bims-camemi Biomed News
on Mitochondrial metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2023‒03‒19
48 papers selected by
Christian Frezza, Universität zu Köln

  1. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2023 ;11 1127618
      Mitochondria are central hubs for energy production, metabolism and cellular signal transduction in eukaryotic cells. Maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis is important for cellular function and survival. In particular, cellular metabolic state is in constant communication with mitochondrial homeostasis. One of the most important metabolic processes that provide energy in the cell is amino acid metabolism. Almost all of the 20 amino acids that serve as the building blocks of proteins are produced or degraded in the mitochondria. The synthesis of the amino acids aspartate and arginine depends on the activity of the respiratory chain, which is essential for cell proliferation. The degradation of branched-chain amino acids mainly occurs in the mitochondrial matrix, contributing to energy metabolism, mitochondrial biogenesis, as well as protein quality control in both mitochondria and cytosol. Dietary supplementation or restriction of amino acids in worms, flies and mice modulates lifespan and health, which has been associated with changes in mitochondrial biogenesis, antioxidant response, as well as the activity of tricarboxylic acid cycle and respiratory chain. Consequently, impaired amino acid metabolism has been associated with both primary mitochondrial diseases and diseases with mitochondrial dysfunction such as cancer. Here, we present recent observations on the crosstalk between amino acid metabolism and mitochondrial homeostasis, summarise the underlying molecular mechanisms to date, and discuss their role in cellular functions and organismal physiology.
    Keywords:  TCA cycle; amino acid metabolism; amino acid recycling; lifespan; mitochondrial homeostasis; proteasome; respiratory chain
  2. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00119-3. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 877-889
      Mitochondria are membrane-enclosed organelles with endosymbiotic origins, harboring independent genomes and a unique biochemical reaction network. To perform their critical functions, mitochondria must maintain a distinct biochemical environment and coordinate with the cytosolic metabolic networks of the host cell. This coordination requires them to sense and control metabolites and respond to metabolic stresses. Indeed, mitochondria adopt feedback or feedforward control strategies to restrain metabolic toxicity, enable metabolic conservation, ensure stable levels of key metabolites, allow metabolic plasticity, and prevent futile cycles. A diverse panel of metabolic sensors mediates these regulatory circuits whose malfunctioning leads to inborn errors of metabolism with mild to severe clinical manifestations. In this review, we discuss the logic and molecular basis of metabolic sensing and control in mitochondria. The past research outlined recurring patterns in mitochondrial metabolic sensing and control and highlighted key knowledge gaps in this organelle that are potentially addressable with emerging technological breakthroughs.
  3. Nat Metab. 2023 Mar 13.
      Our understanding of how global changes in cellular metabolism contribute to human kidney disease remains incompletely understood. Here we show that nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) deficiency drives mitochondrial dysfunction causing inflammation and kidney disease development. Using unbiased global metabolomics in healthy and diseased human kidneys, we identify NAD+ deficiency as a disease signature. Furthermore using models of cisplatin- or ischaemia-reperfusion induced kidney injury in male mice we observed NAD+ depletion Supplemental nicotinamide riboside or nicotinamide mononucleotide restores NAD+ levels and improved kidney function. We find that cisplatin exposure causes cytosolic leakage of mitochondrial RNA (mtRNA) and activation of the cytosolic pattern recognition receptor retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I), both of which can be ameliorated by restoring NAD+. Male mice with RIG-I knock-out (KO) are protected from cisplatin-induced kidney disease. In summary, we demonstrate that the cytosolic release of mtRNA and RIG-I activation is an NAD+-sensitive mechanism contributing to kidney disease.
  4. EMBO J. 2023 Mar 14. e111901
      Changes in mitochondrial morphology are associated with nutrient utilization, but the precise causalities and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, using cellular models representing a wide variety of mitochondrial shapes, we show a strong linear correlation between mitochondrial fragmentation and increased fatty acid oxidation (FAO) rates. Forced mitochondrial elongation following MFN2 over-expression or DRP1 depletion diminishes FAO, while forced fragmentation upon knockdown or knockout of MFN2 augments FAO as evident from respirometry and metabolic tracing. Remarkably, the genetic induction of fragmentation phenocopies distinct cell type-specific biological functions of enhanced FAO. These include stimulation of gluconeogenesis in hepatocytes, induction of insulin secretion in islet β-cells exposed to fatty acids, and survival of FAO-dependent lymphoma subtypes. We find that fragmentation increases long-chain but not short-chain FAO, identifying carnitine O-palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) as the downstream effector of mitochondrial morphology in regulation of FAO. Mechanistically, we determined that fragmentation reduces malonyl-CoA inhibition of CPT1, while elongation increases CPT1 sensitivity to malonyl-CoA inhibition. Overall, these findings underscore a physiologic role for fragmentation as a mechanism whereby cellular fuel preference and FAO capacity are determined.
    Keywords:  CPT1; fatty acid oxidation; fission; fusion; mitochondrial dynamics
  5. Nature. 2023 Mar 15.
      Mitochondria are critical to the governance of metabolism and bioenergetics in cancer cells1. The mitochondria form highly organized networks, in which their outer and inner membrane structures define their bioenergetic capacity2,3. However, in vivo studies delineating the relationship between the structural organization of mitochondrial networks and their bioenergetic activity have been limited. Here we present an in vivo structural and functional analysis of mitochondrial networks and bioenergetic phenotypes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using an integrated platform consisting of positron emission tomography imaging, respirometry and three-dimensional scanning block-face electron microscopy. The diverse bioenergetic phenotypes and metabolic dependencies we identified in NSCLC tumours align with distinct structural organization of mitochondrial networks present. Further, we discovered that mitochondrial networks are organized into distinct compartments within tumour cells. In tumours with high rates of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOSHI) and fatty acid oxidation, we identified peri-droplet mitochondrial networks wherein mitochondria contact and surround lipid droplets. By contrast, we discovered that in tumours with low rates of OXPHOS (OXPHOSLO), high glucose flux regulated perinuclear localization of mitochondria, structural remodelling of cristae and mitochondrial respiratory capacity. Our findings suggest that in NSCLC, mitochondrial networks are compartmentalized into distinct subpopulations that govern the bioenergetic capacity of tumours.
