bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2020‒03‒08
38 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Mol Cell Biol. 2020 Mar 02. pii: MCB.00037-20. [Epub ahead of print]
      The metabolic state of the brain can greatly impact neurologic function. Evidence of this includes the therapeutic benefit of ketogenic diet in neurologic diseases, including epilepsy. However, brain lipid bioenergetics remain largely uncharacterized. The existence, capacity and relevance for mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) in the brain is highly controversial, with few genetic tools available to evaluate this question. We have provided evidence for the capacity of brain FAO using a pan-brain-specific, conditional knockout (KO) mouse incapable of FAO due to the loss of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT2B-/-), an obligate gene for FAO. Loss of CNS FAO did not result in gross neuroanatomical changes or systemic differences in metabolism. Loss of CPT2 in brain did not result in robustly impaired behavior. We demonstrate that the mammalian brain oxidizes a substantial quantity of long-chain fatty acids in vitro and in vivo by unbiased and targeted metabolomics. Loss of CNS FAO results in robust accumulation of long-chain acylcarnitines in the brain, suggesting that the mammalian brain is mobilizing fatty acids for their oxidation, irrespective of diet or metabolic state. Together, these data demonstrate that the mammalian brain is oxidizing fatty acids under normal circumstances with little influence from or on peripheral tissues.
  2. J Diabetes. 2020 Mar 03.
      BACKGROUND: The cardiovascular complications associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus could be attributed to changes in myocardial mitochondrial metabolism. Though it is a known fact that permeabilized cardiac muscle fibres as well as isolated mitochondria are metabolically compromised in Caucasian population, studies in Asian Indian myocardial mitochondrial function are lacking. Thus, the objective of the present study was to analyze if there is altered cardiac mitochondrial substrate utilization in diabetic Asian Indians.METHODS: Mitochondrial substrate utilization was measured using high-resolution respirometry in isolated mitochondria prepared from right atrial appendage tissues of diabetic and non-diabetic subjects undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Western blotting and densitometric analysis were also done to compare the levels of proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism and regulation.
    RESULTS: Mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate for fatty acid substrate was shown to be decreased between diabetic and non-diabetic subjects along with unvaried mitochondrial DNA copy number and uniform levels of electron transport chain complex proteins and proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism and regulation. Decreased glutamate but unchanged pyruvate-mediated state 3 respiration were also observed in diabetic subjects.
    CONCLUSION: The current study reports deranged cardiac mitochondrial fatty acid-mediated complex I respiration in type 2 diabetic Asian Indians with comparable levels of regulators of fatty acid oxidation to that of non-diabetic myocardium. Altered glutamate-mediated mitochondrial respiration also point towards possible alterations in mitochondrial complex I activity. When compared with previous reports on other ethnic populations, the current study suggests that Asian Indian population too have altered cardiac mitochondrial substrate utilization.
    Keywords:  Asian Indians,cardiac mitochondria,fatty acid metabolism; sirtuins; type 2 diabetes mellitus
  3. Med Sci Monit. 2020 Mar 04. 26 e918216
      BACKGROUND Chemoresistance is a primary hindrance for current cancer treatments. The influence of abnormal mitochondria in chemotherapy resistance is not well known. To explore the correlation between mitochondria and acquired chemoresistance, this work studied alterations in mitochondrial dynamics, biogenesis, and functions for paclitaxel-resistant cancer cell line A549/Taxol and its parental line A549. MATERIAL AND METHODS Mitochondrial morphology was observed by transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. We measured the mitochondrial mass and mitochondrial membrane potential using fluorescent dyes. The glucose metabolic profile and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) content were determined by bioluminescent cell assays. Seahorse bio-energy analyzer XF24 was used to detect the mitochondrial respiratory function. The expressions of mitochondrial dynamics and biogenesis related genes were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS We observed fusion morphology of the mitochondrial network in A549/Taxol cells, with upregulation of fusion genes (Mfn1 and Mfn2) and downregulation of fission gene Fis1. In A549/Taxol cells, mitochondrial mass showed a significant decrease, while the mitochondrial biogenesis pathway was strongly activated. Despite the decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, the capability for mitochondrial respiration was not impaired in A549/Taxol cells. CONCLUSIONS Our study revealed a series changes of mitochondrial characteristics in paclitaxel-resistant cells. Mfn1 and Mfn2 and PGC-1alpha increased, while Fis1 expression and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation decreased in A549/Taxol cell lines. These changes to mitochondrial fusion, fission, and biological function contributed to the occurrence of paclitaxel resistance in tumor cells which induced paclitaxel resistance.
  4. Biochem Pharmacol. 2020 Feb 26. pii: S0006-2952(20)30113-1. [Epub ahead of print] 113885
      The downregulation of the denitrosylating enzyme S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR, EC:, is a feature of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This condition causes mitochondrial rearrangements that sensitize these tumors to mitochondrial toxins, in particular to the mitochondrial complex II inhibitor alpha-tocopheryl succinate (αTOS). It has also been reported the GSNOR depletion impairs the selective degradation of mitochondria through mitophagy; however, if this contributes to GSNOR-deficient HCC cell sensitivity to αTOS and can be applied to anticancer therapies, is still not known. Here, we provide evidence that GSNOR-deficient HCC cells show defective mitophagy which contributes to αTOS toxicity. Mitophagy inhibition by Parkin (EC: depletion enhances αTOS anticancer effects, thus suggesting that this drug could be effective in treating mitophagy-defective tumors.
    Keywords:  Alpha-tocopheryl succinate; GSNOR; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Mitophagy; S-nitrosylation
  5. Cell Metab. 2020 Mar 03. pii: S1550-4131(20)30062-0. [Epub ahead of print]31(3): 642-653.e6
      Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a key redox intermediate generated within cells. Existing probes for H2O2 have not solved the problem of detection of the ultra-low concentrations of the oxidant: these reporters are not sensitive enough, or pH-dependent, or insufficiently bright, or not functional in mammalian cells, or have poor dynamic range. Here we present HyPer7, the first bright, pH-stable, ultrafast, and ultrasensitive ratiometric H2O2 probe. HyPer7 is fully functional in mammalian cells and in other higher eukaryotes. The probe consists of a circularly permuted GFP integrated into the ultrasensitive OxyR domain from Neisseria meningitidis. Using HyPer7, we were able to uncover the details of H2O2 diffusion from the mitochondrial matrix, to find a functional output of H2O2 gradients in polarized cells, and to prove the existence of H2O2 gradients in wounded tissue in vivo. Overall, HyPer7 is a probe of choice for real-time H2O2 imaging in various biological contexts.
