bims-celmim Biomed News
on Cellular and mitochondrial metabolism
Issue of 2023‒10‒22
29 papers selected by
Marc Segarra Mondejar, University of Cologne

  1. Cell Signal. 2023 Oct 17. pii: S0898-6568(23)00346-7. [Epub ahead of print] 110931
      OBJECTIVE: The mitochondrial phenotype, governed by the balance of fusion-fission, is a key determinant of energy metabolism. The inner and outer mitochondrial membrane (IMM) fusion proteins optic atrophy 1 (OPA1) and Mitofusin 1 and 2 (Mfn1/2) play an important role in this process. Recent evidence also shows that Sirtuin 4 (SIRT4), located within the mitochondria, is involved in the regulation of fatty acid oxidation. The purpose of this study was to determine if SIRT4 expression regulates inner and outer mitochondrial-mediated fusion and substrate utilization within differentiated human skeletal muscle cells (HSkMC).MATERIAL AND METHODS: SIRT4 expression was knocked down using small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection in differentiated HSkMC. Following knockdown, mitochondrial respiration was determined by high-resolution respirometry (HRR) using the Oroboros Oxygraph O2k. Live cell confocal microscopy, quantified using the Mitochondrial Network Analysis (MiNA) toolset, was used to examine mitochondrial morphological change. This was further examined through the measurement of key metabolic and mitochondrial morphological regulators (mRNA and protein) induced by knockdown.
    RESULTS: SIRT4 knockdown resulted in a significant decrease in LEAK respiration, potentially explained by a decrease in ANT1 protein expression. Knockdown further increased oxidative phosphorylation and protein expression of key regulators of fatty acid metabolism. Quantitative analysis of live confocal imaging of fluorescently labelled mitochondria following SIRT4 knockdown supported the role SIRT4 plays in the regulation of mitochondrial morphology, as emphasized by an increase in mitochondrial network branches and junctions. Measurement of key regulators of mitochondrial dynamics illustrated a significant increase in mitochondrial fusion proteins Mfn1, OPA1 respectively, indicative of an increase in mitochondrial size.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence of a direct relationship between the mitochondrial phenotype and substrate oxidation in HSkMC. We identify SIRT4 as a key protagonist of energy metabolism via its regulation of IMM and OMM fusion proteins, OPA1 and Mfn1. SIRT4 knockdown increases mitochondrial capacity to oxidize fatty acids, decreasing LEAK respiration and further increasing mitochondrial elongation via its regulation of mitochondrial fusion.
    Keywords:  Metabolism; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitochondrial function; OPA1; Sirtuin; Skeletal muscle
  2. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2023 Oct 18. pii: S0958-1669(23)00118-0. [Epub ahead of print]84 103008
      Nucleotide metabolism plays a crucial role in the regulation of the tumor microenvironment (TME) and immune cell function. In the TME, limited availability of nucleotide precursors due to increased consumption by tumor cells and T cells affects both tumor development and immune function. Metabolic reprogramming in tumor cells favors pathways supporting growth and proliferation, including nucleotide synthesis. Additionally, extracellular nucleotides, such as ATP and adenosine, exhibit dual roles in modulating immune function and tumor cell survival. ATP stimulates antitumor immunity by activating purinergic receptors, while adenosine acts as a potent immunosuppressor. Targeting nucleotide metabolism in the TME holds immense promise for cancer therapy. Understanding the intricate relationship between nucleotide metabolism, the TME, and immune responses will pave the way for innovative therapeutic interventions.
  3. Neural Regen Res. 2024 Apr;19(4): 781-787
      Stroke is a leading cause of mortality and disability worldwide. Ischemic cell death triggered by the compromised supply of blood oxygen and glucose is one of the major pathophysiology of stroke-induced brain injury. Impaired mitochondrial energy metabolism is observed minutes after stroke and is closely associated with the progression of neuropathology. Recently, a new type of post-translational modification, known as lysine succinylation, has been recognized to play a significant role in mitochondrial energy metabolism after ischemia. However, the role of succinylation modification in cell metabolism after stroke and its regulation are not well understood. We aimed to review the effects of succinylation on energy metabolism, reactive oxygen species generation, and neuroinflammation, as well as Sirtuin 5 mediated desuccinylation after stroke. We also highlight the potential of targeting succinylation/desuccinylation as a promising strategy for the treatment of stroke. The succinylation level is dynamically regulated by the nonenzymatic or enzymatic transfer of a succinyl group to a protein on lysine residues and the removal of succinyl catalyzed by desuccinylases. Mounting evidence has suggested that succinylation can regulate the metabolic pathway through modulating the activity or stability of metabolic enzymes. Sirtuins, especially Sirtuin 5, are characterized for their desuccinylation activity and have been recognized as a critical regulator of metabolism through desuccinylating numerous metabolic enzymes. Imbalance between succinylation and desuccinylation has been implicated in the pathophysiology of stroke. Pharmacological agents that enhance the activity of Sirtuin 5 have been employed to promote desuccinylation and improve mitochondrial metabolism, and neuroprotective effects of these agents have been observed in experimental stroke studies. However, their therapeutic efficacy in stroke patients should be validated.
