bims-celmim Biomed News
on Cellular and mitochondrial metabolism
Issue of 2023‒11‒19
twenty-six papers selected by
Marc Segarra Mondejar, University of Cologne

  1. Life Sci Alliance. 2024 Feb;pii: e202302386. [Epub ahead of print]7(2):
      Cristae membranes have been recently shown to undergo intramitochondrial merging and splitting events. Yet, the metabolic and bioenergetic factors regulating them are unclear. Here, we investigated whether and how cristae morphology and dynamics are dependent on oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes, the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), and the ADP/ATP nucleotide translocator. Advanced live-cell STED nanoscopy combined with in-depth quantification were employed to analyse cristae morphology and dynamics after treatment of mammalian cells with rotenone, antimycin A, oligomycin A, and CCCP. This led to formation of enlarged mitochondria along with reduced cristae density but did not impair cristae dynamics. CCCP treatment leading to ΔΨm abrogation even enhanced cristae dynamics showing its ΔΨm-independent nature. Inhibition of OXPHOS complexes was accompanied by reduced ATP levels but did not affect cristae dynamics. However, inhibition of ADP/ATP exchange led to aberrant cristae morphology and impaired cristae dynamics in a mitochondrial subset. In sum, we provide quantitative data of cristae membrane remodelling under different conditions supporting an important interplay between OXPHOS, metabolite exchange, and cristae membrane dynamics.
  2. Cell Rep. 2023 Nov 16. pii: S2211-1247(23)01477-8. [Epub ahead of print]42(11): 113465
      Mitochondria use the electron transport chain to generate high-energy phosphate from oxidative phosphorylation, a process also regulated by the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) and Ca2+ levels. Here, we show that MCUb, an inhibitor of MCU-mediated Ca2+ influx, is induced by caloric restriction, where it increases mitochondrial fatty acid utilization. To mimic the fasted state with reduced mitochondrial Ca2+ influx, we generated genetically altered mice with skeletal muscle-specific MCUb expression that showed greater fatty acid usage, less fat accumulation, and lower body weight. In contrast, mice lacking Mcub in skeletal muscle showed increased pyruvate dehydrogenase activity, increased muscle malonyl coenzyme A (CoA), reduced fatty acid utilization, glucose intolerance, and increased adiposity. Mechanistically, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) overexpression in muscle of Mcub-deleted mice abolished altered substrate preference. Thus, MCUb is an inducible control point in regulating skeletal muscle mitochondrial Ca2+ levels and substrate utilization that impacts total metabolic balance.
    Keywords:  CP: Metabolism; metabolism; mitochondria; obesity; skeletal muscle; substrate utilization
  3. Biochem Soc Trans. 2023 Nov 13. pii: BST20230735. [Epub ahead of print]
      Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is an ancient polymer that is well-conserved throughout evolution. It is formed by multiple subunits of orthophosphates linked together by phosphoanhydride bonds. The presence of these bonds, which are structurally similar to those found in ATP, and the high abundance of polyP in mammalian mitochondria, suggest that polyP could be involved in the regulation of the physiology of the organelle, especially in the energy metabolism. In fact, the scientific literature shows an unequivocal role for polyP not only in directly regulating oxidative a phosphorylation; but also in the regulation of reactive oxygen species metabolism, mitochondrial free calcium homeostasis, and the formation and opening of mitochondrial permeability transitions pore. All these processes are closely interconnected with the status of mitochondrial bioenergetics and therefore play a crucial role in maintaining mitochondrial and cell physiology. In this invited review, we discuss the main scientific literature regarding the regulatory role of polyP in mammalian mitochondrial physiology, placing a particular emphasis on its impact on energy metabolism. Although the effects of polyP on the physiology of the organelle are evident; numerous aspects, particularly within mammalian cells, remain unclear and require further investigation. These aspects encompass, for example, advancing the development of more precise analytical methods, unraveling the mechanism responsible for sensing polyP levels, and understanding the exact molecular mechanism that underlies the effects of polyP on mitochondrial physiology. By increasing our understanding of the biology of this ancient and understudied polymer, we could unravel new pharmacological targets in diseases where mitochondrial dysfunction, including energy metabolism dysregulation, has been broadly described.
