bims-celmim Biomed News
on Cellular and mitochondrial metabolism
Issue of 2024‒02‒25
twenty papers selected by
Marc Segarra Mondejar, University of Cologne

  1. bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 09. pii: 2023.02.09.527915. [Epub ahead of print]
      Reproductive aging is one of the earliest human aging phenotypes, and mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to oocyte quality decline. However, it is not known which mitochondrial metabolic processes are critical for oocyte quality maintenance with age. To understand how mitochondrial processes contribute to C. elegans oocyte quality, we characterized the mitochondrial proteomes of young and aged wild-type and long-reproductive daf-2 mutants. Here we show that the mitochondrial proteomic profiles of young wild-type and daf-2 worms are similar and share upregulation of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism pathway enzymes. Reduction of the BCAA catabolism enzyme BCAT-1 shortens reproduction, elevates mitochondrial reactive oxygen species levels, and shifts mitochondrial localization. Moreover, bcat-1 knockdown decreases oocyte quality in daf-2 worms and reduces reproductive capability, indicating the role of this pathway in the maintenance of oocyte quality with age. Importantly, oocyte quality deterioration can be delayed, and reproduction can be extended in wild-type animals both by bcat-1 overexpression and by supplementing with Vitamin B1, a cofactor needed for BCAA metabolism.
  2. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2024 Feb 19. pii: S0167-4889(24)00040-5. [Epub ahead of print]1871(4): 119697
      Metastasis, the major cause of cancer mortality, requires cancer cells to reprogram their metabolism to adapt to and thrive in different environments, thereby leaving metastatic cells metabolic characteristics different from their parental cells. Mounting research has revealed that the de novo serine synthesis pathway (SSP), a glycolytic branching pathway that consumes glucose carbons for serine makeup and α-ketoglutarate generation and thus supports the proliferation, survival, and motility of cancer cells, is one such reprogrammed metabolic pathway. During different metastatic cascades, the SSP enzyme proteins or their enzymatic activity are both dynamically altered; manipulating their expression or catalytic activity could effectively prevent the progression of cancer metastasis; and the SSP enzymatic proteins could even conduce to metastasis via their nonenzymatic functions. In this article we overview the SSP dynamics during cancer metastasis and put the focuses on the regulatory role of the SSP in metastasis and the underlying mechanisms that mainly involve cellular anabolism/catabolism, redox balance, and epigenetics, aiming to provide a theoretical basis for the development of therapeutic strategies for targeting metastatic lesions.
    Keywords:  Metabolic reprogramming; Metastasis; PHGDH; Serine biosynthesis; Serine metabolism
  3. iScience. 2024 Mar 15. 27(3): 109078
      Energy transduction is central to living organisms, but the impact of enzyme regulation and signaling on its thermodynamic efficiency is generally overlooked. Here, we analyze the efficiency of ATP production by the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation, which generate most of the chemical energy in eukaryotes. Calcium signaling regulates this pathway and can affect its energetic output, but the concrete energetic impact of this cross-talk remains elusive. Calcium enhances ATP production by activating key enzymes of the tricarboxylic acid cycle while calcium homeostasis is ATP-dependent. We propose a detailed kinetic model describing the calcium-mitochondria cross-talk and analyze it using nonequilibrium thermodynamics: after identifying the effective reactions driving mitochondrial metabolism out of equilibrium, we quantify the mitochondrial thermodynamic efficiency for different conditions. Calcium oscillations, triggered by extracellular stimulation or energy deficiency, boost the thermodynamic efficiency of mitochondrial metabolism, suggesting a compensatory role of calcium signaling in mitochondrial bioenergetics.
