bims-mepmim Biomed News
on Metabolites in pathological microenvironments and immunometabolism
Issue of 2022‒10‒16
24 papers selected by
Erika Mariana Palmieri
NIH/NCI Laboratory of Cancer ImmunoMetabolism

  1. EMBO Rep. 2022 Oct 10. e54685
      Increased lactate levels in the tissue microenvironment are a well-known feature of chronic inflammation. However, the role of lactate in regulating T cell function remains controversial. Here, we demonstrate that extracellular lactate predominantly induces deregulation of the Th17-specific gene expression program by modulating the metabolic and epigenetic status of Th17 cells. Following lactate treatment, Th17 cells significantly reduced their IL-17A production and upregulated Foxp3 expression through ROS-driven IL-2 secretion. Moreover, we observed increased levels of genome-wide histone H3K18 lactylation, a recently described marker for active chromatin in macrophages, in lactate-treated Th17 cells. In addition, we show that high lactate concentrations suppress Th17 pathogenicity during intestinal inflammation in mice. These results indicate that lactate is capable of reprogramming pro-inflammatory T cell phenotypes into regulatory T cells.
    Keywords:  Th17 cells; Tregs; histone lactylation; immunometabolism; lactate
  2. J Clin Invest. 2022 Oct 13. pii: e157302. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolic reprogramming is an important cancer hallmark. However, the mechanisms driving metabolic phenotypes of cancer cells are unclear. Here, we showed that the interferon (IFN)-inducible protein, viperin, drives metabolic alteration in cancer cells. Viperin was observed in various types of cancer and inversely correlated with the survival rate of patients with gastric, lung, breast, renal, pancreatic, or brain cancer. By generating viperin knockdown or stably expressing cancer cells, we showed that viperin, but not a mutant lacking its iron-sulfur cluster-binding motif, increased lipogenesis and glycolysis via inhibition of fatty acid β-oxidation in cancer cells. In the tumor microenvironment, deficiency of fatty acids and oxygen as well as production of IFNs upregulated viperin expression via the PI3K/AKT/mTOR/HIF-1α and JAK/STAT pathways. Moreover, viperin was primarily expressed in cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) and functioned to promote metabolic reprogramming and enhance CSC properties, thereby facilitating tumor growth in xenograft mouse models. Collectively, our data indicate that viperin-mediated metabolic alteration drives the metabolic phenotype and progression of cancer.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Fatty acid oxidation; Glucose metabolism; Metabolism; Oncology
  3. Cancer Lett. 2022 Oct 07. pii: S0304-3835(22)00435-9. [Epub ahead of print]550 215948
      Longevity, functionality, and metabolic fitness are key determinants of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell efficacy. Activated T cells follow an ordered differentiation program which is facilitated by metabolic adaptations. In response to antigen, T cells undergo a highly-regulated shift to glycolysis. Committing to, and engaging in, glycolysis supports T cell expansion and effector function. Inside tumors, heightened tumor cell metabolism and dysregulated perfusion create a competition for nutrients. As local metabolism supports the differentiation of T cells into functionally-competent progeny, nutrient depletion coupled with persisting antigen can trigger T cell exhaustion. Emerging insights into the barriers impeding CAR T cell function in hostile tumor microenvironments (TME) reveal that metabolic intermediates shape the immune response by influencing epigenetic programs and the control of gene expression. In this review, we discuss recent progress connecting cellular metabolism with epigenetic states in CAR T cells. Given that CAR T cell metabolism can be dynamically regulated, we introduce the concepts of "metabolic-based epigenetic altering" and "epigenetic-based metabolism altering" to restore functional competence in CARTs traversing solid TMEs.
