bims-celmim Biomed News
on Cellular and mitochondrial metabolism
Issue of 2024‒03‒17
27 papers selected by
Marc Segarra Mondejar, University of Cologne

  1. Sci Adv. 2024 Mar 15. 10(11): eadm8600
      Cancer diagnosis by metabolic MRI proposes to follow the fate of glycolytic precursors such as pyruvate or glucose, and their in vivo conversion into lactate. This study compares the 2H MRI outlooks afforded by these metabolites when targeting a pancreatic cancer model. Exogenously injected [3,3',3″-2H3]-pyruvate was visible only briefly; it generated a deuterated lactate signal throughout the body that faded after ~5 min, showing a minor concentration bias at the rims of the tumors. [6,6'-2H2]-glucose by contrast originated a lactate signal that localized clearly within the tumors, persisting for over an hour. Investigations alternating deuterated and nondeuterated glucose injections revealed correlations between the lactate generation and the glucose available at the tumor, evidencing a continuous and avid glucose consumption generating well-localized lactate signatures as driven by the Warburg effect. This is by contrast to the transient and more promiscuous pyruvate-to-lactate transformation, which seemed subject to transporter and kinetics effects. The consequences of these observations within metabolic MRI are briefly discussed.
  2. FEBS Lett. 2024 Mar 12.
      Redox reactions play a critical role for intracellular processes, including pathways involved in metabolism and signaling. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) act either as second messengers or generators of protein modifications, fundamental mechanisms for signal transduction. Disturbance of redox homeostasis is associated with many disorders. Among these, Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative pathology that presents hallmarks of oxidative damage such as increased ROS production, decreased activity of antioxidant enzymes, oxidative modifications of macromolecules, and changes in mitochondrial homeostasis. Interestingly, alteration of redox homeostasis is closely associated with defects of energy metabolism, involving both carbohydrates and lipids, the major energy fuels for the cell. As the brain relies exclusively on glucose metabolism, defects of glucose utilization represent a harmful event for the brain. During aging, a progressive perturbation of energy metabolism occurs resulting in brain hypometabolism. This condition contributes to increase neuronal cell vulnerability ultimately resulting in cognitive impairment. The current review discusses the crosstalk between alteration of redox homeostasis and brain energy defects that seems to act in concert in promoting Alzheimer's neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer disease; down syndrome; energy metabolism; insulin resistance; mitochondria; oxidative stress; redox homeostasis
  3. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2024 Mar 14.
      Copper, an essential trace element that exists in oxidized and reduced forms, has pivotal roles in a variety of biological processes, including redox chemistry, enzymatic reactions, mitochondrial respiration, iron metabolism, autophagy and immune modulation; maintaining copper homeostasis is crucial as both its deficiency and its excess are deleterious. Dysregulated copper metabolism has a dual role in tumorigenesis and cancer therapy. Specifically, cuproplasia describes copper-dependent cell growth and proliferation, including hyperplasia, metaplasia and neoplasia, whereas cuproptosis refers to a mitochondrial pathway of cell death triggered by excessive copper exposure and subsequent proteotoxic stress (although complex interactions between cuproptosis and other cell death mechanisms, such as ferroptosis, are likely and remain enigmatic). In this Review, we summarize advances in our understanding of copper metabolism, the molecular machineries underlying cuproplasia and cuproptosis, and their potential targeting for cancer therapy. These new findings advance the rapidly expanding field of translational cancer research focused on metal compounds.
  4. Neural Regen Res. 2024 Oct 01. 19(10): 2189-2201
      Metabolism is a fundamental process by which biochemicals are broken down to produce energy (catabolism) or used to build macromolecules (anabolism). Metabolism has received renewed attention as a mechanism that generates molecules that modulate multiple cellular responses. This was first identified in cancer cells as the Warburg effect, but it is also present in immunocompetent cells. Studies have revealed a bidirectional influence of cellular metabolism and immune cell function, highlighting the significance of metabolic reprogramming in immune cell activation and effector functions. Metabolic processes such as glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty acid oxidation have been shown to undergo dynamic changes during immune cell response, facilitating the energetic and biosynthetic demands. This review aims to provide a better understanding of the metabolic reprogramming that occurs in different immune cells upon activation, with a special focus on central nervous system disorders. Understanding the metabolic changes of the immune response not only provides insights into the fundamental mechanisms that regulate immune cell function but also opens new approaches for therapeutic strategies aimed at manipulating the immune system.