    Keywords:  mitochondria metabolism; neuroprotection; sirtuin 5; stroke; succinylation modification
  4. Trends Cell Biol. 2023 Oct 17. pii: S0962-8924(23)00210-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial fusion enables cooperation between the mitochondrial population and is critical for mitochondrial function. Phosphatidic acid (PA) on the mitochondrial surface has a key role in mitochondrial fusion. A recent study by Su et al. shows that the nucleoside diphosphate (NDP) kinase NME3 recognizes PA and mediates its effects on mitochondrial dynamics.
    Keywords:  membrane fusion; mitochondria; organelle; phospholipid
  5. R Soc Open Sci. 2023 Oct;10(10): 230404
      Mitochondria perform critical functions, including respiration, ATP production, small molecule metabolism, and anti-oxidation, and they are involved in a number of human diseases. While the mitochondrial genome contains a small number of protein-coding genes, the vast majority of mitochondrial proteins are encoded by nuclear genes. In fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we screened 457 deletion (del) mutants deficient in nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins, searching for those that fail to form colonies in culture medium containing low glucose (0.03-0.1%; low-glucose sensitive, lgs), but that proliferate in regular 2-3% glucose medium. Sixty-five (14%) of the 457 deletion mutants displayed the lgs phenotype. Thirty-three of them are defective either in dehydrogenases, subunits of respiratory complexes, the citric acid cycle, or in one of the nine steps of the CoQ10 biosynthetic pathway. The remaining 32 lgs mutants do not seem to be directly related to respiration. Fifteen are implicated in translation, and six encode transporters. The remaining 11 function in anti-oxidation, amino acid synthesis, repair of DNA damage, microtubule cytoskeleton, intracellular mitochondrial distribution or unknown functions. These 32 diverse lgs genes collectively maintain mitochondrial functions under low (1/20-1/60× normal) glucose concentrations. Interestingly, 30 of them have homologues associated with human diseases.
    Keywords:  anti-oxidant; coenzyme Q synthesis; human diseases; low-glucose sensitive; mitochondrial mutants; translation
  6. Cell Rep. 2023 Oct 17. pii: S2211-1247(23)01272-X. [Epub ahead of print]42(10): 113260
      Mechanisms that prevent accidental activation of the PINK1/Parkin mitophagy circuit on healthy mitochondria are poorly understood. On the surface of damaged mitochondria, PINK1 accumulates and acts as the input signal to a positive feedback loop of Parkin recruitment, which in turn promotes mitochondrial degradation via mitophagy. However, PINK1 is also present on healthy mitochondria, where it could errantly recruit Parkin and thereby activate this positive feedback loop. Here, we explore emergent properties of the PINK1/Parkin circuit by quantifying the relationship between mitochondrial PINK1 concentrations and Parkin recruitment dynamics. We find that Parkin is recruited to mitochondria only if PINK1 levels exceed a threshold and then only after a delay that is inversely proportional to PINK1 levels. Furthermore, these two regulatory properties arise from the input-coupled positive feedback topology of the PINK1/Parkin circuit. These results outline an intrinsic mechanism by which the PINK1/Parkin circuit can avoid errant activation on healthy mitochondria.
    Keywords:  CP: Molecular biology; PINK1; Parkin; circuit; delay; mathematical model; mitophagy decision; quantitative microscopy; synthetic biology; systems biology; threshold
  7. Sci Rep. 2023 Oct 18. 13(1): 17733
      Lactate accumulation and acidification in tumours are a cancer hallmark associated with the Warburg effect. Lactic acidosis correlates with cancer malignancy, and the benefit it offers to tumours has been the subject of numerous hypotheses. Strikingly, lactic acidosis enhances cancer cell survival to environmental glucose depletion by repressing high-rate glycolysis and lactic fermentation, and promoting an oxidative metabolism involving reactivated respiration. We used real-time NMR to evaluate how cytosolic lactate accumulation up to 40 mM and acidification up to pH 6.5 individually impact glucose consumption, lactate production and pyruvate evolution in isolated cytosols. We used a reductive cell-free system (CFS) to specifically study cytosolic metabolism independently of other Warburg-regulatory mechanisms found in the cell. We assessed the impact of lactate and acidification on the Warburg metabolism of cancer cytosols, and whether this effect extended to different cytosolic phenotypes of lactic fermentation and cancer. We observed that moderate acidification, independently of lactate concentration, drastically reduces the glucose consumption rate and halts lactate production in different lactic fermentation phenotypes. In parallel, for Warburg-type CFS lactate supplementation induces pyruvate accumulation at control pH, and can maintain a higher cytosolic pyruvate pool at low pH. Altogether, we demonstrate that intracellular acidification accounts for the direct repression of lactic fermentation by the Warburg-associated lactic acidosis.