    Keywords:  cell biology; energy metabolism; inorganic polyphosphate; mitochondria; mitochondrial physiology; polyP
  4. Nat Cell Biol. 2023 Nov 13.
      The intricate orchestration of enzymatic activities involving nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is essential for maintaining metabolic homeostasis and preserving genomic integrity. As a co-enzyme, NAD+ plays a key role in regulating metabolic pathways, such as glycolysis and Kreb's cycle. ADP-ribosyltransferases (PARPs) and sirtuins rely on NAD+ to mediate post-translational modifications of target proteins. The activation of PARP1 in response to DNA breaks leads to rapid depletion of cellular NAD+ compromising cell viability. Therefore, the levels of NAD+ must be tightly regulated. Here we show that exogenous NAD+, but not its precursors, has a direct effect on mitochondrial activity. Short-term incubation with NAD+ boosts Kreb's cycle and the electron transport chain and enhances pyrimidine biosynthesis. Extended incubation with NAD+ results in depletion of pyrimidines, accumulation of purines, activation of the replication stress response and cell cycle arrest. Moreover, a combination of NAD+ and 5-fluorouridine selectively kills cancer cells that rely on de novo pyrimidine synthesis. We propose an integrated model of how NAD+ regulates nucleotide metabolism, with relevance to healthspan, ageing and cancer therapy.
  5. J Vis Exp. 2023 Oct 27.
      The high energy requirements of brains due to electrical activity are one of their most distinguishing features. These requirements are met by the production of ATP from glucose and its metabolites, such as the monocarboxylates lactate and pyruvate. It is still unclear how this process is regulated or who the key players are, particularly in Drosophila. Using genetically encoded Förster resonance energy transfer-based sensors, we present a simple method for measuring the transport of monocarboxylates and glucose in glial cells and neurons in an ex-vivo Drosophila larval brain preparation. The protocol describes how to dissect and adhere a larval brain expressing one of the sensors to a glass coverslip. We present the results of an entire experiment in which lactate transport was measured in larval brains by knocking down previously identified monocarboxylate transporters in glial cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate how to rapidly increase neuronal activity and track metabolite changes in the active brain. The described method, which provides all necessary information, can be used to analyze other Drosophila living tissues.
  6. medRxiv. 2023 Oct 25. pii: 2023.10.24.23297489. [Epub ahead of print]
      The brain avidly consumes glucose to fuel neurophysiology. Cancers of the brain, such as glioblastoma (GBM), lose aspects of normal biology and gain the ability to proliferate and invade healthy tissue. How brain cancers rewire glucose utilization to fuel these processes is poorly understood. Here we perform infusions of 13 C-labeled glucose into patients and mice with brain cancer to define the metabolic fates of glucose-derived carbon in tumor and cortex. By combining these measurements with quantitative metabolic flux analysis, we find that human cortex funnels glucose-derived carbons towards physiologic processes including TCA cycle oxidation and neurotransmitter synthesis. In contrast, brain cancers downregulate these physiologic processes, scavenge alternative carbon sources from the environment, and instead use glucose-derived carbons to produce molecules needed for proliferation and invasion. Targeting this metabolic rewiring in mice through dietary modulation selectively alters GBM metabolism and slows tumor growth.Significance: This study is the first to directly measure biosynthetic flux in both glioma and cortical tissue in human brain cancer patients. Brain tumors rewire glucose carbon utilization away from oxidation and neurotransmitter production towards biosynthesis to fuel growth. Blocking these metabolic adaptations with dietary interventions slows brain cancer growth with minimal effects on cortical metabolism.
  7. Front Pharmacol. 2023 ;14 1243613
      The tumor microenvironment affects the structure and metabolic function of mitochondria in tumor cells. This process involves changes in metabolic activity, an increase in the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in tumor cells compared to normal cells, the production of more intracellular free radicals, and the activation of oxidative pathways. From a practical perspective, it is advantageous to develop drugs that target mitochondria for the treatment of malignant tumors. Such drugs can enhance the selectivity of treatments for specific cell groups, minimize toxic effects on normal tissues, and improve combinational treatments. Mitochondrial targeting agents typically rely on small molecule medications (such as synthetic small molecules agents, active ingredients of plants, mitochondrial inhibitors or autophagy inhibitors, and others), modified mitochondrial delivery system agents (such as lipophilic cation modification or combining other molecules to form targeted mitochondrial agents), and a few mitochondrial complex inhibitors. This article will review these compounds in three main areas: oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), changes in ROS levels, and endogenous oxidative and apoptotic processes.
