bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2020‒12‒06
forty-six papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Cell Metab. 2020 Dec 01. pii: S1550-4131(20)30598-2. [Epub ahead of print]32(6): 981-995.e7
      Mitochondria constantly adapt to the metabolic needs of a cell. This mitochondrial plasticity is critical to T cells, which modulate metabolism depending on antigen-driven signals and environment. We show here that de novo synthesis of the mitochondrial membrane-specific lipid cardiolipin maintains CD8+ T cell function. T cells deficient for the cardiolipin-synthesizing enzyme PTPMT1 had reduced cardiolipin and responded poorly to antigen because basal cardiolipin levels were required for activation. However, neither de novo cardiolipin synthesis, nor its Tafazzin-dependent remodeling, was needed for T cell activation. In contrast, PTPMT1-dependent cardiolipin synthesis was vital when mitochondrial fitness was required, most notably during memory T cell differentiation or nutrient stress. We also found CD8+ T cell defects in a small cohort of patients with Barth syndrome, where TAFAZZIN is mutated, and in a Tafazzin-deficient mouse model. Thus, the dynamic regulation of a single mitochondrial lipid is crucial for CD8+ T cell immunity.
    Keywords:  Barth Syndrome; CD8 T cells; PTPMT1; Tafazzin; cardiolipin; immune memory; immunometabolism; mitochodria
  2. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Dec 04. pii: glaa306. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mitochondrial theory of aging postulates that accumulation of mtDNA mutations and mitochondrial dysfunction are responsible for producing aging phenotypes. To more comprehensively explore the complex relationship between aging and mitochondria dysfunction, we have developed a mouse model with Slc25a46 knock out, a nuclear gene described as encoding mitochondrial carriers, by CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to mimic some typical aging phenotypes in human. Slc25a46-/- mice present segmental premature aging phenotypes characterized by shortened lifespan of no more than two months, obviously defective motor ability, gastrocnemius muscle atrophy and imbalance of redox level in brain and liver. The underlying mechanism for multiple organ disorder may attribute to the mitochondrial dysfunction, which is mainly manifested on the damaged mitochondrial structure (e.g., vacuolar structure, irregular swelling and disorganized cristae) and an age-associated decrease in respiratory chain enzyme (mainly complex I and IV) activity. In summary, our study suggests that the Slc25a46-/- mouse is a valid animal model for segmental aging-related pathologies studies based on mitochondrial theory, generating a new platform to both understand mechanisms between aging and mitochondria dysfunction as well as to design mitochondria based therapeutic strategies to improve mitochondrial quality, and thereby the overall healthspan.
    Keywords:  Age-related pathology; Animal model; Oxidation/Oxidative stress; Respiratory chain
  3. Cell Metab. 2020 Dec 01. pii: S1550-4131(20)30594-5. [Epub ahead of print]32(6): 967-980.e5
      Autoimmune T cells in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a defect in mitochondrial oxygen consumption and ATP production. Here, we identified suppression of the GDP-forming β subunit of succinate-CoA ligase (SUCLG2) as an underlying abnormality. SUCLG2-deficient T cells reverted the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle from the oxidative to the reductive direction, accumulated α-ketoglutarate, citrate, and acetyl-CoA (AcCoA), and differentiated into pro-inflammatory effector cells. In AcCoAhi RA T cells, tubulin acetylation stabilized the microtubule cytoskeleton and positioned mitochondria in a perinuclear location, resulting in cellular polarization, uropod formation, T cell migration, and tissue invasion. In the tissue, SUCLG2-deficient T cells functioned as cytokine-producing effector cells and were hyperinflammatory, a defect correctable by replenishing the enzyme. Preventing T cell tubulin acetylation by tubulin acetyltransferase knockdown was sufficient to inhibit synovitis. These data link mitochondrial failure and AcCoA oversupply to autoimmune tissue inflammation.
    Keywords:  T cell; acetyl-CoA; acetylation; alph-ketoglutarate; autoimmunity; citrate; microtubule; mitochondria; tissue invasion; uropod
  4. EMBO Rep. 2020 Dec 03. e51830
      Mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes associate in supercomplexes, but the physiological role of these assemblies remains controversial. Recent studies in EMBO Reports reveal that supercomplexes promote metabolic fitness. Berndtsson et al (2020) demonstrate that supercomplex formation enhances electron transport by reducing the distance for diffusion of cytochrome c between cytochrome bc1 complex and cytochrome c oxidase and thereby increases competitive fitness in yeast. Similarly, Garcia-Poyatos et al (2020) report that zebrafish lacking the supercomplex assembly factor SCAF1 display a reduced growth and decreased female fertility.
  5. Cells. 2020 Nov 25. pii: E2542. [Epub ahead of print]9(12):
      Following a prolonged exposure to hypoxia-reoxygenation, a partial disruption of the ER-mitochondria tethering by mitofusin 2 (MFN2) knock-down decreases the Ca2+ transfer between the two organelles limits mitochondrial Ca2+ overload and prevents the Ca2+-dependent opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, i.e., limits cardiomyocyte cell death. The impact of the metabolic changes resulting from the alteration of this Ca2+crosstalk on the tolerance to hypoxia-reoxygenation injury remains partial and fragmented between different field of expertise. >In this study, we report that MFN2 loss of function results in a metabolic switch driven by major modifications in energy production by mitochondria. During hypoxia, mitochondria maintain their ATP concentration and, concomitantly, the inner membrane potential by importing cytosolic ATP into mitochondria through an overexpressed ANT2 protein and by decreasing the expression and activity of the ATP hydrolase via IF1. This adaptation further blunts the detrimental hyperpolarisation of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) upon re-oxygenation. These metabolic changes play an important role to attenuate cell death during a prolonged hypoxia-reoxygenation challenge.
