2023.10.06.561131. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer cells depend on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) to combat oxidative stress and support reductive biosynthesis. One major NAPDH production route is the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (committed step: glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, G6PD). Alternatives exist and can compensate in some tumors. Here, using genetically-engineered lung cancer model, we show that ablation of G6PD significantly suppresses Kras G12D/+ ;Lkb1 -/- (KL) but not Kras G12D/+ ;p53 -/- (KP) lung tumorigenesis. In vivo isotope tracing and metabolomics revealed that G6PD ablation significantly impaired NADPH generation, redox balance and de novo lipogenesis in KL but not KP lung tumors. Mechanistically, in KL tumors, G6PD ablation caused p53 activation that suppressed tumor growth. As tumor progressed, G6PD-deficient KL tumors increased an alternative NADPH source, serine-driven one carbon metabolism, rendering associated tumor-derived cell lines sensitive to serine/glycine depletion. Thus, oncogenic driver mutations determine lung cancer dependence on G6PD, whose targeting is a potential therapeutic strategy for tumors harboring KRAS and LKB1 co-mutations.
  13. Autophagy. 2023 Oct 24.
      ATG5 plays a pivotal role in membrane Atg8ylation, influencing downstream processes encompassing canonical autophagy and noncanonical processes. Remarkably, genetic ablation of ATG5 in myeloid cells leads to an exacerbated pathological state in murine models of tuberculosis, characterized by an early surge in mortality much more severe when compared to the depletion of other components involved in Atg8ylation or canonical autophagy. This study shows that in the absence of ATG5, but not other core canonical autophagy factors, endolysosomal organelles display a lysosomal hypersensitivity phenotype when subjected to damage. This is in part due to a compromised recruitment of ESCRT proteins to lysosomes in need of repair. Mechanistically, in the absence of ATG5, the ESCRT protein PDCD6IP/ALIX is sequestered by the alternative conjugate ATG12-ATG3, contributing to excessive exocytic processes while not being available for lysosomal repair. Specifically, this condition increases secretion of extracellular vesicles and particles, and leads to excessive degranulation in neutrophils. Our findings uncover unique functions of ATG5 outside of the autophagy and Atg8ylation paradigm. This finding is of in vivo relevance for tuberculosis pathogenesis as modeled in mice.
  14. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 Sep 30. pii: 1818. [Epub ahead of print]12(10):
      Metabolic compartmentalization of stroma-rich tumors, like pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), greatly contributes to malignancy. This involves cancer cells importing lactate from the microenvironment (reverse Warburg cells) through monocarboxylate transporter-1 (MCT1) along with substantial phenotype alterations. Here, we report that the reverse Warburg phenotype of PDAC cells compensated for the shortage of glutamine as an essential metabolite for redox homeostasis. Thus, oxidative stress caused by glutamine depletion led to an Nrf2-dependent induction of MCT1 expression in pancreatic T3M4 and A818-6 cells. Moreover, greater MCT1 expression was detected in glutamine-scarce regions within tumor tissues from PDAC patients. MCT1-driven lactate uptake supported the neutralization of reactive oxygen species excessively produced under glutamine shortage and the resulting drop in glutathione levels that were restored by the imported lactate. Consequently, PDAC cells showed greater survival and growth under glutamine depletion when utilizing lactate through MCT1. Likewise, the glutamine uptake inhibitor V9302 and glutaminase-1 inhibitor CB839 induced oxidative stress in PDAC cells, along with cell death and cell cycle arrest that were again compensated by MCT1 upregulation and forced lactate uptake. Our findings show a novel mechanism by which PDAC cells adapt their metabolism to glutamine scarcity and by which they develop resistance against anticancer treatments based on glutamine uptake/metabolism inhibition.
