bims-mascan Biomed News
on Mass spectrometry in cancer research
Issue of 2020‒12‒20
eleven papers selected by
Giovanny Rodriguez Blanco
University of Edinburgh

  1. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 Dec 17. pii: mcp.RA120.002359. [Epub ahead of print]
      The goal of clinical proteomics is to identify, quantify, and characterize proteins in body fluids or tissue to assist diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of patients. In this way, it is similar to more mature omics technologies, such as genomics, that are increasingly applied in biomedicine. We argue that, similar to those fields, proteomics also faces ethical issues related to the kinds of information that is inherently obtained through sample measurement, although their acquisition was not the primary purpose. Specifically, we demonstrate the potential to identify individuals both by their characteristic, individual-specific protein levels and by variant peptides reporting on coding single nucleotide polymorphisms. Furthermore, it is in the nature of blood plasma proteomics profiling that it broadly reports on the health status of an individual - beyond the disease under investigation. Finally, we show that private and potentially sensitive information, such as ethnicity and pregnancy status, can increasingly be derived from proteomics data. Although this is potentially valuable not only to the individual, but also for biomedical research, it raises ethical questions similar to the incidental findings obtained through other omics technologies. We here introduce the necessity of - and argue for the desirability for - ethical and human rights-related issues to be discussed within the proteomics community. Those thoughts are more fully developed in our accompanying manuscript. Appreciation and discussion of ethical aspects of proteomic research will allow for deeper, better-informed, more diverse, and, most importantly, wiser guidelines for clinical proteomics.
    Keywords:  Biofluids*; Biomarker: Diagnostic; Cancer biomarker(s); Cardiovascular disease; Clinical proteomics; Data evaluation; Data standards; Incidental findings; Individualized medicine*; Patient cohorts; Personalized medicine; ethics; plasma
  2. Sci Rep. 2020 Dec 15. 10(1): 21967
      Extracellular acidosis is considered as a hallmark of most human tumors, which plays an important role in promoting tumor malignant and aggressive phenotype in tumorigenesis. Acidosis and lactic acidosis can induce different responses in tumors. Previous studies have associated the response to lactic acidosis of tumors with good survival outcomes. In this study, we investigated the metabolomic changes in triple negative and luminal subtype breast cancer cell lines in response to acidosis and lactic acidosis. Our results showed that acidosis results in the reduction of cell viability and glycolysis in breast cancer cells, which is reversely correlated with the malignancy of cell lines. Under lactic acidosis, this reduction is reversed slightly. Untargeted metabolomic profiling revealed that glutaminolysis and fatty acid synthesis in cancer cells under acidosis are increased, while TCA cycle and glycolysis are decreased. Under lactic acidosis, the pentose phosphate pathway and acetate release are increased in MDA-MB-231 cells. The current results uncovered the different metabolic responses of breast cancer cells to acidosis and lactic acidosis, demonstrating the power of combined untargeted and stable isotope assisted metabolomics in comprehensive metabolomic analysis.
  3. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2211 233-240
      Shotgun proteomics has been widely applied to study proteins in complex biological samples. Combination of high-performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry has allowed for comprehensive protein analysis with high resolution, sensitivity, and mass accuracy. Prior to mass spectrometry analysis, proteins are extracted from biological samples and subjected to in-solution trypsin digestion. The digested proteins are subjected for clean-up and injected into the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry system for peptide mass identification. Protein identification is performed by analyzing the mass spectrometry data on a protein search engine software such as PEAKS studio loaded with protein database for the species of interest. Results such as protein score, protein coverage, number of peptides, and unique peptides identified will be obtained and can be used to determine proteins identified with high confidence. This method can be applied to understand the proteomic changes or profile brought by bio-carrier-based therapeutics in vitro. In this chapter, we describe methods in which proteins can be extracted for proteomic analysis using a shotgun approach. The chapter outlines important in vitro techniques and data analysis that can be applied to investigate the proteome dynamics.
    Keywords:  Bio-carrier vectors; Protein identification; Protein profiling; Shotgun proteomics
  4. Anal Chem. 2020 Dec 17.
      Targeted proteomics allows the highly sensitive detection of specific peptides and proteins in complex biological samples. Here, we describe a methodology for targeted peptide quantification using a trapped ion mobility quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (timsTOF Pro). The prm-PASEF method exploits the multiplexing capability provided by the trapped ion mobility separation, allowing more than 200 peptides to be monitored over a 30 min liquid chromatography separation. Compared to conventional parallel reaction monitoring (PRM), precursor ions are accumulated in the trapped ion mobility spectrometry (TIMS) cells and separated according to their shape and charge before eluting into the quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF) part of the mass spectrometer. The ion mobility trap allows measuring up to six peptides from a single 100 ms ion mobility separation with the current setup. Using these improved mass spectrometric capabilities, we detected and quantified 216 isotope-labeled synthetic peptides (AQUA peptides) spiked in HeLa human cell extract with limits of quantification of 17.2 amol for some peptides. The acquisition method is highly reproducible between injections and enables accurate quantification in biological samples, as demonstrated by quantifying KRas, NRas, and HRas as well as several Ras mutations in lung and colon cancer cell lines on fast 10 min gradient separations.
