bims-mascan Biomed News
on Mass spectrometry in cancer research
Issue of 2021‒04‒04
forty-four papers selected by
Giovanny Rodriguez Blanco
University of Edinburgh

  1. Expert Rev Proteomics. 2021 Apr 01.
      IntroductionCancer is a heterogeneous disease that exploits various metabolic pathways to meet the demand for increased energy and structural components. Lipids are biomolecules that play essential roles as high energy sources, mediators, and structural components of biological membranes. Accumulating evidence has established that altered lipid metabolism is a hallmark of cancer.Areas coveredMass spectrometry (MS) is a label-free analytical tool that can simultaneously identify and quantify hundreds of analytes. To date, comprehensive lipid studies exclusively rely on this technique. Here, we reviewed the use of MS in the study of lipids in various cancers and discuss its instrumental limitations and challenges.Expert opinionMS and MS imaging have significantly contributed to revealing altered lipid metabolism in a variety of cancers. Currently, a single MS approach cannot profile the entire lipidome because of its lack of sensitivity and specificity for all lipid classes. For the metabolic pathway investigation, lipid study requires the integration of MS with other molecular approaches. Future developments regarding the high spatial resolution, mass resolution, and sensitivity of MS instruments are warranted.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Lipid metabolism; Lipidome; MS imaging; Mass spectrometry
  2. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021 Mar 04. pii: 216. [Epub ahead of print]14(3):
      The glutaminolysis and serine-glycine-one-carbon pathways represent metabolic reactions that are reprogramed and upregulated in cancer; these pathways are involved in supporting the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. Glutaminolysis participates in the production of lactate, an oncometabolite, and also in anabolic reactions leading to the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. The serine-glycine-one-carbon pathway is involved in the synthesis of purines and pyrimidines and the control of the epigenetic signature (DNA methylation, histone methylation) in cancer cells. Methionine is obligatory for most of the methyl-transfer reactions in the form of S-adenosylmethionine; here, too, the serine-glycine-one-carbon pathway is necessary for the resynthesis of methionine following the methyl-transfer reaction. Glutamine, serine, glycine, and methionine are obligatory to fuel these metabolic pathways. The first three amino acids can be synthesized endogenously to some extent, but the need for these amino acids in cancer cells is so high that they also have to be acquired from extracellular sources. Methionine is an essential amino acid, thus making it necessary for cancer cells to acquire this amino acid solely from the extracellular milieu. Cancer cells upregulate specific amino acid transporters to meet this increased demand for these four amino acids. SLC6A14 and SLC38A5 are the two transporters that are upregulated in a variety of cancers to mediate the influx of glutamine, serine, glycine, and methionine into cancer cells. SLC6A14 is a Na+/Cl- -coupled transporter for multiple amino acids, including these four amino acids. In contrast, SLC38A5 is a Na+-coupled transporter with rather restricted specificity towards glutamine, serine, glycine, and methionine. Both transporters exhibit unique functional features that are ideal for the rapid proliferation of cancer cells. As such, these two amino acid transporters play a critical role in promoting the survival and growth of cancer cells and hence represent novel, hitherto largely unexplored, targets for cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  SLC6A14 and SLC38A5; amino acid transporters; cancer-specific metabolism; glutamine addiction; oncometabolites; one-carbon metabolism
  3. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 ;1280 115-130
      Metabolic rewiring/reprogramming is an essential hallmark of cancer. Alteration of metabolic phenotypes is occurred in cancer cells in response to a harsh condition to support cancer cell proliferation, survival, and metastasis. Stable isotope can be used as a tracer to investigate the redistribution of the carbons labeled in glucose in order to elucidate the detailed mechanisms of cellular rewiring and reprogramming in tumor microenvironment. Stable isotope-resolved metabolomics (SIRM) is an analytical method inferring metabolic networking by using advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS) to analyze the fate of a single atom from a stable isotope-enriched precursor to a product metabolite. This methodology has been demonstrated for a wide range of biological applications, including cancer metabolomic analysis. The basic principle and platforms of SIRM and its implication for cancer metabolism research will be addressed in this chapter.
    Keywords:  Cancer metabolomics; MS; NMR; SIRM; Stable isotope-based tracer
  4. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 ;1280 39-55
      Shotgun lipidomics is an analytical approach for large-scale and systematic analysis of the composition, structure, and quantity of cellular lipids directly from lipid extracts of biological samples by mass spectrometry. This approach possesses advantages of high throughput and quantitative accuracy, especially in absolute quantification. As cancer research deepens at the level of quantitative biology and metabolomics, the demand for lipidomics approaches such as shotgun lipidomics is becoming greater. In this chapter, the principles, approaches, and some applications of shotgun lipidomics for cancer research are overviewed.
    Keywords:  Cancer lipidomics; Direct infusion-based shotgun lipidomics; Imaging lipidomics; Mass spectrometry; Shotgun lipidomics
  5. Metabolites. 2021 Mar 27. pii: 200. [Epub ahead of print]11(4):
      Single cell analysis is a field of increasing interest as new tools are continually being developed to understand intercellular differences within large cell populations. Laser-ablation electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LAESI-MS) is an emerging technique for single cell metabolomics. Over the years, it has been validated that this ionization technique is advantageous for probing the molecular content of individual cells in situ. Here, we report the integration of a microscope into the optical train of the LAESI source to allow for visually informed ambient in situ single cell analysis. Additionally, we have coupled this 'LAESI microscope' to a drift-tube ion mobility mass spectrometer to enable separation of isobaric species and allow for the determination of ion collision cross sections in conjunction with accurate mass measurements. This combined information helps provide higher confidence for structural assignment of molecules ablated from single cells. Here, we show that this system enables the analysis of the metabolite content of Allium cepa epidermal cells with high confidence structural identification together with their spatial locations within a tissue.
    Keywords:  ambient analysis; collisional cross section; drift tube ion mobility separation; in situ metabolomics; laser ablation electrospray ionization; mass spectrometry
  6. Biology (Basel). 2021 Mar 02. pii: 184. [Epub ahead of print]10(3):
      Ferroptosis is a type of iron-dependent regulated necrosis induced by lipid peroxidation that occurs in cellular membranes. Among the various lipids, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) associated with several phospholipids, such as phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylcholine (PC), are responsible for ferroptosis-inducing lipid peroxidation. Since the de novo synthesis of PUFAs is strongly restricted in mammals, cells take up essential fatty acids from the blood and lymph to produce a variety of PUFAs via PUFA biosynthesis pathways. Free PUFAs can be incorporated into the cellular membrane by several enzymes, such as ACLS4 and LPCAT3, and undergo lipid peroxidation through enzymatic and non-enzymatic mechanisms. These pathways are tightly regulated by various metabolic and signaling pathways. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge of how various lipid metabolic pathways are associated with lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis. Our review will provide insight into treatment strategies for ferroptosis-related diseases.
