bims-mepmim Biomed News
on Metabolites in pathological microenvironments and immunometabolism
Issue of 2022‒03‒13
forty-six papers selected by
Erika Mariana Palmieri
NIH/NCI Laboratory of Cancer ImmunoMetabolism

  1. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Mar 03. pii: 1311. [Epub ahead of print]14(5):
      Reprograming of cellular metabolism is a hallmark of cancer. Altering metabolism allows cancer cells to overcome unfavorable microenvironment conditions and to proliferate and invade. Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of children. Genomic amplification of MYC defines a subset of poor-prognosis medulloblastoma. We performed comprehensive metabolic studies of human MYC-amplified medulloblastoma by comparing the metabolic profiles of tumor cells in three different conditions-in vitro, in flank xenografts and in orthotopic xenografts in the cerebellum. Principal component analysis showed that the metabolic profiles of brain and flank high-MYC medulloblastoma tumors clustered closely together and separated away from normal brain and in vitro MYC-amplified cells. Compared to normal brain, MYC-amplified medulloblastoma orthotopic xenograft tumors showed upregulation of the TCA cycle as well as the synthesis of nucleotides, hexosamines, amino acids and glutathione. There was significantly higher glucose uptake and usage in orthotopic xenograft tumors compared to flank xenograft tumors and cells in culture. In orthotopic tumors, glucose was the main carbon source for the de novo synthesis of glutamate, glutamine and glutathione through the TCA cycle. In vivo, the glutaminase II pathway was the main pathway utilizing glutamine. Glutathione was the most abundant upregulated metabolite in orthotopic tumors compared to normal brain. Glutamine-derived glutathione was synthesized through the glutamine transaminase K (GTK) enzyme in vivo. In conclusion, high MYC medulloblastoma cells have different metabolic profiles in vitro compared to in vivo, and key vulnerabilities may be missed by not performing in vivo metabolic analyses.
    Keywords:  Warburg effect; cancer metabolism; isotope labeling; mass spectrometry; pediatric brain tumor
  2. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 837669
      Targeting T cell metabolism is an established method of immunomodulation. Following activation, T cells engage distinct metabolic programs leading to the uptake and processing of nutrients that determine cell proliferation and differentiation. Redirection of T cell fate by modulation of these metabolic programs has been shown to boost or suppress immune responses in vitro and in vivo. Using publicly available T cell transcriptomic and proteomic datasets we identified vitamin B6-dependent transaminases as key metabolic enzymes driving T cell activation and differentiation. Inhibition of vitamin B6 metabolism using the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) inhibitor, aminoxyacetic acid (AOA), suppresses CD8+ T cell proliferation and effector differentiation in a dose-dependent manner. We show that pyridoxal phosphate phosphatase (PDXP), a negative regulator of intracellular vitamin B6 levels, is under the control of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF1), a central driver of T cell metabolism. Furthermore, by adoptive transfer of CD8 T cells into a C57BL/6 mouse melanoma model, we demonstrate the requirement for vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity in mediating effective anti-tumor responses. Our findings show that vitamin B6 metabolism is required for CD8+ T cell proliferation and effector differentiation in vitro and in vivo. Targeting vitamin B6 metabolism may therefore serve as an immunodulatory strategy to improve anti-tumor immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  CD8+ lymphocytes; hypoxia; immunotherapy; metabolism; vitamin B6
  3. Eur J Immunol. 2022 Mar 06.
      Cytotoxic CD8+ T cells are a key element of the adaptative immune system to protect the organism against infections and malignant cells. During their activation and response T cells undergo different metabolic pathways to support their energetic needs according to their localization and function. However, it has also been recently appreciated that this metabolic reprogramming also directly supports T cells lineage differentiation. Accordingly, metabolic deficiencies and prolonged stress exposure can impact T cell differentiation and skew them into exhausted state. Here, we review how metabolism defines CD8+ T cells differentiation and function. Moreover, we cover the principal metabolic dysregulation that promotes the exhausted phenotype under tumor or chronic virus condition. Finally, we summarize recent strategies to reprogram impaired metabolic pathways to promote CD8+ T cells effector function and survival. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  T cell differentiation; T cell exhaustion; T cells; infection; metabolism
  4. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2022 Mar 07.
      OBJECTIVE: Glutaminase (GLS) isoenzymes GLS1 and GLS2 catalyze the first step of glutaminolysis. GLS1 is requisite for Th17 differentiation and its inhibition suppresses autoimmune disease in animals but the function of GLS2 is not known. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of GLS2 in CD4+ T cell function and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathogenesis.METHODS: We measured reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, lipid peroxidation, and mitochondrial mass/polarization by flow cytometry, IL-2 production by dual luciferase assay, and CpG-DNA methylation of the Il-2 gene by real-time PCR. The impact of the overexpression of wild type GLS1 and GLS2, or mutated GLS2 at the PDZ domain-binding motif in CD4+ T cells was examined. Furthermore, GLS2 expression in CD4+ T cells from lupus-prone mice and patients with SLE was analyzed by Western blotting.
    RESULTS: GLS2, but not GLS1, reduced ROS levels, lipid peroxidation and restored mitochondrial function in T cells. GLS2 promoted IL-2 production through the demethylation of the Il-2 promoter. Mutation of the PDZ domain-binding motif abated the ability of GLS2 to regulate IL-2 and ROS levels. In lupus-prone mice and patients with SLE, the expression of GLS2 was decreased in CD4+ T cells. Finally, GLS2 overexpression corrected ROS levels and restored IL-2 production by lupus CD4+ cells.
    CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that GLS2 has a crucial role in IL-2 production by CD4+ T cells by supporting the antioxidant defense and offer a new approach to correct IL-2 production by T cell in SLE.
  5. Cancer Immunol Res. 2022 Mar 09. pii: canimm.0880.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tumors that metastasize in the peritoneal cavity typically end up in the omental adipose tissue, a particularly immune-suppressive environment that includes specialized adipose-resident regulatory T cells (Tregs). Tregs rapidly accumulate in the omentum after tumor implantation and potently suppress anti-tumor immunity. However, it is unclear whether these Tregs are recruited from the circulation or derived from pre-existing adipose-resident Tregs by clonal expansion. Here we show that Tregs in tumor-bearing omenta predominantly have thymus-derived characteristics. Moreover, naïve tumor antigen-specific CD4+ T cells fail to differentiate into Tregs in tumor-bearing omenta. In fact, Tregs derived from the pre-tumor repertoire are sufficient to suppress anti-tumor immunity and promote tumor growth. However, tumor implantation in the omentum does not promote Treg clonal expansion, but instead leads to increased clonal diversity. Parabiosis experiments show that despite tissue-resident (non-circulating) characteristics of omental Tregs in naïve mice, tumor implantation promotes a rapid influx of circulating Tregs, many of which come from the spleen. Finally, we show that newly recruited Tregs rapidly acquire characteristics of adipose-resident Tregs in tumor-bearing omenta. These data demonstrate that most Tregs in omental tumors are recruited from the circulation and adapt to their environment by altering their homing, transcriptional and metabolic properties.
  6. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2022 Mar;14(2): 254-272
      PURPOSE: Previous studies have shown the role of ten-eleven translocation 2 (TET2) in CD4+ T cells. However, its function in CD4+ T cells under allergic inflammation is unclear. We aimed to investigate the epigenomic distribution of DNA 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and the role of TET2 in CD4+ T cells of allergic rhinitis (AR).METHODS: The hMeDIP-seq was performed to identify sequences with 5hmC deposition in CD4+ T cells of AR patients. Tet2-deficient or wild type mice were stimulated with ovalbumin (OVA) to develop an AR mouse model. The histopathology in nasal mucosae, Th1/Th2/Treg/Th17 cell percentage, concentrations of Th-related cytokines, expression of Tet and differential hydroxymethylated genes (DhMG), and the global deposition of 5hmC in sorted CD4+ T cells were detected.