    Keywords:  electron transport chain (ETC); mechanism; mitocans; mitochondria targeting drug; oxidative phoshorylation; reactive oxygen species
  8. Cell Death Dis. 2023 Nov 15. 14(11): 744
      Ferroptosis constitutes a promising therapeutic strategy against cancer by efficiently targeting the highly tumorigenic and treatment-resistant cancer stem cells (CSCs). We previously showed that the lysosomal iron-targeting drug Salinomycin (Sal) was able to eliminate CSCs by triggering ferroptosis. Here, in a well-established breast CSCs model (human mammary epithelial HMLER CD24low/CD44high), we identified that pharmacological inhibition of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), suppresses Sal-induced ferroptosis. Mechanistically, mTOR inhibition modulates iron cellular flux and thereby limits iron-mediated oxidative stress. Furthermore, integration of multi-omics data identified mitochondria as a key target of Sal action, leading to profound functional and structural alteration prevented by mTOR inhibition. On top of that, we found that Sal-induced metabolic plasticity is mainly dependent on the mTOR pathway. Overall, our findings provide experimental evidence for the mechanisms of mTOR as a crucial effector of Sal-induced ferroptosis pointing not only that metabolic reprogramming regulates ferroptosis, but also providing proof-of-concept that careful evaluation of such combination therapy (here mTOR and ferroptosis co-targeting) is required in the development of an effective treatment.
  9. Sci Rep. 2023 11 11. 13(1): 19664
      The ketogenic diet is an emerging therapeutic approach for refractory epilepsy, as well as certain rare and neurodegenerative disorders. The main ketone body, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), is the primary energy substrate endogenously produced in a ketogenic diet, however, mechanisms of its therapeutic actions remain unknown. Here, we studied the effects of BHB on mitochondrial energetics, both in non-stimulated conditions and during glutamate-mediated hyperexcitation. We found that glutamate-induced hyperexcitation stimulated mitochondrial respiration in cultured cortical neurons, and that this response was greater in cultures supplemented with BHB than with glucose. BHB enabled a stronger and more sustained maximal uncoupled respiration, indicating that BHB enables neurons to respond more efficiently to increased energy demands such as induced during hyperexcitation. We found that cytosolic Ca2+ was required for BHB-mediated enhancement of mitochondrial function, and that this enhancement was independent of the mitochondrial glutamate-aspartate carrier, Aralar/AGC1. Our results suggest that BHB exerts its protective effects against hyperexcitation by enhancing mitochondrial function through a Ca2+-dependent, but Aralar/AGC1-independent stimulation of mitochondrial respiration.
  10. J Clin Invest. 2023 Nov 16. pii: e170397. [Epub ahead of print]
      While the poor prognosis of glioblastoma arises from the invasion of a subset of tumor cells, little is known of the metabolic alterations within these cells that fuel invasion. We integrated spatially addressable hydrogel biomaterial platforms, patient site-directed biopsies, and multi-omics analyses to define metabolic drivers of invasive glioblastoma cells. Metabolomics and lipidomics revealed elevations in the redox buffers cystathionine, hexosylceramides, and glucosyl ceramides in the invasive front of both hydrogel-cultured tumors and patient site-directed biopsies, with immunofluorescence indicating elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) markers in invasive cells. Transcriptomics confirmed upregulation of ROS-producing and response genes at the invasive front in both hydrogel models and patient tumors. Amongst oncologic ROS, H2O2 specifically promoted glioblastoma invasion in 3D hydrogel spheroid cultures. A CRISPR metabolic gene screen revealed cystathionine gamma-lyase (CTH), which converts cystathionine to the non-essential amino acid cysteine in the transsulfuration pathway, to be essential for glioblastoma invasion. Correspondingly, supplementing CTH knockdown cells with exogenous cysteine rescued invasion. Pharmacologic CTH inhibition suppressed glioblastoma invasion, while CTH knockdown slowed glioblastoma invasion in vivo. Our studies highlight the importance of ROS metabolism in invasive glioblastoma cells and support further exploration of the transsulfuration pathway as a mechanistic and therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  Amino acid metabolism; Bioenergetics; Brain cancer; Metabolism; Oncology
  11. bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 02. pii: 2023.10.30.564837. [Epub ahead of print]
      Rhythmicity is a central feature of behavioral and biological processes including metabolism, however, the mechanisms of metabolite cycling are poorly understood. A robust oscillation in a network of key metabolite pathways downstream of glucose is described in humans, then these pathways mechanistically probed through purpose-built 13 C 6 -glucose isotope tracing in Drosophila every 4h. A temporal peak in biosynthesis was noted by broad labelling of pathways downstream of glucose in wild-type flies shortly following lights on. Krebs cycle labelling was generally increased in a hyperactive mutant ( fumin ) along with glycolysis labelling primarily observed at dawn. Surprisingly, neither underlying feeding rhythms nor the presence of food explains the rhythmicity of glucose processing across genotypes. These results are consistent with clinical data demonstrating detrimental effects of mis-timed energy intake. This approach provides a window into the dynamic range of metabolic processing ability through the day and mechanistic basis for exploring circadian metabolic homeostasis in disease states.