  5. Nat Commun. 2024 Mar 11. 15(1): 2203
      The ability of CD8+ T cells to infiltrate solid tumors and reach cancer cells is associated with improved patient survival and responses to immunotherapy. Thus, identifying the factors controlling T cell migration in tumors is critical, so that strategies to intervene on these targets can be developed. Although interstitial motility is a highly energy-demanding process, the metabolic requirements of CD8+ T cells migrating in a 3D environment remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is the main metabolic pathway sustaining human CD8+ T cell motility in 3D collagen gels and tumor slices while glycolysis plays a more minor role. Using pharmacological and genetic approaches, we report that CD8+ T cell migration depends on the mitochondrial oxidation of glucose and glutamine, but not fatty acids, and both ATP and ROS produced by mitochondria are required for T cells to migrate. Pharmacological interventions to increase mitochondrial activity improve CD8+ T cell intratumoral migration and CAR T cell recruitment into tumor islets leading to better control of tumor growth in human xenograft models. Our study highlights the rationale of targeting mitochondrial metabolism to enhance the migration and antitumor efficacy of CAR T cells in treating solid tumors.
  6. Cells. 2024 Mar 05. pii: 459. [Epub ahead of print]13(5):
      Although it has been known for decades that lysosomes are central for degradation and recycling in the cell, their pivotal role as nutrient sensing signaling hubs has recently become of central interest. Since lysosomes are highly dynamic and in constant change regarding content and intracellular position, fusion/fission events allow communication between organelles in the cell, as well as cell-to-cell communication via exocytosis of lysosomal content and release of extracellular vesicles. Lysosomes also mediate different forms of regulated cell death by permeabilization of the lysosomal membrane and release of their content to the cytosol. In cancer cells, lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy are increased to support the increased metabolism and allow growth even under nutrient- and oxygen-poor conditions. Tumor cells also induce exocytosis of lysosomal content to the extracellular space to promote invasion and metastasis. However, due to the enhanced lysosomal function, cancer cells are often more susceptible to lysosomal membrane permeabilization, providing an alternative strategy to induce cell death. This review summarizes the current knowledge of cancer-associated alterations in lysosomal structure and function and illustrates how lysosomal exocytosis and release of extracellular vesicles affect disease progression. We focus on functional differences depending on lysosomal localization and the regulation of intracellular transport, and lastly provide insight how new therapeutic strategies can exploit the power of the lysosome and improve cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  LMP; exocytosis; extracellular vesicles; lysosomal positioning; lysosome
  7. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1334006
      Metabolism and immunity are crucial monitors of the whole-body homeodynamics. All cells require energy to perform their basic functions. One of the most important metabolic skills of the cell is the ability to optimally adapt metabolism according to demand or availability, known as metabolic flexibility. The immune cells, first line of host defense that circulate in the body and migrate between tissues, need to function also in environments in which nutrients are not always available. The resilience of immune cells consists precisely in their high adaptive capacity, a challenge that arises especially in the framework of sustained immune responses. Pubmed and Scopus databases were consulted to construct the extensive background explored in this review, from the Kennedy and Lehninger studies on mitochondrial biochemistry of the 1950s to the most recent findings on immunometabolism. In detail, we first focus on how metabolic reconfiguration influences the action steps of the immune system and modulates immune cell fate and function. Then, we highlighted the evidence for considering mitochondria, besides conventional cellular energy suppliers, as the powerhouses of immunometabolism. Finally, we explored the main immunometabolic hubs in the organism emphasizing in them the reciprocal impact between metabolic and immune components in both physiological and pathological conditions.