    Keywords:  CAR T cell; Epigenetics; Immunotherapy; Metabolism; T cell exhaustion
  4. Cancer Res. 2022 Oct 10. pii: CAN-21-4369. [Epub ahead of print]
      Obesity induces numerous physiological changes that can impact cancer risk and patient response to therapy. Obese patients with cervical cancer have been reported to have superior outcomes following chemoradiation, suggesting that free fatty acids (FFAs) might enhance response to radiation. Here, using preclinical models, we show that mono- and diunsaturated FFAs (uPPAs) radiosensitize cervical cancer through a novel p53-dependent mechanism. UFFAs signaled through PPARγ and p53 to promote lipid uptake, storage, and metabolism after radiation. Stable isotope labeling confirmed that cervical cancer cells increase both catabolic and anabolic oleate metabolism in response to radiation, with associated increases in dependence on mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation for survival. In vivo, supplementation with exogenous oleate suppressed tumor growth in xenografts after radiation, an effect which could be partially mimicked in tumors from high fat diet-induced obese mice. These results suggest that supplementation with uFFAs may improve tumor responses to radiation therapy, particularly in p53 wild type tumors.
  5. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 893677
      Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer. Somatic mutations in genes involved in oncogenic signaling pathways, including KRAS and TP53, rewire the metabolic machinery in cancer cells. We here set out to determine, at the single cell level, metabolic signatures in human colon cancer cells engineered to express combinations of activating KRAS gene mutations and TP53 gene deletions. Specifically, we explored how somatic mutations in these genes and substrate availability (lactate, glucose, substrate deprivation) from the extracellular microenvironment affect bioenergetic parameters, including cellular ATP, NADH and mitochondrial membrane potential dynamics. Employing cytosolic and mitochondrial FRET-based ATP probes, fluorescent NADH sensors, and the membrane-permeant cationic fluorescent probe TMRM in HCT-116 cells as a model system, we observed that TP53 deletion and KRAS mutations drive a shift in metabolic signatures enabling lactate to become an efficient metabolite to replenish both ATP and NADH following nutrient deprivation. Intriguingly, cytosolic, mitochondrial and overall cellular ATP measurements revealed that, in WT KRAS cells, TP53 deficiency leads to an enhanced ATP production in the presence of extracellular lactate and glucose, and to the greatest increase in ATP following a starvation period. On the other hand, oncogenic KRAS in TP53-deficient cells reversed the alterations in cellular ATP levels. Moreover, cell population measurements of mitochondrial and glycolytic metabolism using a Seahorse analyzer demonstrated that WT KRAS TP53-silenced cells display an increase of the basal respiration and tightly-coupled mitochondria, in the presence of glucose as substrate, compared to TP53 competent cells. Furthermore, cells possessing oncogenic KRAS, independently of TP53 status, showed less pronounced mitochondrial membrane potential changes in response to metabolic nutrients. Furthermore, analysis of cytosolic and mitochondrial NADH levels revealed that the simultaneous presence of TP53 deletion and oncogenic KRAS showed the most pronounced alteration in cytosolic and mitochondrial NADH during metabolic stress. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate how activating KRAS mutation and loss of TP53 remodel cancer metabolism and lead to alterations in bioenergetics under metabolic stress conditions by modulating cellular ATP production, NADH oxidation, mitochondrial respiration and function.
    Keywords:  Cancer Metabolism; OxPhos; bioenergetics; colorectal cancer; metabolic stress
  6. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Oct 13.
      The metabolically hostile tumour microenvironment imposes barriers to tumour-infiltrating immune cells and impedes durable clinical remission following immunotherapy. Metabolic communication between cancer cells and their neighbouring immune cells could determine the amplitude and type of immune responses, highlighting a potential involvement of metabolic crosstalk in immune surveillance and escape. In this Review, we explore tumour-immune metabolic crosstalk and discuss potential nutrient-limiting strategies that favour anti-tumour immune responses.