  12. Oncogene. 2023 Nov 16.
      Impaired macroautophagy/autophagy flux has been implicated in the treatment of prostate cancer (PCa). However, the mechanism underlying autophagy dysregulation in PCa remains unknown. In the current study, we investigated the role of diacylglycerol acyltransferases 1 (DGAT1) and its potential effects on cellular energy homeostasis and autophagy flux in PCa. The results of immunohistochemical staining suggested that DGAT1 expression was positively corrected with tumor stage and node metastasis, indicating DGAT1 is an important factor involved in the development and progression of PCa. Furthermore, targeting DGAT1 remarkably inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and suppressed PCa growth in xenograft models by triggering severe oxidative stress and subsequently autophagy flux blockage. Mechanically, DGAT1 promoted PCa progression by maintaining cellular energy homeostasis, preserving mitochondrial function, protecting against reactive oxygen species, and subsequently promoting autophagy flux via regulating lipid droplet formation. Moreover, we found that fenofibrate exhibits as an upstream regulator of DGAT1. Fenofibrate performed its anti-PCa effect involved the aforementioned mechanisms, and partially dependent on the regulation of DGAT1. Collectively. These findings indicate that DGAT1 regulates PCa lipid droplets formation and is essential for PCa progression. Targeting DGAT1 might be a promising method to control the development and progression of PCa. Schematic representation of DGAT1 affects autophagy flux by regulating lipid homeostasis and maintaining mitochondrial function in prostate cancer (PCa). PCa is characterized up-regulation of DGAT1, leading to the translocation of free fatty acids into lipid droplets, thereby preventing PCa cell from lipotoxicity. Inhibition of DGAT1 suppresses growth of PCa by inducing oxidative stress and subsequently autophagy flux blockage. Further, the current results revealed that fenofibrate exhibits as an upstream regulator of DGAT1, and fenofibrate plays an anti-PCa role partially dependent on the regulation of DGAT1, suggesting a potential therapeutic approach to ameliorate this refractory tumor.
  13. Cancer Metab. 2023 Nov 13. 11(1): 22
      BACKGROUND: Macrophages are one of the most prevalent subsets of immune cells within the tumor microenvironment and perform a range of functions depending on the cytokines and chemokines released by surrounding cells and tissues. Recent research has revealed that macrophages can exhibit a spectrum of phenotypes, making them highly plastic due to their ability to alter their physiology in response to environmental cues. Recent advances in examining heterogeneous macrophage populations include optical metabolic imaging, such as fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), and multiphoton microscopy. However, the method of detection for these systems is reliant upon the coenzymes NAD(P)H and FAD, which can be affected by factors other than cytoplasmic metabolic changes. In this study, we seek to validate these optical measures of metabolism by comparing optical results to more standard methods of evaluating cellular metabolism, such as extracellular flux assays and the presence of metabolic intermediates.METHODS: Here, we used autofluorescence imaging of endogenous metabolic co-factors via multiphoton microscopy and FLIM in conjunction with oxygen consumption rate and extracellular acidification rate through Seahorse extracellular flux assays to detect changes in cellular metabolism in quiescent and classically activated macrophages in response to cytokine stimulation.
    RESULTS: Based on our Seahorse XFP flux analysis, M0 and M1 macrophages exhibit comparable trends in oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR). Autofluorescence imaging of M0 and M1 macrophages was not only able to show acute changes in the optical redox ratio from pre-differentiation (0 hours) to 72 hours post-cytokine differentiation (M0: 0.320 to 0.258 and M1: 0.316 to 0.386), mean NADH lifetime (M0: 1.272 ns to 1.379 ns and M1: 1.265 ns to 1.206 ns), and A1/A2 ratio (M0: 3.452 to ~ 4 and M1: 3.537 to 4.529) but could also detect heterogeneity within each macrophage population.
    CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the findings of this study suggest that autofluorescence metabolic imaging could be a reliable technique for longitudinal tracking of immune cell metabolism during activation post-cytokine stimulation.
