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

  1. Mol Cell. 2023 Oct 20. pii: S1097-2765(23)00800-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lactate has long been considered a cellular waste product. However, we found that as extracellular lactate accumulates, it also enters the mitochondrial matrix and stimulates mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) activity. The resulting increase in mitochondrial ATP synthesis suppresses glycolysis and increases the utilization of pyruvate and/or alternative respiratory substrates. The ability of lactate to increase oxidative phosphorylation does not depend on its metabolism. Both L- and D-lactate are effective at enhancing ETC activity and suppressing glycolysis. Furthermore, the selective induction of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation by unmetabolized D-lactate reversibly suppressed aerobic glycolysis in both cancer cell lines and proliferating primary cells in an ATP-dependent manner and enabled cell growth on respiratory-dependent bioenergetic substrates. In primary T cells, D-lactate enhanced cell proliferation and effector function. Together, these findings demonstrate that lactate is a critical regulator of the ability of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation to suppress glucose fermentation.
    Keywords:  TCA cycle; electron transport chain; glycolysis; lactate; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation
  2. Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 23. 14(1): 6729
      Mitochondrial function is vital for energy metabolism in thermogenic adipocytes. Impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics in brown adipocytes are linked to disrupted thermogenesis and energy balance in obesity and aging. Phospholipid cardiolipin (CL) and phosphatidic acid (PA) jointly regulate mitochondrial membrane architecture and dynamics, with mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membranes (MAMs) serving as the platform for phospholipid biosynthesis and metabolism. However, little is known about the regulators of MAM phospholipid metabolism and their connection to mitochondrial function. We discover that LCN2 is a PA binding protein recruited to the MAM during inflammation and metabolic stimulation. Lcn2 deficiency disrupts mitochondrial fusion-fission balance and alters the acyl-chain composition of mitochondrial phospholipids in brown adipose tissue (BAT) of male mice. Lcn2 KO male mice exhibit an increase in the levels of CLs containing long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), a decrease in CLs containing monounsaturated fatty acids, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction. This dysfunction triggers compensatory activation of peroxisomal function and the biosynthesis of LC-PUFA-containing plasmalogens in BAT. Additionally, Lcn2 deficiency alters PA production, correlating with changes in PA-regulated phospholipid-metabolizing enzymes and the mTOR signaling pathway. In conclusion, LCN2 plays a critical role in the acyl-chain remodeling of phospholipids and mitochondrial bioenergetics by regulating PA production and its function in activating signaling pathways.
  3. Biomed Pharmacother. 2023 Oct 19. pii: S0753-3322(23)01539-1. [Epub ahead of print]168 115741
      Acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), an essential metabolite, not only takes part in numerous intracellular metabolic processes, powers the tricarboxylic acid cycle, serves as a key hub for the biosynthesis of fatty acids and isoprenoids, but also serves as a signaling substrate for acetylation reactions in post-translational modification of proteins, which is crucial for the epigenetic inheritance of cells. Acetyl-CoA links lipid metabolism with histone acetylation to create a more intricate regulatory system that affects the growth, aggressiveness, and drug resistance of malignancies such as glioblastoma, breast cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. These fascinating advances in the knowledge of acetyl-CoA metabolism during carcinogenesis and normal physiology have raised interest regarding its modulation in malignancies. In this review, we provide an overview of the regulation and cancer relevance of main metabolic pathways in which acetyl-CoA participates. We also summarize the role of acetyl-CoA in the metabolic reprogramming and stress regulation of cancer cells, as well as medical application of inhibitors targeting its dysregulation in therapeutic intervention of cancers.
    Keywords:  Acetyl-coenzyme A metabolism; Cancer progression; Cancer therapy; Metabolic reprogramming; Protein acetylation
  4. Cells. 2023 Oct 19. pii: 2486. [Epub ahead of print]12(20):
      Modulation of autophagy as an anticancer strategy has been widely studied and evaluated in several cell models. However, little attention has been paid to the metabolic changes that occur in a cancer cell when autophagy is inhibited or induced. In this review, we describe how the expression and regulation of various autophagy-related (ATGs) genes and proteins are associated with cancer progression and cancer plasticity. We present a comprehensive review of how deregulation of ATGs affects cancer cell metabolism, where inhibition of autophagy is mainly reflected in the enhancement of the Warburg effect. The importance of metabolic changes, which largely depend on the cancer type and form part of a cancer cell's escape strategy after autophagy modulation, is emphasized. Consequently, pharmacological strategies based on a dual inhibition of metabolic and autophagy pathways emerged and are reviewed critically here.