    Keywords:  anaplerosis; drug resistance; pancreas; tumor metabolism
  15. bioRxiv. 2023 Oct 04. pii: 2023.10.02.560617. [Epub ahead of print]
      Recently developed covalent inhibitors for RasG12C provide the first pharmacological tools to target mutant Ras-driven cancers. However, the rapid development of resistance to current clinical Ras G12C inhibitors is common. Presumably, a subpopulation of RasG12C-expressing cells adapt their signaling to evade these inhibitors and the mechanisms for this phenomenon are unclear due to the lack of tools that can measure signaling with single-cell resolution. Here, we utilized recently developed Ras sensors to profile the environment of active Ras and to measure the activity of endogenous Ras in order to pair structure (Ras signalosome) to function (Ras activity), respectively, at a single-cell level. With this approach, we identified a subpopulation of KRasG12C cells treated with RasG12C-GDP inhibitors underwent oncogenic signaling and metabolic changes driven by WT Ras at the golgi and mutant Ras at the mitochondria, respectively. Our Ras sensors identified Major Vault Protein (MVP) as a mediator of Ras activation at both compartments by scaffolding Ras signaling pathway components and metabolite channels. We found that recently developed RasG12C-GTP inhibitors also led to MVP-mediated WT Ras signaling at the golgi, demonstrating that this a general mechanism RasG12C inhibitor resistance. Overall, single-cell analysis of structure-function relationships enabled the discovery of a RasG12C inhibitor-resistant subpopulation driven by MVP, providing insight into the complex and heterogenous rewiring occurring during drug resistance in cancer.
  16. Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 27. 14(1): 6598
      L-Lactate is increasingly appreciated as a key metabolite and signaling molecule in mammals. However, investigations of the inter- and intra-cellular dynamics of L-lactate are currently hampered by the limited selection and performance of L-lactate-specific genetically encoded biosensors. Here we now report a spectrally and functionally orthogonal pair of high-performance genetically encoded biosensors: a green fluorescent extracellular L-lactate biosensor, designated eLACCO2.1, and a red fluorescent intracellular L-lactate biosensor, designated R-iLACCO1. eLACCO2.1 exhibits excellent membrane localization and robust fluorescence response. To the best of our knowledge, R-iLACCO1 and its affinity variants exhibit larger fluorescence responses than any previously reported intracellular L-lactate biosensor. We demonstrate spectrally and spatially multiplexed imaging of L-lactate dynamics by coexpression of eLACCO2.1 and R-iLACCO1 in cultured cells, and in vivo imaging of extracellular and intracellular L-lactate dynamics in mice.
  17. J Cell Biol. 2024 Jan 01. pii: e202303026. [Epub ahead of print]223(1):
      Cells store lipids in the form of triglyceride (TG) and sterol ester (SE) in lipid droplets (LDs). Distinct pools of LDs exist, but a pervasive question is how proteins localize to and convey functions to LD subsets. Here, we show that the yeast protein YDR275W/Tld1 (for TG-associated LD protein 1) localizes to a subset of TG-containing LDs and reveal it negatively regulates lipolysis. Mechanistically, Tld1 LD targeting requires TG, and it is mediated by two distinct hydrophobic regions (HRs). Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that Tld1's HRs interact with TG on LDs and adopt specific conformations on TG-rich LDs versus SE-rich LDs in yeast and human cells. Tld1-deficient yeast display no defect in LD biogenesis but exhibit elevated TG lipolysis dependent on lipase Tgl3. Remarkably, overexpression of Tld1, but not LD protein Pln1/Pet10, promotes TG accumulation without altering SE pools. Finally, we find that Tld1-deficient cells display altered LD mobilization during extended yeast starvation. We propose that Tld1 senses TG-rich LDs and regulates lipolysis on LD subpopulations.
  18. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2023 Oct 23. e2304886
      Intravital microscopy (IVM) allows spatial and temporal imaging of different cell types in intact live tissue microenvironments. IVM has played a critical role in understanding cancer biology, invasion, metastases, and drug development. One considerable impediment to the field is the inability to interrogate the tumor microenvironment and its communication cascades during disease progression and therapeutic interventions. Here, a new implantable perfusion window chamber (PWC) is described that allows high-fidelity in vivo microscopy, local administration of stains and drugs, and longitudinal sampling of tumor interstitial fluid. This study shows that the new PWC design allows cyclic multiplexed imaging in vivo, imaging of drug action, and sampling of tumor-shed materials. The PWC will be broadly useful as a novel perturbable in vivo system for deciphering biology in complex microenvironments.
    Keywords:  TME; cancer; drug development; imaging; microscopy
  19. Methods Mol Biol. 2023 Oct 28.
      Autophagy is a key process that maintains cellular homeostasis. Autophagy contributes to various physiological and pathophysiological processes. Development of methodologies for autophagy detection has greatly facilitated the research on autophagy. Among these methodologies, GFP-LC3 reporter has been popularly used in the literature. In this chapter, we will detail step-by-step the GFP-LC3 reporter protocol we have adapted in our lab. This protocol begins with the generation of lentivirus expressing GFP-LC3. Then, the cells are transduced with titrated virus. After selecting the positive cells, single colonies are isolated, characterized, validated, and used in further study.
