bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2020‒09‒27
fifty-one papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman, East Carolina University

  1. Redox Biol. 2020 Sep 14. pii: S2213-2317(20)30927-7. [Epub ahead of print]37 101722
      Understanding how mitochondria contribute to cellular oxidative stress and drive signaling and disease is critical, but quantitative assessment is difficult. Our previous studies of cultured C2C12 cells used inhibitors of specific sites of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide production to show that mitochondria generate about half of the hydrogen peroxide released by the cells, and site IQ of respiratory complex I produces up to two thirds of the superoxide and hydrogen peroxide generated in the mitochondrial matrix. Here, we used the same approach to measure the engagement of these sites in seven diverse cell lines to determine whether this pattern is specific to C2C12 cells, or more general. These diverse cell lines covered primary, immortalized, and cancerous cells, from seven tissues (liver, cervix, lung, skin, neuron, heart, bone) of three species (human, rat, mouse). The rate of appearance of hydrogen peroxide in the extracellular medium spanned a 30-fold range from HeLa cancer cells (3 pmol/min/mg protein) to AML12 liver cells (84 pmol/min/mg protein). The mean contribution of identified mitochondrial sites to this extracellular hydrogen peroxide signal was 30 ± 7% SD; the mean contribution of NADPH oxidases was 60 ± 14%. The relative contributions of different sites in the mitochondrial electron transport chain were broadly similar in all seven cell types (and similar to published results for C2C12 cells). 70 ± 4% of identified superoxide/hydrogen peroxide generation in the mitochondrial matrix was from site IQ; 30 ± 4% was from site IIIQo. We conclude that although absolute rates vary considerably, the relative contributions of different sources of hydrogen peroxide production are similar in nine diverse cell types under unstressed conditions in vitro. Identified mitochondrial sites account for one third of total cellular hydrogen peroxide production (half each from sites IQ and IIIQo); in the mitochondrial matrix the majority (two thirds) of superoxide/hydrogen peroxide is from site IQ.
    Keywords:  Hydrogen peroxide; Matrix; Mitochondria; NOX; S1QEL; S3QEL; Superoxide
  2. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 1333
      O. Warburg conducted one of the first studies on tumor energy metabolism. His early discoveries pointed out that cancer cells display a decreased respiration and an increased glycolysis proportional to the increase in their growth rate, suggesting that they mainly depend on fermentative metabolism for ATP generation. Warburg's results and hypothesis generated controversies that are persistent to this day. It is thus of great importance to understand the mechanisms by which cancer cells can reversibly regulate the two pathways of their energy metabolism as well as the functioning of this metabolism in cell proliferation. Here, we made use of yeast as a model to study the Warburg effect and its eventual function in allowing an increased ATP synthesis to support cell proliferation. The role of oxidative phosphorylation repression in this effect was investigated. We show that yeast is a good model to study the Warburg effect, where all parameters and their modulation in the presence of glucose can be reconstituted. Moreover, we show that in this model, mitochondria are not dysfunctional, but that there are fewer mitochondria respiratory chain units per cell. Identification of the molecular mechanisms involved in this process allowed us to dissociate the parameters involved in the Warburg effect and show that oxidative phosphorylation repression is not mandatory to promote cell growth. Last but not least, we were able to show that neither cellular ATP synthesis flux nor glucose consumption flux controls cellular growth rate.
    Keywords:  Hap4p; Warburg effect; mitochondria; mitochondrial biogenesis; oxidative phosphorylation; yeast
  3. Cell Calcium. 2020 Sep 11. pii: S0143-4160(20)30130-5. [Epub ahead of print]92 102288
      Calcium (Ca2+) is known to stimulate mitochondrial bioenergetics through the modulation of TCA cycle dehydrogenases and electron transport chain (ETC) complexes. This is hypothesized to be an essential pathway of energetic control to meet cellular ATP demand. While regulatory mechanisms of mitochondrial calcium uptake have been reported, it remains unknown if metabolite flux itself feedsback to regulate mitochondrial calcium (mCa2+) uptake. This hypothesis was recently tested by Nemani et al. (Sci. Signal. 2020) where the authors report that TCA cycle substrate flux regulates the mitochondrial calcium uniporter channel gatekeeper, mitochondrial calcium uptake 1 (MICU1), gene transcription in an early growth response protein 1 (EGR1) dependent fashion. They posit this is a regulatory feedback mechanism to control ionic homeostasis and mitochondrial bioenergetics with changing fuel availability. Here, we provide a historical overview of mitochondrial calcium exchange and comprehensive appraisal of these results in the context of recent literature and discuss possible regulatory pathways of mCa2+ uptake and mitochondrial bioenergetics.
    Keywords:  Calcium; Energetics; MCU; MICU1; MPC; Mitochondria; OXPHOS; TCA cycle; TCA substrates
  4. Apoptosis. 2020 Sep 21.
      Small-molecule compound-based therapies have provided new insights into cancer treatment against mitochondrial impairment. N6-furfuryladenosine (kinetin riboside, KR) is a purine derivative and an anticancer agent that selectively affects the molecular pathways crucial for cell growth and apoptosis by interfering with mitochondrial functions and thus might be a potential mitotoxicant. Metabolism of cancer cells is predominantly based on the Crabtree effect that relies on glucose-induced inhibition of cell respiration and thus on oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), which supports the survival of cancer cells in metabolic stress conditions. The simplest way to circumvent this phenomenon is to replace glucose with galactose in the culture environment. Consequently, cells become more sensitive to mitochondrial perturbations caused by mitotoxicants. In the present study, we evaluated several cellular parameters and investigated the effect of KR on mitochondrial functions in HepG2 cells forced to rely mainly on OXPHOS. We showed that KR in the galactose environment is a more potent apoptosis-inducing agent. KR decreases the mitochondrial membrane potential, reduces glutathione level, depletes cellular ATP, and induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the OXPHOS state, leading to the loss of cell viability. Taken together, these results demonstrate that KR directly acts on the mitochondria to limit their function and that the sensitivity of cells is dependent on their ability to cope with energetic stress.
    Keywords:  Cancer cells; Crabtree effect; Kinetin riboside; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Purine derivative
  5. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(9): e0239625
      During alcohol consumption, the esophageal mucosa is directly exposed to high concentrations of ethanol (EtOH). We therefore investigated the response of normal human esophageal epithelial cell lines EPC1, EPC2 and EPC3 to acute EtOH exposure. While these cells were able to tolerate 2% EtOH for 8 h in both three-dimensional organoids and monolayer culture conditions, RNA sequencing suggested that EtOH induced mitochondrial dysfunction. With EtOH treatment, EPC1 and EPC2 cells also demonstrated decreased mitochondrial ATPB protein expression by immunofluorescence and swollen mitochondria lacking intact cristae by transmission electron microscopy. Mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) was decreased in a subset of EPC1 and EPC2 cells stained with ΔΨm-sensitive dye MitoTracker Deep Red. In EPC2, EtOH decreased ATP level while impairing mitochondrial respiration and electron transportation chain functions, as determined by ATP fluorometric assay, respirometry, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Additionally, EPC2 cells demonstrated enhanced oxidative stress by flow cytometry for mitochondrial superoxide (MitoSOX), which was antagonized by the mitochondria-specific antioxidant MitoCP. Concurrently, EPC1 and EPC2 cells underwent autophagy following EtOH exposure, as evidenced by flow cytometry for Cyto-ID, which detects autophagic vesicles, and immunoblots demonstrating induction of the lipidated and cleaved form of LC3B and downregulation of SQSTM1/p62. In EPC1 and EPC2, pharmacological inhibition of autophagy flux by chloroquine increased mitochondrial oxidative stress while decreasing cell viability. In EPC2, autophagy induction was coupled with phosphorylation of AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK), a cellular energy sensor responding to low ATP levels, and dephosphorylation of downstream substrates of mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex (mTORC)-1 signaling. Pharmacological AMPK activation by AICAR decreased EtOH-induced reduction of ΔΨm and ATP in EPC2. Taken together, acute EtOH exposure leads to mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in esophageal keratinocytes, where the AMPK-mTORC1 axis may serve as a regulatory mechanism to activate autophagy to provide cytoprotection against EtOH-induced cell injury.
