bims-mepmim Biomed News
on Metabolites in pathological microenvironments and immunometabolism
Issue of 2022‒12‒04
25 papers selected by
Erika Mariana Palmieri
NIH/NCI Laboratory of Cancer ImmunoMetabolism

  1. Nat Metab. 2022 Nov 28.
      The branched-chain aminotransferase isozymes BCAT1 and BCAT2, segregated into distinct subcellular compartments and tissues, initiate the catabolism of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). However, whether and how BCAT isozymes cooperate with downstream enzymes to control BCAA homeostasis in an intact organism remains largely unknown. Here, we analyse system-wide metabolomic changes in BCAT1- and BCAT2-deficient mouse models. Loss of BCAT2 but not BCAT1 leads to accumulation of BCAAs and branched-chain α-keto acids (BCKAs), causing morbidity and mortality that can be ameliorated by dietary BCAA restriction. Through proximity labelling, isotope tracing and enzymatic assays, we provide evidence for the formation of a mitochondrial BCAA metabolon involving BCAT2 and branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase. Disabling the metabolon contributes to BCAT2 deficiency-induced phenotypes, which can be reversed by BCAT1-mediated BCKA reamination. These findings establish a role for metabolon formation in BCAA metabolism in vivo and suggest a new strategy to modulate this pathway in diseases involving dysfunctional BCAA metabolism.
  2. Diabetes. 2022 Nov 30. pii: db220444. [Epub ahead of print]
      Complex bidirectional crosstalk between adipocytes and adipose tissue immune cells plays an important role in regulating adipose function, inflammation, and insulin responsiveness. Adipocytes secrete the pleiotropic cytokine IL-6 in response to both inflammatory and catabolic stimuli. Previous studies suggest that IL-6 secretion from adipocytes in obesity may promote adipose tissue inflammation. Here we investigated catabolic stimulation of adipocyte IL-6 secretion and its impact on adipose tissue immune cells. In obesity, catecholamine resistance reduces cAMP-driven adipocyte IL-6 secretion in response to catabolic signals. By restoring adipocyte catecholamine sensitivity in obese adipocytes, amlexanox stimulates adipocyte-specific IL-6 secretion. Here we report that in this context, adipocyte secreted IL-6 activates local macrophage STAT3 to promote Il4ra expression, thereby sensitizing them to IL-4 signaling, and promoting an anti-inflammatory gene expression pattern. Supporting a paracrine adipocyte to macrophage mechanism, these effects could be recapitulated using adipocyte conditioned media to pretreat bone marrow derived macrophages prior to polarization with IL-4. The effects of IL-6 signaling in the adipose tissue are complex and context specific. These results suggest that cAMP driven IL-6 secretion from adipocytes sensitizes adipose tissue macrophages to IL-4 signaling.
  3. Cancer Metab. 2022 Dec 01. 10(1): 21
      BACKGROUND: Research about tumor "metabolic flexibility"-the ability of cells to toggle between preferred nutrients depending on the metabolic context-has largely focused on obesity-associated cancers. However, increasing evidence for a key role for nutrient competition in the tumor microenvironment, as well as for substrate regulation of immune function, suggests that substrate metabolism deserves reconsideration in immunogenic tumors that are not strongly associated with obesity.METHODS: We compare two murine models: immunologically cold YUMM1.7 and immunologically-hot YUMMER1.7. We utilize stable isotope and radioisotope tracer-based metabolic flux studies as well as gas and liquid chromatography-based metabolomics analyses to comprehensively probe substrate preference in YUMM1.7 and YUMMER1.7 cells, with a subset of studies on the impact of available metabolites across a panel of five additional melanoma cell lines. We analyze bulk RNA-seq data and identify increased expression of amino acid and glucose metabolism genes in YUMMER1.7. Finally, we analyze melanoma patient RNA-seq data to identify potential prognostic predictors rooted in metabolism.