    RESULTS: Epigenome-wide 5hmC landscape and DhMG in the CD4+ T cells of AR patients were identified. Tet2 depletion did not led to spontaneous inflammation. However, under the stimulation of allergen, OVA, loss of Tet2 resulted in the exacerbation of allergic inflammation, which was characterized by severer allergic symptoms, more inflammatory cells infiltrating the nasal lamina propria, sharper imbalances between Th1/Th2 and Treg/Th17 cells, and excessive secretion of OVA-specific IgE and Th2-related cytokines. Moreover, altered mRNA production of several DhMG and sharp decrease in 5hmC deposition were also observed in Tet2-deficient OVA-exposed mice.
    CONCLUSIONS: TET2 may regulate DNA 5hmC, DhMG expressions, and CD4+ T cell balance in AR.
    Keywords:  5-hydroxymethylcytosine; Allergic rhinitis; CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes; Tet2 protein, mouse; cytokines; epigenomes; ovalbumin
  7. Cells. 2022 Mar 05. pii: 896. [Epub ahead of print]11(5):
      Polyamines are ubiquitous, amine-rich molecules with diverse processes in biology. Recent work has highlighted that polyamines exert profound roles on the mammalian immune system, particularly inflammation and cancer. The mechanisms by which they control immunity are still being described. In the context of inflammation and autoimmunity, polyamine levels inversely correlate to autoimmune phenotypes, with lower polyamine levels associated with higher inflammatory responses. Conversely, in the context of cancer, polyamines and polyamine biosynthetic genes positively correlate with the severity of malignancy. Blockade of polyamine metabolism in cancer results in reduced tumor growth, and the effects appear to be mediated by an increase in T-cell infiltration and a pro-inflammatory phenotype of macrophages. These studies suggest that polyamine depletion leads to inflammation and that polyamine enrichment potentiates myeloid cell immune suppression. Indeed, combinatorial treatment with polyamine blockade and immunotherapy has shown efficacy in pre-clinical models of cancer. Considering the efficacy of immunotherapies is linked to autoimmune sequelae in humans, termed immune-adverse related events (iAREs), this suggests that polyamine levels may govern the inflammatory response to immunotherapies. This review proposes that polyamine metabolism acts to balance autoimmune inflammation and anti-tumor immunity and that polyamine levels can be used to monitor immune responses and responsiveness to immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  autoimmunity; cancer; myeloid cells; polyamines
  8. J Biol Chem. 2022 Mar 03. pii: S0021-9258(22)00235-6. [Epub ahead of print] 101795
      Cell growth is driven by the acquisition and synthesis of both dry biomass and water mass. In this study, we examine the increase of water mass in T cell during cell growth. We found that T cell growth is characterized by an initial phase of slow increase in cellular water, followed by a second phase of rapid increase in water content. To study the origin of the water gain, we developed a novel methodology we call Cold Aqua Trap-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (CAT-IRMS), which allows analysis of the isotope composition of intracellular water. Applying CAT-IRMS, we discovered that glycolysis-coupled metabolism of water accounts on average for 11 femtoliter (fL) out of the 20 fL of water gained per cell during the initial slow phase. In addition, we show that at the end of the rapid phase before initiation of cell division a water influx occurs, increasing the cellular water mass by three-fold. Thus, we conclude that activated T cells switch from metabolizing water to rapidly taking up water from the extracellular medium prior to cell division. Our work provides a method to analyze cell water content, as well as insights into the ways cells regulate their water mass.
    Keywords:  Metabolic water; cell growth; metabolism; water influx
  9. BMC Biol. 2022 Mar 09. 20(1): 61
      BACKGROUND: T cell activation is a mechanical process as much as it is a biochemical process. In this study, we used a cone-and-plate viscometer system to treat Jurkat and primary human T cells with fluid shear stress (FSS) to enhance the activation of the T cells through mechanical means.RESULTS: The FSS treatment of T cells in combination with soluble and bead-bound CD3/CD28 antibodies increased the activation of signaling proteins essential for T cell activation, such as zeta-chain-associated protein kinase-70 (ZAP70), nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT), nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), and AP-1 (activator protein 1). The FSS treatment also enhanced the expression of the cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 2 (IL-2), and interferon gamma (IFN-γ), which are necessary for sustained T cell activation and function. The enhanced activation of T cells by FSS was calcium dependent. The calcium signaling was controlled by the mechanosensitive ion channel Piezo1, as GsMTx-4 and Piezo1 knockout reduced ZAP70 phosphorylation by FSS.
    CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate an intriguing new dynamic to T cell activation, as the circulatory system consists of different magnitudes of FSS and could have a proinflammatory role in T cell function. The results also identify a potential pathophysiological relationship between T cell activation and FSS, as hypertension is a disease characterized by abnormal blood flow and is correlated with multiple autoimmune diseases.
    Keywords:  Fluid shear stress; Mechanotransduction; Piezo1; T cells
  10. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 27. pii: 2627. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      In the past decade, anti-tumour immune responses have been successfully exploited to improve the outcome of patients with different cancers. Significant progress has been made in taking advantage of different types of T cell functions for therapeutic purposes. Despite these achievements, only a subset of patients respond favorably to immunotherapy. Therefore, there is a need of novel approaches to improve the effector functions of immune cells and to recognize the major targets of anti-tumour immunity. A major hallmark of cancer is metabolic rewiring associated with switch of mitochondrial functions. These changes are a consequence of high energy demand and increased macromolecular synthesis in cancer cells. Such adaptations in tumour cells might generate novel targets of tumour therapy, including the generation of neoantigens. Here, we review the most recent advances in research on the immune response to mitochondrial proteins in different cellular conditions.
    Keywords:  T cell response; cancer neoantigens; mitochondria; mtDNA mutations; post translational modifications
  11. Cancer Lett. 2022 Mar 03. pii: S0304-3835(22)00091-X. [Epub ahead of print]534 215616
      Breast cancer is considered the most common malignancy, with the profound ability to perform a wide range of metabolic reprogramming. Within the breast cancer microenvironment, highly available cancer-associated adipocytes interact with cancer cells by releasing various adipocytokines and metabolites. Obesity is also an important factor in this manner, where the accumulation of adipose tissue next to tumor tissue is linked to the increased incidence, progression, and metastasis of breast cancer. The metabolic changes caused by the crosstalk between breast cancer cells and dysfunctional adipose tissue include glucose, lipid, and amino acid metabolism. Thus, preventing this interaction between breast cancer cells and dysfunctional adipose tissue might develop a promising therapeutic strategy against breast cancer. This review focused on the metabolic changes responsible for inducing the crosstalk between breast cancer cells and adipocytes. We also reviewed the recent updates in therapeutics designed to disrupt this interaction.