  6. Cells. 2020 Sep 23. pii: E2147. [Epub ahead of print]9(10):
      The Transmembrane Bax Inhibitor-1 motif (TMBIM)-containing protein family is evolutionarily conserved and has been implicated in cell death susceptibility. The only member with a mitochondrial localization is TMBIM5 (also known as GHITM or MICS1), which affects cristae organization and associates with the Parkinson's disease-associated protein CHCHD2 in the inner mitochondrial membrane. We here used CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knockout HAP1 cells to shed further light on the function of TMBIM5 in physiology and cell death susceptibility. We found that compared to wild type, TMBIM5-knockout cells were smaller and had a slower proliferation rate. In these cells, mitochondria were more fragmented with a vacuolar cristae structure. In addition, the mitochondrial membrane potential was reduced and respiration was attenuated, leading to a reduced mitochondrial ATP generation. TMBIM5 did not associate with Mic10 and Mic60, which are proteins of the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS), nor did TMBIM5 knockout affect their expression levels. TMBIM5-knockout cells were more sensitive to apoptosis elicited by staurosporine and BH3 mimetic inhibitors of Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL. An unbiased proteomic comparison identified a dramatic downregulation of proteins involved in the mitochondrial protein synthesis machinery in TMBIM5-knockout cells. We conclude that TMBIM5 is important to maintain the mitochondrial structure and function possibly through the control of mitochondrial biogenesis.
    Keywords:  TMBIM; cell death; cell survival; mitochondria; mitochondrial metabolism
  7. J Proteome Res. 2020 Sep 25.
      Mitochondrial respiration in mammalian cells not only generates ATP to meet their own energy needs but also couples with biosynthetic pathways to produce metabolites that can be exported to support neighboring cells. However, how defects in mitochondrial respiration influence these biosynthetic and exporting pathways remains poorly understood. Mitochondrial dysfunction in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells is an emerging contributor to the death of their neighboring photoreceptors in degenerative retinal diseases including age-related macular degeneration. In this study, we used targeted-metabolomics and 13C tracing to investigate how inhibition of mitochondrial respiration influences the intracellular and extracellular metabolome. We found inhibition of mitochondrial respiration strikingly influenced both the intracellular and extracellular metabolome in primary RPE cells. Intriguingly, the extracellular metabolic changes sensitively reflected the intracellular changes. These changes included substantially enhanced glucose consumption and lactate production; reduced release of pyruvate, citrate, and ketone bodies; and massive accumulation of multiple amino acids and nucleosides. In conclusion, these findings reveal a metabolic signature of nutrient consumption and release in mitochondrial dysfunction in RPE cells. Testing medium metabolites provides a sensitive and noninvasive method to assess mitochondrial function in nutrient utilization and transport.
    Keywords:  amino acids; glucose; ketone bodies; metabolism; metabolites; mitochondrial respiration; nucleotides; retinal pigment epithelium
  8. Redox Biol. 2020 Aug 07. pii: S2213-2317(20)30881-8. [Epub ahead of print]37 101676
      UCH-L1 is a deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB), highly abundant in neurons, with a sub-cellular localization dependent on its farnesylation state. Despite UCH-L1's association with familial Parkinson's Disease (PD), the effects on mitochondrial bioenergetics and quality control remain unexplored. Here we investigated the role of UCHL-1 in mitochondrial dynamics and bioenergetics. We demonstrate that knock-down (KD) of UCH-L1 in different cell lines reduces the levels of the mitochondrial fusion protein Mitofusin-2, but not Mitofusin-1, resulting in mitochondrial enlargement and disruption of the tubular network. This was associated with lower tethering between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum, consequently altering mitochondrial calcium uptake. Respiratory function was also altered, as UCH-L1 KD cells displayed higher proton leak and maximum respiratory capacity. Conversely, overexpression of UCH-L1 increased Mfn2 levels, an effect dramatically enhanced by the mutation of the farnesylation site (C220S), which drives UCH-L1 binding to membranes. These data indicate that the soluble cytosolic form of UCH-L1 regulates Mitofusin-2 levels and mitochondrial function. These effects are biologically conserved, since knock-down of the corresponding UCH-L1 ortholog in D. melanogaster reduces levels of the mitofusin ortholog Marf and also increases mitochondrial respiratory capacity. We thus show that Mfn-2 levels are directly affected by UCH-L1, demonstrating that the mitochondrial roles of DUBs go beyond controlling mitophagy rates.
    Keywords:  Deubiquitinase; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial function; Parkinson's disease
  9. Cell Metab. 2020 Sep 16. pii: S1550-4131(20)30483-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The nutritional source for catabolism in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is a fundamental question in metabolic physiology. Limited by data and mathematical analysis, controversy exists. Using isotope-labeling data in vivo across several experimental conditions, we construct multiple models of central carbon metabolism and develop methods based on metabolic flux analysis (MFA) to solve for the preferences of glucose, lactate, and other nutrients used in the TCA cycle. We show that in nearly all circumstances, glucose contributes more than lactate as a substrate to the TCA cycle. This conclusion is verified in different animal strains from different studies and different administrations of 13C glucose, and is extended to multiple tissue types. Thus, this quantitative analysis of organismal metabolism defines the relative contributions of nutrient fluxes in physiology, provides a resource for analysis of in vivo isotope tracing data, and concludes that glucose is the major nutrient used in mammals.
    Keywords:  TCA cycle; glucose metabolism; isotope tracing; lactate; liver metabolism; metabolic flux analysis; mitochondrial metabolism; multi-tissue modeling; parameter sensitivity analysis; quantitative biology; systems biology
  10. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Sep 22. pii: E2715. [Epub ahead of print]12(9):
      The interplay between glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) is central to maintain energy homeostasis. It remains to be determined whether there is a mechanism governing metabolic fluxes based on substrate availability in microenvironments. Here we show that menin is a key transcription factor regulating the expression of OXPHOS and glycolytic genes in cancer cells and primary tumors with poor prognosis. A group of menin-associated proteins (MAPs), including KMT2A, MED12, WAPL, and GATA3, is found to restrain menin's full function in this transcription regulation. shRNA knockdowns of menin and MAPs result in reduced ATP production with proportional alterations of cellular energy generated through glycolysis and OXPHOS. When shRNA knockdown cells are exposed to metabolic stress, the dual functionality can clearly be distinguished among these metabolic regulators. A MAP can negatively counteract the regulatory mode of menin for OXPHOS while the same protein positively influences glycolysis. A close-proximity interaction between menin and MAPs allows transcriptional regulation for metabolic adjustment. This coordinate regulation by menin and MAPs is necessary for cells to rapidly adapt to fluctuating microenvironments and to maintain essential metabolic functions.
    Keywords:  circulating tumor cells; glycolysis; menin; menin-associated proteins; oxidative phosphorylation
  11. Cell Metab. 2020 Sep 16. pii: S1550-4131(20)30479-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Like normal hematopoietic stem cells, leukemic stem cells depend on their bone marrow (BM) microenvironment for survival, but the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. We have studied the contribution of nestin+ BM mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) to MLL-AF9-driven acute myeloid leukemia (AML) development and chemoresistance in vivo. Unlike bulk stroma, nestin+ BMSC numbers are not reduced in AML, but their function changes to support AML cells, at the expense of non-mutated hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Nestin+ cell depletion delays leukemogenesis in primary AML mice and selectively decreases AML, but not normal, cells in chimeric mice. Nestin+ BMSCs support survival and chemotherapy relapse of AML through increased oxidative phosphorylation, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle activity, and glutathione (GSH)-mediated antioxidant defense. Therefore, AML cells co-opt energy sources and antioxidant defense mechanisms from BMSCs to survive chemotherapy.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS; TCA cycle; acute myeloid leukemia; antioxidant; bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; chemotherapy; glutathione; hematopoietic stem cell niche; metabolic adaptation; microenvironment
  12. Aging Cell. 2020 Sep 20. e13232
      Autophagy suppresses mitochondrial metabolism to preserve hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in mice. However, the mechanism by which autophagy regulates hematopoietic aging, in particular in humans, has largely been unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that reduction of autophagy in both hematopoietic cells and their stem cells is associated with aged hematopoiesis in human population. Mechanistically, autophagy delays hematopoietic aging by activating the downstream expression of Sirt3, a key mitochondrial protein capable of rejuvenating blood. Sirt3 is the most abundant Sirtuin family member in HSC-enriched population, though it declines as the capacity for autophagy deteriorates with aging. Activation of autophagy upregulates Sirt3 in wild-type mice, whereas in autophagy-defective mice, Sirt3 expression is crippled in the entire hematopoietic hierarchy, but forced expression of Sirt3 in HSC-enriched cells reduces oxidative stress and prevents accelerated hematopoietic aging from autophagy defect. Importantly, the upregulation of Sirt3 by manipulation of autophagy is validated in human HSC-enriched cells. Thus, our results identify an autophagy-Sirt3 axis in regulating hematopoietic aging and suggest a possible interventional solution to human blood rejuvenation via activation of the axis.
