bims-mepmim Biomed News
on Metabolites in pathological microenvironments and immunometabolism
Issue of 2023‒05‒14
33 papers selected by
Erika Mariana Palmieri
NIH/NCI Laboratory of Cancer ImmunoMetabolism

  1. Cell Rep. 2023 May 08. pii: S2211-1247(23)00499-0. [Epub ahead of print]42(5): 112488
      Disruption of adipocyte de novo lipogenesis (DNL) by deletion of fatty acid synthase (FASN) in mice induces browning in inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT). However, adipocyte FASN knockout (KO) increases acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) and malonyl-CoA in addition to depletion of palmitate. We explore which of these metabolite changes triggers adipose browning by generating eight adipose-selective KO mouse models with loss of ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1), ACC2, malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MCD) or FASN, or dual KOs ACLY/FASN, ACC1/FASN, and ACC2/FASN. Preventing elevation of acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA by depletion of adipocyte ACLY or ACC1 in combination with FASN KO does not block the browning of iWAT. Conversely, elevating malonyl-CoA levels in MCD KO mice does not induce browning. Strikingly, adipose ACC1 KO induces a strong iWAT thermogenic response similar to FASN KO while also blocking malonyl-CoA and palmitate synthesis. Thus, ACC1 and FASN are strong suppressors of adipocyte thermogenesis through promoting lipid synthesis rather than modulating the DNL intermediates acetyl-CoA or malonyl-CoA.
    Keywords:  ACC1; CP: Metabolism; FASN; UCP1; acetyl-CoA; adipose tissue; browning; fatty acids; lipogenesis; malonyl-CoA; thermogenesis
  2. Sci Rep. 2023 05 06. 13(1): 7387
      Cytotrophoblasts fuse to form and renew syncytiotrophoblasts necessary to maintain placental health throughout gestation. During cytotrophoblast to syncytiotrophoblast differentiation, cells undergo regulated metabolic and transcriptional reprogramming. Mitochondria play a critical role in differentiation events in cellular systems, thus we hypothesized that mitochondrial metabolism played a central role in trophoblast differentiation. In this work, we employed static and stable isotope tracing untargeted metabolomics methods along with gene expression and histone acetylation studies in an established BeWo cell culture model of trophoblast differentiation. Differentiation was associated with increased abundance of the TCA cycle intermediates citrate and α-ketoglutarate. Citrate was preferentially exported from mitochondria in the undifferentiated state but was retained to a larger extent within mitochondria upon differentiation. Correspondingly, differentiation was associated with decreased expression of the mitochondrial citrate transporter (CIC). CRISPR/Cas9 disruption of the mitochondrial citrate carrier showed that CIC is required for biochemical differentiation of trophoblasts. Loss of CIC resulted in broad alterations in gene expression and histone acetylation. These gene expression changes were partially rescued through acetate supplementation. Taken together, these results highlight a central role for mitochondrial citrate metabolism in orchestrating histone acetylation and gene expression during trophoblast differentiation.
  3. Immunol Rev. 2023 May 09.
      The phagocytosis of dying cells by macrophages, termed efferocytosis, is a tightly regulated process that involves the sensing, binding, engulfment, and digestion of apoptotic cells. Efferocytosis not only prevents tissue necrosis and inflammation caused by secondary necrosis of dying cells, but it also promotes pro-resolving signaling in macrophages, which is essential for tissue resolution and repair following injury or inflammation. An important factor that contributes to this pro-resolving reprogramming is the cargo that is released from apoptotic cells after their engulfment and phagolysosomal digestion by macrophages. The apoptotic cell cargo contains amino acids, nucleotides, fatty acids, and cholesterol that function as metabolites and signaling molecules to bring about this re-programming. Here, we review efferocytosis-induced changes in macrophage metabolism that mediate the pro-resolving functions of macrophages. We also discuss various strategies, challenges, and future perspectives related to drugging efferocytosis-fueled macrophage metabolism as strategy to dampen inflammation and promote resolution in chronic inflammatory diseases.
    Keywords:  cell metabolism; efferocytosis; inflammation resolution; macrophages
  4. Immunol Rev. 2023 May 12.
      Dendritic cells (DCs) are innate immune cells that detect and process environmental signals and communicate them with T cells to bridge innate and adaptive immunity. Immune signals and microenvironmental cues shape the function of DC subsets in different contexts, which is associated with reprogramming of cellular metabolic pathways. In addition to integrating these extracellular cues to meet bioenergetic and biosynthetic demands, cellular metabolism interplays with immune signaling to shape DC-dependent immune responses. Emerging evidence indicates that lipid metabolism serves as a key regulator of DC responses. Here, we summarize the roles of fatty acid and cholesterol metabolism, as well as selective metabolites, in orchestrating the functions of DCs. Specifically, we highlight how different lipid metabolic programs, including de novo fatty acid synthesis, fatty acid β oxidation, lipid storage, and cholesterol efflux, influence DC function in different contexts. Further, we discuss how dysregulation of lipid metabolism shapes DC intracellular signaling and contributes to the impaired DC function in the tumor microenvironment. Finally, we conclude with a discussion on key future directions for the regulation of DC biology by lipid metabolism. Insights into the connections between lipid metabolism and DC functional specialization may facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies for human diseases.