    Keywords:  Breast carcinoma; Cancer-associated adipocytes; Metabolic reprogramming; Obesity; Tumor microenvironment
  12. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 783908
      The grade of malignancy differs among cancer cell types, yet it remains the burden of genetic studies to understand the reasons behind this observation. Metabolic studies of cancer, based on the Warburg effect or aerobic glycolysis, have also not provided any clarity. Instead, the significance of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) has been found to play critical roles in aggressive cancer cells. In this perspective, metabolic symbiosis is addressed as one of the ultimate causes of the grade of cancer malignancy. Metabolic symbiosis gives rise to metabolic heterogeneities which enable cancer cells to acquire greater opportunities for proliferation and metastasis in tumor microenvironments. This study introduces a real-time new imaging technique to visualize metabolic symbiosis between cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and cancer cells based on the metabolic oscillations in these cells. The causality of cellular oscillations in cancer cells and CAFs, connected through lactate transport, is a key point for the development of this novel technique.
    Keywords:  cancer; heterogeneity; malignancy; metabolic oscillations; symbiosis
  13. Nature. 2022 Mar 09.
      The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is a central hub of cellular metabolism, oxidizing nutrients to generate reducing equivalents for energy production and critical metabolites for biosynthetic reactions. Despite the importance of the products of the TCA cycle for cell viability and proliferation, mammalian cells display diversity in TCA-cycle activity1,2. How this diversity is achieved, and whether it is critical for establishing cell fate, remains poorly understood. Here we identify a non-canonical TCA cycle that is required for changes in cell state. Genetic co-essentiality mapping revealed a cluster of genes that is sufficient to compose a biochemical alternative to the canonical TCA cycle, wherein mitochondrially derived citrate exported to the cytoplasm is metabolized by ATP citrate lyase, ultimately regenerating mitochondrial oxaloacetate to complete this non-canonical TCA cycle. Manipulating the expression of ATP citrate lyase or the canonical TCA-cycle enzyme aconitase 2 in mouse myoblasts and embryonic stem cells revealed that changes in the configuration of the TCA cycle accompany cell fate transitions. During exit from pluripotency, embryonic stem cells switch from canonical to non-canonical TCA-cycle metabolism. Accordingly, blocking the non-canonical TCA cycle prevents cells from exiting pluripotency. These results establish a context-dependent alternative to the traditional TCA cycle and reveal that appropriate TCA-cycle engagement is required for changes in cell state.
  14. Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2022 Mar 08. pii: S0304-419X(22)00030-0. [Epub ahead of print] 188705
      One of the characteristics of cancer cells important for tumorigenesis is their metabolic plasticity. Indeed, in various stress conditions, cancer cells can reshape their metabolic pathways to support the increased energy request due to continuous growth and rapid proliferation. Moreover, selective pressures in the tumor microenvironment, such as hypoxia, acidosis, and competition for resources, force cancer cells to adapt by complete reorganization of their metabolism. In this review, we highlight the characteristics of cancer metabolism and discuss its clinical significance, since overcoming metabolic plasticity of cancer cells is a key objective of modern cancer therapeutics and a better understanding of metabolic reprogramming may lead to the identification of possible targets for cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Cancer metabolism; Cell death; Glutaminolysis; Metabolic symbiosis; Mitochondrial bioenergetics; Warburg effect
  15. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 821816
      In solid tumors, as the tumor grows and the disease progresses, hypoxic regions are often generated, but in contrast to most normal cells which cannot survive under these conditions, tumour cells adapt to hypoxia by HIF-driven mechanisms. Hypoxia can further promote cancer development by generating an immunosuppressive environment within the tumour mass, which allows tumour cells to escape the immune system recognition. This is achieved by recruiting immunosuppressive cells and by upregulating molecules which block immune cell activation. Hypoxia can also confer resistance to antitumor therapies by inducing the expression of membrane proteins that increase drug efflux or by inhibiting the apoptosis of treated cells. In addition, tumor cells require an active interferon (IFN) signalling pathway for the success of many anticancer therapies, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Therefore, hypoxic effects on this pathway needs to be addressed for a successful treatment.
    Keywords:  IFN; cancer; hypoxia; therapy; type I IFN
  16. Cells. 2022 Feb 22. pii: 768. [Epub ahead of print]11(5):
      Immunometabolism is an emerging discipline in cancer immunotherapy. Tumor tissues are heterogeneous and influenced by metabolic reprogramming of the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME). In the TIME, multiple cell types interact, and the tumor and immune cells compete for limited nutrients, resulting in altered anticancer immunity. Therefore, metabolic reprogramming of individual cell types may influence the outcomes of immunotherapy. Understanding the metabolic competition for access to limited nutrients between tumor cells and immune cells could reveal the breadth and complexity of the TIME and aid in developing novel therapeutic approaches for cancer. In this review, we highlight that, when cells compete for nutrients, the prevailing cell type gains certain advantages over other cell types; for instance, if tumor cells prevail against immune cells for nutrients, the former gains immune resistance. Thus, a strategy is needed to selectively suppress such resistant tumor cells. Although challenging, the concept of cell type-specific metabolic pathway inhibition is a potent new strategy in anticancer immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  immune checkpoint inhibitor; immunometabolism; metabolic reprogramming; tumor microenvironment
  17. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 820174
      Background: The role of liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) in cancer has also attracted more and more attention, which is found to affect transcriptional regulation, maintaining genomic stability and signal transduction, and contribute to the occurrence and progression of tumors. However, the role of LLPS in digestive system tumors is still largely unknown. Results: Here, we characterized the expression profiles of LLPS regulators in 3 digestive tract tumor types such as COAD, STAD, and ESCA with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data. Our results for the first time showed that LLPS regulatory factors, such as Brd4, FBN1, and TP53, were frequently mutated in all types of digestive system tumors. Variant allele frequency (VAF) and APOBEC analysis demonstrated that genetic alterations of LLPS regulators were related to the progression of digestive system neoplasms (DSNs), such as TP53, NPHS1, TNRC6B, ITSN1, TNPO1, PML, AR, BRD4, DLG4, and PTPN1. KM plotter analysis showed that the mutation status of LLPS regulators was significantly related to the overall survival (OS) time of DSNs, indicating that they may contribute to the progression of DSN. The expression analysis of LLPS regulatory factors showed that a variety of LLPS regulatory factors were significantly dysregulated in digestive system tumors, such as SYN2 and MAPT. It is worth noting that we first found that LLPS regulatory factors were significantly correlated with tumor immune infiltration of B cells, CD4+ T cells, and CD8+ T cells in digestive system tumors. Bioinformatics analysis showed that the LLPS regulators' expression was closely related to multiple signaling, including the ErbB signaling pathway and T-cell receptor signaling pathway. Finally, several LLPS signatures were constructed and had a strong prognostic stratification ability in different digestive gland tumors. Finally, the results demonstrated the LLPS regulators' signature score was significantly positively related to the infiltration levels of CD4+ T cells, neutrophil cells, macrophage cells, and CD8+ T cells. Conclusion: Our study for the first time showed the potential roles of LLPS regulators in carcinogenesis and provide novel insights to identify novel biomarkers for the prediction of immune therapy and prognosis of DSNs.