    RESULTS: We demonstrate using stable isotope tracer-based metabolic flux studies as well as gas and liquid chromatography-based metabolomics that immunologically-hot melanoma utilizes more glutamine than immunologically-cold melanoma in vivo and in vitro. Analyses of human melanoma RNA-seq data demonstrate that glutamine transporter and other anaplerotic gene expression positively correlates with lymphocyte infiltration and function.
    CONCLUSIONS: Here, we highlight the importance of understanding metabolism in non-obesity-associated cancers, such as melanoma. This work advances the understanding of the correlation between metabolism and immunogenicity in the tumor microenvironment and provides evidence supporting metabolic gene expression as potential prognostic factors of melanoma progression and may inform investigations of adjunctive metabolic therapy in melanoma.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: Deidentified data from The Cancer Genome Atlas were analyzed.
    Keywords:  Amino acid; Glucose; Melanoma; Tumor metabolism; Tumor microenvironment
  4. Sci Adv. 2022 Dec 02. 8(48): eadc9657
      Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by defective regulatory T (Treg) cells. Here, we demonstrate that a T cell-specific deletion of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase 4 (CaMK4) improves disease in B6.lpr lupus-prone mice and expands Treg cells. Mechanistically, CaMK4 phosphorylates the glycolysis rate-limiting enzyme 6-phosphofructokinase, platelet type (PFKP) and promotes aerobic glycolysis, while its end product fructose-1,6-biphosphate suppresses oxidative metabolism. In Treg cells, a CRISPR-Cas9-enabled Pfkp deletion recapitulated the metabolism of Camk4-/- Treg cells and improved their function and stability in vitro and in vivo. In SLE CD4+ T cells, PFKP enzymatic activity correlated with SLE disease activity and pharmacologic inhibition of CaMK4-normalized PFKP activity, leading to enhanced Treg cell function. In conclusion, we provide molecular insights in the defective metabolism and function of Treg cells in SLE and identify PFKP as a target to fine-tune Treg cell metabolism and thereby restore their function.
  5. Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 28. 13(1): 7338
      Transient lysosomal damage after infection with cytosolic pathogens or silica crystals uptake results in protease leakage. Whether limited leakage of lysosomal contents into the cytosol affects the function of cytoplasmic organelles is unknown. Here, we show that sterile and non-sterile lysosomal damage triggers a cell death independent proteolytic remodelling of the mitochondrial proteome in macrophages. Mitochondrial metabolic reprogramming required leakage of lysosomal cathepsins and was independent of mitophagy, mitoproteases and proteasome degradation. In an in vivo mouse model of endomembrane damage, live lung macrophages that internalised crystals displayed impaired mitochondrial function. Single-cell RNA-sequencing revealed that lysosomal damage skewed metabolic and immune responses in alveolar macrophages subsets with increased lysosomal content. Functionally, drug modulation of macrophage metabolism impacted host responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in an endomembrane damage dependent way. This work uncovers an inter-organelle communication pathway, providing a general mechanism by which macrophages undergo mitochondrial metabolic reprograming after endomembrane damage.
  6. Chem Biol Interact. 2022 Nov 29. pii: S0009-2797(22)00499-9. [Epub ahead of print] 110294
      BACKGROUND: Liver ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is a major complication in the perioperative period and often leads to liver failure and even systemic inflammation. Previous studies have suggested that the inflammatory response participated in the liver damage during liver IRI. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase (NAMPT) is required for the maintenance of cellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels, catalyzing the rate-limiting step in the NAD + salvage pathway. NAMPT is strongly upregulated during inflammation and constitutes an important mechanistic link between inflammatory, metabolic, and transcriptional pathways. The aim of our study was to investigate the role of NAMPT in liver IRI.METHODS: We investigated the effect of pharmacological inhibition of NAMPT with FK866 in models of liver IRI. Liver damage was assessed by HE staining, serum ALT/AST, and TUNEL staining. To examine the mechanism, primary hepatocytes, liver macrophages and RAW264.7 cells were treated with or without NAMPT inhibitors before hypoxia-reoxygenation. Liver macrophages and RAW 264.7 cells activation in vitro was evaluated by western blotting, flow cytometry, and ELISA.