    Keywords:  cholesterol; dendritic cells; fatty acid; innate immunity; lipid metabolism; lipid metabolites
  5. Elife. 2023 May 11. pii: e84280. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Oxygenation levels are a determinative factor in T cell function. Here we describe that the oxygen tensions sensed by mouse and human T cells at the moment of activation act to persistently modulate both differentiation and function. We found that in a protocol of CAR-T cell generation, 24 hours of low oxygen levels during initial CD8+ T cell priming is sufficient to enhance antitumour cytotoxicity in a preclinical model. This is the case even when CAR-T cells are subsequently cultured under high oxygen tensions prior to adoptive transfer. Increased hypoxia inducible transcription factor (HIF) expression was able to alter T cell fate in a similar manner to exposure to low oxygen tensions; however, only a controlled or temporary increase in HIF signalling was able to consistently improve cytotoxic function of T cells. These data show that oxygenation levels during and immediately after T cell activation play an essential role in regulating T cell function.
    Keywords:  human; immunology; inflammation; mouse
  6. Neurobiol Dis. 2023 May 05. pii: S0969-9961(23)00159-6. [Epub ahead of print] 106145
      Disrupted brain metabolism is a critical component of several neurodegenerative diseases. Energy metabolism of both neurons and astrocytes is closely connected to neurotransmitter recycling via the glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle. Neurons and astrocytes hereby work in close metabolic collaboration which is essential to sustain neurotransmission. Elucidating the mechanistic involvement of altered brain metabolism in disease progression has been aided by the advance of techniques to monitor cellular metabolism, in particular by mapping metabolism of substrates containing stable isotopes, a technique known as isotope tracing. Here we review key aspects of isotope tracing including advantages, drawbacks and applications to different cerebral preparations. In addition, we narrate how isotope tracing has facilitated the discovery of central metabolic features in neurodegeneration with a focus on the metabolic cooperation between neurons and astrocytes.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Astrocytes; Brain energy metabolism; Huntington's disease; Mass spectrometry; Neurodegenerative disorders; Parkinson's disease
  7. Cell Death Dis. 2023 May 09. 14(5): 314
      Melanomas are characterised by accelerated cell proliferation and metabolic reprogramming resulting from the contemporary dysregulation of the MAPK pathway, glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Here, we suggest that the oncogenic transcription factor EB (TFEB), a key regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and function, controls melanoma tumour growth through a transcriptional programme targeting ERK1/2 activity and glucose, glutamine and cholesterol metabolism. Mechanistically, TFEB binds and negatively regulates the promoter of DUSP-1, which dephosphorylates ERK1/2. In melanoma cells, TFEB silencing correlates with ERK1/2 dephosphorylation at the activation-related p-Thr185 and p-Tyr187 residues. The decreased ERK1/2 activity synergises with TFEB control of CDK4 expression, resulting in cell proliferation blockade. Simultaneously, TFEB rewires metabolism, influencing glycolysis, glucose and glutamine uptake, and cholesterol synthesis. In TFEB-silenced melanoma cells, cholesterol synthesis is impaired, and the uptake of glucose and glutamine is inhibited, leading to a reduction in glycolysis, glutaminolysis and oxidative phosphorylation. Moreover, the reduction in TFEB level induces reverses TCA cycle, leading to fatty acid production. A syngeneic BRAFV600E melanoma model recapitulated the in vitro study results, showing that TFEB silencing sustains the reduction in tumour growth, increase in DUSP-1 level and inhibition of ERK1/2 action, suggesting a pivotal role for TFEB in maintaining proliferative melanoma cell behaviour and the operational metabolic pathways necessary for meeting the high energy demands of melanoma cells.
  8. EMBO J. 2023 May 08. e114129
      How mitochondrial shape and substrate-specific metabolism are related has been a difficult question to address. Here, new work by Ngo et al (2023) reports that mitochondrial shape-long versus fragmented-determines the activity of β-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids, supporting a novel role for mitochondrial fission products as β-oxidation hubs.
  9. Cell Rep Methods. 2023 04 24. 3(4): 100455
      Brain glucose metabolism is highly heterogeneous among brain regions and continues postmortem. In particular, we demonstrate exhaustion of glycogen and glucose and an increase in lactate production during conventional rapid brain resection and preservation by liquid nitrogen. In contrast, we show that these postmortem changes are not observed with simultaneous animal sacrifice and in situ fixation with focused, high-power microwave. We further employ microwave fixation to define brain glucose metabolism in the mouse model of streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetes. Using both total pool and isotope tracing analyses, we identified global glucose hypometabolism in multiple brain regions, evidenced by reduced 13C enrichment into glycogen, glycolysis, and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Reduced glucose metabolism correlated with a marked decrease in GLUT2 expression and several metabolic enzymes in unique brain regions. In conclusion, our study supports the incorporation of microwave fixation for more accurate studies of brain metabolism in rodent models.