    Keywords:  Warburg effect; aerobic glycolysis; autophagy; autophagy-related (ATGs) genes/proteins; cancer cell metabolism; cancer plasticity; fatty acid oxidation (FAO); tumor microenvironment
  5. Chem Sci. 2023 Oct 25. 14(41): 11532-11545
      The remodulation of H+/Ca2+ gradients in the mitochondria matrix could be effective to induce mitochondria depolarization for the enhancement of cancer therapy. However, it is still challenged by H+ homeostasis, insufficient Ca2+, uncoordinated regulations, and inefficient loading/delivery strategies. Herein, a supramolecular DNA nanocomplex (Ca@DNA-MF) was prepared to synergistically remodulate H+/Ca2+ gradients for mitochondrial depolarization. Upon targeted functionalization and TME-triggered delivery, multiple reagents were released in cancer cells for synergistic three-channel mitochondrial depolarization: the gene reagent of siMCT4 blocked the LA metabolism to induce mitochondrial acidification by downregulating monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4); released Ca2+ disrupted Ca2+ homeostasis to facilitate Ca2+-based mitochondrial depolarization; specifically, TME-activated glutathione (GSH) depletion facilitated efficient generation of hydroxyl radicals (˙OH), further enhancing the mitochondrial depolarization. The remodulation not only triggered apoptosis but also led to ferroptosis to generate abundant ROS for efficient LPO-based apoptosis, providing a synergistic strategy for enhanced synergistic cancer therapy.
  6. Development. 2023 Oct 15. pii: dev202008. [Epub ahead of print]150(20):
      Metabolic switches are a crucial hallmark of cellular development and regeneration. In response to changes in their environment or physiological state, cells undergo coordinated metabolic switching that is necessary to execute biosynthetic demands of growth and repair. In this Review, we discuss how metabolic switches represent an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that orchestrates tissue development and regeneration, allowing cells to adapt rapidly to changing conditions during development and postnatally. We further explore the dynamic interplay between metabolism and how it is not only an output, but also a driver of cellular functions, such as cell proliferation and maturation. Finally, we underscore the epigenetic and cellular mechanisms by which metabolic switches mediate biosynthetic needs during development and regeneration, and how understanding these mechanisms is important for advancing our knowledge of tissue development and devising new strategies to promote tissue regeneration.
    Keywords:  Embryonic development; Epigenetics; Metabolic switch; Postnatal development; Regeneration; Reprogramming; Stem cells
  7. bioRxiv. 2023 Oct 09. pii: 2023.10.06.561131. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer cells depend on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) to combat oxidative stress and support reductive biosynthesis. One major NAPDH production route is the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (committed step: glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, G6PD). Alternatives exist and can compensate in some tumors. Here, using genetically-engineered lung cancer model, we show that ablation of G6PD significantly suppresses Kras G12D/+ ;Lkb1 -/- (KL) but not Kras G12D/+ ;p53 -/- (KP) lung tumorigenesis. In vivo isotope tracing and metabolomics revealed that G6PD ablation significantly impaired NADPH generation, redox balance and de novo lipogenesis in KL but not KP lung tumors. Mechanistically, in KL tumors, G6PD ablation caused p53 activation that suppressed tumor growth. As tumor progressed, G6PD-deficient KL tumors increased an alternative NADPH source, serine-driven one carbon metabolism, rendering associated tumor-derived cell lines sensitive to serine/glycine depletion. Thus, oncogenic driver mutations determine lung cancer dependence on G6PD, whose targeting is a potential therapeutic strategy for tumors harboring KRAS and LKB1 co-mutations.
  8. Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 23. 14(1): 6737
      The molecular mechanisms connecting cellular metabolism with differentiation remain poorly understood. Here, we find that metabolic signals contribute to stem cell differentiation and germline homeostasis during Drosophila melanogaster spermatogenesis. We discovered that external citrate, originating outside the gonad, fuels the production of Acetyl-coenzyme A by germline ATP-citrate lyase (dACLY). We show that this pathway is essential during the final spermatogenic stages, where a high Acetyl-coenzyme A level promotes NatB-dependent N-terminal protein acetylation. Using genetic and biochemical experiments, we establish that N-terminal acetylation shields key target proteins, essential for spermatid differentiation, from proteasomal degradation by the ubiquitin ligase dUBR1. Our work uncovers crosstalk between metabolism and proteome stability that is mediated via protein post-translational modification. We propose that this system coordinates the metabolic state of the organism with gamete production. More broadly, modulation of proteome turnover by circulating metabolites may be a conserved regulatory mechanism to control cell functions.
  9. EMBO Rep. 2023 Oct 27. e57440
      Embryogenesis is highly dependent on maternally loaded materials, particularly those used for energy production. Different environmental conditions and genetic backgrounds shape embryogenesis. The robustness of embryogenesis in response to extrinsic and intrinsic changes remains incompletely understood. By analyzing the levels of two major nutrients, glycogen and neutral lipids, we discovered stage-dependent usage of these two nutrients along with mitochondrial morphology changes during Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis. ATGL, the rate-limiting lipase in cellular lipolysis, is expressed and required in the hypodermis to regulate mitochondrial function and support embryogenesis. The embryonic lethality of atgl-1 mutants can be suppressed by reducing sinh-1/age-1-akt signaling, likely through modulating glucose metabolism to maintain sustainable glucose consumption. The embryonic lethality of atgl-1(xd314) is also affected by parental nutrition. Parental glucose and oleic acid supplements promote glycogen storage in atgl-1(xd314) embryos to compensate for the impaired lipolysis. The rescue by parental vitamin B12 supplement is likely through enhancing mitochondrial function in atgl-1 mutants. These findings reveal that metabolic plasticity contributes to the robustness of C. elegans embryogenesis.