  13. Trends Cell Biol. 2020 Sep 22. pii: S0962-8924(20)30169-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that have essential metabolic and regulatory functions. Earlier studies using electron microscopy (EM) revealed an immense diversity in the architecture of cristae - infoldings of the mitochondrial inner membrane (IM) - in different cells, tissues, bioenergetic and metabolic conditions, and during apoptosis. However, cristae were considered to be largely static entities. Recently, advanced super-resolution techniques have revealed that cristae are independent bioenergetic units that are highly dynamic and remodel on a timescale of seconds. These advances, coupled with mechanistic and structural studies on key molecular players, such as the MICOS (mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system) complex and the dynamin-like GTPase OPA1, have changed our view on mitochondria in a fundamental way. We summarize these recent findings and discuss their functional implications.
    Keywords:  MICOS; OPA1; cristae dynamics; remodeling
  14. Nat Commun. 2020 Sep 25. 11(1): 4866
      Mitochondria house evolutionarily conserved pathways of carbon and nitrogen metabolism that drive cellular energy production. Mitochondrial bioenergetics is regulated by calcium uptake through the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), a multi-protein complex whose assembly in the inner mitochondrial membrane is facilitated by the scaffold factor MCUR1. Intriguingly, many fungi that lack MCU contain MCUR1 homologs, suggesting alternate functions. Herein, we characterize Saccharomyces cerevisiae homologs Put6 and Put7 of MCUR1 as regulators of mitochondrial proline metabolism. Put6 and Put7 are tethered to the inner mitochondrial membrane in a large hetero-oligomeric complex, whose abundance is regulated by proline. Loss of this complex perturbs mitochondrial proline homeostasis and cellular redox balance. Yeast cells lacking either Put6 or Put7 exhibit a pronounced defect in proline utilization, which can be corrected by the heterologous expression of human MCUR1. Our work uncovers an unexpected role of MCUR1 homologs in mitochondrial proline metabolism.
  15. Nat Commun. 2020 09 21. 11(1): 4748
    MC3 Working Group
      The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) curated consensus somatic mutation calls using whole exome sequencing (WES) and whole genome sequencing (WGS), respectively. Here, as part of the ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium, which aggregated whole genome sequencing data from 2,658 cancers across 38 tumour types, we compare WES and WGS side-by-side from 746 TCGA samples, finding that ~80% of mutations overlap in covered exonic regions. We estimate that low variant allele fraction (VAF < 15%) and clonal heterogeneity contribute up to 68% of private WGS mutations and 71% of private WES mutations. We observe that ~30% of private WGS mutations trace to mutations identified by a single variant caller in WES consensus efforts. WGS captures both ~50% more variation in exonic regions and un-observed mutations in loci with variable GC-content. Together, our analysis highlights technological divergences between two reproducible somatic variant detection efforts.
  16. Nat Commun. 2020 09 24. 11(1): 4837
      ATP synthesis and thermogenesis are two critical outputs of mitochondrial respiration. How these outputs are regulated to balance the cellular requirement for energy and heat is largely unknown. Here we show that major facilitator superfamily domain containing 7C (MFSD7C) uncouples mitochondrial respiration to switch ATP synthesis to thermogenesis in response to heme. When heme levels are low, MSFD7C promotes ATP synthesis by interacting with components of the electron transport chain (ETC) complexes III, IV, and V, and destabilizing sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 2b (SERCA2b). Upon heme binding to the N-terminal domain, MFSD7C dissociates from ETC components and SERCA2b, resulting in SERCA2b stabilization and thermogenesis. The heme-regulated switch between ATP synthesis and thermogenesis enables cells to match outputs of mitochondrial respiration to their metabolic state and nutrient supply, and represents a cell intrinsic mechanism to regulate mitochondrial energy metabolism.
  17. Hum Mol Genet. 2020 Sep 25. pii: ddaa214. [Epub ahead of print]
      Abnormalities of one carbon, glutathione and sulfide metabolisms have recently emerged as novel pathomechanisms in diseases with mitochondrial dysfunction. However, the mechanisms underlying these abnormalities are not clear. Also, we recently showed that sulfide oxidation is impaired in Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) deficiency. This finding leads us to hypothesize that the therapeutic effects of CoQ10, frequently administered to patients with primary or secondary mitochondrial dysfunction, might be due to its function as cofactor for sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase (SQOR), the first enzyme in the sulfide oxidation pathway. Here, using biased and unbiased approaches, we show that supraphysiological levels of CoQ10 induces an increase in the expression of SQOR in skin fibroblasts from control subjects and patients with mutations in Complex I subunits genes or CoQ biosynthetic genes. This increase of SQOR induces the downregulation of the cystathionine β-synthase and cystathionine γ-lyase, two enzymes of the transsulfuration pathway, the subsequent downregulation of serine biosynthesis and the adaptation of other sulfide linked pathways, such as folate cycle, nucleotides metabolism and glutathione system. These metabolic changes are independent of the presence of sulfur aminoacids, are confirmed in mouse models, and are recapitulated by overexpression of SQOR, further proving that the metabolic effects of CoQ10 supplementation are mediated by the overexpression of SQOR. Our results contribute to a better understanding of how sulfide metabolism is integrated in one carbon metabolism and may explain some of the benefits of CoQ10 supplementation observed in mitochondrial diseases.
  18. Sci Rep. 2020 Sep 25. 10(1): 15758
      The mitochondrial network of cardiac cells is finely tuned for ATP delivery to sites of energy demand; however, emergent phenomena, such as mitochondrial transmembrane potential oscillations or propagating waves of depolarization have been observed under metabolic stress. While regenerative signaling by reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced ROS release (RIRR) has been suggested as a potential trigger, it is unknown how it could lead to widespread responses. Here, we present a novel computational model of RIRR transmission that explains the mechanisms of this phenomenon. The results reveal that superoxide mediates neighbor-neighbor activation of energy-dissipating ion channels, while hydrogen peroxide distributes oxidative stress to sensitize the network to mitochondrial criticality. The findings demonstrate the feasibility of RIRR as a synchronizing factor across the dimensions of the adult heart cell and illustrate how a cascade of failures at the organellar level can scale to impact cell and organ level functions of the heart.
  19. Nat Metab. 2020 Sep 21.
      Following activation, conventional T (Tconv) cells undergo an mTOR-driven glycolytic switch. Regulatory T (Treg) cells reportedly repress the mTOR pathway and avoid glycolysis. However, here we demonstrate that human thymus-derived Treg (tTreg) cells can become glycolytic in response to tumour necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2) costimulation. This costimulus increases proliferation and induces a glycolytic switch in CD3-activated tTreg cells, but not in Tconv cells. Glycolysis in CD3-TNFR2-activated tTreg cells is driven by PI3-kinase-mTOR signalling and supports tTreg cell identity and suppressive function. In contrast to glycolytic Tconv cells, glycolytic tTreg cells do not show net lactate secretion and shuttle glucose-derived carbon into the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Ex vivo characterization of blood-derived TNFR2hiCD4+CD25hiCD127lo effector T cells, which were FOXP3+IKZF2+, revealed an increase in glucose consumption and intracellular lactate levels, thus identifying them as glycolytic tTreg cells. Our study links TNFR2 costimulation in human tTreg cells to metabolic remodelling, providing an additional avenue for drug targeting.
  20. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 22. pii: E6941. [Epub ahead of print]21(18):
      Heme oxygenase-1 is induced by many cellular stressors and catalyzes the breakdown of heme to generate carbon monoxide and bilirubin, which confer cytoprotection. The role of HO-1 likely extends beyond the simple production of antioxidants, for example HO-1 activity has also been implicated in metabolism, but this function remains unclear. Here we used an HO-1 knockout lung cell line to further define the contribution of HO-1 to cellular metabolism. We found that knockout cells exhibit reduced growth and mitochondrial respiration, measured by oxygen consumption rate. Specifically, we found that HO-1 contributed to electron transport chain activity and utilization of certain mitochondrial fuels. Loss of HO-1 had no effect on intracellular non-heme iron concentration or on proteins whose levels and activities depend on available iron. We show that HO-1 supports essential functions of mitochondria, which highlights the protective effects of HO-1 in diverse pathologies and tissue types. Our results suggest that regulation of heme may be an equally significant role of HO-1.