    Keywords:  GPX4; ferroptosis; lipid peroxidation; lipoxygenase; polyunsaturated fatty acids
  7. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Mar 29. pii: S1043-2760(21)00049-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Targeting tumor cell metabolism is an attractive form of therapy, as it may enhance treatment response in therapy resistant cancers as well as mitigate treatment-related toxicities by reducing the need for genotoxic agents. To meet their increased demand for biomass accumulation and energy production and to maintain redox homeostasis, tumor cells undergo profound changes in their metabolism. In addition to the diversion of glucose metabolism, this is achieved by upregulation of amino acid metabolism. Interfering with amino acid availability can be selectively lethal to tumor cells and has proven to be a cancer specific Achilles' heel. Here we review the biology behind such cancer specific amino acid dependencies and discuss how these vulnerabilities can be exploited to improve cancer therapies.
    Keywords:  amino acid depletion therapy; amino acid metabolism; cancer; tumor metabolism
  8. Metabolites. 2021 Mar 21. pii: 183. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      The purpose of this study was to analyze the association between plasma metabolite levels and dark adaptation (DA) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This was a cross-sectional study including patients with AMD (early, intermediate, and late) and control subjects older than 50 years without any vitreoretinal disease. Fasting blood samples were collected and used for metabolomic profiling with ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Patients were also tested with the AdaptDx (MacuLogix, Middletown, PA, USA) DA extended protocol (20 min). Two measures of dark adaptation were calculated and used: rod-intercept time (RIT) and area under the dark adaptation curve (AUDAC). Associations between dark adaption and metabolite levels were tested using multilevel mixed-effects linear modelling, adjusting for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), smoking, race, AMD stage, and Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation supplementation. We included a total of 71 subjects: 53 with AMD (13 early AMD, 31 intermediate AMD, and 9 late AMD) and 18 controls. Our results revealed that fatty acid-related lipids and amino acids related to glutamate and leucine, isoleucine and valine metabolism were associated with RIT (p < 0.01). Similar results were found when AUDAC was used as the outcome. Fatty acid-related lipids and amino acids are associated with DA, thus suggesting that oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction likely play a role in AMD and visual impairment in this condition.
    Keywords:  age-related macular degeneration; area under the dark adaption curve; dark adaptation; mass spectrometry; metabolomics; rod-intercept time
  9. Anal Chem. 2021 Apr 02.
      The application of metabolomics in translational research suffers from several technological bottlenecks, such as data reproducibility issues and the lack of standardization of sample profiling procedures. Here, we report an automated high-throughput metabolite array technology that can rapidly and quantitatively determine 324 metabolites including fatty acids, amino acids, organic acids, carbohydrates, and bile acids. Metabolite identification and quantification is achieved using the Targeted Metabolome Batch Quantification (TMBQ) software, the first cross-vendor data processing pipeline. A test of this metabolite array was performed by analyzing serum samples from patients with chronic liver disease (N = 1234). With high detection efficiency and sensitivity in serum, urine, feces, cell lysates, and liver tissue samples and suitable for different mass spectrometry systems, this metabolite array technology holds great potential for biomarker discovery and high throughput clinical testing. Additionally, data generated from such standardized procedures can be used to generate a clinical metabolomics database suitable for precision medicine in next-generation healthcare.
  10. Biomolecules. 2021 Mar 11. pii: 417. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      Metabolomics coupled with bioinformatics may identify relevant biomolecules such as putative biomarkers of specific metabolic pathways related to colorectal diagnosis, classification and prognosis. This study performed an integrated metabolomic profiling of blood serum from 25 colorectal cancer (CRC) cases previously classified (Stage I to IV) compared with 16 controls (disease-free, non-CRC patients), using high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF-ESI+ MS). More than 400 metabolites were separated and identified, then all data were processed by the advanced Metaboanalyst 5.0 online software, using multi- and univariate analysis, including specificity/sensitivity relationships (area under the curve (AUC) values), enrichment and pathway analysis, identifying the specific pathways affected by cancer progression in the different stages. Several sub-classes of lipids including phosphatidylglycerols (phosphatidylcholines (PCs), phosphatidylethanolamines (PEs) and PAs), fatty acids and sterol esters as well as ceramides confirmed the "lipogenic phenotype" specific to CRC development, namely the upregulated lipogenesis associated with tumor progression. Both multivariate and univariate bioinformatics confirmed the relevance of some putative lipid biomarkers to be responsible for the altered metabolic pathways in colorectal cancer.
    Keywords:  Metaboanalyst; biomolecules; colorectal cancer; high-performance liquid chromatography; mass spectrometry; metabolomics; putative biomarkers
  11. Metabolites. 2021 Mar 22. pii: 188. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      There is a strong association between hepatocyte phospholipid homeostasis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The phosphatidylcholine to phosphatidylethanolamine ratio (PC/PE) often draws special attention as genetic and dietary disruptions to this ratio can provoke steatohepatitis and other signs of NAFLD. Here we demonstrated that excessive free fatty acid (1:2 mixture of palmitic and oleic acid) alone was able to significantly lower the phosphatidylcholine to phosphatidylethanolamine ratio, along with substantial alterations to phospholipid composition in rat hepatocytes. This involved both a decrease in hepatocyte phosphatidylcholine (less prominent) and an increase in phosphatidylethanolamine, with the latter contributing more to the lowered ratio. Stable isotopic tracer phospholipidomic analysis revealed several previously unidentified changes that were triggered by excessive free fatty acid. Importantly, the enhanced cytidine diphosphate (CDP)-ethanolamine pathway activity appeared to be driven by the increased supply of preferred fatty acid substrates. By contrast, the phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyl transferase (PEMT) pathway was restricted by low endogenous methionine and consequently low S-adenosylmethionine, which resulted in a concomitant decrease in phosphatidylcholine and accumulation of phosphatidylethanolamine. Overall, our study identified several previously unreported links in the relationship between hepatocyte free fatty acid overload, phospholipid homeostasis, and the development of NAFLD.
    Keywords:  CDP-choline pathway; CDP-ethanolamine pathway; flux analysis; free fatty acid; lipidomics; phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyl transferase (PEMT) pathway; steatosis
  12. Metabolites. 2021 Mar 29. pii: 202. [Epub ahead of print]11(4):
      Lipids comprise diverse classes of compounds that are important for the structure and properties of membranes, as high-energy fuel sources and as signaling molecules. Therefore, the turnover rates of these varied classes of lipids are fundamental to cellular function. However, their enormous chemical diversity and dynamic range in cells makes detailed analysis very complex. Furthermore, although stable isotope tracers enable the determination of synthesis and degradation of complex lipids, the numbers of distinguishable molecules increase enormously, which exacerbates the problem. Although LC-MS-MS (Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry) is the standard for lipidomics, NMR can add value in global lipid analysis and isotopomer distributions of intact lipids. Here, we describe new developments in NMR analysis for assessing global lipid content and isotopic enrichment of mixtures of complex lipids for two cell lines (PC3 and UMUC3) using both 13C6 glucose and 13C5 glutamine tracers.