    RESULT: We found that NAMPT was upregulated in liver IRI. Treatment with the NAMPT inhibitor FK866 ameliorated liver IRI and suppressed inflammation in mice. Although NAMPT plays an important role both in hepatocytes and liver macrophages, we focused on the impact of NAMPT on liver macrophages. The mechanism revealed that FK866 potently inhibited NAMPT activity, as demonstrated by reduced liver NAD+ and intracellular NAD+, resulting in reduced abundance and activity of NAD + -dependent enzymes, including poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), thus inhibiting macrophage M1 polarization by reducing CD86, iNOS, TNF-α, and interleukin (IL)-1β. Taken together, our data suggested that NAMPT can regulate macrophage polarization through NAD+/PARP1 to ameliorate liver injury, and that FK866-mediated NAMPT blockade may be a therapeutic approach in liver IRI.
    Keywords:  FK866; Inflammation; Liver ischemia‒reperfusion injury; Liver macrophages; NAMPT; PARP1
  7. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 1049653
      Nicotinamide riboside kinases (NRKs) control the conversion of dietary Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) to NAD+, but little is known about their contribution to endogenous NAD+ turnover and muscle plasticity during skeletal muscle growth and remodeling. Using NRK1/2 double KO (NRKdKO) mice, we investigated the influence of NRKs on NAD+ metabolism and muscle homeostasis, and on the response to neurogenic muscle atrophy and regeneration following muscle injury. Muscles from NRKdKO animals have altered nicotinamide (NAM) salvage and a decrease in mitochondrial content. In single myonuclei RNAseq of skeletal muscle, NRK2 mRNA expression is restricted to type IIx muscle fibers, and perturbed NAD+ turnover and mitochondrial metabolism shifts the fiber type composition of NRKdKO muscle to fast glycolytic IIB fibers. NRKdKO does not influence muscle atrophy during denervation but alters muscle repair after myofiber injury. During regeneration, muscle stem cells (MuSCs) from NRKdKO animals hyper-proliferate but fail to differentiate. NRKdKO also alters the recovery of NAD+ during muscle regeneration as well as mitochondrial adaptations and extracellular matrix remodeling required for tissue repair. These metabolic perturbations result in a transient delay of muscle regeneration which normalizes during myofiber maturation at late stages of regeneration via over-compensation of anabolic IGF1-Akt signaling. Altogether, we demonstrate that NAD+ synthesis controls mitochondrial metabolism and fiber type composition via NRK1/2 and is rate-limiting for myogenic commitment and mitochondrial maturation during skeletal muscle repair.
    Keywords:  NAD+; NRK; fiber type; mitochondria; muscle regeneration; muscle stem cell (satellite cell); nicotinamide riboside; skeletal muscle
  8. Nat Commun. 2022 Dec 01. 13(1): 7404
      T cell development requires the coordinated rearrangement of T cell receptor (TCR) gene segments and the expression of either αβ or γδ TCR. However, whether and how de novo synthesis of nutrients contributes to thymocyte commitment to either lineage remains unclear. Here, we find that T cell-specific deficiency in glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase 1 (GFAT1), the rate-limiting enzyme of the de novo hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (dn-HBP), attenuates hexosamine levels, blunts N-glycosylation of TCRβ chains, reduces surface expression of key developmental receptors, thus impairing αβ-T cell ontogeny. GFAT1 deficiency triggers defects in N-glycans, increases the unfolded protein response, and elevates  γδ-T cell numbers despite reducing γδ-TCR diversity. Enhancing TCR expression or PI3K/Akt signaling does not reverse developmental defects. Instead, dietary supplementation with the salvage metabolite, glucosamine, and an α-ketoglutarate analogue partially restores αβ-T cell development in GFAT1T-/- mice, while fully rescuing it in ex vivo fetal thymic organ cultures. Thus, dn-HBP fulfils, while salvage nutrients partially satisfy, the elevated demand for hexosamines during early T cell development.