  5. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 ;11 591819
      Enzymatically oxidized lipids are a specific group of biomolecules that function as key signaling mediators and hormones, regulating various cellular and physiological processes from metabolism and cell death to inflammation and the immune response. They are broadly categorized as either polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) containing (free acid oxygenated PUFA "oxylipins", endocannabinoids, oxidized phospholipids) or cholesterol derivatives (oxysterols, steroid hormones, and bile acids). Their biosynthesis is accomplished by families of enzymes that include lipoxygenases (LOX), cyclooxygenases (COX), cytochrome P450s (CYP), and aldo-keto reductases (AKR). In contrast, non-enzymatically oxidized lipids are produced by uncontrolled oxidation and are broadly considered to be harmful. Here, we provide an overview of the biochemistry and enzymology of LOXs, COXs, CYPs, and AKRs in humans. Next, we present biosynthetic pathways for oxylipins, oxidized phospholipids, oxysterols, bile acids and steroid hormones. Last, we address gaps in knowledge and suggest directions for future work.
    Keywords:  aldo-keto reductase (AKR); biosynthesis of oxidized lipids; cyclooxygenase (COX); cytochrome P450; lipoxygenase (LOX); oxidized phospholipids; oxylipins; sterols and steroid hormones
  6. Cell Metab. 2020 Dec 10. pii: S1550-4131(20)30657-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Folate metabolism supplies one-carbon (1C) units for biosynthesis and methylation and has long been a target for cancer chemotherapy. Mitochondrial serine catabolism is considered the sole contributor of folate-mediated 1C units in proliferating cancer cells. Here, we show that under physiological folate levels in the cell environment, cytosolic serine-hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT1) is the predominant source of 1C units in a variety of cancers, while mitochondrial 1C flux is overly repressed. Tumor-specific reliance on cytosolic 1C flux is associated with poor capacity to retain intracellular folates, which is determined by the expression of SLC19A1, which encodes the reduced folate carrier (RFC). We show that silencing SHMT1 in cells with low RFC expression impairs pyrimidine biosynthesis and tumor growth in vivo. Overall, our findings reveal major diversity in cancer cell utilization of the cytosolic versus mitochondrial folate cycle across tumors and SLC19A1 expression as a marker for increased reliance on SHMT1.
    Keywords:  SHMT; cancer metabolism; folate cycle; in vivo; isotope tracing; metabolomics; mitochondria; one-carbon flux; physiologic medium; reduced folate carrier; serine hydroxymethyltransferase
  7. J Clin Invest. 2020 Dec 17. pii: 139542. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutant isocitrate-dehydrogenase-1 (IDH1-R132H; mIDH1) is a hallmark of adult gliomas. Lower grade mIDH1 gliomas are classified into two molecular subgroups: (i) 1p/19q co-deletion/TERT-promoter mutations or (ii) inactivating mutations in α-thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) and TP53. This work, focuses on gliomas' subtype harboring mIDH1, TP53 and ATRX inactivation. IDH1-R132H is a gain-of-function mutation that converts α-ketoglutarate into 2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG). The role of D-2HG within the tumor microenvironment of mIDH1/mATRX/mTP53 gliomas remains unexplored. Inhibition of D-2HG, when used as monotherapy or in combination with radiation and temozolomide (IR/TMZ), led to increased median survival (MS) of mIDH1 glioma bearing mice. Also, D-2HG inhibition elicited anti-mIDH1 glioma immunological memory. In response to D-2HG inhibition, PD-L1 expression levels on mIDH1-glioma cells increased to similar levels as observed in wild-type-IDH1 gliomas. Thus, we combined D-2HG inhibition/IR/TMZ with anti-PDL1 immune checkpoint-blockade and observed complete tumor regression in 60% of mIDH1 glioma bearing mice. This combination strategy reduced T-cell exhaustion and favored the generation of memory CD8+ T-cells. Our findings demonstrate that metabolic reprogramming elicits anti-mIDH1 glioma immunity, leading to increased MS and immunological memory. Our preclinical data supports the testing of IDH-R132H inhibitors in combination with IR/TMZ and anti-PDL1 as targeted therapy for mIDH1/mATRX/mTP53 glioma patients.