    Keywords:  Autofluorescence imaging; Lactate; Macrophage; Metabolism; NADH; Seahorse extracellular flux; Succinate
  14. bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 05. pii: 2023.09.27.558332. [Epub ahead of print]
      The enteroendocrine cells (EECs) in the intestine are crucial for sensing ingested nutrients and regulating feeding behavior. The means by which gut microbiota regulates the nutrient-sensing EEC activity is unclear. Our transcriptomic analysis of the EECs from germ-free (GF) and conventionalized (CV) zebrafish revealed that commensal microbiota colonization significantly increased the expression of many genes that are associated with mitochondrial function. Using in vivo imaging and 3D automated cell tracking approach, we developed new methods to image and analyze the EECs' cytoplasmic and mitochondrial calcium activity at cellular resolution in live zebrafish. Our data revealed that during the development, shortly after gut microbiota colonization, EECs briefly increased cytoplasm and mitochondrial Ca 2+ , a phenomenon we referred to as "EEC awakening". Following the EEC awakening, cytoplasmic Ca 2+ levels but not mitochondrial Ca 2+ level in the EECs decreased, resulting in a consistent increase in the mitochondrial-to-cytoplasmic Ca 2+ ratio. The increased mitochondrial-to-cytoplasmic Ca 2+ ratio is associated with the EEC maturation process. In immature EECs, we further discovered that their mitochondria are evenly distributed in the cytoplasm. When EECs mature, their mitochondria are highly localized in the basal lateral membrane where EEC vesicle secretion occurs. Furthermore, CV EECs, but not GF EECs, exhibit spontaneous low-amplitude calcium fluctuation. The mitochondrial-to-cytoplasm Ca 2+ ratio is significantly higher in CV EECs. When stimulating the CV zebrafish with nutrients like fatty acids, nutrient stimulants increase cytoplasmic Ca 2+ in a subset of EECs and promote a sustained mitochondrial Ca 2+ increase. However, the nutrient induced EEC mitochondrial activation is nearly abolished in GF zebrafish. Together, our study reveals that commensal microbiota are critical in supporting EEC mitochondrial function and maturation. Selectively manipulating gut microbial signals to alter EEC mitochondrial function will provide new opportunities to change gut-brain nutrient sensing efficiency and feeding behavior.
  15. Biochem Soc Trans. 2023 Nov 17. pii: BST20221093. [Epub ahead of print]
      Plant organelles predominantly rely on the actin cytoskeleton and the myosin motors for long-distance trafficking, while using microtubules and the kinesin motors mostly for short-range movement. The distribution and motility of organelles in the plant cell are fundamentally important to robust plant growth and defense. Chloroplasts, mitochondria, and peroxisomes are essential organelles in plants that function independently and coordinately during energy metabolism and other key metabolic processes. In response to developmental and environmental stimuli, these energy organelles modulate their metabolism, morphology, abundance, distribution and motility in the cell to meet the need of the plant. Consistent with their metabolic links in processes like photorespiration and fatty acid mobilization is the frequently observed inter-organellar physical interaction, sometimes through organelle membranous protrusions. The development of various organelle-specific fluorescent protein tags has allowed the simultaneous visualization of organelle movement in living plant cells by confocal microscopy. These energy organelles display an array of morphology and movement patterns and redistribute within the cell in response to changes such as varying light conditions, temperature fluctuations, ROS-inducible treatments, and during pollen tube development and immune response, independently or in association with one another. Although there are more reports on the mechanism of chloroplast movement than that of peroxisomes and mitochondria, our knowledge of how and why these three energy organelles move and distribute in the plant cell is still scarce at the functional and mechanistic level. It is critical to identify factors that control organelle motility coupled with plant growth, development, and stress response.
    Keywords:  actin cytoskeleton; chloroplasts; mitochondria; motility and distribution; myosin; organelle dynamics; peroxisomes
  16. Cell Rep Methods. 2023 Nov 09. pii: S2667-2375(23)00313-2. [Epub ahead of print] 100642
      To address the needs of the life sciences community and the pharmaceutical industry in pre-clinical drug development to both maintain and continuously assess tissue metabolism and function with simple and rapid systems, we improved on the initial BaroFuse to develop it into a fully functional, pumpless, scalable multi-channel fluidics instrument that continuously measures changes in oxygen consumption and other endpoints in response to test compounds. We and several other laboratories assessed it with a wide range of tissue types including retina, pancreatic islets, liver, and hypothalamus with both aqueous and gaseous test compounds. The setup time was less than an hour for all collaborating groups, and there was close agreement between data obtained from the different laboratories. This easy-to-use system reliably generates real-time metabolic and functional data from tissue and cells in response to test compounds that will address a critical need in basic and applied research.