    Keywords:  immunometabolism; metabolic flexibility; metabolic reprogramming; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial function
  8. Methods Mol Biol. 2024 ;2783 335-347
      Bioenergetic and biosynthetic processes are key indicators regulating adipose-derived stromal/stem cell (ADSC) function, health, and differentiation. A common method used to metabolically profile cells is the Seahorse XF Analyzer. This live-cell assay can be used to define key metabolic pathways, including glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation. Here, we share optimized protocols to characterize metabolism of ADSCs under basal conditions and provide insight into further assays defining metabolic changes and/or dependency during ADSC differentiation.
    Keywords:  ADSC; Differentiation; ETC; Glycolysis; Metabolism; Mitochondria; OXPHOS; Seahorse Analyzer
  9. Cells. 2024 Mar 04. pii: 448. [Epub ahead of print]13(5):
      Cardiomyocytes rely on proper mitochondrial homeostasis to maintain contractility and achieve optimal cardiac performance. Mitochondrial homeostasis is controlled by mitochondrial fission, fusion, and mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy). Mitophagy plays a particularly important role in promoting the degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria in terminally differentiated cells. However, the precise mechanisms by which this is achieved in cardiomyocytes remain opaque. Our study identifies GRAF1 as an important mediator in PINK1-Parkin pathway-dependent mitophagy. Depletion of GRAF1 (Arhgap26) in cardiomyocytes results in actin remodeling defects, suboptimal mitochondria clustering, and clearance. Mechanistically, GRAF1 promotes Parkin-LC3 complex formation and directs autophagosomes to damaged mitochondria. Herein, we found that these functions are regulated, at least in part, by the direct binding of GRAF1 to phosphoinositides (PI(3)P, PI(4)P, and PI(5)P) on autophagosomes. In addition, PINK1-dependent phosphorylation of Parkin promotes Parkin-GRAF1-LC3 complex formation, and PINK1-dependent phosphorylation of GRAF1 (on S668 and S671) facilitates the clustering and clearance of mitochondria. Herein, we developed new phosphor-specific antibodies to these sites and showed that these post-translational modifications are differentially modified in human hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy. Furthermore, our metabolic studies using serum collected from isoproterenol-treated WT and GRAF1CKO mice revealed defects in mitophagy-dependent cardiomyocyte fuel flexibility that have widespread impacts on systemic metabolism. In summary, our study reveals that GRAF1 co-regulates actin and membrane dynamics to promote cardiomyocyte mitophagy and that dysregulation of GRAF1 post-translational modifications may underlie cardiac disease pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  GRAF1; PINK1-Parkin pathway; cardiomyocytes; metabolism; mitophagy
  10. Cancers (Basel). 2024 Mar 05. pii: 1057. [Epub ahead of print]16(5):
      Glutamine, a multifaceted nonessential/conditionally essential amino acid integral to cellular metabolism and immune function, holds pivotal importance in the landscape of cancer therapy. This review delves into the intricate dynamics surrounding both glutamine antagonism strategies and glutamine supplementation within the context of cancer treatment, emphasizing the critical role of glutamine metabolism in cancer progression and therapy. Glutamine antagonism, aiming to disrupt tumor growth by targeting critical metabolic pathways, is challenged by the adaptive nature of cancer cells and the complex metabolic microenvironment, potentially compromising its therapeutic efficacy. In contrast, glutamine supplementation supports immune function, improves gut integrity, alleviates treatment-related toxicities, and improves patient well-being. Moreover, recent studies highlighted its contributions to epigenetic regulation within cancer cells and its potential to bolster anti-cancer immune functions. However, glutamine implementation necessitates careful consideration of potential interactions with ongoing treatment regimens and the delicate equilibrium between supporting normal cellular function and promoting tumorigenesis. By critically assessing the implications of both glutamine antagonism strategies and glutamine supplementation, this review aims to offer comprehensive insights into potential therapeutic strategies targeting glutamine metabolism for effective cancer management.