    Keywords:  ANT2; ATP; ATP synthase; IF1; bioenergetics; hypoxia; metabolism; mitochondria-associated membranes; mitochondrial membrane potential; mitofusin 2
  6. EMBO Rep. 2020 Dec 04. e49634
      Combined fatty acid esterification and lipolysis, termed lipid cycling, is an ATP-consuming process that contributes to energy expenditure. Therefore, interventions that stimulate energy expenditure through lipid cycling are of great interest. Here we find that pharmacological and genetic inhibition of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) in brown adipocytes activates lipid cycling and energy expenditure, even in the absence of adrenergic stimulation. We show that the resulting increase in ATP demand elevates mitochondrial respiration coupled to ATP synthesis and fueled by lipid oxidation. We identify that glutamine consumption and the Malate-Aspartate Shuttle are required for the increase in Energy Expenditure induced by MPC inhibition in Brown Adipocytes (MAShEEBA). We thus demonstrate that energy expenditure through enhanced lipid cycling can be activated in brown adipocytes by decreasing mitochondrial pyruvate availability. We present a new mechanism to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation in brown adipocytes, which does not require adrenergic stimulation of mitochondrial uncoupling.
    Keywords:  futile cycle; malate aspartate shuttle; metabolism; mitochondrial pyruvate carrier; thermogenesis
  7. iScience. 2020 Nov 20. 23(11): 101761
      ATP is required for mammalian cells to remain viable and to perform genetically programmed functions. Maintenance of the ΔG'ATP hydrolysis of -56 kJ/mole is the endpoint of both genetic and metabolic processes required for life. Various anomalies in mitochondrial structure and function prevent maximal ATP synthesis through OxPhos in cancer cells. Little ATP synthesis would occur through glycolysis in cancer cells that express the dimeric form of pyruvate kinase M2. Mitochondrial substrate level phosphorylation (mSLP) in the glutamine-driven glutaminolysis pathway, substantiated by the succinate-CoA ligase reaction in the TCA cycle, can partially compensate for reduced ATP synthesis through both OxPhos and glycolysis. A protracted insufficiency of OxPhos coupled with elevated glycolysis and an auxiliary, fully operational mSLP, would cause a cell to enter its default state of unbridled proliferation with consequent dedifferentiation and apoptotic resistance, i.e., cancer. The simultaneous restriction of glucose and glutamine offers a therapeutic strategy for managing cancer.
    Keywords:  Biochemistry; Biological Sciences; Cancer Systems Biology; Cell Biology
  8. Med Hypotheses. 2020 Nov;pii: S0306-9877(20)32010-7. [Epub ahead of print]144 110216
      An old ideology of killing the cancer cells by starving them is the underlying concept of the Warburg effect. It is the process of aerobic glycolysis exhibited by the cancer cells irrespective of anaerobic glycolysis or mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation following by their healthy counterparts. Dr Otto Heinrich Warburg proposed this abnormal metabolic behaviour of tumour cells in 1920. This phenomenon illustrates the metabolic switching in tumour cells from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis triggered by an injury to the mitochondrial respiration. A modernised perspective of the Warburg hypothesis termed the Reverse Warburg effect introduced in 2009, with a two-compartment model describing the metabolic symbiosis between cancer cells and its neighbouring stromal cells or cancer-associated fibroblasts. This theory is elucidating the aerobic glycolysis occurring in cancer-associated fibroblasts which leads to the generation and deposition of the lactate in tumour microenvironment along with its significance. The transportation of lactate to and from the cancer cell and extracellular space is facilitated by the lactate transporters called monocarboxylate transporters. This lactate generated irrespective of the hypoxic or aerobic conditions acts as a primary metabolic fuel for the cancer cells. Besides, it will create a tumour microenvironment that is favouring the progression and metastasis of malignancy through several means. Overall, the lactate produced through this metabolic reprogramming is supporting and worsening the conditions of cancer. The concept of the Reverse Warburg effect proposes a new anti-cancer treatment modality by preventing the generation and transport of lactate through the inhibition of monocarboxylate transporters and in turn, defeating the cancer disease by arresting the cancer cells along with silencing tumour microenvironment.
    Keywords:  Immunosuppression; Lactate shuttle; Metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells; Reverse Warburg effect; Tumour microenvironment; Warburg effect
  9. Mol Metab. 2020 Dec 01. pii: S2212-8778(20)30208-8. [Epub ahead of print] 101134
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial oxidative function plays a key role in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance (IR). Recent studies support that fatty liver might not be a result of decreased mitochondrial fat oxidation caused by mitochondrial damage. Rather, NAFLD and IR cause an elevation in mitochondrial function, which covers the increased demand for carbon intermediates and ATP caused by elevated lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis. Furthermore, mitochondria play a role regulating hepatic insulin sensitivity and lipogenesis by modulating redox-sensitive signaling pathways.SCOPE OF REVIEW: We review the contradictory studies indicating that NAFLD and hyperglycemia can either increase or decrease mitochondrial oxidative capacity in liver. We summarize mechanisms regulating mitochondrial heterogeneity inside the same cell and discuss how these mechanisms may determine the role of mitochondria in NAFLD. We further discuss the role of endogenous antioxidants in the control of mitochondrial H2O2 release and redox-mediated signaling. Finally, we describe the emerging concept that the subcellular location of cellular antioxidants is a key determinant of their effects on NAFLD.
    MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: The balance of fat oxidation versus accumulation is dependent on mitochondrial fuel preference, rather than ATP-synthesizing respiration. As such, therapies targeting fuel preference might be more suitable to treat NAFLD. Similarly, suppressing maladaptive antioxidants, rather than interfering with physiological mitochondrial H2O2-mediated signaling, may allow for the maintenance of intact hepatic insulin signaling in NAFLD. Exploration of sub-cellular compartmentalization of different antioxidant systems and the unique functions of specific mitochondrial sub-populations may offer new points of intervention to treat NAFLD.
    Keywords:  H(2)O(2); NAFLD; NASH; lipid metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial heterogeneity; mitophagy
  10. Cell Metab. 2020 Dec 01. pii: S1550-4131(20)30599-4. [Epub ahead of print]32(6): 905-907
      Two recent studies published in Nature Immunology map out the link between dysregulated mitochondrial metabolism and terminal exhaustion of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes. Yu et al. (2020) and Vardhana et al. (2020) show that defective mitophagy or impaired oxidative phosphorylation triggers mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production, which in turn promotes a T cell exhaustion program, limiting T cell proliferation and self-renewal.