    Keywords:  ATGL; embryogenesis; lipolysis; metabolic plasticity
  10. Plant Signal Behav. 2023 Dec 31. 18(1): 2271799
      Plant metabolism is constantly changing and requires input signals for efficient regulation. The mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) couples organellar and cytoplasmic calcium oscillations leading to oxidative metabolism regulation in a vast array of species. In Arabidopsis thaliana, genetic deletion of AtMICU leads to altered mitochondrial calcium handling and ultrastructure. Here we aimed to further assess the consequences upon genetic deletion of AtMICU. Our results confirm that AtMICU safeguards intracellular calcium transport associated with carbohydrate, amino acid, and phytol metabolism modifications. The implications of such alterations are discussed.
    Keywords:  Arabidopsis thaliana; Mitochondrial calcium uniporter; plant metabolism
  11. Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 23. 14(1): 6721
      Mitochondria are critical for metabolic homeostasis of the liver, and their dysfunction is a major cause of liver diseases. Optic atrophy 1 (OPA1) is a mitochondrial fusion protein with a role in cristae shaping. Disruption of OPA1 causes mitochondrial dysfunction. However, the role of OPA1 in liver function is poorly understood. In this study, we delete OPA1 in the fully developed liver of male mice. Unexpectedly, OPA1 liver knockout (LKO) mice are healthy with unaffected mitochondrial respiration, despite disrupted cristae morphology. OPA1 LKO induces a stress response that establishes a new homeostatic state for sustained liver function. Our data show that OPA1 is required for proper complex V assembly and that OPA1 LKO protects the liver from drug toxicity. Mechanistically, OPA1 LKO decreases toxic drug metabolism and confers resistance to the mitochondrial permeability transition. This study demonstrates that OPA1 is dispensable in the liver, and that the mitohormesis induced by OPA1 LKO prevents liver injury and contributes to liver resiliency.
  12. bioRxiv. 2023 Oct 11. pii: 2023.10.09.561530. [Epub ahead of print]
      The non-essential amino acid serine is a critical nutrient for cancer cells due to its diverse biosynthetic functions. While some tumors can synthesize serine de novo , others are auxotrophic for serine and therefore reliant on the uptake of exogenous serine. Importantly, however, the transporter(s) that mediate serine uptake in cancer cells are not known. Here, we characterize the amino acid transporter ASCT2 (coded for by the gene SLC1A5 ) as the primary serine transporter in cancer cells. ASCT2 is well-known as a glutamine transporter in cancer, and our work demonstrates that serine and glutamine compete for uptake through ASCT2. We further show that ASCT2-mediated serine uptake is essential for purine nucleotide biosynthesis and that ERα promotes serine uptake by directly activating SLC1A5 transcription. Together, our work defines an additional important role for ASCT2 as a serine transporter in cancer and evaluates ASCT2 as a potential therapeutic target in serine metabolism.
  13. ACS Bio Med Chem Au. 2023 Oct 18. 3(5): 461-470
      Enzymes in glucose metabolism have been subjected to numerous studies, revealing the importance of their biological roles during the cell cycle. However, due to the lack of viable experimental strategies for measuring enzymatic activities particularly in living human cells, it has been challenging to address whether their enzymatic activities and thus anticipated glucose flux are directly associated with cell cycle progression. It has remained largely elusive how human cells regulate glucose metabolism at a subcellular level to meet the metabolic demands during the cell cycle. Meanwhile, we have characterized that rate-determining enzymes in glucose metabolism are spatially organized into three different sizes of multienzyme metabolic assemblies, termed glucosomes, to regulate the glucose flux between energy metabolism and building block biosynthesis. In this work, we first determined using cell synchronization and flow cytometric techniques that enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged phosphofructokinase is adequate as an intracellular biomarker to evaluate the state of glucose metabolism during the cell cycle. We then applied fluorescence single-cell imaging strategies and discovered that the percentage of Hs578T cells showing small-sized glucosomes is drastically changed during the cell cycle, whereas the percentage of cells with medium-sized glucosomes is significantly elevated only in the G1 phase, but the percentage of cells showing large-sized glucosomes is barely or minimally altered along the cell cycle. Should we consider our previous localization-function studies that showed assembly size-dependent metabolic roles of glucosomes, this work strongly suggests that glucosome sizes are modulated during the cell cycle to regulate glucose flux between glycolysis and building block biosynthesis. Therefore, we propose the size-specific modulation of glucosomes as a behind-the-scenes mechanism that may explain functional association of glucose metabolism with the cell cycle and, thereby, their metabolic significance in human cell biology.
