bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2020‒11‒01
forty-three papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Front Pharmacol. 2020 ;11 568459
      High recurrence rates and poor survival of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) after treatment make ongoing research on chemoprevention drugs for ESCC particularly important. In this study, we screened a large number of FDA-approved drugs and found levodopa, a drug used to treat Parkinson's disease, had an inhibitory effect on the growth of ESCC cells. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved, we applied quantitative proteomics to investigate the anti-tumor activity of levodopa on ESCC. The results suggest that levodopa could down-regulate oxidative phosphorylation, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and Parkinson's disease pathways. Major mitochondrial respiratory compounds were involved in the pathways, including succinate dehydrogenase subunit D, NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase Fe-S protein 4, and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 3. Down-regulation of these proteins was associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Western blotting and immunofluorescence results confirmed the proteomics findings. Cell viability assays indicated mitochondrial activity was suppressed after levodopa treatment. Reduced mitochondrial membrane potential was detected using JC-1 staining and TMRE assays. Transmission electron microscopy revealed changes in the morphology of mitochondria. Taken together, these results indicate that levodopa inhibited the growth of ESCC through restraining mitochondria function.
    Keywords:  esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; levodopa; mitochondria; proteomic; succinate dehydrogenase subunit D
  2. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2020 Oct 28.
      Mitochondria play key roles in the differentiation and maturation of human cardiomyocytes (CMs). As human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) hold potential in the treatment of heart diseases, we sought to identify key mitochondrial pathways and regulators, which may provide targets for improving cardiac differentiation and maturation. Proteomic analysis was performed on enriched mitochondrial protein extracts isolated from hiPSC-CMs differentiated from dermal fibroblasts (dFCM) and cardiac fibroblasts (cFCM) at time points between 12 and 115 days of differentiation, and from adult and neonatal mouse hearts. Mitochondrial proteins with a 2-fold change at time points up to 120 days relative to 12 days were subjected to Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). The highest upregulation was in metabolic pathways for fatty acid oxidation (FAO), the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and branched chain amino acid (BCAA) degradation. The top upstream regulators predicted to be activated were peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC1-α), the insulin receptor (IR) and the retinoblastoma protein (Rb1) transcriptional repressor. IPA and immunoblotting showed upregulation of the mitochondrial LonP1 protease - a regulator of mitochondrial proteostasis, energetics and metabolism. LonP1 knockdown increased FAO in neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes (nRVMs). Our results support the notion that LonP1 upregulation negatively regulates FAO in cardiomyocytes to calibrate the flux between glucose and fatty acid oxidation. We discuss potential mechanisms by which IR, Rb1 and LonP1 regulate the metabolic shift from glycolysis to OXPHOS and FAO. These newly identified factors and pathways may help in optimizing the maturation of iPSC-CMs.
    Keywords:  LonP; cardiomyocyte; mitochondria; pluripotent stem cell; proteomics
  3. Nat Metab. 2020 Oct 26.
      The myocardium is metabolically flexible; however, impaired flexibility is associated with cardiac dysfunction in conditions including diabetes and heart failure. The mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) complex, composed of MPC1 and MPC2, is required for pyruvate import into the mitochondria. Here we show that MPC1 and MPC2 expression is downregulated in failing human and mouse hearts. Mice with cardiac-specific deletion of Mpc2 (CS-MPC2-/-) exhibited normal cardiac size and function at 6 weeks old, but progressively developed cardiac dilation and contractile dysfunction, which was completely reversed by a high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. Diets with higher fat content, but enough carbohydrate to limit ketosis, also improved heart failure, while direct ketone body provisioning provided only minor improvements in cardiac remodelling in CS-MPC2-/- mice. An acute fast also improved cardiac remodelling. Together, our results reveal a critical role for mitochondrial pyruvate use in cardiac function, and highlight the potential of dietary interventions to enhance cardiac fat metabolism to prevent or reverse cardiac dysfunction and remodelling in the setting of MPC deficiency.
  4. Aging Cell. 2020 Oct 26. e13266
      Calorie restriction (CR), an age delaying diet, affects fat oxidation through poorly understood mechanisms. We investigated the effect of CR on fat metabolism gene expression and intermediate metabolites of fatty acid oxidation in the liver. We found that CR changed the liver acylcarnitine profile: acetylcarnitine, short-chain acylcarnitines, and long-chain 3-hydroxy-acylcarnitines increased, and several long-chain acylcarnitines decreased. Acetyl-CoA and short-chain acyl-CoAs were also increased in CR. CR did not affect the expression of CPT1 and upregulated the expression of long-chain and very-long-chain Acyl-CoA dehydrogenases (LCAD and VLCAD, respectively). The expression of downstream enzymes such as mitochondrial trifunctional protein and enzymes in medium- and short-chain acyl-CoAs oxidation was not affected in CR. CR shifted the balance of fatty acid oxidation enzymes and fatty acid metabolites in the liver. Acetyl-CoA generated through beta-oxidation can be used for ketogenesis or energy production. In agreement, blood ketone bodies increased under CR in a time of the day-dependent manner. Carnitine acetyltransferase (CrAT) is a bidirectional enzyme that interconverts short-chain acyl-CoAs and their corresponding acylcarnitines. CrAT expression was induced in CR liver supporting the increased acetylcarnitine and short-chain acylcarnitine production. Acetylcarnitine can freely travel between cellular sub-compartments. Supporting this CR increased protein acetylation in the mitochondria, cytoplasm, and nucleus. We hypothesize that changes in acyl-CoA and acylcarnitine levels help to control energy metabolism and contribute to metabolic flexibility under CR.
  5. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Oct 26. pii: E7941. [Epub ahead of print]21(21):
      Mitochondria are essential cellular organelles, controlling multiple signalling pathways critical for cell survival and cell death. Increasing evidence suggests that mitochondrial metabolism and functions are indispensable in tumorigenesis and cancer progression, rendering mitochondria and mitochondrial functions as plausible targets for anti-cancer therapeutics. In this review, we summarised the major strategies of selective targeting of mitochondria and their functions to combat cancer, including targeting mitochondrial metabolism, the electron transport chain and tricarboxylic acid cycle, mitochondrial redox signalling pathways, and ROS homeostasis. We highlight that delivering anti-cancer drugs into mitochondria exhibits enormous potential for future cancer therapeutic strategies, with a great advantage of potentially overcoming drug resistance. Mitocans, exemplified by mitochondrially targeted vitamin E succinate and tamoxifen (MitoTam), selectively target cancer cell mitochondria and efficiently kill multiple types of cancer cells by disrupting mitochondrial function, with MitoTam currently undergoing a clinical trial.
