bims-meprid Biomed News
on Metabolic-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in differentiation and disease
Issue of 2022‒02‒20
six papers selected by
Alessandro Carrer
Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine

  1. Sci Adv. 2022 Feb 18. 8(7): eabl6083
      Although DNA damage is intricately linked to metabolism, the metabolic alterations that occur in response to DNA damage are not well understood. We use a DNA repair-deficient model of ERCC1-XPF in Caenorhabditis elegans to gain insights on how genotoxic stress drives aging. Using multi-omic approach, we discover that nuclear DNA damage promotes mitochondrial β-oxidation and drives a global loss of fat depots. This metabolic shift to β-oxidation generates acetyl-coenzyme A to promote histone hyperacetylation and an associated change in expression of immune-effector and cytochrome genes. We identify the histone acetyltransferase MYS-1, as a critical regulator of this metabolic-epigenetic axis. We show that in response to DNA damage, polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially arachidonic acid (AA) and AA-related lipid mediators, are elevated and this is dependent on mys-1. Together, these findings reveal that DNA damage alters the metabolic-epigenetic axis to drive an immune-like response that can promote age-associated decline.
  2. Science. 2022 Feb 18. 375(6582): eabc4203
      Adaptation to nutrient scarcity involves an orchestrated response of metabolic and signaling pathways to maintain homeostasis. We find that in the fat body of fasting Drosophila, lysosomal export of cystine coordinates remobilization of internal nutrient stores with reactivation of the growth regulator target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1). Mechanistically, cystine was reduced to cysteine and metabolized to acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) by promoting CoA metabolism. In turn, acetyl-CoA retained carbons from alternative amino acids in the form of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates and restricted the availability of building blocks required for growth. This process limited TORC1 reactivation to maintain autophagy and allowed animals to cope with starvation periods. We propose that cysteine metabolism mediates a communication between lysosomes and mitochondria, highlighting how changes in diet divert the fate of an amino acid into a growth suppressive program.
  3. Cell Death Dis. 2022 02 17. 13(2): 159
      Dormant cancer cells drive recurrence and drug resistance, which lead to poor prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC). The mechanisms that regulate the entry of cancer cells into dormancy remain to be extensively studied. Nanog is a master transcription factor to maintain the self-renewal and pluripotency of stem cells. Since dormant cancer cells are similar to quiescent cancer stem cells, the correlation between dormant state and Nanog in CRC is worth to be explored. Serum deprivation is a common method to establish experimental cellular dormancy model. Here, we verified that serum deprivation-induced CRC cells to enter a cellular dormancy state, characterized by no proliferation, no death, no senescence, resistance to chemotherapy, high expression of dormant markers, metabolic suppression, and recovery to active status. Interestingly, we further identified that Nanog was upregulated in dormant CRC cells. Nanog knockdown could destroy the dormant state of serum-deprived CRC cells while Nanog overexpression could induce dormancy in CRC cells. Mechanistically, Nanog was regulated through a fatty acid oxidation (FAO)/ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)-dependent pathway. FAO increased ACLY expression to promote the synthesis of acetyl-CoA, which was transferred by P300 to accelerate H3K27 acetylation of Nanog promoter. Then, Nanog upregulation increased the transcription of P21 and P27, which promoted the dormancy of CRC cells. Our findings revealed that Nanog could induce cellular dormancy in CRC cells and unlocked a specific mechanism to govern the process.
  4. Cells. 2022 Feb 04. pii: 548. [Epub ahead of print]11(3):
      Lactate was recently found to mediate histone lysine lactylation and facilitate polarization of M1 macrophages, indicating its role in metabolic regulation of gene expression. During somatic cell reprogramming, lactate promotes histone lactylation of pluripotency genes and improves reprogramming efficiency. However, the function of lactate in cell fate control in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) remains elusive. In this study, we revealed that lactate supplementation activated germline genes in mouse ESCs. Lactate also induced global upregulation of cleavage embryo genes, such as members of the Zscan4 gene family. Further exploration demonstrated that lactate stimulated H3K18 lactylation accumulation on germline and cleavage embryo genes, which in turn promoted transcriptional elongation. Our findings indicated that lactate supplementation expanded the transcriptional network in mouse ESCs.
    Keywords:  cell fate; germline gene; histone lactylation; lactate; zygotic genome activation
  5. Cell Chem Biol. 2022 Feb 17. pii: S2451-9456(22)00054-X. [Epub ahead of print]29(2): 174-176
      Acetyl-coenzyme A is an important metabolite and regulates diverse cellular processes, including metabolism and epigenetics. In this issue of Cell Chemical Biology, Summers et al. (2022) describe an essential parasite enzyme, acetyl-coenzyme A synthetase, as a target of two antimalarial small molecules active against liver and blood stages of the parasite.
  6. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 17.
      Metabolic reprogramming is central to oncogene-induced tumorigenesis by providing the necessary building blocks and energy sources, but how oncogenic signalling controls metabolites that play regulatory roles in driving cell proliferation and tumour growth is less understood. Here we show that oncogene YAP/TAZ promotes polyamine biosynthesis by activating the transcription of the rate-limiting enzyme ornithine decarboxylase 1. The increased polyamine levels, in turn, promote the hypusination of eukaryotic translation factor 5A (eIF5A) to support efficient translation of histone demethylase LSD1, a transcriptional repressor that mediates a bulk of YAP/TAZ-downregulated genes including tumour suppressors in YAP/TAZ-activated cells. Accentuating the importance of the YAP/TAZ-polyamine-eIF5A hypusination-LSD1 axis, inhibiting polyamine biosynthesis or LSD1 suppressed YAP/TAZ-induced cell proliferation and tumour growth. Given the frequent upregulation of YAP/TAZ activity and polyamine levels in diverse cancers, our identification of YAP/TAZ as an upstream regulator and LSD1 as a downstream effector of the oncometabolite polyamine offers a molecular framework in which oncogene-induced metabolic and epigenetic reprogramming coordinately drives tumorigenesis, and suggests potential therapeutic strategies in YAP/TAZ- or polyamine-dependent human malignancies.