    Keywords:  Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; isotopomer distributions; lipid 13C incorporation; stable isotope tracers
  13. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 ;1280 189-200
      This chapter presents the fundamentals, instrumentation, methodology, and applications of capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) for cancer metabolomics. CE offers fast and high-resolution separation of charged analytes from a very small amount of sample. When coupled to MS, it represents a powerful analytical technique enabling identification and quantification of metabolites in biological samples. Several issues need to be addressed when combining CE with MS, especially the interface between CE and MS and the selection of a proper separation methodology, sample pretreatment, and capillary coatings. We will discuss these aspects of CE-MS and detail representative applications for cancer metabolomic analysis.
    Keywords:  CE-MS interface; Cancer metabolomics; Capillary coating; Capillary electrophoresis; Mass spectrometry
  14. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 ;1280 1-18
      Due to the great diversity of chemical and physical properties of metabolites as well as a wide range of concentrations of metabolites present in metabolomic samples, performing comprehensive and quantitative metabolome analysis is a major analytical challenge. Conventional approach of combining various techniques and methods with each detecting a fraction of the metabolome can lead to the increase in overall metabolomic coverage. However, this approach requires extensive investment in equipment and analytical expertise with still relatively low coverage and low sample throughput. Chemical isotope labeling (CIL) liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) offers an alternative means of increasing metabolomic coverage while maintaining high quantification precision and accuracy. This chapter describes the CIL LC-MS method and its key features for metabolomic analysis.
    Keywords:  Chemical isotope labeling; Global metabolomics; Liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry
  15. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2021 Mar 31.
      With the utilization of small-scale and highly parallelized cultivation platforms embedded in laboratory robotics, microbial phenotyping and bioprocess development have been substantially accelerated, thus generating a bottleneck in bioanalytical bioprocess sample analytics. While microscale cultivation platforms allow the monitoring of typical process parameters, only limited information about product and by-product formation is provided without comprehensive analytics. The use of liquid chromatography mass spectrometry can provide such a comprehensive and quantitative insight, but is often limited by analysis runtime and throughput. In this study, we developed and evaluated six methods for amino acid quantification based on two strong cation exchanger columns and a dilute and shoot approach in hyphenation with either a triple-quadrupole or a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Isotope dilution mass spectrometry with 13C15N labeled amino acids was used to correct for matrix effects. The versatility of the methods for metabolite profiling studies of microbial cultivation supernatants is confirmed by a detailed method validation study. The methods using chromatography columns showed a linear range of approx. 4 orders of magnitude, sufficient response factors, and low quantification limits (7-443 nM) for single analytes. Overall, relative standard deviation was comparable for all analytes, with < 8% and < 11% for unbuffered and buffered media, respectively. The dilute and shoot methods with an analysis time of 1 min provided similar performance but showed a factor of up to 35 times higher throughput. The performance and applicability of the dilute and shoot method are demonstrated using a library of Corynebacterium glutamicum strains producing L-histidine, obtained from random mutagenesis, which were cultivated in a microscale cultivation platform.
    Keywords:  Amino acids; Corynebacterium glutamicum; FIA; LC-MS/MS; Matrix effects; Metabolomics
  16. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2021 Mar 17. pii: S1570-0232(21)00146-X. [Epub ahead of print]1172 122666
      n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and their metabolites play the crucial role in a wide range of physiologic and pathologic processes, including cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases, and inflammation-associated disorders. However, the quantitative analysis of n-3 PUFAs and their metabolites, oxylipins, is obstructed by high structural similarity, poor ionization efficiency and low abundance. In this study, a sensitive method was developed to quantify 28 n-3 PUFAs/oxylipins using chemical isotope labeling coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Standards labeled with cholamine-d9 were used as one-to-one internal standards to achieve accurate quantification. The cholamine-d0-derivatized biological samples were mixed with cholamine d9-labeled standards for LC-MS/MS with multiple reaction monitoring. After cholamine derivatization, both MS sensitivity and chromatographic performance of n-3 PUFAs/oxylipins were substantially improved. Furthermore, the relationship between retention time and substituent position of regioisomers, and their fragmentation patterns were investigated, which may facilitate the identification of unknown oxylipins. Additionally, the developed method was applied to quantify the target n-3 PUFAs/oxylipins in serum and brain tissue from fish oil-supplemented mice, which exhibited its great potential and practicability. Collectively, this sensitive and reliable method may facilitate the elucidation of the roles of n-3 PUFAs/oxylipins in the physiological and pathological processes.
    Keywords:  Chemical isotope labeling; Cholamine; LC-MS/MS; Oxylipins; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
  17. Anal Chem. 2021 Apr 02.
      Development of high-resolution/accurate mass liquid chromatography-coupled tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methodology enables the characterization of covalently modified DNA induced by interaction with genotoxic agents in complex biological samples. Constant neutral loss monitoring of 2'-deoxyribose or the nucleobases using data-dependent acquisition represents a powerful approach for the unbiased detection of DNA modifications (adducts). The lack of available bioinformatics tools necessitates manual processing of acquired spectral data and hampers high throughput application of these techniques. To address this limitation, we present an automated workflow for the detection and curation of putative DNA adducts by using diagnostic fragmentation filtering of LC-MS/MS experiments within the open-source software MZmine. The workflow utilizes a new feature detection algorithm, DFBuilder, which employs diagnostic fragmentation filtering using a user-defined list of fragmentation patterns to reproducibly generate feature lists for precursor ions of interest. The DFBuilder feature detection approach readily fits into a complete small-molecule discovery workflow and drastically reduces the processing time associated with analyzing DNA adductomics results. We validate our workflow using a mixture of authentic DNA adduct standards and demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by reproducing and expanding the results of a previously published study of colibactin-induced DNA adducts. The reported workflow serves as a technique to assess the diagnostic potential of novel fragmentation pattern combinations for the unbiased detection of chemical classes of interest.
  18. Biomolecules. 2021 Mar 02. pii: 370. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      BACKGROUND: The oncogenic Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) mutation was reported to be the signature genetic event in most cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Hepassocin (HPS/FGL1) is involved in regulating lipid metabolism and the progression of several cancer types; however, the underlying mechanism of HPS/FGL1 in the KRAS mutant PDAC cells undergoing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) treatment remains unclear.METHODS: We measured HPS/FGL1 protein expressions in a human pancreatic ductal epithelial (HPNE) normal pancreas cell line, a KRAS-wild-type PDAC cell line (BxPC-3), and KRAS-mutant PDAC cell lines (PANC-1, MIA PaCa-2, and SUIT-2) by Western blot methods. HEK293T cells were transiently transfected with corresponding KRAS-expressing plasmids to examine the level of HPS expression with KRAS activation. We knocked-down HPS/FGL1 using lentiviral vectors in SUIT-2 cells and measured the cell viability by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and clonogenicity assays. Furthermore, a lipidomic analysis was performed to profile changes in lipid metabolism after HPS/FGL1 knockdown.