  7. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 ;9 1008200
      Background: De novo lipogenesis is upregulated in many cancers, and targeting it represents a metabolic approach to cancer treatment. However, the treatment response is unpredictable because lipogenic activity varies greatly among individual tumors, thereby necessitating the assessment of lipogenic activity before treatment. Here, we proposed an imaging probe, positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) with dual tracers combining 11C-acetate and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG), to assess the lipogenic activity of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and predict the response to lipogenesis-targeted therapy.Methods: We investigated the association between 11C-acetate/18F-FDG uptake and de novo lipogenesis in three HCC cell lines (from well-differentiated to poorly differentiated: HepG2, Hep3B, and SkHep1) by examining the expression of lipogenic enzymes: acetyl-CoA synthetase 2 (ACSS2), fatty acid synthase (FASN), and ATP citrate lyase (ACLY). The glycolysis level was determined through glycolytic enzymes: pyruvate dehydrogenase expression (PDH). On the basis of the findings of dual-tracer PET/CT, we evaluated the treatment response to a lipase inhibitor (orlistat) in cell culture experiments and xenograft mice.
    Results: Dual-tracer PET/CT revealed the lipogenic activity of various HCC cells, which was positively associated with 11C-acetate uptake and negatively associated with 18F-FDG uptake. This finding represents the negative association between 11C-acetate and 18F-FDG uptake. Because these two tracers revealed the lipogenic and glycolytic activity, respectively, which implies an antagonism between lipogenic metabolism and glucose metabolism in HCC. In addition, dual-tracer PET/CT not only revealed the lipogenic activity but also predicted the treatment response to lipogenesis-targeted therapy. For example, HepG2 xenografts with high 11C-acetate but low 18F-FDG uptake exhibited high lipogenic activity and responded well to orlistat treatment, whereas SkHep1 xenografts with low 11C-acetate but high 18F-FDG uptake exhibited lower lipogenic activity and poor response to orlistat.
    Conclusion: The proposed non-invasive dual-tracer PET/CT imaging can reveal the lipogenesis and glycolysis status of HCC, thus providing an ideal imaging probe for predicting the therapeutic response of HCC to lipogenesis-targeted therapy.
    Keywords:  PET/CT; cancer metabolism; cancer therapy; de novo lipogenesis; hepatocellular carcinoma; imaging probe; lipogenesis-targeted therapy
  8. FEBS Lett. 2022 Oct 11.
      The compartmentation and distribution of metabolites between mitochondria and the rest of the cell is a key parameter of cell signalling and pathology. Here, we have developed a rapid fractionation procedure that enables us to take mouse heart and liver from in vivo and within ~ 30 seconds stabilise the distribution of metabolites between mitochondria and the cytosol by rapid cooling, homogenisation and dilution. This is followed by centrifugation of mitochondria through an oil layer to separate mitochondrial and cytosolic fractions for subsequent metabolic analysis. Using this procedure revealed the in vivo compartmentation of mitochondrial metabolites and will enable assessment of the distribution of metabolites between the cytosol and mitochondria during a range of situations in vivo.
    Keywords:  compartmentation; in vivo; ischemia; metabolites; mitochondria; rapid fractionation
  9. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 988626
      Malignant growth is defined by multiple aberrant cellular features, including metabolic rewiring, inactivation of tumor suppressors and the activation of oncogenes. Even though these features have been described as separate hallmarks, many studies have shown an extensive mutual regulatory relationship amongst them. On one hand, the change in expression or activity of tumor suppressors and oncogenes has extensive direct and indirect effects on cellular metabolism, activating metabolic pathways required for malignant growth. On the other hand, the tumor microenvironment and tumor intrinsic metabolic alterations result in changes in intracellular metabolite levels, which directly modulate the protein modification of oncogenes and tumor suppressors at both epigenetic and post-translational levels. In this mini-review, we summarize the crosstalk between tumor suppressors/oncogenes and metabolism-induced protein modifications at both levels and explore the impact of metabolic (micro)environments in shaping these.