    Keywords:  Autophagosome; Autophagy; GFP; LC3; Lysosome
  20. Mol Oncol. 2023 Oct 23.
      The development of tailored therapies designed to specifically target driver oncogenes has initiated a revolutionary era in cancer biology. The availability of a growing number of selective inhibitors has generated novel experimental and clinical paradigms. These represent an opportunity and a challenge for researchers and clinicians to delve deeper into the intricate dynamics of cancer development and response to treatment. By directly inhibiting key driver oncogenes involved in tumor initiation and progression, scientists have an unprecedented opportunity to conduct longitudinal and clonal evolutionary studies of how cancer cells adapt, rewire and exploit conflictive or overlapping signaling dependencies in response to treatment in vitro and in vivo. This challenge has to be progressively resolved to discover more effective and personalized cancer therapies.
    Keywords:  Driver oncogenes; Drug resistance; Signaling rewiring
  21. bioRxiv. 2023 Sep 24. pii: 2023.09.23.559074. [Epub ahead of print]
      Homeostatic control of intracellular ionic strength is essential for protein, organelle and genome function, yet mechanisms that sense and enable adaptation to ionic stress remain poorly understood in animals. We find that the transcription factor NFAT5 directly senses solution ionic strength using a C-terminal intrinsically disordered region. Both in intact cells and in a purified system, NFAT5 forms dynamic, reversible biomolecular condensates in response to increasing ionic strength. This self-associative property, conserved from insects to mammals, allows NFAT5 to accumulate in the nucleus and activate genes that restore cellular ion content. Mutations that reduce condensation or those that promote aggregation both reduce NFAT5 activity, highlighting the importance of optimally tuned associative interactions. Remarkably, human NFAT5 alone is sufficient to reconstitute a mammalian transcriptional response to ionic or hypertonic stress in yeast. Thus NFAT5 is both the sensor and effector of a cell-autonomous ionic stress response pathway in animal cells.
  22. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2023 Oct 27.
      BACKGROUND: Intramuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) formation derived from muscle fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) has been recognized as a pathological feature of sarcopenia. This study aimed to explore whether genetic and pharmacological gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) receptor antagonism suppresses IMAT accumulation and ameliorates sarcopenia in mice.METHODS: Whole body composition, grip strength, skeletal muscle weight, tibialis anterior (TA) muscle fibre cross-sectional area (CSA) and TA muscle IMAT area were measured in young and aged male C57BL/6 strain GIP receptor (Gipr)-knockout (Gipr-/- ) and wild-type (Gipr+/+ ) mice. FAPs isolated from lower limb muscles of 12-week-old Gipr+/+ mice were cultured with GIP, and their differentiation into mature adipocytes was examined. Furthermore, TA muscle IMAT area and fibre CSA were measured in untreated Gipr-/- mice and GIP receptor antagonist-treated Gipr+/+ mice after glycerol injection into the TA muscles.
    RESULTS: Body composition analysis revealed that 104-week-old Gipr-/- mice had a greater proportion of lean tissue mass (73.7 ± 1.2% vs. 66.5 ± 2.7%, P < 0.05 vs. 104-week-old Gipr+/+ mice) and less adipose tissue mass (13.1 ± 1.3% vs. 19.4 ± 2.6%, P < 0.05 vs. 104-week-old Gipr+/+ mice). Eighty-four-week-old Gipr-/- mice exhibited increases in grip strength (P < 0.05), weights of TA (P < 0.05), soleus (P < 0.01), gastrocnemius (P < 0.05) and quadriceps femoris (P < 0.01) muscles, and average TA muscle fibre CSA (P < 0.05) along with a reduction in TA muscle IMAT area assessed by the number of perilipin-positive cells (P < 0.0001) compared with 84-week-old Gipr+/+ mice. Oil Red O staining analysis revealed 1.6- and 1.7-fold increased adipogenesis in muscle FAPs cultured with 10 and 100 nM of GIP (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001 vs. 0 nM of GIP, respectively). Furthermore, both untreated Gipr-/- mice and GIP receptor antagonist-treated Gipr+/+ mice for 14 days after glycerol injection into the TA muscles at 12 weeks of age showed reduced TA muscle IMAT area (1.39 ± 0.38% and 2.65 ± 0.36% vs. 6.54 ± 1.30%, P < 0.001 and P < 0.01 vs. untreated Gipr+/+ mice, respectively) and increased average TA muscle fibre CSA (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05 vs. untreated Gipr+/+ mice, respectively).