  11. Nat Commun. 2020 12 01. 11(1): 6145
      About a thousand genes in the human genome encode for membrane transporters. Among these, several solute carrier proteins (SLCs), representing the largest group of transporters, are still orphan and lack functional characterization. We reasoned that assessing genetic interactions among SLCs may be an efficient way to obtain functional information allowing their deorphanization. Here we describe a network of strong genetic interactions indicating a contribution to mitochondrial respiration and redox metabolism for SLC25A51/MCART1, an uncharacterized member of the SLC25 family of transporters. Through a combination of metabolomics, genomics and genetics approaches, we demonstrate a role for SLC25A51 as enabler of mitochondrial import of NAD, showcasing the potential of genetic interaction-driven functional gene deorphanization.
  12. Biol Open. 2020 Dec 02. pii: bio054262. [Epub ahead of print]9(12):
      The mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) is a multi-protein interaction hub that helps define mitochondrial ultrastructure. While the functional importance of MICOS is mostly characterized in yeast and mammalian cells in culture, the contributions of MICOS to tissue homeostasis in vivo remain further elucidation. In this study, we examined how knocking down expression of Drosophila MICOS genes affects mitochondrial function and muscle tissue homeostasis. We found that CG5903/MIC26-MIC27 colocalizes and functions with Mitofilin/MIC60 and QIL1/MIC13 as a Drosophila MICOS component; knocking down expression of any of these three genes predictably altered mitochondrial morphology, causing loss of cristae junctions, and disruption of cristae packing. Furthermore, the knockdown flies exhibited low mitochondrial membrane potential, fusion/fission imbalances, increased mitophagy, and limited cell death. Reductions in climbing ability indicated deficits in muscle function. Knocking down MICOS genes also caused reduced mtDNA content and fragmented mitochondrial nucleoid structure in Drosophila Together, our data demonstrate an essential role of Drosophila MICOS in maintaining proper homeostasis of mitochondrial structure and function to promote the function of muscle tissue.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; MICOS; Mitochondria
  13. Cancer Gene Ther. 2020 Nov 30.
      Due to the lack of early diagnostic and effective treatment modalities, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still the most lethal cancer with a high mortality on a global scale. Recent studies have highlighted the key roles of microRNAs (miRs) in HCC development. In the study, we attempted to investigate the potential role of miR-9-5p in the progression of HCC. Expression of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) and miR-9-5p was examined in HCC tissues collected from HCC patients and cell lines. The proliferation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis of HCC cells, and levels of oxygen consumption rate, extracellular acidification rate and reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as the tumorigenicity of transfected cells in vivo were measured after gain- and loss-of-function experiments in HCC cells. It was revealed that miR-9-5p was upregulated, while PDK4 was poorly expressed in HCC tissues and cells, associating with a poor prognosis of HCC patients. miR-9-5p directly targeted PDK4 and could downregulate its expression, thus leading to promoted cell proliferation, invasion and migration, enhanced mitochondrial activity and energy metabolism, and suppressed apoptosis in HCC cells, along with increased tumorigenicity in mouse xenograft models. Altogether, miR-9-5p facilitated mitochondrial energy metabolism of HCC cells by downregulating PDK4, promoting the development of HCC. miR-9-5p and PDK4 may serve as potential therapeutic targets for preventing recurrence and metastasis of HCC.
  14. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Nov 30. pii: 202005877. [Epub ahead of print]
      MNRR1 (CHCHD2) is a bi-organellar regulator of mitochondrial function that directly activates cytochrome c oxidase in the mitochondria and functions in the nucleus as a transcriptional activator for hundreds of genes. Since MNRR1 depletion contains features of a mitochondrial disease phenotype, we evaluated the effects of forced expression of MNRR1 on the mitochondrial disease MELAS (mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes) syndrome. MELAS is a multisystem encephalomyopathy disorder that can result from a heteroplasmic mutation in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA; m.3243A > G) at heteroplasmy levels of ∼50 to 90%. Since cybrid cell lines with 73% m.3243A > G heteroplasmy (DW7) display a significant reduction in MNRR1 levels compared to the wild type (0% heteroplasmy) (CL9), we evaluated the effects of MNRR1 levels on mitochondrial functioning. Overexpression of MNRR1 in DW7 cells induces the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), autophagy, and mitochondrial biogenesis, thereby rescuing the mitochondrial phenotype. It does so primarily as a transcription activator, revealing this function to be a potential therapeutic target. The role of MNRR1 in stimulating UPRmt, which is blunted in MELAS cells, was surprising and further investigation uncovered that under conditions of stress the import of MNRR1 into the mitochondria was blocked, allowing the protein to accumulate in the nucleus to enhance its transcription function. In the mammalian system, ATF5, has been identified as a mediator of UPRmt MNRR1 knockout cells display an ∼40% reduction in the protein levels of ATF5, suggesting that MNRR1 plays an important role upstream of this known mediator of UPRmt.
    Keywords:  CHCHD2; cytochrome c oxidase; mitochondria; transcription; unfolded protein response
  15. Mitochondrion. 2020 Nov 30. pii: S1567-7249(20)30220-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is a major cause and/or contributor to the development and progression of vision defects in many ophthalmologic and mitochondrial diseases. Despite their mechanistic commonality, these diseases exhibit an impressive variety in sex- and tissue-specific penetrance, incidence, and severity. Currently, there is no functional explanation for these differences. We measured the function, relative capacities, and patterns of control of various oxidative phosphorylation pathways in the retina, the eyecup, the extraocular muscles, the optic nerve, and the sciatic nerve of adult male and female rats. We show that the control of mitochondrial respiratory pathways in the visual system is sex- and tissue-specific and that this may be an important factor in determining susceptibility to mitochondrial dysfunction between these groups. The optic nerve showed a low relative capacity of the NADH pathway, depending on complex I, compared to other tissues relying mainly on mitochondria for energy production. Furthermore, NADH pathway capacity is higher in females compared to males, and this sexual dimorphism occurs only in the optic nerve. Our results propose an explanation for Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, a mitochondrial disease more prevalent in males where the principal tissue affected is the optic nerve. To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify and provide functional explanations for differences in the occurrence and severity of visual defects between tissues and between sexes. Our results highlight the importance of considering sex- and tissue-specific mitochondrial function in elucidating pathophysiological mechanisms of visual defects.