    RESULTS: We found that the HPS/FGL1 level was significantly upregulated in KRAS-mutated PDAC cells and was involved in KRAS/phosphorylated (p)-signal transduction and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling, and the knockdown of HPS/FGL1 in SUIT-2 cells decreased cell proliferation through increasing G2/M cell cycle arrest and cyclin B1 expression. In addition, the knockdown of HPS/FGL1 in SUIT-2 cells significantly increased omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and EPA production but not docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Moreover, EPA treatment in SUIT-2 cells reduced the expression of de novo lipogenic protein, acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC)-1, and decreased p-STAT3 and HPS/FGL1 expressions, resulting in the suppression of cell viability.
    CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study indicate that HPS is highly expressed by KRAS-mutated PDAC cells, and HPS/FGL1 plays a crucial role in altering lipid metabolism and increasing cell growth in pancreatic cancer. EPA supplements could potentially inhibit or reduce ACC-1-involved lipogenesis and HPS/FGL1-mediated cell survival in KRAS-mutated pancreatic cancer cells.
    Keywords:  KRAS mutation; eicosapentaenoic acid; hepassocin; pancreatic cancer
  19. Mol Ther. 2021 Mar 29. pii: S1525-0016(21)00151-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ferroptosis is an iron- and lipid ROS-dependent form of programmed cell death that is distinct from other forms of regulatory cell death at the morphological, biological and genetic levels. Emerging evidence suggests critical roles for ferroptosis in cell metabolism, the redox status and various diseases, such as cancers, nervous system diseases, and ischemia-reperfusion injury, with ferroptosis-related proteins. Ferroptosis is inhibited in diverse cancer types and functions as a dynamic tumor suppressor in cancer development, indicating that the regulation of ferroptosis can be utilized as an interventional target for tumor treatment. Small molecules and nanomaterials that reprogram cancer cells to undergo ferroptosis are considered effective drugs for cancer therapy. Here, we systematically summarize the molecular basis of ferroptosis, the suppressive effect of ferroptosis on tumors, the effect of ferroptosis on cellular metabolism and the tumor microenvironment (TME), and ferroptosis-inducing agents for tumor therapeutics. An understanding of the latest progress in ferroptosis could provide references for proposing new potential targets for the treatment of cancers.
    Keywords:  cancer suppressor; cancer therapy; ferroptosis; ferroptosis-related proteins; iron; lipid ROS
  20. FEBS J. 2021 Apr 03.
      Many metabolic phenotypes in cancer cells are also characteristic of proliferating non-transformed mammalian cells, and attempts to distinguish between phenotypes resulting from oncogenic perturbation from those associated with increased proliferation are limited. Here, we examined the extent to which metabolic changes corresponding to oncogenic KRAS expression differed from those corresponding to epidermal growth factor (EGF)-driven proliferation in human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). Removal of EGF from culture medium reduced growth rates and glucose/glutamine consumption in control HMECs despite limited changes in respiration and fatty acid synthesis, while the relative contribution of branched-chain amino acids to the TCA cycle and lipogenesis increased in the near-quiescent conditions. Most metabolic phenotypes measured in HMECs expressing mutant KRAS were similar to those observed in EGF-stimulated control HMECs that were growing at comparable rates. However, glucose and glutamine consumption as well as lactate and glutamate production were lower in KRAS-expressing cells cultured in media without added EGF, and these changes correlated with reduced sensitivity to GLUT1 inhibitor and phenformin treatment. Our results demonstrate the strong dependence of metabolic behavior on growth rate, and provide a model to distinguish the metabolic influences of oncogenic mutations and non-oncogenic growth.
    Keywords:  Cancer metabolism; KRAS; branched-chain amino acids; cell growth; cell proliferation
  21. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 ;1280 131-147
      Cancer cells exhibit different metabolic patterns compared to their normal counterparts. Although the reprogrammed metabolism has been indicated as strong biomarkers of cancer initiation and progression, increasing evidences suggest that metabolic alteration tuned by oncogenic drivers contributes to the occurrence and development of cancers rather than just being a hallmark of cancer. With this notion, targeting cancer metabolism holds promise as a novel anticancer strategy and is embracing its renaissance during the past two decades. Herein we have summarized the most recent developments in omics technology, including both metabolomics and proteomics, and how the combined use of these analytical tools significantly impacts this field by comprehensively and systematically recording the metabolic changes in cancer and hence reveals potential therapeutic targets that function by modulating the disrupted metabolic pathways.
    Keywords:  Anticancer target discovery; Chemoproteomics; Metabolic biomarker; Metabolomics; Proteomics
  22. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Mar 24. pii: 1488. [Epub ahead of print]13(7):
      Pyruvate is a key molecule in the metabolic fate of mammalian cells; it is the crossroads from where metabolism proceeds either oxidatively or ends with the production of lactic acid. Pyruvate metabolism is regulated by many enzymes that together control carbon flux. Mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) is responsible for importing pyruvate from the cytosol to the mitochondrial matrix, where it is oxidatively phosphorylated to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and to generate intermediates used in multiple biosynthetic pathways. MPC activity has an important role in glucose homeostasis, and its alteration is associated with diabetes, heart failure, and neurodegeneration. In cancer, however, controversy surrounds MPC function. In some cancers, MPC upregulation appears to be associated with a poor prognosis. However, most transformed cells undergo a switch from oxidative to glycolytic metabolism, the so-called Warburg effect, which, amongst other possibilities, is induced by MPC malfunction or downregulation. Consequently, impaired MPC function might induce tumors with strong proliferative, migratory, and invasive capabilities. Moreover, glycolytic cancer cells secrete lactate, acidifying the microenvironment, which in turn induces angiogenesis, immunosuppression, and the expansion of stromal cell populations supporting tumor growth. This review examines the latest findings regarding the tumorigenic processes affected by MPC.
