bims-lymeca Biomed News
on Lysosome metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2022‒02‒27
sixteen papers selected by
Harilaos Filippakis
Harvard University

  1. FEBS Open Bio. 2022 Feb 24.
      For a long time, lysosomes were purely seen as organelles in charge of garbage disposal within the cell. They destroy any cargo delivered into their lumen with a plethora of highly potent hydrolytic enzymes, including various proteases. In case of damage to their limiting membranes, the lysosomes release their soluble content with detrimental outcomes for the cell. In recent years however, this view of the lysosome changed towards acknowledging it as a platform for integration of manifold intra- and extracellular signals. Even impaired lysosomal membrane integrity is no longer considered to be a one-way street to cell death. Increasing evidence suggests that lysosomal enzymes, mainly cathepsin proteases, can be released in a spatially and temporarily restricted manner that is compatible with cellular survival. This way, cathepsins can act in the cytosol and the nucleus, where they affect important cellular processes such as cell division. Here, we review this evidence and discuss the routes and molecular mechanisms by which the cathepsins may reach their unusual destination.
    Keywords:  Cathepsin; Cell Cycle; Cell Death; Lysosome; Protease
  2. Food Chem Toxicol. 2022 Feb 16. pii: S0278-6915(22)00066-7. [Epub ahead of print] 112869
      The tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) imatinib and lapatinib are associated with severe hepatotoxicity, whose mechanisms are currently under investigation. As amphiphilic drugs, imatinib and lapatinib enrich in lysosomes. In the present study, we investigated their effects on lysosomal morphology and function in HepG2 and HuH-7 cells and explored possible links between lysosomal dysfunction and hepatotoxicity. Both TKIs increased the lysosomal volume time and concentration-dependently in HepG2 and HuH-7 cells. In HepG2 cells, lapatinib and imatinib raised the lysosomal pH and destabilized the lysosomal membrane, thereby impairing lysosomal proteolytic activity such as cathepsin B processing. Imatinib activated the transcription factor EB (TFEB), a regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and function, as demonstrated by nuclear TFEB accumulation and increased expression of TFEB-target genes. Because of lysosomal dysfunction, imatinib impaired mTORC1 activation, a protein complex activated on the lysosomal surface, which explained TFEB activation. HepG2 cells treated with imatinib showed increased levels of MAP1LC3A/B-II and of ATG13 (S318) phosphorylation, indicating induction of autophagy due to TFEB activation. Finally, imatinib induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells in a time and concentration-dependent manner, explained by lysosomal and mitochondrial toxicity. Our findings provide a new lysosome-centered mechanism for imatinib-induced hepatotoxicity that could be extended to other lysosomotropic drugs.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; HepG2 cells; Hepatotoxicity; TFEB; Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI); mTORC1
  3. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 24. 1-3
      Macroautophagy/autophagy is upregulated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and PDAC growth is reliant on autophagy. However, autophagy inhibitors as monotherapy have shown limited clinical efficacy. To identify targets that sensitize PDAC cells to autophagy inhibition, we performed a CRISPR-Cas9 genetic loss-of-function screen in cells treated with the lysosomal inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) and identified IGF1R as a sensitizer. IGF1R inhibition increases autophagic flux and sensitivity to CQ-mediated growth suppression both in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, sensitization is further enhanced with the concurrent inhibition of MAPK1/ERK2 (mitogen-activated protein kinase 1)-MAPK3/ERK1. IGF1R and MAPK/ERK inhibition converge on suppression of glycolysis. In summary, IGF1R and MAPK/ERK signaling promotes resistance to CQ/HCQ in PDAC, and their dual inhibition increases sensitivity to autophagy inhibitors.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; IGF1R; MAPK/ERK; pancreatic cancer; targeted therapies
  4. J Biol Chem. 2022 Feb 16. pii: S0021-9258(22)00180-6. [Epub ahead of print] 101740