    Keywords:  metabolites; oncogenic signaling; post-translational modification; tumor microenvironment; tumor suppressor gene
  10. J Biotechnol. 2022 Oct 07. pii: S0168-1656(22)00241-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Previously, we reported, based on an untargeted metabolomics, carnitine derivatives are part of a mechanism to overcome impaired mitochondrial functioning triggered by an acyl-group overflow in CHO cells. In this study, we analyzed the cell-specific rates of 24 selected metabolites using two metrics: correlation coefficients and root-mean-square deviations (RMSDs) between glucose-fed versus glucose/lactic acid-fed cultures. The time-course profiles of acetylcarnitine, adipoylcarnitine, glutarylcarnitine, glutamate, and succinate exhibited significant negative correlations between the two culture conditions. Based on RMSDs, seven carnitine derivatives, 3-hydroxy-methyl-glutarate, mevalonate, pyridoxamine-5-phosphate, succinate, and glycine were substantially different. The analyses from the two metrics reveal a distinctive rearrangement of rates from the following metabolic pathways: (i) high secretion rates of carnitines as part of the acyl-group removal, (ii) low secretion rates of succinate, related to the tricarboxylic acid cycle and the electron-transport chain, (iii) low secretion rates of pyridoxamine-5-phosphate - a co-factor for amino acid catabolism, transaminations, and transsulfuration, and (iv) increases in the consumption rates of glutamate and glycine, both used to produce glutathione. The rewiring in rates observed upon feeding lactic acid is best explained by the activation of pathways supporting homeostasis of acyl-groups and antioxidant synthesis, which are required for continuous proper functioning of oxidative phosphorylation.
    Keywords:  CHO; carnitines; metabolomics; oxidative phosphorylation; physiology
  11. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 996307
      Cuproptosis is a recently recognized modality of cell death driven by intracellular copper-dependent mitochondrial stress. However, the mediators of the sterile inflammatory response to cuproptotic death are undetermined. Here, we report that high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a damage-associated molecular pattern, is released by cuproptotic cells to initiate inflammation. Mechanically, copper accumulation-induced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) depletion activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) to promote HMGB1 phosphorylation, resulting in increased extracellular release. In contrast, genetic (using RNAi) or pharmacologic (using dorsomorphin) inhibition of AMPK activation limits cuproptosis and HMGB1 release. Functionally, the ability of HMGB1-deficient cuproptotic cells to promote advanced glycosylation end product-specific receptor (AGER, also known as RAGE)-dependent inflammatory cytokine production is greatly reduced. Thus, HMGB1 is a key immune mediator of cuproptosis-initiated sterile inflammation.
    Keywords:  AMPK; DAMP; HMGB1; ager; cuproptosis; inflammation
  12. J Biol Chem. 2022 Oct 09. pii: S0021-9258(22)01029-8. [Epub ahead of print] 102586
      Metabolic networks are complex, intersecting, and composed of numerous enzyme-catalyzed biochemical reactions that transfer various molecular moieties among metabolites. Thus, robust reconstruction of metabolic networks requires metabolite moieties to be tracked, which cannot be readily achieved with mass spectrometry (MS) alone. We previously developed an Ion Chromatography (IC)-ultrahigh resolution (UHR)-MS1/data independent (DI)-MS2 method to track the simultaneous incorporation of the heavy isotopes 13C and 15N into the moieties of purine/pyrimidine nucleotides in mammalian cells. UHR-MS1 resolves and counts multiple tracer atoms in intact metabolites while DI-tandem MS (MS2) determines isotopic enrichment in their moieties without concern for the numerous mass isotopologue source ions to be fragmented. Together, they enabled rigorous MS-based reconstruction of metabolic networks at specific enzyme levels. We have expanded this approach to trace the labeled atom fate of [13C6]-glucose in 3D A549 spheroids in response to the anti-cancer agent selenite and that of [13C5,15N2]-glutamine in 2D BEAS-2B cells in response to arsenite transformation. We deduced altered activities of specific enzymes in the Krebs cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, gluconeogenesis, and UDP N-acetylglucosamine synthesis pathways elicited by the stressors. These metabolic details help elucidate the resistance mechanism of 3D versus 2D A549 cultures to selenite and metabolic reprogramming that can mediate the transformation of BEAS2B cells by arsenite.