  8. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2023 Oct 15. pii: S0041-008X(23)00361-7. [Epub ahead of print]479 116722
      Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose disrupts hepatocellular lysosomes, which release ferrous iron (Fe2+) that translocates into mitochondria putatively via the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) to induce oxidative/nitrative stress, the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT), and hepatotoxicity. To investigate how MCU deficiency affects mitochondrial Fe2+ uptake and hepatotoxicity after APAP overdose, global MCU knockout (KO), hepatocyte specific (hs) MCU KO, and wildtype (WT) mice were treated with an overdose of APAP both in vivo and in vitro. Compared to strain-specific WT mice, serum ALT decreased by 88 and 56%, respectively, in global and hsMCU KO mice at 24 h after APAP (300 mg/kg). Hepatic necrosis also decreased by 84 and 56%. By contrast, when MCU was knocked out in Kupffer cells, ALT release and necrosis were unchanged after overdose APAP. Intravital multiphoton microscopy confirmed loss of viability and mitochondrial depolarization in pericentral hepatocytes of WT mice, which was decreased in MCU KO mice. CYP2E1 expression, hepatic APAP-protein adduct formation, and JNK activation revealed that APAP metabolism was equivalent between WT and MCU KO mice. In cultured hepatocytes after APAP, loss of cell viability decreased in hsMCU KO compared to WT hepatocytes. Using fructose plus glycine to prevent cell killing, mitochondrial Fe2+ increased progressively after APAP, as revealed with mitoferrofluor (MFF), a mitochondrial Fe2+ indicator. By contrast in hsMCU KO hepatocytes, mitochondrial Fe2+ uptake after APAP was suppressed. Rhod-2 measurements showed that Ca2+ did not increase in mitochondria after APAP in either WT or KO hepatocytes. In conclusion, MCU mediates uptake of Fe2+ into mitochondria after APAP and plays a central role in mitochondrial depolarization and cell death during APAP-induced hepatotoxicity.
    Keywords:  APAP; Hepatocytes; Iron; MCU; Mitochondria
  9. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2023 Oct 17. pii: a041542. [Epub ahead of print]
      Molecular oxygen (O2) is essential for cellular bioenergetics and numerous biochemical reactions necessary for life. Solid tumors outgrow the native blood supply and diffusion limits of O2, and therefore must engage hypoxia response pathways that evolved to withstand acute periods of low O2 Hypoxia activates coordinated gene expression programs, primarily through hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs), to support survival. Many of these changes involve metabolic rewiring such as increasing glycolysis to support ATP generation while suppressing mitochondrial metabolism. Since low O2 is often coupled with nutrient stress in the tumor microenvironment, other responses to hypoxia include activation of nutrient uptake pathways, metabolite scavenging, and regulation of stress and growth signaling cascades. Continued development of models that better recapitulate tumors and their microenvironments will lead to greater understanding of oxygen-dependent metabolic reprogramming and lead to more effective cancer therapies.
  10. Neural Regen Res. 2024 Apr;19(4): 754-768
      Mitochondria play an essential role in neural function, such as supporting normal energy metabolism, regulating reactive oxygen species, buffering physiological calcium loads, and maintaining the balance of morphology, subcellular distribution, and overall health through mitochondrial dynamics. Given the recent technological advances in the assessment of mitochondrial structure and functions, mitochondrial dysfunction has been regarded as the early and key pathophysiological mechanism of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, mild cognitive impairment, and postoperative cognitive dysfunction. This review will focus on the recent advances in mitochondrial medicine and research methodology in the field of cognitive sciences, from the perspectives of energy metabolism, oxidative stress, calcium homeostasis, and mitochondrial dynamics (including fission-fusion, transport, and mitophagy).
    Keywords:  calcium homeostasis; cognitive disorders; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial energy metabolism; mitochondrial transport; mitophagy; oxidative stress
  11. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2023 Oct 17. pii: a041193. [Epub ahead of print]
      NAD+, the essential metabolite involved in multiple reactions such as the regulation of cellular metabolism, energy production, DNA repair, mitophagy and autophagy, inflammation, and neuronal function, has been the subject of intense research in the field of aging and disease over the last decade. NAD+ levels decline with aging and in some age-related diseases, and reduction in NAD+ affects all the hallmarks of aging. Here, we present an overview of the discovery of NAD+, the cellular pathways of producing and consuming NAD+, and discuss how imbalances in the production rate and cellular request of NAD+ likely contribute to aging and age-related diseases including neurodegeneration. Preclinical studies have revealed great potential for NAD+ precursors in promotion of healthy aging and improvement of neurodegeneration. This has led to the initiation of several clinical trials with NAD+ precursors to treat accelerated aging, age-associated dysfunctions, and diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. NAD supplementation has great future potential clinically, and these studies will also provide insight into the mechanisms of aging.