    Keywords:  Biological sciences; Human metabolism; Molecular biology; Natural sciences
  4. Neurochem Res. 2024 Feb 20.
      Astrocyte-derived pyruvate is considered to have neuroprotective functions. In order to investigate the processes that are involved in astrocytic pyruvate release, we used primary rat astrocyte cultures as model system. Depending on the incubation conditions and medium composition, astrocyte cultures established extracellular steady state pyruvate concentrations in the range between 150 µM and 300 µM. During incubations for up to 2 weeks in DMEM culture medium, the extracellular pyruvate concentration remained almost constant for days, while the extracellular lactate concentration increased continuously during the incubation into the millimolar concentration range as long as glucose was present. In an amino acid-free incubation buffer, glucose-fed astrocytes released pyruvate with an initial rate of around 60 nmol/(h × mg) and after around 5 h an almost constant extracellular pyruvate concentration was established that was maintained for several hours. Extracellular pyruvate accumulation was also observed, if glucose had been replaced by mannose, fructose, lactate or alanine. Glucose-fed astrocyte cultures established similar extracellular steady state concentrations of pyruvate by releasing pyruvate into pyruvate-free media or by consuming excess of extracellular pyruvate. Inhibition of the monocarboxylate transporter MCT1 by AR-C155858 lowered extracellular pyruvate accumulation, while inhibition of mitochondrial pyruvate uptake by UK5099 increased the extracellular pyruvate concentration. Finally, the presence of the uncoupler BAM15 or of the respiratory chain inhibitor antimycin A almost completely abolished extracellular pyruvate accumulation. The data presented demonstrate that cultured astrocytes establish a transient extracellular steady state concentration of pyruvate which is strongly affected by modulation of the mitochondrial pyruvate metabolism.
    Keywords:  Astrocytes; MCT1; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Pyruvate; Transport
  5. Cell Rep. 2024 Feb 21. pii: S2211-1247(24)00100-1. [Epub ahead of print]43(3): 113772
      The mitochondrial inner membrane plays central roles in bioenergetics and metabolism and contains several established membrane protein complexes. Here, we report the identification of a mega-complex of the inner membrane, termed mitochondrial multifunctional assembly (MIMAS). Its large size of 3 MDa explains why MIMAS has escaped detection in the analysis of mitochondria so far. MIMAS combines proteins of diverse functions from respiratory chain assembly to metabolite transport, dehydrogenases, and lipid biosynthesis but not the large established supercomplexes of the respiratory chain, ATP synthase, or prohibitin scaffold. MIMAS integrity depends on the non-bilayer phospholipid phosphatidylethanolamine, in contrast to respiratory supercomplexes whose stability depends on cardiolipin. Our findings suggest that MIMAS forms a protein-lipid mega-assembly in the mitochondrial inner membrane that integrates respiratory biogenesis and metabolic processes in a multifunctional platform.
    Keywords:  CP: Metabolism; CP: Molecular biology; membrane protein complex; metabolism; metabolite carriers; mitochondria; phosphatidylethanolamine; phospholipids; protein assembly; respiratory chain
  6. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2024 Feb 16. pii: S0005-2728(24)00003-3. [Epub ahead of print] 149033
      Mitochondrial and thus cellular energetics are highly regulated both thermodynamically and kinetically. Cellular energetics is of prime importance in the regulation of cellular functions since it provides ATP for their accomplishment. However, cellular energetics is not only about ATP production but also about the ability to re-oxidize reduced coenzymes at a proper rate, such that the cellular redox potential remains at a level compatible with enzymatic reactions. However, this parameter is not only difficult to assess due to its dual compartmentation (mitochondrial and cytosolic) but also because it is well known that most NADH in the cells is bound to the enzymes. In this paper, we investigated the potential relevance of mitochondrial quinones redox state as a marker of mitochondrial metabolism and more particularly mitochondrial redox state. We were able to show that Q2 is an appropriate redox mediator to assess the mitochondrial quinone redox states. On isolated mitochondria, the mitochondrial quinone redox states depend on the mitochondrial substrate and the mitochondrial energetic state (phosphorylating or not phosphorylating). Last but not least, we show that the quinones redox state response allows to better understand the Krebs cycle functioning and respiratory substrates oxidation. Taken together, our results suggest that the quinones redox state is an excellent marker of mitochondrial metabolism.