    Keywords:  Selenite; [(13)C(5),(15)N(2)]-glutamine; [(13)C(6)]-glucose; arsenite; metabolic pathway reconstruction; positional isotopologues; stable isotope resolved metabolomics (SIRM)
  13. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 14. 13(1): 6080
      Disturbed lipid metabolism precedes alcoholic liver injury. Whether and how AhR alters degradation of lipids, particularly phospho-/sphingo-lipids during alcohol exposure, was not explored. Here, we show that alcohol consumption in mice results in induction and activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in the liver, and changes the hepatic phospho-/sphingo-lipids content. The levels of kynurenine, an endogenous AhR ligand, are elevated with increased hepatic tryptophan metabolic enzymes in alcohol-fed mice. Either alcohol or kynurenine treatment promotes AhR activation with autophagy dysregulation via AMPK. Protein Phosphatase 2 Regulatory Subunit-Bdelta (Ppp2r2d) is identified as a transcriptional target of AhR. Consequently, PPP2R2D-dependent AMPKα dephosphorylation causes autophagy inhibition and mitochondrial dysfunction. Hepatocyte-specific AhR ablation attenuates steatosis, which is associated with recovery of phospho-/sphingo-lipids content. Changes of AhR targets are corroborated using patient specimens. Overall, AhR induction by alcohol inhibits autophagy in hepatocytes through AMPKα, which is mediated by Ppp2r2d gene transactivation, revealing an AhR-dependent metabolism of phospho-/sphingo-lipids.
  14. Sci Immunol. 2022 Oct 21. 7(76): eadd3263
      Type 2 immunity is associated with adipose tissue (AT) homeostasis and infection with parasitic helminths, but whether AT participates in immunity to these parasites is unknown. We found that the fat content of mesenteric AT (mAT) declined in mice during infection with a gut-restricted helminth. This was associated with the accumulation of metabolically activated, interleukin-33 (IL-33), thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), and extracellular matrix (ECM)-producing stromal cells. These cells shared transcriptional features, including the expression of Dpp4 and Pi16, with multipotent progenitor cells (MPC) that have been identified in numerous tissues and are reported to be capable of differentiating into fibroblasts and adipocytes. Concomitantly, mAT became infiltrated with resident T helper 2 (TH2) cells that responded to TSLP and IL-33 by producing stromal cell-stimulating cytokines, including transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) and amphiregulin. These TH2 cells expressed genes previously associated with type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2), including Nmur1, Calca, Klrg1, and Arg1, and persisted in mAT for at least 11 months after anthelmintic drug-mediated clearance of infection. We found that MPC and TH2 cells localized to ECM-rich interstitial spaces that appeared shared between mesenteric lymph node, mAT, and intestine. Stromal cell expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), the receptor for amphiregulin, was required for immunity to infection. Our findings point to the importance of MPC and TH2 cell interactions within the interstitium in orchestrating AT remodeling and immunity to an intestinal infection.
  15. Cancer Cell. 2022 Oct 10. pii: S1535-6108(22)00393-2. [Epub ahead of print]40(10): 1173-1189.e6
      Cancer immunotherapy often depends on recognition of peptide epitopes by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). The tumor microenvironment (TME) is enriched for peroxynitrite (PNT), a potent oxidant produced by infiltrating myeloid cells and some tumor cells. We demonstrate that PNT alters the profile of MHC class I bound peptides presented on tumor cells. Only CTLs specific for PNT-resistant peptides have a strong antitumor effect in vivo, whereas CTLs specific for PNT-sensitive peptides are not effective. Therapeutic targeting of PNT in mice reduces resistance of tumor cells to CTLs. Melanoma patients with low PNT activity in their tumors demonstrate a better clinical response to immunotherapy than patients with high PNT activity. Our data suggest that intratumoral PNT activity should be considered for the design of neoantigen-based therapy and also may be an important immunotherapeutic target.