    Keywords:  anti-cancer strategy; drug delivery; mitocans; mitochondrial targeting
  6. Front Physiol. 2020 ;11 554904
      Recently, the role of mitochondrial activity in high-energy demand organs and in the orchestration of whole-body metabolism has received renewed attention. In mitochondria, pyruvate oxidation, ensured by efficient mitochondrial pyruvate entry and matrix dehydrogenases activity, generates acetyl CoA that enters the TCA cycle. TCA cycle activity, in turn, provides reducing equivalents and electrons that feed the electron transport chain eventually producing ATP. Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake plays an essential role in the control of aerobic metabolism. Mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation stimulates aerobic metabolism by inducing the activity of three TCA cycle dehydrogenases. In detail, matrix Ca2+ indirectly modulates pyruvate dehydrogenase via pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase 1, and directly activates isocitrate and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenases. Here, we will discuss the contribution of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake to the metabolic homeostasis of organs involved in systemic metabolism, including liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue. We will also tackle the role of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in the heart, a high-energy consuming organ whose function strictly depends on appropriate Ca2+ signaling.
    Keywords:  aerobic metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU); mitochondrial calcium uptake; systemic metabolism
  7. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 575854
      Self-sustained cell proliferation constitutes one hallmark of cancer enabled by aerobic glycolysis which is characterized by imbalanced glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) activity, named the Warburg effect. The C1q binding protein (C1QBP; gC1qR) is pivotal for mitochondrial protein translation and thus OXPHOS activity. Due to its fundamental role in balancing OXPHOS and glycolysis, c1qbp -/- mice display embryonic lethality, while gC1qR is excessively up-regulated in cancer. Although gC1qR encompasses an N-terminal mitochondrial leader it is also located in other cellular compartments. Hence, we aimed to investigate mechanisms regulating gC1qR cellular localization and its impact on tumor cell metabolism. We identified two caspase-1 cleavage sites in human gC1qR. GC1qR cleavage by active caspase-1 was unraveled as a cellular mechanism that prevents mitochondrial gC1qR import, thereby enabling aerobic glycolysis and enhanced cell proliferation. Ex vivo, tumor grading correlated with non-mitochondrial-located gC1qR as well as with caspase-1 activation in colorectal carcinoma patients. Together, active caspase-1 cleaves gC1qR and boosts aerobic glycolysis in tumor cells.
    Keywords:  C1qbp; OXPHOS; aerobic glycolysis; caspase-1; gC1qR; inflammasome; mitochondria; p32/HABP1
  8. iScience. 2020 Oct 23. 23(10): 101638
      Transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and its main negative regulator, Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1), are at the interface between redox and intermediary metabolism, allowing adaptation and survival under conditions of oxidative, inflammatory, and metabolic stress. Nrf2 is the principal determinant of redox homeostasis, and contributes to mitochondrial function and integrity and cellular bioenergetics. Using proteomics and lipidomics, we show that genetic downregulation of Keap1 in mice, and the consequent Nrf2 activation to pharmacologically relevant levels, leads to upregulation of carboxylesterase 1 (Ces1) and acyl-CoA oxidase 2 (Acox2), decreases triglyceride levels, and alters the lipidome. This is accompanied by downregulation of hepatic ATP-citrate lyase (Acly) and decreased levels of acetyl-CoA, a trigger for autophagy. These findings suggest that downregulation of Keap1 confers features of a fasted metabolic state, which is an important consideration in the drug development of Keap1-targeting pharmacologic Nrf2 activators.
    Keywords:  Human Metabolism; Molecular Biology; Omics
  9. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2020 Oct 29.
      SIGNIFICANCE: Cardiovascular stem cells are important for regeneration and repair of damaged tissue. Recent Advances: Pluripotent stem cells have a unique metabolism, which is adopted to their energetic and biosynthetic demand as rapidly proliferating cells. Stem cell differentiation requires an exceptional metabolic flexibility allowing for metabolic remodeling between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation.CRITICAL ISSUES: Respiration is associated with the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by the mitochondrial respiratory chain. But also the membrane-bound protein nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NADPH oxidase, NOX) contributes to ROS levels. ROS plays a significant role in stem cell differentiation and tissue renewal but also cause senescence and contribute to tissue aging.
    FUTURE DIRECTIONS: For utilization of stem cells in therapeutic approaches, a deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms how metabolism and the cellular redox state regulates stem cell differentiation is required. Modulating the redox state of stem cells using antioxidative agents may be suitable to enhance activity of endothelial progenitor cells.
  10. J Biol Chem. 2020 Oct 27. pii: jbc.RA120.015238. [Epub ahead of print]
      Oxygen regulates hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) transcription factors to control cell metabolism, erythrogenesis, and angiogenesis. While much has been elucidated about how oxygen regulates HIF, whether lipids affect HIF activity is unknown. Here, using cultured cells and two animal models, we demonstrate that lipoprotein-derived fatty acids are an independent regulator of HIF. Decreasing extracellular lipid supply inhibited HIF prolyl hydroxylation, leading to accumulation of the HIFα subunit of these heterodimeric transcription factors comparable to hypoxia with activation of downstream target genes. Addition of fatty acids to culture media suppressed this signal, which required an intact mitochondrial respiratory chain. Mechanistically, fatty acids and oxygen are distinct signals integrated to control HIF activity. Finally, we observed lipid signaling to HIF and changes in target gene expression in developing zebrafish and adult fluorescent reporter mice, and this pathway operates in cancer cells from a range of tissues. This study identifies fatty acids as a physiological modulator of HIF, defining a mechanism for lipoprotein regulation that functions in parallel to oxygen.
    Keywords:  fatty acid; hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF); lipoprotein; low-density lipoprotein (LDL); lysosomal acid lipase; mitochondria
  11. FEBS Lett. 2020 Oct 28.
      Barth Syndrome (BTHS) is a rare X-linked genetic disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding the transacylase tafazzin and characterized by loss of cardiolipin and severe cardiomyopathy. Mitochondrial oxidants have been implicated in the cardiomyopathy in BTHS. Eleven mitochondrial sites produce superoxide/H2 O2 at significant rates. Which of these sites generate oxidants at excessive rates in BTHS is unknown. Here, we measured the maximum capacity of superoxide/H2 O2 production from each site and the ex vivo rate of superoxide/H2 O2 production in the heart and skeletal muscle mitochondria of the tafazzin knockdown mice (tazkd) from 3 to 12 months of age. Despite reduced oxidative capacity, superoxide/H2 O2 production is indistinguishable between tazkd mice and wildtype littermates. These observations raise questions about the involvement of mitochondrial oxidants in BTHS pathology.