    Keywords:  heme; iron; metabolism; succinate dehydrogenase
  21. Biomolecules. 2020 Sep 20. pii: E1345. [Epub ahead of print]10(9):
      Chemicals inducing a mild decrease in the ATP/ADP ratio are considered as caloric restriction mimetics as well as treatments against obesity. Screening for such chemicals in animal model systems requires a lot of time and labor. Here, we present a system for the rapid screening of non-toxic substances causing such a de-energization of cells. We looked for chemicals allowing the growth of yeast lacking trehalose phosphate synthase on a non-fermentable carbon source in the presence of glucose. Under such conditions, the cells cannot grow because the cellular phosphate is mostly being used to phosphorylate the sugars in upper glycolysis, while the biosynthesis of bisphosphoglycerate is blocked. We reasoned that by decreasing the ATP/ADP ratio, one might prevent the phosphorylation of the sugars and also boost bisphosphoglycerate synthesis by providing the substrate, i.e., inorganic phosphate. We confirmed that a complete inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation alleviates the block. As our system includes a non-fermentable carbon source, only the chemicals that did not cause a complete block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis allowed the initial depletion of glucose followed by respiratory growth. Using this system, we found two novel compounds, dodecylmethyl diphenylamine (FS1) and diethyl (tetradecyl) phenyl ammonium bromide (Kor105), which possess a mild membrane-depolarizing activity.
    Keywords:  glycolysis; membrane potential; mitochondria; uncoupler; yeast
  22. EMBO Rep. 2020 Sep 23. e50635
      Nutrients are indispensable resources that provide the macromolecular building blocks and energy requirements for sustaining cell growth and survival. Cancer cells require several key nutrients to fulfill their changing metabolic needs as they progress through stages of development. Moreover, both cell-intrinsic and microenvironment-influenced factors determine nutrient dependencies throughout cancer progression-for which a comprehensive characterization remains incomplete. In addition to the widely studied role of genetic alterations driving cancer metabolism, nutrient use in cancer tissue may be affected by several factors including the following: (i) diet, the primary source of bodily nutrients which influences circulating metabolite levels; (ii) tissue of origin, which can influence the tumor's reliance on specific nutrients to support cell metabolism and growth; (iii) local microenvironment, which dictates the accessibility of nutrients to tumor cells; (iv) tumor heterogeneity, which promotes metabolic plasticity and adaptation to nutrient demands; and (v) functional demand, which intensifies metabolic reprogramming to fuel the phenotypic changes required for invasion, growth, or survival. Here, we discuss the influence of these factors on nutrient metabolism and dependence during various steps of tumor development and progression.
    Keywords:  cancer metabolism; diet; microenvironment; nutrients; tumor heterogeneity
  23. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2020 Sep 26.
      PURPOSE: HFpEF (heart failure with preserved ejection fraction) is a major consequence of diabetic cardiomyopathy with no effective treatments. Here, we have characterized Akita mice as a preclinical model of HFpEF and used it to confirm the therapeutic efficacy of the mitochondria-targeted dicarbonyl scavenger, MitoGamide.METHODS AND RESULTS: A longitudinal echocardiographic analysis confirmed that Akita mice develop diastolic dysfunction with reduced E peak velocity, E/A ratio and extended isovolumetric relaxation time (IVRT), while the systolic function remains comparable with wild-type mice. The myocardium of Akita mice had a decreased ATP/ADP ratio, elevated mitochondrial oxidative stress and increased organelle density, compared with that of wild-type mice. MitoGamide, a mitochondria-targeted 1,2-dicarbonyl scavenger, exhibited good stability in vivo, uptake into cells and mitochondria and reactivity with dicarbonyls. Treatment of Akita mice with MitoGamide for 12 weeks significantly improved the E/A ratio compared with the vehicle-treated group.
    CONCLUSION: Our work confirms that the Akita mouse model of diabetes replicates key clinical features of diabetic HFpEF, including cardiac and mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, in this independent study, MitoGamide treatment improved diastolic function in Akita mice.
    Keywords:  Advanced glycation endproducts (AGE); Akita mice; Diabetes; Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF); Mitochondria
  24. J Exp Biol. 2020 Sep 23. pii: jeb.233684. [Epub ahead of print]
      At fledging, juvenile king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) must overcome the tremendous energetic constraints imposed by their marine habitat, including during sustained extensive swimming activity and deep dives in cold seawater. Both endurance swimming and skeletal muscle thermogenesis require high mitochondrial respiratory capacity while the submerged part of dive cycles repeatedly and greatly reduce oxygen availability imposing a need for solutions to conserve oxygen. The aim of the present study was to determine in vitro whether skeletal muscle mitochondria become more "thermogenic" to sustain heat production or more "economical" to conserve oxygen in sea-acclimatized immature penguins as compared with terrestrial juveniles. Rates of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation were measured in permeabilized fibers and mitochondria from the pectoralis muscle. Mitochondrial ATP synthesis and coupling efficiency were measured in isolated muscle mitochondria. The mitochondrial activities of respiratory chain complexes and citrate synthase were also assessed. The results showed that respiration, ATP synthesis and respiratory chain complex activities in pectoralis muscles were increased by sea acclimatization. Further, muscle mitochondria were on average 30% to 45% more energy efficient in sea-acclimatized immatures than in pre-fledging juveniles, depending on the respiratory substrate used (pyruvate; palmitoyl-carnitine). Hence, sea acclimatization favors the development of economical management of oxygen, decreasing the oxygen needed to produce a given amount of ATP. This mitochondrial phenotype may improve dive performance during the early marine life of king penguins, by extending their aerobic dive limit.
    Keywords:  Bioenergetics; Marine birds; Mitochondria; Oxidative phosphorylation.
  25. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 1692
      Mitochondria as the cellular energy powerhouses provide a common site for multiple metabolic reactions in order to cover energy and biomolecule demands, thus integrating the diverse metabolic pathways to endow cells with metabolic adaptation. Mitochondrial plasticity is normally regulated by mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial metabolism and mitochondrial biogenesis. Given that tumor cells and T cells share the metabolic similarities of survival, proliferation, expansion as well as effector function, manipulation of mitochondrial plasticity would change the metabolic competition between "foe" and "friend" during tumor malignant progression. On the one hand, for "foe" tumor cells, mitochondrial plasticity provides the enhancement of tumor metastasis and the development of resistance to' diverse antitumor drugs. On the other hand, for "friend" T cells, mitochondrial plasticity promotes the generation of long-term memory T (TM) cells and alleviates the exhaustion of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Therefore, downregulation of mitochondrial plasticity of tumor cells through engineering tumor-targeting nanoparticles may effectively potentiate metabolic vulnerability and re-sensitize tumor to relevant therapeutic treatment. On the contrary, upregulation of mitochondrial plasticity of T cells through optimizing adoptive cellular immunotherapy (ACI) or chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy would provide T cells with the robust metabolic fitness and the persistent immune function, thus blocking tumor metastasis and reoccurrence.
    Keywords:  T cells exhaustion; memory T cells; mitochondrial plasticity; therapeutic resistance; tumor metastasis
  26. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2020 Sep 22.
      The mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), a high-conductance channel triggered by a sudden Ca2+ concentration increase, is composed of the F1 FO -ATPase. Since mPTP opening leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, which is a feature of many diseases, a great pharmacological challenge is to find mPTP modulators. In our study, the effects of two 1,5-disubstituted 1,2,3-triazole derivatives, five-membered heterocycles with three nitrogen atoms in the ring and capable of forming secondary interactions with proteins, were investigated. Compounds 3a and 3b were selected among a wide range of structurally related compounds because of their chemical properties and effectiveness in preliminary studies. In swine heart mitochondria, both compounds inhibit Ca2+ -activated F1 FO -ATPase without affecting F-ATPase activity sustained by the natural cofactor Mg2+ . The inhibition is mutually exclusive, probably because of their shared enzyme site, and uncompetitive with respect to the ATP substrate, since they only bind to the enzyme-ATP complex. Both compounds show the same inhibition constant (K'i ), but compound 3a has a doubled inactivation rate constant compared with compound 3b. Moreover, both compounds desensitize mPTP opening without altering mitochondrial respiration. The results strengthen the link between Ca2+ -activated F1 FO -ATPase and mPTP and suggest that these inhibitors can be pharmacologically exploited to counteract mPTP-related diseases.