    Keywords:  brain metabolism; isotope tracing; microwave fixation; regional metabolism; type 1 diabetes
  10. J Lipid Res. 2023 May 09. pii: S0022-2275(23)00058-5. [Epub ahead of print] 100385
      This review considers the hypothesis that a small portion of plasma membrane cholesterol regulates reverse cholesterol transport in coordination with overall cellular homeostasis. It appears that almost all of the plasma membrane cholesterol is held in stoichiometric complexes with bilayer phospholipids. The minor fraction of cholesterol that exceeds the complexation capacity of the phospholipids is called active cholesterol. It has an elevated chemical activity and circulates among the organelles. It also moves down its chemical activity gradient to plasma high density lipoproteins (HDL), facilitated by the activity of ABCA1, ABCG1 and SR-BI. ABCA1 initiates this process by perturbing the organization of the plasma membrane bilayer, thereby priming its phospholipids for translocation to apoA-I to form nascent HDL. The active excess sterol and that activated by ABCA1 itself follow the phospholipids to the nascent HDL. ABCG1 similarly rearranges the bilayer and sends additional active cholesterol to nascent HDL, while SR-BI simply facilitates the equilibration of the active sterol between plasma membranes and plasma proteins. Active cholesterol also flows downhill to cytoplasmic membranes where it serves both as a feedback signal to homeostatic ER proteins and as the substrate for the synthesis of mitochondrial 27-hydroxycholesterol. 27HC binds the liver X receptor, LXR, and promotes the expression of the aforementioned transport proteins. 27HC-LXR also activates ABCA1 by competitively displacing its inhibitor, unliganded LXR. § Considerable indirect evidence suggests that active cholesterol serves as both a substrate and a feedback signal for reverse cholesterol transport. Direct tests of this novel hypothesis are proposed.
    Keywords:  27-hydroxycholesterol; ABCG1; ApoA-I; HDL; LXR; SR-BI; homeostasis; regulation; reverse; sABCA1
  11. Cell Rep. 2023 May 05. pii: S2211-1247(23)00492-8. [Epub ahead of print]42(5): 112481
      The one-carbon metabolism enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 2 (MTHFD2) is involved in the regulation of tumor oncogenesis and immune cell functions, but whether it can contribute to macrophage polarization remains elusive. Here, we show that MTHFD2 suppresses polarization of interferon-γ-activated macrophages (M(IFN-γ)) but enhances that of interleukin-4-activated macrophages (M(IL-4)) both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, MTHFD2 interacts with phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) to suppress PTEN's phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) phosphatase activity and enhance downstream Akt activation, independent of the N-terminal mitochondria-targeting signal of MTHFD2. MTHFD2-PTEN interaction is promoted by IL-4 but not IFN-γ. Furthermore, amino acid residues (aa 215-225) of MTHFD2 directly target PTEN catalytic center (aa 118-141). Residue D168 of MTHFD2 is also critical for regulating PTEN's PIP3 phosphatase activity by affecting MTHFD2-PTEN interaction. Our study suggests a non-metabolic function of MTHFD2 by which MTHFD2 inhibits PTEN activity, orchestrates macrophage polarization, and alters macrophage-mediated immune responses.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; MTHFD2; PTEN; macrophage polarization
  12. STAR Protoc. 2023 May 06. pii: S2666-1667(23)00249-6. [Epub ahead of print]4(2): 102282
      The lack of suitable models currently hampers our understanding of how the tumor microenvironment responds to immunotherapy treatment. Here, we present a protocol for ex vivo culture of patient-derived tumor fragments (PDTFs). We describe the steps for tumor collection, generation and cryopreservation of PDTFs, and their subsequent thawing. We detail culture of PDTFs and their preparation for analysis. This protocol preserves the tumor microenvironment's composition, architecture, and cellular interactions, which can be perturbed by ex vivo treatment. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Voabil et al. (2021).1.
    Keywords:  Biotechnology and Bioengineering; Cancer; Cell Biology; Cell Culture; Immunology; Single Cell
  13. Redox Biol. 2023 May 04. pii: S2213-2317(23)00133-7. [Epub ahead of print]63 102732
      Glutamine is critical for tumor progression, and restriction of its availability is emerging as a potential therapeutic strategy. The metabolic plasticity of tumor cells helps them adapting to glutamine restriction. However, the role of cholesterol metabolism in this process is relatively unexplored. Here, we reported that glutamine deprivation inhibited cholesterol synthesis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Reactivation of cholesterol synthesis enhanced glutamine-deprivation-induced cell death of HCC cells, which is partially duo to augmented NADPH depletion and lipid peroxidation. Mechanistically, glutamine deprivation induced lipophagy to transport cholesterol from lipid droplets (LDs) to endoplasmic reticulum (ER), leading to inhibit SREBF2 maturation and cholesterol synthesis, and maintain redox balance for survival. Glutamine deprivation decreased mTORC1 activity to induce lipophagy. Importantly, administration of U18666A, CQ, or shTSC2 viruses further augmented GPNA-induced inhibition of xenograft tumor growth. Clinical data supported that glutamine utilization positively correlated with cholesterol synthesis, which is associated with poor prognosis of HCC patients. Collectively, our study revealed that cholesterol synthesis inhibition is required for the survival of HCC under glutamine-restricted tumor microenvironment.