    Keywords:  Barth syndrome; cardiomyopathy; mitochondria; mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS); superoxide/H2O2; tafazzin; tazkd mice; “ex vivo” rate of superoxide/H2O2 production
  12. iScience. 2020 Nov 20. 23(11): 101654
      p32/C1qbp regulates mitochondrial protein synthesis and is essential for oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria. Although dysfunction of p32/C1qbp impairs fetal development and immune responses, its role in hematopoietic differentiation remains unclear. Here, we found that mitochondrial dysfunction affected terminal differentiation of newly identified erythroid/B-lymphoid progenitors among CD45- Ter119- CD31- triple-negative cells (TNCs) in bone marrow. Hematopoietic cell-specific genetic deletion of p32/C1qbp (p32cKO) in mice caused anemia and B-lymphopenia without reduction of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. In addition, p32cKO mice were susceptible to hematopoietic stress with delayed recovery from anemia. p32/C1qbp-deficient CD51- TNCs exhibited impaired mitochondrial oxidation that consequently led to inactivation of mTORC1 signaling, which is essential for erythropoiesis. These findings uncover the importance of mitochondria, especially at the stage of TNCs during erythropoiesis, suggesting that dysregulation of mitochondrial protein synthesis is a cause of anemia and B-lymphopenia with an unknown pathology.
    Keywords:  Developmental Genetics; Molecular Biology
  13. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Oct 22. pii: E7809. [Epub ahead of print]21(21):
      MPP+ is the active metabolite of MPTP, a molecule structurally similar to the herbicide Paraquat, known to injure the dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal system in Parkinson's disease models. Within the cells, MPP+ accumulates in mitochondria where it inhibits complex I of the electron transport chain, resulting in ATP depletion and neuronal impairment/death. So far, MPP+ is recognized as a valuable tool to mimic dopaminergic degeneration in various cell lines. However, despite a large number of studies, a detailed characterization of mitochondrial respiration in neuronal cells upon MPP+ treatment is still missing. By using high-resolution respirometry, we deeply investigated oxygen consumption related to each respiratory state in differentiated neuroblastoma cells exposed to the neurotoxin. Our results indicated the presence of extended mitochondrial damage at the inner membrane level, supported by increased LEAK respiration, and a drastic drop in oxygen flow devoted to ADP phosphorylation in respirometry measurements. Furthermore, prior to complex I inhibition, an enhancement of complex II activity was observed, suggesting the occurrence of some compensatory effect. Overall our findings provide a mechanistic insight on the mitochondrial toxicity mediated by MPP+, relevant for the standardization of studies that employ this neurotoxin as a disease model.
    Keywords:  MPP+; Parkinson’s disease; SH-SY5Y cells; high-resolution respirometry; mitochondria
  14. Nat Metab. 2020 Oct 26.
      In addition to fatty acids, glucose and lactate are important myocardial substrates under physiologic and stress conditions. They are metabolized to pyruvate, which enters mitochondria via the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) for citric acid cycle metabolism. In the present study, we show that MPC-mediated mitochondrial pyruvate utilization is essential for the partitioning of glucose-derived cytosolic metabolic intermediates, which modulate myocardial stress adaptation. Mice with cardiomyocyte-restricted deletion of subunit 1 of MPC (cMPC1-/-) developed age-dependent pathologic cardiac hypertrophy, transitioning to a dilated cardiomyopathy and premature death. Hypertrophied hearts accumulated lactate, pyruvate and glycogen, and displayed increased protein O-linked N-acetylglucosamine, which was prevented by increasing availability of non-glucose substrates in vivo by a ketogenic diet (KD) or a high-fat diet, which reversed the structural, metabolic and functional remodelling of non-stressed cMPC1-/- hearts. Although concurrent short-term KDs did not rescue cMPC1-/- hearts from rapid decompensation and early mortality after pressure overload, 3 weeks of a KD before transverse aortic constriction was sufficient to rescue this phenotype. Together, our results highlight the centrality of pyruvate metabolism to myocardial metabolism and function.
  15. STAR Protoc. 2020 Sep 18. 1(2): 100048
      The metabolic activity of cells is interrelated with cell signaling, functions, and fate. Uncontrolled cancer cell proliferation requires metabolic adaptations. Research focusing on understanding the characteristics of cell metabolism is crucial for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Here, we describe protocols for the ATP profiling of single cancer cells by fluorescence live-cell imaging. In response to distinct metabolic inhibitions, we record individual mitochondrial ATP dynamics using established Förster resonance energy transfer-based genetically encoded fluorescent ATP probes. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Depaoli et al. (2018).
  16. J Biol Chem. 2020 Oct 30. pii: jbc.REV120.011202. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are specialized compartments that produce requisite ATP to fuel cellular functions and serve as centers of metabolite processing, cellular signaling, and apoptosis. To accomplish these roles, mitochondria rely on the genetic information in their small genome (mitochondrial DNA) and the nucleus. A growing appreciation for mitochondria's role in a myriad of human diseases, including inherited genetic disorders, degenerative diseases, inflammation, and cancer, has fueled the study of biochemical mechanisms that control mitochondrial function. The mitochondrial transcriptional machinery is different from nuclear machinery. The in vitro reconstituted transcriptional complexes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) and humans, aided with high-resolution structures and biochemical characterizations, have provided a deeper understanding of the mechanism and regulation of mitochondrial DNA transcription. In this review, we will discuss recent advances in the structure and mechanism of mitochondrial transcription initiation. We will follow up with recent discoveries and formative findings regarding the regulatory events that control mitochondrial DNA transcription, focusing on those involved in crosstalk between the mitochondria and nucleus.