  12. Microbiol Spectr. 2023 Oct 19. e0222523
      The bacterial lifestyle is plastic, requiring transcriptional, translational, and metabolic tailoring for survival. These dynamic cellular processes are energy intensive; therefore, flexible energetics is requisite for adaptive plasticity. An intricate network of complementary and supplementary pathways exists in bacterial energy metabolism. There are two main entry points for electrons in the aerobic electron transport system, NADH dehydrogenase (NDH) and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), receiving electrons from NADH and succinate, respectively. Aerobic bacterial phyla have a non-proton-pumping NADH dehydrogenase, which is often the primary dehydrogenase under aerobiosis. Here, we report adaptive changes supporting growth restoration in an Escherichia coli strain lacking the primary dehydrogenase. Growth optimization is achieved by reducing the activity of succinate dehydrogenase, and thus we demonstrate a physiological discord between proton-pumping NADH dehydrogenase and succinate dehydrogenase in supporting growth. Beyond the fundamental understanding of the bioenergetic network, identifying this compensatory feature provides impetus to rational antimicrobial combinations for targeting the non-proton-pumping dehydrogenase. IMPORTANCE Energy generation pathways are a potential avenue for the development of novel antibiotics. However, bacteria possess remarkable resilience due to the compensatory pathways, which presents a challenge in this direction. NADH, the primary reducing equivalent, can transfer electrons to two distinct types of NADH dehydrogenases. Type I NADH dehydrogenase is an enzyme complex comprising multiple subunits and can generate proton motive force (PMF). Type II NADH dehydrogenase does not pump protons but plays a crucial role in maintaining the turnover of NAD+. To study the adaptive rewiring of energy metabolism, we evolved an Escherichia coli mutant lacking type II NADH dehydrogenase. We discovered that by modifying the flux through the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, E. coli could mitigate the growth impairment observed in the absence of type II NADH dehydrogenase. This research provides valuable insights into the intricate mechanisms employed by bacteria to compensate for disruptions in energy metabolism.
    Keywords:  adaptive laboratory evolution; bioenergetics; electron transport; metabolism
  13. Cancer Med. 2023 Oct 20.
      BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal cancer poses a serious health threat owing to its high morbidity and mortality. Although immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapies have achieved meaningful success in most solid tumors, the improvement in survival in gastrointestinal cancers is modest, owing to sparse immune response and widespread resistance. Metabolic reprogramming, autophagy, and ferroptosis are key regulators of tumor progression.METHODS: A literature review was conducted to investigate the role of the metabolic reprogramming, autophagy, and ferroptosis in immunotherapy resistance of gastrointestinal cancer.
    RESULTS: Metabolic reprogramming, autophagy, and ferroptosis play pivotal roles in regulating the survival, differentiation, and function of immune cells within the tumor microenvironment. These processes redefine the nutrient allocation blueprint between cancer cells and immune cells, facilitating tumor immune evasion, which critically impacts the therapeutic efficacy of immunotherapy for gastrointestinal cancers. Additionally, there exists profound crosstalk among metabolic reprogramming, autophagy, and ferroptosis. These interactions are paramount in anti-tumor immunity, further promoting the formation of an immunosuppressive microenvironment and resistance to immunotherapy.
    CONCLUSIONS: Consequently, it is imperative to conduct comprehensive research on the roles of metabolic reprogramming, autophagy, and ferroptosis in the resistance of gastrointestinal tumor immunotherapy. This understanding will illuminate the clinical potential of targeting these pathways and their regulatory mechanisms to overcome immunotherapy resistance in gastrointestinal cancers.
    Keywords:  autophagy; ferroptosis; gastrointestinal cancer; immunotherapy resistance; metabolic reprogramming
  14. Neurochem Res. 2023 Oct 19.
      Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the main energy currency of all cells, while creatine phosphate (CrP) is considered as a buffer of high energy-bond phosphate that facilitates rapid regeneration of ATP from adenosine diphosphate (ADP). Astrocyte-rich primary cultures contain ATP, ADP and adenosine monophosphate (AMP) in average specific contents of 36.0 ± 6.4 nmol/mg, 2.9 ± 2.1 nmol/mg and 1.7 ± 2.1 nmol/mg, respectively, which establish an adenylate energy charge of 0.92 ± 0.04. The average specific cellular CrP level was found to be 25.9 ± 10.8 nmol/mg and the CrP/ATP ratio was 0.74 ± 0.28. The specific cellular CrP content, but not the ATP content, declined with the age of the culture. Absence of fetal calf serum for 24 h caused a partial loss in the cellular contents of both CrP and ATP, while application of creatine for 24 h doubled the cellular CrP content and the CrP/ATP ratio, but did not affect ATP levels. In glucose-deprived astrocytes, the high cellular ATP and CrP contents were rapidly depleted within minutes after application of the glycolysis inhibitor 2-deoxyglucose and the respiratory chain inhibitor antimycin A. For those conditions, the decline in CrP levels always preceded that of ATP contents. In contrast, incubation of glucose-fed astrocytes for up to 30 min with antimycin A had little effect on the high cellular ATP content, while the CrP level was significantly lowered. These data demonstrate the importance of cellular CrP for maintaining a high cellular ATP content in astrocytes during episodes of impaired ATP regeneration.