    Keywords:  Cholesterol metabolism; Glutamine metabolism; Redox balance; SREBF2; mTORC1
  14. JCI Insight. 2023 May 11. pii: e160345. [Epub ahead of print]
      T cells play an important role in acute kidney injury (AKI). Metabolic programming of T cells regulates their function, is a rapidly emerging field, and is unknown in AKI. We induced ischemic AKI in C57B6 mice and collected kidneys and spleens at multiple time points. T cells were isolated and analyzed by an immune-metabolic assay. Unbiased machine learning analyses identified a distinct T cell subset with reduced VDAC1 and mTOR expression in post-AKI kidneys. Ischemic kidneys showed higher expression of trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27Me3) and glutaminase. Splenic T cells from post-AKI mice had higher expression of GLUT1, hexokinase II, and CPT1a. Human nonischemic and ischemic kidney tissue displayed similar findings to mouse kidneys. Given a convergent role for glutamine in T cell metabolic pathways and the availability of a relatively safe glutamine antagonist JHU083, effects on AKI were evaluated. JHU083 attenuated renal injury and reduced T cell activation and proliferation in ischemic and nephrotoxic AKI, whereas T cell-deficient mice were not protected by glutamine blockade. In vitro hypoxia demonstrated upregulation of glycolysis-related enzymes. T cells undergo metabolic reprogramming during AKI, and reconstitution of metabolism by targeting T cell glutamine pathway could be a promising novel therapeutic approach.
    Keywords:  Immunology; Nephrology; T cells
  15. Nat Commun. 2023 May 10. 14(1): 2692
      Mapping tumor metabolic remodeling and their spatial crosstalk with surrounding non-tumor cells can fundamentally improve our understanding of tumor biology, facilitates the designing of advanced therapeutic strategies. Here, we present an integration of mass spectrometry imaging-based spatial metabolomics and lipidomics with microarray-based spatial transcriptomics to hierarchically visualize the intratumor metabolic heterogeneity and cell metabolic interactions in same gastric cancer sample. Tumor-associated metabolic reprogramming is imaged at metabolic-transcriptional levels, and maker metabolites, lipids, genes are connected in metabolic pathways and colocalized in the heterogeneous cancer tissues. Integrated data from spatial multi-omics approaches coherently identify cell types and distributions within the complex tumor microenvironment, and an immune cell-dominated "tumor-normal interface" region where tumor cells contact adjacent tissues are characterized with distinct transcriptional signatures and significant immunometabolic alterations. Our approach for mapping tissue molecular architecture provides highly integrated picture of intratumor heterogeneity, and transform the understanding of cancer metabolism at systemic level.
  16. Nat Cancer. 2023 May 11.
      The transfer of intact mitochondria between heterogeneous cell types has been confirmed in various settings, including cancer. However, the functional implications of mitochondria transfer on tumor biology are poorly understood. Here we show that mitochondria transfer is a prevalent phenomenon in glioblastoma (GBM), the most frequent and malignant primary brain tumor. We identified horizontal mitochondria transfer from astrocytes as a mechanism that enhances tumorigenesis in GBM. This transfer is dependent on network-forming intercellular connections between GBM cells and astrocytes, which are facilitated by growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43), a protein involved in neuron axon regeneration and astrocyte reactivity. The acquisition of astrocyte mitochondria drives an increase in mitochondrial respiration and upregulation of metabolic pathways linked to proliferation and tumorigenicity. Functionally, uptake of astrocyte mitochondria promotes cell cycle progression to proliferative G2/M phases and enhances self-renewal and tumorigenicity of GBM. Collectively, our findings reveal a host-tumor interaction that drives proliferation and self-renewal of cancer cells, providing opportunities for therapeutic development.
  17. J Exp Med. 2023 Aug 07. pii: e20221773. [Epub ahead of print]220(8):
      Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) expressing IL-5 and IL-13 are localized at various mucosal tissues and play critical roles in the induction of type 2 inflammation, response to helminth infection, and tissue repair. Here, we reveal a unique ILC2 subset in the mouse intestine that constitutively expresses IL-4 together with GATA3, ST2, KLRG1, IL-17RB, and IL-5. In this subset, IL-4 expression is regulated by mechanisms similar to but distinct from those observed in T cells and is partly affected by IL-25 signaling. Although the absence of the microbiota had marginal effects, feeding mice with a vitamin B1-deficient diet compromised the number of intestinal IL-4+ ILC2s. The decrease in the number of IL-4+ ILC2s caused by the vitamin B1 deficiency was accompanied by a reduction in IL-25-producing tuft cells. Our findings reveal that dietary vitamin B1 plays a critical role in maintaining interaction between tuft cells and IL-4+ ILC2s, a previously uncharacterized immune cell population that may contribute to maintaining intestinal homeostasis.