      Lysosomes serve as dynamic regulators of cell and organismal physiology by integrating the degradation of macromolecules with receptor and nutrient signaling. Previous studies have established that activation of the transcription factors TFEB and TFE3 induces the expression of lysosomal genes and proteins in signaling-inactive starved cells, that is, under conditions when activity of the master regulator of nutrient-sensing signaling mTORC1 is repressed. How lysosome biogenesis is triggered in signaling-active cells is incompletely understood. Here we identify a role for calcium release from the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in the control of lysosome biogenesis that is independent of mTORC1. We show using functional imaging that calcium efflux from ER stores induced by inositol-triphosphate [IP3] accumulation upon depletion of INPP5A, an inositol 5-phosphatase downregulated in cancer and defective in spinocerebellar ataxia, or receptor-mediated phospholipase C activation leads to the induction of lysosome biogenesis. This mechanism involves calcineurin and the nuclear translocation and elevated transcriptional activity of TFEB/ TFE3. Our findings reveal a crucial function for INPP5A-mediated IP3 hydrolysis in the control of lysosome biogenesis via TFEB/ TFE3, thereby contributing to our understanding how cells are able to maintain their lysosome content under conditions of active receptor and nutrient signaling.
    Keywords:  calcium; imaging; inositol-triphosphate; lysosome biogenesis; signaling
  5. FEBS Open Bio. 2022 Feb 25.
      More than fifty years have passed since Nobel laureate Cristian de Duve described for the first time the presence of tiny subcellular compartments filled with hydrolytic enzymes: the lysosome. For a long time, lysosomes were deemed simple waste bags exerting a plethora of hydrolytic activities involved in the recycling of biopolymers, and lysosomal genes were considered to just be simple housekeeping genes, transcribed in a constitutive fashion. However, lysosomes are emerging as multifunctional signalling hubs involved in multiple aspects of cell biology, both under homeostatic and pathological conditions. Lysosomes are involved in the regulation of cell metabolism through the mTOR/TFEB axis. They are also key players in the regulation and onset of the immune response. Furthermore, it is becoming clear that lysosomal hydrolases can regulate several biological processes outside of the lysosome. They are also implicated in a complex communication network among subcellular compartments that involves intimate organelle-to-organelle contacts. Furthermore, lysosomal dysfunction is nowadays accepted as the causative event behind several human pathologies: low frequency inherited diseases, cancer, or neurodegenerative, metabolic, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. Recent advances in our knowledge of the complex biology of lysosomes have established them as promising therapeutic targets for the treatment of different pathologies. Although recent discoveries have started to highlight that lysosomes are controlled by a complex web of regulatory networks, that in some cases seem to be cell- and stimuli-dependent, to harness the full potential of lysosomes as therapeutic targets we need a deeper understanding of the little-known signalling pathways regulating this subcellular compartment and its functions.
    Keywords:  STATs; TFEB; lysosomes; mTORC1; signalling pathways; transcriptional regulation
  6. J Biol Chem. 2022 Feb 17. pii: S0021-9258(22)00184-3. [Epub ahead of print] 101744
      The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway is activated by intracellular nutritional sufficiency and extracellular growth signals. It has been reported that mTORC1 acts as a hub that integrates these inputs to orchestrate a number of cellular responses, including translation, nucleotide synthesis, lipid synthesis, and lysosome biogenesis. However, little is known about specific control of mTORC1 signaling downstream of this complex. Here, we demonstrate that Ragulator, a heteropentameric protein complex required for mTORC1 activation in response to amino acids, is critical for inhibiting the nuclear translocation of transcription factor EB (TFEB). We established a unique RAW264.7 clone that lacked Ragulator but retained total mTORC1 activity. In a nutrition-sufficient state, the nuclear translocation of TFEB was markedly enhanced in the clone despite total mTORC1 kinase activity. In addition, as a cellular phenotype, the number of lysosomes was increased by ten-fold in the Ragulator-deficient clone compared to that of control cells. These findings indicate that mTORC1 essentially requires the Ragulator complex for regulating the subcellular distribution of TFEB. Our findings also suggest that other scaffold proteins may be associated with mTORC1 for the specific regulation of downstream signaling.