    Keywords:  DNA transcription; RNA polymerase; enzyme structure; human mitochondrial RNA polymerase; mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); mitochondrial DNA transcription; mitochondrial gene regulation; transcription regulation; yeast mitochondrial RNA polymerase
  17. Sci Transl Med. 2020 Oct 28. pii: eabb8969. [Epub ahead of print]12(567):
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) has a dismal prognosis. We found that T cells of patients relapsing with AML after allo-HCT exhibited reduced glycolysis and interferon-γ production. Functional studies in multiple mouse models of leukemia showed that leukemia-derived lactic acid (LA) interfered with T cell glycolysis and proliferation. Mechanistically, LA reduced intracellular pH in T cells, led to lower transcription of glycolysis-related enzymes, and decreased activity of essential metabolic pathways. Metabolic reprogramming by sodium bicarbonate (NaBi) reversed the LA-induced low intracellular pH, restored metabolite concentrations, led to incorporation of LA into the tricarboxylic acid cycle as an additional energy source, and enhanced graft-versus-leukemia activity of murine and human T cells. NaBi treatment of post-allo-HCT patients with relapsed AML improved metabolic fitness and interferon-γ production in T cells. Overall, we show that metabolic reprogramming of donor T cells is a pharmacological strategy for patients with relapsed AML after allo-HCT.
  18. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Oct 29. pii: 202011645. [Epub ahead of print]
      Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL). The main proliferating component of KS tumors is a cell of endothelial origin termed the spindle cell. Spindle cells are predominantly latently infected with only a small percentage of cells undergoing viral replication. As there is no direct treatment for latent KSHV, identification of host vulnerabilities in latently infected endothelial cells could be exploited to inhibit KSHV-associated tumor cells. Using a pooled CRISPR-Cas9 lentivirus library, we identified host factors that are essential for the survival or proliferation of latently infected endothelial cells in culture, but not their uninfected counterparts. Among the many host genes identified, there was an enrichment in genes localizing to the mitochondria, including genes involved in mitochondrial translation. Antibiotics that inhibit bacterial and mitochondrial translation specifically inhibited the expansion of latently infected endothelial cells and led to increased cell death in patient-derived PEL cell lines. Direct inhibition of mitochondrial respiration or ablation of mitochondrial genomes leads to increased death in latently infected cells. KSHV latent infection decreases mitochondrial numbers, but there are increases in mitochondrial size, genome copy number, and transcript levels. We found that multiple gene products of the latent locus localize to the mitochondria. During latent infection, KSHV significantly alters mitochondrial biology, leading to enhanced sensitivity to inhibition of mitochondrial respiration, which provides a potential therapeutic avenue for KSHV-associated cancers.
    Keywords:  Crispr/Cas9; HHV-8; KSHV; Kaposi’s sarcoma; mitochondria
  19. Front Immunol. 2020 ;11 590794
      Nearly 70% of adults in the US are currently overweight or obese. Despite such high prevalence, the impact of obesity on antitumor immunity and immunotherapy outcomes remains incompletely understood, particularly in patients with breast cancer. Here, we addressed these gaps in knowledge using two murine models of breast cancer combined with diet-induced obesity. We report that obesity increases CXCL1 concentrations in the mammary tumor microenvironment, driving CXCR2-mediated chemotaxis and accumulation of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (G-MDSCs) expressing Fas ligand (FasL). Obesity simultaneously promotes hyperactivation of CD8 tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), as evidenced by increased expression of CD44, PD-1, Ki-67, IFNγ, and the death receptor Fas. Accordingly, G-MDSCs induce Fas/FasL-mediated apoptosis of CD8 T cells ex vivo and in vivo. These changes promote immunotherapy resistance in obese mice. Disruption of CXCR2-mediated G-MDSC chemotaxis in obese mice is sufficient to limit intratumoral G-MDSC accumulation and improve immunotherapy outcomes. The translational relevance of our findings is demonstrated by transcriptomic analyses of human breast tumor tissues, which reveal positive associations between CXCL1 expression and body mass index, poor survival, and a MDSC gene signature. Further, this MDSC gene signature is positively associated with FASLG expression. Thus, we have identified a pathway wherein obesity leads to increased intratumoral CXCL1 concentrations, which promotes CXCR2-mediated accumulation of FasL+ G-MDSCs, resulting in heightened CD8 TIL apoptosis and immunotherapy resistance. Disruption of this pathway may improve immunotherapy outcomes in patients with breast cancer and obesity.
    Keywords:  Fas ligand (FasL); breast cancer; immunotherapy resistance; myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs); obesity; tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte apoptosis
  20. Nat Metab. 2020 Oct 26.
      Cardiomyocytes rely on metabolic substrates, not only to fuel cardiac output, but also for growth and remodelling during stress. Here we show that mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) abundance mediates pathological cardiac hypertrophy. MPC abundance was reduced in failing hypertrophic human hearts, as well as in the myocardium of mice induced to fail by angiotensin II or through transverse aortic constriction. Constitutive knockout of cardiomyocyte MPC1/2 in mice resulted in cardiac hypertrophy and reduced survival, while tamoxifen-induced cardiomyocyte-specific reduction of MPC1/2 to the attenuated levels observed during pressure overload was sufficient to induce hypertrophy with impaired cardiac function. Failing hearts from cardiomyocyte-restricted knockout mice displayed increased abundance of anabolic metabolites, including amino acids and pentose phosphate pathway intermediates and reducing cofactors. These hearts showed a concomitant decrease in carbon flux into mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, as corroborated by complementary 1,2-[13C2]glucose tracer studies. In contrast, inducible cardiomyocyte overexpression of MPC1/2 resulted in increased tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, and sustained carrier expression during transverse aortic constriction protected against cardiac hypertrophy and failure. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that loss of the MPC1/2 causally mediates adverse cardiac remodelling.
  21. Cell Death Discov. 2020 ;6 107
      Mitochondria are vital organelles that coordinate cellular energy homeostasis and have important roles in cell death. Therefore, the removal of damaged or excessive mitochondria is critical for maintaining proper cellular function. The PINK1-Parkin pathway removes acutely damaged mitochondria through a well-characterized mitophagy pathway, but basal mitochondrial turnover occurs via distinct and less well-understood mechanisms. Here we report that the MEKK3-MEK5-ERK5 kinase cascade is required for mitochondrial degradation in the absence of exogenous damage. We demonstrate that genetic or pharmacological inhibition of the MEKK3-MEK5-ERK5 pathway increases mitochondrial content by reducing lysosome-mediated degradation of mitochondria under basal conditions. We show that the MEKK3-MEK5-ERK5 pathway plays a selective role in basal mitochondrial degradation but is not required for non-selective bulk autophagy, damage-induced mitophagy, or restraint of mitochondrial biogenesis. This illuminates the MEKK3-MEK5-ERK5 pathway as a positive regulator of mitochondrial degradation that acts independently of exogenous mitochondrial stressors.