  9. Elife. 2022 Dec 01. pii: e73105. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Amino acid (AA) metabolism in vascular endothelium is important for sprouting angiogenesis. SLC38A5 (solute carrier family 38 member 5), an AA transporter, shuttles neutral AAs across cell membrane, including glutamine, which may serve as metabolic fuel for proliferating endothelial cells (ECs) to promote angiogenesis. Here, we found that Slc38a5 is highly enriched in normal retinal vascular endothelium, and more specifically, in pathological sprouting neovessels. Slc38a5 is suppressed in retinal blood vessels from Lrp5-/- and Ndpy/- mice, both genetic models of defective retinal vascular development with Wnt signaling mutations. Additionally, Slc38a5 transcription is regulated by Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Genetic deficiency of Slc38a5 in mice substantially delays retinal vascular development and suppresses pathological neovascularization in oxygen-induced retinopathy modeling ischemic proliferative retinopathies. Inhibition of SLC38A5 in human retinal vascular ECs impairs EC proliferation and angiogenic function, suppresses glutamine uptake, and dampens vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2. Together these findings suggest that SLC38A5 is a new metabolic regulator of retinal angiogenesis by controlling AA nutrient uptake and homeostasis in ECs.
    Keywords:  SLC38A5; amino acids; angiogenesis; developmental biology; endothelial cells; mouse; neovascularization; retinopathy
  10. J Biol Chem. 2022 Nov 24. pii: S0021-9258(22)01188-7. [Epub ahead of print] 102745
      Nudix hydrolase 7 (NUDT7) is an enzyme that hydrolyzes CoA species, is highly expressed in the liver, and resides in the peroxisomes. Peroxisomes are organelles where the preferential oxidation of dicarboxylic fatty acids occurs and where the hepatic synthesis of the primary bile acids cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid is completed. We previously showed that liver-specific overexpression of NUDT7 affects peroxisomal lipid metabolism, but does not prevent the increase in total liver CoA levels that occurs during fasting. We generated Nudt7-/- mice to further characterize the role that peroxisomal (acyl-)CoA degradation plays in the modulation of the size and composition of the acyl-CoA pool and in the regulation of hepatic lipid metabolism. Here we show that deletion of Nudt7 alters the composition of the hepatic acyl-CoA pool in mice fed a low-fat diet, but only in males fed a Western diet does the lack of NUDT7 activity increase total liver CoA levels. This effect is driven by the male-specific accumulation of medium-chain dicarboxylic acyl-CoAs, which are produced from the β-oxidation of dicarboxylic fatty acids. We also show that, under conditions of elevated synthesis of chenodeoxycholic acid derivatives, Nudt7 deletion promotes the production of tauromuricholic acid, decreasing the hydrophobicity index of the intestinal bile acid pool and increasing fecal cholesterol excretion in male mice. These findings reveal that NUDT7-mediated hydrolysis of acyl-CoA pathway intermediates in liver peroxisomes contributes to the regulation of dicarboxylic fatty acid metabolism and the composition of the bile acid pool.
    Keywords:  Nudix hydrolases; bile acids; cholesterol; dicarboxylic fatty acids; peroxisomes
  11. Cell Rep. 2022 Nov 29. pii: S2211-1247(22)01622-9. [Epub ahead of print]41(9): 111744
      Mitochondrial dysfunction, a hallmark of aging, has been associated with the onset of aging phenotypes and age-related diseases. Here, we report that impaired mitochondrial function is associated with increased glutamine catabolism in senescent human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and myofibroblasts derived from patients suffering from Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Increased glutaminase (GLS1) activity accompanied by loss of urea transporter SLC14A1 induces urea accumulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and DNA damage. Conversely, blocking GLS1 activity restores mitochondrial function and leads to amelioration of aging hallmarks. Interestingly, GLS1 expression is regulated through the JNK pathway, as demonstrated by chemical and genetic inhibition. In agreement with our in vitro findings, tissues isolated from aged or progeria mice display increased urea accumulation and GLS1 activity, concomitant with declined mitochondrial function. Inhibition of glutaminolysis in progeria mice improves mitochondrial respiratory chain activity, suggesting that targeting glutaminolysis may be a promising strategy for restoring age-associated loss of mitochondrial function.