  18. Metabolism. 2023 May 08. pii: S0026-0495(23)00181-6. [Epub ahead of print] 155578
      Mitochondria-endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum (ER/SR) interaction and mitochondrial fusion/fission are critical processes that influence substrate oxidation. This narrative review summarizes the evidence on the effects of substrate availability on mitochondrial-SR interaction and mitochondria fusion/fission dynamics to modulate substrate oxidation in human skeletal muscle. Evidence shows that an increase in mitochondria-SR interaction and mitochondrial fusion are associated with elevated fatty acid oxidation. In contrast, a decrease in mitochondria-SR interaction and an increase in mitochondrial fission are associated with an elevated glycolytic activity. Based on the evidence reviewed, we postulate two hypotheses for the link between mitochondrial dynamics and insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle. First, glucose and fatty acid availability modifies mitochondria-SR interaction and mitochondrial fusion/fission to help the cell to adapt substrate oxidation appropriately. Individuals with an impaired response to these substrate challenges will accumulate lipid species and develop insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Second, a chronically elevated substrate availability (e.g. overfeeding) increases mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species and induced mitochondrial fission. This decreases fatty acid oxidation, thus leading to the accumulation of lipid species and insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Altogether, we propose mitochondrial dynamics as a potential target for disturbances associated with low fatty acid oxidation.
    Keywords:  Fatty acid oxidation; Metabolic flexibility; Mitochondria dynamics; Mitochondria-associated membranes; Organelle dynamics
  19. Cell Rep. 2023 May 06. pii: S2211-1247(23)00496-5. [Epub ahead of print]42(5): 112485
      Neurovascular abnormalities in mouse models of 16p11.2 deletion autism syndrome are reminiscent of alterations reported in murine models of glucose transporter deficiency, including reduced brain angiogenesis and behavioral alterations. Yet, whether cerebrovascular alterations in 16p11.2df/+ mice affect brain metabolism is unknown. Here, we report that anesthetized 16p11.2df/+ mice display elevated brain glucose uptake, a phenomenon recapitulated in mice with endothelial-specific 16p11.2 haplodeficiency. Awake 16p11.2df/+ mice display attenuated relative fluctuations of extracellular brain glucose following systemic glucose administration. Targeted metabolomics on cerebral cortex extracts reveals enhanced metabolic responses to systemic glucose in 16p11.2df/+ mice that also display reduced mitochondria number in brain endothelial cells. This is not associated with changes in mitochondria fusion or fission proteins, but 16p11.2df/+ brain endothelial cells lack the splice variant NT-PGC-1α, suggesting defective mitochondrial biogenesis. We propose that altered brain metabolism in 16p11.2df/+ mice is compensatory to endothelial dysfunction, shedding light on previously unknown adaptative responses.
    Keywords:  16p11.2 deletion; CP: Metabolism; CP: Neuroscience; autism; brain; endothelium; glucose; lactate; metabolism; mitochondrion; mouse
  20. Cell Rep. 2023 May 06. pii: S2211-1247(23)00482-5. [Epub ahead of print]42(5): 112471
      T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokine-activated M2 macrophages contribute to inflammation resolution and wound healing. This study shows that IL-4-primed macrophages exhibit a stronger response to lipopolysaccharide stimulation while maintaining M2 signature gene expression. Metabolic divergence between canonical M2 and non-canonical proinflammatory-prone M2 (M2INF) macrophages occurs after the IL-4Rα/Stat6 axis. Glycolysis supports Hif-1α stabilization and proinflammatory phenotype of M2INF macrophages. Inhibiting glycolysis blunts Hif-1α accumulation and M2INF phenotype. Wdr5-dependent H3K4me3 mediates the long-lasting effect of IL-4, with Wdr5 knockdown inhibiting M2INF macrophages. Our results also show that the induction of M2INF macrophages by IL-4 intraperitoneal injection and transferring of M2INF macrophages confer a survival advantage against bacterial infection in vivo. In conclusion, our findings highlight the previously neglected non-canonical role of M2INF macrophages and broaden our understanding of IL-4-mediated physiological changes. These results have immediate implications for how Th2-skewed infections could redirect disease progression in response to pathogen infection.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; CP: Metabolism; Hif1α; IL-4; M2 macrophage; epigenetics; glycolysis; trained immunity
  21. Nat Commun. 2023 May 11. 14(1): 2715
      Hepatocyte apoptosis plays an essential role in the progression of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying hepatocyte apoptosis remain unclear. Here, we identify UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase (UGDH) as a suppressor of NASH-associated liver damage by inhibiting RIPK1 kinase-dependent hepatocyte apoptosis. UGDH is progressively reduced in proportion to NASH severity. UGDH absence from hepatocytes hastens the development of liver damage in male mice with NASH, which is suppressed by RIPK1 kinase-dead knockin mutation. Mechanistically, UGDH suppresses RIPK1 by converting UDP-glucose to UDP-glucuronate, the latter directly binds to the kinase domain of RIPK1 and inhibits its activation. Recovering UDP-glucuronate levels, even after the onset of NASH, improved liver damage. Our findings reveal a role for UGDH and UDP-glucuronate in NASH pathogenesis and uncover a mechanism by which UDP-glucuronate controls hepatocyte apoptosis by targeting RIPK1 kinase, and suggest UDP-glucuronate metabolism as a feasible target for more specific treatment of NASH-associated liver damage.
