bims-meprid Biomed News
on Metabolic-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in differentiation and disease
Issue of 2022‒10‒16
five papers selected by
Alessandro Carrer
Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine

  1. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 988626
      Malignant growth is defined by multiple aberrant cellular features, including metabolic rewiring, inactivation of tumor suppressors and the activation of oncogenes. Even though these features have been described as separate hallmarks, many studies have shown an extensive mutual regulatory relationship amongst them. On one hand, the change in expression or activity of tumor suppressors and oncogenes has extensive direct and indirect effects on cellular metabolism, activating metabolic pathways required for malignant growth. On the other hand, the tumor microenvironment and tumor intrinsic metabolic alterations result in changes in intracellular metabolite levels, which directly modulate the protein modification of oncogenes and tumor suppressors at both epigenetic and post-translational levels. In this mini-review, we summarize the crosstalk between tumor suppressors/oncogenes and metabolism-induced protein modifications at both levels and explore the impact of metabolic (micro)environments in shaping these.
    Keywords:  metabolites; oncogenic signaling; post-translational modification; tumor microenvironment; tumor suppressor gene
  2. Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2022 Oct 10. pii: S0304-4165(22)00168-4. [Epub ahead of print] 130250
      Metabolite sensing, a fundamental biological process, plays a key role in metabolic signaling circuit rewiring. Hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP) is a glucose metabolic pathway essential for the synthesis of uridine diphosphate N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc), which senses key nutrients and integrally maintains cellular homeostasis. UDP-GlcNAc dynamically regulates protein N-glycosylation and O-linked-N-acetylglucosamine modification (O-GlcNAcylation). Dysregulated HBP flux leads to abnormal protein glycosylation, and contributes to cancer development and progression by affecting protein function and cellular signaling. Furthermore, O-GlcNAcylation regulates cellular signaling pathways, and its alteration is linked to various cancer characteristics. Additionally, recent findings have suggested a close association between HBP stimulation and cancer stemness; an elevated HBP flux promotes cancer cell conversion to cancer stem cells and enhances chemotherapy resistance via downstream signal activation. In this review, we highlight the prominent roles of HBP in metabolic signaling and summarize the recent advances in HBP and its downstream signaling, relevant to cancer.
    Keywords:  Hexosamine biosynthetic pathway; Metabolic signaling; N-glycosylation; O-GlcNAcylation; cancer stem cells
  3. Cancer Lett. 2022 Oct 07. pii: S0304-3835(22)00435-9. [Epub ahead of print]550 215948
      Longevity, functionality, and metabolic fitness are key determinants of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell efficacy. Activated T cells follow an ordered differentiation program which is facilitated by metabolic adaptations. In response to antigen, T cells undergo a highly-regulated shift to glycolysis. Committing to, and engaging in, glycolysis supports T cell expansion and effector function. Inside tumors, heightened tumor cell metabolism and dysregulated perfusion create a competition for nutrients. As local metabolism supports the differentiation of T cells into functionally-competent progeny, nutrient depletion coupled with persisting antigen can trigger T cell exhaustion. Emerging insights into the barriers impeding CAR T cell function in hostile tumor microenvironments (TME) reveal that metabolic intermediates shape the immune response by influencing epigenetic programs and the control of gene expression. In this review, we discuss recent progress connecting cellular metabolism with epigenetic states in CAR T cells. Given that CAR T cell metabolism can be dynamically regulated, we introduce the concepts of "metabolic-based epigenetic altering" and "epigenetic-based metabolism altering" to restore functional competence in CARTs traversing solid TMEs.
    Keywords:  CAR T cell; Epigenetics; Immunotherapy; Metabolism; T cell exhaustion
  4. Cancer Discov. 2022 Oct 14. OF1
      Uptake of the oncometabolite d-2HG impairs the metabolism and effector functions of CD8+ T cells.
  5. EMBO Rep. 2022 Oct 10. e54685
      Increased lactate levels in the tissue microenvironment are a well-known feature of chronic inflammation. However, the role of lactate in regulating T cell function remains controversial. Here, we demonstrate that extracellular lactate predominantly induces deregulation of the Th17-specific gene expression program by modulating the metabolic and epigenetic status of Th17 cells. Following lactate treatment, Th17 cells significantly reduced their IL-17A production and upregulated Foxp3 expression through ROS-driven IL-2 secretion. Moreover, we observed increased levels of genome-wide histone H3K18 lactylation, a recently described marker for active chromatin in macrophages, in lactate-treated Th17 cells. In addition, we show that high lactate concentrations suppress Th17 pathogenicity during intestinal inflammation in mice. These results indicate that lactate is capable of reprogramming pro-inflammatory T cell phenotypes into regulatory T cells.
    Keywords:  Th17 cells; Tregs; histone lactylation; immunometabolism; lactate