    Keywords:  F1FO-ATPase; calcium; mitochondria; permeability transition pore; triazole derivatives
  27. Mol Ther. 2020 Sep 05. pii: S1525-0016(20)30464-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant internal modification in mRNA and this methylation constitutes an important regulatory mechanism for the stability and translational efficiency of mRNA. In this study, we found that the protein levels of adenylate kinase 4 (AK4) and m6A writer METTL3 are significantly higher in tamoxifen-resistant (TamR) MCF-7 cells than in parental cells. The TamR MCF-7 cells also exhibit increased methylation at multiple m6A consensus motif sites in the 5' untranslated region (5' UTR) of AK4 mRNA, and genetic depletion of METTL3 in TamR MCF-7 cells led to a diminished AK4 protein level and attenuated resistance to tamoxifen. In addition, we observed augmented levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and p38 activity in TamR MCF-7 cells, and both are diminished upon genetic depletion of AK4. Reciprocally, overexpression of AK4 in MCF-7 cells stimulates ROS and p38 phosphorylation levels, and it suppresses mitochondrial apoptosis. Moreover, scavenging of intracellular ROS leads to reduced p38 activity and re-sensitizes TamR MCF-7 cells to tamoxifen. Thus, our results uncover a novel m6A-mediated epitranscriptomic mechanism for the regulation of AK4, illustrate the cellular pathways through which increased AK4 expression contributes to tamoxifen resistance, and reveal AK4 as a potential therapeutic target for overcoming tamoxifen resistance.
  28. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 Sep 21. pii: mcp.RA120.002290. [Epub ahead of print]
      Specific E3 ligases target tumor suppressors for degradation. Inhibition of such E3 ligases may be an important approach to cancer treatment. RNF146 is a RING domain and PARylation-dependent E3 ligase that functions as an activator of the β-catenin/Wnt and YAP/Hippo pathways by targeting the degradation of several tumor suppressors. Tankyrases 1 and 2 (TNKS1/2) are the only known poly-ADP-ribosyltransferases that require RNF146 to degrade their substrates. However, systematic identification of RNF146 substrates have not yet been performed. To uncover substrates of RNF146 that are targeted for degradation, we generated RNF146 knockout cells and TNKS1/2-double knockout cells and performed proteome profiling with label-free quantification as well as transcriptome analysis. We identified 160 potential substrates of RNF146, which included many known substrates of RNF146 and TNKS1/2 and 122 potential TNKS-independent substrates of RNF146. In addition, we validated OTU domain-containing protein 5 and Protein mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase PARP10 as TNKS1/2-independent substrates of RNF146 and SARDH as a novel substrate of TNKS1/2 and RNF146. Our study is the first proteome-wide analysis of potential RNF146 substrates. Together, these findings not only demonstrate that proteome profiling can be a useful general approach for the systemic identification of substrates of E3 ligases but also reveal new substrates of RNF146, which provides a resource for further functional studies.
    Keywords:  Cancer Biology*; E3 ubiquitin ligase; Label-free quantification; Mass Spectrometry; Protein Degradation*; RNF146; Substrate identification; TNKS; Ubiquitin; Ubiquitinases
  29. Redox Biol. 2020 Sep 15. pii: S2213-2317(20)30930-7. [Epub ahead of print]37 101725
      Human MIA40, an intermembrane space (IMS) import receptor of mitochondria harbors twin CX9C motifs for stability while its CPC motif is known to facilitate the import of IMS bound proteins. Site-directed mutagenesis complemented by MALDI on in vivo hMIA40 protein shows that a portion of MIA40 undergoes reversible S-glutathionylation at three cysteines in the twin CX9C motifs and the lone cysteine 4 residue. We find that HEK293T cells expressing hMIA40 mutant defective for glutathionylation are compromised in the activities of complexes III and IV of the Electron Transport Chain (ETC) and enhance Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) levels. Immunocapture studies show MIA40 interacting with complex III. Interestingly, glutathionylated MIA40 can transfer electrons to cytochrome C directly. However, Fe-S clusters associated with the CPC motif are essential to facilitate the two-electron to one-electron transfer for reducing cytochrome C. These results suggest that hMIA40 undergoes glutathionylation to maintain ROS levels and for optimum function of complexes III and IV of ETC. Our studies shed light on a novel post-translational modification of hMIA40 and its ability to act as a redox switch to regulate the ETC and cellular redox homeostasis.
    Keywords:  Complex III and IV; Electron transport chain; Fe–S clusters; Glutathionylation; MIA40 (CHCHD4); Reactive oxygen species
  30. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2020 Sep 21. pii: canprevres.0368.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Germline mutations of TP53, which cause the cancer predisposition disorder Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), can increase mitochondrial activity as well as fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) in mice. Increased fatty acid metabolism can promote cancer malignancy, but its specific contribution to tumorigenesis in LFS remains unclear. To investigate this, we crossed LFS mice carrying the p53 R172H knockin mutation (p53172H/H, homolog of the human TP53 R175H LFS mutation) with Myoglobin knockout (MB-/-) mice known to have decreased FAO. MB-/- p53172H/H double mutant mice also showed mildly reduced FAO in thymus, a common site of T lymphoma development in LFS mice, in association with a ~40% improvement in cancer-free survival time. RNA-Seq profiling revealed that the p53 R172H mutation promotes mitochondrial metabolism and ribosome biogenesis, both of which are suppressed by the disruption of MB. The activation of ribosomal protein S6, involved in protein translation and implicated in cancer promotion, was also inhibited in the absence of MB. To further confirm the role of FAO in lymphomagenesis, mitochondrial FAO enzyme Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT2) was specifically disrupted in T cells of p53172H/H mice using a Cre-loxP-mediated strategy. The heterozygous knockout of CPT2 resulted in thymus FAO haploinsufficiency and a ~30% improvement in survival time, paralleling the anti-proliferative signaling observed with MB disruption. Thus, our current study demonstrates that moderating FAO in LFS can suppress tumorigenesis and improve cancer-free survival with potential implications for cancer prevention.
  31. Bioelectrochemistry. 2020 Sep 12. pii: S1567-5394(20)30515-6. [Epub ahead of print]137 107673
      Small molecules capable of uncoupling respiration and ATP synthesis in mitochondria are protective towards various cell malfunctions. Recently (2-fluorophenyl){6-[(2-fluorophenyl)amino](1,2,5-oxadiazolo[3,4-e]pyrazin-5-yl)}amine (BAM15), a new compound of this type, has become popular as a potent mitochondria-selective depolarizing agent producing minimal adverse effects. To validate protonophoric mechanism of BAM15 action, we examined its behavior in bilayer lipid membranes (BLM). BAM15 proved to be a typical anionic protonophore with the activity on planar membranes being suppressed upon decreasing membrane dipole potential. In both planar BLM and liposomes, BAM15 induced proton conductance with the potency close to that of the classical protonophoric uncoupler carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone (CCCP). In isolated rat liver mitochondria (RLM), BAM15 caused membrane potential collapse, increased respiration rate and induced Ca2+ efflux at concentrations slightly higher than those for CCCP. Surprisingly, the uncoupling action of BAM15 on isolated RLM, in contrast to that of CCCP, was partially reversed by carboxyatractyloside (CATR), an inhibitor of adenine nucleotide translocase, thereby indicating involvement of this protein in the BAM15-induced uncoupling. BAM15 inhibited growth of Bacillus subtilis at micromolar concentrations. In electrophysiological experiments on molluscan neurons, BAM15 caused plasma membrane depolarization and suppression of electrical activity, but the effect developed more slowly than that of CCCP.
    Keywords:  BAM15; Bilayer lipid membrane; Capillary electrophoresis; Dipole potential; Mitochondrial uncouplers; Neuronal electrical activity
  32. Life (Basel). 2020 Sep 22. pii: E215. [Epub ahead of print]10(9):
      With the advent of next generation sequencing, the list of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations identified in patients rapidly and continuously expands. They are frequently found in a limited number of cases, sometimes a single individual (as with the case herein reported) and in heterogeneous genetic backgrounds (heteroplasmy), which makes it difficult to conclude about their pathogenicity and functional consequences. As an organism amenable to mitochondrial DNA manipulation, able to survive by fermentation to loss-of-function mtDNA mutations, and where heteroplasmy is unstable, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an excellent model for investigating novel human mtDNA variants, in isolation and in a controlled genetic context. We herein report the identification of a novel variant in mitochondrial ATP6 gene, m.8909T>C. It was found in combination with the well-known pathogenic m.3243A>G mutation in mt-tRNALeu. We show that an equivalent of the m.8909T>C mutation compromises yeast adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) synthase assembly/stability and reduces the rate of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by 20-30% compared to wild type yeast. Other previously reported ATP6 mutations with a well-established pathogenicity (like m.8993T>C and m.9176T>C) were shown to have similar effects on yeast ATP synthase. It can be inferred that alone the m.8909T>C variant has the potential to compromise human health.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; C; MT-ATP6; m.8909T&gt; mitochondrial disease; nephropathy; oxidative phosphorylation
  33. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2020 Sep 23.