    CONCLUSIONS: GIP promotes the differentiation of muscle FAPs into adipocytes and its receptor antagonism suppresses IMAT accumulation and promotes muscle regeneration. Pharmacological GIP receptor antagonism may serve as a novel therapeutic approach for sarcopenia.
    Keywords:  GIP receptor; aging; fibro-adipogenic progenitors; intramuscular adipose tissue; sarcopenia
  23. Nat Methods. 2023 Oct 26.
      Brillouin microscopy is an emerging optical elastography technique capable of assessing mechanical properties of biological samples in a three-dimensional, all-optical and noncontact fashion. The typically weak Brillouin scattering signal can be substantially enhanced via a stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) process; however, current implementations require high pump powers, which prohibit applications to photosensitive or live imaging of biological samples. Here we present a pulsed SBS scheme that takes advantage of the nonlinearity of the pump-probe interaction. In particular, we show that the required pump laser power can be decreased ~20-fold without affecting the signal levels or spectral precision. We demonstrate the low phototoxicity and high specificity of our pulsed SBS approach by imaging, with subcellular detail, sensitive single cells, zebrafish larvae, mouse embryos and adult Caenorhabditis elegans. Furthermore, our method permits observing the mechanics of organoids and C. elegans embryos over time, opening up further possibilities for the field of mechanobiology.
  24. Pancreatology. 2023 Oct 17. pii: S1424-3903(23)01827-6. [Epub ahead of print]
    Dutch Pancreatitis Study Group
      BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The most important risk factor for recurrent pancreatitis after an episode of acute alcoholic pancreatitis is continuation of alcohol use. Current guidelines do not recommend any specific treatment strategy regarding alcohol cessation. The PANDA trial investigates whether implementation of a structured alcohol cessation support program prevents pancreatitis recurrence after a first episode of acute alcoholic pancreatitis.METHODS: PANDA is a nationwide cluster randomised superiority trial. Participating hospitals are randomised for the investigational management, consisting of a structured alcohol cessation support program, or current practice. Patients with a first episode of acute pancreatitis caused by harmful drinking (AUDIT score >7 and < 16 for men and >6 and < 14 for women) will be included. The primary endpoint is recurrence of acute pancreatitis. Secondary endpoints include cessation or reduction of alcohol use, other alcohol-related diseases, mortality, quality of life, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and costs. The follow-up period comprises one year after inclusion.
    DISCUSSION: This is the first multicentre trial with a cluster randomised trial design to investigate whether a structured alcohol cessation support program reduces recurrent acute pancreatitis in patients after a first episode of acute alcoholic pancreatitis, as compared with current practice.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Registry (NL8852). Prospectively registered.
    Keywords:  Acute alcoholic pancreatitis; Alcohol cessation; Cluster randomised controlled trial; Recurrence; Support program
  25. Nat Med. 2023 Oct 21.
      Although circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) assays are increasingly used to inform clinical decisions in cancer care, they have limited ability to identify the transcriptional programs that govern cancer phenotypes and their dynamic changes during the course of disease. To address these limitations, we developed a method for comprehensive epigenomic profiling of cancer from 1 ml of patient plasma. Using an immunoprecipitation-based approach targeting histone modifications and DNA methylation, we measured 1,268 epigenomic profiles in plasma from 433 individuals with one of 15 cancers. Our assay provided a robust proxy for transcriptional activity, allowing us to infer the expression levels of diagnostic markers and drug targets, measure the activity of therapeutically targetable transcription factors and detect epigenetic mechanisms of resistance. This proof-of-concept study in advanced cancers shows how plasma epigenomic profiling has the potential to unlock clinically actionable information that is currently accessible only via direct tissue sampling.
  26. J Clin Med. 2023 Oct 11. pii: 6461. [Epub ahead of print]12(20):
      BACKGROUND: Previously considered inoperable patients (borderline resectable, locally advanced, synchronous oligometastatic or metachronous pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC)) are starting to become resectable thanks to advances in chemo/radiotherapy and the reduction in operative mortality.METHODS: This narrative review presents a chosen literature selection, giving a picture of the current state of treatment of these patients.
    RESULTS: Neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) is generally recognized as the treatment of choice before surgery. However, despite the increased efficacy, the best pathological response is still limited to 10.9-27.9% of patients. There are still limited data on the selection of possible NAT responders and how to diagnose non-responders early. Multidetector computed tomography has high sensitivity and low specificity in evaluating resectability after NAT, limiting the resection rate of resectable patients. Ca 19-9 and Positron emission tomography are giving promising results. The prediction of early recurrence after a radical resection of synchronous or metachronous metastatic PDAC, thus identifying patients with poor prognosis and saving them from a resection of little benefit, is still ongoing, although some promising data are available.