    Keywords:  ATP; Astrocytes; Creatine; Metabolism; Mitochondria
  15. Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2023 Oct 12. pii: S0304-4165(23)00183-6. [Epub ahead of print]1867(12): 130485
      Vitamin E succinate (VES) is an esterified form of natural α-tocopherol, has turned out to be novel anticancer agent. However, its anticancer mechanisms have not been illustrated. Previously, we reported VES mediated Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) causes mitochondrial Ca2+ overload, leading to mitochondrial depolarization and apoptosis. Here, we elucidated the mechanism of VES-induced Ca2+ transfer from ER to mitochondria by investigating the role of VES in ER-mitochondria contact formation. Transmission electron microscopic observation confirms VES mediated ER-mitochondria contact while fluorescence microscopic analysis revealed that VES increased mitochondria-associated ER membrane (MAM) formation. Pre-treatment with the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (IP3R) antagonist 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate (2-APB) decreased VES-induced MAM formation, suggesting the involvement of VES-induced Ca2+ efflux from ER in MAM formation. The ER IP3R receptor is known to interact with voltage-dependent anion channels (VDAC) via the chaperone glucose-regulated protein 75 kDa (GRP75) to bring ER and mitochondria nearby. Although we revealed that VES treatment does not affect GRP75 protein level, it increases GRP75 localization in the MAM. In addition, the inhibition of Ca2+ release from ER by 2-APB decreases GRP75 localization in the MAM, suggesting the possibility of Ca2+-induced conformational change of GRP75 that promotes formation of the IP3R-GRP75-VDAC complex and thereby encourages MAM formation. This study identifies the mechanism of VES-induced enhanced Ca2+ transfer from ER to mitochondria, which causes mitochondrial Ca2+ overload leading to apoptosis.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Ca(2+) transfer; ER-mitochondria contact; GRP75; Vitamin E succinate
  16. J Mol Biol. 2023 Oct 17. pii: S0022-2836(23)00428-X. [Epub ahead of print] 168317
      Ferredoxins (FDXs) are evolutionarily conserved iron-sulfur (Fe-S) proteins that function as electron transfer proteins in diverse metabolic pathways. Mammalian mitochondria contain two ferredoxins, FDX1 and FDX2, which share a high degree of structural similarity but exhibit different functionalities. Previous studies have established the unique role of FDX2 in the biogenesis of Fe-S clusters; however, FDX1 seems to have multiple targets in vivo, some of which are only recently emerging. Using CRISPR-Cas9-based loss-of-function studies in rat cardiomyocyte cell line, we demonstrate an essential requirement of FDX1 in mitochondrial respiration and energy production. We attribute reduced mitochondrial respiration to a specific decrease in the abundance and assembly of cytochrome c oxidase (CcO), a mitochondrial heme-copper oxidase and the terminal enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. FDX1 knockout cells have reduced levels of copper and heme a/a3, factors that are essential for the maturation of the CcO enzyme complex. Copper supplementation failed to rescue CcO biogenesis, but overexpression of heme a synthase, COX15, partially rescued COX1 abundance in FDX1 knockouts. This finding links FDX1 function to heme a biosynthesis, and places it upstream of COX15 in CcO biogenesis like its ancestral yeast homolog. Taken together, our work has identified FDX1 as a critical CcO biogenesis factor in mammalian cells.
    Keywords:  COX1; Copper; Heme a; Mitochondria; respiration
  17. Cell Metab. 2023 Oct 10. pii: S1550-4131(23)00368-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      A high-fat diet (HFD) promotes metastasis through increased uptake of saturated fatty acids (SFAs). The fatty acid transporter CD36 has been implicated in this process, but a detailed understanding of CD36 function is lacking. During matrix detachment, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress reduces SCD1 protein, resulting in increased lipid saturation. Subsequently, CD36 is induced in a p38- and AMPK-dependent manner to promote preferential uptake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), thereby maintaining a balance between SFAs and MUFAs. In attached cells, CD36 palmitoylation is required for MUFA uptake and protection from palmitate-induced lipotoxicity. In breast cancer mouse models, CD36-deficiency induced ER stress while diminishing the pro-metastatic effect of HFD, and only a palmitoylation-proficient CD36 rescued this effect. Finally, AMPK-deficient tumors have reduced CD36 expression and are metastatically impaired, but ectopic CD36 expression restores their metastatic potential. Our results suggest that, rather than facilitating HFD-driven tumorigenesis, CD36 plays a supportive role by preventing SFA-induced lipotoxicity.
    Keywords:  CD36; cancer metabolism; fatty acids; matrix detachment; metastasis; palmitoylation
  18. Oncogene. 2023 Oct 18.
      Most cancer-related deaths are caused by the metastases, which commonly develop at multiple organ sites including the brain, bone, and lungs. Despite longstanding observations that the spread of cancer is not random, our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie metastatic spread to specific organs remains limited. However, metabolism has recently emerged as an important contributor to metastasis. Amino acids are a significant nutrient source to cancer cells and their metabolism which can serve to fuel biosynthetic pathways capable of facilitating cell survival and tumor expansion while also defending against oxidative stress. Compared to the primary tumor, each of the common metastatic sites exhibit vastly different nutrient compositions and environmental stressors, necessitating the need of cancer cells to metabolically thrive in their new environment during colonization and outgrowth. This review seeks to summarize the current literature on amino acid metabolism pathways that support metastasis to common secondary sites, including impacts on immune responses. Understanding the role of amino acids in secondary organ sites may offer opportunities for therapeutic inhibition of cancer metastasis.