    Keywords:  amino acids; cachexia; cancer; cancer therapy; glutamine; metabolism; nutrition
  11. bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 28. pii: 2024.02.25.581907. [Epub ahead of print]
      Isotope tracing is a widely used technique to study metabolic activities by introducing heavy labeled nutrients into living cells and organisms. However, interpreting isotope tracing data is often heuristic, and application of automated methods using artificial intelligence is limited due to the paucity of evaluative knowledge. Our study developed a new pipeline that efficiently predicts metabolic activity in expansive metabolic networks and systematically quantifies flux uncertainty of traditional computational methods. We further developed an algorithm adept at significantly reducing this uncertainty, enabling robust evaluations of metabolic activity with limited data. Using this technology, we discovered highly reprogrammed mitochondria-cytosol exchange cycles in tumor tissue of patients, and observed similar metabolic patterns influenced by nutritional conditions in cancer cells. Thus, our refined methodology provides robust automated quantification of metabolism allowing for new insight into metabolic network activity.
  12. bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 28. pii: 2024.02.26.582095. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lactate, an intermediary between glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, reflects the metabolic state of neurons. Here, we utilized a genetically-encoded lactate FRET biosensor to uncover subpopulations of distinct metabolic states among Drosophila glutamatergic neurons. Neurons within specific subpopulations exhibited correlated lactate flux patterns that stemmed from inherent cellular properties rather than neuronal interconnectivity. Further, individual neurons exhibited consistent patterns of lactate flux over time such that stimulus-evoked changes in lactate were correlated with pre-treatment fluctuations. Leveraging these temporal autocorrelations, deep-learning models accurately predicted post-stimulus responses from pre-stimulus fluctuations. These findings point to the existence of distinct neuronal subpopulations, each characterized by unique lactate dynamics, and raise the possibility that neurons with correlated metabolic activities might synchronize across different neural circuits. Such synchronization, rooted in neuronal metabolic states, could influence information processing in the brain.
  13. J Biol Chem. 2024 Mar 08. pii: S0021-9258(24)01646-6. [Epub ahead of print] 107151
      The Integrated Stress Response (ISR) refers to signaling pathways initiated by stress-activated eIF2‹ kinases. Distinct eIF2‹ kinases respond to different stress signals, including amino acid deprivation and mitochondrial stress. Such stress-induced eIF2‹ phosphorylation attenuates general mRNA translation and, at the same time, stimulates the preferential translation of specific downstream factors to orchestrate an adaptive gene expression program. In recent years, there have been significant new advances in our understanding of ISR during metabolic stress adaptation. Here, I discuss those advances, reviewing among others the ISR activation mechanisms in response to amino acid deprivation and mitochondrial stress. In addition, I review how ISR regulates the amino acid metabolic pathways and how changes in the ISR impact the physiology and pathology of various disease models.
    Keywords:  ATF4; GCN1; GCN2; HRI; Integrated Stress Response; amino acid deprivation; cysteine; eIF2‹; glutathione; mitochondrial stress; serine biosynthesis
  14. Genes Dev. 2024 Mar 14.
      Metabolic reprogramming of stem cells is a targetable pathway to control regeneration. Activation of stem cells results in down-regulation of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and turns on glycolysis to provide fuel for proliferation and specific signaling events. How cell type-specific events are regulated is unknown. In this issue of Genes & Development Ciuffoli and colleagues (pp. XXX-XXX) use metabolomic, gene inactivation, and functional approaches to show that phosphoserine aminotransferase (Psat1), an enzyme in serine biosynthesis, is activated in muscle stem cells and contributes to cell expansion and skeletal muscle regeneration via the production of α-ketoglutarate and glutamine.