  14. Redox Biol. 2023 Oct 17. pii: S2213-2317(23)00333-6. [Epub ahead of print]67 102932
      The NDUFS4 knockout (KO) mouse phenotype resembles the human Complex I deficiency Leigh Syndrome. The irreversible succination of protein thiols by fumarate is increased in select regions of the NDUFS4 KO brain affected by neurodegeneration. We report that dihydrolipoyllysine-residue succinyltransferase (DLST), a component of the α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (KGDHC) of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, is succinated in the affected regions of the NDUFS4 KO brain. Succination of DLST reduced KGDHC activity in the brainstem (BS) and olfactory bulb (OB) of KO mice. The defective production of KGDHC derived succinyl-CoA resulted in decreased mitochondrial substrate level phosphorylation (SLP), further aggravating the existing oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) ATP deficit. Protein succinylation, an acylation modification that requires succinyl-CoA, was reduced in the KO mice. Modeling succination of a cysteine in the spatial vicinity of the DLST active site or introduction of succinomimetic mutations recapitulates these metabolic deficits. Our data demonstrate that the biochemical deficit extends beyond impaired Complex I assembly and OXPHOS deficiency, functionally impairing select components of the TCA cycle to drive metabolic perturbations in affected neurons.
    Keywords:  Alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase; Complex I; Fumarate; Leigh syndrome; Protein succination; Substrate level phosphorylation
  15. bioRxiv. 2023 Oct 09. pii: 2023.10.06.561062. [Epub ahead of print]
      The balance between mitochondrial calcium ( m Ca 2+ ) uptake and efflux regulates ATP production, but if perturbed causes energy starvation or m Ca 2+ overload and cell death. The mitochondrial sodium-calcium exchanger, NCLX, is a critical route of m Ca 2+ efflux in excitable tissues, such as the heart and brain, and animal models support NCLX as a promising therapeutic target to limit pathogenic m Ca 2+ overload. However, the mechanisms that regulate NCLX activity remain largely unknown. We used proximity biotinylation proteomic screening to identify the NCLX interactome and define novel regulators of NCLX function. Here, we discover the mitochondrial inner membrane protein, TMEM65, as an NCLX-proximal protein that potently enhances sodium (Na + )-dependent m Ca 2+ efflux. Mechanistically, acute pharmacologic NCLX inhibition or genetic deletion of NCLX ablates the TMEM65-dependent increase in m Ca 2+ efflux. Further, loss-of-function studies show that TMEM65 is required for Na + -dependent m Ca 2+ efflux. Co-fractionation and in silico structural modeling of TMEM65 and NCLX suggest these two proteins exist in a common macromolecular complex in which TMEM65 directly stimulates NCLX function. In line with these findings, knockdown of Tmem65 in mice promotes m Ca 2+ overload in the heart and skeletal muscle and impairs both cardiac and neuromuscular function. We further demonstrate that TMEM65 deletion causes excessive mitochondrial permeability transition, whereas TMEM65 overexpression protects against necrotic cell death during cellular Ca 2+ stress. Collectively, our results show that loss of TMEM65 function in excitable tissue disrupts NCLX-dependent m Ca 2+ efflux, causing pathogenic m Ca 2+ overload, cell death and organ-level dysfunction, and that gain of TMEM65 function mitigates these effects. These findings demonstrate the essential role of TMEM65 in regulating NCLX-dependent m Ca 2+ efflux and suggest modulation of TMEM65 as a novel strategy for the therapeutic control of m Ca 2+ homeostasis.
  16. bioRxiv. 2023 Oct 03. pii: 2023.10.02.560521. [Epub ahead of print]
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stores large amounts of calcium (Ca 2+ ), and the controlled release of ER Ca 2+ regulates a myriad of cellular functions. Although altered ER Ca 2+ homeostasis is known to induce ER stress, the mechanisms by which ER Ca 2+ imbalance activate ER stress pathways are poorly understood. Stromal-interacting molecules STIM1 and STIM2 are two structurally homologous ER-resident Ca 2+ sensors that synergistically regulate Ca 2+ influx into the cytosol through Orai Ca 2+ channels for subsequent signaling to transcription and ER Ca 2+ refilling. Here, we demonstrate that reduced STIM2, but not STIM1, in colorectal cancer (CRC) is associated with poor patient prognosis. Loss of STIM2 causes SERCA2-dependent increase in ER Ca 2+ , increased protein translation and transcriptional and metabolic rewiring supporting increased tumor size, invasion, and metastasis. Mechanistically, STIM2 loss activates cMyc and the PERK/ATF4 branch of ER stress in an Orai-independent manner. Therefore, STIM2 and PERK/ATF4 could be exploited for prognosis or in targeted therapies to inhibit CRC tumor growth and metastasis.Highlights: STIM2 regulates ER Ca 2+ homeostasis independently of Orai and SOCE. STIM2 downregulation in colorectal cancer cells causes enhanced ER Ca 2+ and is associated with poor patient prognosis. STIM2 downregulation induces PERK/ATF4 dependent ER stress in colorectal cancer.Increased ER stress drives colorectal cancer metabolic reprogramming, growth, and metastasis.