  6. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 14. 14(1): 1399
      During apoptosis, mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) enables certain mitochondrial matrix macromolecules to escape into the cytosol. However, the fate of mitochondrial RNA (mtRNA) during apoptosis is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that MOMP results in the cytoplasmic release of mtRNA and that executioner caspases-3 and -7 (casp3/7) prevent cytoplasmic mtRNA from triggering inflammatory signaling. In the setting of genetic or pharmacological casp3/7 inhibition, apoptotic insults result in mtRNA activation of the MDA5/MAVS/IRF3 pathway to drive Type I interferon (IFN) signaling. This pathway is sufficient to activate tumor-intrinsic Type I IFN signaling in immunologically cold cancer models that lack an intact cGAS/STING signaling pathway, promote CD8+ T-cell-dependent anti-tumor immunity, and overcome anti-PD1 refractoriness in vivo. Thus, a key function of casp3/7 is to inhibit inflammation caused by the cytoplasmic release of mtRNA, and pharmacological modulation of this pathway increases the immunogenicity of chemotherapy-induced apoptosis.
  7. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00124-7. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 843-856
      Mitochondria are cellular organelles with a major role in many cellular processes, including not only energy production, metabolism, and calcium homeostasis but also regulated cell death and innate immunity. Their proteobacterial origin makes them a rich source of potent immune agonists, normally hidden within the mitochondrial membrane barriers. Alteration of mitochondrial permeability through mitochondrial pores thus provides efficient mechanisms not only to communicate mitochondrial stress to the cell but also as a key event in the integration of cellular responses. In this regard, eukaryotic cells have developed diverse signaling networks that sense and respond to the release of mitochondrial components into the cytosol and play a key role in controlling cell death and inflammatory pathways. Modulating pore formation at mitochondria through direct or indirect mechanisms may thus open new opportunities for therapy. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of the structure and molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial pores and how they function at the interface between cell death and inflammatory signaling to regulate cellular outcomes.
    Keywords:  BAK; BAX; VDAC; apoptosis; gasdermin; inflammation; mPTP; membrane pore
  8. EMBO J. 2023 Mar 13. e111699
      The maintenance of cellular function relies on the close regulation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis and hydrolysis. ATP hydrolysis by mitochondrial ATP Synthase (CV) is induced by loss of proton motive force and inhibited by the mitochondrial protein ATPase inhibitor (ATPIF1). The extent of CV hydrolytic activity and its impact on cellular energetics remains unknown due to the lack of selective hydrolysis inhibitors of CV. We find that CV hydrolytic activity takes place in coupled intact mitochondria and is increased by respiratory chain defects. We identified (+)-Epicatechin as a selective inhibitor of ATP hydrolysis that binds CV while preventing the binding of ATPIF1. In cells with Complex-III deficiency, we show that inhibition of CV hydrolytic activity by (+)-Epichatechin is sufficient to restore ATP content without restoring respiratory function. Inhibition of CV-ATP hydrolysis in a mouse model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is sufficient to improve muscle force without any increase in mitochondrial content. We conclude that the impact of compromised mitochondrial respiration can be lessened using hydrolysis-selective inhibitors of CV.
    Keywords:  ATP hydrolysis; ATPase Inhibitor (ATPIF1); Complex V; epicatechin; muscular dystrophy
  9. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00152-1. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 824-826
      We highlight papers by Diaz-Cuadros et al.1 and Iwata et al.2 that demonstrate the role of mitochondrial metabolism in setting developmental pace through their control over cellular bioenergetics and redox homeostasis in mice and humans.
  10. bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 02. pii: 2023.03.01.530625. [Epub ahead of print]
      Uptake of circulating succinate by brown adipose tissue (BAT) and beige fat elevates whole body energy expenditure, counteracts obesity, and antagonizes systemic tissue inflammation in mice. The plasma membrane transporters that facilitate succinate uptake in these adipocytes remain undefined. Here we elucidate a mechanism underlying succinate import into BAT via monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). We show that succinate transport is strongly dependent on the proportion of it present in the monocarboxylate form. MCTs facilitate monocarboxylate succinate uptake, which is promoted by alkalinization of the cytosol driven by adrenoreceptor stimulation. In brown adipocytes, we show that MCT1 primarily facilitates succinate import, however other members of the MCT family can partially compensate and fulfill this role in the absence of MCT1. In mice, we show that acute pharmacological inhibition of MCT1 and 2 decreases succinate uptake into BAT. Conversely, congenital genetic depletion of MCT1 alone has little effect on BAT succinate uptake, indicative of additional transport mechanisms with high capacity in vivo . In sum, we define a mechanism of succinate uptake in BAT that underlies its protective activity in mouse models of metabolic disease.
  11. bioRxiv. 2023 Feb 28. pii: 2023.02.27.530289. [Epub ahead of print]
      Reproduction is an energy-intensive process requiring systemic coordination. However, the inter-organ signaling mechanisms that relay nutrient status to modulate reproductive output are poorly understood. Here, we use Drosophila melanogaster as a model to establish the Integrated Stress response (ISR) transcription factor, Atf4, as a fat tissue metabolic sensor which instructs oogenesis. We demonstrate that Atf4 regulates the lipase Brummer to mediate yolk lipoprotein synthesis in the fat body. Depletion of Atf4 in the fat body also blunts oogenesis recovery after amino acid deprivation and re-feeding, suggestive of a nutrient sensing role for Atf4. We also discovered that Atf4 promotes secretion of a fat body-derived neuropeptide, CNMamide, which modulates neural circuits that promote egg-laying behavior (ovulation). Thus, we posit that ISR signaling in fat tissue acts as a "metabolic sensor" that instructs female reproduction: directly, by impacting yolk lipoprotein production and follicle maturation, and systemically, by regulating ovulation.
  12. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00028-X. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 1012-1012.e1
      Mitochondria have emerged as signaling organelles with roles beyond their well-established function in generating ATP and metabolites for macromolecule synthesis. Healthy mitochondria integrate various physiologic inputs and communicate signals that control cell function or fate as well as adaptation to stress. Dysregulation of these mitochondrial signaling networks are linked to pathology. Here we outline a few modes of signaling between the mitochondrion and the cytoplasm. To view this SnapShot, open or download the PDF.