    Keywords:  Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy; mitochondria; optic nerve; oxidative phosphorylation; visual system
  16. Nat Commun. 2020 Dec 04. 11(1): 6216
      Histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27M) mutations represent the canonical oncohistone, occurring frequently in midline gliomas but also identified in haematopoietic malignancies and carcinomas. H3K27M functions, at least in part, through widespread changes in H3K27 trimethylation but its role in tumour initiation remains obscure. To address this, we created a transgenic mouse expressing H3.3K27M in diverse progenitor cell populations. H3.3K27M expression drives tumorigenesis in multiple tissues, which is further enhanced by Trp53 deletion. We find that H3.3K27M epigenetically activates a transcriptome, enriched for PRC2 and SOX10 targets, that overrides developmental and tissue specificity and is conserved between H3.3K27M-mutant mouse and human tumours. A key feature of the H3K27M transcriptome is activation of a RAS/MYC axis, which we find can be targeted therapeutically in isogenic and primary DIPG cell lines with H3.3K27M mutations, providing an explanation for the common co-occurrence of alterations in these pathways in human H3.3K27M-driven cancer. Taken together, these results show how H3.3K27M-driven transcriptome remodelling promotes tumorigenesis and will be critical for targeting cancers with these mutations.
  17. J Exp Biol. 2020 Dec 02. pii: jeb.238634. [Epub ahead of print]
      Genetically engineered mouse models have been used to determine the role of sarcolipin (SLN) in muscle. However, few studies had difficulty in detecting SLN in FBV/N mice and questioned its relevance to muscle metabolism. It is known that genetic alteration of proteins in different inbred mice strains produce dissimilar functional outcome. Therefore, here we compared the expression of SLN and key proteins involved in Ca2+-handling and mitochondrial metabolism between FVB/N and C57BL/6J mouse strains. Data suggests that, SLN expression is less abundant in the skeletal muscles of FVB/N mice compared to C57BL/6J strain. The expression of Ca2+-transporters in the mitochondrial membranes, were also lower in FVB/N compared to C57BL/6J. Similarly the electron transport proteins in the mitochondria were less abundant in FVB/N mice which may contribute to differences in energy metabolism. Future studies using different mouse strains should take these differences into account while interpreting their data.
    Keywords:  Ca2+-handling proteins; Mitochondrial metabolism; Mouse strain; Sarcolipin; Skeletal muscle
  18. Free Radic Biol Med. 2020 Dec 01. pii: S0891-5849(20)31655-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Targeting energy metabolism holds the potential to effectively treat a variety of malignant diseases, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC1α) is a key regulator of energy metabolism. However, PGC1α's role in cancer, especially in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains largely unknown. In the present study, we reported that PGC1α was significantly downregulated in HCC cell lines and specimens. Moreover, reduced expression of PGC1α in tumor cells was correlated with poor prognosis. PGC1α overexpression substantially inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. On the contrary, the knockdown of PGC1α produced the opposite effect. The mechanism was at least partially due to the upregulation of mitochondrial pyruvate carrier 1(MPC1) caused by PGC1α, which promoted mitochondrial biogenesis by binding to nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF1). Consequently, the production of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) caused by mitochondrial oxidation was elevated above a critical threshold for survival. Furthermore, we found that PGC1α could enhance the antitumor activity of sorafenib and doxorubicin in HCC through ROS accumulation-mediated cell death. These results indicate that PGC1α/NRF1-MPC1 axis is involved in HCC progression and could be a promising target for HCC treatment.
    Keywords:  PGC1α; ROS; apoptosis; hepatocellular carcinoma; progression
  19. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Dec 02. pii: E1218. [Epub ahead of print]9(12):
      Mitochondria from affected tissues of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients show morphological and biochemical abnormalities. Mitochondrial dysfunction causes oxidative damage and the accumulation of ROS, and represents one of the major triggers of selective death of motor neurons in ALS. We aimed to assess whether oxidative stress in ALS induces post-translational modifications (PTMs) in VDAC1, the main protein of the outer mitochondrial membrane and known to interact with SOD1 mutants related to ALS. In this work, specific PTMs of the VDAC1 protein purified by hydroxyapatite from mitochondria of a NSC34 cell line expressing human SOD1G93A, a suitable ALS motor neuron model, were analyzed by tryptic and chymotryptic proteolysis and UHPLC/High-Resolution ESI-MS/MS. We found selective deamidations of asparagine and glutamine of VDAC1 in ALS-related NSC34-SOD1G93A cells but not in NSC34-SOD1WT or NSC34 cells. In addition, we identified differences in the over-oxidation of methionine and cysteines between VDAC1 purified from ALS model or non-ALS NSC34 cells. The specific range of PTMs identified exclusively in VDAC1 from NSC34-SOD1G93A cells but not from NSC34 control lines, suggests the appearance of important changes to the structure of the VDAC1 channel and therefore to the bioenergetics metabolism of ALS motor neurons. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier <PXD022598>.