    Keywords:  TCGA; cancers; liquid-liquid phase separation regulators; prognosis; tumor immune infiltration
  18. Cells. 2022 Mar 04. pii: 885. [Epub ahead of print]11(5):
      Testicular germ cell cancer (TGCC) is the most common type of cancer in young men. Seminomas account for around half of them and are characterized by a pronounced infiltration of immune cells. So far, the impact of the tumor microenvironment (TME) on disease progression, especially the interaction of individual immune cell subtypes with the tumor cells, remains unclear. To address this question, we used an in vitro TME model involving the seminoma-derived cell line Tcam-2 and immune cell subsets purified from human peripheral blood. T cells and monocytes were strongly activated when individually cocultured with Tcam-2 cells as revealed by increased expression of activation markers and pro-inflammatory cytokines both on the mRNA and protein level. Importantly, the interaction between tumor and immune cells was mutual. Gene expression of pluripotency markers as well as markers of proliferation and cell cycle activity were upregulated in Tcam-2 cells in cocultures with T cells, whereas gene expression of SOX17, a marker for seminomas, was unaltered. Interestingly, the impact of monocytes on gene expression of Tcam-2 cells was less pronounced, indicating that the effects of individual immune cell subsets on tumor cells in the TME are highly specific. Collectively, our data indicate that seminoma cells induce immune cell activation and thereby generate a strong pro-inflammatory milieu, whereas T cells conversely increase the proliferation, metastatic potential, and stemness of tumor cells. Although the employed model does not fully mimic the physiological situation found in TGCC in vivo, it provides new insights potentially explaining the connection between inflammatory infiltrates in seminomas and their tendency to burn out and metastasize.
    Keywords:  T cells; Tcam-2; inflammation; monocytes; seminoma; testicular germ cell cancer; tumor microenvironment
  19. Sci Immunol. 2022 Mar 11. 7(69): eabm0775
      Antibody affinity maturation occurs in germinal centers (GCs) through iterative rounds of somatic hypermutation and proliferation in dark zones (DZs) and selection in light zones (LZs). GC B cells exit cell cycle a number of hours before entering LZs; therefore, continued participation in responses requires that they subsequently reenter cell cycle and move back to DZs, a process known as cyclic reentry. Affinity enhancements are thought to arise by B cells having to compete to initiate cyclic reentry each time they enter LZs, with T cell help being a major determinant; however, direct proof is lacking. Using Fucci2 mice, we confirmed an association between B cell receptor affinity and the first step of cyclic reentry, S phase initiation from a resting LZ state. However, neither T cell ablation nor MHCII deletion prevented resting LZ cells from reentering cell cycle, and this late G1-S transition was also not detectably restricted by competition. In contrast, using BATF induction as exemplar, we found that T cells "refueled" LZ cells in an affinity-dependent manner that was limited by both competition and cells' intrinsic antigen-acquiring abilities. Therefore, cyclic reentry initiation and B cell refueling are independently regulated in GCs, which may contribute to permitting cells of different competencies to be sustained alongside each other and allow T cell support to be provided across a dynamic range commensurate with affinity. We speculate that this less binary selection mechanism could help GCs nurture complex antibody maturation pathways and support the clonal diversity required for countering fast-evolving pathogens.
  20. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 816761
      Although CAR T cell therapies have proven to be effective in treating hematopoietic cancers, their abilities to regress solid tumors have been less encouraging. Mechanisms to explain these disparities have focused primarily on differences in cancer cell heterogeneity, barriers to CAR T cell penetration of solid tumors, and immunosuppressive microenvironments. To evaluate the contributions of immunosuppressive tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) on CAR T cell efficacies, we have exploited the ability of a folate-targeted Toll-like receptor 7 agonist (FA-TLR7-1A) to specifically reactivate TAMs and MDSCs from an immunosuppressive to pro-inflammatory phenotype without altering the properties of other immune cells. We report here that FA-TLR7-1A significantly augments standard CAR T cell therapies of 4T1 solid tumors in immune competent mice. We further show that co-administration of the FA-TLR7-1A with the CAR T cell therapy not only repolarizes TAMs and MDSCs from an M2-like anti-inflammatory to M1-like pro-inflammatory phenotype, but also enhances both CAR T cell and endogenous T cell accumulation in solid tumors while concurrently increasing their states of activation. Because analogous myeloid cells in healthy tissues ar not altered by administration of FA-TLR7-1A, no systemic activation of the immune system nor accompanying weight loss is observed. These data argue that immunosuppressive myeloid cells contribute prominently to the failure of CAR T cells to eradicate solid tumors and suggest that methods to reprogram tumor associated myeloid cells to a more inflammatory phenotype could significantly augment the potencies of CAR T cell therapies.
    Keywords:  CAR T cells; TLR7 agonist; combinational immunotherapy; myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC); reprograming tumor microenvironment; tumor associated macrophage (TAM); tumor microenvironment (TME)
  21. J Oncol. 2022 ;2022 8933167
      Background: Immunotherapy is a promising therapy for metastatic gastric cancer (GC) patients. However, the component of tumor microenvironment (TME) is a pivotal factor hindering immunotherapy outcome. CD8 T cells suppress tumor progression. This study developed an immune subtyping system and a prognostic model for guiding personalized therapy of GC patients.Methods: Marker genes related to CD8 T cells were identified by weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA). Consensus clustering was used to develop immune subtypes. Univariate Cox regression analysis was performed to screen prognostic genes. Functional analysis (KEGG and GO annotation) and gene set enrichment analysis were applied.
    Results: Based on marker genes related to CD8 T cells, we identified three immune subtypes (IC1, IC2, and IC3) with distinct prognosis and differential TME. In IC3, CD8 T cell function was impaired by high activation of CXCR4/CXCL12 axis, and impaired T cell function predicted high response to immune checkpoint blockade. IC1 was sensitive to chemotherapeutic drugs but showed low response to immunotherapy. We also developed an 8-gene prognostic signature with robust performance to stratify GC patients into high-risk and low-risk groups.
    Conclusions: This study identified three immune subtypes and a prognostic signature, and both were effective in direct personalized therapy for GC patients. The correlation between TME and immunotherapy was further characterized from a new perspective.
  22. Cells. 2022 Mar 02. pii: 862. [Epub ahead of print]11(5):
      Aging is the greatest challenge to humankind worldwide. Aging is associated with a progressive loss of physiological integrity due to a decline in cellular metabolism and functions. Such metabolic changes lead to age-related diseases, thereby compromising human health for the remaining life. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify geroprotectors that regulate metabolic functions to target the aging biological processes. Nutrients are the major regulator of metabolic activities to coordinate cell growth and development. Iron is an important nutrient involved in several biological functions, including metabolism. In this study using yeast as an aging model organism, we show that iron supplementation delays aging and increases the cellular lifespan. To determine how iron supplementation increases lifespan, we performed a gene expression analysis of mitochondria, the main cellular hub of iron utilization. Quantitative analysis of gene expression data reveals that iron supplementation upregulates the expression of the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and electron transport chain (ETC) genes. Furthermore, in agreement with the expression profiles of mitochondrial genes, ATP level is elevated by iron supplementation, which is required for increasing the cellular lifespan. To confirm, we tested the role of iron supplementation in the AMPK knockout mutant. AMPK is a highly conserved controller of mitochondrial metabolism and energy homeostasis. Remarkably, iron supplementation rescued the short lifespan of the AMPK knockout mutant and confirmed its anti-aging role through the enhancement of mitochondrial functions. Thus, our results suggest a potential therapeutic use of iron supplementation to delay aging and prolong healthspan.
