bims-mepmim Biomed News
on Metabolites in pathological microenvironments and immunometabolism
Issue of 2023‒04‒30
twenty-one papers selected by
Erika Mariana Palmieri
NIH/NCI Laboratory of Cancer ImmunoMetabolism

  1. Cell Metab. 2023 Apr 20. pii: S1550-4131(23)00130-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of serum metabolites have the potential to uncover genes that influence human metabolism. Here, we combined an integrative genetic analysis that associates serum metabolites to membrane transporters with a coessentiality map of metabolic genes. This analysis revealed a connection between feline leukemia virus subgroup C cellular receptor 1 (FLVCR1) and phosphocholine, a downstream metabolite of choline metabolism. Loss of FLVCR1 in human cells strongly impairs choline metabolism due to the inhibition of choline import. Consistently, CRISPR-based genetic screens identified phospholipid synthesis and salvage machinery as synthetic lethal with FLVCR1 loss. Cells and mice lacking FLVCR1 exhibit structural defects in mitochondria and upregulate integrated stress response (ISR) through heme-regulated inhibitor (HRI) kinase. Finally, Flvcr1 knockout mice are embryonic lethal, which is partially rescued by choline supplementation. Altogether, our findings propose FLVCR1 as a major choline transporter in mammals and provide a platform to discover substrates for unknown metabolite transporters.
    Keywords:  FLVCR1; PCARP; choline; metabolism; mitochondria; phosphatidylcholine
  2. Nat Metab. 2023 Apr;5(4): 589-606
      Elevated levels of plasma branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) have been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes since the 1960s. Pharmacological activation of branched-chain α-ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKDH), the rate-limiting enzyme of BCAA oxidation, lowers plasma BCAAs and improves insulin sensitivity. Here we show that modulation of BCKDH in skeletal muscle, but not liver, affects fasting plasma BCAAs in male mice. However, despite lowering BCAAs, increased BCAA oxidation in skeletal muscle does not improve insulin sensitivity. Our data indicate that skeletal muscle controls plasma BCAAs, that lowering fasting plasma BCAAs is insufficient to improve insulin sensitivity and that neither skeletal muscle nor liver account for the improved insulin sensitivity seen with pharmacological activation of BCKDH. These findings suggest potential concerted contributions of multiple tissues in the modulation of BCAA metabolism to alter insulin sensitivity.
  3. Heliyon. 2023 Apr;9(4): e15281
      Carnitine plays multiple roles in skeletal muscle metabolism, including fatty acid transport and buffering of excess acetyl-CoA in the mitochondria. The skeletal muscle cannot synthesize carnitine; therefore, carnitine must be taken up from the blood into the cytoplasm. Carnitine metabolism, its uptake into cells, and the subsequent reactions of carnitine are accelerated by muscle contraction. Isotope tracing enables the marking of target molecules and monitoring of tissue distribution. In this study, stable isotope-labeled carnitine tracing was combined with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) imaging to determine carnitine distribution in mouse skeletal muscle tissues. Deuterium-labeled carnitine (d3-carnitine) was intravenously injected into the mice and diffused to the skeletal muscles for 30 and 60 min. To examine whether muscle contraction changes the distribution of carnitine and its derivatives, unilateral in situ muscle contraction was performed; 60 min muscle contraction showed increased d3-carnitine and its derivative d3-acetylcarnitine in the muscle, indicating that carnitine uptake in cells is promptly converted to acetylcarnitine, consequently, buffering accumulated acetyl-CoA. While the endogenous carnitine was localized in the slow type fibers rather than fast type, the contraction-induced distributions of d3-carnitine and acetylcarnitine were not necessarily associated with muscle fiber type. In conclusion, the combination of isotope tracing and MALDI-MS imaging can reveal carnitine flux during muscle contraction and show the significance of carnitine in skeletal muscles.