    Keywords:  D-amino acid oxidase; H(2)O(2); H(2)O(2) gradients; HyPer7; cell migration; chemogenetics; genetically encoded probes; hydrogen peroxide; mitochondria; redox signaling
  6. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2020 Mar 06.
      Sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy (SIC) is associated with increased patient mortality. At present, there are no specific therapies for SIC. Previous studies have reported increased ROS and mitochondrial dysfunction during SIC. However, a unifying mechanism remains to be defined. We hypothesized that PKCdelta is required for abnormal calcium handling and cardiac mitochondrial dysfunction during sepsis, and that genetic deletion of PKCdelta would be protective. Polymicrobial sepsis induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) surgery decreased the ejection fraction of WT mice but not PKCdelta KO mice. Similarly, WT cardiomyocytes exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) demonstrated decreases in contractility and calcium transient amplitude that were not observed in PKCdelta KO cardiomyocytes. LPS treatment decreased SR calcium stores in WT cardiomyocytes, which correlated with increased RYR2 oxidation in WT hearts but not PKCdelta KO hearts after sepsis. LPS exposure increased mitochondrial ROS and decreased mitochondrial inner membrane potential in WT cardiomyocytes. This corresponded to morphologic changes consistent with mitochondrial dysfunction such as decreased overall size, cristae disorganization. Increased cellular ROS and changes in mitochondrial morphology were not observed in PKCdelta KO cardiomyocytes. These data show that PKCdelta is required in the pathophysiology of SIC by generating ROS and promoting mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus, PKCdelta is a potential target for cardiac protection during sepsis.
    Keywords:  PKCdelta; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; sepsis
  7. Biol Chem. 2020 Mar 01. pii: /j/bchm.just-accepted/hsz-2020-0112/hsz-2020-0112.xml. [Epub ahead of print]
      The respiratory pathway of mitochondria is composed of four electron transfer complexes and the ATP synthase. In this article we review evidence from studies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that both ATP synthase and cytochrome oxidase (COX) are assembled from independent modules that correspond to structurally and functionally identifiable components of each complex. Biogenesis of the respiratory chain requires a coordinate and balanced expression of gene products that become partner subunits of the same complex, but are encoded in the two physically separated genomes. Current evidence indicates that synthesis of two key mitochondrial encoded subunits of ATP synthase is regulated by the F1 module. Expression of COX1 that codes for a subunit of the COX catalytic core, is also regulated by a mechanism that restricts synthesis of this subunit to the availability of a nuclear-encoded translational activator. The respiratory chain must maintain a fixed stoichiometry of the component enzyme complexes during cell growth. We propose that high molecular weight complexes composed of Cox6, a subunit of cytochrome oxidase, and of the Atp9 subunit of ATP synthase, play a key role in establishing the ratio of the two complexes during their assembly.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; Atp9; Cox6; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; cytochrome oxidase; mitochondrial biogenesis
  8. J Biol Chem. 2020 Mar 06. pii: jbc.RA119.011508. [Epub ahead of print]
      Accumulating evidence suggests that brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a potential therapeutic target for managing obesity and related diseases. PGAM family member 5, mitochondrial serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PGAM5) is a protein phosphatase that resides in the mitochondria and regulates many biological processes, including cell death, mitophagy, and immune responses. Since BAT is a mitochondria-rich tissue, we have hypothesized that PGAM5 has a physiological function in BAT. We previously reported that PGAM5-knockout (KO) mice are resistant to severe metabolic stress. Importantly, lipid accumulation is suppressed in PGAM5-KO BAT, even under unstressed conditions, raising the possibility that PGAM5 deficiency stimulates lipid consumption. However, the mechanism underlying this observation is undetermined. Here, using an array of biochemical approaches, including quantitative RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and oxygen consumption assays, we show that PGAM5 negatively regulates energy expenditure in brown adipocytes. We found that PGAM5-KO brown adipocytes have an enhanced oxygen consumption rate and increased expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), a protein that increases energy consumption in the mitochondria. Mechanistically, we found that PGAM5 phosphatase activity and intramembrane cleavage are required for suppression of UCP1 activity. Furthermore, utilizing a genome-wide siRNA screen in HeLa cells to search for regulators of PGAM5 cleavage, we identified a set of candidate genes, including phosphatidylserine decarboxylase (PISD), which catalyzes the formation of phosphatidylethanolamine at the mitochondrial membrane. Taken together, these results indicate that PGAM5 suppresses mitochondrial energy expenditure by down-regulating UCP1 expression in brown adipocytes and that its phosphatase activity and intramembrane cleavage are required for UCP1 suppression.
    Keywords:  PGAM5; PISD; UCP1; adipocyte; brown adipocyte; brown adipose tissue; energy metabolism; intramembrane proteolysis; mitochondria; protein phosphatase
  9. Elife. 2020 Mar 06. pii: e53917. [Epub ahead of print]9
      Mitochondria generate ATP and building blocks for cell growth and regeneration, using pyruvate as the main substrate. Here we introduce PyronicSF, a user-friendly GFP-based sensor of improved dynamic range that enables real-time subcellular quantitation of mitochondrial pyruvate transport, concentration and flux. We report that cultured mouse astrocytes maintain mitochondrial pyruvate in the low micromolar range, below cytosolic pyruvate, which means that the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier MPC is poised to exert ultrasensitive control on the balance between respiration and anaplerosis/gluconeogenesis. The functionality of the sensor in living tissue is demonstrated in the brain of Drosophila melanogaster larvae. Mitochondrial subpopulations are known to coexist within a given cell, which differ in their morphology, mobility, membrane potential, and vicinity to other organelles. The present tool can be used to investigate how mitochondrial diversity relates to metabolism, to study the role of MPC in disease, and to screen for small-molecule MPC modulators.