    Keywords:  AMPK; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; cellular lifespan extension; chronological aging; iron; mitochondria
  23. Am J Cancer Res. 2022 ;12(2): 861-872
      Metabolic reprogramming, as a key hallmark of cancers, leads to the malignant behavior of pancreatic cancer, which is closely related to tumor development and progression, as well as the supportive tumor microenvironments. Although cells produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from glucose by glycolysis when lacking oxygen, pancreatic cancer cells elicit metabolic conversion from oxide phosphorylation to glycolysis, which is well-known as "Warburg effect". Glycolysis is critical for cancer cells to maintain their robust biosynthesis and energy requirement, and it could promote tumor initiation, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis to distant organs. Multiple pathways are involved in the alternation of glycolysis for pancreatic cancer cells, including UHRF1/SIRT4 axis, PRMT5/FBW7/cMyc axis, JWA/AMPK/FOXO3a/FAK axis, KRAS/TP53/TIGAR axis, etc. These signaling pathways play an important role in glycolysis and are potential targets for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Mutations in glycolytic enzymes (such as LDH, PKM2, and PGK1) also contribute to the early diagnosis and monitoring of pancreatic cancer. In this review, we summarized the recent advances on the mechanisms for glycolysis in pancreatic cancer and the function of glycolysis in the progression of pancreatic cancer, which suggested new targets for cancer diagnosis and treatment.
    Keywords:  Pancreatic cancer; glycolysis; metabolism; tumor microenvironment; tumor progression
  24. J Immunol. 2022 Mar 09. pii: ji2100555. [Epub ahead of print]
      Development of CD8+ central memory T (Tcm) and resident memory T (Trm) cells, which promote immunity in the circulation and in barrier tissues, respectively, is not completely understood. Tcm and Trm cells may arise from common precursors; however, their fate-inducing signals are elusive. We found that virus-specific effector CD8+ T cells display heterogeneous expression of the extracellular ATP sensor P2RX7. P2RX7-high expression is confined, at peak effector phase, to CD62L+ memory precursors, which preferentially form Tcm cells. Among early effector CD8+ T cells, asymmetrical P2RX7 distribution correlated with distinct transcriptional signatures, with P2RX7-high cells enriched for memory and tissue residency sets. P2RX7-high early effectors preferentially form both Tcm and Trm cells. Defective Tcm and Trm cell formation in P2RX7 deficiency is significantly reverted when the transcriptional repressor Zeb2 is ablated. Mechanistically, P2RX7 negatively regulates Zeb2 expression, at least partially through TGF-β sensing in early effector CD8+ T cells. Our study indicates that unequal P2RX7 upregulation in effector CD8+ T cells is a foundational element of the early Tcm/Trm fate.
  25. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Feb 22. pii: 1108. [Epub ahead of print]14(5):
      The ability of cancer cells to alter their metabolism is one of the major mechanisms underlying rapid tumor progression and/or therapeutic resistance in solid tumors, including the hard-to-treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype. Here, we assessed the contribution of the tumor suppressor, Annexin A6 (AnxA6), in the metabolic adaptation of basal-like (AnxA6-low) versus mesenchymal-like (AnxA6-high), as well as in lapatinib-resistant TNBC cells. Using model basal-like and mesenchymal-like TNBC cell lines, we show that TNBC cells also exhibit metabolic heterogeneity. The downregulation of AnxA6 in TNBC cells generally attenuated mitochondrial respiration, glycolytic flux, and cellular ATP production capacity resulting in a quiescent metabolic phenotype. We also show that AnxA6 depletion in mesenchymal-like TNBC cells was associated with a rapid uptake and mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and diminished lipid droplet accumulation and altered the lipogenic metabolic phenotype of these cells to a lypolytic metabolic phenotype. The overexpression or chronic lapatinib-induced upregulation of AnxA6 in AnxA6-low TNBC cells reversed the quiescent/lypolytic phenotype to a more lipogenic/glycolytic phenotype with gluconeogenic precursors as additional metabolites. Collectively, these data suggest that the expression status of AnxA6 in TNBC cells underlies distinct metabolic adaptations of basal-like and mesenchymal-like TNBC subsets in response to cellular stress and/or therapeutic intervention and suggest AnxA6 as a biomarker for metabolic subtyping of TNBC subsets.
    Keywords:  Annexin A6; breast cancer; lipid metabolism; metabolic reprogramming; tyrosine kinase inhibitors
  26. Am J Transl Res. 2022 ;14(2): 718-727
      Keloid is a fibrous hyperplastic disease of the skin characterized by excessive collagen deposition. Keloid patients suffer from severe facial damage and psychological burden, but the underlying pathologic mechanism remains unclear. Keloid fibroblasts are often considered the key cell of keloid formation, but the regulation of the immune microenvironment of keloid fibroblasts is poorly understood. The pathogenic roles of macrophages, Tregs, CD8+ T cells, dendritic cells, and natural killer cells in keloids are reviewed and further directions proposed, which may provide a novel window of opportunity for immunotherapy of keloids. Considering the dearth of studies on the function of immune cells related to keloids, the mechanisms of these immune cells in other diseases are further examined herein to provide a reference for future research on the immune microenvironment of keloids.
    Keywords:  CD8+ T cells; Keloids; Treg; dendritic cells; macrophage; natural killer cells
  27. Cancer Sci. 2022 Mar 10.
      Cancer cells depend on metabolic reprogramming for survival, undergoing profound shifts in nutrient-sensing, nutrient uptake and flux through anabolic pathways, in order to drive nucleotide, lipid, and protein synthesis and provide key intermediates needed for those pathways. Although metabolic enzymes themselves can be mutated, including to generate oncometabolites, this is a relatively rare event in cancer. Usually, gene amplification, overexpression, and/or downstream signal transduction upregulate rate-limiting metabolic enzymes and limit feedback loops, to drive persistent tumor growth. Recent molecular genetic advances revealed discrete links between oncogenotypes and the resultant metabolic phenotypes. However, more comprehensive approaches are needed to unravel the dynamic spatio-temporal regulatory map of enzymes and metabolites that enable cancer cells to adapt to their microenvironment to maximize tumor growth. Proteomic and metabolomic analyses are powerful tools for analyzing a repertoire of metabolic enzymes as well as intermediary metabolites, and in conjunction with other omic approaches could provide critical information in this regard. Here, we provide an overview of cancer metabolism, especially from an "omics" perspective and with a particular focus on the genomically well-characterized malignant tumor, glioblastoma. We further discuss how metabolomics could be leveraged to improve the management of patients, by linking cancer cell genotype, epigenotype and phenotype through metabolic reprogramming.
    Keywords:  OMICS; epigenetics; glioblastoma; mTOR complex; metabolome
  28. Front Pharmacol. 2022 ;13 768556
      Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are subpopulation of cells which have been demonstrated in a variety of cancer models and involved in cancer initiation, progression, and development. Indeed, CSCs which seem to form a small percentage of tumor cells, display resembling characteristics to natural stem cells such as self-renewal, survival, differentiation, proliferation, and quiescence. Moreover, they have some characteristics that eventually can demonstrate the heterogeneity of cancer cells and tumor progression. On the other hand, another aspect of CSCs that has been recognized as a central concern facing cancer patients is resistance to mainstays of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation. Owing to these details and the stated stemness capabilities, these immature progenitors of cancerous cells can constantly persist after different therapies and cause tumor regrowth or metastasis. Further, in both normal development and malignancy, cellular metabolism and stemness are intricately linked and CSCs dominant metabolic phenotype changes across tumor entities, patients, and tumor subclones. Hence, CSCs can be determined as one of the factors that correlate to the failure of common therapeutic approaches in cancer treatment. In this context, researchers are searching out new alternative or complementary therapies such as targeted methods to fight against cancer. Molecular docking is one of the computational modeling methods that has a new promise in cancer cell targeting through drug designing and discovering programs. In a simple definition, molecular docking methods are used to determine the metabolic interaction between two molecules and find the best orientation of a ligand to its molecular target with minimal free energy in the formation of a stable complex. As a comprehensive approach, this computational drug design method can be thought more cost-effective and time-saving compare to other conventional methods in cancer treatment. In addition, increasing productivity and quality in pharmaceutical research can be another advantage of this molecular modeling method. Therefore, in recent years, it can be concluded that molecular docking can be considered as one of the novel strategies at the forefront of the cancer battle via targeting cancer stem cell metabolic processes.