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletion mutations lead to electron transport chain-deficient cells and age-induced cell loss in multiple tissues and mammalian species. Accurate quantitation of somatic mtDNA deletion mutations could serve as an index of age-induced cell loss. Quantitation of mtDNA deletion molecules is confounded by their low abundance in tissue homogenates, the diversity of deletion breakpoints, stochastic accumulation in single cells, and mosaic distribution between cells.AIMS: Translate a pre-clinical assay to quantitate mtDNA deletions for use in human DNA samples, with technical and biological validation, and test this assay on human subjects of different ages.
    METHODS: We developed and validated a high-throughput droplet digital PCR assay that quantitates human mtDNA deletion frequency.
    RESULTS: Analysis of human quadriceps muscle samples from 14 male subjects demonstrated that mtDNA deletion frequency increases exponentially with age-on average, a 98-fold increase from age 20-80. Sequence analysis of amplification products confirmed the specificity of the assay for human mtDNA deletion breakpoints. Titration of synthetic mutation mixtures found a lower limit of detection of at least 0.6 parts per million. Using muscle DNA from 6-month-old mtDNA mutator mice, we measured a 6.4-fold increase in mtDNA deletion frequency (i.e., compared to wild-type mice), biologically validating the approach.
    DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: The exponential increase in mtDNA deletion frequency is concomitant with the known muscle fiber loss and accelerating mortality that occurs with age. The improved assay permits the accurate and sensitive quantification of deletion mutations from DNA samples and is sufficient to measure changes in mtDNA deletion mutation frequency in healthy individuals across the lifespan and, therefore, patients with suspected mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  Biomarker; Deletion; Mitochondria; MtDNA; Mutation; Sarcopenia
  34. Cancer Metab. 2020 ;8 19
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most malignant forms of cancer. Lack of effective treatment options and drug resistance contributes to the low survival among PDAC patients. In this study, we investigated the metabolic alterations in pancreatic cancer cells that do not respond to the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib. We selected erlotinib-resistant pancreatic cancer cells from MiaPaCa2 and AsPC1 cell lines. Metabolic profiling of erlotinib-resistant cells revealed a significant downregulation of glycolytic activity and reduced level of glycolytic metabolites compared to the sensitive cells. The resistant cells displayed elevated expression of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) enzymes involved in ROS regulation and nucleotide biosynthesis. The enhanced PPP elevated cellular NADPH/NADP+ ratio and protected the cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced damage. Inhibition of PPP using 6-aminonicotinamide (6AN) elevated ROS levels, induced G1 cell cycle arrest, and sensitized resistant cells to erlotinib. Genetic studies identified elevated PPP enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) as an important contributor to erlotinib resistance. Mechanistically, our data showed that upregulation of inhibitor of differentiation (ID1) regulates G6PD expression in resistant cells thus contributing to altered metabolic phenotype and reduced response to erlotinib. Together, our results highlight an underlying role of tumor metabolism in PDAC drug response and identify G6PD as a target to overcome drug resistance.
    Keywords:  Erlotinib resistance; Metabolic reprogramming; Pancreatic cancer
  35. Science. 2020 Sep 24. pii: eabc4209. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial complex I couples NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreduction to proton pumping by an unknown mechanism. Here we present cryo-EM structures of ovine complex I in five different conditions, including turnover, at resolutions up to 2.3-2.5 Å. Resolved water molecules allowed us to experimentally define the proton translocation pathways. Quinone binds at three positions along the quinone cavity, as does the inhibitor rotenone that also binds within subunit ND4. Dramatic conformational changes around the quinone cavity couple the redox reaction to proton translocation during "open" to "closed" state transitions of the enzyme. In the induced deactive state, the "open" conformation is arrested by the ND6 subunit. We propose a detailed molecular coupling mechanism of complex I, which is an unexpected combination of conformational changes and electrostatic interactions.
  36. Elife. 2020 Sep 22. pii: e56686. [Epub ahead of print]9
      Cooperation and cheating are widespread evolutionary strategies. While cheating confers an advantage to individual entities within a group, competition between groups favors cooperation. Selfish or cheater mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) proliferates within hosts while being selected against at the level of host fitness. How does environment shape cheater dynamics across different selection levels? Focusing on food availability, we address this question using heteroplasmic Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that the proliferation of selfish mtDNA within hosts depends on nutrient status stimulating mtDNA biogenesis in the developing germline. Interestingly, mtDNA biogenesis is not sufficient for this proliferation, which also requires the stress-response transcription factor FoxO/DAF-16. At the level of host fitness, FoxO/DAF-16 also prevents food scarcity from accelerating the selection against selfish mtDNA. This suggests that the ability to cope with nutrient stress can promote host tolerance of cheaters. Our study delineates environmental effects on selfish mtDNA dynamics at different levels of selection.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; cheating; evolutionary biology; genetics; genomics; heteroplasmy; metabolism; mitochondria; multilevel selection; nutrient availability
  37. EMBO Mol Med. 2020 Sep 24. e12619
      Leigh syndrome is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, most commonly observed in paediatric mitochondrial disease, and is often associated with pathogenic variants in complex I structural subunits or assembly factors resulting in isolated respiratory chain complex I deficiency. Clinical heterogeneity has been reported, but key diagnostic findings are developmental regression, elevated lactate and characteristic neuroimaging abnormalities. Here, we describe three affected children from two unrelated families who presented with Leigh syndrome due to homozygous variants (c.346_*7del and c.173A>T p.His58Leu) in NDUFC2, encoding a complex I subunit. Biochemical and functional investigation of subjects' fibroblasts confirmed a severe defect in complex I activity, subunit expression and assembly. Lentiviral transduction of subjects' fibroblasts with wild-type NDUFC2 cDNA increased complex I assembly supporting the association of the identified NDUFC2 variants with mitochondrial pathology. Complexome profiling confirmed a loss of NDUFC2 and defective complex I assembly, revealing aberrant assembly intermediates suggestive of stalled biogenesis of the complex I holoenzyme and indicating a crucial role for NDUFC2 in the assembly of the membrane arm of complex I, particularly the ND2 module.
    Keywords:  Leigh syndrome; NDUFC2; OXPHOS; complex I; mitochondrial disease
  38. Cancer Cell. 2020 Sep 14. pii: S1535-6108(20)30427-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      PIK3CA, encoding the PI3Kα isoform, is the most frequently mutated oncogene in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Isoform-selective PI3K inhibitors are used clinically but intrinsic and acquired resistance limits their utility. Improved selection of patients that will benefit from these drugs requires predictive biomarkers. We show here that persistent FOXM1 expression following drug treatment is a biomarker of resistance to PI3Kα inhibition in ER+ breast cancer. FOXM1 drives expression of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) but not hexokinase 2 (HK-II). The downstream metabolic changes can therefore be detected using MRI of LDH-catalyzed hyperpolarized 13C label exchange between pyruvate and lactate but not by positron emission tomography measurements of HK-II-mediated trapping of the glucose analog 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluorodeoxyglucose. Rapid assessment of treatment response in breast cancer using this imaging method could help identify patients that benefit from PI3Kα inhibition and design drug combinations to counteract the emergence of resistance.
    Keywords:  FDG-PET; FOXM1; MRI; PI3K alpha inhibition; biomarker; breast cancer; hexokinase 2; hyperpolarized [1-(13)C]pyruvate; lactate dehydrogenase; treatment response
  39. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020 ;7 463
      Background: Studies suggest that indomethacin (Indo) exhibits detrimental changes in the small intestine (microvascular disorder, villus shortening, and epithelial disruption), mainly due to mitochondrial uncoupling. The effects of Indo on colon and liver tissue are unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of Indo on mitochondrial respiration in colonic and hepatic tissue. Methods: Mitochondrial oxygen consumption was assessed in colon and liver homogenates from healthy rats. Homogenates were incubated without drug (control) or Indo (colon: 0.36, 1, 30, 179, 300, 1,000, 3,000 μM; liver: 0.36, 1, 3, 10, 30, 100, 179 μM; n = 6). State 2 (substrate-dependent) and state 3 (ADP-dependent respiration) were evaluated with respirometry. The respiratory control index (RCI) was derived and the ADP/O ratio was calculated. Statistics: Data presented as % of control, min/median/max, Kruskal-Wallis+Dunn's correction, * p < 0.05 vs. control. Results: Indo had no effect on RCI of colonic mitochondria. ADP/O ratio increased in complex I at concentrations of 1,000 and 3,000 μM (Indo 1,000 μM: 113.9/158.9/166.9%*; Indo 3,000 μM: 151.5/183.0/361.5%*) and in complex II at concentrations of 179 and 3,000 μM vs. control (179 μM: 111.3/73.1/74.9%*; 3,000 μM: 132.4/175.0/339.4%*). In hepatic mitochondria RCI decreased at 179 μM for both complexes vs. control (complex I: 25.6/40.7/62.9%*, complex II: 57.0/73.1/74.9%*). The ADP/O ratio was only altered in complex I at a concentration of 179 μM Indo vs. control (Indo 179 μM: 589.9/993.7/1195.0 %*). Conclusion: Indo affected parameters of mitochondrial function in an organ-specific and concentration-dependent manner. In colonic tissue, RCI remained unaltered whereas the ADP/O ratio increased. Indo at the highest concentration decreased the RCI for both complexes in hepatic mitochondria. The large increase in ADP/O ratio in complex I at the highest concentration likely reflects terminal uncoupling.