    Keywords:  Ragulator; lysosome; mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR); nuclear translocation; scaffold protein; transcription factor EB
  7. Biophys J. 2022 Feb 21. pii: S0006-3495(22)00156-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lysosomes are membrane-bound organelles that serve as the endpoint for endocytosis, phagocytosis, and autophagy, degrading the molecules, pathogens, and organelles localized within them. These cellular functions require intracellular transport. We use fluorescence microscopy to characterize the motion of lysosomes as a function of intracellular region, perinuclear or periphery, and lysosome diameter. Single particle tracking data is complemented by changepoint identification and analysis of a mathematical model for state-switching. We first classify lysosomal motion as motile or stationary. We then study how lysosome location and diameter affects the proportion of time spent in each state and quantify the speed during motile periods. We find that the proportion of time spent stationary is strongly region-dependent, with significantly decreased motility in the perinuclear region. Increased lysosome diameter only slightly decreases speed. Overall, these results demonstrate the importance of decomposing particle trajectories into qualitatively different behaviors before conducting population-wide statistical analysis. Our results suggest that intracellular region is an important factor to consider in studies of intracellular transport.
  8. Biochem J. 2022 Feb 25. pii: BCJ20210855. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is lethal. There is a dire need for better therapeutic targets. Cancer cells have increased demand for sugars, amino acids, and lipids and therefore upregulate various nutrient transporters to meet this demand. In PDAC, SLC6A14 (an amino acid transporter) is upregulated, affecting overall patient survival. Previously we have shown using in vitro cell culture models and in vivo xenograft mouse models that pharmacological inhibition of SLC6A14 with a-methyl-L-tryptophan (a-MLT) attenuates PDAC growth. Mechanistically, blockade of SLC6A14-mediated amino acid transport with a-MLT leads to amino acid deprivation, eventually inhibiting mTORC1 signaling pathway, in tumor cells. Here we report on the effect of Slc6a14 deletion on various parameters of PDAC in KPC mice, a model for spontaneous PDAC. Pancreatic tumors in KPC mice show evidence of Slc6a14 upregulation. Deletion of Slc6a14 in this mouse attenuates PDAC growth, decreases metastatic spread of the tumor, reduces ascites fluid accumulation, and improves overall survival. At molecular level, we show lower proliferation index and reduced desmoplastic reaction following Slc6a14 deletion. Furthermore, we find that deletion of Slc6a14 does not lead to compensatory upregulation in any of the other amino transporters. In fact, some of the amino acid transporters are actually downregulated in response to Slc6a14 deletion, most likely related to altered mTORC1 signaling. Taken together, these results underscore the positive role SLC6A14 plays in PDAC growth and metastasis. Therefore, SLC6A14 is a viable drug target for treatment of PDAC and also for any other cancer that overexpresses this transporter.
    Keywords:  KPC; Pancreatic Cancer; SLC6A14; ascites fluid; metastasis; survival
  9. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 18. pii: 2290. [Epub ahead of print]23(4):
      Initially described as lytic bodies due to their degradative and recycling functions, lysosomes play a critical role in metabolic adaptation to nutrient availability. More recently, the contribution of lysosomal proteins to cell signaling has been established, and lysosomes have emerged as signaling hubs that regulate diverse cellular processes, including cell proliferation and cell fate. Deciphering these signaling pathways has revealed an extensive crosstalk between the lysosomal and cell cycle machineries that is only beginning to be understood. Recent studies also indicate that a number of lysosomal proteins are involved in the regulation of embryonic and adult stem cell fate and identity. In this review, we will focus on the role of the lysosome as a signaling platform with an emphasis on its function in integrating nutrient sensing with proliferation and cell cycle progression, as well as in stemness-related features, such as self-renewal and quiescence.
