bims-lymeca Biomed News
on Lysosome metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒01‒02
eleven papers selected by
Charilaos Filippakis
Harvard University

  1. ACS Cent Sci. 2021 Dec 22. 7(12): 2009-2020
      The serine/threonine protein kinase Akt regulates a wide range of cellular functions via phosphorylation of various substrates distributed throughout the cell, including at the plasma membrane and endomembrane compartments. Disruption of compartmentalized Akt signaling underlies the pathology of many diseases such as cancer and diabetes. However, the specific spatial organization of Akt activity and the underlying regulatory mechanisms, particularly the mechanism controlling its activity at the lysosome, are not clearly understood. We developed a highly sensitive excitation-ratiometric Akt activity reporter (ExRai-AktAR2), enabling the capture of minute changes in Akt activity dynamics at subcellular compartments. In conjunction with super-resolution expansion microscopy, we found that growth factor stimulation leads to increased colocalization of Akt with lysosomes and accumulation of lysosomal Akt activity. We further showed that 3-phosphoinositides (3-PIs) accumulate on the lysosomal surface, in a manner dependent on dynamin-mediated endocytosis. Importantly, lysosomal 3-PIs are needed for growth-factor-induced activities of Akt and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) on the lysosomal surface, as targeted depletion of 3-PIs has detrimental effects. Thus, 3-PIs, a class of critical lipid second messengers that are typically found in the plasma membrane, unexpectedly accumulate on the lysosomal membrane in response to growth factor stimulation, to direct the multifaceted kinase Akt to organize lysosome-specific signaling.
  2. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2021 Dec 28.
      Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are essential amino acids utilized in anabolic and catabolic metabolism. While extensively studied in obesity and diabetes, recent evidence suggests an important role for BCAA metabolism in cancer. Elevated plasma levels of BCAA are associated with an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer, namely pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), a tumor with one of the highest 1-year mortality rates. The dreadful prognosis for PDAC patients could be attributable also to the early and frequent development of cancer cachexia, a fatal host metabolic reprogramming leading to muscle and adipose wasting. We propose that BCAA dysmetabolism is a unifying component of several pathological conditions, i.e., obesity, insulin resistance, and PDAC. These conditions are mutually dependent since PDAC ranks among cancers tightly associated with obesity and insulin resistance. It is also well-established that PDAC itself can trigger insulin resistance and new-onset diabetes. However, the exact link between BCAA metabolism, development of PDAC, and tissue wasting is still unclear. Although tissue-specific intracellular and systemic metabolism of BCAA is being intensively studied, unresolved questions related to PDAC and cancer cachexia remain, namely, whether elevated circulating BCAA contribute to PDAC etiology, what is the biological background of BCAA elevation, and what is the role of adipose tissue relative to BCAA metabolism during cancer cachexia. To cover those issues, we provide our view on BCAA metabolism at the intracellular, tissue, and whole-body level, with special emphasis on different metabolic links to BCAA intermediates and the role of insulin in substrate handling.
    Keywords:  Adipose tissue; BCAA metabolism; Cancer cachexia; Insulin resistance; PDAC
  3. Carcinogenesis. 2021 Dec 29. pii: bgab126. [Epub ahead of print]
      Development of cancer, including renal cancer, is a major problem in immunosuppressed patients. The mTOR inhibitor Rapamycin (RAPA) is used as an immunosuppressive agent in patients with organ transplants and other immunological disorders; and it also has anti-tumorigenic potential. However, long-term use of RAPA causes reactivation of Akt, and ultimately leads to enhanced tumor growth. Honokiol is a natural compound, which possesses both anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorigenic properties. In this study, we investigated the effect of a novel combination therapy using RAPA + Honokiol on allograft survival and post-transplantation renal tumor growth. We observed that it effectively modulated the expression of some key regulatory molecules (like, Carabin, an endogenous Ras inhibitor; and Rubicon, a novel negative regulator of autophagy) that play important roles in tumor cell growth and survival. This combination induced toxic autophagy and apoptosis to promote cancer cell death; and was associated with a reduced expression of the tumor-promoting receptor tyrosine kinase AXL. Finally, we utilized a novel murine model to examine the effect of RAPA + Honokiol on post-transplantation renal tumor growth. The combination treatment prolonged the allograft survival and significantly inhibited post-transplantation tumor growth. It was associated with reduced tumor expression of Rubicon and the cytoprotective/anti-oxidant heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) to overcome therapeutic resistance. It also downregulated the co-inhibitory PD-L1, which plays major role(s) in the immune escape of tumor cells. Together, this combination treatment has a great potential to restrict renal tumor growth in transplant as well as other immunosuppressed patients.