    Keywords:  adverse event; colon; indomethacin; liver; mitochondrial function
  40. Nat Commun. 2020 Sep 25. 11(1): 4861
      Advanced tumours are often heterogeneous, consisting of subclones with various genetic alterations and functional roles. The precise molecular features that characterize the contributions of multiscale intratumour heterogeneity to malignant progression, metastasis, and poor survival are largely unknown. Here, we address these challenges in breast cancer by defining the landscape of heterogeneous tumour subclones and their biological functions using radiogenomic signatures. Molecular heterogeneity is identified by a fully unsupervised deconvolution of gene expression data. Relative prevalence of two subclones associated with cell cycle and primary immunodeficiency pathways identifies patients with significantly different survival outcomes. Radiogenomic signatures of imaging scale heterogeneity are extracted and used to classify patients into groups with distinct subclone compositions. Prognostic value is confirmed by survival analysis accounting for clinical variables. These findings provide insight into how a radiogenomic analysis can identify the biological activities of specific subclones that predict prognosis in a noninvasive and clinically relevant manner.
  41. J Biol Chem. 2020 Sep 25. pii: jbc.RA120.013987. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with a variety of human diseases including neurodegeneration, diabetes, non-alcohol fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cancer, but its underlying causes are incompletely understood. Using the human hepatic cell line HepG2 as a model, we show here that endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD), an ER protein quality control process, is critically required for mitochondrial function in mammalian cells. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic ablation of key proteins involved in ERAD increased cell death under both basal conditions and in response to proinflammatory cytokines, a situation frequently found in NAFLD. Decreased viability of ERAD-deficient HepG2 cells was traced to impaired mitochondrial functions including reduced ATP production, enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and increased mitochondrial outer membrane permeability (MOMP). Transcriptome profiling revealed widespread down-regulation of genes underpinning mitochondrial functions, and up-regulation of genes associated with tumor growth and aggression. These results highlight a critical role for ERAD in maintaining mitochondrial functional and structural integrity and raise the possibility of improving cellular and organismal mitochondrial function via enhancing cellular ERAD capacity.
    Keywords:  endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress); endoplasmic-reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD); liver; mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT)
  42. Nutr Cancer. 2020 Sep 21. 1-8
      Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is considered the most malignant form of primary brain tumor. Despite multimodal treatment, prognosis remains poor. Ketogenic diet (KD) has been suggested for the treatment of GBM. In this study, the syngenic, orthotopic GL261 mouse glioma model was used to evaluate the effects of KD on the metabolic responses of the tumor using 7T magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy. GL261 cells were injected into the caudate nucleus of mice. Following implantation, animals were fed with standard chow or underwent a KD. 18 days after initiating the diet, mice fed with KD displayed significantly higher plasmatic levels of ketone bodies and survived longer than those fed with the standard diet. Decreased concentrations of gamma-aminobutyric acid, N-Acetyl-Aspartate and N-acetylaspartylglutamate were found in tumor tissue after 9 days into the KD, while a huge increase in beta-hydroxybutyrate (bHB) was detected in tumor tissue as compared to normal brain. The accumulation of bHB in the tumor tissue in mice undergoing the KD, may suggest either elevated uptake/release of bHB by tumor cells, or the inability of tumor cells in this context to use it for mitochondrial metabolism.
  43. Cancer Cell. 2020 Sep 15. pii: S1535-6108(20)30426-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Oncogenic transformation alters lipid metabolism to sustain tumor growth. We define a mechanism by which cholesterol metabolism controls the development and differentiation of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Disruption of distal cholesterol biosynthesis by conditional inactivation of the rate-limiting enzyme Nsdhl or treatment with cholesterol-lowering statins switches glandular pancreatic carcinomas to a basal (mesenchymal) phenotype in mouse models driven by KrasG12D expression and homozygous Trp53 loss. Consistently, PDACs in patients receiving statins show enhanced mesenchymal features. Mechanistically, statins and NSDHL loss induce SREBP1 activation, which promotes the expression of Tgfb1, enabling epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Evidence from patient samples in this study suggests that activation of transforming growth factor β signaling and epithelial-mesenchymal transition by cholesterol-lowering statins may promote the basal type of PDAC, conferring poor outcomes in patients.
    Keywords:  TGF-β signaling; cholesterol metabolism; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; pancreatic cancer
  44. Front Immunol. 2020 ;11 1906
      T cell exhaustion is an obstacle to immunotherapy for solid tumors. An understanding of the mechanism by which T cells develop this phenotype in solid tumors is needed. Here, hypoxia, a feature of the tumor microenvironment, causes T cell exhaustion (TExh) by inducing a mitochondrial defect. Upon exposure to hypoxia, activated T cells with a TExh phenotype are characterized by mitochondrial fragmentation, decreased ATP production, and decreased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation activity. The TExh phenotype is correlated with the downregulation of the mitochondrial fusion protein mitofusin 1 (MFN1) and upregulation of miR-24. Overexpression of miR-24 alters the transcription of many metabolism-related genes including its target genes MYC and fibroblast growth factor 11 (FGF11). Downregulation of MYC and FGF11 induces TExh differentiation, reduced ATP production and a loss of the mitochondrial mass in T cell receptor (TCR)-stimulated T cells. In addition, we determined that MYC regulates the transcription of FGF11 and MFN1. In nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) tissues, the T cells exhibit an increased frequency of exhaustion and loss of mitochondrial mass. In addition, inhibition of miR-24 signaling decreases NPC xenograft growth in nude mice. Our findings reveal a mechanism for T cell exhaustion in the tumor environment and provide potential strategies that target mitochondrial metabolism for cancer immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  MYC; T cell exhaustion; miR-24; mitochondrial dynamics; nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  45. J Hematol Oncol. 2020 Sep 25. 13(1): 128
      BACKGROUND: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a fatal hematopoietic malignancy and has a prognosis that varies with its genetic complexity. However, there has been no appropriate integrative analysis on the hierarchy of different AML subtypes.METHODS: Using Microwell-seq, a high-throughput single-cell mRNA sequencing platform, we analyzed the cellular hierarchy of bone marrow samples from 40 patients and 3 healthy donors. We also used single-cell single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing to investigate the clonal heterogeneity of AML cells.
    RESULTS: From the integrative analysis of 191727 AML cells, we established a single-cell AML landscape and identified an AML progenitor cell cluster with novel AML markers. Patients with ribosomal protein high progenitor cells had a low remission rate. We deduced two types of AML with diverse clinical outcomes. We traced mitochondrial mutations in the AML landscape by combining Microwell-seq with SMRT sequencing. We propose the existence of a phenotypic "cancer attractor" that might help to define a common phenotype for AML progenitor cells. Finally, we explored the potential drug targets by making comparisons between the AML landscape and the Human Cell Landscape.
    CONCLUSIONS: We identified a key AML progenitor cell cluster. A high ribosomal protein gene level indicates the poor prognosis. We deduced two types of AML and explored the potential drug targets. Our results suggest the existence of a cancer attractor.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia; Cancer attractor; Microwell-seq; Ribosomal protein; Single-cell mRNA sequencing; Single-molecule real-time sequencing
  46. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Sep 24. 1-16
      Mammalian mitochondria contain multiple copies of a circular, double-stranded DNA genome (mtDNA) that codes for subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation machinery. Mutations in mtDNA cause a number of rare, human disorders and are also associated with more common conditions, such as neurodegeneration and biological aging. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of mtDNA replication in mammalian cells and how this process is regulated. We also discuss how deletions can be formed during mtDNA replication.