    Keywords:  CDK; cell cycle; cell metabolism; cell signaling; lysosome; mTOR; nutrient sensing; quiescence; self-renewal; stemness
  10. Biomedicines. 2022 Feb 01. pii: 349. [Epub ahead of print]10(2):
      Despite the numerous advances in tumor molecular biology and chemotherapy options, gastric adenocarcinoma is still the most frequent form of gastric cancer. One of the core proteins that regulates inter-cellular adhesion, E-cadherin plays important roles in tumorigenesis as well as in tumor progression; however, the exact expression changes and modulation that occur in gastric cancer are not yet fully understood. In an attempt to estimate if the synthesis/degradation balance matches the final membrane expression of this adhesion molecule in cancer tissue, we assessed the proportion of E-cadherin that is found in the Golgi vesicles as well as in the lysosomal pathway We utilized archived tissue fragments from 18 patients with well and poorly differentiated intestinal types of gastric cancer and 5 samples of normal gastric mucosa, by using high-magnification multispectral microscopy and high-resolution fluorescence deconvolution microscopy. Our data showed that E-cadherin is not only expressed in the membrane, but also in the cytoplasm of normal and tumor gastric epithelia. E-cadherin colocalization with the Golgian vesicles seemed to be increasing with less differentiated tumors, while co-localization with the lysosomal system decreased in tumor tissue; however, the membrane expression of the adhesion molecule clearly dropped from well to poorly differentiated tumors. Thus E-cadherin seems to be more abundantly synthetized than eliminated via lysosomes/exosomes in less differentiated tumors, suggesting that post-translational modifications, such as cleavage, conformational inactivation, or exocytosis, are responsible for the net drop of E-cadherin at the level of the membrane in more anaplastic tumors. This behavior is in perfect accordance with the concept of partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (P-EMT), when the E-cadherin expression of tumor cells is in fact not downregulated but redistributed away from the membrane in recycling vesicles. Moreover, our high-resolution deconvolution microscopy study showed for the first time, at the tissue level, the presence of Lysosome-associated membrane glycoprotein 1 (LAMP1)-positive exosomes/multivesicular bodies being trafficked across the membranes of tumor epithelial cells. Altogether, a myriad of putative modulatory pathways is available as a treatment turning point, even if we are to only consider the metabolism of membrane E-cadherin regulation. Future super-resolution microscopy studies are needed to clarify the extent of lysosome/exosome exchange between tumor cells and with the surrounding stroma, in histopathology samples or even in vivo.
    Keywords:  E-cadherin; colocalization; exosomes; gastric cancer; golgi system; lysosomes; tubular adenocarcinoma
  11. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 23. 1-16
      Intrauterine adhesions (IUA), characterized by endometrial fibrosis, is a common cause of uterine infertility. We previously demonstrated that partial epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the loss of epithelial homeostasis play a vital role in the development of endometrial fibrosis. As a pro-survival strategy in maintaining cell and tissue homeostasis, macroautophagy/autophagy, conversely, may participate in this process. However, the role of autophagy in endometrial fibrosis remains unknown. Here, we demonstrated that autophagy is defective in endometria of IUA patients, which aggravates EMT and endometrial fibrosis, and defective autophagy is related to DIO2 (iodothyronine deiodinase 2) downregulation. In endometrial epithelial cells (EECs), pharmacological inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine (CQ) promoted EEC-EMT, whereas enhanced autophagy by rapamycin extenuated this process. Mechanistically, silencing DIO2 in EECs blocked autophagic flux and promoted EMT via the MAPK/ERK-MTOR pathway. Inversely, overexpression of DIO2 or triiodothyronine (T3) treatment could restore autophagy and partly reverse EEC-EMT. Furthermore, in an IUA-like mouse model, the autophagy in endometrium was defective accompanied by EEC-EMT, and CQ could