  17. Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2023 Sep 30. 45(10): 8040-8052
      Metabolic stress in skeletal muscle cells causes sustained metabolic changes, but the mechanisms of the prolonged effects are not fully known. In this study, we tested C2C12 cells with the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) stimulator AICAR and measured the changes in the metabolic pathways and signaling kinases. AICAR caused an acute increase in the phosphorylation of the AMPK target ULK1, the mTORC1 substrate S6K, and the mTORC2 target Akt. Intriguingly, prior exposure to AICAR only decreased glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase activity when it underwent three-hour recovery after exposure to AICAR in a bicarbonate buffer containing glucose (KHB) instead of Dulbecco's Minimum Essential Medium (DMEM). The phosphorylation of the mTORC1 target S6K was increased after recovery in DMEM but not KHB, although this appeared to be specific to S6K, as the phosphorylation of the mTORC1 target site on ULK1 was not altered when the cells recovered in DMEM. The phosphorylation of mTORC2 target sites was also heterogenous under these conditions, with Akt increasing at serine 473 while other targets (SGK1 and PKCα) were unaffected. The exposure of cells to rapamycin (an mTORC1 inhibitor) and PP242 (an inhibitor of both mTOR complexes) revealed the differential phosphorylation of mTORC2 substrates. Taken together, the data suggest that prior exposure to AICAR causes the selective phosphorylation of mTOR substrates, even after prolonged recovery in a nutrient-replete medium.
    Keywords:  5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside; C2C12 cells; mammalian target of rapamycin; mechanistic target of rapamycin; unc-like kinase 1
  18. Front Microbiol. 2023 ;14 1270487
      Coordination of cell cycle with metabolism exists in all cell types that grow by division. It serves to build a new cell, (i) fueling building blocks for the synthesis of proteins, nucleic acids, and membranes, and (ii) producing energy through glycolysis. Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) play an essential role in this coordination, thereby in the regulation of cell division. Cdks are functional homologs across eukaryotes and are the engines that drive cell cycle events and the clocks that time them. Their function is counteracted by stoichiometric inhibitors; specifically, inhibitors of cyclin-cyclin dependent kinase (cyclin/Cdk) complexes allow for their activity at specific times. Here, we provide a new perspective about the yet unknown cell cycle mechanisms impacting on metabolism. We first investigated the effect of the mitotic cyclin/Cdk1 complex Cyclin B/Cdk1-functional homolog in mammalian cells of the budding yeast Clb2/Cdk1-on yeast metabolic enzymes of, or related to, the glycolysis pathway. Six glycolytic enzymes (Glk1, Hxk2, Pgi1, Fba1, Tdh1, and Pgk1) were subjected to in vitro Cdk-mediated phosphorylation assays. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (Zwf1), the first enzyme in the pentose phosphate pathway that is important for NADPH production, and 6-phospho-fructo-2-kinase (Pfk27), which catalyzes fructose-2,6-bisphosphate synthesis, a key regulator of glycolysis, were also included in the study. We found that, among these metabolic enzymes, Fba1 and Pgk1 may be phosphorylated by Cdk1, in addition to the known Cdk1-mediated phosphorylation of Gph1. We then investigated the possible effect of Sic1, stoichiometric inhibitor of mitotic cyclin/Cdk1 complexes in budding yeast, on the activities of three most relevant glycolytic enzymes: Hxk2, Glk1, and Tdh1. We found that Sic1 may have a negative effect on Hxk2. Altogether, we reveal possible new routes, to be further explored, through which cell cycle may regulate cellular metabolism. Because of the functional homology of cyclin/Cdk complexes and their stoichiometric inhibitors across evolution, our findings may be relevant for the regulation of cell division in eukaryotes.
    Keywords:  Sic1; cell cycle; cyclin B/Cdk1; cyclin-dependent kinase; cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor; glycolysis; metabolic enzymes; metabolism
  19. Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 25. 14(1): 6777
      Reprogramming of amino acid metabolism, sustained by oncogenic signaling, is crucial for cancer cell survival under nutrient limitation. Here we discovered that missense mutant p53 oncoproteins stimulate de novo serine/glycine synthesis and essential amino acids intake, promoting breast cancer growth. Mechanistically, mutant p53, unlike the wild-type counterpart, induces the expression of serine-synthesis-pathway enzymes and L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1)/CD98 heavy chain heterodimer. This effect is exacerbated by amino acid shortage, representing a mutant p53-dependent metabolic adaptive response. When cells suffer amino acids scarcity, mutant p53 protein is stabilized and induces metabolic alterations and an amino acid transcriptional program that sustain cancer cell proliferation. In patient-derived tumor organoids, pharmacological targeting of either serine-synthesis-pathway and LAT1-mediated transport synergizes with amino acid shortage in blunting mutant p53-dependent growth. These findings reveal vulnerabilities potentially exploitable for tackling breast tumors bearing missense TP53 mutations.
  20. bioRxiv. 2023 Oct 03. pii: 2023.10.02.560316. [Epub ahead of print]
      Targeting of specific metabolic pathways in tumor cells has the potential to sensitize them to immune-mediated attack. Here we provide evidence for a specific means of mitochondrial respiratory Complex I (CI) inhibition that improves tumor immunogenicity and sensitivity to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). Targeted genetic deletion of the CI subunits Ndufs4 and Ndufs6 , but not other subunits, induces an immune-dependent tumor growth attenuation in mouse melanoma models. We show that deletion of Ndufs4 induces expression of the transcription factor Nlrc5 and genes in the MHC class I antigen presentation and processing pathway. This induction of MHC-related genes is driven by an accumulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase-dependent mitochondrial acetyl-CoA downstream of CI subunit deletion. This work provides a novel functional modality by which selective CI inhibition restricts tumor growth, suggesting that specific targeting of Ndufs4 , or related CI subunits, increases T-cell mediated immunity and sensitivity to ICB.