    Keywords:  BaroFuse; CP: Biotechnology; CP: Metabolism; endothelial cells; hypothalamus; hypoxia; islets; lactate production; liver; oxygen consumption; perifusion; retina
  17. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1282653
      Introduction: Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), the sole member of the type-II interferon family, is well known to protect the host from infectious diseases as well as mount anti-tumor responses. The amounts of IFN-γ in the tumor microenvironment determine the host responses against tumors; however, several tumors employ evasive strategies by responding to low IFN-γ signaling.Methods: In this study, the response of various tumor cell lines to IFN-γ was studied in vitro.
    Results: IFN-γ-activation increases glycolytic flux and reduces mitochondrial function in a nitric oxide (NO)- and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent manner in the H6 hepatoma tumor cell line. The higher glycolysis further fueled NO and ROS production, indicating a reciprocal regulation. These processes are accompanied by Hypoxia inducing factor (HIF)-1α stabilization and HIF-1α-dependent augmentation of the glycolytic flux. The IFN-γ enhancement of lactate production also occurred in other NO-producing cell lines: RAW 264.7 monocyte/macrophage and Renca renal adenocarcinoma. However, two other tumor cell lines, CT26 colon carcinoma and B16F10 melanoma, did not produce NO and lactate upon IFN-γ-activation. HIF-1α stabilization upon IFN-γ-activation led to lower cell growth of B16F10 but not CT26 cells. Importantly, the IFN-γ-activation of both CT26 and B16F10 cells demonstrated significant cellular growth reduction upon metabolic rewiring by exogenous administration of potassium lactate.
    Discussion: Clinical studies have shown the crucial roles of IFN-γ for successful cancer immunotherapies involving checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor T cells. The positive implications of this study on the metabolic modulation of IFN-γ activation on heterogeneous tumor cells are discussed.
    Keywords:  HIF-1 alpha; interferon-gamma; lactate; nitric oxide; tumor
  18. Cell Rep. 2023 Nov 14. pii: S2211-1247(23)01438-9. [Epub ahead of print]42(11): 113426
      Aerobic glycolysis is critical for cancer progression and can be exploited in cancer therapy. Here, we report that the human carboxymethylenebutenolidase homolog (carboxymethylenebutenolidase-like [CMBL]) acts as a tumor suppressor by reprogramming glycolysis in colorectal cancer (CRC). The anti-cancer action of CMBL is mediated through its interactions with the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM25 and the glycolytic enzyme phosphofructokinase-1 platelet type (PFKP). Ectopic CMBL enhances TRIM25 binding to PFKP, leading to the ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of PFKP. Interestingly, CMBL is transcriptionally activated by p53 in response to genotoxic stress, and p53 activation represses glycolysis by promoting PFKP degradation. Remarkably, CMBL deficiency, which impairs p53's ability to inhibit glycolysis, makes tumors more sensitive to a combination therapy involving the glycolysis inhibitor 2-deoxyglucose. Taken together, our study demonstrates that CMBL suppresses CRC growth by inhibiting glycolysis and suggests a potential combination strategy for the treatment of CMBL-deficient CRC.
    Keywords:  CMBL; CP: Cancer; CP: Metabolism; PFKP; TRIM25; cancer therapy; colorectal cancer; glycolysis; p53
  19. EMBO Rep. 2023 Nov 14. e57972
      Mitochondrial and peroxisomal anchored protein ligase (MAPL) is a dual ubiquitin and small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) ligase with roles in mitochondrial quality control, cell death and inflammation in cultured cells. Here, we show that MAPL function in the organismal context converges on metabolic control, as knockout mice are viable, insulin-sensitive, and protected from diet-induced obesity. MAPL loss leads to liver-specific activation of the integrated stress response, inducing secretion of stress hormone FGF21. MAPL knockout mice develop fully penetrant spontaneous hepatocellular carcinoma. Mechanistically, the peroxisomal bile acid transporter ABCD3 is a primary MAPL interacting partner and SUMOylated in a MAPL-dependent manner. MAPL knockout leads to increased bile acid production coupled with defective regulatory feedback in liver in vivo and in isolated primary hepatocytes, suggesting cell-autonomous function. Together, our findings establish MAPL function as a regulator of bile acid synthesis whose loss leads to the disruption of bile acid feedback mechanisms. The consequences of MAPL loss in liver, along with evidence of tumor suppression through regulation of cell survival pathways, ultimately lead to hepatocellular carcinogenesis.