    CONCLUSION: In conclusion, high-level evidence demonstrating the benefit of the surgical treatment of such patients is still lacking and should not be performed outside of high-volume centers with interdisciplinary teams of surgeons and oncologists.
    Keywords:  18F-FDG-PET; CA 19-9; borderline resectable; locally advanced; neoadjuvant chemo/radiotherapy; pancreatic cancer; synchronous/metachronous oligometastatic
  27. Cancer Discov. 2023 Oct 27. OF1
      Minority mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (miMOMP) during senescence drives the SASP.
  28. Nat Biotechnol. 2023 Oct 23.
      Pooled CRISPR screens with single-cell RNA sequencing readout (Perturb-seq) have emerged as a key technique in functional genomics, but they are limited in scale by cost and combinatorial complexity. In this study, we modified the design of Perturb-seq by incorporating algorithms applied to random, low-dimensional observations. Compressed Perturb-seq measures multiple random perturbations per cell or multiple cells per droplet and computationally decompresses these measurements by leveraging the sparse structure of regulatory circuits. Applied to 598 genes in the immune response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide, compressed Perturb-seq achieves the same accuracy as conventional Perturb-seq with an order of magnitude cost reduction and greater power to learn genetic interactions. We identified known and novel regulators of immune responses and uncovered evolutionarily constrained genes with downstream targets enriched for immune disease heritability, including many missed by existing genome-wide association studies. Our framework enables new scales of interrogation for a foundational method in functional genomics.
  29. Nat Chem Biol. 2023 Oct 26.
      Impaired redox metabolism is a key contributor to the etiology of many diseases, including primary mitochondrial disorders, cancer, neurodegeneration and aging. However, mechanistic studies of redox imbalance remain challenging due to limited strategies that can perturb redox metabolism in various cellular or organismal backgrounds. Most studies involving impaired redox metabolism have focused on oxidative stress; consequently, less is known about the settings where there is an overabundance of NADH reducing equivalents, termed reductive stress. Here we introduce a soluble transhydrogenase from Escherichia coli (EcSTH) as a novel genetically encoded tool to promote reductive stress in living cells. When expressed in mammalian cells, EcSTH, and a mitochondrially targeted version (mitoEcSTH), robustly elevated the NADH/NAD+ ratio in a compartment-specific manner. Using this tool, we determined that metabolic and transcriptomic signatures of the NADH reductive stress are cellular background specific. Collectively, our novel genetically encoded tool represents an orthogonal strategy to promote reductive stress.
  30. Int Immunopharmacol. 2023 Oct 25. pii: S1567-5769(23)01275-4. [Epub ahead of print]125(Pt A): 110950
      BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Recent clinical studies have shown that serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels are correlated with acute pancreatitis (AP) severity. We aimed to investigate the role of HDL in pancreatic necrosis in AP.EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: ApoA-I is the main constitution and function component of HDL. The roles of healthy human-derived HDL and apoA-I mimic peptide D4F were demonstrated in AP models in vivo and in vitro. Constitutive Apoa1 genetic inhibition on AP severity, especially pancreatic necrosis was assessed in both caerulein and sodium taurocholate induced mouse AP models. In addition, constitutive (Casp1-/-) and acinar cell conditional (Pdx1CreNlrp3Δ/Δ and Pdx1CreGsdmdΔ/Δ) mice were used to explore the effects of HDL on acinar cell pyroptosis in AP.
    KEY RESULTS: Apoa1 knockout dramatically aggravated pancreatic necrosis. Human-derived HDL protected against acinar cell death in vivo and in vitro. We found that mimic peptide D4F also protected against AP very well. Constitutive Casp1 or acinar cell-conditional Nlrp3 and Gsdmd genetic inhibition could counteract the protective effects of HDL, implying HDL may exert beneficial effects on AP through inhibiting acinar cell pyroptosis.
    CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: This work demonstrates the protective role of HDL and apoA-I in AP pathology, potentially driven by the inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome signaling and acinar cell pyroptosis. Mimic peptides have promise as specific therapies for AP.
    Keywords:  Acinar cell pyroptosis; Acute pancreatitis; High density lipoprotein; NLRP3 inflammasome; Pancreatic necrosis