    Keywords:  D. melanogaster; cell biology; mouse
  10. Neurochem Res. 2020 Mar 04.
      Reductions in the activities of mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) enzymes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous chronic neurodegenerative disorders. Maintenance of the mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) is a primary function of these enzyme complexes, and is essential for ATP production and neuronal survival. We examined the effects of inhibition of mitochondrial ETC complexes I, II/III, III and IV activities by titrations of respective inhibitors on Δψm in synaptosomal mitochondria. Small perturbations in the activity of complex I, brought about by low concentrations of rotenone (1-50 nM), caused depolarisation of Δψm. Small decreases in complex I activity caused an immediate and partial Δψm depolarisation, whereas inhibition of complex II/III activity by more than 70% with antimycin A was required to affect Δψm. A similarly high threshold of inhibition was found when complex III was inhibited with myxothiazol, and inhibition of complex IV by more than 90% with KCN was required. The plasma membrane potential (Δψp) had a complex I inhibition threshold of 40% whereas complex III and IV had to be inhibited by more than 90% before changes in Δψp were registered. These data indicate that in synaptosomes, both Δψm and Δψp are more susceptible to reductions in complex I activity than reductions in the other ETC complexes. These findings may be of relevance to the mechanism of neuronal cell death in Parkinson's disease in particular, where such reductions in complex I activity are present.
    Keywords:  Complex I; Energy thresholds; Membrane potentials; Mitochondria; Nerve terminal; Neurodegeneration
  11. Cell Rep. 2020 Mar 03. pii: S2211-1247(20)30203-5. [Epub ahead of print]30(9): 2889-2899.e6
      Metabolic pathways regulate T cell development and function, but many remain understudied. Recently, the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) was identified as the transporter that mediates pyruvate entry into mitochondria, promoting pyruvate oxidation. Here we find that deleting Mpc1, an obligate MPC subunit, in the hematopoietic system results in a specific reduction in peripheral αβ T cell numbers. MPC1-deficient T cells have defective thymic development at the β-selection, intermediate single positive (ISP)-to-double-positive (DP), and positive selection steps. We find that early thymocytes deficient in MPC1 display alterations to multiple pathways involved in T cell development. This results in preferred escape of more activated T cells. Finally, mice with hematopoietic deletion of Mpc1 are more susceptible to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Altogether, our study demonstrates that pyruvate oxidation by T cell precursors is necessary for optimal αβ T cell development and that its deficiency results in reduced but activated peripheral T cell populations.
  12. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2019 ;7 396
      Anesthetic sevoflurane induces mitochondrial dysfunction, impairment of neurogenesis, and cognitive impairment in young mice, but the underlying mechanism remains to be determined. Cyclophilin D (CypD) is a modulatory factor for the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). We, therefore, set out to evaluate the role of CypD in these sevoflurane-induced changes in vitro and in young mice. Wild-type (WT) and CypD knockout (KO) young (postnatal day 6, 7, and 8) mice received 3% sevoflurane 2 h daily and the neural progenitor cells (NPCs) harvested from the WT or CypD KO mice received 4.1% sevoflurane. We used immunohistochemistry and immunocytochemistry imaging, flow cytometry, Western blot, RT-PCR, co-immunoprecipitation, and Morris Water Maze to assess the interaction of sevoflurane and CypD on mitochondria function, neurogenesis, and cognition in vitro and in WT or CypD KO mice. We demonstrated that the sevoflurane anesthesia induced accumulation of CypD, mitochondrial dysfunction, impairment of neurogenesis, and cognitive impairment in WT mice or NPCs harvested from WT mice, but not in CypD KO mice or NPCs harvested from CypD KO mice. Furthermore, the sevoflurane anesthesia reduced the binding of CypD with Adenine nucleotide translocator, the other component of mPTP. These data suggest that the sevoflurane anesthesia might induce a CypD-dependent mitochondria dysfunction, impairment of neurogenesis, and cognitive impairment in young mice and NPCs.
    Keywords:  anesthesia; cognition; cyclophilin D; mitochondrial function; neurogenesis; sevoflurane; young mice
  13. FASEB Bioadv. 2020 Feb;2(2): 126-144
      Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) contains cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) that express CD133 (ccRCC-CD133+). CSCs are rarely in cell cycle and, as nonproliferating cells, resist most chemotherapeutic agents. Previously, we reported that tumor necrosis factor receptor-2 (TNFR2) signaling promotes the cell cycle entry of ccRCC-CD133+CSCs, rendering them susceptible to cell-cycle-dependent chemotherapeutics. Here, we describe a TNFR2-activated signaling pathway in ccRCC-CD133+CSCs that is required for cell survival. Wild-type (wt)TNF or R2TNF but not R1TNF (TNF muteins that selectively bind to TNFR2 and TNFR1) induces phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) on serine727 but not tyrosine705, resulting in pSTAT3Ser727 translocation to and colocalization with TNFR2 in mitochondria. R2TNF signaling activates a kinase cascade involving the phosphorylation of VEGFR2, PI-3K, Akt, and mTORC. Inhibition of any of the kinases or siRNA knockdown of TNFR2 or STAT3 promotes cell death associated with mitochondrial morphological changes, cytochrome c release, generation of reactive oxygen species, and TUNEL+cells expressing phosphorylated mixed lineage kinase-like (MLKL). Pretreatment with necrostatin-1 is more protective than z-VAD.fmk, suggesting that most death is necroptotic and TNFR2 signaling promotes cell survival by preventing mitochondrial-mediated necroptosis. These data suggest that a TNFR2 selective agonist may offer a potential therapeutic strategy for ccRCC.
    Keywords:  R1TNF; R2TNF; STAT3; ccRCC; cell signaling
  14. Front Physiol. 2020 ;11 113
      Doxorubicin is a valuable antineoplastic drug although its clinical use is greatly hindered by its severe cardiotoxicity with dismal target therapy available. Luteolin is a natural product extracted from vegetables and fruits with a wide range of biological efficacies including anti-oxidative, anti-tumorigenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. This study was designed to examine the possible effect of luteolin on doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, if any, and the mechanism(s) involved with a focus on mitochondrial autophagy. Luteolin application (10 μM) in adult mouse cardiomyocytes overtly improved doxorubicin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction including elevated peak shortening amplitude and maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening along with unchanged duration of shortening and relengthening. Luteolin alleviated doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity including apoptosis, accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, luteolin attenuated doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity through promoting mitochondrial autophagy in association with facilitating phosphorylation of Drp1 at Ser616, and upregulating TFEB expression. In addition, luteolin treatment partially attenuated low dose doxorubicin-induced elongation of mitochondria. Treatment of Mdivi-1, a Drp1 GTPase inhibitor, negated the protective effect of luteolin on levels of TFEB, LAMP1, and LC3B, as well as loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction in the face of doxorubicin challenge. Taken together, these findings provide novel insights for the therapeutic efficacy of luteolin against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity possibly through improved mitochondrial autophagy.