    Keywords:  Bioenergetics; Mitochondria respiratory chain; Quinones; Redox state
  7. Sci Rep. 2024 02 21. 14(1): 4331
      Insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) are metabolic hormones with known effects on CD4+ T cells through insulin receptor (IR) and IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling. Here, we describe specific and distinct roles for these hormones and receptors. We have found that IGF-1R, but not IR, expression is increased following CD4+ T cell activation or following differentiation toward Th17 cells. Although both insulin and IGF-1 increase the metabolism of CD4+ T cells, insulin has a more potent effect. However, IGF-1 has a unique role and acts specifically on Th17 cells to increase IL-17 production and Th17 cell metabolism. Furthermore, IGF-1 decreases mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS) in Th17 cells, providing a cytoprotective effect. Interestingly, both IR and IGF-1R are required for this effect of IGF-1 on mitochondria, which suggests that the hybrid IR/IGF-1R may be required for mediating the effect of IGF-1 on mitochondrial membrane potential and mROS production.
  8. Methods Mol Biol. 2024 ;2740 141-154
      Cell division requires a massive rewiring of cellular pathways, including molecular routes involved in providing energy for cell survival and functionality. The energetic requirements and the metabolic opportunities for generating energy change during the different phases of the cell cycle and how these processes are connected is still poorly understood. This chapter discusses basic concepts for a coordinated analysis of cell cycle progression and metabolism and provides specific protocols for studying these two connected processes in mammalian cells.
    Keywords:  Cell cycle; Cell synchronization; Cellular energy; Metabolism
  9. bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 07. pii: 2024.02.06.579216. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) is a master metabolic regulator that stimulates anabolic cell growth while suppressing catabolic processes such as autophagy. mTORC1 is active in most, if not all, proliferating eukaryotic cells. However, it remains unclear whether and how mTORC1 activity changes from one cell cycle phase to another. Here we tracked mTORC1 activity through the complete cell cycle and uncover oscillations in its activity. We find that mTORC1 activity peaks in S and G2, and is lowest in mitosis and G1. We further demonstrate that multiple mechanisms are involved in controlling this oscillation. The interphase oscillation is mediated through the TSC complex, an upstream negative regulator of mTORC1, but is independent of major known regulatory inputs to the TSC complex, including Akt, Mek/Erk, and CDK4/6 signaling. By contrast, suppression of mTORC1 activity in mitosis does not require the TSC complex, and instead involves CDK1-dependent control of the subcellular localization of mTORC1 itself. Functionally, we find that in addition to its well-established role in promoting progression through G1, mTORC1 also promotes progression through S and G2, and is important for satisfying the Wee1- and Chk1-dependent G2/M checkpoint to allow entry into mitosis. We also find that low mTORC1 activity in G1 sensitizes cells to autophagy induction in response to partial mTORC1 inhibition or reduced nutrient levels. Together these findings demonstrate that mTORC1 is differentially regulated throughout the cell cycle, with important phase-specific functional consequences in proliferating cells.
  10. Cell Rep. 2024 Feb 21. pii: S2211-1247(24)00202-X. [Epub ahead of print]43(3): 113874
      Mitochondria are rich in multi-protein assemblies that are usually dedicated to one function. In this issue of Cell Reports, Horten et al.1 describe a 3-nanometer megacomplex in the mitochondrial inner membrane, which serves multiple functions integrating mitochondria biogenesis and metabolism.
  11. Trends Cell Biol. 2024 Feb 22. pii: S0962-8924(24)00023-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Unlike most other organelles found in multiple copies, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a unique singular organelle within eukaryotic cells. Despite its continuous membrane structure, encompassing more than half of the cellular endomembrane system, the ER is subdivided into specialized sub-compartments, including morphological, membrane contact site (MCS), and de novo organelle biogenesis domains. In this review, we discuss recent emerging evidence indicating that, in response to nutrient stress, cells undergo a reorganization of these sub-compartmental ER domains through two main mechanisms: non-destructive remodeling of morphological ER domains via regulation of MCS and organelle hitchhiking, and destructive remodeling of specialized domains by ER-phagy. We further highlight and propose a critical role of membrane lipid metabolism in this ER remodeling during starvation.