    Keywords:  cancer immunotherapy; cytotoxic T cells; myeloid cells; peroxynitrite; tumor microenvironment; tumor-associated antigens
  16. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 13. 13(1): 6030
      Fibrosis disrupts adipose tissue (AT) homeostasis and exacerbates metabolic dysfunction upon chronic caloric excess. The molecular mechanisms linking adipocyte plasticity to AT fibrosis are largely unknown. Here we show that the Hippo pathway is coupled with TGFβ signaling to orchestrate a cellular and/or functional shift of adipocytes from energy storage to extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling in AT fibrosis. We found that Lats1/2-knockout adipocytes could dedifferentiate into DPP4+ progenitor cells and convert to DPP4- myofibroblasts upon TGFβ stimulation. On the other hand, Hippo pathway inhibition during obesity impaired adipocyte identity while promoted ECM remodeling activity of adipocytes. Macrophages recruited by CCL2 produced TGFβ to accelerate AT fibrosis. YAP and TAZ, the Hippo downstream effectors, enhanced SMAD2 stability to promote fibrotic responses. Importantly, inhibition of YAP/TAZ activity in obese mice markedly relieved AT fibrosis and improved metabolic homeostasis. Together, our findings identify the Hippo pathway as a molecular switch in the initiation and development of AT fibrosis, implying it as a therapeutic target.
  17. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 962175
      Upon antigen stimulation and co-stimulation, CD4+ T lymphocytes produce soluble factors that promote the activity of other immune cells against pathogens or modified tissues; this task must be performed in presence of a variety of environmental cytokines, nutrient, and oxygen conditions, which necessarily impact T cell function. The complexity of the early intracellular processes taking place upon lymphocyte stimulation is addressed by means of a mathematical model based on a network that integrates variable microenvironmental conditions with intracellular activating, regulatory, and metabolic signals. Besides the phenotype subsets considered in previous works (Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg) the model includes the main early events in differentiation to the T FH phenotype. The model describes how cytokines, nutrients and oxygen availability regulate the differentiation of naïve CD4+ T cells into distinct subsets. Particularly, it shows that elevated amounts of an all-type mixture of effector cytokines under optimal nutrient and oxygen availability conduces the system towards a highly-polarized Th1 or Th2 state, while reduced cytokine levels allow the expression of the Th17, Treg or T FH subsets, or even hybrid phenotypes. On the other hand, optimal levels of an all-type cytokine mixture in combination with glutamine or tryptophan restriction implies a shift from Th1 to Th2 expression, while decreased levels of the Th2-inducing cytokine IL-4 leads to the rupture of the Th1-Th2 axis, allowing the manifestation of different (or hybrid) subsets. Modeling proposes that, even under reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the sole action of hypoxia boost Th17 expression.
    Keywords:  CD4+ T cells; hybrid phenotypes; hypoxia; lymphocytes; mathematical model; metabolism; nutrients
  18. Cells. 2022 Oct 04. pii: 3123. [Epub ahead of print]11(19):
      Most conventional incubators used in cell culture do not regulate O2 levels, making the headspace O2 concentration ~18%. In contrast, most human tissues are exposed to 2-6% O2 (physioxia) in vivo. Accumulating evidence has shown that such hyperoxic conditions in standard cell culture practices affect a variety of biological processes. In this review, we discuss how supraphysiological O2 levels affect reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism and redox homeostasis, gene expression, replicative lifespan, cellular respiration, and mitochondrial dynamics. Furthermore, we present evidence demonstrating how hyperoxic cell culture conditions fail to recapitulate the physiological and pathological behavior of tissues in vivo, including cases of how O2 alters the cellular response to drugs, hormones, and toxicants. We conclude that maintaining physioxia in cell culture is imperative in order to better replicate in vivo-like tissue physiology and pathology, and to avoid artifacts in research involving cell culture.