    Keywords:  autophagy; cardiotoxicity; doxorubicin; luteolin; mitochondria
  15. Neoplasma. 2020 Feb 28. pii: 190725N671. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles involved in many cellular functions. Beyond their central role in metabolism, they also take a part in maintaining calcium homeostasis, cell death, immunity and ROS production. Changes in these functions have been shown to be crucial for the adaptation and survival of cancer cells. Mitochondria therefore constitute a promising target for the development of novel anticancer agents. The triphenylphosphonium (TPP+) moiety has been widely used to target molecules into mitochondria. TPP+ derivatives of a variety of conventional cytostatic drugs, natural substances, metformin, antioxidants or a range of newly synthesized molecules have shown promising results against cancer cells. In this review we discuss biochemical differences between cancer cells and normal cells with specific focus on mitochondria, and how mitochondrially targeted molecules can be used to selectively affect mitochondrial function in normal and cancer cells. We summarize the published data on mitochondrially targeted anticancer agents and propose future research avenues.
  16. Elife. 2020 Mar 02. pii: e51065. [Epub ahead of print]9
      Maintaining the essential functions of mitochondria requires mechanisms to recognize and remove misfolded proteins. However, quality control (QC) pathways for misfolded mitochondrial proteins remain poorly-defined. Here, we establish temperature-sensitive (ts-) peripheral mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) proteins as novel model QC substrates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The ts- proteins sen2-1HAts and sam35-2HAts are degraded from the MOM by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Ubiquitination of sen2-1HAts is mediated by the ubiquitin ligase (E3) Ubr1, while sam35-2HAts is ubiquitinated primarily by San1. Mitochondria-associated degradation (MAD) of both substrates requires SSA family HSP70s and the HSP40 Sis1, providing the first evidence for chaperone involvement in MAD. In addition to a role for the Cdc48-Npl4-Ufd1 AAA-ATPase complex, Doa1 and a mitochondrial pool of the transmembrane Cdc48 adaptor, Ubx2, are implicated in their degradation. This study reveals a unique QC pathway comprised of a combination of cytosolic and mitochondrial factors that distinguish it from other cellular QC pathways.
    Keywords:  S. cerevisiae; cell biology
  17. Cell Rep. 2020 Mar 03. pii: S2211-1247(20)30192-3. [Epub ahead of print]30(9): 3092-3104.e4
      Mitochondrial preproteins contain amino-terminal presequences directing them to the presequence translocase of the mitochondrial inner membrane (TIM23 complex). Depending on additional downstream import signals, TIM23 either inserts preproteins into the inner membrane or translocates them into the matrix. Matrix import requires the coupling of the presequence translocase-associated motor (PAM) to TIM23. The molecular mechanisms coordinating preprotein recognition by TIM23 in the intermembrane space (IMS) with PAM activation in the matrix are unknown. Here we show that subsequent to presequence recognition in the IMS, the Tim50 matrix domain facilitates the recruitment of the coupling factor Pam17. Next, the IMS domain of Tim50 promotes PAM recruitment to TIM23. Finally, the Tim50 transmembrane segment stimulates the matrix-directed import-driving force exerted by PAM. We propose that recognition of preprotein segments in the IMS and transfer of signal information across the inner membrane by Tim50 determine import motor activation.
    Keywords:  Pam17; TIM23; Tim50; import motor; mitochondria; mitochondrial Hsp70; preprotein import; presequence translocase
  18. Nat Cell Biol. 2020 Mar;22(3): 310-320
      Although metastasis remains the cause of most cancer-related mortality, mechanisms governing seeding in distal tissues are poorly understood. Here, we establish a robust method for the identification of global transcriptomic changes in rare metastatic cells during seeding using single-cell RNA sequencing and patient-derived-xenograft models of breast cancer. We find that both primary tumours and micrometastases display transcriptional heterogeneity but micrometastases harbour a distinct transcriptome program conserved across patient-derived-xenograft models that is highly predictive of poor survival of patients. Pathway analysis revealed mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation as the top pathway upregulated in micrometastases, in contrast to higher levels of glycolytic enzymes in primary tumour cells, which we corroborated by flow cytometric and metabolomic analyses. Pharmacological inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation dramatically attenuated metastatic seeding in the lungs, which demonstrates the functional importance of oxidative phosphorylation in metastasis and highlights its potential as a therapeutic target to prevent metastatic spread in patients with breast cancer.
  19. Biol Chem. 2020 Mar 01. pii: /j/bchm.just-accepted/hsz-2020-0106/hsz-2020-0106.xml. [Epub ahead of print]
      Biogenesis of mitochondria relies on import of over 1000 different proteins from the cytosol. About 70% of these proteins follow the presequence pathway - they are synthesized with cleavable N-terminal extensions called presequences and reach the final place of their function within the organelle with the help of the TOM and TIM23 complexes in the outer and inner membranes, respectively. The translocation of proteins along the presequence pathway is powered by the import motor of the TIM23 complex. The import motor of the TIM23 complex is localized at the matrix face of the inner membrane and is likely the most complicated Hsp70-based system identified to date. How it converts the energy of ATP hydrolysis into unidirectional translocation of proteins into mitochondria remains one of the biggest mysteries of this translocation pathway. Here, I discuss the knowns and the unknowns of the mitochondrial protein import motor.