    Keywords:  Mitophagy; Stress signalling
  22. Onco Targets Ther. 2020 ;13 9967-9976
      Purpose: The chemoresistance and toxicity of traditional chemotherapeutic drugs have become obstacles to their antitumor effects in ovarian cancers. Therefore, it is particularly important to develop new anticancer drugs to increase target sensitivity and reduce the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs. As key organelles, the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria play important role in chemoresistance. Cells become resistant to drugs by maintaining the homeostasis of the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. Chaetomugilin J, a metabolite isolated from Polygonatum sibiricum, belongs to the Chaetomium family and exhibits potent cytotoxicity. In this study, we aimed to explore the mechanistic link between apoptosis and endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction induced by chaetomugilin J combined with cisplatin in the ovarian cancer cell line A2780.Methods: Chaetomugilin J was identified by chemical methods. Cell viability was measured by an MTT assay. The apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential, and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were examined by flow cytometry. Mitochondrial ROS was measured by a fluorescence microscope with MitoSox staining. Further, the related proteins and overexpression of parkin were detected by Western blot.
    Results: Chaetomugilin J combined with low-dose cisplatin decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis in A2780 cells. In addition, intracellular ROS and mitochondrial ROS were increased, while the mitochondrial membrane potential was reduced. The expressions of grp78 and chop were decreased after treatment by chaetomugilin J combined with low-dose cisplatin. Overexpression of parkin attenuated chaetomugilin J combined with cisplatin-induced apoptosis.
    Conclusion: Chaetomugilin J combined with cisplatin inhibited pink1/parkin mediated mitophagy increased mitochondrial dysfunction in the A2780 cells and enhanced apoptosis induced by cisplatin in the ovarian cancer cell line A2780. But this process was not related to endoplasmic reticulum apoptotic pathway.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; chaetomugilin J; cisplatin; mitophagy; ovarian cancer
  23. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Oct 28. pii: E3168. [Epub ahead of print]12(11):
      While it is now accepted that nutrition can influence the epigenetic modifications occurring in colorectal cancer (CRC), the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Among the tumor suppressor genes frequently epigenetically downregulated in CRC, the four related genes of the UNC5 family: UNC5A, UNC5B, UNC5C and UNC5D encode dependence receptors that regulate the apoptosis/survival balance. Herein, in a mouse model of CRC, we found that the expression of UNC5A, UNC5B and UNC5C was diminished in tumors but only in mice subjected to a High Carbohydrate Diet (HCD) thus linking nutrition to their repression in CRC. O-GlcNAcylation is a nutritional sensor which has enhanced levels in CRC and regulates many cellular processes amongst epigenetics. We then investigated the putative involvement of O-GlcNAcylation in the epigenetic downregulation of the UNC5 family members. By a combination of pharmacological inhibition and RNA interference approaches coupled to RT-qPCR (Reverse Transcription-quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction) analyses, promoter luciferase assay and CUT&RUN (Cleavage Under Target & Release Using Nuclease) experiments, we demonstrated that the O-GlcNAcylated form of the histone methyl transferase EZH2 (Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2) represses the transcription of UNC5A in human colon cancer cells. Collectively, our data support the hypothesis that O-GlcNAcylation could represent one link between nutrition and epigenetic downregulation of key tumor suppressor genes governing colon carcinogenesis including UNC5A.
    Keywords:  EZH2; O-GlcNAcylation; OGT; UNC5A; colon cancer; epigenetics; nutrition
  24. Immunometabolism. 2020 Oct 16. 2(4): e200035
      We review here the seminal findings of Desdin-Mico et al. showing that T cells with dysfunctional mitochondria induce multimorbity and premature senescence, due to mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM). They add further weight to the idea that targeting immunometabolism could be beneficial in combating the detrimental effects of age-related disease.
    Keywords:  T cell; ageing; metabolism; mitochondria; senescence
  25. JCI Insight. 2020 Oct 27. pii: 139837. [Epub ahead of print]
      Caspase 8 (CASP8) is one of the most frequently mutated genes in head and neck squamous carcinomas (HNSCC), and CASP8 mutations are associated with poor survival. The distribution of these mutations in HNSCC suggests that they are likely to be inactivating. Inhibition of CASP8 has been reported to sensitize cancer cells to necroptosis, a regulated cell death mechanism. Here, we show that knockdown of CASP8 renders HNSCCs susceptible to necroptosis by a second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase (SMAC) mimetic, Birinapant, in combination with pan-caspase inhibitors zVAD FMK or Emricasan and radiation. In a syngeneic mouse model of oral cancer, Birinapant, particularly when combined with radiation delayed tumor growth and enhanced survival under CASP8 loss. Exploration of molecular underpinnings of necroptosis sensitivity confirmed that the level of functional receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 3 (RIP3) determines susceptibility to this mode of death. Although an in vitro screen revealed that low RIP3 levels render many HNSCC cell lines resistant to necroptosis, patient tumors maintain RIP3 expression and should therefore remain sensitive. Collectively, these results suggest that targeting the necroptosis pathway with SMAC mimetics, especially in combination with radiation, may be relevant therapeutically in HNSCC with compromised CASP8 status, provided that RIP3 function is maintained.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis pathways; Cell Biology; Head and neck cancer; Oncology; Radiation therapy
  26. Biotechniques. 2020 Oct 26.
      The aim of this study was to assess two protocols for their capacities to simultaneously isolate RNA, mtDNA and ncDNA from mammalian cells. We compared the Invitrogen TRIzol-based method and Qiagen DNeasy columns, using the HepG2 cell line and human primary glioblastoma stem cells. Both methods allowed the isolation of all three types of nucleic acids and provided similar yields in mtDNA. However, the yield in ncDNA was more than tenfold higher on columns, as observed for both cell types. Conversely, the TRIzol method proved more reproducible and was the method of choice for isolating RNA from glioblastoma cells, as demonstrated for the housekeeping genes RPLP0 and RPS9.
    Keywords:  RNA; mammalian cells; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); nuclear DNA (ncDNA)
  27. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2020 Oct 25.