  22. Elife. 2023 Apr 26. pii: e78558. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Peristaltic movement of the intestine propels food down the length of the gastrointestinal tract to promote nutrient absorption. Interactions between intestinal macrophages and the enteric nervous system regulate gastrointestinal motility, yet we have an incomplete understanding of the molecular mediators of this crosstalk. Here we identify complement component 1q (C1q) as a macrophage product that regulates gut motility. Macrophages were the predominant source of C1q in the mouse intestine and most extraintestinal tissues. Although C1q mediates complement-mediated killing of bacteria in the bloodstream, we found that C1q was not essential for immune defense of the intestine. Instead, C1q-expressing macrophages were located in the intestinal submucosal and myenteric plexuses where they closely associated with enteric neurons and expressed surface markers characteristic of nerve-adjacent macrophages in other tissues. Mice with a macrophage-specific deletion of C1qa showed changes in enteric neuronal gene expression, increased neurogenic activity of peristalsis, and accelerated intestinal transit. Our findings identify C1q as a key regulator of gastrointestinal motility and provide enhanced insight into the crosstalk between macrophages and the enteric nervous system.
    Keywords:  immunology; inflammation; mouse
  23. J Biol Chem. 2023 May 08. pii: S0021-9258(23)01827-6. [Epub ahead of print] 104799
      The human AdipoR2 and its C. elegans homolog PAQR-2 are multi-pass plasma membrane proteins that protect cells against membrane rigidification. However, how AdipoR2 promotes membrane fluidity mechanistically is not clear. Using 13C-labelled fatty acids, we show that AdipoR2 can promote the elongation and incorporation of membrane-fluidizing polyunsaturated fatty acids into phospholipids. To elucidate the molecular basis of these activities, we performed immunoprecipitations of tagged AdipoR2 and PAQR-2 expressed in HEK293 cells or whole C. elegans, respectively, and identified co-immunoprecipitated proteins using mass spectroscopy. We found that several of the evolutionarily conserved AdipoR2/PAQR-2 interactors are important for fatty acid elongation and incorporation into phospholipids. We experimentally verified some of these interactions, namely with the dehydratase HACD3 that is essential for the third of four steps in long-chain fatty acid elongation, and ACSL4 that is important for activation of unsaturated fatty acids and their channeling into phospholipids. We conclude that AdipoR2 and PAQR-2 can recruit protein interactors to promote the production and incorporation of unsaturated fatty acids into phospholipids.
    Keywords:  Caenorhabditis elegans; HEK293; Laurdan dye; Membrane lipid; PAQR; acyl‐CoA synthetase; adiponectin receptor; fatty acid; immunoprecipitation; lipidomics; membrane bilayer; membrane fluidity; phospholipid
  24. Immunity. 2023 May 09. pii: S1074-7613(23)00174-7. [Epub ahead of print]56(5): 903-905
      The protective benefits of breastmilk are well-appreciated, yet lack mechanistic detail. In this issue of Immunity, Sikder et al. reveal how breastmilk-microbiota-derived propionate induces Flt3L expression, dendritic cell maturation, regulatory T cell recruitment, and antiviral immunity in the lung.
  25. Nat Commun. 2023 05 06. 14(1): 2634
      Recent advances in single-cell RNA sequencing have shown heterogeneous cell types and gene expression states in the non-cancerous cells in tumors. The integration of multiple scRNA-seq datasets across tumors can indicate common cell types and states in the tumor microenvironment (TME). We develop a data driven framework, MetaTiME, to overcome the limitations in resolution and consistency that result from manual labelling using known gene markers. Using millions of TME single cells, MetaTiME learns meta-components that encode independent components of gene expression observed across cancer types. The meta-components are biologically interpretable as cell types, cell states, and signaling activities. By projecting onto the MetaTiME space, we provide a tool to annotate cell states and signature continuums for TME scRNA-seq data. Leveraging epigenetics data, MetaTiME reveals critical transcriptional regulators for the cell states. Overall, MetaTiME learns data-driven meta-components that depict cellular states and gene regulators for tumor immunity and cancer immunotherapy.