    Keywords:  ROS; drug response; gene expression; hyperoxia; metabolism; mitochondrial dynamics; oxidative stress; oxygen; physioxia; senescence
  19. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 971278
      Hyaluronan (HA) is known to be a prominent component of the extracellular matrix in tumors, and many solid cancers are characterized by aberrant HA metabolism resulting in increased production in tumor tissue. HA has been implicated in regulating a variety of cellular functions in tumor cells and tumor-associated stromal cells, suggesting that altered HA metabolism can influence tumor growth and malignancy at multiple levels. Importantly, increased HA production in cancer is associated with enhanced HA degradation due to high levels of expression and activity of hyaluronidases (Hyal). Understanding the complex molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in abnormal HA metabolism and catabolism in solid cancers could have important implications for the design of future cancer therapeutic approaches. It appears that extensive crosstalk between immune cells and HA-enriched stroma contributes to tumor growth and progression in several ways. Specifically, the interaction of tumor-recruited Hyal2-expressing myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) of bone marrow origin with HA-producing cancer-associated fibroblasts and epithelial tumor cells results in enhanced HA degradation and accumulation of small pro-inflammatory HA fragments, which further drives cancer-related inflammation. In addition, hyaluronan-enriched stroma supports the transition of tumor-recruited Hyal2+MDSCs to the PD-L1+ tumor-associated macrophages leading to the formation of an immunosuppressive and tolerogenic tumor microenvironment. In this review, we aim to discuss the contribution of tumor-associated HA to cancer inflammation, angiogenesis, and tumor-associated immune suppression. We also highlight the recent findings related to the enhanced HA degradation in the tumor microenvironment.
    Keywords:  HYAL2; MDSC; PD-L1; cancer inflammation; hyaluronan degradation; tumor microenvironment; tumor-associated immune suppression; tumor-associated macrophages
  20. Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 12. 12(1): 17069
      Glioblastoma is a prevalent malignant brain tumor and despite clinical intervention, tumor recurrence is frequent and usually fatal. Genomic investigations have provided a greater understanding of molecular heterogeneity in glioblastoma, yet there are still no curative treatments, and the prognosis has remained unchanged. The aggressive nature of glioblastoma is attributed to the heterogeneity in tumor cell subpopulations and aberrant microvascular proliferation. Ganglioside-directed immunotherapy and membrane lipid therapy have shown efficacy in the treatment of glioblastoma. To truly harness these novel therapeutics and develop a regimen that improves clinical outcome, a greater understanding of the altered lipidomic profiles within the glioblastoma tumor microenvironment is urgently needed. In this work, high resolution mass spectrometry imaging was utilized to investigate lipid heterogeneity in human glioblastoma samples. Data presented offers the first insight into the histology-specific accumulation of lipids involved in cell metabolism and signaling. Cardiolipins, phosphatidylinositol, ceramide-1-phosphate, and gangliosides, including the glioblastoma stem cell marker, GD3, were shown to differentially accumulate in tumor and endothelial cell subpopulations. Conversely, a reduction in sphingomyelins and sulfatides were detected in tumor cell regions. Cellular accumulation for each lipid class was dependent upon their fatty acid residue composition, highlighting the importance of understanding lipid structure-function relationships. Discriminating ions were identified and correlated to histopathology and Ki67 proliferation index. These results identified multiple lipids within the glioblastoma microenvironment that warrant further investigation for the development of predictive biomarkers and lipid-based therapeutics.
  21. Cell Metab. 2022 Oct 04. pii: S1550-4131(22)00398-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pharmacologic activation of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolism is protective in models of heart failure (HF). How protection occurs remains unclear, although a causative block in cardiac BCAA oxidation is widely assumed. Here, we use in vivo isotope infusions to show that cardiac BCAA oxidation in fact increases, rather than decreases, in HF. Moreover, cardiac-specific activation of BCAA oxidation does not protect from HF even though systemic activation does. Lowering plasma and cardiac BCAAs also fails to confer significant protection, suggesting alternative mechanisms of protection. Surprisingly, activation of BCAA catabolism lowers blood pressure (BP), a known cardioprotective mechanism. BP lowering occurred independently of nitric oxide and reflected vascular resistance to adrenergic constriction. Mendelian randomization studies revealed that elevated plasma BCAAs portend higher BP in humans. Together, these data indicate that BCAA oxidation lowers vascular resistance, perhaps in part explaining cardioprotection in HF that is not mediated directly in cardiomyocytes.