    Keywords:  MUL1; PMP70; SUMO; hepatocellular carcinoma; peroxisome
  20. Biochem Soc Trans. 2023 Nov 16. pii: BST20231027. [Epub ahead of print]
      The pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) is a key metabolic pathway. The oxidative phase of this process involves three reactions catalyzed by glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), 6-phosphogluconolactonase (6PGL) and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGDH) enzymes. The first and third steps (catalyzed by G6PDH and 6PGDH, respectively) are responsible for generating reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAPDH), a key cofactor for maintaining the reducing power of cells and detoxification of both endogenous and exogenous oxidants and electrophiles. Despite the importance of these enzymes, little attention has been paid to the fact that these proteins are targets of oxidants. In response to oxidative stimuli metabolic pathways are modulated, with the PPP often up-regulated in order to enhance or maintain the reductive capacity of cells. Under such circumstances, oxidation and inactivation of the PPP enzymes could be detrimental. Damage to the PPP enzymes may result in a downward spiral, as depending on the extent and sites of modification, these alterations may result in a loss of enzymatic activity and therefore increased oxidative damage due to NADPH depletion. In recent years, it has become evident that the three enzymes of the oxidative phase of the PPP have different susceptibilities to inactivation on exposure to different oxidants. In this review, we discuss existing knowledge on the role that these enzymes play in the metabolism of cells, and their susceptibility to oxidation and inactivation with special emphasis on NADPH production. Perspectives on achieving a better understanding of the molecular basis of the oxidation these enzymes within cellular environments are given.
    Keywords:  6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase; 6-phosphogluconolactonase; NADPH; glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase; pentose phosphate pathway; protein oxidation
  21. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Oct 30. pii: 15745. [Epub ahead of print]24(21):
      The highly conserved TOR signaling pathway is crucial for coordinating cellular growth with the cell cycle machinery in eukaryotes. One of the two TOR complexes in budding yeast, TORC1, integrates environmental cues and promotes cell growth. While cells grow, they need to copy their chromosomes, segregate them in mitosis, divide all their components during cytokinesis, and finally physically separate mother and daughter cells to start a new cell cycle apart from each other. To maintain cell size homeostasis and chromosome stability, it is crucial that mechanisms that control growth are connected and coordinated with the cell cycle. Successive periods of high and low TORC1 activity would participate in the adequate cell cycle progression. Here, we review the known molecular mechanisms through which TORC1 regulates the cell cycle in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that have been extensively used as a model organism to understand the role of its mammalian ortholog, mTORC1.
    Keywords:  S. cerevisiae; TOR; TORC1; budding yeast; cell cycle; cell growth
  22. Cell Biol Int. 2023 Nov 17.
      Short for pyruvate kinase M2 subtype, PKM2 can be said of all-round player that is notoriously known for its metabolic involvement in glycolysis. Holding a dural role as a metabolic or non-metabolic (kinase) enzyme, PKM2 has drawn extensive attention over its biological roles implicated in tumor cells, including proliferation, migration, invasion, metabolism, and so on. wandering PKM2 can be transboundary both intracellularly and extracellularly. Specifically, PKM2 can be nuclear, cytoplasmic, mitochondrial, exosomal, or even circulate within the body. Importantly, PKM2 can function as an RNA-binding protein (RBP) to self-support its metabolic function. Despite extensive investigations or reviews available surrounding the biological roles of PKM2 from different angles in tumor cells, little has been described regarding some novel role of PKM2 that has been recently found, including, for example, acting as RNA-binding protein, protection of Golgi apparatus, and remodeling of microenvironment, and so forth. Given these findings, in this review, we summarize the recent advancements made in PKM2 research, mainly from non-metabolic respects. By the way, PKM1, another paralog of PKM2, seems to have been overlooked or under-investigated since its discovery. Some recent discoveries made about PKM1 are also preliminarily mentioned and discussed.