    Keywords:  Hsp70; J protein; chaperone; mitochondria; protein translocation
  20. Cardiovasc Res. 2020 Mar 04. pii: cvaa053. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: Cyclophilin-D is a well-known regulator of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP), the main effector of cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, the binding of CypD to the PTP is poorly understood. Cysteine 202 (C202) of CypD is highly conserved among species and can undergo redox-sensitive post-translational modifications. We investigated whether C202 regulates the opening of PTP.METHODS AND RESULTS: We developed a knock-in mouse model using CRISPR where CypD-C202 was mutated to a serine (C202S). Infarct size is reduced in CypD-C202S Langendorff perfused hearts compared to WT. Cardiac mitochondria from CypD-C202S mice also have higher calcium retention capacity compared to WT. Therefore, we hypothesized that oxidation of C202 might target CypD to the PTP. Indeed, isolated cardiac mitochondria subjected to oxidative stress exhibit less binding of CypD-C202S to the proposed PTP component F1F0-ATP-synthase. We previously found C202 to be S-nitrosylated in ischemic preconditioning. Cysteine residues can also undergo S-acylation, and C202 matched a S-acylation motif. S-acylation of CypD-C202 was assessed using a resin-assisted capture (Acyl-RAC). WT hearts are abundantly S-acylated on CypD C202 under baseline conditions indicating that S-acylation on C202 per se does not lead to PTP opening. CypD C202S knock-in hearts are protected from ischemia/reperfusion injury suggesting further that lack of CypD S-acylation at C202 is not detrimental and does not induce PTP opening. However, we find that ischemia leads to de-acylation of C202 and that calcium overload in isolated mitochondria promotes de-acylation of CypD. Furthermore, a high bolus of calcium in WT cardiac mitochondria displaces CypD from its physiological binding partners and possibly renders it available for interaction with the PTP.
    CONCLUSIONS: Taken together the data suggest that with ischemia CypD is de-acylated at C202 allowing the free cysteine residue to undergo oxidation during the first minutes of reperfusion which in turn targets it to the PTP.
    TRANSLATIONAL PERSPECTIVE: In this study we demonstrated cysteine 202 of CypD undergoes multiple posttranslational modifications that regulate its ability to activate PTP. We provide novel data demonstrating acylation of CypD and show that acylation and SNO compete for modification of C202. Together these novel data suggest that CypD integrates signals to regulate the PTP and cell death.
  21. Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 04. 10(1): 3970
      Paclitaxel induces peripheral neuropathy as a side effect of cancer treatment. The underlying causes are unclear, but epidermal, unmyelinated axons have been shown to be the first to degenerate. We previously utilized an in vivo zebrafish model to show that the epidermal matrix-metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13) induces degeneration of unmyelinated axons, whereas pharmacological inhibition of MMP-13 prevented axon degeneration. However, the precise functions by which MMP-13 is regulated and affects axons remained elusive. In this study, we assessed mitochondrial damage and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation as possible inducers of MMP-13, and we analyzed MMP-13-dependent damage. We show that the small ROS, H2O2, is increased in basal keratinocytes following treatment with paclitaxel. Cytoplasmic H2O2 appears to derive, at least in part, from mitochondrial damage, leading to upregulation of MMP-13, which in turn underlies increased epidermal extracellular matrix degradation. Intriguingly, also axonal mitochondria show signs of damage, such as fusion/fission defects and vacuolation, but axons do not show increased levels of H2O2. Since MMP-13 inhibition prevents axon degeneration but does not prevent mitochondrial vacuolation, we suggest that vacuolization occurs independently of axonal damage. Finally, we show that MMP-13 dysregulation also underlies paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in mammals, indicating that epidermal mitochondrial H2O2 and its effectors could be targeted for therapeutic interventions.
  22. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Mar 03. pii: S0006-291X(20)30452-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cigarette smoke is one of major risk factors in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is generally believed that cigarette smoke induces mitochondrial damage in the alveolar epithelial cells to contribute to COPD. However, the exact molecular mechanism remains unknown for the mitochondrial damage. In this study, cigarette smoke extract (CSE) was found to induce the mitochondrial membrane permeability (MMP), which promoted proton leakage leading to the reduction in mitochondrial potential and ATP production. ANT in the mitochondrial inner membrane was activated by CSE for the alteration of MMP. The activation was observed without an alteration in the protein level of ANT. Inhibition of the ANT activity with ADP or bongkrekic acid prevented the MMP alteration and potential drop upon CSE exposure. The ANT activation was observed with a rise in ROS production, inhibition of the mitochondrial respiration, decrease in the complex III protein and rise in mitophagy activity. The results suggest that ANT may mediate the toxic effect of cigarette smoke on mitochondria and control of ANT activity is a potential strategy in intervention of the toxicity.
    Keywords:  ANT; ATP; COPD; Mitophagy; Uncoupling
  23. Autophagy. 2020 Mar 04. 1-3
      Damaged mitochondria are selectively removed from the cell in a process termed mitophagy. This mitochondrial quality control mechanism is important for neuronal homeostasis, and mutations in pathway components are causative for Parkinson disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here, we discuss our recent work using a novel mild induction paradigm to investigate the spatiotemporal dynamics of mitophagy in primary neurons. Using live-cell imaging, we find that mitophagy-associated proteins translocate to depolarized mitochondrial fragments. These mitophagic events were primarily localized to somatodendritic compartments, suggesting neuronal mitophagy is primarily a somal quality control mechanism. Damaged mitochondria were efficiently sequestered within autophagosomes, but lysosomal fusion or acidification was significantly delayed. Surprisingly, engulfed mitochondria persisted in non-acidified vesicular compartments for hours to days after initial damage. Expression of an ALS-associated mutation disrupted the membrane potential of the mitochondrial network, and oxidative stress exacerbated this effect. Importantly, our results highlight the slow kinetics of mitophagy and suggest that slow turnover of damaged mitochondria may increase neuronal susceptibility to neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; lysosome; mitochondria; mitophagy; neurodegenerative diseases
  24. Cell Death Differ. 2020 Mar 06.
      Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS) is a highly malicious childhood malignancy characterized by specific chromosomal translocations mostly encoding the oncogenic transcription factor PAX3-FOXO1 and therefore also referred to as fusion-positive RMS (FP-RMS). Previously, we have identified fenretinide (retinoic acid p-hydroxyanilide) to affect PAX3-FOXO1 expression levels as well as FP-RMS cell viability. Here, we characterize the mode of action of fenretinide in more detail. First, we demonstrate that fenretinide-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) depends on complex II of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, since ROS scavenging as well as complexing of iron completely abolished cell death. Second, we co-treated cells with a range of pharmacological inhibitors of specific cell death pathways including z-vad (apoptosis), necrostatin-1 (necroptosis), 3-methyladenine (3-MA) (autophagy), and ferrostatin-1 (ferroptosis) together with fenretinide. Surprisingly, none of these inhibitors was able to prevent cell death. Also genetic depletion of key players in the apoptotic and necroptotic pathway (BAK, BAX, and RIPK1) confirmed the pharmacological data. Interestingly however, electron microscopy of fenretinide-treated cells revealed an excessive accumulation of cytoplasmic vacuoles, which were distinct from autophagosomes. Further flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy experiments suggested a hyperstimulation of macropinocytosis, leading to an accumulation of enlarged early and late endosomes. Surprisingly, pharmacological inhibition as well as genetic depletion of large dynamin GTPases completely abolished fenretinide-induced vesicle formation and subsequent cell death, suggesting a new form of dynamin-dependent programmed cell death. Taken together, our data identify a new form of cell death mediated through the production of ROS by fenretinide treatment, highlighting the value of this compound for treatment of sarcoma patients including FP-RMS.