    Keywords:  BCAA; Mendelian randomization; blood pressure; branched-chain amino acid; cardiac metabolism; cardiovascular metabolism; heart failure; hypertension; metabolomics
  22. Oncogene. 2022 Oct 10.
      Metabolism must be tightly regulated to fulfil the dynamic requirements of cancer cells during proliferation, migration, stemness and differentiation. Src is a node of several signals involved in many of these biological processes, and it is also an important regulator of cell metabolism. Glucose uptake, glycolysis, the pentose-phosphate pathway and oxidative phosphorylation are among the metabolic pathways that can be regulated by Src. Therefore, this oncoprotein is in an excellent position to coordinate and finely tune cell metabolism to fuel the different cancer cell activities. Here, we provide an up-to-date summary of recent progress made in determining the role of Src in glucose metabolism as well as the link of this role with cancer cell metabolic plasticity and tumour progression. We also discuss the opportunities and challenges facing this field.
  23. Front Pharmacol. 2022 ;13 963066
      SNAT2 (SLC38A2) is a sodium-dependent neutral amino acid transporter, which is important for the accumulation of amino acids as nutrients, the maintenance of cellular osmolarity, and the activation of mTORC1. It also provides net glutamine for glutaminolysis and consequently presents as a potential target to treat cancer. A high-throughput screening assay was developed to identify new inhibitors of SNAT2 making use of the inducible nature of SNAT2 and its electrogenic mechanism. Using an optimized FLIPR membrane potential (FMP) assay, a curated scaffold library of 33934 compounds was screened to identify 3-(N-methyl (4-methylphenyl)sulfonamido)-N-(2-trifluoromethylbenzyl)thiophene-2-carboxamide as a potent inhibitor of SNAT2. In two different assays an IC50 of 0.8-3 µM was determined. The compound discriminated against the close transporter homologue SNAT1. MDA-MB-231 breast cancer and HPAFII pancreatic cancer cell lines tolerated the SNAT2 inhibitor up to a concentration of 100 µM but in combination with tolerable doses of the glucose transport inhibitor Bay-876, proliferative growth of both cell lines was halted. This points to synergy between inhibition of glycolysis and glutaminolysis in cancer cells.
    Keywords:  BAY-876; amino acid metabolism; amino acid transport; amino acid transport system; glucose transport; glutaminolysis
  24. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2022 Oct 14.
      SIGNIFICANCE: It is commonly believed that diabetes mellitus may be associated with cancer. Hence, diabetic patients are at higher risk for hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer, but the mechanisms that may link these two severe diseases are not well understood.RECENT ADVANCES: A number of factors have been suggested to promote tumorigenesis in diabetic patients, including insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, inflammation, and elevated insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which may also promote pro-oxidants, and thereby alter redox homeostasis. The consequent oxidative stress associated with lipid peroxidation appears to be a possible pathogenic link between cancer and diabetes.
    CRITICAL ISSUES: Having summarized the above aspects of diabetes and cancer pathology, we propose that the major bioactive product of oxidative degradation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), the reactive aldehyde 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), which is also considered a second messenger of free radicals, may be the key pathogenic factor linking diabetes and cancer.
    FUTURE DIRECTIONS: Because the bioactivities of 4-HNE are cell-type and concentration-dependent, are often associated with inflammation, and are involved in signaling processes that regulate antioxidant activities, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, we believe that further research in this direction could reveal options for better control of diabetes and cancer. Controlling the production of 4-HNE to avoid its cytotoxicity to normal but not cancer cells while preventing its diabetogenic activities could be an important aspect of modern integrative biomedicine.