  13. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 13. 14(1): 1362
      Adipocytes robustly synthesize fatty acids (FA) from carbohydrate through the de novo lipogenesis (DNL) pathway, yet surprisingly DNL contributes little to their abundant triglyceride stored in lipid droplets. This conundrum raises the hypothesis that adipocyte DNL instead enables membrane expansions to occur in processes like autophagy, which requires an abundant supply of phospholipids. We report here that adipocyte Fasn deficiency in vitro and in vivo markedly impairs autophagy, evident by autophagosome accumulation and severely compromised degradation of the autophagic substrate p62. Our data indicate the impairment occurs at the level of autophagosome-lysosome fusion, and indeed, loss of Fasn decreases certain membrane phosphoinositides necessary for autophagosome and lysosome maturation and fusion. Autophagy dependence on FA produced by Fasn is not fully alleviated by exogenous FA in cultured adipocytes, and interestingly, imaging studies reveal that Fasn colocalizes with nascent autophagosomes. Together, our studies identify DNL as a critical source of FAs to fuel autophagosome and lysosome maturation and fusion in adipocytes.
  14. Br J Cancer. 2023 Mar 17.
      BACKGROUND: One-third of cancers activate endogenous synthesis of serine/glycine, and can become addicted to this pathway to sustain proliferation and survival. Mechanisms driving this metabolic rewiring remain largely unknown.METHODS: NKX2-1 overexpressing and NKX2-1 knockdown/knockout T-cell leukaemia and lung cancer cell line models were established to study metabolic rewiring using ChIP-qPCR, immunoblotting, mass spectrometry, and proliferation and invasion assays. Findings and therapeutic relevance were validated in mouse models and confirmed in patient datasets.
    RESULTS: Exploring T-cell leukaemia, lung cancer and neuroendocrine prostate cancer patient datasets highlighted the transcription factor NKX2-1 as putative driver of serine/glycine metabolism. We demonstrate that transcription factor NKX2-1 binds and transcriptionally upregulates serine/glycine synthesis enzyme genes, enabling NKX2-1 expressing cells to proliferate and invade in serine/glycine-depleted conditions. NKX2-1 driven serine/glycine synthesis generates nucleotides and redox molecules, and is associated with an altered cellular lipidome and methylome. Accordingly, NKX2-1 tumour-bearing mice display enhanced tumour aggressiveness associated with systemic metabolic rewiring. Therapeutically, NKX2-1-expressing cancer cells are more sensitive to serine/glycine conversion inhibition by repurposed anti-depressant sertraline, and to etoposide chemotherapy.
    CONCLUSION: Collectively, we identify NKX2-1 as a novel transcriptional regulator of serine/glycine synthesis addiction across cancers, revealing a therapeutic vulnerability of NKX2-1-driven cancers. Transcription factor NKX2-1 fuels cancer cell proliferation and survival by hyperactivating serine/glycine synthesis, highlighting this pathway as a novel therapeutic target in NKX2-1-positive cancers.
  15. Microbiol Spectr. 2023 Mar 15. e0504322
      Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite capable of infecting humans and animals. The organism has extraordinary metabolic resilience that allows it to establish parasitism in varied nutritional milieus of diverse host cells. Our earlier work has shown that, despite flexibility in the usage of glucose and glutamine as the major carbon precursors, the production of pyruvate by glycolytic enzymes is central to the parasite's growth. Pyruvate is metabolized in a number of subcellular compartments, including the mitochondrion, apicoplast, and cytosol. With the objective of examining the mechanism and importance of the mitochondrial pool of pyruvate imported from the cytosol, we identified the conserved mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) complex, consisting of two subunits, MPC1 and MPC2, in T. gondii. The two parasite proteins could complement a yeast mutant deficient in growth on leucine and valine. Genetic ablation of either one or both subunits reduced the parasite's growth, mimicking the deletion of branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKDH), which has been reported to convert pyruvate into acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) in the mitochondrion. Metabolic labeling of the MPC mutants by isotopic glucose revealed impaired synthesis of acetyl-CoA, correlating with a global decrease in carbon flux through glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Disruption of MPC proteins exerted only a modest effect on the parasite's virulence in mice, further highlighting its metabolic flexibility. In brief, our work reveals the modus operandi of pyruvate transport from the cytosol to the mitochondrion in the parasite, providing the missing link between glycolysis and the TCA cycle in T. gondii. IMPORTANCE T. gondii is a zoonotic parasite capable of infecting many warm-blooded organisms, including humans. Among others, a feature that allows it to parasitize multiple hosts is its exceptional metabolic plasticity. Although T. gondii can utilize different carbon sources, pyruvate homeostasis is critical for parasite growth. Pyruvate is produced primarily in the cytosol but metabolized in other organelles, such as the mitochondrion and apicoplast. The mechanism of import and physiological significance of pyruvate in these organelles remains unclear. Here, we identified the transporter of cytosol-derived pyruvate into the mitochondrion and studied its constituent subunits and their relevance. Our results show that cytosolic pyruvate is a major source of acetyl-CoA in the mitochondrion and that the mitochondrial pyruvate transporter is needed for optimal parasite growth. The mutants lacking the transporter are viable and virulent in a mouse model, underscoring the metabolic plasticity in the parasite's mitochondrion.
    Keywords:  TCA cycle; acetyl-CoA; branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase; glycolysis; mitochondrial pyruvate carrier
  16. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Mar 21. 120(12): e2207471120
      Inner mitochondrial membrane fusion and cristae shape depend on optic atrophy protein 1, OPA1. Mutations in OPA1 lead to autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA), an important cause of inherited blindness. The Guanosin Triphosphatase (GTPase) and GTPase effector domains (GEDs) of OPA1 are essential for mitochondrial fusion; yet, their specific roles remain elusive. Intriguingly, patients carrying OPA1 GTPase mutations have a higher risk of developing more severe multisystemic symptoms in addition to optic atrophy, suggesting pathogenic contributions for the GTPase and GED domains, respectively. We studied OPA1 GTPase and GED mutations to understand their domain-specific contribution to protein function by analyzing patient-derived cells and gain-of-function paradigms. Mitochondria from OPA1 GTPase (c.870+5G>A and c.889C>T) and GED (c.2713C>T and c.2818+5G>A) mutants display distinct aberrant cristae ultrastructure. While all OPA1 mutants inhibited mitochondrial fusion, some GTPase mutants resulted in elongated mitochondria, suggesting fission inhibition. We show that the GED is dispensable for fusion and OPA1 oligomer formation but necessary for GTPase activity. Finally, splicing defect mutants displayed a posttranslational haploinsufficiency-like phenotype but retained domain-specific dysfunctions. Thus, OPA1 domain-specific mutants result in distinct impairments in mitochondrial dynamics, providing insight into OPA1 function and its contribution to ADOA pathogenesis and severity.