    Keywords:  Acetylation; Mass spectrometry imaging; Metabolite tracing
  4. Nat Aging. 2021 Sep;1(9): 810-825
      Aging is accompanied by a general decline in the function of many cellular pathways. However, whether these are causally or functionally interconnected remains elusive. Here, we study the effect of mitochondrial-nuclear communication on stem cell aging. We show that aged mesenchymal stem cells exhibit reduced chromatin accessibility and lower histone acetylation, particularly on promoters and enhancers of osteogenic genes. The reduced histone acetylation is due to impaired export of mitochondrial acetyl-CoA, owing to the lower levels of citrate carrier (CiC). We demonstrate that aged cells showed enhanced lysosomal degradation of CiC, which is mediated via mitochondrial-derived vesicles. Strikingly, restoring cytosolic acetyl-CoA levels either by exogenous CiC expression or via acetate supplementation, remodels the chromatin landscape and rescues the osteogenesis defects of aged mesenchymal stem cells. Collectively, our results establish a tight, age-dependent connection between mitochondrial quality control, chromatin and stem cell fate, which are linked together by CiC.
  5. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 May 02. 120(18): e2221047120
      Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) contains an active site Cys and is one of the most sensitive cellular enzymes to oxidative inactivation and redox regulation. Here, we show that inactivation by hydrogen peroxide is strongly enhanced in the presence of carbon dioxide/bicarbonate. Inactivation of isolated mammalian GAPDH by H2O2 increased with increasing bicarbonate concentration and was sevenfold faster in 25 mM (physiological) bicarbonate compared with bicarbonate-free buffer of the same pH. H2O2 reacts reversibly with CO2 to form a more reactive oxidant, peroxymonocarbonate (HCO4-), which is most likely responsible for the enhanced inactivation. However, to account for the extent of enhancement, we propose that GAPDH must facilitate formation and/or targeting of HCO4- to promote its own inactivation. Inactivation of intracellular GAPDH was also strongly enhanced by bicarbonate: treatment of Jurkat cells with 20 µM H2O2 in 25 mM bicarbonate buffer for 5 min caused almost complete GAPDH inactivation, but no loss of activity when bicarbonate was not present. H2O2-dependent GAPDH inhibition in bicarbonate buffer was observed even in the presence of reduced peroxiredoxin 2 and there was a significant increase in cellular glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate/dihydroxyacetone phosphate. Our results identify an unrecognized role for bicarbonate in enabling H2O2 to influence inactivation of GAPDH and potentially reroute glucose metabolism from glycolysis to the pentose phosphate pathway and NAPDH production. They also demonstrate what could be wider interplay between CO2 and H2O2 in redox biology and the potential for variations in CO2 metabolism to influence oxidative responses and redox signaling.
    Keywords:  glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; hydrogen peroxide; peroxymonocarbonate; redox regulation; thiol protein oxidation
  6. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 Apr 03. pii: 868. [Epub ahead of print]12(4):
      Reactive sulfur species, or persulfides and polysulfides, such as cysteine hydropersulfide and glutathione persulfide, are endogenously produced in abundance in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, including mammals. Various forms of reactive persulfides occur in both low-molecular-weight and protein-bound thiols. The chemical properties and great supply of these molecular species suggest a pivotal role for reactive persulfides/polysulfides in different cellular regulatory processes (e.g., energy metabolism and redox signaling). We demonstrated earlier that cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase (CARS) is a new cysteine persulfide synthase (CPERS) and is responsible for the in vivo production of most reactive persulfides (polysulfides). Some researchers continue to suggest that 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3-MST), cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), and cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) may also produce hydrogen sulfide and persulfides that may be generated during the transfer of sulfur from 3-mercaptopyruvate to the cysteine residues of 3-MST or direct synthesis from cysteine by CBS/CSE, respectively. We thus used integrated sulfur metabolome analysis, which we recently developed, with 3-MST knockout (KO) mice and CBS/CSE/3-MST triple-KO mice, to elucidate the possible contribution of 3-MST, CBS, and CSE to the production of reactive persulfides in vivo. We therefore quantified various sulfide metabolites in organs derived from these mutant mice and their wild-type littermates via this sulfur metabolome, which clearly revealed no significant difference between mutant mice and wild-type mice in terms of reactive persulfide production. This result indicates that 3-MST, CBS, and CSE are not major sources of endogenous reactive persulfide production; rather, CARS/CPERS is the principal enzyme that is actually involved in and even primarily responsible for the biosynthesis of reactive persulfides and polysulfides in vivo in mammals.