    Keywords:  Orbitrap fusion tribrid; ROS; SOD1; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; deamidation; mass spectrometry analysis; mitochondria; neurodegeneration; post-translational modifications; voltage dependent anion channel
  20. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Nov 26. pii: E3520. [Epub ahead of print]12(12):
      Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) encompass a very heterogeneous group of clonal hematopoietic stem cell differentiation disorders with malignant potential and an elusive pathobiology. Given the central role of metabolism in effective differentiation, we performed an untargeted metabolomic analysis of differentiating myeloid lineage cells from MDS bone marrow aspirates that exhibited <5% (G1) or ≥5% (G2) blasts, in order to delineate its role in MDS severity and malignant potential. Bone marrow aspirates were collected from 14 previously untreated MDS patients (G1, n = 10 and G2, n = 4) and age matched controls (n = 5). Following myeloid lineage cell isolation, untargeted mass spectrometry-based metabolomics analysis was performed. Data were processed and analyzed using Metabokit. Enrichment analysis was performed using Metaboanalyst v4 employing pathway-associated metabolite sets. We established a bioenergetic profile coordinated by the Warburg phenomenon in both groups, but with a massively different outcome that mainly depended upon its group mitochondrial function and redox state. G1 cells are overwhelmed by glycolytic intermediate accumulation due to failing mitochondria, while the functional electron transport chain and improved redox in G2 compensate for Warburg disruption. Both metabolomes reveal the production and abundance of epigenetic modifiers. G1 and G2 metabolomes differ and eventually determine the MDS clinical phenotype, as well as the potential for malignant transformation.
    Keywords:  Warburg effect; acute myeloid leukemia; epigenetics; metabolomics; mitochondria; mitochondrial uncoupling; myelodysplastic syndrome; redox; redox ratios
  21. Biomedicines. 2020 Nov 22. pii: E526. [Epub ahead of print]8(11):
      Mitochondria are of great relevance to health, and their dysregulation is associated with major chronic diseases. Research on mitochondria-156 brand new publications from 2019 and 2020-have contributed to this review. Mitochondria have been fundamental for the evolution of complex organisms. As important and semi-autonomous organelles in cells, they can adapt their function to the needs of the respective organ. They can program their function to energy supply (e.g., to keep heart muscle cells going, life-long) or to metabolism (e.g., to support hepatocytes and liver function). The capacity of mitochondria to re-program between different options is important for all cell types that are capable of changing between a resting state and cell proliferation, such as stem cells and immune cells. Major chronic diseases are characterized by mitochondrial dysregulation. This will be exemplified by cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, immune system disorders, and cancer. New strategies for intervention in chronic diseases will be presented. The tumor microenvironment can be considered a battlefield between cancer and immune defense, competing for energy supply and metabolism. Cancer cachexia is considered as a final stage of cancer progression. Nevertheless, the review will present an example of complete remission of cachexia via immune cell transfer. These findings should encourage studies along the lines of mitochondria, energy supply, and metabolism.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS; TCA; cachexia; cancer; chronic diseases; cyanobacteria; glycosylation; hydrogen; oxygen; redox enzymes; tumor microenvironment
  22. Nature. 2020 Dec 02.
      Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in the world, with most CVD-related deaths resulting from myocardial infarction or stroke. The main underlying cause of thrombosis and cardiovascular events is atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease that can remain asymptomatic for long periods. There is an urgent need for therapeutic and diagnostic options in this area. Atherosclerotic plaques contain autoantibodies1,2, and there is a connection between atherosclerosis and autoimmunity3. However, the immunogenic trigger and the effects of the autoantibody response during atherosclerosis are not well understood3-5. Here we performed high-throughput single-cell analysis of the atherosclerosis-associated antibody repertoire. Antibody gene sequencing of more than 1,700 B cells from atherogenic Ldlr-/- and control mice identified 56 antibodies expressed by in-vivo-expanded clones of B lymphocytes in the context of atherosclerosis. One-third of the expanded antibodies were reactive against atherosclerotic plaques, indicating that various antigens in the lesion can trigger antibody responses. Deep proteomics analysis identified ALDH4A1, a mitochondrial dehydrogenase involved in proline metabolism, as a target antigen of one of these autoantibodies, A12. ALDH4A1 distribution is altered during atherosclerosis, and circulating ALDH4A1 is increased in mice and humans with atherosclerosis, supporting the potential use of ALDH4A1 as a disease biomarker. Infusion of A12 antibodies into Ldlr-/- mice delayed plaque formation and reduced circulating free cholesterol and LDL, suggesting that anti-ALDH4A1 antibodies can protect against atherosclerosis progression and might have therapeutic potential in CVD.
  23. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Nov 30. pii: 202014108. [Epub ahead of print]
      TAT-RasGAP317-326 is a cell-penetrating peptide-based construct with anticancer and antimicrobial activities. This peptide kills a subset of cancer cells in a manner that does not involve known programmed cell death pathways. Here we have elucidated the mode of action allowing TAT-RasGAP317-326 to kill cells. This peptide binds and disrupts artificial membranes containing lipids typically enriched in the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane, such as phosphatidylinositol-bisphosphate (PIP2) and phosphatidylserine (PS). Decreasing the amounts of PIP2 in cells renders them more resistant to TAT-RasGAP317-326, while reducing the ability of cells to repair their plasma membrane makes them more sensitive to the peptide. The W317A TAT-RasGAP317-326 point mutant, known to have impaired killing activities, has reduced abilities to bind and permeabilize PIP2- and PS-containing membranes and to translocate through biomembranes, presumably because of a higher propensity to adopt an α-helical state. This work shows that TAT-RasGAP317-326 kills cells via a form of necrosis that relies on the physical disruption of the plasma membrane once the peptide targets specific phospholipids found on the cytosolic side of the plasma membrane.
    Keywords:  anticancer peptides; cell-penetrating peptides; membranolytic peptides; phosphatidylserine; phosphoinositides
  24. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Dec 01. pii: glaa301. [Epub ahead of print]
      The role played by mitochondrial function in the aging process has been a subject of intense debate in the past few decades, as part of the efforts to understand the mechanistic basis of longevity. The mitochondrial oxidative stress theory of aging (MOSTA) suggests that a progressive decay of this organelle's function leads to an exacerbation of oxidative stress, with deleterious impact on mitochondrial structure and DNA, ultimately promoting aging. Among the traits suspected to be associated with longevity is the variation in regulation of oxidative phosphorylation, potentially impacting the management of oxidative stress. Longitudinal studies using the framework of metabolic control analysis have shown age-related differences in flux control of respiration, but this approach has seldom been taken on a comparative scale. Using four species of marine bivalves exhibiting a large range of maximum lifespans (from 28y to 507y), we report lifespan-related differences in flux control at different steps of the electron transfer system. Increased longevity was characterized by a lower control by NADH- (complex I-linked) and Succinate- (complex II- linked) pathways, while respiration was strongly controlled by complex IV when compared to shorter-lived species. Complex III exterted a strong control over respiration in all species. Furthermore, high longevity was associated with higher citrate synthase activity, and lower ATP synthase activity. Relieving the control exerted by the electron entry pathways could be advantageous for reaching a higher longevity, leading to an increased control by complex IV, the final electron acceptor in the electron transfer system.