  19. Biochem J. 2023 Oct 31. 480(20): 1639-1657
      Mitophagy, the autophagic breakdown of mitochondria, is observed in eukaryotic cells under various different physiological circumstances. These can be broadly categorized into two types: mitophagy related to quality control events and mitophagy induced during developmental transitions. Quality control mitophagy involves the lysosomal or vacuolar degradation of malfunctioning or superfluous mitochondria within lysosomes or vacuoles, and this is thought to serve as a vital maintenance function in respiring eukaryotic cells. It plays a crucial role in maintaining physiological balance, and its disruption has been associated with the progression of late-onset diseases. Developmentally induced mitophagy has been reported in the differentiation of metazoan tissues which undergo metabolic shifts upon developmental transitions, such as in the differentiation of red blood cells and muscle cells. Although the mechanistic studies of mitophagy in mammalian cells were initiated after the initial mechanistic findings in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, our current understanding of the physiological role of mitophagy in yeast remains more limited, despite the presence of better-defined assays and tools. In this review, I present my perspective on our present knowledge of mitophagy in yeast, focusing on physiological and mechanistic aspects. I aim to focus on areas where our understanding is still incomplete, such as the role of mitochondrial dynamics and the phenomenon of protein-level selectivity.
    Keywords:   Saccharomyces cerevisiae ; autophagy; mitophagy
  20. Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 17. 14(1): 6531
      Adiponectin is a secretory protein, primarily produced in adipocytes. However, low but detectable expression of adiponectin can be observed in cell types beyond adipocytes, particularly in kidney tubular cells, but its local renal role is unknown. We assessed the impact of renal adiponectin by utilizing male inducible kidney tubular cell-specific adiponectin overexpression or knockout mice. Kidney-specific adiponectin overexpression induces a doubling of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase expression and enhanced pyruvate-mediated glucose production, tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates and an upregulation of fatty acid oxidation (FAO). Inhibition of FAO reduces the adiponectin-induced enhancement of glucose production, highlighting the role of FAO in the induction of renal gluconeogenesis. In contrast, mice lacking adiponectin in the kidney exhibit enhanced glucose tolerance, lower utilization and greater accumulation of lipid species. Hence, renal adiponectin is an inducer of gluconeogenesis by driving enhanced local FAO and further underlines the important systemic contribution of renal gluconeogenesis.
  21. Neurochem Int. 2023 Oct 12. pii: S0197-0186(23)00154-7. [Epub ahead of print]171 105626
      Neurons and astrocytes work in close metabolic collaboration, linking neurotransmission to brain energy and neurotransmitter metabolism. Dysregulated energy metabolism is a hallmark of the aging brain and may underlie the progressive age-dependent cognitive decline. However, astrocyte and neurotransmitter metabolism remains understudied in aging brain research. In particular, how aging affects metabolism of glutamate, being the primary excitatory neurotransmitter, is still poorly understood. Here we investigated critical aspects of cellular energy metabolism in the aging male mouse hippocampus using stable isotope tracing in vitro. Metabolism of [U-13C]glucose demonstrated an elevated glycolytic capacity of aged hippocampal slices, whereas oxidative [U-13C]glucose metabolism in the TCA cycle was significantly reduced with aging. In addition, metabolism of [1,2-13C]acetate, reflecting astrocyte energy metabolism, was likewise reduced in the hippocampal slices of old mice. In contrast, uptake and subsequent metabolism of [U-13C]glutamate was elevated, suggesting increased capacity for cellular glutamate handling with aging. Finally, metabolism of [15N]glutamate was maintained in the aged slices, demonstrating sustained glutamate nitrogen metabolism. Collectively, this study reveals fundamental alterations in cellular energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in the aging brain, which may contribute to age-related hippocampal deficits.
    Keywords:  Astrocytes; Glutamate uptake; Glutamate-glutamine cycle; Isotope tracing
  22. Cell Rep. 2023 Oct 13. pii: S2211-1247(23)01276-7. [Epub ahead of print]42(10): 113264
      Aspartyl-tRNA synthetase 2 (Dars2) is involved in the regulation of mitochondrial protein synthesis and tissue-specific mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt). The role of Dars2 in the self-renewal and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is unknown. Here, we show that knockout (KO) of Dars2 significantly impairs the maintenance of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) without involving its tRNA synthetase activity. Dars2 KO results in significantly reduced expression of Srsf2/3/6 and impairs multiple events of mRNA alternative splicing (AS). Dars2 directly localizes to Srsf3-labeled spliceosomes in HSPCs and regulates the stability of Srsf3. Dars2-deficient HSPCs exhibit aberrant AS of mTOR and Slc22a17. Dars2 KO greatly suppresses the levels of labile ferrous iron and iron-sulfur cluster-containing proteins, which dampens mitochondrial metabolic activity and DNA damage repair pathways in HSPCs. Our study reveals that Dars2 plays a crucial role in the iron-sulfur metabolism and maintenance of HSPCs by modulating RNA splicing.