    Keywords:  PKM1; PKM2; RNA-binding protein (RBP); moonlight; non-metabolic; tumor cell
  23. bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 03. pii: 2023.10.31.564991. [Epub ahead of print]
      The role of autophagy in tumorigenesis and tumor metastasis remains poorly understood. Here we show that inhibition of autophagy stabilizes the transcription factor Twist1 through Sequestosome-1 (SQSTM1, also known as p62) and thus increases cell proliferation, migration, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in tumor development and metastasis. Inhibition of autophagy or p62 overexpression blocks Twist1 protein degradation in the proteasomes, while p62 inhibition enhances it. SQSTM1/p62 interacts with Twist1 via the UBA domain of p62, in a Twist1-ubiquitination-dependent manner. Lysine 175 in Twist1 is critical for Twist1 ubiquitination, degradation, and SQSTM1/p62 interaction. For squamous skin cancer and melanoma cells that express Twist1, SQSTM1/p62 increases tumor growth and metastasis in mice. Together, our results identified Twist1 as a key downstream protein for autophagy and suggest a critical role of the autophagy/p62/Twist1 axis in cancer development and metastasis.
  24. Nat Commun. 2023 Nov 15. 14(1): 7375
      Glutamine synthetases (GS) play central roles in cellular nitrogen assimilation. Although GS active-site formation requires the oligomerization of just two GS subunits, all GS form large, multi-oligomeric machines. Here we describe a structural dissection of the archaeal Methanosarcina mazei (Mm) GS and its regulation. We show that Mm GS forms unstable dodecamers. Strikingly, we show this Mm GS oligomerization property is leveraged for a unique mode of regulation whereby labile Mm GS hexamers are stabilized by binding the nitrogen regulatory protein, GlnK1. Our GS-GlnK1 structure shows that GlnK1 functions as molecular glue to affix GS hexamers together, stabilizing formation of GS active-sites. These data, therefore, reveal the structural basis for a unique form of enzyme regulation by oligomer modulation.
  25. Elife. 2023 11 14. pii: e85751. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Astrocyte-derived L-lactate was shown to confer beneficial effects on synaptic plasticity and cognitive functions. However, how astrocytic Gi signaling in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) modulates L-lactate levels and schema memory is not clear. Here, using chemogenetic approach and well-established behavioral paradigm, we demonstrate that astrocytic Gi pathway activation in the ACC causes significant impairments in flavor-place paired associates (PAs) learning, schema formation, and PA memory retrieval in rats. It also impairs new PA learning even if a prior associative schema exists. These impairments are mediated by decreased L-lactate in the ACC due to astrocytic Gi activation. Concurrent exogenous L-lactate administration bilaterally into the ACC rescues these impairments. Furthermore, we show that the impaired schema memory formation is associated with a decreased neuronal mitochondrial biogenesis caused by decreased L-lactate level in the ACC upon astrocytic Gi activation. Our study also reveals that L-lactate-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis is dependent on monocarboxylate transporter 2 (MCT2) and NMDA receptor activity - discovering a previously unrecognized signaling role of L-lactate. These findings expand our understanding of the role of astrocytes and L-lactate in the brain functions.
    Keywords:  DREADD; anterior cingulate cortex; astrocyte; lactate; mitochondrial biogenesis; neuroscience; rat; schema
  26. Cell Calcium. 2023 Nov 10. pii: S0143-4160(23)00134-3. [Epub ahead of print]117 102823
      There have been in the last three decades repeated publications indicating that the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) is regulated not only by cytosolic Ca2+ but also by intraluminal Ca2+. Although most studies indicated that a decreasing intraluminal Ca2+ level led to an inhibition of the IP3R, a number of publications reported exactly the opposite effect, i.e. an inhibition of the IP3R by high intraluminal Ca2+ levels. Although intraluminal Ca2+-binding sites on the IP3Rs were reported, a regulatory role for them was not demonstrated. It is also well known that the IP3R is regulated by a vast array of associated proteins, but only relatively recently proteins were identified that can be linked to the regulation of the IP3R by intraluminal Ca2+. The first to be reported was annexin A1 that is proposed to associate with the second intraluminal loop of the IP3R at high intraluminal Ca2+ levels and to inhibit the IP3R. More recently, ERdj5/PDIA19 reductase was described to reduce an intraluminal disulfide bridge of IP3R1 only at low intraluminal Ca2+ levels and thereby to inhibit the IP3R. Annexin A1 and ERdj5/PDIA19 can therefore explain most of the experimental results on the regulation of the IP3R by intraluminal Ca2+. Further studies are needed to provide a fuller understanding of the regulation of the IP3R from the intraluminal side. These findings underscore the importance of the state of the endoplasmic reticulum in the control of IP3R activity.
    Keywords:  Associated proteins; Ca(2+)-store content; Endoplasmic reticulum; IP(3)-induced Ca(2+) release; IP(3)R; Redox reactions