    Keywords:  MPC; SLC; Warburg effect; glycolysis; lactate; mitochondrial matrix; oxidative phosphorylation
  23. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 626316
      Interpreting connections between the multiple networks of cell metabolism is indispensable for understanding how cells maintain homeostasis or transform into the decontrolled proliferation phenotype of cancer. Situated at a critical metabolic intersection, citrate, derived via glycolysis, serves as either a combustible fuel for aerobic mitochondrial bioenergetics or as a continuously replenished cytosolic carbon source for lipid biosynthesis, an essentially anaerobic process. Therein lies the paradox: under what conditions do cells control the metabolic route by which they process citrate? The Warburg effect exposes essentially the same dilemma-why do cancer cells, despite an abundance of oxygen needed for energy-generating mitochondrial respiration with citrate as fuel, avoid catabolizing mitochondrial citrate and instead rely upon accelerated glycolysis to support their energy requirements? This review details the genesis and consequences of the metabolic paradigm of a "truncated" Krebs/TCA cycle. Abundant data are presented for substrate utilization and membrane cholesterol enrichment in tumors that are consistent with criteria of the Warburg effect. From healthy cellular homeostasis to the uncontrolled proliferation of tumors, metabolic alterations center upon the loss of regulation of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. Deregulated tumor cholesterogenesis at the HMGR locus, generating enhanced carbon flux through the cholesterol synthesis pathway, is an absolute prerequisite for DNA synthesis and cell division. Therefore, expedited citrate efflux from cholesterol-enriched tumor mitochondria via the CTP/SLC25A1 citrate transporter is fundamental for sustaining the constant demand for cytosolic citrate that fuels the elevated flow of carbons from acetyl-CoA through the deregulated pathway of cholesterol biosynthesis.
    Keywords:  Warburg effect; mitochondrial citrate export; truncated Krebs/TCA cycle; tumor cholesterogenesis; tumor membrane cholesterol
  24. Neoplasia. 2021 Mar 27. pii: S1476-5586(21)00009-9. [Epub ahead of print]23(4): 391-399
      Notwithstanding that high rates of glucose uptake and glycolysis are common in neoplasia, pharmacological efforts to inhibit glucose utilization for cancer treatment have not been successful. Recent evidence suggests that in addition to classical glucose transporters, sodium-glucose transporters (SGLTs) are expressed by cancers. We therefore investigated the possibility that SGLT inhibitors, which are used in treatment of type 2 diabetes, may exert antineoplastic activity by limiting glucose uptake. We show that the SGLT2 inhibitor canagliflozin inhibits proliferation of breast cancer cells. Surprisingly, the antiproliferative effects of canagliflozin are not affected by glucose availability nor by the level of expression of SGLT2. Canagliflozin reduces oxygen consumption and glutamine metabolism through the citric acid cycle. The antiproliferative effects of canagliflozin are linked to inhibition of glutamine metabolism that fuels respiration, which represents a previously unanticipated mechanism of its potential antineoplastic action.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; Canagliflozin; Dapagliflozin; Glutamine; Tumor metabolism
  25. Metabolites. 2021 Mar 19. pii: 181. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most diagnosed cancer in men worldwide. For its screening, serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) test has been largely performed over the past decade, despite its lack of accuracy and inability to distinguish indolent from aggressive disease. Metabolomics has been widely applied in cancer biomarker discovery due to the well-known metabolic reprogramming characteristic of cancer cells. Most of the metabolomic studies have reported alterations in urine of PCa patients due its noninvasive collection, but the analysis of prostate tissue metabolome is an ideal approach to disclose specific modifications in PCa development. This review aims to summarize and discuss the most recent findings from tissue and urine metabolomic studies applied to PCa biomarker discovery. Eighteen metabolites were found consistently altered in PCa tissue among different studies, including alanine, arginine, uracil, glutamate, fumarate, and citrate. Urine metabolomic studies also showed consistency in the dysregulation of 15 metabolites and, interestingly, alterations in the levels of valine, taurine, leucine and citrate were found in common between urine and tissue studies. These findings unveil that the impact of PCa development in human metabolome may offer a promising strategy to find novel biomarkers for PCa diagnosis.
    Keywords:  biomarkers; lipidomics; metabolic pathways; metabolomics; prostate cancer; tissue; urine; volatilomics
  26. Metabolites. 2021 Mar 07. pii: 151. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      Dynamic changes in circulating and tissue metabolites and lipids occur in response to exercise-induced cellular and whole-body energy demands to maintain metabolic homeostasis. The metabolome and lipidome in a given biological system provides a molecular snapshot of these rapid and complex metabolic perturbations. The application of metabolomics and lipidomics to map the metabolic responses to an acute bout of aerobic/endurance or resistance exercise has dramatically expanded over the past decade thanks to major analytical advancements, with most exercise-related studies to date focused on analyzing human biofluids and tissues. Experimental and analytical considerations, as well as complementary studies using animal model systems, are warranted to help overcome challenges associated with large human interindividual variability and decipher the breadth of molecular mechanisms underlying the metabolic health-promoting effects of exercise. In this review, we provide a guide for exercise researchers regarding analytical techniques and experimental workflows commonly used in metabolomics and lipidomics. Furthermore, we discuss advancements in human and mammalian exercise research utilizing metabolomic and lipidomic approaches in the last decade, as well as highlight key technical considerations and remaining knowledge gaps to continue expanding the molecular landscape of exercise biology.
    Keywords:  exercise; lipidome; lipidomics; mass spectrometry; metabolism; metabolome; metabolomics; nuclear magnetic resonance; omics
  27. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 ;1280 291-301
      Gastric cancer is the fourth most common malignancy worldwide and the third leading cause of cancer deaths. Recent metabolomics research has advanced our understanding of the relationship between metabolic reprogramming and gastric cancer progression and led to the discovery of metabolic targets for potential clinical applications and therapeutic interventions. As a powerful tool for metabolite and flux measurement, metabolomics not only allows a comprehensive analysis of metabolites and related metabolic pathways but also can investigate the interactions between gastric cancer cells and tumour microenvironment as well as between the cancer cells and gastric microbiome. In this chapter, we aim to summarize the recent advances in gastric cancer metabolism and discuss the applications of metabolomics for target discovery in gastric cancer.
    Keywords:  Cancer metabolism; Gastric cancer; Metabolite biomarkers; Metabolomics
  28. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 16. pii: 3039. [Epub ahead of print]22(6):
      Since Otto Warburg reported in 1924 that cancer cells address their increased energy requirement through a massive intake of glucose, the cellular energy level has offered a therapeutic anticancer strategy. Methionine restriction (MetR) is one of the most effective approaches for inducing low-energy metabolism (LEM) due to the central position in metabolism of this amino acid. However, no simple in vitro system for the rapid analysis of MetR is currently available, and this study establishes the murine cell line L929 as such a model system. L929 cells react rapidly and efficiently to MetR, and the analysis of more than 150 different metabolites belonging to different classes (amino acids, urea and tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) cycles, carbohydrates, etc.) by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) defines a metabolic fingerprint and enables the identification of specific metabolites representing normal or MetR conditions. The system facilitates the rapid and efficient testing of potential cancer therapeutic metabolic targets. To date, MS studies of MetR have been performed using organisms and yeast, and the current LC/MS analysis of the intra- and extracellular metabolites in the murine cell line L929 over a period of 5 days thus provides new insights into the effects of MetR at the cellular metabolic level.