    Keywords:  ADOA; OPA1; cristae; dynamics; mitochondria
  17. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1101433
      Introduction: CD8+ T cells infiltrate virtually every tissue to find and destroy infected or mutated cells. They often traverse varying oxygen levels and nutrient-deprived microenvironments. High glycolytic activity in local tissues can result in significant exposure of cytotoxic T cells to the lactate metabolite. Lactate has been known to act as an immunosuppressor, at least in part due to its association with tissue acidosis.Methods: To dissect the role of the lactate anion, independently of pH, we performed phenotypical and metabolic assays, high-throughput RNA sequencing, and mass spectrometry, on primary cultures of murine or human CD8+ T cells exposed to high doses of pH-neutral sodium lactate.
    Results: The lactate anion is well tolerated by CD8+ T cells in pH neutral conditions. We describe how lactate is taken up by activated CD8+ T cells and can displace glucose as a carbon source. Activation in the presence of sodium lactate significantly alters the CD8+ T cell transcriptome, including the expression key effector differentiation markers such as granzyme B and interferon-gamma.
    Discussion: Our studies reveal novel metabolic features of lactate utilization by activated CD8+ T cells, and highlight the importance of lactate in shaping the differentiation and activity of cytotoxic T cells.
    Keywords:  CD8+ T cells; lactate; metabolism; oxygen; transcriptome
  18. Biochem Soc Trans. 2023 Mar 16. pii: BST20210038. [Epub ahead of print]
      The Rag GTPases are an evolutionarily conserved family that play a crucial role in amino acid sensing by the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). mTORC1 is often referred to as the master regulator of cell growth. mTORC1 hyperactivation is observed in multiple diseases such as cancer, obesity, metabolic disorders, and neurodegeneration. The Rag GTPases sense amino acid levels and form heterodimers, where RagA or RagB binds to RagC or RagD, to recruit mTORC1 to the lysosome where it becomes activated. Here, we review amino acid signaling to mTORC1 through the Rag GTPases.
    Keywords:  Rag GTPases; amino acid sensing; mTORC1; signaling
  19. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00123-5. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 890-910
      Biogenesis of mitochondria requires the import of approximately 1,000 different precursor proteins into and across the mitochondrial membranes. Mitochondria exhibit a wide variety of mechanisms and machineries for the translocation and sorting of precursor proteins. Five major import pathways that transport proteins to their functional intramitochondrial destination have been elucidated; these pathways range from the classical amino-terminal presequence-directed pathway to pathways using internal or even carboxy-terminal targeting signals in the precursors. Recent studies have provided important insights into the structural organization of membrane-embedded preprotein translocases of mitochondria. A comparison of the different translocases reveals the existence of at least three fundamentally different mechanisms: two-pore-translocase, β-barrel switching, and transport cavities open to the lipid bilayer. In addition, translocases are physically engaged in dynamic interactions with respiratory chain complexes, metabolite transporters, quality control factors, and machineries controlling membrane morphology. Thus, mitochondrial preprotein translocases are integrated into multi-functional networks of mitochondrial and cellular machineries.
  20. J Biol Chem. 2023 Mar 10. pii: S0021-9258(23)00241-7. [Epub ahead of print] 104599
      Immune cells adopt a variety of metabolic states to support their many biological functions, which include fighting pathogens, removing tissue debris, and tissue remodeling. One of the key mediators of these metabolic changes is the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α). Single-cell dynamics have been shown to be an important determinant of cell behavior; however, despite the importance of HIF-1α, little is known about its single-cell dynamics or their effect on metabolism. To address this knowledge gap, here we optimized a HIF-1α fluorescent reporter and applied it to study single-cell dynamics. First, we showed that single cells are likely able to differentiate multiple levels of prolyl hydroxylase inhibition, a marker of metabolic change, via HIF-1α activity. We then applied a physiological stimulus known to trigger metabolic change, interferon-γ, and observed heterogeneous, oscillatory HIF-1α responses in single cells. Finally, we input these dynamics into a mathematical model of HIF-1α-regulated metabolism, and discovered a profound difference between cells exhibiting high versus low HIF-1α activation. Specifically, we found cells with high HIF-1α activation are able to meaningfully reduce flux through the tricarboxylic acid cycle and show a notable increase in the NAD+/NADH ratio compared to cells displaying low HIF-1α activation. Altogether, this work demonstrates an optimized reporter for studying HIF-1α in single cells and reveals previously unknown principles of HIF-1α activation.
    Keywords:  fluorescence; hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF); mathematical modeling; microscopy; systems biology
  21. Nat Genet. 2023 Mar 13.
      Women with germline BRCA1 mutations (BRCA1+/mut) have increased risk for hereditary breast cancer. Cancer initiation in BRCA1+/mut is associated with premalignant changes in breast epithelium; however, the role of the epithelium-associated stromal niche during BRCA1-driven tumor initiation remains unclear. Here we show that the premalignant stromal niche promotes epithelial proliferation and mutant BRCA1-driven tumorigenesis in trans. Using single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of human preneoplastic BRCA1+/mut and noncarrier breast tissues, we show distinct changes in epithelial homeostasis including increased proliferation and expansion of basal-luminal intermediate progenitor cells. Additionally, BRCA1+/mut stromal cells show increased expression of pro-proliferative paracrine signals. In particular, we identify pre-cancer-associated fibroblasts (pre-CAFs) that produce protumorigenic factors including matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP3), which promotes BRCA1-driven tumorigenesis in vivo. Together, our findings demonstrate that precancerous stroma in BRCA1+/mut may elevate breast cancer risk through the promotion of epithelial proliferation and an accumulation of luminal progenitor cells with altered differentiation.