  21. Exp Cell Res. 2023 Oct 23. pii: S0014-4827(23)00371-3. [Epub ahead of print] 113820
      The Warburg effect links growth and glycolysis in cancer. A key purpose of the Warburg effect is to generate glycolytic intermediates for anabolic reactions, such as nucleotides → RNA/DNA and amino acids → protein synthesis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a similar 'glycolysis-for-anabolism' metabolic reprogramming also occurs in hypertrophying muscles. To interrogate this, we first induced C2C12 myotube hypertrophy with IGF-1. We then added 14C glucose to the differentiation medium and measured radioactivity in isolated protein and RNA to establish whether 14C had entered anabolism. We found that especially protein became radioactive, suggesting a glucose → glycolytic intermediates → non-essential amino acid(s) → protein series of reactions, the rate of which was increased by IGF-1. Next, to investigate the importance of glycolytic flux and non-essential amino acid synthesis for myotube hypertrophy, we exposed C2C12 and primary mouse myotubes to the glycolysis inhibitor 2-Deoxy-d-glucose (2DG). We found that inhibiting glycolysis lowered C2C12 and primary myotube size. Similarly, siRNA silencing of PHGDH, the key enzyme of the serine biosynthesis pathway, decreased C2C12 and primary myotube size; whereas retroviral PHGDH overexpression increased C2C12 myotube size. Together these results suggest that glycolysis is important for hypertrophying myotubes, which reprogram their metabolism to facilitate anabolism, similar to cancer cells.
    Keywords:  Glycolysis; Hypertrophy; Insulin-like growth factor I; Metabolism; Skeletal muscle; Warburg effect
  22. JCI Insight. 2023 Oct 23. pii: e165817. [Epub ahead of print]8(20):
      Albuminuria and podocyte injury are the key cellular events in the progression of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Acetyl-CoA synthetase 2 (ACSS2) is a nucleocytosolic enzyme responsible for the regulation of metabolic homeostasis in mammalian cells. This study aimed to investigate the possible roles of ACSS2 in kidney injury in DN. We constructed an ACSS2-deleted mouse model to investigate the role of ACSS2 in podocyte dysfunction and kidney injury in diabetic mouse models. In vitro, podocytes were chosen and transfected with ACSS2 siRNA and ACSS2 inhibitor and treated with high glucose. We found that ACSS2 expression was significantly elevated in the podocytes of patients with DN and diabetic mice. ACSS2 upregulation promoted phenotype transformation and inflammatory cytokine expression while inhibiting podocytes' autophagy. Conversely, ACSS2 inhibition improved autophagy and alleviated podocyte injury. Furthermore, ACSS2 epigenetically activated raptor expression by histone H3K9 acetylation, promoting activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic depletion of ACSS2 in the streptozotocin-induced diabetic mouse model greatly ameliorated kidney injury and podocyte dysfunction. To conclude, ACSS2 activation promoted podocyte injury in DN by raptor/mTORC1-mediated autophagy inhibition.
    Keywords:  Diabetes; Metabolism; Molecular biology; Nephrology
  23. Development. 2023 Oct 15. pii: dev201610. [Epub ahead of print]150(20):
      Metabolism is crucial for development through supporting cell growth, energy production, establishing cell identity, developmental signaling and pattern formation. In many model systems, development occurs alongside metabolic transitions as cells differentiate and specialize in metabolism that supports new functions. Some cells exhibit metabolic flexibility to circumvent mutations or aberrant signaling, whereas other cell types require specific nutrients for developmental progress. Metabolic gradients and protein modifications enable pattern formation and cell communication. On an organism level, inadequate nutrients or stress can limit germ cell maturation, implantation and maturity through diapause, which slows metabolic activities until embryonic activation under improved environmental conditions.
    Keywords:  Diapause; Embryogenesis; Metabolism; Signaling
  24. Nature. 2023 Oct 25.
      Identifying metabolic steps that are specifically required for the survival of cancer cells but are dispensable in normal cells remains a challenge1. Here we report a therapeutic vulnerability in a sugar nucleotide biosynthetic pathway that can be exploited in cancer cells with only a limited impact on normal cells. A systematic examination of conditionally essential metabolic enzymes revealed that UXS1, a Golgi enzyme that converts one sugar nucleotide (UDP-glucuronic acid, UDPGA) to another (UDP-xylose), is essential only in cells that express high levels of the enzyme immediately upstream of it, UGDH. This conditional relationship exists because UXS1 is required to prevent excess accumulation of UDPGA, which is produced by UGDH. UXS1 not only clears away UDPGA but also limits its production through negative feedback on UGDH. Excess UDPGA disrupts Golgi morphology and function, which impedes the trafficking of surface receptors such as EGFR to the plasma membrane and diminishes the signalling capacity of cells. UGDH expression is elevated in several cancers, including lung adenocarcinoma, and is further enhanced during chemoresistant selection. As a result, these cancer cells are selectively dependent on UXS1 for UDPGA detoxification, revealing a potential weakness in tumours with high levels of UGDH.