    Keywords:  CP: Metabolism; CP: Stem cell research
  23. Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 Oct 18. pii: gkad864. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes the core subunits for OXPHOS, essential in near-all eukaryotes. Packed into distinct foci (nucleoids) inside mitochondria, the number of mtDNA copies differs between cell-types and is affected in several human diseases. Currently, common protocols estimate per-cell mtDNA-molecule numbers by sequencing or qPCR from bulk samples. However, this does not allow insight into cell-to-cell heterogeneity and can mask phenotypical sub-populations. Here, we present mtFociCounter, a single-cell image analysis tool for reproducible quantification of nucleoids and other foci. mtFociCounter is a light-weight, open-source freeware and overcomes current limitations to reproducible single-cell analysis of mitochondrial foci. We demonstrate its use by analysing 2165 single fibroblasts, and observe a large cell-to-cell heterogeneity in nucleoid numbers. In addition, mtFociCounter quantifies mitochondrial content and our results show good correlation (R = 0.90) between nucleoid number and mitochondrial area, and we find nucleoid density is less variable than nucleoid numbers in wild-type cells. Finally, we demonstrate mtFociCounter readily detects differences in foci-numbers upon sample treatment, and applies to Mitochondrial RNA Granules and superresolution microscopy. mtFociCounter provides a versatile solution to reproducibly quantify cellular foci in single cells and our results highlight the importance of accounting for cell-to-cell variance and mitochondrial context in mitochondrial foci analysis.
  24. Cancer Metab. 2023 Oct 19. 11(1): 18
      BACKGROUND: To support proliferation and survival within a challenging microenvironment, cancer cells must reprogramme their metabolism. As such, targeting cancer cell metabolism is a promising therapeutic avenue. However, identifying tractable nodes of metabolic vulnerability in cancer cells is challenging due to their metabolic plasticity. Identification of effective treatment combinations to counter this is an active area of research. Aspirin has a well-established role in cancer prevention, particularly in colorectal cancer (CRC), although the mechanisms are not fully understood.METHODS: We generated a model to investigate the impact of long-term (52 weeks) aspirin exposure on CRC cells, which has allowed us comprehensively characterise the metabolic impact of long-term aspirin exposure (2-4mM for 52 weeks) using proteomics, Seahorse Extracellular Flux Analysis and Stable Isotope Labelling (SIL). Using this information, we were able to identify nodes of metabolic vulnerability for further targeting, investigating the impact of combining aspirin with metabolic inhibitors in vitro and in vivo.
    RESULTS: We show that aspirin regulates several enzymes and transporters of central carbon metabolism and results in a reduction in glutaminolysis and a concomitant increase in glucose metabolism, demonstrating reprogramming of nutrient utilisation. We show that aspirin causes likely compensatory changes that render the cells sensitive to the glutaminase 1 (GLS1) inhibitor-CB-839. Of note given the clinical interest, treatment with CB-839 alone had little effect on CRC cell growth or survival. However, in combination with aspirin, CB-839 inhibited CRC cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in vitro and, importantly, reduced crypt proliferation in Apcfl/fl mice in vivo.
    CONCLUSIONS: Together, these results show that aspirin leads to significant metabolic reprogramming in colorectal cancer cells and raises the possibility that aspirin could significantly increase the efficacy of metabolic cancer therapies in CRC.
    Keywords:  Aspirin; CB-839; Colorectal cancer; Glutaminase; Metabolic reprogramming; Metabolism
  25. Cell Rep. 2023 Oct 19. pii: S2211-1247(23)01303-7. [Epub ahead of print]42(10): 113291
      Dysfunctional mitochondria are removed via multiple pathways, such as mitophagy, a selective autophagy process. Here, we identify an intracellular hybrid mitochondria-lysosome organelle (termed the mitochondria-lysosome-related organelle [MLRO]), which regulates mitochondrial homeostasis independent of canonical mitophagy during hepatocyte dedifferentiation. The MLRO is an electron-dense organelle that has either a single or double membrane with both mitochondria and lysosome markers. Mechanistically, the MLRO is likely formed from the fusion of mitochondria-derived vesicles (MDVs) with lysosomes through a PARKIN-, ATG5-, and DRP1-independent process, which is negatively regulated by transcription factor EB (TFEB) and associated with mitochondrial protein degradation and hepatocyte dedifferentiation. The MLRO, which is galectin-3 positive, is reminiscent of damaged lysosome and could be cleared by overexpression of TFEB, resulting in attenuation of hepatocyte dedifferentiation. Together, results from this study suggest that the MLRO may act as an alternative mechanism for mitochondrial quality control independent of canonical autophagy/mitophagy involved in cell dedifferentiation.