    Keywords:  Invertebrate; Longevity; Metabolism; Mitochondria
  25. Exp Neurol. 2020 Nov 29. pii: S0014-4886(20)30367-8. [Epub ahead of print] 113536
      The inability to reliably replicate mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) by mitochondrial DNA polymerase gamma (pol γ) leads to a subset of common mitochondrial diseases associated with neuronal death and depletion of neuronal mtDNA. Defining disease mechanisms in neurons remains difficult due to the limited access to human tissue. Using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), we generated functional dopaminergic (DA) neurons showing positive expression of dopaminergic markers TH and DAT, mature neuronal marker MAP2 and functional synaptic markers synaptophysin and PSD-95. These DA neurons were electrophysiologically characterized, and exhibited inward Na + currents, overshooting action potentials and spontaneous postsynaptic currents (sPSCs). POLG patient-specific DA neurons (POLG-DA neurons) manifested a phenotype that replicated the molecular and biochemical changes found in patient post-mortem brain samples namely loss of complex I and depletion of mtDNA. Compared to disease-free hiPSC-derived DA neurons, POLG-DA neurons exhibited loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, loss of complex I and loss of mtDNA and TFAM expression. POLG driven mitochondrial dysfunction also led to neuronal ROS overproduction and increased cellular senescence. This deficit was selectively rescued by treatment with N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA). In conclusion, our study illustrates the promise of hiPSC technology for assessing pathogenetic mechanisms associated with POLG disease, and that NACA can be a promising potential therapy for mitochondrial diseases such as those caused by POLG mutation.
    Keywords:  DA neurons; Mitochondria; N-acetylcysteine amide; POLG; hiPSCs
  26. J Immunother Cancer. 2020 Dec;pii: e001372. [Epub ahead of print]8(2):
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial Lon is a chaperone and DNA-binding protein that functions in protein quality control and stress response pathways. The level of Lon regulates mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) metabolism and the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, there is little information in detail on how mitochondrial Lon regulates ROS-dependent cancer immunoescape through mtDNA metabolism in the tumor microenvironment (TME).METHODS: We explored the understanding of the intricate interplay between mitochondria and the innate immune response in the inflammatory TME.
    RESULTS: We found that oxidized mtDNA is released into the cytosol when Lon is overexpressed and then it induces interferon (IFN) signaling via cGAS-STING-TBK1, which upregulates PD-L1 and IDO-1 expression to inhibit T-cell activation. Unexpectedly, upregulation of Lon also induces the secretion of extracellular vehicles (EVs), which carry mtDNA and PD-L1. Lon-induced EVs further induce the production of IFN and IL-6 from macrophages, which attenuates T-cell immunity in the TME.
    CONCLUSIONS: The levels of mtDNA and PD-L1 in EVs in patients with oral cancer function as a potential diagnostic biomarker for anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy. Our studies provide an insight into the immunosuppression on mitochondrial stress and suggest a therapeutic synergy between anti-inflammation therapy and immunotherapy in cancer.
    Keywords:  inflammation; interferon inducers; tumor biomarkers; tumor escape; tumor microenvironment
  27. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Dec 02. pii: gkaa1132. [Epub ahead of print]
      Translation and ribosome biogenesis in mitochondria require auxiliary factors that ensure rapid and accurate synthesis of mitochondrial proteins. Defects in translation are associated with oxidative phosphorylation deficiency and cause severe human diseases, but the exact roles of mitochondrial translation-associated factors are not known. Here we identify the functions of GTPBP6, a homolog of the bacterial ribosome-recycling factor HflX, in human mitochondria. Similarly to HflX, GTPBP6 facilitates the dissociation of ribosomes in vitro and in vivo. In contrast to HflX, GTPBP6 is also required for the assembly of mitochondrial ribosomes. GTPBP6 ablation leads to accumulation of late assembly intermediate(s) of the large ribosomal subunit containing ribosome biogenesis factors MTERF4, NSUN4, MALSU1 and the GTPases GTPBP5, GTPBP7 and GTPBP10. Our data show that GTPBP6 has a dual function acting in ribosome recycling and biogenesis. These findings contribute to our understanding of large ribosomal subunit assembly as well as ribosome recycling pathway in mitochondria.
  28. Cancer Immunol Res. 2020 Dec 04. pii: canimm.0384.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolic constraints in the tumor microenvironment constitute a barrier to effective anti-tumor immunity and similarities in the metabolic properties of T cells and cancer cells impede the specific therapeutic targeting of metabolism in either population. To identify distinct metabolic vulnerabilities of CD8+ T cells and cancer cells, we developed a high-throughput in vitro pharmacologic screening platform and used it to measure the cell type-specific sensitivities of activated CD8+ T cells and B16 melanoma cells to a wide array of metabolic perturbations during antigen-specific killing of cancer cells by CD8+ T cells. We illustrated the applicability of this screening platform by showing that CD8+ T cells were more sensitive to ferroptosis than B16 and MC38 cancer cells. Overexpression of ferroptosis suppressor protein 1 (FSP1) or cytosolic GPX4 yielded ferroptosis-resistant CD8+ T cells without compromising their function, while genetic deletion of the ferroptosis sensitivity-promoting enzyme acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 4 (ACSL4) protected CD8+ T cells from ferroptosis, but impaired anti-tumor CD8+ T cell responses. Our screen also revealed high T cell-specific vulnerabilities for compounds targeting NAD+ metabolism or autophagy and ER stress pathways. We focused the current screening effort on metabolic agents. However, this in vitro screening platform may also be valuable for rapid testing of other types of compounds to identify regulators of anti-tumor CD8+ T-cell function and potential therapeutic targets.