  22. EMBO Rep. 2023 Mar 17. e56114
      Vesicular transport is a means of communication. While cells can communicate with each other via secretion of extracellular vesicles, less is known regarding organelle-to organelle communication, particularly in the case of mitochondria. Mitochondria are responsible for the production of energy and for essential metabolic pathways in the cell, as well as fundamental processes such as apoptosis and aging. Here, we show that functional mitochondria isolated from Saccharomyces cerevisiae release vesicles, independent of the fission machinery. We isolate these mitochondrial-derived vesicles (MDVs) and find that they are relatively uniform in size, of about 100 nm, and carry selective protein cargo enriched for ATP synthase subunits. Remarkably, we further find that these MDVs harbor a functional ATP synthase complex. We demonstrate that these vesicles have a membrane potential, produce ATP, and seem to fuse with naive mitochondria. Our findings reveal a possible delivery mechanism of ATP-producing vesicles, which can potentially regenerate ATP-deficient mitochondria and may participate in organelle-to-organelle communication.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; membrane potential; mitochondria; mitochondrial-derived vesicles; protein distribution
  23. Nature. 2023 Mar 15.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Cell biology; Imaging
  24. Nature. 2023 Mar 15.
      Lactate is abundant in rapidly dividing cells due to the requirement for elevated glucose catabolism to support proliferation1-6. However, it is not known whether accumulated lactate affects the proliferative state. Here, we deploy a systematic approach to determine lactate-dependent regulation of proteins across the human proteome. From these data, we elucidate a mechanism of cell cycle regulation whereby accumulated lactate remodels the anaphase promoting complex (APC/C). Remodeling of APC/C in this way is caused by direct inhibition of the SUMO protease SENP1 by lactate. We discover that accumulated lactate binds and inhibits SENP1 by forming a complex with zinc in the SENP1 active site. SENP1 inhibition by lactate stabilizes SUMOylation of two residues on APC4, which drives UBE2C binding to APC/C. This direct regulation of APC/C by lactate stimulates timed degradation of cell cycle proteins, and efficient mitotic exit in proliferative human cells. The above mechanism is initiated upon mitotic entry when lactate abundance reaches its apex. In this way, accumulation of lactate communicates the consequences of a nutrient replete growth phase to stimulate timed opening of APC/C, cell division, and proliferation. Conversely, persistent accumulation of lactate drives aberrant APC/C remodeling and can overcome anti-mitotic pharmacology via mitotic slippage. Taken together, we define a biochemical mechanism through which lactate directly regulates protein function to control cell cycle and proliferation.
  25. Life Sci Alliance. 2023 Apr;pii: e202201628. [Epub ahead of print]6(4):
      Mitochondrial depolarization can initiate reversal activity of ATP synthase, depleting ATP by its hydrolysis. We have recently shown that increased ATP hydrolysis contributes to ATP depletion leading to a maladaptation in mitochondrial disorders, where maximal hydrolytic capacity per CV content is increasing. However, despite its importance, ATP hydrolysis is not a commonly studied parameter because of the limitations of the currently available methods. Methods that measure CV hydrolytic activity indirectly require the isolation of mitochondria and involve the introduction of detergents, preventing their utilization in clinical studies or any high-throughput analyses. Here, we describe a novel approach to assess maximal ATP hydrolytic capacity and maximal respiratory capacity in a single assay in cell lysates, PBMCs, and tissue homogenates that were previously frozen. The methodology described here has the potential to be used in clinical samples to determine adaptive and maladaptive adjustments of CV function in diseases, with the added benefit of being able to use frozen samples in a high-throughput manner and to explore ATP hydrolysis as a drug target for disease treatment.
  26. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00157-0. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 819-823
      Much more than the "powerhouse" of the cell, mitochondria have emerged as critical hubs involved in metabolism, cell death, inflammation, signaling, and stress responses. To open our mitochondria focus issue, we asked several scientists to share the unanswered questions, emerging themes, and topics of investigation that excite them.
  27. iScience. 2023 Mar 17. 26(3): 106201
      A cell's genome influences its metabolism via the expression of enzyme-related genes, but transcriptome and fluxome are not perfectly correlated as post-transcriptional mechanisms also regulate reaction's kinetics. Here, we addressed the question: given a transcriptome, how unobserved mechanisms of reaction kinetics should be systematically accounted for when inferring the fluxome? To infer the most likely and least biased fluxome, we present Pheflux, a constraint-based model maximizing Shannon's entropy of fluxes per mRNA. Benchmarked against 13C fluxes of yeast and bacteria, Pheflux accurately estimates the carbon core metabolism. We applied Pheflux to thousands of normal and tumor cell transcriptomes obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Pheflux showed statistically significantly higher glucose yields on lactate in breast, kidney, and bronchus-lung tumoral cells than their normal counterparts. Results are consistent with the Warburg effect, a hallmark of cancer metabolism, suggesting that Pheflux can be efficiently used to study the metabolism of eukaryotic cells.
    Keywords:  Cellular physiology; Complex system biology; Omics; Transcriptomics
  28. Immunity. 2023 Mar 07. pii: S1074-7613(23)00092-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Intestinal IL-17-producing T helper (Th17) cells are dependent on adherent microbes in the gut for their development. However, how microbial adherence to intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) promotes Th17 cell differentiation remains enigmatic. Here, we found that Th17 cell-inducing gut bacteria generated an unfolded protein response (UPR) in IECs. Furthermore, subtilase cytotoxin expression or genetic removal of X-box binding protein 1 (Xbp1) in IECs caused a UPR and increased Th17 cells, even in antibiotic-treated or germ-free conditions. Mechanistically, UPR activation in IECs enhanced their production of both reactive oxygen species (ROS) and purine metabolites. Treating mice with N-acetyl-cysteine or allopurinol to reduce ROS production and xanthine, respectively, decreased Th17 cells that were associated with an elevated UPR. Th17-related genes also correlated with ER stress and the UPR in humans with inflammatory bowel disease. Overall, we identify a mechanism of intestinal Th17 cell differentiation that emerges from an IEC-associated UPR.