  26. Nat Commun. 2023 May 08. 14(1): 2654
      Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has received great attention due to its high incidence. Here, we show that lysosomal-associated protein transmembrane 5 (LAPTM5) is associated with NASH progression through extensive bioinformatical analysis. The protein level of LAPTM5 bears a negative correlation with NAS score. Moreover, LAPTM5 degradation is mediated through its ubiquitination modification by the E3 ubquitin ligase NEDD4L. Discovered by experiments conducted on male mice, hepatocyte-specific depletion of Laptm5 exacerbates mouse NASH symptoms. In contrast, Laptm5 overexpression in hepatocytes exerts diametrically opposite effects. Mechanistically, LAPTM5 interacts with CDC42 and promotes its degradation through a lysosome-dependent manner under the stimulation of palmitic acid, thus inhibiting activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. Finally, adenovirus-mediated hepatic Laptm5 overexpression ameliorates aforementioned symptoms in NASH models.
  27. Redox Biol. 2023 May 02. pii: S2213-2317(23)00128-3. [Epub ahead of print]63 102727
      Adipose plasticity is critical for metabolic homeostasis. Adipocyte transdifferentiation plays an important role in adipose plasticity, but the molecular mechanism of transdifferentiation remains incompletely understood. Here we show that the transcription factor FoxO1 regulates adipose transdifferentiation by mediating Tgfβ1 signaling pathway. Tgfβ1 treatment induced whitening phenotype in beige adipocytes, reducing UCP1 and mitochondrial capacity and enlarging lipid droplets. Deletion of adipose FoxO1 (adO1KO) dampened Tgfβ1 signaling by downregulating Tgfbr2 and Smad3 and induced browning of adipose tissue in mice, increasing UCP1 and mitochondrial content and activating metabolic pathways. Silencing FoxO1 also abolished the whitening effect of Tgfβ1 on beige adipocytes. The adO1KO mice exhibited a significantly higher energy expenditure, lower fat mass, and smaller adipocytes than the control mice. The browning phenotype in adO1KO mice was associated with an increased iron content in adipose tissue, concurrent with upregulation of proteins that facilitate iron uptake (DMT1 and TfR1) and iron import into mitochondria (Mfrn1). Analysis of hepatic and serum iron along with hepatic iron-regulatory proteins (ferritin and ferroportin) in the adO1KO mice revealed an adipose tissue-liver crosstalk that meets the increased iron requirement for adipose browning. The FoxO1-Tgfβ1 signaling cascade also underlay adipose browning induced by β3-AR agonist CL316243. Our study provides the first evidence of a FoxO1-Tgfβ1 axis in the regulation of adipose browning-whitening transdifferentiation and iron influx, which sheds light on the compromised adipose plasticity in conditions of dysregulated FoxO1 and Tgfβ1 signaling.
  28. J Clin Invest. 2023 May 11. pii: e161713. [Epub ahead of print]
      Deciphering the crosstalk between metabolic reprogramming and epigenetic regulation is a promising strategy for cancer therapy. In this study, we discovered that the gluconeogenic enzyme PCK1 fueled the generation of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) through the serine synthesis pathway. The methyltransferase SUV39H1 catalyzed SAM, which served as a methyl donor to support H3K9me3 modification, leading to the suppression of the oncogene S100A11. Mechanistically, PCK1 deficiency-induced oncogenic activation of S100A11 was due to its interaction with AKT1, which upregulated PI3K/AKT signaling. Intriguingly, the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) driven by PCK1 deficiency was suppressed by SAM supplement or S100A11 knockout in vivo and in vitro. These findings reveal the availability of key metabolite SAM as a bridge connecting the gluconeogenic enzyme PCK1 and H3K9 trimethylation in attenuating HCC progression, thus suggesting a potential therapeutic strategy against HCC.
    Keywords:  Gluconeogenesis; Liver cancer; Metabolism; Oncology
  29. Cell Rep. 2023 Apr 30. pii: S2211-1247(23)00465-5. [Epub ahead of print] 112454
      PINK1 is activated by autophosphorylation and forms a high-molecular-weight complex, thereby initiating the selective removal of damaged mitochondria by autophagy. Other than translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane complexes, members of PINK1-containing protein complexes remain obscure. By mass spectrometric analysis of PINK1 co-immunoprecipitates, we identify the inner membrane protein TIM23 as a component of the PINK1 complex. TIM23 downregulation decreases PINK1 levels and significantly delays autophosphorylation, indicating that TIM23 promotes PINK1 accumulation in response to depolarization. Moreover, inactivation of the mitochondrial protease OMA1 not only enhances PINK1 accumulation but also represses the reduction in PINK1 levels induced by TIM23 downregulation, suggesting that TIM23 facilitates PINK1 activation by safeguarding against degradation by OMA1. Indeed, deficiencies of pathogenic PINK1 mutants that fail to interact with TIM23 are partially restored by OMA1 inactivation. These findings indicate that TIM23 plays a distinct role in activating mitochondrial autophagy by protecting PINK1.