    Keywords:  L929; LC/MS; amino acid; caloric restriction; liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry; mass spectrometry; metabolism; methionine restriction
  29. Metabolites. 2021 Mar 04. pii: 148. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      The combination of 13C-isotopic labeling and mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) offers an approach to analyze metabolic flux in situ. However, combining isotopic labeling and MSI presents technical challenges ranging from sample preparation, label incorporation, data collection, and analysis. Isotopic labeling and MSI individually create large, complex data sets, and this is compounded when both methods are combined. Therefore, analyzing isotopically labeled MSI data requires streamlined procedures to support biologically meaningful interpretations. Using currently available software and techniques, here we describe a workflow to analyze 13C-labeled isotopologues of the membrane lipid and storage oil lipid intermediate-phosphatidylcholine (PC). Our results with embryos of the oilseed crops, Camelina sativa and Thlaspi arvense (pennycress), demonstrated greater 13C-isotopic labeling in the cotyledons of developing embryos compared with the embryonic axis. Greater isotopic enrichment in PC molecular species with more saturated and longer chain fatty acids suggest different flux patterns related to fatty acid desaturation and elongation pathways. The ability to evaluate MSI data of isotopically labeled plant embryos will facilitate the potential to investigate spatial aspects of metabolic flux in situ.
    Keywords:  13C-labeling; MALDI (matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization); lipidomics; mass spectrometry imaging; metabolomics; oilseed
  30. Int Rev Immunol. 2021 Apr 01. 1-13
      An increasing number of researches have shown that cell metabolism regulates cell function. Dendritic cells (DCs), a professional antigen presenting cells, connect innate and adaptive immune responses. The preference of DCs for sugar or lipid affects its phenotypes and functions. In many diseases such as atherosclerosis (AS), diabetes mellitus and tumor, altered glucose or lipid level in microenvironment makes DCs exert ineffective or opposite immune roles, which accelerates the development of these diseases. In this article, we review the metabolism pathways of glucose and cholesterol in DCs, and the effects of metabolic changes on the phenotype and function of DCs. In addition, we discuss the effects of changes in glucose and lipid levels on DCs in the context of different diseases for better understanding the relationship between DCs and diseases. The immune metabolism of DCs may be a potential intervention link to treat metabolic-related immune diseases.
    Keywords:  Cholesterol metabolism; dendritic cell; glucose metabolism; immune response; inflammation
  31. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 24. pii: 3315. [Epub ahead of print]22(7):
      Chemo-resistance hinders treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Although there are many models that can be found in the literature, the root mechanism to explain chemo-resistance is still not fully understood. To gain a better understanding of this phenomenon, a chemo-resistant line, R-HepG2, was developed from a chemo-sensitive HepG2 line through an exposure of doxorubicin (DOX). The R-HepG2 exhibited a cancer stem cell (CSC) phenotype with an over-expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), conferring it a significant enhancement in drug efflux and survival. With these observations, we hypothesize that metabolic alteration in this drug-resistant CSC is the root cause of chemo-resistance. Our results show that, unlike other metabolic-reprogrammed CSCs that exhibit glycolytic phenotype described by the "Warburg effect", the R-HepG2 was metabolically quiescent with glucose independence, high metabolic plasticity, and relied on glutamine metabolism via the mitochondria for its chemo-resistance Intriguingly, drug efflux by P-gp in R-HepG2 depended on the mitochondrial ATP fueled by glutamine instead of glycolytic ATP. Armed with these observations, we blocked the glutamine metabolism in the R-HepG2 and a significant reduction of DOX efflux was obtained. We exploited this metabolic vulnerability using a combination of DOX and metformin in a glutamine-free condition to target the R-HepG2, resulting in a significant DOX sensitization. In conclusion, our findings highlight the metabolic modulation of chemo-resistance in CSCs. We delineate the altered metabolism that drives chemo-resistance and offer a new approach to target this CSC through metabolic interventions.
    Keywords:  P-glycoprotein; cancer cell metabolism; cancer stem cells; chemo-resistance; hepatocellular carcinoma; metabolic alteration; mitochondria
  32. Metabolites. 2021 Mar 10. pii: 160. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      Non-targeted analysis by high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) is an essential discovery tool in metabolomics. To date, standardization and validation remain a challenge. Community-wide accepted cost-effective benchmark materials are lacking. In this work, we propose yeast (Pichia pastoris) extracts derived from fully controlled fermentations for this purpose. We established an open-source metabolite library of >200 identified metabolites based on compound identification by accurate mass, matching retention times, and MS/MS, as well as a comprehensive literature search. The library includes metabolites from the classes of (1) organic acids and derivatives (2) nucleosides, nucleotides, and analogs, (3) lipids and lipid-like molecules, (4) organic oxygen compounds, (5) organoheterocyclic compounds, (6) organic nitrogen compounds, and (7) benzoids at expected concentrations ranges of sub-nM to µM. As yeast is a eukaryotic organism, key regulatory elements are highly conserved between yeast and all annotated metabolites were also reported in the human metabolome database (HMDB). Orthogonal state-of-the-art reversed-phase (RP-) and hydrophilic interaction chromatography mass spectrometry (HILIC-MS) non-targeted analysis and authentic standards revealed that 104 out of the 206 confirmed metabolites were reproducibly recovered and stable over the course of three years when stored at -80 °C. Overall, 67 out of these 104 metabolites were identified with comparably stable areas over all three yeast fermentation and are the ideal starting point for benchmarking experiments. The provided yeast benchmark material enabled not only to test for the chemical space and coverage upon method implementation and developments but also allowed in-house routines for instrumental performance tests. Transferring the quality control strategy of proteomics workflows based on the number of protein identification in HeLa extracts, metabolite IDs in the yeast benchmarking material can be used as metabolomics quality control. Finally, the benchmark material opens new avenues for batch-to-batch corrections in large-scale non-targeted metabolomics studies.
    Keywords:  benchmarking; database; library; lipids; mass spectrometry; metabolites; non-targeted metabolomics; quality control; yeast
  33. Mol Cell. 2021 Mar 27. pii: S1097-2765(21)00210-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Protein modifications modulate nearly every aspect of cell biology in organisms, ranging from Archaea to Eukaryotes. The earliest evidence of covalent protein modifications was found in the early 20th century by studying the amino acid composition of proteins by chemical hydrolysis. These discoveries challenged what defined a canonical amino acid. The advent and rapid adoption of mass-spectrometry-based proteomics in the latter part of the 20th century enabled a veritable explosion in the number of known protein modifications, with more than 500 discrete modifications counted today. Now, new computational tools in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are poised to allow researchers to make significant progress in discovering new protein modifications and determining their function. In this review, we take an opportunity to revisit the historical discovery of key post-translational modifications, quantify the current landscape of covalent protein adducts, and assess the role that new computational tools will play in the future of this field.