  25. Toxicol In Vitro. 2020 Feb 26. pii: S0887-2333(19)30776-3. [Epub ahead of print] 104814
      INTRODUCTION: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a critical health issue worldwide. The high rate of liver and lung metastasis associated with CRC creates a significant barrier to effective and efficient therapy. Tumour cells, including CRC cells, have metabolic alterations, such as high levels of glycolytic activity, increased cell proliferation and invasiveness, and chemo- and radio-resistance. However, the abnormally elevated mitochondrial transmembrane potential of these cells also provides an opportunity to develop drugs that selectively target the mitochondrial functions of tumour cells.METHODS: In this work, we used a new batch of benzoic acid esters with cytotoxic activities attached to the triphenylphosphonium group as a vehicle to target tumour mitochondria and improve their activity. We evaluated the cytotoxicity, selectivity, and mechanism of action of these derivatives, including the effects on energy stress-induced apoptosis and metabolic behaviour in the human CRC cell lines HCT-15 and COLO-205.
    RESULTS: The benzoic acid derivatives selectively targeted the tumour cells with high potency and efficacy. The derivatives induced the uncoupling of the oxidative phosphorylation system, decreased the transmembrane potential, and reduced ATP levels while increasing AMPK activation, thereby triggering tumour cell apoptosis in both tumour cell lines tested.
    CONCLUSION: The benzoic acid derivatives studied here are promising candidates for assessing in vivo models of CRC, despite the diverse metabolic characteristics of these tumour cells.
    Keywords:  Antitumour-mitochondrial agents; Benzoic acid derivatives; Colorectal cancer; Metabolism stress; Targeting mitochondria; Triphenylphosphonium moiety; Uncoupling agents
  26. Int J Cancer. 2020 Mar 06.
      Modulation of prostate stromal cells (PrSCs) within tumor tissues is gaining attention for the treatment of solid tumors. Using our original in vitro co-culture system, we previously reported that leucinostatin (LCS)-A, a peptide mycotoxin, inhibited prostate cancer DU-145 cell growth through reduction of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) expression in PrSCs. To further obtain additional bioactive compounds from LCS-A, we designed and synthesized a series of LCS-A derivatives as compounds that target PrSCs. Among the synthesized LCS-A derivatives, LCS-7 reduced IGF-1 expression in PrSCs with lower toxicity to PrSCs and mice than LCS-A. As LCS-A has been suggested to interact with mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase, a docking study was performed to elucidate the mechanism of reduced IGF-1 expression in the PrSCs. As expected, LCS-A and LCS-7 directly interacted with mitochondrial ATP synthase, and like LCS-A and LCS-7, other mitochondrial ATP synthase inhibitors also reduced the expression of IGF-1 by PrSCs. Furthermore, LCS-A and LCS-7 significantly decreased the growth of mouse xenograft tumors. Based on these data, we propose that the mitochondrial ATP synthases-IGF-1 axis of PrSCs plays a critical role on cancer cell growth and inhibition could be a potential anti-cancer target for prostate cancer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Leucinostatin; Prostate stromal cells; and anticancer target; mitochondrial ATP synthase
  27. Photochem Photobiol. 2020 Mar 03.
      Mammalian sirtuins (SIRTs 1-7), are a family of NAD+-dependent deacetylases with distinct subcellular localization and biological functions that regulate various important cellular processes. Among these, SIRTs -3, -4, and -5 are located in the mitochondria and have been implicated in caloric restriction, oxidative stress, aging, and various human diseases. Emerging evidence has found dysregulation of mitochondrial sirtuins in multiple dermatological conditions, including responses to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), suggesting their importance in maintaining skin health. In this review, we discuss the roles and implications of mitochondrial sirtuins in cutaneous cellular processes, and their emerging potential as a target for the management of skin diseases, including skin cancer. Among mitochondrial sirtuins, SIRT3 is the most studied and linked to multiple skin conditions and diseases (keratinocyte differentiation, wound healing, chronological aging, UVR and ozone response, systemic sclerosis, melanoma, basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)). SIRT4 has been connected to keratinocyte differentiation, chronological aging, UVR response, alopecia, BCC and SCC. Further, SIRT5 has been associated with keratinocyte differentiation, melanoma, BCC and SCC. Overall, while there is compelling evidence for the involvement of mitochondrial sirtuins in skin, additional detailed studies are needed to understand their exact roles in skin and skin cancers.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial sirtuins; skin; skin cancers; ultraviolet radiation
  28. J Theor Biol. 2020 Feb 28. pii: S0022-5193(20)30078-3. [Epub ahead of print] 110223
      Advances in systems biology and whole-cell modelling demand increasingly comprehensive mathematical models of cellular biochemistry. Such models require the development of simplified representations of specific processes which capture essential biophysical features but without unnecessarily complexity. Recently there has been renewed interest in thermodynamically-based modelling of cellular processes. Here we present an approach to developing of simplified yet thermodynamically consistent (hence physically plausible) models which can readily be incorporated into large scale biochemical descriptions but which do not require full mechanistic detail of the underlying processes. We illustrate the approach through development of a simplified, physically plausible model of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and show that the simplified model behaves like the full system.