    Keywords:  3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase; cystathionine β-synthase; cystathionine γ-lyase; cysteine persulfide synthase; cysteinyl-tRNA synthetases; reactive persulfides/polysulfides
  7. Cell Rep. 2023 Apr 26. pii: S2211-1247(23)00446-1. [Epub ahead of print]42(5): 112435
      Organelle interactions play a significant role in compartmentalizing metabolism and signaling. Lipid droplets (LDs) interact with numerous organelles, including mitochondria, which is largely assumed to facilitate lipid transfer and catabolism. However, quantitative proteomics of hepatic peridroplet mitochondria (PDM) and cytosolic mitochondria (CM) reveals that CM are enriched in proteins comprising various oxidative metabolism pathways, whereas PDM are enriched in proteins involved in lipid anabolism. Isotope tracing and super-resolution imaging confirms that fatty acids (FAs) are selectively trafficked to and oxidized in CM during fasting. In contrast, PDM facilitate FA esterification and LD expansion in nutrient-replete medium. Additionally, mitochondrion-associated membranes (MAM) around PDM and CM differ in their proteomes and ability to support distinct lipid metabolic pathways. We conclude that CM and CM-MAM support lipid catabolic pathways, whereas PDM and PDM-MAM allow hepatocytes to efficiently store excess lipids in LDs to prevent lipotoxicity.
    Keywords:  CP: Metabolism; MAM; cytosolic mitochondria; fatty acids; lipid anabolism; lipid catabolism; lipid droplets; organelle interactions; peridroplet mitochondria; perilipin 5; single-molecule localization microscopy
  8. J Biochem. 2023 Apr 24. pii: mvad036. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ferroptosis is a regulated cell death induced by iron-dependent lipid peroxidation. The heme-responsive transcription factor BTB and CNC homology 1 (BACH1) promotes ferroptosis by repressing the transcription of genes involved in glutathione (GSH) synthesis and intracellular labile iron metabolism, which are key regulatory pathways in ferroptosis. We found that BACH1 re-expression in Bach1-/- immortalized mouse embryonic fibroblasts (iMEFs) can induce ferroptosis upon 2-mercaptoethanol removal, without any ferroptosis inducers. In these iMEFs, GSH synthesis was reduced, and intracellular labile iron levels were increased upon BACH1 re-expression. We used this system to investigate whether the major ferroptosis regulators glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4) and apoptosis-inducing factor mitochondria-associated 2 (Aifm2), the gene for ferroptosis suppressor protein 1, are target genes of BACH1. Neither Gpx4 nor Aifm2 was regulated by BACH1 in the iMEFs. However, we found that BACH1 represses AIFM2 transcription in human pancreatic cancer cells. These results suggest that the ferroptosis regulators targeted by BACH1 may vary across different cell types and animal species. Furthermore, we confirmed that the ferroptosis induced by BACH1 re-expression exhibited a propagating effect. BACH1 re-expression represents a new strategy for inducing ferroptosis after GPX4 or system Xc- suppression, and is expected to contribute to future ferroptosis research.
    Keywords:  BACH1; Ferroptosis; extracellular signal; fibroblasts; transcription
  9. Cell Rep. 2023 Apr 24. pii: S2211-1247(23)00445-X. [Epub ahead of print]42(5): 112434
      Skeletal muscle is highly developed after birth, consisting of glycolytic fast-twitch and oxidative slow-twitch fibers; however, the mechanisms of fiber-type-specific differentiation are poorly understood. Here, we found an unexpected role of mitochondrial fission in the differentiation of fast-twitch oxidative fibers. Depletion of the mitochondrial fission factor dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) in mouse skeletal muscle and cultured myotubes results in specific reduction of fast-twitch muscle fibers independent of respiratory function. Altered mitochondrial fission causes activation of the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway via mitochondrial accumulation of mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2), and rapamycin administration rescues the reduction of fast-twitch fibers in vivo and in vitro. Under Akt/mTOR activation, the mitochondria-related cytokine growth differentiation factor 15 is upregulated, which represses fast-twitch fiber differentiation. Our findings reveal a crucial role of mitochondrial dynamics in the activation of mTORC2 on mitochondria, resulting in the differentiation of muscle fibers.
