bims-meprid Biomed News
on Metabolic-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in differentiation and disease
Issue of 2021‒11‒21
five papers selected by
Alessandro Carrer
Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine

  1. Oncogene. 2021 Nov 16.
      Aberrant function of epigenetic modifiers plays an important role not only in the progression of cancer but also the development of drug resistance. N-alpha-acetyltransferase 40 (NAA40) is a highly specific epigenetic enzyme catalyzing the transfer of an acetyl moiety at the N-terminal end of histones H4 and H2A. Recent studies have illustrated the essential oncogenic role of NAA40 in various cancer types but its role in chemoresistance remains unclear. Here, using transcriptomic followed by metabolomic analysis in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, we demonstrate that NAA40 controls key one-carbon metabolic genes and corresponding metabolites. In particular, through its acetyltransferase activity NAA40 regulates the methionine cycle thereby affecting global histone methylation and CRC cell survival. Importantly, NAA40-mediated metabolic rewiring promotes resistance of CRC cells to antimetabolite chemotherapy in vitro and in xenograft models. Specifically, NAA40 stimulates transcription of the one-carbon metabolic gene thymidylate synthase (TYMS), whose product is targeted by 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and accordingly in primary CRC tumours NAA40 expression associates with TYMS levels and poorer 5-FU response. Mechanistically, NAA40 activates TYMS by preventing enrichment of repressive H2A/H4S1ph at the nuclear periphery. Overall, these findings define a novel regulatory link between epigenetics and cellular metabolism mediated by NAA40, which is harnessed by cancer cells to evade chemotherapy.
  2. J Cell Biochem. 2021 Nov 15.
      Intracellular and extracellular regulatory factors promote the potency and self-renewal property of stem cells. Methionine is fundamental for protein synthesis and regulation of methylation reactions. Specifically, methionine metabolism in embryonic and fetal development processes regulates gene expression profile/epigenetic identity of stem cells to achieve pluripotency and cellular functions. We aimed to reveal the differences in methionine metabolism of bone marrow (BM)-mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), umbilical cord blood (UCB)-MSCs, and cancer stem cells (CSCs), which reflect different metabolic profiles and developmental stages of stem cells. UCB-MSC, BM-MSCs, and breast CSCs were treated with different doses (0, 10, 25, 50, and 100 µM) of l-methionine. Cell surface marker and cell cycle assessment were performed by flow cytometry. Changes in gene expressions (OCT3/4, NANOG, DMNT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B, MAT2A, and MAT2B) with methionine supplementation were examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and the changes in histone methylation (H3K4me3, H3K27me3) levels were demonstrated by western blot analysis. S-adenosylmethionine//S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAM/SAH) levels were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Cells that were exposed to different concentrations of l-methionine, were mostly arrested in the G0/G1 phase for each stem cell group. It was evaluated that BM-MSCs increased all gene expressions in the culture medium-containing 100 µM methionine, in addition to SAM/SAH levels. On the other hand, UCB-MSCs were found to increase OCT3/4, NANOG, and DNMT1 gene expressions and decrease MAT2A and MAT2B expressions in the culture medium containing 10 µM methionine. Moreover, an increase was observed in the He3K4me3 methylation profile. In addition, OCT3/4, NANOG, DNMT1, and MAT2B gene expressions in CSCs increased starting from the addition of 25 µM methionine. An increase was determined in H3K4me3 protein expression at 50 and 100 µM methionine-supplemented culture condition. This study demonstrates that methionine plays a critical role in metabolism and epigenetic regulation in different stem cell groups.
    Keywords:  cancer stem cells; mesenchymal stem cells; metabolism; methionine; methylation; pluripotency
  3. J Dent Res. 2021 Nov 19. 220345211051594
      N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a eukaryotic messenger RNA modification catalyzed by methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3), which is involved in various developmental and disease processes. However, the connection between the epigenetic modification of m6A and glucose metabolism during osteogenesis is still unclear. Here, we show that interference with METTL3 in dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) inhibits cell proliferation and osteogenic differentiation. Moreover, transcriptome sequencing and metabolic testing were used to explore the mechanism between glucose metabolism and m6A modification in METTL3-knockdown DPSCs. Methylated RNA immunoprecipitation-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and RNA stability assays were used to determine the target genes of METTL3. Mechanistically, METTL3 directly interacts with ATP citrate lyase (ACLY) and a mitochondrial citrate transporter (SLC25A1) and then further affects the glycolytic pathway. M6A-mediated ACLY and SLC25A1 stability depends on the m6A readers IGF2BP2 and IGF2BP2/3, respectively. Our experiments uncovered the potential molecular mechanism of epigenetic modification in osteogenic differentiation, providing new ideas for the clinical application of stem cells and the intervention of metabolic bone diseases.
    Keywords:  gene expression; growth/development; metabolism; modification; osteoblasts; osteogenesis
  4. Biochem Soc Trans. 2021 Nov 16. pii: BST20210865. [Epub ahead of print]
      O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a widespread reversible modification on nucleocytoplasmic proteins that plays an important role in many biochemical processes and is highly relevant to numerous human diseases. The O-GlcNAc modification has diverse functional impacts on individual proteins and glycosites, and methods for editing this modification on substrates are essential to decipher these functions. Herein, we review recent progress in developing methods for O-GlcNAc regulation, with a focus on methods for editing O-GlcNAc with protein- and site-selectivity in cells. The applications, advantages, and limitations of currently available strategies for writing and erasing O-GlcNAc and future directions are also discussed. These emerging approaches to manipulate O-GlcNAc on a target protein in cells will greatly accelerate the development of functional studies and enable therapeutic interventions in the O-GlcNAc field.
    Keywords:   O-GlcNAc; deglycosylation; glycosylation; post translational modification; protein engineering
  5. Commun Biol. 2021 Nov 16. 4(1): 1289
      Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is traditionally considered a glycolytic tumor with a poor prognosis while lacking targeted therapies. Here we show that high expression of dihydrolipoamide S-succinyltransferase (DLST), a tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzyme, predicts poor overall and recurrence-free survival among TNBC patients. DLST depletion suppresses growth and induces death in subsets of human TNBC cell lines, which are capable of utilizing glutamine anaplerosis. Metabolomics profiling reveals significant changes in the TCA cycle and reactive oxygen species (ROS) related pathways for sensitive but not resistant TNBC cells. Consequently, DLST depletion in sensitive TNBC cells increases ROS levels while N-acetyl-L-cysteine partially rescues cell growth. Importantly, suppression of the TCA cycle through DLST depletion or CPI-613, a drug currently in clinical trials for treating other cancers, decreases the burden and invasion of these TNBC. Together, our data demonstrate differential TCA-cycle usage in TNBC and provide therapeutic implications for the DLST-dependent subsets.