    Keywords:  CP: Cell biology; GLS1; Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome; JNK; SLC14A1; aging; glutamine; mitochondria; senescence; urea
  12. Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 29. 13(1): 7356
      Understanding how genetic variants influence disease risk and complex traits (variant-to-function) is one of the major challenges in human genetics. Here we present a model-driven framework to leverage human genome-scale metabolic networks to define how genetic variants affect biochemical reaction fluxes across major human tissues, including skeletal muscle, adipose, liver, brain and heart. As proof of concept, we build personalised organ-specific metabolic flux models for 524,615 individuals of the INTERVAL and UK Biobank cohorts and perform a fluxome-wide association study (FWAS) to identify 4312 associations between personalised flux values and the concentration of metabolites in blood. Furthermore, we apply FWAS to identify 92 metabolic fluxes associated with the risk of developing coronary artery disease, many of which are linked to processes previously described to play in role in the disease. Our work demonstrates that genetically personalised metabolic models can elucidate the downstream effects of genetic variants on biochemical reactions involved in common human diseases.
  13. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 Dec 01. e15631
      Inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) is a rate-limiting enzyme in de novo guanine nucleotide synthesis pathway. Although IMPDH inhibitors are widely used as effective immunosuppressants, their antitumor effects have not been proven in the clinical setting. Here, we found that acute myeloid leukemias (AMLs) with MLL-fusions are susceptible to IMPDH inhibitors in vitro. We also showed that alternate-day administration of IMPDH inhibitors suppressed the development of MLL-AF9-driven AML in vivo without having a devastating effect on immune function. Mechanistically, IMPDH inhibition induced overactivation of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-TRAF6-NF-κB signaling and upregulation of an adhesion molecule VCAM1, which contribute to the antileukemia effect of IMPDH inhibitors. Consequently, combined treatment with IMPDH inhibitors and the TLR1/2 agonist effectively inhibited the development of MLL-fusion AML. These findings provide a rational basis for clinical testing of IMPDH inhibitors against MLL-fusion AMLs and potentially other aggressive tumors with active TLR signaling.
    Keywords:  IMPDH inhibitor; MLL-fusion leukemia; TLR signaling; Vcam1
  14. Cell Rep. 2022 Nov 29. pii: S2211-1247(22)01619-9. [Epub ahead of print]41(9): 111741
      Metabolic rewiring is essential for Th17 cells' functional identity to sense and interpret environmental cues. However, the environmental metabolic checkpoints with specific regulation of Th17 cells, manifesting potential therapeutic opportunities to autoimmune diseases, remain largely unknown. Here, by screening more than one hundred compounds derived from intestinal microbes or diet, we found that vitamin B5 (VB5) restrains Th17 cell differentiation as well as related autoimmune diseases such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and colitis. Mechanistically, VB5 is catabolized into coenzyme A (CoA) in a pantothenate kinase (PANK)-dependent manner, and in turn, CoA binds to pyruvate kinase isoform 2 (PKM2) to impede its phosphorylation and nuclear translocation, thus inhibiting glycolysis and STAT3 phosphorylation. In humans, reduced serum VB5 levels are found in both IBD and MS patients. Collectively, our study demonstrates a role of VB5 in Th17 cell metabolic reprograming, thus providing a potential therapeutic intervention for Th17 cell-associated autoimmune diseases.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; CP: Microbiology; CoA; PKM2; Th17; glucose metabolism; vitamin B5
  15. Sci Immunol. 2022 Dec 09. 7(78): eade5686
      Cytokines interact with their receptors in the extracellular space to control immune responses. How the physicochemical properties of the extracellular space influence cytokine signaling is incompletely elucidated. Here, we show that the activity of interleukin-2 (IL-2), a cytokine critical to T cell immunity, is profoundly affected by pH, limiting IL-2 signaling within the acidic environment of tumors. Generation of lactic acid by tumors limits STAT5 activation, effector differentiation, and antitumor immunity by CD8+ T cells and renders high-dose IL-2 therapy poorly effective. Directed evolution enabled selection of a pH-selective IL-2 mutein (Switch-2). Switch-2 binds the IL-2 receptor subunit IL-2Rα with higher affinity, triggers STAT5 activation, and drives CD8+ T cell effector function more potently at acidic pH than at neutral pH. Consequently, high-dose Switch-2 therapy induces potent immune activation and tumor rejection with reduced on-target toxicity in normal tissues. Last, we show that sensitivity to pH is a generalizable property of a diverse range of cytokines with broad relevance to immunity and immunotherapy in healthy and diseased tissues.