  25. Nat Chem Biol. 2023 Oct 26.
      Impaired redox metabolism is a key contributor to the etiology of many diseases, including primary mitochondrial disorders, cancer, neurodegeneration and aging. However, mechanistic studies of redox imbalance remain challenging due to limited strategies that can perturb redox metabolism in various cellular or organismal backgrounds. Most studies involving impaired redox metabolism have focused on oxidative stress; consequently, less is known about the settings where there is an overabundance of NADH reducing equivalents, termed reductive stress. Here we introduce a soluble transhydrogenase from Escherichia coli (EcSTH) as a novel genetically encoded tool to promote reductive stress in living cells. When expressed in mammalian cells, EcSTH, and a mitochondrially targeted version (mitoEcSTH), robustly elevated the NADH/NAD+ ratio in a compartment-specific manner. Using this tool, we determined that metabolic and transcriptomic signatures of the NADH reductive stress are cellular background specific. Collectively, our novel genetically encoded tool represents an orthogonal strategy to promote reductive stress.
  26. Sci Adv. 2023 Oct 27. 9(43): eadi4038
      Heteroplasmic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations are a major cause of inherited disease and contribute to common late-onset human disorders. The late onset and clinical progression of mtDNA-associated disease is thought to be due to changing heteroplasmy levels, but it is not known how and when this occurs. Performing high-throughput single-cell genotyping in two mouse models of human mtDNA disease, we saw unanticipated cell-to-cell differences in mtDNA heteroplasmy levels that emerged prenatally and progressively increased throughout life. Proliferating spleen cells and nondividing brain cells had a similar single-cell heteroplasmy variance, implicating mtDNA or organelle turnover as the major force determining cell heteroplasmy levels. The two different mtDNA mutations segregated at different rates with no evidence of selection, consistent with different rates of random genetic drift in vivo, leading to the accumulation of cells with a very high mutation burden at different rates. This provides an explanation for differences in severity seen in human diseases caused by similar mtDNA mutations.
  27. Nat Chem Biol. 2023 Oct 26.
      Targeting proximity-labeling enzymes to specific cellular locations is a viable strategy for profiling subcellular proteomes. Here, we generated transgenic mice (MAX-Tg) expressing a mitochondrial matrix-targeted ascorbate peroxidase. Comparative analysis of matrix proteomes from the muscle tissues showed differential enrichment of mitochondrial proteins. We found that reticulon 4-interacting protein 1 (RTN4IP1), also known as optic atrophy-10, is enriched in the mitochondrial matrix of muscle tissues and is an NADPH oxidoreductase. Interactome analysis and in vitro enzymatic assays revealed an essential role for RTN4IP1 in coenzyme Q (CoQ) biosynthesis by regulating the O-methylation activity of COQ3. Rtn4ip1-knockout myoblasts had markedly decreased CoQ9 levels and impaired cellular respiration. Furthermore, muscle-specific knockdown of dRtn4ip1 in flies resulted in impaired muscle function, which was reversed by dietary supplementation with soluble CoQ. Collectively, these results demonstrate that RTN4IP1 is a mitochondrial NAD(P)H oxidoreductase essential for supporting mitochondrial respiration activity in the muscle tissue.
  28. Cell. 2023 Oct 18. pii: S0092-8674(23)01081-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lysosomes serve dual antagonistic functions in cells by mediating anabolic growth signaling and the catabolic turnover of macromolecules. How these janus-faced activities are regulated in response to cellular nutrient status is poorly understood. We show here that lysosome morphology and function are reversibly controlled by a nutrient-regulated signaling lipid switch that triggers the conversion between peripheral motile mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling-active and static mTORC1-inactive degradative lysosomes clustered at the cell center. Starvation-triggered relocalization of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI(4)P)-metabolizing enzymes reshapes the lysosomal surface proteome to facilitate lysosomal proteolysis and to repress mTORC1 signaling. Concomitantly, lysosomal phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI(3)P), which marks motile signaling-active lysosomes in the cell periphery, is erased. Interference with this PI(3)P/PI(4)P lipid switch module impairs the adaptive response of cells to altering nutrient supply. Our data unravel a key function for lysosomal phosphoinositide metabolism in rewiring organellar membrane dynamics in response to cellular nutrient status.