    Keywords:  amino acid; metabolism; post-translational modifications; protein acylation; protein modifications
  34. Mol Ther. 2021 Mar 25. pii: S1525-0016(21)00146-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Compared to normal cells, cancer cells exhibit specific metabolic characteristics that facilitate the growth and metastasis of cancer. It is now widely appreciated that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) exert extensive regulatory effects on a spectrum of biological processes through diverse mechanisms. In this review, we focus on the rapidly advancing field of lncRNAs and summarize the relationship between the dysregulation of lncRNAs and cancer metabolism, with a particular emphasis on the specific roles of lncRNAs in glycolysis, mitochondrial function, glutamine and lipid metabolism. These investigations reveal that lncRNAs are a key factor in the complexity of malignant cancer metabolism. Only through understanding the relevance between lncRNAs and cancer metabolic reprogramming can we open a new chapter in the history of carcinogenesis, one that promises to alter the methods of cancer diagnosis and treatment.
    Keywords:  Cancer metabolism; LncRNA; Regulatory mechanism; Reprogramming
  35. Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2021 Mar 29.
      The remarkable diversity of specialized metabolites produced by plants has inspired several decades of research and nucleated a long list of theories to guide empirical ecological studies. However, analytical constraints and the lack of untargeted processing workflows have long precluded comprehensive metabolite profiling and, consequently, the collection of the critical currencies to test theory predictions for the ecological functions of plant metabolic diversity. Developments in mass spectrometry (MS) metabolomics have revolutionized the large-scale inventory and annotation of chemicals from biospecimens. Hence, the next generation of MS metabolomics propelled by new bioinformatics developments provides a long-awaited framework to revisit metabolism-centered ecological questions, much like the advances in next-generation sequencing of the last two decades impacted all research horizons in genomics. Here, we review advances in plant (computational) metabolomics to foster hypothesis formulation from complex metabolome data. Additionally, we reflect on how next-generation metabolomics could reinvigorate the testing of long-standing theories on plant metabolic diversity. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology, Volume 72 is May 2021. Please see for revised estimates.
  36. Molecules. 2021 Mar 04. pii: 1383. [Epub ahead of print]26(5):
      Rituximab is a chimeric immunoglobulin G1-kappa (IgG1κ) antibody targeting the CD20 antigen on B-lymphocytes. Its applications are various, such as for the treatment of chronic lymphoid leukemia or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in oncology, and it can also be used in the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases. Several studies support the interest in therapeutic drug monitoring to optimize dosing regimens of rituximab. Thus, two different laboratories have developed accurate and reproductive methods to quantify rituximab in human plasma: one using liquid chromatography quadripolar tandem mass spectrometer (LC-MS/MS) and the other, liquid chromatography orbitrap tandem mass spectrometer (LC-MS/HRMS). For both assays, quantification was based on albumin depletion or IgG-immunocapture, surrogate peptide analysis, and full-length stable isotope-labeled rituximab. With LC-MS/MS, the concentration range was from 5 to 500 µg/mL, the within- and between-run precisions were <8.5%, and the limit of quantitation was 5 µg/mL. With LC-MS/HRMS, the concentration range was from 10 to 200 µg/mL, the within- and between-run accuracy were <11.5%, and the limit of quantitation was 2 µg/mL. Rituximab plasma concentrations from 63 patients treated for vasculitis were compared. Bland-Altman analysis and Passing-Bablok regression showed the interchangeability between these two methods. Overall, these methods were robust and reliable and could be applied to routine clinical samples.
    Keywords:  IgG-immunocapture; albumin depletion; orbitrap mass spectrometer; pharmacokinetics; quadripolar mass spectrometer; rituximab
  37. Metabolites. 2021 Mar 11. pii: 162. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      This work describes the use of mass spectrometry-based metabolomics as a non-invasive approach to accurately predict birth prior to embryo transfer (ET) starting from embryo culture media and plasma recipient. Metabolomics was used here as a predictive platform. Day-6 in vitro produced embryos developed singly in modified synthetic oviduct fluid culture medium (CM) drops for 24 h were vitrified as Day-7 blastocysts and transferred to recipients. Day-0 and Day-7 recipient plasma (N = 36 × 2) and CM (N = 36) were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled to the quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (GC-qTOF). Metabolites quantified in CM and plasma were analyzed as a function to predict pregnancy at Day-40, Day-62, and birth (univariate and multivariate statistics). Subsequently, a Boolean matrix (F1 score) was constructed with metabolite pairs (one from the embryo, and one from the recipient) to combine the predictive power of embryos and recipients. Validation was performed in independent cohorts of ETs analyzed. Embryos that did not reach birth released more stearic acid, capric acid, palmitic acid, and glyceryl monostearate in CM (i.e., (p < 0.05, FDR < 0.05, Receiver Operator Characteristic-area under curve (ROC-AUC) > 0.669)). Within Holstein recipients, hydrocinnamic acid, alanine, and lysine predicted birth (ROC-AUC > 0.778). Asturiana de los Valles recipients that reached birth showed lower concentrations of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, stearic acid, palmitic acid, and hippuric acid (ROC-AUC > 0.832). Embryonal capric acid and glyceryl-monostearate formed F1 scores generally >0.900, with metabolites found both to differ (e.g., hippuric acid, hydrocinnamic acid) or not (e.g., heptadecanoic acid, citric acid) with pregnancy in plasmas, as hypothesized. Efficient lipid metabolism in the embryo and the recipient can allow pregnancy to proceed. Changes in phenolics from plasma suggest that microbiota and liver metabolism influence the pregnancy establishment in cattle.
    Keywords:  bovine; embryo; in vitro; metabolism; pregnancy; recipient
  38. Anal Chem. 2021 Mar 30.
      Tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is widely used to identify unknown ions in untargeted metabolomics. Data-dependent acquisition (DDA) chooses which ions to fragment based upon intensities observed in MS1 survey scans and typically only fragments a small subset of the ions present. Despite this inefficiency, relatively little work has addressed the development of new DDA methods, partly due to the high overhead associated with running the many extracts necessary to optimize approaches in busy MS facilities. In this work, we first provide theoretical results that show how much improvement is possible over current DDA strategies. We then describe an in silico framework for fast and cost-efficient development of new DDA strategies using a previously developed virtual metabolomics mass spectrometer (ViMMS). Additional functionality is added to ViMMS to allow methods to be used both in simulation and on real samples via an Instrument Application Programming Interface (IAPI). We demonstrate this framework through the development and optimization of two new DDA methods that introduce new advanced ion prioritization strategies. Upon application of these developed methods to two complex metabolite mixtures, our results show that they are able to fragment more unique ions than standard DDA strategies.