    Keywords:  cancer; cancer stem cells; drug designing; metabolic processes; molecular docking
  29. Trends Immunol. 2022 Mar 05. pii: S1471-4906(22)00043-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      'Popeye, the Sailor' cartoons taught children that eating spinach boosts strength and helps defend against bullies. Lötscher and colleagues report that dietary deficiency of magnesium ions (Mg2+), against which eating spinach is an excellent antidote, impairs the activity of a key adhesion molecule, LFA-1, and hinders the ability of CD8+ T cells to grapple with assorted bullies, such as tumors and bacteria.
  30. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2022 Feb;37(1): 53-61
      Cancer therapies targeting genetic alterations are a topic of great interest in the field of thyroid cancer, which frequently harbors mutations in the RAS, RAF, and RET genes. Unfortunately, U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved BRAF inhibitors have relatively low therapeutic efficacy against BRAF-mutant thyroid cancer; in addition, the cancer often acquires drug resistance, which prevents effective treatment. Recent advances in genomics and transcriptomics are leading to a more complete picture of the range of mutations, both driver and messenger, present in thyroid cancer. Furthermore, our understanding of cancer suggests that oncogenic mutations drive tumorigenesis and induce rewiring of cancer cell metabolism, which promotes survival of mutated cells. Synthetic lethality (SL) is a method of neutralizing mutated genes that were previously considered untargetable by traditional genotype-targeted treatments. Because these metabolic events are specific to cancer cells, we have the opportunity to develop new therapies that target tumor cells specifically without affecting healthy tissue. Here, we describe developments in metabolism-based cancer therapy, focusing on the concept of metabolic SL in thyroid cancer. Finally, we discuss the essential implications of metabolic reprogramming and its role in the future direction of SL for thyroid cancer.
    Keywords:  Metabolic reprogramming; Synthetic lethal mutations; Thyroid neoplasms
  31. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2022 Mar 12.
      BACKGROUND: Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are an ex vivo expanded heterogeneous population of natural killer (NK)-like T cells that can exert potent MHC-unrestricted antitumor activity. A number of pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that CIK cells can serve as a safe and potent immunotherapy of malignant tumors. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been demonstrated to enhance the T-cell functions by increasing their proliferation and cytokine production.OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the incorporation of NAC to CIK cell culture could enhance the antitumor activity of CIK cells.
    METHODS: The phenotypes of human CIK cells, including CD3+CD56+, IFN-γ, granzyme B, and perforin, were determined by flow cytometry. The cytotoxic activity against the human erythroleukemic cell line (K562) and cholangiocarcinoma cell line (CL6) prelabeled with CFSE was investigated by flow cytometry. The mRNA expression levels of IFNG, PRF1, and GZMB were measured by real-time PCR.
    RESULTS: By adding NAC into CIK cell culture, the percentage of CD3+CD56+ cells along with the expression of Th1 cytokines and cytolytic granules increased significantly, resulting in an improvement of cytotoxicity against the cancer cell lines CL6 and K562.
    CONCLUSIONS: The incorporation of NAC into CIK culture can markedly improve the cytotoxicity against cancer cells due to the significant increase in the major effector population of CIK cells expressing Th1 cytokines and cytolytic granules.
  32. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 28. pii: 2702. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      Cancer cells can survive and maintain their high proliferation rate in spite of their hypoxic environment by deploying a variety of adaptative mechanisms, one of them being the reorientation of cellular metabolism. A key aspect of this metabolic rewiring is the promotion of the synthesis of antioxidant molecules in order to counter-balance the hypoxia-related elevation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and thus combat the onset of cellular oxidative stress. However, opposite to their negative role in the inception of oxidative stress, ROS are also key modulatory components of physiological cellular metabolism. One of the major physiological cellular ROS sources is the NADPH oxidase enzymes (NOX-es). Indeed, NOX-es produce ROS in a tightly regulated manner and control a variety of cellular processes. By contrast, pathologically elevated and unbridled NOX-derived ROS production is linked to diverse cancerogenic processes. In this respect, NOX4, one of the members of the NOX family enzymes, is of particular interest. In fact, NOX4 is closely linked to hypoxia-related signaling and is a regulator of diverse metabolic processes. Furthermore, NOX4 expression and function are altered in a variety of malignancies. The aim of this review is to provide a synopsis of our current knowledge concerning NOX4-related processes in the oncogenic metabolic adaptation of cancer cells.
    Keywords:  NADPH oxidase; cancer; metabolism; oncogenesis; reactive oxygen species
  33. J Immunother Cancer. 2022 Mar;pii: e003402. [Epub ahead of print]10(3):
      BACKGROUND: Oncogenes act in a cell-intrinsic way to promote tumorigenesis. Whether oncogenes also have a cell-extrinsic effect on suppressing the immune response to cancer is less well understood.METHODS: We use an in vivo expression screen of known cancer-associated somatic mutations in mouse syngeneic tumor models treated with checkpoint blockade to identify oncogenes that promote immune evasion. We then validated candidates from this screen in vivo and analyzed the tumor immune microenvironment of tumors expressing mutant protein to identify mechanisms of immune evasion.
    RESULTS: We found that expression of a catalytically active mutation in phospho-inositol 3 kinase (PI3K), PIK3CA c.3140A>G (H1047R) confers a selective growth advantage to tumors treated with immunotherapy that is reversed by pharmacological PI3K inhibition. PIK3CA H1047R-expression in tumors decreased the number of CD8+ T cells but increased the number of inhibitory myeloid cells following immunotherapy. Inhibition of myeloid infiltration by pharmacological or genetic modulation of Ccl2 in PIK3CA H1047R tumors restored sensitivity to programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) checkpoint blockade.
    CONCLUSIONS: PI3K activation enables tumor immune evasion by promoting an inhibitory myeloid microenvironment. Activating mutations in PI3K may be useful as a biomarker of poor response to immunotherapy. Our data suggest that some oncogenes promote tumorigenesis by enabling tumor cells to avoid clearance by the immune system. Identification of those mechanisms can advance rational combination strategies to increase the efficacy of immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  biomarkers; immune evation; immunotherapy; tumor
  34. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2022 Mar 11.
      Alterations in cardiac metabolism are strongly associated with the pathogenesis of heart failure (HF). We recently reported that glutamine-dependent anaplerosis, termed glutaminolysis, was activated by H2O2 stimulation in rat cardiomyocytes, which seemed to be an adaptive response by which cardiomyocytes survive acute stress. However, the molecular mechanisms and fundamental roles of glutaminolysis in the pathophysiology of the failing heart are still unknown. Here, we treated wild-type mice (C57BL/6J) and rat neonatal cardiomyocytes (RNCMs) and fibroblasts (RNCFs) with angiotensin II (Ang II) to induce pathological cardiac remodeling. Glutaminase 1 (GLS1), a rate-limiting glutaminolysis enzyme, was significantly increased in Ang II-induced mouse hearts, RNCMs and RNCFs. Unexpectedly, a GLS1 inhibitor attenuated Ang II-induced left ventricular hypertrophy and fibrosis in the mice, and gene knockdown and pharmacological perturbation of GLS1 suppressed hypertrophy and the proliferation of RNCMs and RNCFs, respectively. Using mass spectrometry (MS)-based stable isotope tracing with 13C-labeled glutamine, we observed glutamine metabolic flux in Ang II-treated RNCMs and RNCFs. The incorporation of 13C atoms into tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates and their derivatives was markedly enhanced in both cell types, indicating the activation of glutaminolysis in hypertrophied heart. Notably, GLS1 inhibition reduced the production of glutamine-derived aspartate and citrate, which are required for the biosynthesis of nucleic acids and lipids, possibly contributing to the suppression of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. The findings of the present study reveal that GLS1-mediated upregulation of glutaminolysis leads to maladaptive cardiac remodeling. Inhibition of this anaplerotic pathway could be a novel therapeutic approach for HF.