  29. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Nov 26. pii: E3530. [Epub ahead of print]12(12):
      The involvement of GRK2 in cancer cell proliferation and its counter-regulation of p53 have been suggested in breast cancer even if the underlying mechanism has not yet been elucidated. Furthermore, the possibility to pharmacologically inhibit GRK2 to delay cancer cell proliferation has never been explored. We investigated this possibility by setting up a study that combined in vitro and in vivo models to underpin the crosstalk between GRK2 and p53. To reach this aim, we took advantage of the different expression of p53 in cell lines of thyroid cancer (BHT 101 expressing p53 and FRO cells, which are p53-null) in which we overexpressed or silenced GRK2. The pharmacological inhibition of GRK2 was achieved using the specific inhibitor KRX-C7. The in vivo study was performed in Balb/c nude mice, where we treated BHT-101 or FRO-derived tumors with KRX-C7. In our in vitro model, FRO cells were unaffected by GRK2 expression levels, whereas BHT-101 cells were sensitive, thus suggesting a role for p53. The regulation of p53 by GRK2 is due to phosphorylative events in Thr-55, which induce the degradation of p53. In BHT-101 cells, the pharmacologic inhibition of GRK2 by KRX-C7 increased p53 levels and activated apoptosis through the mitochondrial release of cytochrome c. These KRX-C7-mediated events were also confirmed in cancer allograft models in nude mice. In conclusion, our data showed that GRK2 counter-regulates p53 expression in cancer cells through a kinase-dependent activity. Our results further corroborate the anti-proliferative role of GRK2 inhibitors in p53-sensitive tumors and propose GRK2 as a therapeutic target in selected cancers.
    Keywords:  GRK2; GRK2 inhibition; mitochondrial apoptosis; p53; thyroid cancer
  30. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 536377
      Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer (HNSCC) presents with multiple treatment challenges limiting overall survival rates and affecting patients' quality of life. Amongst these, resistance to radiation therapy constitutes a major clinical problem in HNSCC patients compounded by origin, location, and tumor grade that limit tumor control. While cisplatin is considered the standard radiosensitizing agent for definitive or adjuvant radiotherapy, in recurrent tumors or for palliative care other chemotherapeutics such as the antifolates methotrexate or pemetrexed are also being utilized as radiosensitizers. These drugs inhibit the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, which is essential for DNA synthesis and connects the 1-C/folate metabolism to NAD(P)H and NAD(P)+ balance in cells. In previous studies, we identified MTHFD2, a mitochondrial enzyme involved in folate metabolism, as a key contributor to NAD(P)H levels in the radiation-resistant cells and HNSCC tumors. In the study presented here, we investigated the role of MTHFD2 in the response to radiation alone and in combination with β-lapachone, a NQO1 bioactivatable drug, which generates reactive oxygen species concomitant with NAD(P)H oxidation to NAD(P)+. These studies are performed in a matched HNSCC cell model of response to radiation: the radiation resistant rSCC-61 and radiation sensitive SCC-61 cells reported earlier by our group. Radiation resistant rSCC-61 cells had increased sensitivity to β-lapachone compared to SCC-61 and knockdown of MTHFD2 in rSCC-61 cells further potentiated the cytotoxicity of β-lapachone with radiation in a dose and time-dependent manner. rSCC-61 MTHFD2 knockdown cells irradiated and treated with β-lapachone showed increased PARP1 activation, inhibition of mitochondrial respiration, decreased respiration-linked ATP production, and increased mitochondrial superoxide and protein oxidation as compared to control rSCC-61 scrambled shRNA. Thus, these studies point to MTHFD2 as a potential target for development of radiosensitizing chemotherapeutics and potentiator of β-lapachone cytotoxicity.
    Keywords:  MTHFD2; NQO1; head and neck cancer; radiation resistance; β-lapachone
  31. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2020 Dec 02.
      Imeglimin is an investigational first-in-class novel oral agent for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes (T2D). Several pivotal Phase III trials have been completed with evidence of statistically significant glucose lowering and a generally favorable safety and tolerability profile including the lack of severe hypoglycemia. Imeglimin's mechanism of action involves dual effects: 1) amplification of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) and preservation of β-cell mass; 2) enhanced insulin action including the potential for inhibition of hepatic glucose output and improvement in insulin signaling in both liver and skeletal muscle. At a cellular and molecular level, Imeglimin's underlying mechanism may involve correction of mitochondrial dysfunction - a common underlying element of T2D pathogenesis. It has been observed to rebalance respiratory chain activity (partial inhibition of Complex I and correction of deficient Complex III activity) resulting in reduced reactive oxygen species formation (decreasing oxidative stress) and prevention of mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening (implicated in preventing cell-death). In islets derived from diseased rodents with T2D, Imeglimin also enhances glucose-stimulated ATP generation and induces the synthesis of NAD+ via the "salvage pathway". In addition to its key role as a mitochondrial cofactor, NAD+ metabolites may contribute to the increase in GSIS (via enhanced Ca++ mobilization). Imeglimin has also been shown to preserve β-cell mass in rodents with T2D. Overall Imeglimin appears to target a key root cause of T2D - defective cellular energy metabolism. This potential mode of action is unique and has been shown to differ from that of other major therapeutic classes including biguanides, sulphonylureas, GLP1 receptor agonists and others. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Imeglimin; mechanism; mitochondria; therapeutic; type 2 diabetes
  32. RNA. 2020 Dec 01. pii: rna.077347.120. [Epub ahead of print]
      We have recently reported on an experimental model of mitochondrial mistranslation conferred by amino acid exchange V338Y in the mitochondrial ribosomal protein MrpS5. Here we used a combination of RNA-Seq and metabolic profiling of homozygous transgenic MrpS5V338Y/V338Y mice to analyze the changes associated with the V338Y mutation in post-mitotic skeletal muscle. Metabolic profiling demonstrated age-dependent metabolic changes in the mutant V338Y animals, which included enhanced levels of age-associated metabolites and which were accompanied by increased glycolysis, lipid desaturation and eicosanoid biosynthesis, and alterations of the pentose phosphate pathway. In addition, transcriptome signatures of aged V338Y mutant muscle pointed to elevated inflammation, likely reflecting the increased levels of bioactive lipids. Our findings indicate that mistranslation-mediated chronic impairment of mitochondrial function affects specific bioenergetic processes in muscle in an age-dependent manner.