  16. Nat Commun. 2022 Dec 02. 13(1): 7414
      Pluripotent stem cells hold great promise in regenerative medicine and developmental biology studies. Mitochondrial metabolites, including tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates, have been reported to play critical roles in pluripotency. Here we show that TCA cycle enzymes including Pdha1, Pcb, Aco2, Cs, Idh3a, Ogdh, Sdha and Mdh2 are translocated to the nucleus during somatic cell reprogramming, primed-to-naive transition and totipotency acquisition. The nuclear-localized TCA cycle enzymes Pdha1, Pcb, Aco2, Cs, Idh3a promote somatic cell reprogramming and primed-to-naive transition. In addition, nuclear-localized TCA cycle enzymes, particularly nuclear-targeted Pdha1, facilitate the 2-cell program in pluripotent stem cells. Mechanistically, nuclear Pdha1 increases the acetyl-CoA and metabolite pool in the nucleus, leading to chromatin remodeling at pluripotency genes by enhancing histone H3 acetylation. Our results reveal an important role of mitochondrial TCA cycle enzymes in the epigenetic regulation of pluripotency that constitutes a mitochondria-to-nucleus retrograde signaling mode in different states of pluripotent acquisition.
  17. Adv Biol Regul. 2022 Nov 21. pii: S2212-4926(22)00075-6. [Epub ahead of print] 100935
      Metabolic rewiring is a key feature of cancer cells, which involves the alteration of amino acids, glucose and lipids to support aggressive cancer phenotypes. Changes in lipid metabolism alter cancer growth characteristics, membrane integrity and signalling pathways. Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) are membrane-bound vesicles secreted by cells into the extracellular environment, where they participate in cell-to-cell communication. Lipids are involved in the formation and cargo assortment of sEVs, resulting in their selective packaging in these vesicles. Further, sEVs participate in different aspects of cancer development, such as proliferation, migration and angiogenesis. Various lipidomic studies have indicated the enrichment of specific lipids in sEVs derived from tumour cells, which aid in their pathological functioning. This paper summarises how the modified lipid profile of sEVs contributes to carcinogenesis and disease progression.