    Keywords:  Bond graph; Computational biology; Systems biology; Thermodynamical modelling
  29. Cells. 2020 Mar 01. pii: E581. [Epub ahead of print]9(3):
      For decades, sphingolipids have been related to several biological functions such as immune system regulation, cell survival, and proliferation. Recently, it has been reported that sphingolipids could be biomarkers in cancer and in other human disorders such as metabolic diseases. This is evidenced by the biological complexity of the sphingolipids associated with cell type-specific signaling and diverse sphingolipids molecules. As mitochondria dynamics have serious implications in homeostasis, in the present review, we focused on the relationship between sphingolipids, mainly ceramides and sphingosine-1-phosphate, and mitochondrial dynamics directed by fission, fusion, and mitophagy. There is evidence that the balances of ceramides (C18 and C16) and S1P, as well as the location of specific ceramide synthases in mitochondria, have roles in mitophagy and fission with an impact on cell fate and metabolism. However, signaling pathways controlling the sphingolipids metabolism and their location in mitochondria need to be better understood in order to propose new interventions and therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  ceramide; fission; fusion; mitochondria; mitophagy; sphingosine
  30. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(3): e0226860
      The mitochondrial theory of aging attributes much of the aging process to mitochondrial DNA damage. The polymerase gamma (PolG) mutant mouse was designed to evaluate this theory and thus carries a mutated proofreading region of polymerase gamma (D257A) that exclusively transcribes the mitochondrial genome. As a result, PolGD257A mice accumulate mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations that lead to premature aging, as evidenced by hair loss, weight loss, kyphosis, increased rates of apoptosis, organ damage, and an early death, occurring around 12 months of age. Research has shown that exercise decreases skeletal muscle mtDNA mutations and normalizes protein levels in PolG mice. However, brain mtDNA changes with exercise in PolG mice have not been studied. We found no effects of exercise on mtDNA mutations or copy number in either the brain or liver of PolG mice, despite changes to body mass. Our results suggest that mitochondrial mutations play little role in exercise-brain interactions in the PolG model of accelerated aging. In addition to evaluating the effect of exercise on mtDNA outcomes, we also implemented novel methods for both extracting mtDNA and measuring mtDNA mutations, with aims for improving the efficiency and accuracy of these methods.
  31. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2020 Feb 21. pii: S0960-894X(20)30135-9. [Epub ahead of print] 127057
      Mitochondrial protonophores transport protons through the mitochondrial inner membrane into the matrix to uncouple nutrient oxidation from ATP production thereby decreasing the proton motive force. Mitochondrial uncouplers have beneficial effects of decrease reactive oxygen species generation and have the potential for treating diseases such as obesity, neurodegenerative diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), diabetes, and many others. In this study, we report the structure-activity relationship profile of the pyrazine scaffold bearing substituted aniline rings. Our work indicates that a trifluoromethyl group is best at the para position while the trifluoromethoxy group is preferred in the meta position of the aniline rings of 2,3-substituted pyrazines. As proton transport and cycling requires the formation of a negative charge that has to traverse the mitochondrial membrane, a stabilizing internal hydrogen bond is a key feature for efficient mitochondrial uncoupling activity.
    Keywords:  Mitochondrial uncoupler; Oxidative phosphorylation; Protonophore; Pyrazine; Respiration
  32. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 Mar 04. pii: mcp.RA119.001910. [Epub ahead of print]
      The redox-based modifications of cysteine residues in proteins regulate their function in many biological processes. The gas molecule H2S has been shown to persulfidate redox sensitive cysteine residues resulting in an H2S-modified proteome known as the sulfhydrome. Tandem Mass Tags (TMT) multiplexing strategies for large-scale proteomic analyses have become increasingly prevalent in detecting cysteine modifications. Here we developed a TMT-based proteomics approach for selectively trapping and tagging cysteine persulfides in the cellular proteomes. We revealed the natural protein sulfhydrome of two human cell lines, and identified insulin as a novel substrate in pancreatic beta cells. Moreover, we showed that under oxidative stress conditions, increased H2S can target enzymes involved in energy metabolism by switching specific cysteine modifications to persulfides.  Specifically, we discovered a Redox Thiol Switch, from protein S-glutathioinylation to S-persulfidation (RTSGS). We propose that the RTSGS from S-glutathioinylation to S-persulfidation is a potential mechanism to fine tune cellular energy metabolism in response to different levels of oxidative stress.
    Keywords:  Chemoproteomics; Diabetes; Energy metabolism; H2S; Post-translational modifications*; Quantification; Tandem Mass Spectrometry; Thiol redox chemistry; cysteine modifications; glutathionylation; persulfidation; protein sulfhydrome
  33. Neurochem Res. 2020 Mar 03.
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which may be related to mitophagy failure. Previous reports suggest that treadmill exercise protects against mitochondrial dysfunction in AD. However, few studies have investigated the relationship between mitophagy and mitochondrial adaptation caused by treadmill exercise in AD. The current study aimed to investigate whether exercise-ameliorated AD is associated with changes in mitophagy activity. Both Wild-type and APP/PS1 transgenic mice were divided into sedentary (WTC and ADC) and exercise (WTE and ADE) groups (n = 9 for each group). WTE and ADE mice were subjected to treadmill exercise for 12 weeks, followed by evaluating the effect of treadmill exercise on learning and memory ability, Aβ plaques, mitochondrial Aβ peptide level, synaptic activity and mitochondrial function. Meanwhile, mitophagy-related proteins PINK1, Parkin, LC3II and P62 were measured in the hippocampal mitochondrial fractions. The results indicated that exercise not only restored learning and memory ability, but also reduced Aβ plaque area, mitochondrial Aβ peptide level, and increased levels of synaptic markers SYN and GAP43, as well as reversed mitochondrial dysfunction (defective mitochondrial ultrastructure, decreased PGC-1α, TFAM and ATP levels) in APP/PS1 transgenic mice. Moreover, exercise increased mitophagy activity as evidenced by a significant decrease in levels of P62 and PINK1 as well as an increase in levels of LC3II and Parkin in ADE mice. These findings suggest that treadmill exercise can enhance mitophagy activity in the hippocampus, which is efficient in ameliorating pathological phenotypes of APP/PS1 transgenic mice.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Mitophagy; Treadmill exercise; β-Amyloid
  34. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Feb 26. pii: S0006-291X(20)30414-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      As a proapoptotic death effect domain (DED)-containing protein, DED-containing DNA-binding protein (DEDD) has been demonstrated to inhibit tumor growth, invasion and metastasis in our previous studies. Here, we demonstrated that knockdown of DEDD in MCF-7 cells resulted in characteristic drug resistance to doxorubicin and paclitaxel, and overexpression of DEDD in MDA-MB-231 cells increased their sensitivity to doxorubicin and paclitaxel. The expression levels of DEDD were positively correlated with Bcl-2 in breast cancer cell lines as well as in human breast cancer tissue. Knockdown of DEDD downregulated the transcriptional activity of the bcl-2 gene and shortened the time for Bcl-2 degradation. DEDD interacts with and stabilizes Bcl-2, and breast cancer cells with low DEDD expression were more sensitive to treatment with a BH3 mimetic, ABT-199, than were those with high DEDD expression. In total, our findings highlight a new strategy for treating breast cancer with no/low DEDD expression by targeting Bcl-2 with the BH3 mimetic ABT-199.
