bims-lymeca Biomed News
on Lysosome metabolism in cancer
Issue of 2023‒03‒19
seven papers selected by
Harilaos Filippakis
University of New England

  1. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2023 Mar 15. pii: S0165-6147(23)00037-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy is a cellular homeostasis mechanism that fuels the proliferation and survival of advanced cancers by degrading and recycling organelles and proteins. Preclinical studies have identified that within an established tumor, tumor cell autophagy and host cell autophagy conspire to support tumor growth. A growing body of evidence suggests that autophagy inhibition can augment the efficacy of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy to enhance tumor shrinkage. First-generation autophagy inhibition trials in cancer using the lysosomal inhibitor hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have produced mixed results but have guided the way for the development of more potent and specific autophagy inhibitors in clinical trials. In this review, we will discuss the role of autophagy in cancer, newly discovered molecular mechanisms of the autophagy pathway, the effects of autophagy modulation in cancer and host cells, and novel autophagy inhibitors that are entering clinical trials.
    Keywords:  autophagy; cancer; hydroxychloroquine; immunotherapy, chemotherapy; lysosome
  2. Phytomedicine. 2023 Feb 15. pii: S0944-7113(23)00049-1. [Epub ahead of print]113 154689
      BACKGROUND: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) at low level promotes cell survival through lysosome induced autophagy induction. Glucose stress induced acidosis, hypoxia, ROS, upregulates markers related to cancer stemness and multidrug resistance. Also, lysosomal upregulation is proposed to be one of the important indicators of cell survival under ROS induced stress. Studies supported that, stimulation of Lysosome-TFEB-Ca2+ cascade has important role in induction of chemoresistance and survival of cancerous cells.PURPOSE: To observe the effect of synergistic drug combination, Kaempferol and Verapamil on markers regulating chemoevasion, tumor stemness & acidosis as well as lysosome upregulation pathways, under low as well as high glucose conditions.
    HYPOTHESIS: Based on our earlier observation as well as previous reports, we hypothesized, our drug combination Kaempferol with Verapamil could attenuate markers related to chemoevasion, tumor stemness & acidosis as well as lysosome-TFEB-Ca2+ pathway, all of which have indispensable association and role in chemoresistance.
    METHODS: RNA and protein expression of candidate genes, along with ROS production and Ca2+ concentrations were measured in ex vivo models in altered glucose conditions upon treatment with KV. Also, computational approaches were utilized to hypothesize the mechanism of action of the drug combination. PCR, IHC, western blotting and molecular docking approaches were used in this study.
    RESULTS: The overproduction of ROS by our candidate drugs KV, downregulated the chemoresistance and tumor acidosis markers along with ATP1B1 and resulted in lysosomal disruption with reduction of Ca2+ release, diminishing TFEB expression under low glucose condition. An anomalous outcome was observed in high glucose conditions. We also observed KV promoted the overproduction of ROS levels thereby inducing autophagy-mediated cell death through the upregulation of LC3-II and p62 in low glucose conditions. The ex vivo studies also corroborate with in silico study that exhibited the parallel outcome.
    CONCLUSION: Our ex-vivo and in-silico studies revealed that our candidate drug combination KV, could effectively target several pathways regulating chemoresistance, that were not hitherto studied in the same experimental setup and thus may be endorsed for therapeutic purposes.
    Keywords:  Anti-cancerous; Chemoresistance; Low glucose; Reactive oxygen species; Stem cells; Synergism
  3. J Cell Biochem. 2023 Mar 16.
      The coordinated interaction between mitochondria and lysosomes, mainly manifested by mitophagy, mitochondria-derived vesicles, and direct physical contact, is essential for maintaining cellular life activities. The VPS39 subunit of the homotypic fusion and protein sorting complex could play a key role in the regulation of organelle dynamics, such as endolysosomal trafficking and mitochondria-vacuole/lysosome crosstalk, thus contributing to a variety of physiological functions. The abnormalities of VPS39 and related subunits have been reported to be involved in the pathological process of some diseases. Here, we analyze the potential mechanisms and the existing problems of VPS39 in regulating organelle dynamics, which, in turn, regulate physiological functions and disease pathogenesis, so as to provide new clues for facilitating the discovery of therapeutic targets for mitochondrial and lysosomal diseases.
    Keywords:  HOPS complex; VPS39; diseases; endolysosomal trafficking; mitochondria-lysosome crosstalk
  4. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 13. 14(1): 1362
      Adipocytes robustly synthesize fatty acids (FA) from carbohydrate through the de novo lipogenesis (DNL) pathway, yet surprisingly DNL contributes little to their abundant triglyceride stored in lipid droplets. This conundrum raises the hypothesis that adipocyte DNL instead enables membrane expansions to occur in processes like autophagy, which requires an abundant supply of phospholipids. We report here that adipocyte Fasn deficiency in vitro and in vivo markedly impairs autophagy, evident by autophagosome accumulation and severely compromised degradation of the autophagic substrate p62. Our data indicate the impairment occurs at the level of autophagosome-lysosome fusion, and indeed, loss of Fasn decreases certain membrane phosphoinositides necessary for autophagosome and lysosome maturation and fusion. Autophagy dependence on FA produced by Fasn is not fully alleviated by exogenous FA in cultured adipocytes, and interestingly, imaging studies reveal that Fasn colocalizes with nascent autophagosomes. Together, our studies identify DNL as a critical source of FAs to fuel autophagosome and lysosome maturation and fusion in adipocytes.