    Keywords:  Citrobacter rodentium; ROS signals; TH17 cells; commensal bacterial; epithelial endoplasmic reticulum stress; inflammatory bowel disease; purine metabolism
  29. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2023 Mar 15.
      Ferroptosis is a mechanism of regulated necrotic cell death characterized by iron-dependent, lipid peroxidation-driven membrane destruction that can be inhibited by glutathione peroxidase 4. Morphologically, it is characterized by cellular, organelle and cytoplasmic swelling and the loss of plasma membrane integrity, with the release of intracellular components. Ferroptosis is triggered in cells with dysregulated iron and thiol redox metabolism, whereby the initial robust but selective accumulation of hydroperoxy polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing phospholipids is further propagated through enzymatic and non-enzymatic secondary mechanisms, leading to formation of oxidatively truncated electrophilic species and their adducts with proteins. Thus, ferroptosis is dependent on the convergence of iron, thiol and lipid metabolic pathways. The kidney is particularly susceptible to redox imbalance. A growing body of evidence has linked ferroptosis to acute kidney injury in the context of diverse stimuli, such as ischaemia-reperfusion, sepsis or toxins, and to chronic kidney disease, suggesting that ferroptosis may represent a novel therapeutic target for kidney disease. However, further work is needed to address gaps in our understanding of the triggers, execution and spreading mechanisms of ferroptosis.
  30. Cell Metab. 2023 Mar 07. pii: S1550-4131(23)00050-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cellular lipid synthesis and transport are governed by intricate protein networks. Although genetic screening should contribute to deciphering the regulatory networks of lipid metabolism, technical challenges remain-especially for high-throughput readouts of lipid phenotypes. Here, we coupled organelle-selective click labeling of phosphatidylcholine (PC) with flow cytometry-based CRISPR screening technologies to convert organellar PC phenotypes into a simple fluorescence readout for genome-wide screening. This technique, named O-ClickFC, was successfully applied in genome-scale CRISPR-knockout screens to identify previously reported genes associated with PC synthesis (PCYT1A, ACACA), vesicular membrane trafficking (SEC23B, RAB5C), and non-vesicular transport (PITPNB, STARD7). Moreover, we revealed previously uncharacterized roles of FLVCR1 as a choline uptake facilitator, CHEK1 as a post-translational regulator of the PC-synthetic pathway, and CDC50A as responsible for the translocation of PC to the outside of the plasma membrane bilayer. These findings demonstrate the versatility of O-ClickFC as an unprecedented platform for genetic dissection of cellular lipid metabolism.
    Keywords:  CRISPR screens; flow cytometry; lipid metabolism; organelle-selective labeling: click chemistry; phosphatidylcholine
  31. Elife. 2023 Mar 15. pii: e85103. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Chronically high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) leads to diabetes and fatty liver disease. Obesity is a major risk factor for hyperglycemia, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here, we show that a high-fat diet (HFD) in mice causes early loss of expression of the glycolytic enzyme Hexokinase 2 (HK2) specifically in adipose tissue. Adipose-specific knockout of Hk2 reduced glucose disposal and lipogenesis and enhanced fatty acid release in adipose tissue. In a non-cell-autonomous manner, Hk2 knockout also promoted glucose production in liver. Furthermore, we observed reduced hexokinase activity in adipose tissue of obese and diabetic patients, and identified a loss-of-function mutation in the hk2 gene of naturally hyperglycemic Mexican cavefish. Mechanistically, HFD in mice led to loss of HK2 by inhibiting translation of Hk2 mRNA. Our findings identify adipose HK2 as a critical mediator of local and systemic glucose homeostasis, and suggest that obesity-induced loss of adipose HK2 is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism for the development of selective insulin resistance and thereby hyperglycemia.
    Keywords:  adipose tissue; astyanax mexicanus; cell biology; diabetes; glucose; human; lipid metabolism; mouse; obesity; selective insulin resistance
  32. ACS Sens. 2023 Mar 17.
      Mapping NAD+ dynamics in live cells and human is essential for translating NAD+ interventions into effective therapies. Yet, genetically encoded NAD+ sensors with better specificity and pH resistance are still needed for the cost-effective monitoring of NAD+ in both subcellular compartments and clinical samples. Here, we introduce multicolor, resonance energy transfer-based NAD+ sensors covering nano- to millimolar concentration ranges for clinical NAD+ measurement and subcellular NAD+ visualization. The sensors captured the blood NAD+ increase induced by NMN supplementation and revealed the distinct subcellular effects of NAD+ precursors and modulators. The sensors then enabled high-throughput screenings for mitochondrial and nuclear NAD+ modulators and identified α-GPC, a cognition-related metabolite that induces NAD+ redistribution from mitochondria to the nucleus relative to the total adenine nucleotides, which was further confirmed by NAD+ FRET microscopy.
    Keywords:  BRET; FRET; NAD+; drug screenings; genetically encoded biosensor
  33. Front Physiol. 2023 ;14 1122895
      Numerous cellular proteins are post-translationally modified by addition of a lipid group to their structure, which dynamically influences the proteome by increasing hydrophobicity of proteins often impacting protein conformation, localization, stability, and binding affinity. These lipid modifications include myristoylation and palmitoylation. Palmitoylation involves a 16-carbon saturated fatty acyl chain being covalently linked to a cysteine thiol through a thioester bond. Palmitoylation is unique within this group of modifications, as the addition of the palmitoyl group is reversible and enzyme driven, rapidly affecting protein targeting, stability and subcellular trafficking. The palmitoylation reaction is catalyzed by a large family of Asp-His-His-Cys (DHHCs) motif-containing palmitoyl acyltransferases, while the reverse reaction is catalyzed by acyl-protein thioesterases (APTs), that remove the acyl chain. Palmitoyl-CoA serves an important dual purpose as it is not only a key metabolite fueling energy metabolism, but is also a substrate for this PTM. In this review, we discuss protein palmitoylation in regulating substrate metabolism, focusing on membrane transport proteins and kinases that participate in substrate uptake into the cell. We then explore the palmitoylation of mitochondrial proteins and the palmitoylation regulatory enzymes, a less explored field for potential lipid metabolic regulation.