    Keywords:  aging; glutamine; ketoglutarate; muscle regeneration; muscle stem cells
  15. Cancers (Basel). 2024 Mar 05. pii: 1048. [Epub ahead of print]16(5):
      O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a reversible post-translational modification involved in the regulation of cytosolic, nuclear, and mitochondrial proteins. The interplay between O-GlcNAcylation and phosphorylation is critical to control signaling pathways and maintain cellular homeostasis. The addition of O-GlcNAc moieties to target proteins is catalyzed by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT). Of the three splice variants of OGT described, one is destined for the mitochondria (mOGT). Although the effects of O-GlcNAcylation on the biology of normal and cancer cells are well documented, the role of mOGT remains poorly understood. In this manuscript, the effects of mOGT on mitochondrial protein phosphorylation, electron transport chain (ETC) complex activity, and the expression of VDAC porins were investigated. We performed studies using normal and breast cancer cells with upregulated mOGT or its catalytically inactive mutant. Proteomic approaches included the isolation of O-GlcNAc-modified proteins of the electron transport chain, followed by their analysis using mass spectrometry. We found that mitochondrial OGT regulates the activity of complexes I-V of the respiratory chain and identified a group of 19 ETC components as mOGT substrates in mammary cells. Furthermore, we observed that the upregulation of mOGT inhibited the interaction of VDAC1 with hexokinase II. Our results suggest that the deregulation of mOGT reprograms cellular energy metabolism via interaction with and O-GlcNAcylation of proteins involved in ATP production in mitochondria and its exchange between mitochondria and the cytosol.
    Keywords:  O-GlcNAc; VDAC; breast cells; electron transport chain; mOGT; mitochondria
  16. Cancer Sci. 2024 Mar 13.
      Dissolving the lipid droplets in tissue section with alcohol during a hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain causes the tumor cells to appear like clear soap bubbles under a microscope, which is a key pathological feature of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Mitochondrial dynamics have been reported to be closely associated with lipid metabolism and tumor development. However, the relationship between mitochondrial dynamics and lipid metabolism reprogramming in ccRCC remains to be further explored. We conducted bioinformatics analysis to identify key genes regulating mitochondrial dynamics differentially expressed between tumor and normal tissues and immunohistochemistry and Western blot to confirm. After the target was identified, we created stable ccRCC cell lines to test the impact of the target gene on mitochondrial morphology, tumorigenesis in culture cells and xenograft models, and profiles of lipid metabolism. It was found that mitofusin 2 (MFN2) was downregulated in ccRCC tissues and associated with poor prognosis in patients with ccRCC. MFN2 suppressed mitochondrial fragmentation, proliferation, migration, and invasion of ccRCC cells and growth of xenograft tumors. Furthermore, MFN2 impacted lipid metabolism and reduced the accumulation of lipid droplets in ccRCC cells. MFN2 suppressed disease progression and improved prognosis for patients with ccRCC possibly by interrupting cellular lipid metabolism and reducing accumulation of lipid droplets.
    Keywords:  Hif2α; MFN2; clear cell renal cell carcinoma; lipid droplets; mitochondrial fusion
  17. J Bone Miner Res. 2024 Jan 11. pii: zjad016. [Epub ahead of print]
      Skeletal stem and progenitor cells (SSPCs) are crucial for bone development, homeostasis, and repair. SSPCs are considered to reside in a rather hypoxic niche in the bone, but distinct SSPC niches have been described in different skeletal regions, and they likely differ in oxygen and nutrient availability. Currently it remains unknown whether the different SSPC sources have a comparable metabolic profile and respond in a similar manner to hypoxia. In this study, we show that cell proliferation of all SSPCs was increased in hypoxia, suggesting that SSPCs can indeed function in a hypoxic niche in vivo. In addition, low oxygen tension increased glucose consumption and lactate production, but affected pyruvate metabolism cell-specifically. Hypoxia decreased tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle anaplerosis and altered glucose entry into the TCA cycle from pyruvate dehydrogenase to pyruvate carboxylase and/or malic enzyme. Finally, a switch from glutamine oxidation to reductive carboxylation was observed in hypoxia, as well as cell-specific adaptations in the metabolism of other amino acids. Collectively, our findings show that SSPCs from different skeletal locations proliferate adequately in hypoxia by rewiring glucose and amino acid metabolism in a cell-specific manner.