      Mitochondrial disorders make up a large class of heritable diseases that cause a broad array of different human pathologies. They can affect many different organ systems, or display very specific tissue presentation, and can lead to illness either in childhood or later in life. While the over 1200 genes encoded in the nuclear DNA play an important role in human mitochondrial disease, it has been known for over 30 years that mutations of the mitochondria's own small, multicopy DNA chromosome (mtDNA) can lead to heritable human diseases. Unfortunately, animal mtDNA has resisted transgenic and directed genome editing technologies until quite recently. As such, animal models to aid in our understanding of these diseases, and to explore pre-clinical therapeutic research have been quite rare. This review will discuss the unusual properties of animal mitochondria that have hindered the generation of animal models. It will also discuss the existing mammalian models of human mtDNA disease, describe the methods employed in their generation, and will discuss recent advances in the targeting of DNA-manipulating enzymes to the mitochondria and how these may be employed to generate new models. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Animal models; heteroplasmy; homoplasmy; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial disease
  28. Commun Biol. 2020 Oct 30. 3(1): 626
      Alveolar epithelial type II (AETII) cells are important for lung epithelium maintenance and function. We demonstrate that AETII cells from mouse lungs exposed to cigarette smoke (CS) increase the levels of the mitochondria-encoded non-coding RNA, mito-RNA-805, generated by the control region of the mitochondrial genome. The protective effects of mito-ncR-805 are associated with positive regulation of mitochondrial energy metabolism, and respiration. Levels of mito-ncR-805 do not relate to steady-state transcription or replication of the mitochondrial genome. Instead, CS-exposure causes the redistribution of mito-ncR-805 from mitochondria to the nucleus, which correlated with the increased expression of nuclear-encoded genes involved in mitochondrial function. These studies reveal an unrecognized mitochondria stress associated retrograde signaling, and put forward the idea that mito-ncRNA-805 represents a subtype of small non coding RNAs that are regulated in a tissue- or cell-type specific manner to protect cells under physiological stress.
  29. Reproduction. 2020 Sep 01. pii: REP-20-0181.R1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Spermatozoa are redox regulated cells, and stallion spermatozoa in particular present an intense mitochondrial activity in which large amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced. To maintain the redox potential under physiological conditions sophisticated mechanisms ought to be present, particularly in the mitochondria. In the present study we investigated the role of the SLC7A11 antiporter. This antiporter exchanges intracellular glutamate for extracellular cystine. In the spermatozoa cystine is reduced to cysteine and used for GSH synthesis. The importance of the antiporter for mitochondrial functionality was studied using flow cytometry and UHPLC/MS/MS approaches. Intracellular GSH increased in the presence of cystine, but was reduced in the presence of Buthionine sulphoximine (BSO), a gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase inhibitor (P<0.001). Inhibition of the SLC7A11 antiporter with sulfasalazine caused a dramatic drop in intracellular GSH (P<0.001) and in the percentage of spermatozoa showing active mitochondria (P<0.001). These findings suggest that proper functionality of this antiporter is required for mitochondrial function of spermatozoa. We also describe that under some conditions, glutamate may be metabolized following non-conventional pathways, also contributing to sperm functionality. We provide evidences, that the stallion spermatozoa have important metabolic plasticity, and also of the relation between redox regulation and metabolic regulation. These findings may have important implications for the understanding of sperm biology and the development of new strategies for sperm conservation and treatment of male factor infertility.
  30. Thyroid. 2020 Oct 27.
      BACKGROUND: BRAFV600E acts as an ATP-dependent cytosolic kinase. BRAFV600E inhibitors are widely available, but resistance to them is widely reported in the clinic. Lipid metabolism (fatty acids) is fundamental for energy and to control cell stress. Whether and how BRAFV600E impacts lipid metabolism regulation in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is still unknown. Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase (ACC) is a rate-limiting enzyme for de novo lipid synthesis and inhibition of fatty acid oxidation (FAO). ACC1 and ACC2 genes encode distinct isoforms of ACC.DESIGN: Our study aims to determine the relationship between BRAFV600E and ACC in PTC. We applied RNA-seq and DNA copy number analyses to PTC and normal thyroid (NT) TCGA samples. Validations were performed using assays on PTC-derived cell lines of differing BRAF status and a xenograft mouse model derived from a heterozygous BRAFWT/V600E PTC-derived cell line with knockdown (sh) of ACC1 or ACC2.
    RESULTS: ACC2 mRNA expression was significantly down-regulated in BRAFV600E-PTC vs. BRAFWT-PTC or NT clinical samples. ACC2 protein levels were downregulated in BRAFV600E-PTC cell lines vs. BRAFWT/WT PTC cell line. Vemurafenib increased ACC2 (and to a lesser extent ACC1) mRNA levels in PTC-derived cell lines in a BRAFV600E allelic dose-dependent manner. BRAFV600E inhibition increased de novo lipid synthesis rates, and decreased FAO due to oxygen consumption rate (OCR), and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR), after addition of palmitate. Only shACC2 significantly increased OCR rates due to FAO, while decreasing ECAR in BRAFV600E PTC-derived cells vs. controls. BRAFV600E inhibition synergized with shACC2 to increase intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, leading to increased cell proliferation and ultimately vemurafenib resistance. Mice implanted with a BRAFWT/V600E PTC-derived cell line with shACC2 showed significantly increased tumor growth after vemurafenib treatment, while vehicle-treated controls, or shGFP control cells treated with vemurafenib showed stable tumor growth.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest a potential link between BRAFV600E and lipid metabolism regulation in PTC. BRAFV600E down-regulates ACC2 levels, which deregulates de novo lipid synthesis, FAO due to OCR, and ECAR rates. ShACC2 may contribute to vemurafenib resistance and increased tumor growth. ACC2 rescue may represent a novel molecular strategy for overcoming resistance to BRAFV600E inhibitors in refractory PTC.
  31. Trends Mol Med. 2020 Oct 26. pii: S1471-4914(20)30262-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer derived from the myeloid lineage of blood cells, characterized by overproduction of leukemic blasts. Although therapeutic improvements have made a significant impact on the outcomes of patients with AML, survival rates remain low due to a high incidence of relapse. Similar to how wildfires can reignite from hidden embers not extinguished from an initial round of firefighting, leukemic stem cells (LSCs) are the embers remaining after completion of traditional chemotherapeutic treatments. LSCs exhibit a unique metabolic profile and contain metabolically distinct subpopulations. In this review, we detail the metabolic features of LSCs and how these characteristics promote resistance to traditional chemotherapy. We also discuss new therapeutic approaches that target metabolic vulnerabilities of LSC to selectively eradicate them.