    Keywords:  fatty acid signalling; membrane transporter; metabolism; mitochondria; palmitoylation
  34. Mol Metab. 2023 Mar 11. pii: S2212-8778(23)00039-X. [Epub ahead of print] 101705
      OBJECTIVE: In brown adipose tissue (iBAT), the balance between lipid/glucose uptake and lipolysis is tightly regulated by insulin signaling. Downstream of the insulin receptor, PDK1 and mTORC2 phosphorylate AKT, which activates glucose uptake and lysosomal mTORC1 signaling. The latter requires the late endosomal/lysosomal adaptor and MAPK and mTOR activator (LAMTOR/Ragulator) complex, which serves to translate the nutrient status of the cell to the respective kinase. However, the role of LAMTOR in metabolically active iBAT has been elusive.METHODS: Using an AdipoqCRE-transgenic mouse line, we deleted LAMTOR2 (and thereby the entire LAMTOR complex) in adipose tissue (LT2 AKO). To examine the metabolic consequences, we performed metabolic and biochemical studies in iBAT isolated from mice housed at different temperatures (30 °C, room temperature and 5 °C), after insulin treatment, or in fasted and refed condition. For mechanistic studies, mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking LAMTOR 2 were analyzed.
    RESULTS: Deletion of the LAMTOR complex in mouse adipocytes resulted in insulin-independent AKT hyperphosphorylation in iBAT, causing increased glucose and fatty acid uptake, which led to massively enlarged lipid droplets. As LAMTOR2 was essential for the upregulation of de novo lipogenesis, LAMTOR2 deficiency triggered exogenous glucose storage as glycogen in iBAT. These effects are cell autonomous, since AKT hyperphosphorylation was abrogated by PI3K inhibition or by deletion of the mTORC2 component Rictor in LAMTOR2-deficient MEFs.
    CONCLUSIONS: We identified a homeostatic circuit for the maintenance of iBAT metabolism that links the LAMTOR-mTORC1 pathway to PI3K-mTORC2-AKT signaling downstream of the insulin receptor.
    Keywords:  AKT; Brown adipose tissue; LAMTOR; Lysosome; Ragulator; mTORC1/2
  35. bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 01. pii: 2023.02.28.530478. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aberrant tumor metabolism is a hallmark of cancer in which metabolic rewiring can support tumor growth under nutrient deficient conditions. KRAS mutations occur in 35-45% of all colorectal cancer (CRC) cases and are difficult to treat. The relationship between mutant KRAS and aberrant metabolism in CRCs has not been fully explored and could be a target for intervention. We previously acquired non-targeted metabolomics data from 161 tumor tissues and 39 normal colon tissues from stage I-III chemotherapy na√Øve CRC patients. In this study, we revealed that tumors from male patients with KRAS mutations only, had several altered pathways that suppress ferroptosis, including glutathione biosynthesis, transsulfuration activity, and methionine metabolism. To validate this phenotype, MC38 CRC cells (KRAS G13R ) were treated with a ferroptosis inducer; RAS-selected lethal (RSL3). RSL3 altered metabolic pathways in the opposite direction to that seen in KRAS mutant tumors from male patients confirming a suppressed ferroptosis metabolic phenotype in these patients. We further validated gene expression data from an additional CRC patient cohort (Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), and similarly observed differences in ferroptosis-related genes by sex and KRAS status. Further examination of the relationship between these genes and overall survival (OS) in the GEO cohort showed that KRAS mutant tumors are associated with poorer 5-year OS compared to KRAS wild type tumors, and only in male patients. Additionally, high compared to low expression of GPX4, FTH1, FTL , which suppressed ferroptosis, were associated with poorer 5-year OS only in KRAS mutant tumors from male CRC patients. Low compared to high expression of ACSL4 was associated with poorer OS for this group. Our results show that KRAS mutant tumors from male CRC patients have suppressed ferroptosis, and gene expression changes that suppress ferroptosis associate with adverse outcomes for these patients, revealing a novel potential avenue for therapeutic approaches.
  36. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2023 Mar 12. e13960
      The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway is crucial in maintaining cell growth and metabolism. The mTOR protein kinase constitutes the catalytic subunit of two multimeric protein complexes called mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2). As such, this pathway is indispensable for many organs, including the kidney. Since its discovery, mTOR has been associated with major renal disorders such as acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, and polycystic kidney disease. On top of that, emerging studies using pharmacological interventions and genetic disease models have unveiled mTOR role in renal tubular ion handling. Along the tubule, mTORC1 and mTORC2 subunits are ubiquitously expressed at mRNA level. Nevertheless, at the protein level, current studies suggest that a tubular segment-specific balance between mTORC1 and mTORC2 exist. In the proximal tubule, mTORC1 regulates nutrients transports through various transporters located in this segment. On the other hand, in the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle, both complexes play a role in regulating NKCC2 expression and activity. Lastly, in the principal cells of the collecting duct, mTORC2 determines Na+ reabsorption and K+ excretion by regulating of SGK1 activation. Altogether, these studies establish the relevance of the mTOR signalling pathway in the pathophysiology of tubular solute transport. Despite extensive studies on the effectors of mTOR, the upstream activators of mTOR signalling remains elusive in most nephron segments. Further understanding of the role of growth factor signalling and nutrient sensing is essential to establish the exact role of mTOR in kidney physiology.
    Keywords:  Mammalian target of rapamycin; electrolyte transport; kidney physiology; tubular disorder
  37. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 17. 14(1): 1485
      Turnover numbers characterize a key property of enzymes, and their usage in constraint-based metabolic modeling is expected to increase the prediction accuracy of diverse cellular phenotypes. In vivo turnover numbers can be obtained by integrating reaction rate and enzyme abundance measurements from individual experiments. Yet, their contribution to improving predictions of condition-specific cellular phenotypes remains elusive. Here, we show that available in vitro and in vivo turnover numbers lead to poor prediction of condition-specific growth rates with protein-constrained models of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, particularly when protein abundances are considered. We demonstrate that correction of turnover numbers by simultaneous consideration of proteomics and physiological data leads to improved predictions of condition-specific growth rates. Moreover, the obtained estimates are more precise than corresponding in vitro turnover numbers. Therefore, our approach provides the means to correct turnover numbers and paves the way towards cataloguing kcatomes of other organisms.