    Keywords:  DNA helicase; DNA polymerase; DNA replication; Mitochondrion; deletion
  47. Free Radic Biol Med. 2020 Sep 16. pii: S0891-5849(20)31254-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Hyperglycemia associated with Diabetes Mellitus type 1 (DM1) comorbidity may cause severe complications in several tissues that lead to premature death. These dysfunctions are related, among others, to redox imbalances caused by the uncontrolled cellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Brain is potentially prone to develop diabetes complications because of its great susceptibility to oxidative stress. In addition to antioxidant enzymes, mitochondria-coupled hexokinase (mt-HK) plays an essential role in maintaining high flux of oxygen and glucose to control the mitochondrial membrane and redox potential in brain. This redox control is critical for healthy conditions in brain and in the pathophysiological progression of DM1. The mitochondrial and mt-HK contribution in this process is essential to understand the relationship between DM1 complications and the management of the cellular redox balance. Using a rat model of one month of hyperglycemia induced by a single administration intraperitoneally of streptozotocin, we showed in the present work that, in rat brain mitochondria, there is a specifically reduction of the mitochondrial complex I (CI) activity and an increase in the activity of the antioxidant enzyme thioredoxin reductase, which are related to decreased hydrogen peroxide generation, oxygen consumption and mt-HK coupled-to-OxPhos activity via mitochondrial CI. Surprisingly, DM1 increases respiratory parameters and mt-HK activity via mitochondrial complex II (CII). This way, for the first time, we provide evidence that early progression of hyperglycemia, in brain tissue, changes the coupling of glucose phosphorylation at the level of mitochondria by rearranging the oxidative machinery of brain mitochondria towards CII dependent electron harvest. In addition, DM1 increased the production of H2O2 by α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase without causing oxidative stress. Finally, DM1 increased the oxidation status of PTEN and decreased the activation of NF-kB in DM1. These results indicate that this reorganization of glucose-oxygen-ROS axis in mitochondria may impact turnover of glucose, brain amino acids, redox and inflammatory signaling. In addition, this reorganization may be involved in early protection mechanisms against the development of cognitive degeneration and neurodegenerative disease, widely associated to mitochondrial CI deficits.
    Keywords:  Diabetes Mellitus type 1; NF-kB; PTEN; mitochondrial ROS; mitochondrial brain metabolism; mitochondrial hexokinase; redox signaling
  48. Nature. 2020 Sep 23.
      The genetic circuits that allow cancer cells to evade destruction by the host immune system remain poorly understood1-3. Here, to identify a phenotypically robust core set of genes and pathways that enable cancer cells to evade killing mediated by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), we performed genome-wide CRISPR screens across a panel of genetically diverse mouse cancer cell lines that were cultured in the presence of CTLs. We identify a core set of 182 genes across these mouse cancer models, the individual perturbation of which increases either the sensitivity or the resistance of cancer cells to CTL-mediated toxicity. Systematic exploration of our dataset using genetic co-similarity reveals the hierarchical and coordinated manner in which genes and pathways act in cancer cells to orchestrate their evasion of CTLs, and shows that discrete functional modules that control the interferon response and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-induced cytotoxicity are dominant sub-phenotypes. Our data establish a central role for genes that were previously identified as negative regulators of the type-II interferon response (for example, Ptpn2, Socs1 and Adar1) in mediating CTL evasion, and show that the lipid-droplet-related gene Fitm2 is required for maintaining cell fitness after exposure to interferon-γ (IFNγ). In addition, we identify the autophagy pathway as a conserved mediator of the evasion of CTLs by cancer cells, and show that this pathway is required to resist cytotoxicity induced by the cytokines IFNγ and TNF. Through the mapping of cytokine- and CTL-based genetic interactions, together with in vivo CRISPR screens, we show how the pleiotropic effects of autophagy control cancer-cell-intrinsic evasion of killing by CTLs and we highlight the importance of these effects within the tumour microenvironment. Collectively, these data expand our knowledge of the genetic circuits that are involved in the evasion of the immune system by cancer cells, and highlight genetic interactions that contribute to phenotypes associated with escape from killing by CTLs.
  49. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2020 Sep 21.
      Hedgehog plays an important role in a wide range of physiological and pathological conditions. Paracrine activation of Hedgehog pathway in stromal cells increases the expression of VEGF, which promotes neovascularization in colorectal cancer and ultimately the growth of colorectal cancer. Berberine (BBR) has anticancer activity. In this study we investigated whether BBR inhibited the growth of colon cancer through suppressing the paracrine sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling in vitro and in vivo. We showed that BBR (1-10 μM) dose-dependently inhibited the secretion and expression of SHH protein in HT-29 and SW480 cells. BBR did not influence the transcription of SHH, but promoted the degradation of SHH mRNA, thus decreased the SHH mRNA expression in the colorectal cancer cells. In nude mice bearing HT-29 xenograft, oral administration of BBR (100 mg · kg-1 · d-1) or a positive control drug GDC-0449 (100 mg · kg-1 · d-1) for 4 weeks markedly suppressed the growth of HT-29 tumor with BBR exhibiting a better antitumor efficacy. The tumor growth inhibition caused by BBR or GDC-0449 was comparable to their respective inhibitory effect on the mouse-specific Gli mRNA expression in the tumor. However, BBR (20 μM) did not affect the expression of human transcription factor Gli1 mRNA in HT-29 and SW480 cells. In conclusion, BBR promotes the degradation of SHH mRNA in colorectal cancer cells, interrupting the paracrine Hedgehog signaling pathway activity thus suppresses the colorectal cancer growth. This study reveals a novel molecular mechanism underlying the anticancer action of BBR.
    Keywords:  BAY11-7082; GDC-0449; Hedgehog; Robotnikinin; actinomycin D; berberine; colorectal cancer; sonic hedgehog (SHH); tumor
  50. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 1561
      To adjust cell growth and proliferation to changing environmental conditions or developmental requirements, cells have evolved a remarkable network of signaling cascades that integrates cues from cellular metabolism, growth factor availability and a large variety of stresses. In these networks, cellular information flow is mostly mediated by posttranslational modifications, most notably phosphorylation, or signaling molecules such as GTPases. Yet, a large body of evidence also implicates cytosolic pH (pHc) as a highly conserved cellular signal driving cell growth and proliferation, suggesting that pH-dependent protonation of specific proteins also regulates cellular signaling. In mammalian cells, pHc is regulated by growth factor derived signals and responds to metabolic cues in response to glucose stimulation. Importantly, high pHc has also been identified as a hall mark of cancer, but mechanisms of pH regulation in cancer are only poorly understood. Here, we discuss potential mechanisms of pH regulation with emphasis on metabolic signals regulating pHc by Na+/H+-exchangers. We hypothesize that elevated NHE activity and pHc in cancer are a direct consequence of the metabolic adaptations in tumor cells including enhanced aerobic glycolysis, generally referred to as the Warburg effect. This hypothesis not only provides an explanation for the growth advantage conferred by a switch to aerobic glycolysis beyond providing precursors for accumulation of biomass, but also suggests that treatments targeting pH regulation as a potential anti-cancer therapy may effectively target the result of altered tumor cell metabolism.
    Keywords:  Na+/H+-exchanger; aerobic glycolysis; cytosolic pH; growth and proliferation; metabolism
  51. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 18. pii: E6851. [Epub ahead of print]21(18):
      Reprogramming of cellular energy metabolism, such as lipid metabolism, is a hallmark of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). However, whether protein expression related to fatty acid oxidation (FAO) affects survival in SCCHN remains unclear. We aimed to investigate FAO-related enzyme expression and determine its correlation with clinicopathological variables in SCCHN patients. Immunohistochemical analysis (IHC) of FAO-related protein expression, including carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), the acyl-CoA dehydrogenase family, and fatty acid synthase (FAS), was performed using tissue microarrays from 102 resected SCCHN tumors. Expressions were categorized according to IHC scores, and the statistical association with clinicopathological factors was determined. Moderate-to-high expression of long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCAD) had a protective role against cancer-related death (adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 0.2; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.05-0.87) after covariate adjustment. Age and clinical stage remained independent predictors of survival (adjusted HR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.22-2.49 for age; adjusted HR, 14.33; 95% CI, 1.89-108.60 for stage III/IV disease). Overexpression of medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase and FAS correlated with advanced tumor stage (T3/T4); however, none of these factors were independent predictors of survival. Several FAO-related enzymes were upregulated and LCAD overexpression had a protective effect on overall survival in advanced SCCHN patients. FAO-related-enzyme expression might have a prognostic impact on survival outcomes in SCCHN.
    Keywords:  fatty acid metabolism; head and neck; long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase; squamous cell carcinoma