    Keywords:  cell metabolism; chondrocyte; hypoxia; proliferation; skeletal progenitor
  18. bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 28. pii: 2023.08.18.553810. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolism has emerged as a key factor in homeostasis and disease including cancer. Yet, little is known about the heterogeneity of metabolic activity of cancer cells due to the lack of tools to directly probe it. Here, we present a novel method, 13 C-SpaceM for spatial single-cell isotope tracing of glucose-dependent de novo lipogenesis. The method combines imaging mass spectrometry for spatially-resolved detection of 13 C 6 -glucose-derived 13 C label incorporated into esterified fatty acids with microscopy and computational methods for data integration and analysis. We validated 13 C-SpaceM on a spatially-heterogeneous normoxia-hypoxia model of liver cancer cells. Investigating cultured cells, we revealed single-cell heterogeneity of lipogenic acetyl-CoA pool labelling degree upon ACLY knockdown that is hidden in the bulk analysis and its effect on synthesis of individual fatty acids. Next, we adapted 13 C-SpaceM to analyze tissue sections of mice harboring isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-mutant gliomas. We found a strong induction of de novo fatty acid synthesis in the tumor tissue compared to the surrounding brain. Comparison of fatty acid isotopologue patterns revealed elevated uptake of mono-unsaturated and essential fatty acids in the tumor. Furthermore, our analysis uncovered substantial spatial heterogeneity in the labelling of the lipogenic acetyl-CoA pool indicative of metabolic reprogramming during microenvironmental adaptation. Overall, 13 C-SpaceM enables novel ways for spatial probing of metabolic activity at the single cell level. Additionally, this methodology provides unprecedented insight into fatty acid uptake, synthesis and modification in normal and cancerous tissues.
  19. Int J Biol Sci. 2024 ;20(5): 1884-1904
      Due to the unique characteristics of breast cancer initiation sites and significant alterations in tumor metabolism, breast cancer cells rely on lipid metabolic reprogramming to effectively regulate metabolic programs during the disease progression cascade. This adaptation enables them to meet the energy demands required for proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and responses to signaling molecules in the breast cancer microenvironment. In this review, we comprehensively examined the distinctive features of lipid metabolic reprogramming in breast cancer and elucidated the underlying mechanisms driving aberrant behavior of tumor cells. Additionally, we emphasize the potential role and adaptive changes in lipid metabolism within the breast cancer microenvironment, while summarizing recent preclinical studies. Overall, precise control over lipid metabolism rewiring and understanding of plasticity within the breast cancer microenvironment hold promising implications for developing targeted treatment strategies against this disease. Therefore, interventions targeting the lipid metabolism in breast cancer may facilitate innovative advancements in clinical applications.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; Lipid metabolism; Targeted intervention; Tumor microenvironment
  20. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Mar 06. pii: 3050. [Epub ahead of print]25(5):
      Astroglia constitute the largest group of glial cells and are involved in numerous actions that are critical to neuronal development and functioning, such as maintaining the blood-brain barrier, forming synapses, supporting neurons with nutrients and trophic factors, and protecting them from injury. These properties are deeply affected in the course of many neurodegenerative diseases, including tauopathies, often before the onset of the disease. In this respect, the transfer of essential amino acids such as glutamate and glutamine between neurons and astrocytes in the glutamate-glutamine cycle (GGC) is one example. In this review, we focus on the GGC and the disruption of this cycle in tau-dependent neurodegeneration. A profound understanding of the complex functions of the GGC and, in the broader context, searching for dysfunctions in communication pathways between astrocytes and neurons via GGC in health and disease, is of critical significance for the development of novel mechanism-based therapies for neurodegenerative disorders.