    Keywords:  CP: Cell biology; OMA1; PINK1; TIM23; mitochondrial quality control
  30. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 05 16. 120(20): e2214942120
      Aberrant accumulation of succinate has been detected in many cancers. However, the cellular function and regulation of succinate in cancer progression is not completely understood. Using stable isotope-resolved metabolomics analysis, we showed that the epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) was associated with profound changes in metabolites, including elevation of cytoplasmic succinate levels. The treatment with cell-permeable succinate induced mesenchymal phenotypes in mammary epithelial cells and enhanced cancer cell stemness. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequence analysis showed that elevated cytoplasmic succinate levels were sufficient to reduce global 5-hydroxymethylcytosinene (5hmC) accumulation and induce transcriptional repression of EMT-related genes. We showed that expression of procollagen-lysine,2-oxoglutarate 5-dioxygenase 2 (PLOD2) was associated with elevation of cytoplasmic succinate during the EMT process. Silencing of PLOD2 expression in breast cancer cells reduced succinate levels and inhibited cancer cell mesenchymal phenotypes and stemness, which was accompanied by elevated 5hmC levels in chromatin. Importantly, exogenous succinate rescued cancer cell stemness and 5hmC levels in PLOD2-silenced cells, suggesting that PLOD2 promotes cancer progression at least partially through succinate. These results reveal the previously unidentified function of succinate in enhancing cancer cell plasticity and stemness.
    Keywords:  cancer cell stemness; cell plasticity; collagen lysyl-hydroxylation; epithelial–mesenchymal transition; metabolite
  31. iScience. 2023 May 19. 26(5): 106596
      The intricate network of interactions between cells and molecules in the tumor microenvironment creates a heterogeneous ecosystem. The proximity of the cells and molecules to their activators and inhibitors is essential in the progression of tumors. Here, we develop a system of partial differential equations coupled with linear elasticity to investigate the effects of spatial interactions on the tumor microenvironment. We observe interesting cell and cytokine distribution patterns, which are heavily affected by macrophages. We also see that cytotoxic T cells get recruited and suppressed at the site of macrophages. Moreover, we observe that anti-tumor macrophages reorganize the patterns in favor of a more spatially restricted cancer and necrotic core. Furthermore, the adjoint-based sensitivity analysis indicates that the most sensitive model's parameters are directly related to macrophages. The results emphasize the widely acknowledged effect of macrophages in controlling cancer cells population and spatially arranging cells in the tumor microenvironment.
    Keywords:  Biophysics; Immunology; cancer systems biology; mathematical biosciences
  32. Immunity. 2023 May 02. pii: S1074-7613(23)00177-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Glial cells and central nervous system (CNS)-infiltrating leukocytes contribute to multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the networks that govern crosstalk among these ontologically distinct populations remain unclear. Here, we show that, in mice and humans, CNS-resident astrocytes and infiltrating CD44hiCD4+ T cells generated interleukin-3 (IL-3), while microglia and recruited myeloid cells expressed interleukin-3 receptor-ɑ (IL-3Rɑ). Astrocytic and T cell IL-3 elicited an immune migratory and chemotactic program by IL-3Rɑ+ myeloid cells that enhanced CNS immune cell infiltration, exacerbating MS and its preclinical model. Multiregional snRNA-seq of human CNS tissue revealed the appearance of IL3RA-expressing myeloid cells with chemotactic programming in MS plaques. IL3RA expression by plaque myeloid cells and IL-3 amount in the cerebrospinal fluid predicted myeloid and T cell abundance in the CNS and correlated with MS severity. Our findings establish IL-3:IL-3RA as a glial-peripheral immune network that prompts immune cell recruitment to the CNS and worsens MS.
    Keywords:  astrocyte; chemokine; interleukin-3; microglia; monocyte; multiple sclerosis; neuroinflammation; recruitment
  33. Nat Metab. 2023 May 10.
      Most processing of the human diet occurs in the small intestine. Metabolites in the small intestine originate from host secretions, plus the ingested exposome1 and microbial transformations. Here we probe the spatiotemporal variation of upper intestinal luminal contents during routine daily digestion in 15 healthy male and female participants. For this, we use a non-invasive, ingestible sampling device to collect and analyse 274 intestinal samples and 60 corresponding stool homogenates by combining five mass spectrometry assays2,3 and 16S rRNA sequencing. We identify 1,909 metabolites, including sulfonolipids and fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFA) lipids. We observe that stool and intestinal metabolomes differ dramatically. Food metabolites display trends in dietary biomarkers, unexpected increases in dicarboxylic acids along the intestinal tract and a positive association between luminal keto acids and fruit intake. Diet-derived and microbially linked metabolites account for the largest inter-individual differences. Notably, two individuals who had taken antibiotics within 6 months before sampling show large variation in levels of bioactive FAHFAs and sulfonolipids and other microbially related metabolites. From inter-individual variation, we identify Blautia species as a candidate to be involved in FAHFA metabolism. In conclusion, non-invasive, in vivo sampling of the human small intestine and ascending colon under physiological conditions reveals links between diet, host and microbial metabolism.