    Keywords:  Akt; CP: Metabolism; Drp1; GDF-15; mTOR; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; muscle atrophy; muscle differentiation
  10. Immunity. 2023 Apr 20. pii: S1074-7613(23)00141-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Immune cell trafficking constitutes a fundamental component of immunological response to tissue injury, but the contribution of intrinsic RNA nucleotide modifications to this response remains elusive. We report that RNA editor ADAR2 exerts a tissue- and stress-specific regulation of endothelial responses to interleukin-6 (IL-6), which tightly controls leukocyte trafficking in IL-6-inflamed and ischemic tissues. Genetic ablation of ADAR2 from vascular endothelial cells diminished myeloid cell rolling and adhesion on vascular walls and reduced immune cell infiltration within ischemic tissues. ADAR2 was required in the endothelium for the expression of the IL-6 receptor subunit, IL-6 signal transducer (IL6ST; gp130), and subsequently, for IL-6 trans-signaling responses. ADAR2-induced adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing suppressed the Drosha-dependent primary microRNA processing, thereby overwriting the default endothelial transcriptional program to safeguard gp130 expression. This work demonstrates a role for ADAR2 epitranscriptional activity as a checkpoint in IL-6 trans-signaling and immune cell trafficking to sites of tissue injury.
    Keywords:  ADAR2; IL-6; RNA editing; RNA modifications; endothelial cells; epitranscriptome; gene expression; immune cell trafficking; ischemia; microRNAs
  11. Nat Biomed Eng. 2023 Apr 27.
      Impaired glucose metabolism in the brain has been linked to several neurological disorders. Positron emission tomography and carbon-13 magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) can be used to quantify the metabolism of glucose, but these methods involve exposure to radiation, cannot quantify downstream metabolism, or have poor spatial resolution. Deuterium MRSI (2H-MRSI) is a non-invasive and safe alternative for the quantification of the metabolism of 2H-labelled substrates such as glucose and their downstream metabolic products, yet it can only measure a limited number of deuterated compounds and requires specialized hardware. Here we show that proton MRSI (1H-MRSI) at 7 T has higher sensitivity, chemical specificity and spatiotemporal resolution than 2H-MRSI. We used 1H-MRSI in five volunteers to differentiate glutamate, glutamine, γ-aminobutyric acid and glucose deuterated at specific molecular positions, and to simultaneously map deuterated and non-deuterated metabolites. 1H-MRSI, which is amenable to clinically available magnetic-resonance hardware, may facilitate the study of glucose metabolism in the brain and its potential roles in neurological disorders.
  12. Immunology. 2023 Apr 24.
      Angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) is a secreted metabolism-modulating glycoprotein involved in the progression of tumours, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome and infectious diseases. In this study, more CD8+ T cells were activated to be effector T cells in ANGPTL4-/- mice. Impaired growth of tumours implanted in 3LL, B16BL6 or MC38 cells and reduced metastasis by B16F10 cells were observed in ANGPTL4-/- mice. Bone marrow (BM) transplantation experiments displayed that deficiency of ANGPTL4 in either host or BM cells promoted CD8+ T cell activation. However, ANGPTL4 deficiency in CD8+ T cells themselves showed more efficient anti-tumour activities. Recombinant ANGPTL4 protein promoted tumour growth in vivo with the less CD8+ T cell infiltration and it directly downregulated CD8+ T cell activation ex vivo. Transcriptome sequencing and metabolism analysis identified that ANGPTL4-/- CD8+ T cells increased glycolysis and decreased oxidative phosphorylation, which was dependent on the PKCζ-LKB1-AMPK-mTOR signalling axis. Reverse correlation of elevated ANGPTL4 levels in sera and tumour tissues with activated CD8+ T cells in the peripheral blood was displayed in patients with colorectal cancer. These results demonstrated that ANGPTL4 decreased immune surveillance in tumour progression by playing an immune-modulatory role on CD8+ T cells via metabolic reprogramming. Efficient blockade of ANGPTL4 expression in tumour patients would generate an effective anti-tumour effect mediated by CD8+ T cells.