    Keywords:  ATG5; CP: Cell biology; DRP1; autophagy; hepatocytes; lysosome; mitophagy
  26. J Nutr. 2023 Oct 17. pii: S0022-3166(23)72665-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Prolonged lactation provides substantial health benefits, potentially due to galactose as part of milk sugar lactose. Isocaloric replacing dietary glucose (16energy%) by galactose within a normal diet (64en% carbohydrates) during a 3 week post-weaning period provided substantial benefits on short- and long-term physiological and metabolic parameters at whole body level and liver in female mice, which might be attributable to intestinal function.OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate if partial dietary replacement of glucose by galactose alters intestinal metabolism underlying hepatic health effects.
    METHODS: Proximal intestinal mucosa gene profiles in female mice using RNAseq technology were analyzed, validated, and correlated to hepatic health parameters.
    RESULTS: Transcriptome analysis revealed that the presence of galactose primarily affected pathways involved in energy metabolism. In the subset of mitochondrial transcripts, a consistent higher expression was observed (78 of 80, all P.adjusted<0.1). Oxidative phosphorylation represented the most upregulated process (all top 10 pathways), independent of total mitochondrial mass (P=0.75). Moreover, galactose consistently upregulated carbohydrate metabolism pathways, specifically glycolysis till acetyl-CoA production, and fructose metabolism. Also, the expression of transcripts involved in these pathways negatively correlated with circulating serum amyloid A3 protein, a marker of hepatic inflammation (R[-0.61, -0.5], P[0.002, 0.01]). In agreement, CD163+ cells were decreased in the liver. Additionally, the expression of key fructolytic enzymes in the small intestinal mucosa negatively correlated with triglycerides accumulation in the liver (R[-0.45, -0.4], P[0.03, 0.05]).
    CONCLUSIONS: Our results show for the first time in vivo the role of galactose as an oxidative phosphorylation activator. Moreover, the concept of intestinal cells acting as the body's metabolic gatekeeper is strongly supported, as they alter substrate availability and thereby contribute to the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis, protecting other organs, as evidenced by their potential ability to shield the liver from potential detrimental effects of fructose.
    Keywords:  Mouse; OXPHOS; RNA-seq; carbohydrate metabolism; galactose; gut-liver axis; lactose; mitochondria
  27. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1258027
      Background: Inflammation and metabolism exhibit a complex interplay, where inflammation influences metabolic pathways, and in turn, metabolism shapes the quality of immune responses. Here, glucose turnover is of special interest, as proinflammatory immune cells mainly utilize glycolysis to meet their energy needs. Noninvasive approaches to monitor both processes would help elucidate this interwoven relationship to identify new therapeutic targets and diagnostic opportunities.Methods: For induction of defined inflammatory hotspots, LPS-doped Matrigel plugs were implanted into the neck of C57BL/6J mice. Subsequently, 1H/19F magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to track the recruitment of 19F-loaded immune cells to the inflammatory focus and deuterium (2H) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) was used to monitor the metabolic fate of [6,6-2H2]glucose within the affected tissue. Histology and flow cytometry were used to validate the in vivo data.
    Results: After plug implantation and intravenous administration of the 19F-containing contrast agent, 1H/19F MRI confirmed the infiltration of 19F-labeled immune cells into LPS-doped plugs while no 19F signal was observed in PBS-containing control plugs. Identification of the inflammatory focus was followed by i.p. bolus injection of deuterated glucose and continuous 2H MRS. Inflammation-induced alterations in metabolic fluxes could be tracked with an excellent temporal resolution of 2 min up to approximately 60 min after injection and demonstrated a more anaerobic glucose utilization in the initial phase of immune cell recruitment.
    Conclusion: 1H/2H/19F MRI/MRS was successfully employed for noninvasive monitoring of metabolic alterations in an inflammatory environment, paving the way for simultaneous in vivo registration of immunometabolic data in basic research and patients.
    Keywords:  deuterium; glycolysis; inflammation; magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging; metabolism; neutrophils
  28. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2023 Oct 14. pii: S1043-2760(23)00195-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      The identification of novel secreted factors is advancing at an unprecedented pace. However, there is a critical need to consolidate and integrate this knowledge to provide a framework of their diverse mechanisms, functional significance, and inter-relationships. Complicating this effort are challenges related to nonstandardized methods, discrepancies in sample handling, and inconsistencies in the annotation of unknown molecules. This Review aims to synthesize the rapidly expanding field of the metabolic secretome, encompassing the five major types of secreted factors: proteins, peptides, metabolites, lipids, and extracellular vesicles. By systematically defining the functions and detection of the components within the metabolic secretome, this Review provides a primer into the advances of the field, and how integration of the techniques discussed can provide a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying metabolic homeostasis and its disorders.
    Keywords:  endocrine molecules; lipidomics; metabolism; metabolomics; peptidomics; proteomics