inhibit autophagy and aggravate endometrial fibrosis, whereas rapamycin or T3 treatment could improve the autophagic levels and blunt endometrial fibrosis. Together, we demonstrated that defective autophagy played an important role in EEC-EMT in IUA via the DIO2-MAPK/ERK-MTOR pathway, which provided a potential target for therapeutic implications.Abbreviations: ACTA2/α-SMA: actin alpha 2, smooth muscle; AMPK: adenosine 5'-monophosphate-activated protein kinase; AKT/protein kinase B: AKT serine/threonine kinase; ATG: autophagy related; CDH1/E-cadherin: cadherin 1; CDH2/N-cadherin: cadherin 2; CQ: chloroquine; CTSD: cathepsin D; DIO2: iodothyronine deiodinase 2; DEGs: differentially expressed genes; EECs: endometrial epithelial cells; EMT: epithelial-mesenchymal transition; FN1: fibronectin 1; IUA: intrauterine adhesions; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; LPS: lipopolysaccharide; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MAPK: mitogen-activated protein kinase; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; Rapa: rapamycin; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; T3: triiodothyronine; T4: tetraiodothyronine; TFEB: transcription factor EB; PBS: phosphate-buffered saline; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; TGFB/TGFβ: transforming growth factor beta.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; intrauterine adhesions; iodothyronine deiodinase 2; thyroid hormone
  12. Int J Pharm. 2022 Feb 21. pii: S0378-5173(22)00134-X. [Epub ahead of print] 121580
      Photothermal therapy (PTT) is becoming increasing prevalent in clinic for eradicating the primary tumor and improving cancer patients' compliance. However, photothermal resistance and distal metastasis still haunt the tumor treatment with PTT. Herein, on the basis that histone deacetylase acetylase inhibitor (HDACis) could activate the expression of anti-tumor gene and accelerate the differentiation and apoptosis of tumor cells, we propose that HDACis supplementing PTT could overcome those obstacles with appropriate drug-controlled release strategy. Thus, we fabricated a nano-complex of lysosomal activable vorinostat (SAHA) carrier-prodrug encapsulating black phosphorus quantum dots (BPQDs@PPS) to counter those challenges in PTT. With spherical morphology and favorable bio-safety, BPQDs@PPS could release BPQDs and Vorinostat spontaneously in lysosome, not only effectively inhibiting tumor growth, but also reversing tumor thermotolerance and metastasis within a PTT procedure. Especially, both western blot and immunofluorescence analysis validate that Vorinostat enables PTT to reverse tumor thermotolerance and distal metastasis by down-regulation of HSP70 and up-regulation of H3. Therefore, this research not only reveals the mechanism how HDACis supplement PTT in reversing tumor thermotolerance and metastasis, but also provides a promising prospect to upgrade clinical photothermal therapy.
    Keywords:  Black phosphorus quantum dots; HSP70; Histone deacetylase inhibitor; Photothermal therapy; Thermotolerance; Vorinostat
  13. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022 Feb 07. pii: 204. [Epub ahead of print]15(2):
      The diverse modes of action of small molecule inhibitors provide versatile tools to investigate basic biology and develop therapeutics. However, it remains a challenging task to evaluate their exact mechanisms of action. We identified two classes of inhibitors for the p97 ATPase: ATP competitive and allosteric. We showed that the allosteric p97 inhibitor, UPCDC-30245, does not affect two well-known cellular functions of p97, endoplasmic-reticulum-associated protein degradation and the unfolded protein response pathway; instead, it strongly increases the lipidated form of microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3-II), suggesting an alteration of autophagic pathways. To evaluate the molecular mechanism, we performed proteomic analysis of UPCDC-30245 treated cells. Our results revealed that UPCDC-30245 blocks endo-lysosomal degradation by inhibiting the formation of early endosome and reducing the acidity of the lysosome, an effect not observed with the potent p97 inhibitor CB-5083. This unique effect allows us to demonstrate UPCDC-30245 exhibits antiviral effects against coronavirus by blocking viral entry.