    Keywords:  Cancer biomarkers; Cancer progression; Extracellular vesicles; Lipid metabolism; Lipidomic
  18. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 Oct 26. pii: S0006-291X(22)01468-1. [Epub ahead of print]638 1-6
      Breast cancer is malignant cancer that severely threatens the life quality of female patients. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a prevalent modification of RNA. METTL16 is an important methyltransferase. This work aims to study the role of METTL16 in breast cancer cell death. The expression of METTL16 in clinical breast cancer specimens was analyzed by qPCR assay. The in vitro and in vivo breast cancer cell proliferation was measured by CCK8, colony formation, and xenograft mouse model. Cell ferroptosis was assessed by measuring the accumulation of iron, Fe2+, and lipid ROS. The mechanistic study was performed by RNA degradation, qPCR, and Western blotting assay. METTL16 was overexpressed in tumor tissues from breast cancer patients compared with the para-tumor tissues. Knockdown of METTL16 suppressed in vitro cell proliferation and in vivo tumor growth of breast cancer cells. Meanwhile, METTL16 silencing led to elevated intracellular levels of iron, Fe2+, and lipid ROS, indicating the incidence of ferroptosis. Furthermore, siMETTL16 decreased m6A methylation and enhanced the degradation of GPX4 RNA. METTL16-regulated m6A methylation of GPX4 stimulates proliferation and suppresses ferroptosis of breast cancer cells. Therefore, we concluded that METTL16 epigenetically enhanced GPX4 expression via m6A modification to promote breast cancer progression by inhibiting ferroptosis.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; Ferroptosis; METTL16; m6A methylation
  19. Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 28. 13(1): 7330
      The rapidly developing spatial omics generated datasets with diverse scales and modalities. However, most existing methods focus on modeling dynamics of single cells while ignore microenvironments (MEs). Here we present SOTIP (Spatial Omics mulTIPle-task analysis), a versatile method incorporating MEs and their interrelationships into a unified graph. Based on this graph, spatial heterogeneity quantification, spatial domain identification, differential microenvironment analysis, and other downstream tasks can be performed. We validate each module's accuracy, robustness, scalability and interpretability on various spatial omics datasets. In two independent mouse cerebral cortex spatial transcriptomics datasets, we reveal a gradient spatial heterogeneity pattern strongly correlated with the cortical depth. In human triple-negative breast cancer spatial proteomics datasets, we identify molecular polarizations and MEs associated with different patient survivals. Overall, by modeling biologically explainable MEs, SOTIP outperforms state-of-art methods and provides some perspectives for spatial omics data exploration and interpretation.
  20. Elife. 2022 Nov 30. pii: e75148. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Tissue-resident macrophages are essential to protect from pathogen invasion and maintain organ homeostasis. The ability of thymic macrophages to engulf apoptotic thymocytes is well appreciated, but little is known about their ontogeny, maintenance, and diversity. Here, we characterized the surface phenotype and transcriptional profile of these cells and defined their expression signature. Thymic macrophages were most closely related to spleen red pulp macrophages and Kupffer cells and shared the expression of the transcription factor SpiC with these cells. Single-cell RNA sequencing showed that the macrophages in the adult thymus are composed of two populations distinguished by the expression of Timd4 and Cx3cr1. Remarkably, Timd4+ cells were located in the cortex, while Cx3cr1+ macrophages were restricted to the medulla and the cortico-medullary junction. Using shield chimeras, transplantation of embryonic thymuses, and genetic fate mapping, we found that the two populations have distinct origins. Timd4+ thymic macrophages are of embryonic origin, while Cx3cr1+ macrophages are derived from adult hematopoietic stem cells. Aging has a profound effect on the macrophages in the thymus. Timd4+ cells underwent gradual attrition, while Cx3cr1+ cells slowly accumulated with age and, in older mice, were the dominant macrophage population in the thymus. Altogether, our work defines the phenotype, origin, and diversity of thymic macrophages.