    Keywords:  ANGPTL4; CD8; T cell; metabolism; tumour
  13. Nat Commun. 2023 Apr 24. 14(1): 2356
      Accumulating evidence suggests mitochondria as key modulators of normal and premature aging, yet whether primary oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) deficiency can cause progeroid disease remains unclear. Here, we show that mice with severe isolated respiratory complex III (CIII) deficiency display nuclear DNA damage, cell cycle arrest, aberrant mitoses, and cellular senescence in the affected organs such as liver and kidney, and a systemic phenotype resembling juvenile-onset progeroid syndromes. Mechanistically, CIII deficiency triggers presymptomatic cancer-like c-MYC upregulation followed by excessive anabolic metabolism and illicit cell proliferation against lack of energy and biosynthetic precursors. Transgenic alternative oxidase dampens mitochondrial integrated stress response and the c-MYC induction, suppresses the illicit proliferation, and prevents juvenile lethality despite that canonical OXPHOS-linked functions remain uncorrected. Inhibition of c-MYC with the dominant-negative Omomyc protein relieves the DNA damage in CIII-deficient hepatocytes in vivo. Our results connect primary OXPHOS deficiency to genomic instability and progeroid pathogenesis and suggest that targeting c-MYC and aberrant cell proliferation may be therapeutic in mitochondrial diseases.
  14. Immunity. 2023 Apr 24. pii: S1074-7613(23)00163-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cytosolic innate immune sensing is critical for protecting barrier tissues. NOD1 and NOD2 are cytosolic sensors of small peptidoglycan fragments (muropeptides) derived from the bacterial cell wall. These muropeptides enter cells, especially epithelial cells, through unclear mechanisms. We previously implicated SLC46 transporters in muropeptide transport in Drosophila immunity. Here, we focused on Slc46a2, which was highly expressed in mammalian epidermal keratinocytes, and showed that it was critical for the delivery of diaminopimelic acid (DAP)-muropeptides and activation of NOD1 in keratinocytes, whereas the related transporter Slc46a3 was critical for delivering the NOD2 ligand MDP to keratinocytes. In a mouse model, Slc46a2 and Nod1 deficiency strongly suppressed psoriatic inflammation, whereas methotrexate, a commonly used psoriasis therapeutic, inhibited Slc46a2-dependent transport of DAP-muropeptides. Collectively, these studies define SLC46A2 as a transporter of NOD1-activating muropeptides, with critical roles in the skin barrier, and identify this transporter as an important target for anti-inflammatory intervention.
    Keywords:  NOD1; SLC transporters; inflammation; innate immunity; methotrexate; muropeptide; psoriasis
  15. Redox Biol. 2023 Apr 23. pii: S2213-2317(23)00110-6. [Epub ahead of print]62 102709
      Although metabolic reprogramming during the differentiation of regulatory T cells (Treg cells) has been extensively studied, the molecular switch to alter energy metabolism remains undefined. The present study explores the critical role of mitochondrial dynamics in the reprogramming and consequent generation of Treg cells. The results showed that during Treg cell differentiation, mitochondrial fusion but not fission led to elevation of oxygen consumption rate values, facilitation of metabolic reprogramming, and increase of number of Treg cells and expression of Foxp3 in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, mitochondrial fusion favored fatty acid oxidation but restricted glycolysis in Treg cells through down-regulating the expression of HIF-1α. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) played a crucial role in the induction of mitochondrial fusion, which activated Smad2/3, promoted the expression of PGC-1α and therefore facilitated the expression of mitochondrial fusion proteins. In conclusion, during Treg cell differentiation, TGF-β1 promotes PGC-1α-mediated mitochondrial fusion, which drives metabolic reprogramming from glycolysis to fatty acid oxidation via suppressing HIF-1α expression, and therefore favors the generation of Treg cells. The signals and proteins involved in mitochondrial fusion are potential therapeutic targets for Treg cell-related diseases.