    Keywords:  astrocyte–neuron integrity; glutamate transporters; glutamate–glutamine cycle; glutamine transporters; tau-dependent neurodegeneration
  21. J Biol Chem. 2024 Mar 11. pii: S0021-9258(24)01654-5. [Epub ahead of print] 107159
      In the present study, we examined the mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide (mH2O2) generating capacity of α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (KGDH) and compared it to components of the electron transport chain (ETC) using liver mitochondria isolated from male and female C57BL6N mice. We show for the first time there are some sex dimorphisms in the production of mH2O2 by ETC complexes I and III when mitochondria are fueled with different substrates. However, in our investigations into these sex effects, we made the unexpected discovery that: 1. KGDH serves as a major mH2O2 supplier in male and female liver mitochondria and 2. KGDH can form mH2O2 when mitochondria are energized with fatty acids, but only when malate is used to prime the Krebs cycle. Surprisingly, 2-keto-3-methylvaleric acid (KMV), a site-specific inhibitor for KGDH, nearly abolished mH2O2 generation in both male and female liver mitochondria oxidizing palmitoyl-carnitine. KMV inhibited mH2O2 production in liver mitochondria from male and female mice oxidizing myristoyl-, octanoyl-, or butyryl-carnitine. S1QEL 1.1 (S1) and S3QEL 2 (S3), compounds that inhibit reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation by complexes I and III, respectively, without interfering with OxPhos, had a negligible effect on the rate of mH2O2 production when pyruvate or acyl-carnitines were used as fuels. However, inclusion of KMV in reaction mixtures containing S1 and/or S3 almost abolished mH2O2 generation. Together, our findings suggest KGDH is the main mH2O2 generator in liver mitochondria, even when fatty acids are used as fuel.
  22. Methods Mol Biol. 2024 ;2778 185-200
      All but a few mitochondrial proteins are translated into the cytosol and imported in via complicated and varied pathways. These processes occur over short time frames and, as such, are difficult to monitor with classical approaches such as Western blotting or autoradiography that require sample collection at discrete time points. The development of an assay based on a split version of the small luciferase-Mitoluc-has allowed us to monitor the import of proteins into mitochondria in high resolution and real time (Pereira et al., J Mol Biol 431:1689-1699, 2019). Luminescence measurements are acquired using a plate reader in the order of seconds. This allows scores of experiments to be conducted in parallel in a single multi-well plate and permits kinetic analysis yielding information about import mechanisms (Ford et al., Elife 11:e75426, 2022).
    Keywords:  Luminescence; MitoLuc; Mitochondria; NanoLuc; Protein import; Split-luciferase
  23. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 Mar 19. 121(12): e2319473121
      Hydrogen sulfide exposure in moderate doses can induce profound but reversible hypometabolism in mammals. At a cellular level, H2S inhibits the electron transport chain (ETC), augments aerobic glycolysis, and glutamine-dependent carbon utilization via reductive carboxylation; however, the durability of these changes is unknown. We report that despite its volatility, H2S preconditioning increases P50(O2), the O2 pressure for half-maximal cellular respiration, and has pleiotropic effects on oxidative metabolism that persist up to 24 to 48 h later. Notably, cyanide, another complex IV inhibitor, does not induce this type of metabolic memory. Sulfide-mediated prolonged fractional inhibition of complex IV by H2S is modulated by sulfide quinone oxidoreductase, which commits sulfide to oxidative catabolism. Since induced hypometabolism can be beneficial in disease settings that involve insufficient or interrupted blood flow, our study has important implications for attenuating reperfusion-induced ischemic injury and/or prolonging the shelf life of biologics like platelets.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; electron transport chain; hydrogen sulfide; oxygen metabolism
  24. Sci Adv. 2024 Mar 15. 10(11): eadj1512
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-plasma membrane (PM) tethering is crucial for the non-vesicular lipid transport between the ER membrane and the PM. However, the PM-associated ER can impede the PM binding of cytoskeletons and other organelles. It is poorly understood how the competition between the ER and cytoskeletons/organelles on the PM is resolved. Here, we show that, upon septin collar assembly, ER-PM tethering proteins are excluded from the yeast bud sites, and the PM-associated ER is locally detached from the PM. Our results suggest that PM flows by polarized exocytosis extrude PM proteins, including ER-PM tethering proteins, from the bud sites. When the reorganization of the ER-PM tethering was inhibited by exocytosis repression, septin localization was restricted to the PM sites poor in ER-PM tethering proteins. This study proposes machinery reconciling ER-septin competition on the PM, providing mechanistic insights into the spatial organization of PM-associated organelles and cytoskeletons.