    Keywords:  ABT-199; Bcl-2; Breast cancer; DEDD; Drug resistance
  35. Clin Transl Oncol. 2020 Mar 04.
      PURPOSE: To investigate the role of PRDX2 in esophageal carcinoma (ESCA).METHODS: The expression of PRDX2 was detected in ESCA tissues. And PRDX2 expression in two ESCA cell lines was knocked down. Cell proliferation, metastasis and invasion were detected in these cells.
    RESULTS: Here, we found that PRDX2 expression was significantly increased in ESCA tissues and was associated with a poor prognosis in ESCA patients. In addition, PRDX2 expression was significantly associated with pathological grading, infiltration degree and 5-year survival time in ESCA patients. Next, we knocked down PRDX2 expression by PRDX2-shRNA transfection in two ESCA cell lines, Eca-109 and TE-1. Proliferation analysis indicated that in vitro PRDX2 knockdown decreased growth and clone formation of ESCA cells. Scratch and transwell assays indicated that cell migration and invasion were significantly inhibited by PRDX2 knockdown. In addition, PRDX2 knockdown inhibited cell cycle of ESCA cells and down-regulated Cyclin D1-CDK4/6. Moreover, PRDX2 knockdown regulated proteins involved in mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis, including increased Bax and Caspase9/3 and decreased Bcl2. Mechanism investigation indicated that PRDX2 knockdown led to inactivation of Wnt/β-catenin and AKT pathways.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that PRDX2 may function as an oncogene in the development of ESCA via regulating Wnt/β-catenin and AKT pathways. Our study fills a gap in the understanding of the role of PRDX2 in ESCA and provides a potential target for ESCA treatment.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Esophageal carcinoma; Peroxiredoxin 2; Protein kinase B; Wnt/β-catenin
  36. Cell Metab. 2020 Mar 03. pii: S1550-4131(20)30059-0. [Epub ahead of print]31(3): 564-579.e7
      Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a cofactor for hundreds of metabolic reactions in all cell types, plays an essential role in metabolism, DNA repair, and aging. However, how NAD metabolism is impacted by the environment remains unclear. Here, we report an unexpected trans-kingdom cooperation between bacteria and mammalian cells wherein bacteria contribute to host NAD biosynthesis. Bacteria confer resistance to inhibitors of NAMPT, the rate-limiting enzyme in the amidated NAD salvage pathway, in cancer cells and xenograft tumors. Mechanistically, a microbial nicotinamidase (PncA) that converts nicotinamide to nicotinic acid, a precursor in the alternative deamidated NAD salvage pathway, is necessary and sufficient for this protective effect. Using stable isotope tracing and microbiota-depleted mice, we demonstrate that this bacteria-mediated deamidation contributes substantially to the NAD-boosting effect of oral nicotinamide and nicotinamide riboside supplementation in several tissues. Collectively, our findings reveal an important role of bacteria-enabled deamidated pathway in host NAD metabolism.
    Keywords:  NAMPT inhibitors; cancer cells; deamidated NAD synthesis; germ-free mice; host-microbe interaction; microbial nicotinamidase; mycoplasma; nicotinic acid; oral nicotinamide riboside supplementation
  37. Nat Commun. 2020 Mar 06. 11(1): 1228
      The BCL-2 antagonist venetoclax is highly effective in multiple myeloma (MM) patients exhibiting the 11;14 translocation, the mechanistic basis of which is unknown. In evaluating cellular energetics and metabolism of t(11;14) and non-t(11;14) MM, we determine that venetoclax-sensitive myeloma has reduced mitochondrial respiration. Consistent with this, low electron transport chain (ETC) Complex I and Complex II activities correlate with venetoclax sensitivity. Inhibition of Complex I, using IACS-010759, an orally bioavailable Complex I inhibitor in clinical trials, as well as succinate ubiquinone reductase (SQR) activity of Complex II, using thenoyltrifluoroacetone (TTFA) or introduction of SDHC R72C mutant, independently sensitize resistant MM to venetoclax. We demonstrate that ETC inhibition increases BCL-2 dependence and the 'primed' state via the ATF4-BIM/NOXA axis. Further, SQR activity correlates with venetoclax sensitivity in patient samples irrespective of t(11;14) status. Use of SQR activity in a functional-biomarker informed manner may better select for MM patients responsive to venetoclax therapy.
  38. Br J Cancer. 2020 Mar 05.
      BACKGROUND: Metabolic reprogramming towards aerobic glycolysis in cancer supports unrestricted cell proliferation, survival and chemoresistance. The molecular bases of these processes are still undefined. Recent reports suggest crucial roles for microRNAs. Here, we provide new evidence of the implication of miR-27a in modulating colorectal cancer (CRC) metabolism and chemoresistance.METHODS: A survey of miR-27a expression profile in TCGA-COAD dataset revealed that miR-27a-overexpressing CRCs are enriched in gene signatures of mitochondrial dysfunction, deregulated oxidative phosphorylation, mTOR activation and reduced chemosensitivity. The same pathways were analysed in cell lines in which we modified miR-27a levels. The response to chemotherapy was investigated in an independent cohort and cell lines.
    RESULTS: miR-27a upregulation in vitro associated with impaired oxidative phosphorylation, overall mitochondrial activities and slight influence on glycolysis. miR-27a hampered AMPK, enhanced mTOR signalling and acted in concert with oncogenes and tumour cell metabolic regulators to force an aerobic glycolytic metabolism supporting biomass production, unrestricted growth and chemoresistance. This latter association was confirmed in our cohort of patients and cell lines.
    CONCLUSIONS: We disclose an unprecedented role for miR-27a as a master regulator of cancer metabolism reprogramming that impinges on CRC response to chemotherapy, underscoring its theragnostic properties.