    Keywords:  coronavirus; endo-lysosomal degradation; lysomotropic agents; p97 inhibitor; proteomics
  14. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 817877
      Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation has been widely used as a potential treatment for a variety of diseases. However, the contradiction between the low survival rate of transplanted cells and the beneficial therapeutic effects has affected its clinical use. Lysosomes as organelles at the center of cellular recycling and metabolic signaling, play essential roles in MSC homeostasis. In the first part of this review, we summarize the role of lysosomal acidification dysfunction in MSC senescence. In the second part, we summarize some of the potential strategies targeting lysosomal proteins to enhance the therapeutic effect of MSCs.
    Keywords:  V-ATPase; lysosomal acidification; mesenchymal stem cells; pH; senescence
  15. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 Feb 24.
      Understanding the function and regulation of enzymes within their physiologically relevant milieu requires quality tools that report on their cellular activities. Here we describe a strategy for glycoside hydrolases that overcomes several limitations in the field, enabling quantitative monitoring of their activities within live cells. We detail the design and synthesis of bright and modularly assembled bis-acetal-based (BAB) fluorescence-quenched substrates, illustrating this strategy for sensitive quantitation of disease-relevant human α-galactosidase and α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase activities. We show that these substrates can be used within live patient cells to precisely measure the engagement of target enzymes by inhibitors and the efficiency of pharmacological chaperones, and highlight the importance of quantifying activity within cells using chemical perturbogens of cellular trafficking and lysosomal homeostasis. These BAB substrates should prove widely useful for interrogating the regulation of glycosidases within cells as well as in facilitating the development of therapeutics and diagnostics for this important class of enzymes.
  16. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 812598
      Our previous study has demonstrated that Uttroside B (Utt-B), a saponin isolated from the leaves of Solanum nigrum Linn induces apoptosis in hepatic cancer cells and exhibits a remarkable growth inhibition of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Our innovation has been granted a patent from the US (US 2019/0160088A1), Canada (3,026,426.), Japan (JP2019520425) and South Korea (KR1020190008323) and the technology have been transferred commercially to Q Biomed, a leading US-based Biotech company. Recently, the compound received approval as 'Orphan Drug' against HCC from US FDA, which reveals the clinical relevance of evaluating its antitumor efficacy against HCC. In the present study, we report that Utt-B promotes pro-survival autophagy in hepatic cancer cells as evidenced by the increased expression of autophagy-related proteins, including LC3-II, Beclin1, ATG 5, and ATG 7, as well as a rise in the autophagic flux. Hence, we investigated whether Utt-B-induced autophagic response is complementing or contradicting its apoptotic program in HCC. Inhibition of autophagy using the pharmacological inhibitors, Bafilomycin A1(Baf A1), and 3-methyl adenine (3-MA), and the biological inhibitor, Beclin1 siRNA, significantly enhances the apoptosis of hepatic cancer cells and hence the cytotoxicity induced by Utt-B. We also found increased expression of autophagy markers in Utt-B-treated xenografts derived from HCC. We further analyzed whether the antimalarial drug, Chloroquine (Cqn), a well-known autophagy inhibitor, can enhance the anticancer effect of Utt-B against HCC. We found that inhibition of autophagy using Cqn significantly enhances the antitumor efficacy of Utt-B in vitro and in vivo, in NOD SCID mice bearing HCC xenografts. Taken together, our results suggest that the antitumor effect of Utt-B against HCC can be further enhanced by blocking autophagy. Furthermore, Utt-B in combination with Cqn, a clinically approved drug, if repurposed and used in a combinatorial regimen with Utt-B, can further improve the therapeutic efficacy of Utt-B against HCC.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; autophagy; chemoprevention; chloroquine; hepatocellular carcinoma; uttroside B