    Keywords:  Cell death; Honokiol; Renal cancer; mTOR
  4. Oncol Rep. 2022 Feb;pii: 40. [Epub ahead of print]47(2):
      Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer‑related mortality and has the lowest 5‑year survival rate. Therefore, novel strategies are urgently required to treat pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells rely on enhanced lysosomal function for survival and proliferation to facilitate the degradation of contents accumulated via autophagy and macropinocytosis. Previously, we have reported that the combination of epidermal growth factor receptor/HER2 inhibitor lapatinib and sphingosine analog fingolimod (FTY720) confers a significant cytostatic effect in lung cancer cells. In the present study, the combined effects of these drugs on PDAC cell lines, BxPC‑3, KP‑4, PANC‑1 and MIA PaCa‑2, were examined. It was observed that FTY720 enhanced the lapatinib‑induced cytotoxic effect and caused non‑canonical and lysosome‑dependent death in PDAC cells. Lapatinib and FTY720 induced lysosomal swelling and inhibited lysosomal acidification. Combination treatment with lapatinib and FTY720 increased lysosomal membrane permeability, induced mitochondrial depolarization, induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and disturbed intracellular calcium homeostasis. Additionally, the cytotoxic effect of lapatinib was enhanced by hydroxychloroquine or the CDK4/6 inhibitor abemaciclib, both of which induce lysosomal dysfunction. Collectively, these results indicated that the lysosome‑targeted drug combination induces multiple organelle dysfunction and exerts a marked cytotoxic effect in PDAC cells.
    Keywords:  abemaciclib; calcium homeostasis; endoplasmic reticulum stress; fingolimod; hydroxychloroquine; lapatinib; lysosomal membrane permeabilization; lysosome‑targeted drug combination; mitochondrial depolarization; non‑canonical cell death; pancreatic cancer cells
  5. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2445 39-50
      Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a highly specific lysosomal-dependent protein degradation pathway. A critical molecular component of CMA is the lysosome-associated membrane protein (LAMP) type 2A, which is required for substrate uptake by the lysosome. Defects in the CMA pathway have been associated with various human pathologies, including malignancies, increasing the overall interest in methods to monitor this selective autophagy process. Yet isogenic LAMP-2A knockout cancer cell models are still lacking. This is likely to depend on challenges related to that human LAMP-2 gene undergoes alternative splicing of its pre-mRNA, generating three isoform variants, LAMP-2A, LAMP-2B, and LAMP-2C. However, without assessment of the impact of LAMP-2A loss of function specifically in human cells, the involvement of CMA in human pathologies, including carcinogenesis remains speculative. Here, we describe the generation of isoform-specific CRISPR-Cas9 genomic editing of LAMP-2A in human cancer cells, without affecting the other two isoforms, allowing for experimental evaluation of LAMP-2A, thus CMA in human cancer models.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; CRISPR-Cas9; Cancer; Chaperone-mediated autophagy; Gene editing; LAMP-2A
  6. Cell Rep. 2021 Dec 28. pii: S2211-1247(21)01645-4. [Epub ahead of print]37(13): 110149
      The eukaryotic TORC1 kinase assimilates diverse environmental cues, including growth factors and nutrients, to control growth by tuning anabolic and catabolic processes. In yeast, TORC1 stimulates protein synthesis in response to abundant nutrients primarily through its proximal effector kinase Sch9. Conversely, TORC1 inhibition following nutrient limitation unlocks various distally controlled kinases (e.g., Atg1, Gcn2, Npr1, Rim15, Slt2/Mpk1, and Yak1), which cooperate through poorly defined circuits to orchestrate the quiescence program. To better define the signaling landscape of the latter kinases, we use in vivo quantitative phosphoproteomics. Through pinpointing known and uncharted Npr1, Rim15, Slt2/Mpk1, and Yak1 effectors, our study examines the architecture of the distally controlled TORC1 kinase network. Accordingly, this is built on a combination of discrete, convergent, and multilayered feedback regulatory mechanisms, which likely ensure homeostatic control of and/or robust responses by TORC1 and its effector kinases under fluctuating nutritional conditions.
    Keywords:  Atg9; Gis1; Npr1; Rim15; Slt2/Mpk1; TORC1; Yak1; autophagy; phosphoproteomics; quiescence program; target of rapamycin complex 1
  7. Semin Immunol. 2021 Dec 25. pii: S1044-5323(21)00114-7. [Epub ahead of print] 101583
      Neutrophils are critical innate immune cells for the host anti-bacterial defense. Throughout their lifecycle, neutrophils are exposed to different microenvironments and modulate their metabolism to survive and sustain their functions. Although tumor cell metabolism has been intensively investigated, how neutrophil metabolism is affected in cancer remains largely to be discovered. Neutrophils are described as mainly glycolytic cells. However, distinct tumor-associated neutrophil (TAN) states may co-exist in tumors and adapt their metabolism to exert different or even opposing activities ranging from tumor cell killing to tumor support. In this review, we gather evidence about the metabolic mechanisms that underly TANs' pro- or anti-tumoral functions in cancer. We first discuss how tumor-secreted factors and the heterogenous tumor microenvironment can have a strong impact on TAN metabolism. We then describe alternative metabolic pathways used by TANs to exert their functions in cancer, from basic glycolysis to more recently-recognized but less understood metabolic shifts toward mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, lipid and amino acid metabolism and even autophagy. Last, we discuss promising strategies targeting neutrophil metabolism to combat cancer.