    Keywords:  developmental biology; immunology; inflammation; mouse
  21. Exp Cell Res. 2022 Nov 23. pii: S0014-4827(22)00429-3. [Epub ahead of print] 113436
      Oxidative stress-induced ferroptosis of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells contributes to retinal degenerative diseases. The antioxidant molecule hydrogen sulfide (H2S) regulates oxidative stress response, but its effect on the ferroptosis of RPE cells is unclear. In this study, sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) was used as an exogenous H2S donor to intervene tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-induced ferroptosis of APRE-19 cells. We found that NaHS pretreatment attenuates t-BHP-induced oxidative stress and ferroptosis. Analysis of mRNA-sequencing coupled with FerrDb database identified nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (NRF2) as a primary target for the cytoprotective role of H2S. NRF2 inhibitor ML385 reverses the effects of H2S on ferroptosis. Biochemical analysis revealed that H2S stabilizes NRF2. H2S decreases the interaction between NRF2 and KEAP1, but enhances the interaction between KEAP1 and p62. These results suggest that H2S activates the non-canonical NRF2-KEAP1 pathway. Further study demonstrated that H2S stimulates AMPK to interact and phosphorylate p62. Additionally, inhibiting AMPK or knocking down p62 blocks the effects of H2S. We speculate that targeting the non-canonical NRF2-KEAP1 pathway by H2S-based drug may benefit the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  Ferroptosis; Hydrogen sulfide; NRF2; Oxidative stress; RPE
  22. Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 30. 13(1): 7389
      Macrophages are involved in tissue homeostasis and are critical for innate immune responses, yet distinct macrophage populations in different tissues exhibit diverse gene expression patterns and biological processes. While tissue-specific macrophage epigenomic and transcriptomic profiles have been reported, proteomes of different macrophage populations remain poorly characterized. Here we use mass spectrometry and bulk RNA sequencing to assess the proteomic and transcriptomic patterns, respectively, of 10 primary macrophage populations from seven mouse tissues, bone marrow-derived macrophages and the cell line RAW264.7. The results show distinct proteomic landscape and protein copy numbers between tissue-resident and recruited macrophages. Construction of a hierarchical regulatory network finds cell-type-specific transcription factors of macrophages serving as hubs for denoting tissue and functional identity of individual macrophage subsets. Finally, Il18 is validated to be essential in distinguishing molecular signatures and cellular function features between tissue-resident and recruited macrophages in the lung and liver. In summary, these deposited datasets and our open proteome server ( ) integrating all information will provide a valuable resource for future functional and mechanistic studies of mouse macrophages.
  23. Exp Mol Med. 2022 Nov 28.
      Necroptosis is the major cause of death in alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) during acute lung injury (ALI). Here, we report a previously unrecognized mechanism for necroptosis. We found an accumulation of mitochondrial citrate (citratemt) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated AECs because of the downregulation of Idh3α and citrate carrier (CIC, also known as Slc25a1). shRNA- or inhibitor-mediated inhibition of Idh3α and Slc25a1 induced citratemt accumulation and necroptosis in vitro. Mice with AEC-specific Idh3α and Slc25a1 deficiency exhibited exacerbated lung injury and AEC necroptosis. Interestingly, the overexpression of Idh3α and Slc25a1 decreased citratemt levels and rescued AECs from necroptosis. Mechanistically, citratemt accumulation induced mitochondrial fission and excessive mitophagy in AECs. Furthermore, citratemt directly interacted with FUN14 domain-containing protein 1 (FUNDC1) and promoted the interaction of FUNDC1 with dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), leading to excessive mitophagy-mediated necroptosis and thereby initiating and promoting ALI. Importantly, necroptosis induced by citratemt accumulation was inhibited in FUNDC1-knockout AECs. We show that citratemt accumulation is a novel target for protection against ALI involving necroptosis.
  24. Nat Commun. 2022 Dec 01. 13(1): 7408
      Human genetics has been instrumental in identification of genetic variants linked to type 2 diabetes. Recently a rare, putative loss-of-function mutation in the orphan G-protein coupled receptor 151 (GPR151) was found to be associated with lower odds ratio for type 2 diabetes, but the mechanism behind this association has remained elusive. Here we show that Gpr151 is a fasting- and glucagon-responsive hepatic gene which regulates hepatic gluconeogenesis. Gpr151 ablation in mice leads to suppression of hepatic gluconeogenesis genes and reduced hepatic glucose production in response to pyruvate. Importantly, the restoration of hepatic Gpr151 levels in the Gpr151 knockout mice reverses the reduced hepatic glucose production. In this work, we establish a previously unknown role of Gpr151 in the liver that provides an explanation to the lowered type 2 diabetes risk in individuals with nonsynonymous mutations in GPR151.