    Keywords:  AML; LSC; acute myeloid leukemia; leukemic stem cells; mitochondrial metabolism; oxidative phosphorylation
  32. STAR Protoc. 2020 Sep 18. 1(2): 100072
      Analysis of mitochondrial respiration function represented by the oxygen consumption rate is necessary for assessing mitochondrial respiration function. This protocol describes steps to evaluate the respiration function of mitochondria in situ in saponin-permeabilized cardiomyocytes. In permeabilized cells, mitochondria are in a relatively integrated cellular system, and mitochondrial respiration is more physiologically relevant than isolated mitochondria. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Gong et al. (2015a) and Gong et al. (2015b).
  33. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Oct 28. pii: E8031. [Epub ahead of print]21(21):
      Cardiolipins (CLs) are specific phospholipids of the mitochondria composing about 20% of the inner mitochondria membrane (IMM) phospholipid mass. Dysregulation of CL metabolism has been observed in several types of cancer. In most cases, the evidence for a role for CL in cancer is merely correlative, suggestive, ambiguous, and cancer-type dependent. In addition, CLs could play a pivotal role in several mitochondrial functions/parameters such as bioenergetics, dynamics, mitophagy, and apoptosis, which are involved in key steps of cancer aggressiveness (i.e., migration/invasion and resistance to treatment). Therefore, this review focuses on studies suggesting that changes in CL content and/or composition, as well as CL metabolism enzyme levels, may be linked with the progression and the aggressiveness of some types of cancer. Finally, we also introduce the main mitochondrial function in which CL could play a pivotal role with a special focus on its implication in cancer development and therapy.
    Keywords:  cancer; cardiolipin; mitochondria
  34. Nat Commun. 2020 Oct 30. 11(1): 5488
      The 17q23 amplicon is associated with poor outcome in ER+ breast cancers, but the causal genes to endocrine resistance in this amplicon are unclear. Here, we interrogate transcriptome data from primary breast tumors and find that among genes in 17q23, PRR11 is a key gene associated with a poor response to therapeutic estrogen suppression. PRR11 promotes estrogen-independent proliferation and confers endocrine resistance in ER+ breast cancers. Mechanistically, the proline-rich motif-mediated interaction of PRR11 with the p85α regulatory subunit of PI3K suppresses p85 homodimerization, thus enhancing insulin-stimulated binding of p110-p85α heterodimers to IRS1 and activation of PI3K. PRR11-amplified breast cancer cells rely on PIK3CA and are highly sensitive to PI3K inhibitors, suggesting that PRR11 amplification confers PI3K dependence. Finally, genetic and pharmacological inhibition of PI3K suppresses PRR11-mediated, estrogen-independent growth. These data suggest ER+/PRR11-amplified breast cancers as a novel subgroup of tumors that may benefit from treatment with PI3K inhibitors and antiestrogens.
  35. Cancer Cell. 2020 Sep 23. pii: S1535-6108(20)30478-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Immune cells' metabolism influences their differentiation and function. Given that a complex interplay of environmental factors within the tumor microenvironment (TME) can have a profound impact on the metabolic activities of immune, stromal, and tumor cell types, there is emerging interest to advance understanding of these diverse metabolic phenotypes in the TME. Here, we discuss cell-extrinsic contributions to the metabolic activities of immune cells. Then, considering recent technical advances in experimental systems and metabolic profiling technologies, we propose future directions to better understand how immune cells meet their metabolic demands in the TME, which can be leveraged for therapeutic benefit.
    Keywords:  immunology; immunometabolism; in vitro modeling; metabolism; metabolomics; physiologic media; stable isotope tracing; tumor microenvironment
  36. Free Radic Biol Med. 2020 Oct 24. pii: S0891-5849(20)31303-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Distinct metabolic programs, either energy-consuming anabolism or energy-generating catabolism, were required for different biological functions. Macrophages can adopt different immune phenotypes in response to various cues and exhibit anti- or pro-inflammatory properties relying on catabolic pathways associated with oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) or glycolysis. Spermidine, a natural polyamine, has been reported to regulate inflammation through inducing anti-inflammatory (M2) macrophages. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We show here that the M2-polarization induced by spermidine is mediated by mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS). The levels of mitochondrial superoxide and H2O2 were markedly elevated by spermidine. Mechanistically, mtROS were found to activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which in turn enhanced mitochondrial function. Furthermore, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (Hif-1α) was upregulated by the AMPK activation and mtROS and was required for the expression of anti-inflammatory genes and induction of autophagy. Consistent with previous report that autophagy is required for the M2 polarization, we found that the M2 polarization induced by spermidine was also mediated by increased autophagy. The macrophages treated with spermidine in vitro were found to ameliorate Dextran Sulfate Sodium (DSS)-induced inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in mice. Thus, spermidine can elicit an anti-inflammatory program driven by mtROS-dependent AMPK activation, Hif-1α stabilization and autophagy induction in macrophages. Our studies revealed a critical role of mtROS in shaping macrophages into M2-like phenotype and provided novel information for management of inflammatory disease by spermidine.
    Keywords:  AMPK; M2 polarization; autophagy; hypoxia-inducible factor-1α; mitochondrial ROS; spermidine
  37. Cancer Res. 2020 Oct 28. pii: canres.1998.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) accounts for approximately 5% of all renal cancers and around 30% of chRCC cases have mutations in TP53. ChRCC is poorly supported by microvessels and has markably lower glucose uptake than clear cell RCC (ccRCC) and papillary RCC (pRCC). Currently, the metabolic status and mechanisms by which this tumor adapts to nutrient-poor microenvironments remain to be investigated. In this study, we performed proteome and metabolome profiling of chRCC tumors and adjacent kidney tissues and identified major metabolic alterations in chRCC tumors, including the classical Warburg effect, the downregulation of gluconeogenesis and amino acid metabolism, and the upregulation of protein degradation and endocytosis. ChRCC cells depended on extracellular macromolecules as an amino acid source by activating endocytosis to sustain cell proliferation and survival. Inhibition of the PLCG2/IP3/Ca2+/PKC pathway significantly impaired the activation of endocytosis for amino acids uptakes into chRCC cells. In chRCC, whole-exome sequencing revealed that TP53 mutations were not related to expression of PLCG2 and activation of endocytosis. Our study provides novel perspectives on metabolic rewiring in chRCC and identifies the PLCG2/IP3/Ca2+/PKC axis as a potential therapeutic target in chRCC patients.