    Keywords:  endoplasmic reticulum; hitchhiking; lipids; membrane contact sites; membrane remodeling; metabolism; nutrient stress
  12. Cell Signal. 2024 Feb 17. pii: S0898-6568(24)00077-9. [Epub ahead of print]117 111109
      Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a universal energy molecule and yet cells release it and extracellular ATP is an important signalling molecule between cells. Monitoring of ATP levels outside of cells is important for our understanding of physiological and pathophysiological processes in cells/tissues. Here, we focus on pancreatic beta cells (INS-1E) and test the hypothesis that there is an association between intra- and extracellular ATP levels which depends on glucose provision. We imaged real-time changes in extracellular ATP in pancreatic beta cells using two sensors tethered to extracellular aspects of the plasma membrane (eATeam3.10, iATPSnFR1.0). Increase in glucose induced fast micromolar ATP release to the cell surface, depending on glucose concentrations. Chronic pre-treatment with glucose increased the basal ATP signal. In addition, we co-expressed intracellular ATP sensors (ATeam1.30, PercevalHR) in the same cultures and showed that glucose induced fast increases in extracellular and intracellular ATP. Glucose and extracellular ATP stimulated glucose transport monitored by the glucose sensor (FLII12Pglu-700uDelta6). In conclusion, we propose that in beta cells there is a dynamic relation between intra- and extracellular ATP that depends on glucose transport and metabolism and these processes may be tuned by purinergic signalling. Future development of ATP sensors for imaging may aid development of novel approaches to target extracellular ATP in, for example, type 2 diabetes mellitus therapy.
    Keywords:  ATP; Extracellular ATP; Genetically encoded fluorescence biosensors; Glucose metabolism; Intracellular ATP; Pancreatic beta cell
  13. Nat Metab. 2024 Feb 20.
      Uptake of circulating succinate by brown adipose tissue (BAT) and beige fat elevates whole-body energy expenditure, counteracts obesity and antagonizes systemic tissue inflammation in mice. The plasma membrane transporters that facilitate succinate uptake in these adipocytes remain undefined. Here we elucidate a mechanism underlying succinate import into BAT via monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). We show that succinate transport is strongly dependent on the proportion that is present in the monocarboxylate form. MCTs facilitate monocarboxylate succinate uptake, which is promoted by alkalinization of the cytosol driven by adrenoreceptor stimulation. In brown adipocytes, we show that MCT1 primarily facilitates succinate import. In male mice, we show that both acute pharmacological inhibition of MCT1 and congenital depletion of MCT1 decrease succinate uptake into BAT and consequent catabolism. In sum, we define a mechanism of succinate uptake in BAT that underlies its protective activity in mouse models of metabolic disease.
  14. PLoS Comput Biol. 2024 Feb 22. 20(2): e1011381
      Metabolic profiling (metabolomics) aims at measuring small molecules (metabolites) in complex samples like blood or urine for human health studies. While biomarker-based assessment often relies on a single molecule, metabolic profiling combines several metabolites to create a more complex and more specific fingerprint of the disease. However, in contrast to genomics, there is no unique metabolomics setup able to measure the entire metabolome. This challenge leads to tedious and resource consuming preliminary studies to be able to design the right metabolomics experiment. In that context, computer assisted metabolic profiling can be of strong added value to design metabolomics studies more quickly and efficiently. We propose a constraint-based modelling approach which predicts in silico profiles of metabolites that are more likely to be differentially abundant under a given metabolic perturbation (e.g. due to a genetic disease), using flux simulation. In genome-scale metabolic networks, the fluxes of exchange reactions, also known as the flow of metabolites through their external transport reactions, can be simulated and compared between control and disease conditions in order to calculate changes in metabolite import and export. These import/export flux differences would be expected to induce changes in circulating biofluid levels of those metabolites, which can then be interpreted as potential biomarkers or metabolites of interest. In this study, we present SAMBA (SAMpling Biomarker Analysis), an approach which simulates fluxes in exchange reactions following a metabolic perturbation using random sampling, compares the simulated flux distributions between the baseline and modulated conditions, and ranks predicted differentially exchanged metabolites as potential biomarkers for the perturbation. We show that there is a good fit between simulated metabolic exchange profiles and experimental differential metabolites detected in plasma, such as patient data from the disease database OMIM, and metabolic trait-SNP associations found in mGWAS studies. These biomarker recommendations can provide insight into the underlying mechanism or metabolic pathway perturbation lying behind observed metabolite differential abundances, and suggest new metabolites as potential avenues for further experimental analyses.