    Keywords:  glumaminase1; glutamine; glutaminolysis; heart failure; metabolic remodeling
  35. NMR Biomed. 2022 Mar 09. e4724
      Multinuclear ex vivo MRS of cancer cells, xenografts, human cancer tissue and biofluids is a rapidly expanding field that is providing unique insights into cancer. Starting from the 1970's, the field has continued to evolve as a stand-alone technology or as a complement to in vivo MRS to characterize the metabolome of cancer cells, cancer associated stromal cells, immune cells, tumors, biofluids and, more recently, changes in the metabolome of organs induced by cancers. Here we have reviewed some of the insights into cancer obtained with ex vivo MRS and have provided a perspective of future directions. Ex vivo MRS of cells and tumors provides opportunities to understand the role of metabolism in cancer immune surveillance and immunotherapy. With advances in computational capabilities, the integration of artificial intelligence to identify differences in multinuclear spectral patterns, especially in easily accessible biofluids, is providing exciting advances in detection and monitoring response to treatment. Metabolotheranostics to target cancers and to normalize metabolic changes in organs induced by cancers to prevent cancer-induced morbidity are other areas of future development.
    Keywords:  Multinuclear MRS; cancer; metabolism; stromal cells
  36. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 768606
      To become resistant, cancer cells need to activate and maintain molecular defense mechanisms that depend on an energy trade-off between resistance and essential functions. Metabolic reprogramming has been shown to fuel cell growth and contribute to cancer drug resistance. Recently, changes in lipid metabolism have emerged as an important driver of resistance to anticancer agents. In this review, we highlight the role of choline metabolism with a focus on the phosphatidylcholine cycle in the regulation of resistance to therapy. We analyze the contribution of phosphatidylcholine and its metabolites to intracellular processes of cancer cells, both as the major cell membrane constituents and source of energy. We further extended our discussion about the role of phosphatidylcholine-derived lipid mediators in cellular communication between cancer and immune cells within the tumor microenvironment, as well as their pivotal role in the immune regulation of therapeutic failure. Changes in phosphatidylcholine metabolism are part of an adaptive program activated in response to stress conditions that contribute to cancer therapy resistance and open therapeutic opportunities for treating drug-resistant cancers.
    Keywords:  cancer drug resistance; immune microenvironment; immunoregulation; lipid mediators; lipid metabolism; phosphatidylcholine
  37. Curr Stem Cell Rep. 2021 Jun;7(2): 72-84
      Purpose of Review: From invertebrates to vertebrates, the ability to sense nutrient availability is critical for survival. Complex organisms have evolved numerous signaling pathways to sense nutrients and dietary fluctuations, which influence many cellular processes. Although both overabundance and extreme depletion of nutrients can lead to deleterious effects, dietary restriction without malnutrition can increase lifespan and promote overall health in many model organisms. In this review, we focus on age-dependent changes in stem cell metabolism and dietary interventions used to modulate stem cell function in aging.Recent Findings: Over the last half-century, seminal studies have illustrated that dietary restriction confers beneficial effects on longevity in many model organisms. Many researchers have now turned to dissecting the molecular mechanisms by which these diets affect aging at the cellular level. One subpopulation of cells of particular interest are adult stem cells, the most regenerative cells of the body. It is generally accepted that the regenerative capacity of stem cells declines with age, and while the metabolic requirements of each vary across tissues, the ability of dietary interventions to influence stem cell function is striking.
    Summary: In this review, we will focus primarily on how metabolism plays a role in adult stem cell homeostasis with respect to aging, with particular emphasis on intestinal stem cells while also touching on hematopoietic, skeletal muscle, and neural stem cells. We will also discuss key metabolic signaling pathways influenced by both dietary restriction and the aging process, and will examine their role in improving tissue homeostasis and lifespan. Understanding the mechanisms behind the metabolic needs of stem cells will help bridge the divide between a basic science interpretation of stem cell function and a whole-organism view of nutrition, thereby providing insight into potential dietary or therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:  Aging; Metabolism; stem cells
  38. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 774103
      The mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a downstream mediator in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathways, which plays a pivotal role in regulating numerous cellular functions including cell growth, proliferation, survival, and metabolism by integrating a variety of extracellular and intracellular signals in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Dysregulation of the mTOR pathway is frequently reported in many types of human tumors, and targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway has been considered an attractive potential therapeutic target in cancer. The PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling transduction pathway is important not only in the development and progression of cancers but also for its critical regulatory role in the tumor microenvironment. Immunologically, mTOR is emerging as a key regulator of immune responses. The mTOR signaling pathway plays an essential regulatory role in the differentiation and function of both innate and adaptive immune cells. Considering the central role of mTOR in metabolic and translational reprogramming, it can affect tumor-associated immune cells to undergo phenotypic and functional reprogramming in TME. The mTOR-mediated inflammatory response can also promote the recruitment of immune cells to TME, resulting in exerting the anti-tumor functions or promoting cancer cell growth, progression, and metastasis. Thus, deregulated mTOR signaling in cancer can modulate the TME, thereby affecting the tumor immune microenvironment. Here, we review the current knowledge regarding the crucial role of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in controlling and shaping the immune responses in TME.
    Keywords:  PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway; T cell; Tumor microenvironment; cancer; immune response; mTOR
  39. Nutrients. 2022 Feb 08. pii: 723. [Epub ahead of print]14(3):
      Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) from Gram-positive bacteria exerts different immune effects depending on the bacterial source from which it is isolated. Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG LTA (LGG-LTA) oral administration reduces UVB-induced immunosuppression and skin tumor development in mice. In the present work, we evaluate the immunomodulatory effect exerted by LGG-LTA in dendritic cells (DC) and T cells, both in vitro and in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). During cell culture, LTA-stimulated BMDC increased CD86 and MHC-II expression and secreted low levels of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, LTA-treated BMDC increased T cell priming capacity, promoting the secretion of IL-17A. On the other hand, in orally LTA-treated mice, a decrease in mature DC (lamina propria and Peyer's patches) was observed. Concomitantly, an increase in IL-12p35 and IFN-γ transcription was presented (lamina propria and Peyer's Patches). Finally, an increase in the number of CD103+ DC was observed in Peyer's patches. Together, our data demonstrate that LGG-LTA activates DC and T cells. Moreover, we show that a Th1-biased immune response is triggered in vivo after oral LTA administration. These effects justify the oral LTA activity previously observed.
    Keywords:  T cells; TLR-ligands; dendritic cells (DCs); probiotics
  40. Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2022 Mar 08.