    Keywords:  Cancer metabolism; Neutrophil metabolism; Tumor-associated neutrophils
  8. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2445 329-335
      Cancer cells possess an elevated demand for nutrients and metabolites due to their uncontrolled proliferation and need to survive in unfavorable conditions. Autophagy is a conservative degradation pathway that counters lack of nutrients and provides organelle and protein quality control, beyond maintenance of cellular metabolism.Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics is a powerful tool to study the metabolome of a cell. Such analysis requires proper sample preparation including the extraction of metabolites. Here, we provide a protocol for the extraction of metabolites from adherent cancer cells suitable for global metabolome profiling by mass spectrometry.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; CE-MS; Cancer metabolism; Chaperone-mediated autophagy; GC-MS; LC-MS; Mass spectrometry; Metabolism; Methanol extraction
  9. FEBS J. 2021 Dec 30.
      Secretagogin (SCGN) is a calcium-sensor protein with a regulatory role in glucose metabolism and the secretion of several peptide hormones. Many, but not all, functions of SCGN can be explained by its intracellular manifestation. Despite early data on SCGN secretion, the secretory mechanism, biological fate, physiological implications, and trans-cellular signaling of extracellular SCGN remain unknown. We here report that extracellular SCGN is readily internalized into the C2C12 cells in an energy-dependent manner. Using endocytosis inhibitors, we demonstrate that SCGN internalizes via clathrin-mediated endocytosis, following which, SCGN localizes largely in the cytosol. Exogenous SCGN treatment induces a global proteomic reprogramming in C2C12 cells. Gene ontology search suggests that SCGN-induced proteomic reprogramming favors protein synthesis and cellular growth. We thus validated the cell proliferative action of SCGN using C2C12, HepG2, and NIH-3T3 cell lines. Based on the data, we propose that circulatory SCGN is internalized into the target cells and modulates the expression of cell growth-related proteins. The work suggests that extracellular SCGN is a functional protein, which communicates with specific cell types and directly modulates cell proliferation.
    Keywords:  Ca2+ sensor protein; Cell growth; Endocytosis; Extracellular Secretagogin; Transcriptional regulation
  10. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2445 27-38
      Accurate isolation of functional and intact lysosomes enables the quantification and analyses of abundances, dynamic changes and enrichment levels of lysosomal content, allowing specific lysosomal investigations induced by autophagy. In this protocol chapter, we describe detailed practical instructions and advices for an efficacious lysosomal enrichment and isolation procedure by differential multilayered density gradient centrifugations using human cancer cell lines. By this method, intact and autophagy competent lysosomes can be isolated from cancer cells based on their distinct density and obtained fractions can further be analyzed for functional lysosomal assays, as well as for protein or metabolic loads to identify select spatiotemporal changes by comparative quantitative measurement. This method has been used to enrich lysosomes from a variety of cancer cells with activated chaperone-mediated autophagy, but can be optimized for other cell lines and tissues for multiple autophagy-induced conditions.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cancer; Chaperone-mediated autophagy; LAMP-2A; Lysosomes
  11. Biomed Khim. 2021 Nov;67(6): 453-464
      Cysteine cathepsins (Cts) also known as thiol proteinases belong to the superfamily of cysteine proteinases (EC 3.4.22). Cts are known as lysosomal proteases responsible for the intracellular proteins degradation. All Cts are synthesized as zymogens, activation of which occurs autocatalytically. Their activity is regulated by endogenous inhibitors. Cts can be secreted into the extracellular environment, which is of particular importance in tumor progression. Extracellular Cts not only hydrolyze extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, but also contribute to ECM remodeling, processing and/or release of cell adhesion molecules, growth factors, cytokines and chemokines. In cancer, the expression and activity of Cts sharply increase both in cell lysosomes and in the intercellular space, which correlates with neoplastic transformation, invasion, metastasis and leads to further tumor progression. It has been shown that Cts expression depends on the cells type, therefore, their role in the tumor development differs depending on their cellular origin. The mechanism of Cts action in cancer is not limited only by their proteolytic action. The Cts influence on signal transduction pathways associated with cancer development, including the pathway involving growth factors, which is mediated through receptors tyrosine kinases (RTK) and various signaling mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), has been proven. In addition, Cts are able to promote the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by activating signal transduction pathways such as Wnt, Notch, and the pathway involving TGF-β. So, Ctc perform specific both destructive and regulatory functions, carrying out proteolysis, both inside and outside the cell.
    Keywords:  carcinogenesis; cysteine cathepsins; lysosomal proteinases