    Keywords:  Adaptive immunity; Brain cancer; Immunology; Immunotherapy; Neuroscience
  8. Cell Rep. 2020 Dec 15. pii: S2211-1247(20)31489-3. [Epub ahead of print]33(11): 108500
      Immune cell function is influenced by metabolic conditions. Low-glucose, high-lactate environments, such as the placenta, gastrointestinal tract, and the tumor microenvironment, are immunosuppressive, especially for glycolysis-dependent effector T cells. We report that nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which is reduced to NADH by lactate dehydrogenase in lactate-rich conditions, is a key point of metabolic control in T cells. Reduced NADH is not available for NAD+-dependent enzymatic reactions involving glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PGDH). We show that increased lactate leads to a block at GAPDH and PGDH, leading to the depletion of post-GAPDH glycolytic intermediates, as well as the 3-phosphoglycerate derivative serine that is known to be important for T cell proliferation. Supplementing serine rescues the ability of T cells to proliferate in the presence of lactate-induced reductive stress. Directly targeting the redox state may be a useful approach for developing novel immunotherapies in cancer and therapeutic immunosuppression.
    Keywords:  3-phosphoglycerate; T cell metabolism; glycolysis; immunometabolism; lactate metabolism; nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide; redox metabolism; serine
  9. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids. 2020 Dec 11. pii: S1388-1981(20)30252-3. [Epub ahead of print]1866(3): 158860
      Members of the ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter family perform a critical function in maintaining lipid homeostasis in cells as well as the transport of drugs. In this review, we provide an update on the ABCG-transporter subfamily member proteins, which include the homodimers ABCG1, ABCG2 and ABCG4 as well as the heterodimeric complex formed between ABCG5 and ABCG8. This review focusses on progress made in this field of research with respect to their function in health and disease and the recognised transporter substrates. We also provide an update on post-translational regulation, including by transporter substrates, and well as the involvement of microRNA as regulators of transporter expression and activity. In addition, we describe progress made in identifying structural elements that have been recognised as important for transport activity. We furthermore discuss the role of lipids such as cholesterol on the transport function of ABCG2, traditionally thought of as a drug transporter, and provide a model of potential cholesterol binding sites for ABCG2.
    Keywords:  ABC transporters; Cholesterol; Half-transporters; Lipids
  10. Nat Commun. 2020 12 11. 11(1): 6343
      D-mannose is a monosaccharide approximately a hundred times less abundant than glucose in human blood. Previous studies demonstrated that supraphysiological levels of D-mannose inhibit tumour growth and stimulate regulatory T cell differentiation. It is not known whether D-mannose metabolism affects the function of non-proliferative cells, such as inflammatory macrophages. Here, we show that D-mannose suppresses LPS-induced macrophage activation by impairing IL-1β production. In vivo, mannose administration improves survival in a mouse model of LPS-induced endotoxemia as well as decreases progression in a mouse model of DSS-induced colitis. Phosphomannose isomerase controls response of LPS-activated macrophages to D-mannose, which impairs glucose metabolism by raising intracellular mannose-6-phosphate levels. Such alterations result in the suppression of succinate-mediated HIF-1α activation, imposing a consequent reduction of LPS-induced Il1b expression. Disclosing an unrecognized metabolic hijack of macrophage activation, our study points towards safe D-mannose utilization as an effective intervention against inflammatory conditions.
  11. Cell Metab. 2020 Dec 11. pii: S1550-4131(20)30658-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The metabolic rewiring of cardiomyocytes is a widely accepted hallmark of heart failure (HF). These metabolic changes include a decrease in mitochondrial pyruvate oxidation and an increased export of lactate. We identify the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) and the cellular lactate exporter monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) as pivotal nodes in this metabolic axis. We observed that cardiac assist device-induced myocardial recovery in chronic HF patients was coincident with increased myocardial expression of the MPC. Moreover, the genetic ablation of the MPC in cultured cardiomyocytes and in adult murine hearts was sufficient to induce hypertrophy and HF. Conversely, MPC overexpression attenuated drug-induced hypertrophy in a cell-autonomous manner. We also introduced a novel, highly potent MCT4 inhibitor that mitigated hypertrophy in cultured cardiomyocytes and in mice. Together, we find that alteration of the pyruvate-lactate axis is a fundamental and early feature of cardiac hypertrophy and failure.
    Keywords:  LVAD; MCT4; MPC; VB124; cardiac metabolism; heart failure; hypertrophy; lactate; mitochondria; pyruvate