      Stem cell senescence and exhaustion are closely related to organ failure and individual aging, which not only induces age-related diseases, but also hinders stem cell applications in regenerative medicine. Thus, it's imminent to find effective ways to delay and retrieve stem cell senescence. Metabolic abnormalities are one of the main characteristics of age-associated declines in stem cell function. Understanding the underlying mechanisms may reveal potential strategies for ameliorating age-associated phenotypes and treating age-related diseases. This review focuses on recent advances in the association between metabolism including glucose, lipid, glutamine and NAD+ metabolism and stem cell senescence, as well as the other properties like proliferation and differentiation. Layers of studies are summarized to demonstrate how metabolism varies in senescent stem cells and how metabolic reprogramming regulates stem cell senescence. Additionally, we mentioned some recent progress in therapeutic strategies to rejuvenate dysfunctional aged stem cells. Finally, a brief conclusion about the prospect of metabolic regulation as a potential strategy for rescuing stem cell senescence is displayed. Stem cell senescence is induced by the metabolic reprogramming. The metabolic alterations of glucose, lipid, glutamine and NAD+ can conversely facilitate or inhibit stem cell senescence. Glycolysis, OXPHOS and PPP are all attenuated. But gluconeogenesis alterations still remain unclear. In lipid metabolisms, both FAO and DNL are suppressed. As for the glutamine metabolism, stem cells' dependence on glutamine is enhanced. Last, NAD+ metabolism undergoes a down-regulated synthesis and up-regulated consumption. All these alterations can be potential targets for reversing stem cell senescence.
    Keywords:  NAD+ metabolism; age-related diseases; glucose metabolism; glutamine metabolism; lipid metabolism; stem cell senescence
  41. Curr Opin Physiol. 2022 Feb;pii: 100489. [Epub ahead of print]25
      Adverse cardiac remodeling is often precipitated by chronic stress or injury inflicted upon the heart during the progression of cardiovascular diseases. Mitochondria play an important role in the cardiomyocyte response to stress by serving as a signaling hub for changes in cellular energetics, redox balance, contractile function, and cell death. Cardiac remodeling involves alterations to mitochondrial form and function that are either compensatory to maintain contractility or maladaptive, which promotes heart failure progression. In this mini-review, we focus on three mitochondrial processes that contribution to cardiac remodeling: Ca2+ signaling, mitochondrial dynamics, and mitochondrial metabolism.
    Keywords:  calcium; heart failure; metabolism; mitochondria; remodeling
  42. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Feb 27. pii: 1230. [Epub ahead of print]14(5):
      Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Beyond standard therapeutic options, whose effectiveness is often reduced by drug resistance, repurposing of the antidiabetic drug metformin appears promising. Heme metabolism plays a pivotal role in the control of metabolic adaptations that sustain cancer cell proliferation. Recently, we demonstrated the existence of a functional axis between the heme synthetic enzyme ALAS1 and the heme exporter FLVCR1a exploited by cancer cells to down-modulate oxidative metabolism. In colorectal cancer cell lines, the inhibition of heme synthesis-export system was associated with reduced proliferation and survival. Here, we aim to assess whether the inhibition of the heme synthesis-export system affects the sensitivity of colorectal cancer cells to metformin. Our data demonstrate that the inhibition of this system, either by blocking heme efflux with a FLVCR1a specific shRNA or by inhibiting heme synthesis with 5-aminolevulinic acid, improves metformin anti-proliferative effect on colorectal cancer cell lines. In addition, we demonstrated that the same effect can be obtained in other kinds of cancer cell lines. Our study provides an in vitro proof of concept of the possibility to target heme metabolism in association with metformin to counteract cancer cell growth.
    Keywords:  ALAS1; FLVCR1; FLVCR1a; cancer; heme; metabolism; metformin; mitochondria; therapy
  43. Elife. 2022 Mar 09. pii: e76963. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Cellular differentiation is associated with the acquisition of a unique protein signature which is essential to attain the ultimate cellular function and activity of the differentiated cell. This is predicted to result in unique biosynthetic demands that arise during differentiation. Using a bioinformatic approach, we discovered osteoblast differentiation is associated with increased demand for the amino acid proline. When compared to other differentiated cells, osteoblast-associated proteins including RUNX2, OSX, OCN and COL1A1 are significantly enriched in proline. Using a genetic and metabolomic approach, we demonstrate that the neutral amino acid transporter SLC38A2 acts cell autonomously to provide proline to facilitate the efficient synthesis of proline-rich osteoblast proteins. Genetic ablation of SLC38A2 in osteoblasts limits both osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in mice. Mechanistically, proline is primarily incorporated into nascent protein with little metabolism observed. Collectively, these data highlight a requirement for proline in fulfilling the unique biosynthetic requirements that arise during osteoblast differentiation and bone formation.
    Keywords:  cell biology; developmental biology; mouse
  44. Cancer Res. 2022 Mar 03. pii: canres.2778.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      The dynamic composition of the tumor microenvironment (TME) can markedly alter the response to targeted therapies for colorectal cancer (CRC). Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF) are major components of TMEs that can direct and induce infiltration of immunosuppressive cells through secreted cytokines such as CXCL12. Ketogenic diets (KD) can inhibit tumor growth and enhance the anticancer effects of immune checkpoint blockade. However, the role of ketogenesis on the immunosuppressive TME is not known. Here, we show that decreased ketogenesis is a signature of CRC and that an increase in ketogenesis using a KD decreases CXCL12 production in tumors, serum, liver, and lungs. Moreover, increasing ketogenesis by overexpression of the ketogenic enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 2 (HMGCS2) or treatment with the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate markedly decreased expression of KLF5, which binds the CXCL12 promoter and induces CXCL12 expression in CAFs. KD decreased intratumoral accumulation of immunosuppressive cells, increased infiltration of NK and cytotoxic T cells, and enhanced the anticancer effects of PD-1 blockade in murine-derived CRC. Furthermore, increasing ketogenesis inhibited CRC migration, invasion, and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Overall, ketogenesis is downregulated in the CRC TME, and increased ketogenesis represses KLF5-dependent CXCL12 expression to improve the immunosuppressive TME, which leads to the enhanced efficacy of immunotherapy and reduced metastasis. Importantly, this work demonstrates that downregulation of de novo ketogenesis in the TME is a critical step in CRC progression.
  45. Semin Cancer Biol. 2022 Mar 05. pii: S1044-579X(22)00060-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      The ascites ecosystem in ovarian cancer is inhabited by complex cell types and is bathed in an environment rich in cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors that directly and indirectly impact metabolism of cancer cells and tumor associated cells. This milieu of malignant ascites, provides a 'rich' environment for the disease to thrive, contributing to every aspect of advanced ovarian cancer, a devastating gynecological cancer with a significant gap in targeted therapeutics. In this perspective we focus our discussions on the 'acellular' constituents of this liquid malignant tumor microenvironment, and how they influence metabolic pathways. Growth factors, chemokines and cytokines are known modulators of metabolism and have been shown to impact nutrient uptake and metabolic flexibility of tumors, yet few studies have explored how their enrichment in malignant ascites of ovarian cancer patients contributes to the metabolic requirements of ascites-resident cells. We focus here on TGF-βs, VEGF and ILs, which are frequently elevated in ovarian cancer ascites and have all been described to have direct or indirect effects on metabolism, often through gene regulation of metabolic enzymes. We summarize what is known, describe gaps in knowledge, and provide examples from other tumor types to infer potential unexplored roles and mechanisms for ovarian cancer. The distribution and variation in acellular ascites components between patients poses both a challenge and opportunity to further understand how the ascites may contribute to disease heterogeneity. The review also highlights opportunities for studies on ascites-derived factors in regulating the ascites metabolic environment that could act as a unique signature in aiding clinical decisions in the future.
    Keywords:  Growth factors; TGF-β; VEGF; ascites; metabolism; ovarian cancer