  15. Elife. 2024 Feb 23. pii: RP90024. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Intracellular levels of the amino acid aspartate are responsive to changes in metabolism in mammalian cells and can correspondingly alter cell function, highlighting the need for robust tools to measure aspartate abundance. However, comprehensive understanding of aspartate metabolism has been limited by the throughput, cost, and static nature of the mass spectrometry (MS)-based measurements that are typically employed to measure aspartate levels. To address these issues, we have developed a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based sensor of aspartate (jAspSnFR3), where the fluorescence intensity corresponds to aspartate concentration. As a purified protein, the sensor has a 20-fold increase in fluorescence upon aspartate saturation, with dose-dependent fluorescence changes covering a physiologically relevant aspartate concentration range and no significant off target binding. Expressed in mammalian cell lines, sensor intensity correlated with aspartate levels measured by MS and could resolve temporal changes in intracellular aspartate from genetic, pharmacological, and nutritional manipulations. These data demonstrate the utility of jAspSnFR3 and highlight the opportunities it provides for temporally resolved and high-throughput applications of variables that affect aspartate levels.
    Keywords:  aspartate; biochemistry; biosensor; cell biology; chemical biology; glutamine; human; metabolism; mitochondria; protein engineering
  16. Glia. 2024 Feb 19.
      Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by progressive motor neuron (MN) degeneration. Various studies using cellular and animal models of ALS indicate that there is a complex interplay between MN and neighboring non-neuronal cells, such as astrocytes, resulting in noncell autonomous neurodegeneration. Astrocytes in ALS exhibit a lower ability to support MN survival than nondisease-associated ones, which is strongly correlated with low-mitochondrial respiratory activity. Indeed, pharmacological inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) led to an increase in the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation pathway as the primary source of cell energy in SOD1G93A astrocytes and restored the survival of MN. Among the four PDK isoforms, PDK2 is ubiquitously expressed in astrocytes and presents low expression levels in neurons. Herein, we hypothesize whether selective knockdown of PDK2 in astrocytes may increase mitochondrial activity and, in turn, reduce SOD1G93A-associated toxicity. To assess this, cultured neonatal SOD1G93A rat astrocytes were incubated with specific PDK2 siRNA. This treatment resulted in a reduction of the enzyme expression with a concomitant decrease in the phosphorylation rate of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. In addition, PDK2-silenced SOD1G93A astrocytes exhibited restored mitochondrial bioenergetics parameters, adopting a more complex mitochondrial network. This treatment also decreased lipid droplet content in SOD1G93A astrocytes, suggesting a switch in energetic metabolism. Significantly, PDK2 knockdown increased the ability of SOD1G93A astrocytes to support MN survival, further supporting the major role of astrocyte mitochondrial respiratory activity in astrocyte-MN interactions. These results suggest that PDK2 silencing could be a cell-specific therapeutic tool to slow the progression of ALS.