  5. J Cell Physiol. 2023 Mar 16.
      Circular dorsal ruffles (CDRs) are rounded membrane ruffles induced by growth factors to function as precursors of the large-scale endocytosis called macropinocytosis. In addition to their role in cellular uptake, recent research using cell line systems has shown that CDRs/macropinocytosis regulate the canonical AKT-mTORC1 growth factor signaling pathway. However, as CDRs have not been observed in tissues, their physiological relevance has remained unclear. Here, utilizing ultrahigh-resolution scanning electron microscopy, we first report that CDRs are expressed in glomerular podocytes ex vivo and in vivo, and we visually captured the transformation process to macropinocytosis. Moreover, through biochemical and imaging analyses, we show that AKT phosphorylation localized to CDRs upstream of mTORC1 activation in podocyte cell lines and isolated glomeruli. These results demonstrate the physiological role of CDRs as signal platforms for the AKT-mTORC1 pathway in glomerular podocytes at the tissue level. As mTORC1 plays critical roles in podocyte metabolism, and aberrant activation of mTORC1 triggers podocytopathies, our results strongly suggest that targeting CDR formation could represent a potential therapeutic approach for these diseases.
    Keywords:  AKT; circular dorsal ruffle; mTORC2; macropinocytosis; podocyte
  6. Funct Integr Genomics. 2023 Mar 18. 23(2): 90
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is insidious and highly malignant with extremely poor prognosis and drug resistance to current chemotherapies. Therefore, there is a critical need to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying PDAC progression to develop promising diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. In parallel, vacuolar protein sorting (VPS) proteins, involved in the sorting, transportation, and localization of membrane proteins, have gradually attracted the attention of researchers in the development of cancers. Although VPS35 has been reported to promote carcinoma progression, the specific molecular mechanism is still unclear. Here, we determined the impact of VPS35 on the tumorigenesis of PDAC and explored the underlying molecular mechanism. We performed a pan-cancer analysis of 46 VPS genes using RNAseq data from GTEx (control) and TCGA (tumor) and predicted potential functions of VPS35 in PDAC by enrichment analysis. Furthermore, cell cloning experiments, gene knockout, cell cycle analysis, immunohistochemistry, and other molecular and biochemical experiments were used to validate the function of VPS35. Consequently, VPS35 was found overexpressed in multiple cancers and correlated with the poor prognosis of PDAC. Meanwhile, we verified that VPS35 could modulate the cell cycle and promote tumor cell growth in PDAC. Collectively, we provide solid evidence that VPS35 facilitates the cell cycle progression as a critical novel target in PDAC clinical therapy.
    Keywords:  Cell cycle; PDAC; Pan-cancer; VPS35
  7. Mol Metab. 2023 Mar 11. pii: S2212-8778(23)00039-X. [Epub ahead of print] 101705
      OBJECTIVE: In brown adipose tissue (iBAT), the balance between lipid/glucose uptake and lipolysis is tightly regulated by insulin signaling. Downstream of the insulin receptor, PDK1 and mTORC2 phosphorylate AKT, which activates glucose uptake and lysosomal mTORC1 signaling. The latter requires the late endosomal/lysosomal adaptor and MAPK and mTOR activator (LAMTOR/Ragulator) complex, which serves to translate the nutrient status of the cell to the respective kinase. However, the role of LAMTOR in metabolically active iBAT has been elusive.METHODS: Using an AdipoqCRE-transgenic mouse line, we deleted LAMTOR2 (and thereby the entire LAMTOR complex) in adipose tissue (LT2 AKO). To examine the metabolic consequences, we performed metabolic and biochemical studies in iBAT isolated from mice housed at different temperatures (30 °C, room temperature and 5 °C), after insulin treatment, or in fasted and refed condition. For mechanistic studies, mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking LAMTOR 2 were analyzed.
    RESULTS: Deletion of the LAMTOR complex in mouse adipocytes resulted in insulin-independent AKT hyperphosphorylation in iBAT, causing increased glucose and fatty acid uptake, which led to massively enlarged lipid droplets. As LAMTOR2 was essential for the upregulation of de novo lipogenesis, LAMTOR2 deficiency triggered exogenous glucose storage as glycogen in iBAT. These effects are cell autonomous, since AKT hyperphosphorylation was abrogated by PI3K inhibition or by deletion of the mTORC2 component Rictor in LAMTOR2-deficient MEFs.
    CONCLUSIONS: We identified a homeostatic circuit for the maintenance of iBAT metabolism that links the LAMTOR-mTORC1 pathway to PI3K-mTORC2-AKT signaling downstream of the insulin receptor.
    Keywords:  AKT; Brown adipose tissue; LAMTOR; Lysosome; Ragulator; mTORC1/2