    Keywords:  Differentiation; Metabolic reprogramming; Mitochondrial fusion; TGF-β1; Treg cells
  16. J Biol Chem. 2023 Apr 26. pii: S0021-9258(23)01781-7. [Epub ahead of print] 104753
      Indoleamine-2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO1) and Tryptophan-2, 3-dioxygenase (TDO) catalyze the conversion of L-tryptophan to N-formyl-kynurenine and thus play primary roles in metabolism, inflammation, and tumor immune surveillance. Because their activities depend on their heme contents which vary in biological settings and go up or down in a dynamic manner, we studied how their heme levels may be impacted by nitric oxide (NO) in mammalian cells. We utilized cells expressing TDO or IDO1 either naturally or via transfection and determined their activities, heme contents, and expression levels as a function of NO exposure. We found NO has a bimodal effect: A narrow range of low NO exposure promoted cells to allocate heme into the heme-free TDO and IDO1 populations and consequently boosted their heme contents and activities 4- to 6-fold, while beyond this range the NO exposure transitioned to have a negative impact on their heme contents and activities. NO did not alter dioxygenase protein expression levels and its bimodal impact was observed when NO was released by a chemical donor or was generated naturally by immune-stimulated macrophage cells. NO-driven heme allocations to IDO1 and TDO required participation of a GAPDH-heme complex and for IDO1 required chaperone Hsp90 activity. Thus, cells can up- or down-regulate their IDO1 and TDO activities through a bimodal control of heme allocation by NO. This mechanism has important biomedical implications and helps explain why the IDO1 and TDO activities in animals go up and down in response to immune stimulation.
    Keywords:  GAPDH; Hsp90; IDO1; TDO; heme protein; heme trafficking; mitochondria
  17. J Hepatol. 2023 Apr 21. pii: S0168-8278(23)00223-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Normal human liver is thought to be generally quiescent, however clonal hepatocyte expansions have been observed but neither their cellular source nor their expansion dynamics have been determined. Knowing the hepatocyte cell of origin, and their subsequent dynamics and trajectory within the human liver will provide an important basis to understand disease-associated dysregulation.METHODS: Here we use in vivo lineage tracing and a combination of methylation sequence analysis to demonstrate normal human hepatocyte ancestry. We exploit next generation mitochondrial sequencing to determine hepatocyte clonal expansion dynamics across spatially-distinct areas of laser-captured, microdissected clones, in tandem with computational modelling in morphologically-normal human liver.
    RESULTS: Hepatocyte clones and rare SOX9+ hepatocyte progenitors commonly associate with portal tracts and we present evidence that clones can lineage-trace with cholangiocytes, indicating the presence of a bipotential common ancestor at this niche. Within clones, we demonstrate methylation CpG sequence diversity patterns indicative of periportal, but not pericentral ancestral origins, indicating a portal to central vein expansion trajectory. Using spatial analysis of mtDNA variants by next-generation sequencing coupled with mathematical modelling and Bayesian inference across the portal-central axis, we demonstrate that patterns of mtDNA variants reveal large numbers of spatially-restricted mutations in conjunction with limited numbers of clonal mutations.
    CONCLUSIONS: These datasets support the existence of a periportal progenitor niche and indicate that clonal patches exhibit punctuated but slow growth, then quiesce, likely due to acute environmental stimuli. These findings crucially contribute to our understanding of hepatocyte dynamics in normal human liver.
    Keywords:  Stem cell; clonal expansion; mitochondria
  18. Nitric Oxide. 2023 Apr 26. pii: S1089-8603(23)00038-1. [Epub ahead of print]
  19. JCI Insight. 2023 Apr 25. pii: e158798. [Epub ahead of print]
      Although thymidylate synthase (TYMS) inhibitors have served as components of chemotherapy regimens, the currently available inhibitors induce TYMS overexpression or alter folate transport/metabolism feedback pathways that tumor cells exploit for drug resistance limiting overall benefit. Here we report a small molecule TYMS inhibitor that i) exhibits enhanced antitumor activity as compared to current fluoropyrimidines and antifolates without inducing TYMS overexpression, ii) is structurally distinct from classical antifolates, iii) extends survival in both pancreatic xenograft tumor models and hTS/Ink4a/Arf null genetically engineered mouse tumor model, iv) and is well tolerated with equal efficacy using either intraperitoneal or oral administration. Mechanistically, we confirm the compound is a multifunctional non-classical antifolate, and using a series of analogues, we identify structural features allowing direct TYMS inhibition while also maintaining the ability to inhibit dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). Collectively, this work identifies new non-classical antifolate inhibitors that optimize inhibition of thymidylate biosynthesis with a favorable safety profile highlighting potential for enhanced cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Oncogenes; Therapeutics
  20. Nature. 2023 Apr 26.
    Keywords:  Cell biology; Immunology