    Keywords:  ALS; PDK2; astrocytes; mitochondria
  17. Methods Mol Biol. 2024 ;2740 155-168
      Cell cycle is an ordered sequence of events that occur in a cell preparing for cell division . The cell cycle is a four-stage process in which the cell increases in size, copies its DNA , prepares to divide, and divides. All these stages require a coordination of signaling pathways as well as adequate levels of energy and building blocks. These specific signaling and metabolic switches are tightly orchestrated in order for the cell cycle to occur properly. In this book chapter, we will provide information on the basis of metabolism and cell cycle interplay, and we will finish by an unexhaustive list of metabolomics approaches available to study the reciprocal control of metabolism and cell cycle.
    Keywords:  Cell cycle; Cell division; Energy; Metabolic profiles; Metabolism; Metabolites; Metabolomics approaches
  18. Biomed Pharmacother. 2024 Feb 21. pii: S0753-3322(24)00201-4. [Epub ahead of print]172 116320
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial redox imbalance underlies the pathophysiology of type2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and is closely related to tissue damage and dysfunction. Studies have shown the beneficial effects of dietary strategies that elevate β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) levels in alleviating T2DM. Nevertheless, the role of BHB has not been clearly elucidated.METHODS: We performed a spectral study to visualize the preventive effects of BHB on blood and multiorgan mitochondrial redox imbalance in T2DM mice via using label-free resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS), and further explored the impact of BHB therapy on the pathology of T2DM mice by histological and biochemical analyses.
    FINDINGS: Our data revealed that RRS-based mitochondrial redox states assay enabled clear and reliable identification of the improvement of mitochondrial redox imbalance by BHB, evidenced by the reduction of Raman peak intensity at 750 cm-1, 1128 cm-1 and 1585 cm-1 in blood, tissue as well as purified mitochondria of db/db mice and the increase of tissue mitochondrial succinic dehydrogenase (SDH) staining after BHB treatment. Exogenous supplementation of BHB was also found to attenuate T2DM pathology related to mitochondrial redox states, involving organ injury, blood glucose control, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation.
    INTERPRETATION: Our findings provide strong evidence for BHB as a potential therapeutic strategy targeting mitochondria for T2DM.
    Keywords:  Label-free; Mitochondrial redox state; Raman spectroscopy; Type 2 diabetes; β-hydroxybutyric acid
  19. Cell Death Dis. 2024 Feb 23. 15(2): 168
      Glioblastoma (GBM) cells require large amounts of iron for tumor growth and progression, which makes these cells vulnerable to destruction via ferroptosis induction. Mitochondria are critical for iron metabolism and ferroptosis. Sirtuin-3 (SIRT3) is a deacetylase found in mitochondria that regulates mitochondrial quality and function. This study aimed to characterize SIRT3 expression and activity in GBM and investigate the potential therapeutic effects of targeting SIRT3 while also inducing ferroptosis in these cells. We first found that SIRT3 expression was higher in GBM tissues than in normal brain tissues and that SIRT3 protein expression was upregulated during RAS-selective lethal 3 (RSL3)-induced GBM cell ferroptosis. We then observed that inhibition of SIRT3 expression and activity in GBM cells sensitized GBM cells to RSL3-induced ferroptosis both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, SIRT3 inhibition led to ferrous iron and ROS accumulation in the mitochondria, which triggered mitophagy. RNA-Sequencing analysis revealed that upon SIRT3 knockdown in GBM cells, the mitophagy pathway was upregulated and SLC7A11, a critical antagonist of ferroptosis via cellular import of cystine for glutathione (GSH) synthesis, was downregulated. Forced expression of SLC7A11 in GBM cells with SIRT3 knockdown restored cellular cystine uptake and consequently the cellular GSH level, thereby partially rescuing cell viability upon RSL3 treatment. Furthermore, in GBM cells, SIRT3 regulated SLC7A11 transcription through ATF4. Overall, our study results elucidated novel mechanisms underlying the ability of SIRT3 to protect GBM from ferroptosis and provided insight into a potential combinatorial approach of targeting SIRT3 and inducing ferroptosis for GBM treatment.