  39. FEBS J. 2021 Mar 27.
      Cysteine is a conditionally essential amino acid that contributes to the synthesis of proteins and many important intracellular metabolites. Cysteine depletion can trigger iron-dependent non-apoptotic cell death-ferroptosis. Despite this, cysteine itself is normally maintained at relatively low levels within the cell, and many mechanisms that could act to buffer cysteine depletion do not appear to be especially effective or active, at least in cancer cells. How do we reconcile these seemingly paradoxical features? Here we describe the regulation of cysteine and contribution to ferroptosis and speculate about how the levels of this amino acid are controlled to govern non-apoptotic cell death.
    Keywords:  Cysteine; Ferroptosis; Glutathione; Iron; Metabolism
  40. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2021 Mar 25. pii: S1535-9476(21)00040-2. [Epub ahead of print] 100067
      Histones are highly post-translationally modified proteins that regulate gene expression by modulating chromatin structure and function. Acetylation and methylation are the most abundant histone modifications, with methylation occurring on lysine (mono-, di- and trimethylation) and arginine (mono- and dimethylation) predominately on histones H3 and H4. In addition, arginine dimethylation can occur either symmetrically (SDMA) or asymmetrically (ADMA) conferring different biological functions. Despite the importance of histone methylation on gene regulation, characterization and quantitation of this modification has proven to be quite challenging. Great advances have been made in the analysis of histone modification using both bottom-up and top-down mass spectrometry (MS). However, MS-based analysis of histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) is still problematic, due both to the basic nature of the histone N-terminal tails and to the combinatorial complexity of the histone PTMs. In this report, we describe a simplified MS-based platform for histone methylation analysis. The strategy uses chemical acetylation with d0-acetic anhydride to collapse all the differently acetylated histone forms into one form, greatly reducing the complexity of the peptide mixture and improving sensitivity for the detection of methylation via summation of all the differently acetylated forms. We have used this strategy for the robust identification and relative quantitation of H4R3 methylation, for which stoichiometry and symmetry status was determined, providing an antibody-independent evidence that H4R3 is a substrate for both Type I and Type II PRMTs. Additionally, this approach permitted the robust detection of H4K5 monomethylation, a very low stoichiometry methylation event (0.02% methylation). In an independent example, we developed an in vitro assay to profile H3K27 methylation and applied it to an EZH2 mutant xenograft model following small molecule inhibition of the EZH2 H3K27 methyltransferase. These specific examples highlight the utility of this simplified MS-based approach to quantify histone methylation profiles.
  41. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 04. pii: 2565. [Epub ahead of print]22(5):
      A conditioned medium of a cell culture is widely used for various biological applications and frequently analyzed to characterize the functional proteins responsible for observed biological functions. However, a large number of abundant proteins in fetal bovine serum (FBS), usually included in the conditioned medium of a mammalian cell culture medium, hampers in-depth proteomic analysis by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). For a deep proteomic analysis of a conditioned medium by LC-MS/MS, we developed a simple albumin depletion approach coupled with data-independent acquisition (DIA)-mode LC-MS/MS for the conditioned medium of mammalian cells in this study. The results showed that this approach enabled the detection of more than 3700 cell-derived proteins in the cell culture supernatant containing FBS. We further demonstrated the potency of this approach by analyzing proteins in the conditioned media of HeLa cells with and without tumor necrosis factor (TNF) stimulation: >40 differentially accumulated proteins, including four cytokines, upon TNF stimulation were identified in the culture media, which were hardly detected by conventional proteome approaches in the literature.
    Keywords:  DIA; albumin removal; conditioned medium; fetal bovine serum; proteome analysis; secreted proteins
  42. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids. 2021 Mar 29. pii: S1388-1981(21)00062-7. [Epub ahead of print] 158936
      Chronic inflammation contributes toward the pathogenesis of numerous diseases including, but not limited to, obesity, autoimmunity, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers. The discovery of specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs), which are critical for resolving inflammation, has commenced investigation into targeting pathways of inflammation resolution to improve physiological outcomes. SPMs are predominately synthesized from the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids. Therefore, one viable strategy to promote inflammation resolution would be to increase dietary intake of EPA/DHA, which are deficient in select populations. However, there are inconsistencies between the use of EPA/DHA as dietary or pharmacological supplements and improved inflammatory status. Herein, we review the literature on the relationship between the high n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio, downstream SPM biosynthesis, and inflammatory endpoints. We highlight key studies that have investigated how dietary intake of EPA/DHA increase tissue SPMs and their effects on inflammation. We also discuss the biochemical pathways by which EPA/DHA drive SPM biosynthesis and underscore mechanistic gaps in knowledge about these pathways which include a neglect for host genetics/ethnic differences in SPM metabolism, sexual dimorphism in SPM levels, and potential competition from select dietary n-6 PUFAs for enzymes of SPM synthesis. Altogether, establishing how dietary PUFAs control SPM biosynthesis in a genetic- and sex-dependent manner will drive new precision nutrition studies with EPA/DHA to prevent chronic inflammation in select populations.
    Keywords:  Inflammation; Obesity; Precision nutrition; Specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators
  43. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 ;1280 173-187
      Lipidomics refers to the large-scale study of pathways and networks of cellular lipids in biological systems. A lipidomic analysis often involves the identification and quantification of the thousands of cellular lipid molecular species within a complex biological sample and therefore requires a well optimized method for lipid profiling. In this chapter, the methods for lipidomic analysis, including sample collection and preparation, lipid derivatization and separation, mass spectrometric identification of lipids, data processing and interpretation, and quality control, are overviewed.
    Keywords:  Chromatographic separation of lipids; Lipid derivatization; Lipid extraction; Lipidomics; Mass spectrometry
  44. Nat Cell Biol. 2021 Apr 01.
      Endothelial cells (ECs) adapt their metabolism to enable the growth of new blood vessels, but little is known how ECs regulate metabolism to adopt a quiescent state. Here, we show that the metabolite S-2-hydroxyglutarate (S-2HG) plays a crucial role in the regulation of endothelial quiescence. We find that S-2HG is produced in ECs after activation of the transcription factor forkhead box O1 (FOXO1), where it limits cell cycle progression, metabolic activity and vascular expansion. FOXO1 stimulates S-2HG production by inhibiting the mitochondrial enzyme 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase. This inhibition relies on branched-chain amino acid catabolites such as 3-methyl-2-oxovalerate, which increase in ECs with activated FOXO1. Treatment of ECs with 3-methyl-2-oxovalerate elicits S-2HG production and suppresses proliferation, causing vascular rarefaction in mice. Our findings identify a metabolic programme that promotes the acquisition of a quiescent endothelial state and highlight the role of metabolites as signalling molecules in the endothelium.