    Keywords:  catabolism; functional proteomics; live correlative light and electron microscopy; lysosomes; mTOR; myotubularin; nutrient signaling; nutrients; phosphoinositides
  29. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Oct 13. pii: 15144. [Epub ahead of print]24(20):
      The current view of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes I, III and IV foresees the occurrence of their assembly in supercomplexes, providing additional functional properties when compared with randomly colliding isolated complexes. According to the plasticity model, the two structural states of the respiratory chain may interconvert, influenced by the intracellular prevailing conditions. In previous studies, we suggested the mitochondrial membrane potential as a factor for controlling their dynamic balance. Here, we investigated if and how the cAMP/PKA-mediated signalling influences the aggregation state of the respiratory complexes. An analysis of the inhibitory titration profiles of the endogenous oxygen consumption rates in intact HepG2 cells with specific inhibitors of the respiratory complexes was performed to quantify, in the framework of the metabolic flux theory, the corresponding control coefficients. The attained results, pharmacologically inhibiting either PKA or sAC, indicated that the reversible phosphorylation of the respiratory chain complexes/supercomplexes influenced their assembly state in response to the membrane potential. This conclusion was supported by the scrutiny of the available structure of the CI/CIII2/CIV respirasome, enabling us to map several PKA-targeted serine residues exposed to the matrix side of the complexes I, III and IV at the contact interfaces of the three complexes.
    Keywords:  cAMP/PKA signaling pathway; metabolic flux theory; mitochondrial membrane potential; mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes; soluble adenylate cyclase; supercomplexes
  30. FASEB J. 2023 11;37(11): e23261
      Fatty acids are metabolized by β-oxidation within the "mitochondrial ketogenic pathway" (MKP) to generate β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), a ketone body. BHB can be generated by most cells but largely by hepatocytes following exercise, fasting, or ketogenic diet consumption. BHB has been shown to modulate systemic and brain inflammation; however, its direct effects on microglia have been little studied. We investigated the impact of BHB on Aβ oligomer (AβO)-stimulated human iPS-derived microglia (hiMG), a model relevant to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). HiMG responded to AβO with proinflammatory activation, which was mitigated by BHB at physiological concentrations of 0.1-2 mM. AβO stimulated glycolytic transcripts, suppressed genes in the β-oxidation pathway, and induced over-expression of AD-relevant p46Shc, an endogenous inhibitor of thiolase, actions that are expected to suppress MKP. AβO also triggered mitochondrial Ca2+ increase, mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production, and activation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. BHB potently ameliorated all the above mitochondrial changes and rectified the MKP, resulting in reduced inflammasome activation and recovery of the phagocytotic function impaired by AβO. These results indicate that microglia MKP can be induced to modulate microglia immunometabolism, and that BHB can remedy "keto-deficiency" resulting from MKP suppression and shift microglia away from proinflammatory mitochondrial metabolism. These effects of BHB may contribute to the beneficial effects of ketogenic diet intervention in aged mice and in human subjects with mild AD.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's; amyloid; inflammation; ketone; microglia; mitochondria; phagocytosis
  31. PLoS Biol. 2023 Oct;21(10): e3002371
      Perez and Sarkies uncover histones as methyl group repositories in normal and cancer human cells, shedding light on an intriguing function of histone methylation in optimizing the cellular methylation potential independently of gene regulation.
  32. J Biol Chem. 2023 Oct 20. pii: S0021-9258(23)02406-7. [Epub ahead of print] 105378
      Membrane contact sites (MCSs) between endosomes and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are thought to act as specialized trigger zones for Ca2+ signaling, where local Ca2+ released via endolysosomal ion channels is amplified by ER Ca2+-sensitive Ca2+ channels into global Ca2+ signals. Such amplification is integral to the action of the second messenger, nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP). However, functional regulators of inter-organellar Ca2+ crosstalk between endosomes and the ER remain poorly defined. Here, we identify progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1), an ER transmembrane protein that undergoes a unique heme-dependent dimerization, as an interactor of the endosomal two pore channel, TPC1. NAADP-dependent Ca2+ signals were potentiated by PGRMC1 overexpression through enhanced functional coupling between endosomal and ER Ca2+ stores and inhibited upon PGRMC1 knockdown. Point mutants in PGMRC1 or pharmacological manipulations that reduced its interaction with TPC1 were without effect. PGRMC1 therefore serves as a TPC1 interactor that regulates ER-endosomal coupling with functional implications for cellular Ca2+ dynamics and potentially the distribution of heme.
    Keywords:  NAADP; calcium signaling; endosomes; heme; lysosomes
  33. J Biol Chem. 2023 Oct 19. pii: S0021-9258(23)02403-1. [Epub ahead of print] 105375
      Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) is the rate-limiting enzyme for glucose oxidation that links glycolysis-derived pyruvate with the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Although skeletal muscle is a significant site for glucose oxidation and is closely linked with metabolic flexibility, the importance of muscle PDH during rest and exercise has yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that mice with muscle-specific deletion of PDH exhibit rapid weight loss and suffer from severe lactic acidosis, ultimately leading to early mortality under low-fat diet provision. Furthermore, loss of muscle PDH induces adaptive anaplerotic compensation by increasing pyruvate-alanine cycling and glutaminolysis. Interestingly, high-fat diet supplementation effectively abolishes the early mortality and rescues the overt metabolic phenotype induced by muscle PDH deficiency. Despite increased reliance on fatty acid oxidation during high-fat diet provision, loss of muscle PDH worsens exercise performance and induces lactic acidosis. These observations illustrate the importance of muscle PDH in maintaining metabolic flexibility and preventing the development of metabolic disorders.
    Keywords:  Alanine Cycling; Fatty Acid Oxidation; Glucose Oxidation; Glutaminolysis; Glycolysis