  38. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16. pii: S1097-2765(23)00118-1. [Epub ahead of print]83(6): 911-926
      Mitochondria are essential for cellular functions such as metabolism and apoptosis. They dynamically adapt to the changing environmental demands by adjusting their protein, nucleic acid, metabolite, and lipid contents. In addition, the mitochondrial components are modulated on different levels in response to changes, including abundance, activity, and interaction. A wide range of omics-based approaches has been developed to be able to explore mitochondrial adaptation and how mitochondrial function is compromised in disease contexts. Here, we provide an overview of the omics methods that allow us to systematically investigate the different aspects of mitochondrial biology. In addition, we show examples of how these methods have provided new biological insights. The emerging use of these toolboxes provides a more comprehensive understanding of the processes underlying mitochondrial function.
  39. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2023 Mar 17. pii: CAPR-22-0469. [Epub ahead of print]
      Histologically normal human tissues accumulate significant mutational burden with age. The extent and spectra of mutagenesis are comparable both in rapidly proliferating and post-mitotic tissues and in stem cells compared to their differentiated progeny. Some of these mutations provide increased fitness, giving rise to clones which, at times, can replace the entire surface area of tissues. Compared to cancer, somatic mutations in histologically normal tissues are primarily single nucleotide variations. Interestingly though, the presence of these mutations and positive clonal selection in isolation remains a poor indicator of potential future cancer transformation in solid tissues. Common clonally expanded mutations in histologically normal tissues also do not always represent the most frequent early mutations in cancers of corresponding tissues, indicating differences in selection pressures. Preliminary evidence implies that stroma and immune system co-evolve with age, which may impact selection dynamics. In this review, we will explore the mutational landscape of histologically normal and pre-malignant human somatic tissues in detail and discuss cell-intrinsic and environmental factors that can determine the fate of positively selected mutations within them. Precisely pinpointing these determinants of cancer transformation would aid development of early cancer interventional and prevention strategies.
  40. Nat Ecol Evol. 2023 Mar 16.
      Genes and translated open reading frames (ORFs) that emerged de novo from previously non-coding sequences provide species with opportunities for adaptation. When aberrantly activated, some human-specific de novo genes and ORFs have disease-promoting properties-for instance, driving tumour growth. Thousands of putative de novo coding sequences have been described in humans, but we still do not know what fraction of those ORFs has readily acquired a function. Here, we discuss the challenges and controversies surrounding the detection, mechanisms of origin, annotation, validation and characterization of de novo genes and ORFs. Through manual curation of literature and databases, we provide a thorough table with most de novo genes reported for humans to date. We re-evaluate each locus by tracing the enabling mutations and list proposed disease associations, protein characteristics and supporting evidence for translation and protein detection. This work will support future explorations of de novo genes and ORFs in humans.
  41. Nature. 2023 Mar 15.
      Whole-genome doubling (WGD) is a recurrent event in human cancers and it promotes chromosomal instability and acquisition of aneuploidies1-8. However, the three-dimensional organization of chromatin in WGD cells and its contribution to oncogenic phenotypes are currently unknown. Here we show that in p53-deficient cells, WGD induces loss of chromatin segregation (LCS). This event is characterized by reduced segregation between short and long chromosomes, A and B subcompartments and adjacent chromatin domains. LCS is driven by the downregulation of CTCF and H3K9me3 in cells that bypassed activation of the tetraploid checkpoint. Longitudinal analyses revealed that LCS primes genomic regions for subcompartment repositioning in WGD cells. This results in chromatin and epigenetic changes associated with oncogene activation in tumours ensuing from WGD cells. Notably, subcompartment repositioning events were largely independent of chromosomal alterations, which indicates that these were complementary mechanisms contributing to tumour development and progression. Overall, LCS initiates chromatin conformation changes that ultimately result in oncogenic epigenetic and transcriptional modifications, which suggests that chromatin evolution is a hallmark of WGD-driven cancer.
  42. Nature. 2023 Mar 15.
      Emerging spatial technologies, including spatial transcriptomics and spatial epigenomics, are becoming powerful tools for profiling of cellular states in the tissue context1-5. However, current methods capture only one layer of omics information at a time, precluding the possibility of examining the mechanistic relationship across the central dogma of molecular biology. Here, we present two technologies for spatially resolved, genome-wide, joint profiling of the epigenome and transcriptome by cosequencing chromatin accessibility and gene expression, or histone modifications (H3K27me3, H3K27ac or H3K4me3) and gene expression on the same tissue section at near-single-cell resolution. These were applied to embryonic and juvenile mouse brain, as well as adult human brain, to map how epigenetic mechanisms control transcriptional phenotype and cell dynamics in tissue. Although highly concordant tissue features were identified by either spatial epigenome or spatial transcriptome we also observed distinct patterns, suggesting their differential roles in defining cell states. Linking epigenome to transcriptome pixel by pixel allows the uncovering of new insights in spatial epigenetic priming, differentiation and gene regulation within the tissue architecture. These technologies are of great interest in life science and biomedical research.
  43. Nat Cell Biol. 2023 Mar;25(3): 453-466
      Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) is essential for the type I interferon response against a variety of DNA pathogens. Upon emergence of cytosolic DNA, STING translocates from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi where STING activates the downstream kinase TBK1, then to lysosome through recycling endosomes (REs) for its degradation. Although the molecular machinery of STING activation is extensively studied and defined, the one underlying STING degradation and inactivation has not yet been fully elucidated. Here we show that STING is degraded by the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT)-driven microautophagy. Airyscan super-resolution microscopy and correlative light/electron microscopy suggest that STING-positive vesicles of an RE origin are directly encapsulated into Lamp1-positive compartments. Screening of mammalian Vps genes, the yeast homologues of which regulate Golgi-to-vacuole transport, shows that ESCRT proteins are essential for the STING encapsulation into Lamp1-positive compartments. Knockdown of Tsg101 and Vps4, components of ESCRT, results in the accumulation of STING vesicles in the cytosol, leading to the sustained type I interferon response. Knockdown of Tsg101 in human primary T cells leads to an increase the expression of interferon-stimulated genes. STING undergoes K63-linked ubiquitination at lysine 288 during its transit through the Golgi/REs, and this ubiquitination is required for STING degradation. Our results reveal a molecular mechanism that prevents hyperactivation of innate immune signalling, which operates at REs.