  38. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 575657
      Several observational studies have found that the risk for breast cancer is significantly reduced in persons who engage in greater amounts of physical activity. Additional observational studies of breast cancer survivors indicate that greater physical activity before or after diagnosis associates with reduced disease-specific mortality. However, no large randomized controlled trials have examined the effect of structured exercise training on disease outcomes in breast cancer. Among the many hurdles in designing such trials lies the challenge of determining how a given regimen of exercise from efficacious preclinical studies can be extrapolated to an equivalent "dose" in humans to guide decisions around treatment regimen in early-phase studies. We argue that preclinical researchers in exercise oncology could better facilitate this endeavor by routinely measuring changes in exercise capacity in the subjects of their breast cancer models. VO2max, the maximal rate of whole-organism oxygen consumption during a progressive exercise test, is emphasized here because it has become a standard measure of cardiorespiratory fitness, is well-integrated in clinical settings, and scales allometrically among nonhuman animals in preclinical research and breast cancer patients/survivors in the clinic. We also conduct secondary analyses of existing whole-transcriptome datasets to highlight how greater uptake and delivery of oxygen during exercise may reverse the typically hypoxic microenvironment of breast tumors, which often associates with more aggressive disease and worse prognosis.
    Keywords:  VO2max; breast cancer; exercise dose; exercise oncology; physical activity; preclinical research; translational science; tumor hypoxia
  39. Biomedicines. 2020 Oct 24. pii: E451. [Epub ahead of print]8(11):
      Several studies have indicated the biological role of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in cancer pathophysiology; however, its implications in predicting the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are not yet fully understood. Here, we collected tumor specimens and adjacent normal liver tissues from 354 confirmed HCC patients and analyzed the levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) responsive element binding protein 1 (CREB), mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), mitochondrial calcium uptake 1 and 2 (MICU1, MICU2) using bioinformatics, qRT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry (IHC), and their relationship with clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis. HCC patients with low CREB/MICU1 and high MCU/MICU2 expression exhibited poor survival rate and prognosis in overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) analyses. Low CREB/MICU1 and low MICU1 alone indicated poor prognosis in stage I/II and III/IV patients, respectively. In the poor differentiation/undifferentiation group, low expression of MICU1 indicated poor clinical outcomes. Low CREB/MICU1 expression suggested poor outcomes in patients with or without hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and poor prognosis in the HCV infection group. In the non- hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection group, low MCU1 indicated a poor prognosis. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that CREB and MICU1 expression showed prognostic significance. This study demonstrates the prognostic significance of CREB, MCU, MICU1, and MICU2, in predicting HCC outcomes. Low CREB/MICU1 and high MCU/MICU2 in HCC tissues are associated with poor prognosis, thus offering a novel perspective in the clinical management for HCC patients.
    Keywords:  CREB; MCU; MICU1; MICU2; hepatocellular carcinoma; mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake; prediction; prognosis
  40. Curr Opin Physiol. 2020 Oct;17 197-206
      Mitochondrial calcium (mCa2+) homeostasis also plays a key role in the buffering of cytosolic calcium (cCa2+) and calcium transported into the mitochondrial matrix regulates cellular metabolism, migration and cell fate decisions. Recent work has highlighted the importance of mCa2+ homeostasis in regulating cellular function. The discovery of the mCa2+ uptake complex has shed new light on the role of mCa2+ dynamics in cytoskeletal remodeling, mitochondrial shape and motility in cellular dynamics. Here we attempt to decipher the vast landscape of calcium regulatory effects of the mitochondria, the underlying mechanisms and the dynamics that control cellular function.
  41. Curr Med Sci. 2020 Oct;40(5): 871-878
      Although the advent of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has dramatically improved the survival of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), acquired drug resistance and TKI-insensitive leukaemic stem cells (LSCs) remain major obstacles to a CML cure. In recent years, the reprogramming of mitochondrial metabolism has emerged as a hallmark of cancers, including CML, and in turn may be exploited for therapeutic purposes. Here, we investigated the effects of several drugs on the mitochondrial function of the CML cell line K562 and found that 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribotide (AICAR) and decitabine could effectively increase the ATP content and mitochondrial biogenesis. In addition, these two drugs induced cell cycle arrest and a decrease in colony-forming capacity and promoted K562 cell differentiation. Moreover, we demonstrated that treatment with AICAR or decitabine enhanced the sensitivity of K562 cells to imatinib, as evidenced by a combination treatment assay. Altogether, our findings indicate that TKIs combined with mitochondrial regulation may provide a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of CML.
    Keywords:  5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribotide (AICAR); chronic myeloid leukaemia; decitabine; mitochondrial activity
  42. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Oct 25. pii: E7917. [Epub ahead of print]21(21):
      Spanning from the mitochondria's outer surface to the inner membrane, the nuclear-encoded protein ATAD3A maintains vital roles in regulating mitochondrial dynamics, homeostasis, metabolism, and interactions with the endoplasmic reticulum. Recently, elevated levels of ATAD3A have been reported in several types of cancer and to be tightly correlated with cancer development and progression, including increased cancer cell potential of proliferation, metastasis, and resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In the current review, we reveal ATAD3A as the link between mitochondrial functions and cancer biology and the accumulating evidence presenting ATAD3A as an attractive target for the development of novel cancer therapy to inhibit aberrant cancer metabolism and progression.
    Keywords:  ATAD3A; cancer; drug target; metabolism; mitochondria
  43. Nature. 2020 Oct 28.
      Muscle regeneration is sustained by infiltrating macrophages and the consequent activation of satellite cells1-4. Macrophages and satellite cells communicate in different ways1-5, but their metabolic interplay has not been investigated. Here we show, in a mouse model, that muscle injuries and ageing are characterized by intra-tissue restrictions of glutamine. Low levels of glutamine endow macrophages with the metabolic ability to secrete glutamine via enhanced glutamine synthetase (GS) activity, at the expense of glutamine oxidation mediated by glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (GLUD1). Glud1-knockout macrophages display constitutively high GS activity, which prevents glutamine shortages. The uptake of macrophage-derived glutamine by satellite cells through the glutamine transporter SLC1A5 activates mTOR and promotes the proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells. Consequently, macrophage-specific deletion or pharmacological inhibition of GLUD1 improves muscle regeneration and functional recovery in response to acute injury, ischaemia or ageing. Conversely, SLC1A5 blockade in satellite cells or GS inactivation in macrophages negatively affects satellite cell functions and muscle regeneration. These results highlight the metabolic crosstalk between satellite cells and macrophages, in which macrophage-derived glutamine sustains the functions of satellite cells. Thus, the targeting of GLUD1 may offer therapeutic opportunities for the regeneration of injured or aged muscles.