  25. EMBO J. 2024 Mar 14.
      Adaptation to chronic hypoxia occurs through changes in protein expression, which are controlled by hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) and are necessary for cancer cell survival. However, the mechanisms that enable cancer cells to adapt in early hypoxia, before the HIF1α-mediated transcription programme is fully established, remain poorly understood. Here we show in human breast cancer cells, that within 3 h of hypoxia exposure, glycolytic flux increases in a HIF1α-independent manner but is limited by NAD+ availability. Glycolytic ATP maintenance and cell survival in early hypoxia rely on reserve lactate dehydrogenase A capacity as well as the activity of glutamate-oxoglutarate transaminase 1 (GOT1), an enzyme that fuels malate dehydrogenase 1 (MDH1)-derived NAD+. In addition, GOT1 maintains low α-ketoglutarate levels, thereby limiting prolyl hydroxylase activity to promote HIF1α stabilisation in early hypoxia and enable robust HIF1α target gene expression in later hypoxia. Our findings reveal that, in normoxia, multiple enzyme systems maintain cells in a primed state ready to support increased glycolysis and HIF1α stabilisation upon oxygen limitation, until other adaptive processes that require more time are fully established.
    Keywords:  Glycolysis; HIF1α; Hypoxia; Metabolism; α-Ketoglutarate
  26. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2024 Mar 11. e202320072
      Nitric oxide (NO) exhibits both pro- and anti-tumor effects. Therefore, real-time in vivo imaging and quantification of tumor NO dynamics are essential for understanding the conflicting roles of NO played in pathophysiology. The current molecular probes, however, cannot provide high-resolution imaging in deep tissues, making them unsuitable for these purposes. Herein, we designed a photoacoustic probe with an absorption maximum beyond 1000 nm for high spatial quantitative imaging of in vivo tumor NO dynamics. The probe exhibits remarkable sensitivity, selective ratiometric response behavior, and good tumor-targeting abilities, facilitating ratiometric imaging of tumor NO throughout tumor progression in a micron-resolution level. Using the probe as the imaging agent, we successfully quantified NO dynamics in tumor, liver and kidney. We have pinpointed an essential concentration threshold of around 80 nmol/cm3 for NO, which plays a crucial role in the "double-edged-sword" function of NO in tumors. Furthermore, we revealed a reciprocal relationship between the NO concentration in tumors and that in the liver, providing initial insights into the possible NO-mediated communication between tumor and the liver. We believe that the probe will help resolve conflicting aspects of NO biology and guide the design of imaging agents for tumor diagnosis and anti-cancer drug screening.
    Keywords:  Molecular probes; Photoacoustic probe; Spatiotemporal quantitative imaging; Tumor diagnosis; molecular imaging
  27. Sci Rep. 2024 03 12. 14(1): 5980
      Life may be expressed as the flow of electrons, protons, and other ions, resulting in large potential difference. It is also highly photo-sensitive, as a large proportion of the redox capable molecules it relies on are chromophoric. It is thus suggestive that a key organelle in eukaryotes, the mitochondrion, constantly adapt their morphology as part of the homeostatic process. Studying unstained in vivo nano-scale structure in live cells is technically very challenging. One option is to study a central electron carrier in metabolism, reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), which is fluorescent and mostly located within mitochondria. Using one and two-photon absorption (340-360 nm and 730 nm, respectively), fluorescence lifetime imaging and anisotropy spectroscopy of NADH in solution and in live cells, we show that mitochondria do indeed appear to be aligned and exhibit high anisotropy (asymmetric directionality). Aqueous solution of NADH showed an anisotropy of ~ 0.20 compared to fluorescein or coumarin of < 0.1 and 0.04 in water respectively and as expected for small organic molecules. The anisotropy of NADH also increased further to 0.30 in the presence of proteins and 0.42 in glycerol (restricted environment) following two-photon excitation, suggesting more ordered structures. Two-photon NADH fluorescence imaging of Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF7) also showed strong anisotropy of 0.25 to 0.45. NADH has a quantum yield of fluorescence of 2% compared to more than 40% for photoionisation (electron generation), when exposed to light at 360 nm and below. The consequence of such highly ordered and directional NADH patterns with respect to electron ejection upon ultra-violet (UV) excitation could be very informative-especially in relation to ascertaining the extent of quantum effects in biology, including electron and photonic cascade, communication and modulation of effects such as spin and tunnelling.