    Keywords:  Aging; Metabolome; Misreading; Mitochondria; Skeletal Muscle
  33. Basic Res Cardiol. 2020 Nov 30. 115(6): 74
      Type 2 diabetic cardiomyopathy features Ca2+ signaling abnormalities, notably an altered mitochondrial Ca2+ handling. We here aimed to study if it might be due to a dysregulation of either the whole Ca2+ homeostasis, the reticulum-mitochondrial Ca2+ coupling, and/or the mitochondrial Ca2+ entry through the uniporter. Following a 16-week high-fat high-sucrose diet (HFHSD), mice developed cardiac insulin resistance, fibrosis, hypertrophy, lipid accumulation, and diastolic dysfunction when compared to standard diet. Ultrastructural and proteomic analyses of cardiac reticulum-mitochondria interface revealed tighter interactions not compatible with Ca2+ transport in HFHSD cardiomyocytes. Intramyocardial adenoviral injections of Ca2+ sensors were performed to measure Ca2+ fluxes in freshly isolated adult cardiomyocytes and to analyze the direct effects of in vivo type 2 diabetes on cardiomyocyte function. HFHSD resulted in a decreased IP3R-VDAC interaction and a reduced IP3-stimulated Ca2+ transfer to mitochondria, with no changes in reticular Ca2+ level, cytosolic Ca2+ transients, and mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter function. Disruption of organelle Ca2+ exchange was associated with decreased mitochondrial bioenergetics and reduced cell contraction, which was rescued by an adenovirus-mediated expression of a reticulum-mitochondria linker. An 8-week diet reversal was able to restore cardiac insulin signaling, Ca2+ transfer, and cardiac function in HFHSD mice. Therefore, our study demonstrates that the reticulum-mitochondria Ca2+ miscoupling may play an early and reversible role in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy by disrupting primarily the mitochondrial bioenergetics. A diet reversal, by counteracting the MAM-induced mitochondrial Ca2+ dysfunction, might contribute to restore normal cardiac function and prevent the exacerbation of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
    Keywords:  Ca2+ flux; Diabetic cardiomyopathy; Metabolic syndrome disease; Mitochondria-associated membranes MAM; Protein database; Proteomic analysis of cardiac MAM proteome
  34. PLoS Genet. 2020 Nov 30. 16(11): e1009083
      Increased cellular degradation by autophagy is a feature of many interventions that delay ageing. We report here that increased autophagy is necessary for reduced insulin-like signalling (IIS) to extend lifespan in Drosophila and is sufficient on its own to increase lifespan. We first established that the well-characterised lifespan extension associated with deletion of the insulin receptor substrate chico was completely abrogated by downregulation of the essential autophagy gene Atg5. We next directly induced autophagy by over-expressing the major autophagy kinase Atg1 and found that a mild increase in autophagy extended lifespan. Interestingly, strong Atg1 up-regulation was detrimental to lifespan. Transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches identified specific signatures mediated by varying levels of autophagy in flies. Transcriptional upregulation of mitochondrial-related genes was the signature most specifically associated with mild Atg1 upregulation and extended lifespan, whereas short-lived flies, possessing strong Atg1 overexpression, showed reduced mitochondrial metabolism and up-regulated immune system pathways. Increased proteasomal activity and reduced triacylglycerol levels were features shared by both moderate and high Atg1 overexpression conditions. These contrasting effects of autophagy on ageing and differential metabolic profiles highlight the importance of fine-tuning autophagy levels to achieve optimal healthspan and disease prevention.
  35. Sci Rep. 2020 Dec 03. 10(1): 21146
      Cellular metabolism is directly or indirectly associated with various cellular processes by producing a variety of metabolites. Metabolic alterations may cause adverse effects on cell viability. However, some alterations potentiate the rescue of the malfunction of the cell system. Here, we found that the alteration of glucose metabolism suppressed genome instability caused by the impairment of chromatin structure. Deletion of the TDH2 gene, which encodes glyceraldehyde 3-phospho dehydrogenase and is essential for glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, partially suppressed DNA damage sensitivity due to chromatin structure, which was persistently acetylated histone H3 on lysine 56 in cells with deletions of both HST3 and HST4, encoding NAD+-dependent deacetylases. tdh2 deletion also restored the short replicative lifespan of cells with deletion of sir2, another NAD+-dependent deacetylase, by suppressing intrachromosomal recombination in rDNA repeats increased by the unacetylated histone H4 on lysine 16. tdh2 deletion also suppressed recombination between direct repeats in hst3∆ hst4∆ cells by suppressing the replication fork instability that leads to both DNA deletions among repeats. We focused on quinolinic acid (QUIN), a metabolic intermediate in the de novo nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) synthesis pathway, which accumulated in the tdh2 deletion cells and was a candidate metabolite to suppress DNA replication fork instability. Deletion of QPT1, quinolinate phosphoribosyl transferase, elevated intracellular QUIN levels and partially suppressed the DNA damage sensitivity of hst3∆ hst4∆ cells as well as tdh2∆ cells. qpt1 deletion restored the short replicative lifespan of sir2∆ cells by suppressing intrachromosomal recombination among rDNA repeats. In addition, qpt1 deletion could suppress replication fork slippage between direct repeats. These findings suggest a connection between glucose metabolism and genomic stability.
  36. Front Physiol. 2020 ;11 541040
      Mitochondria are key determinants of cellular health. However, the functional role of mitochondria varies from cell to cell depending on the relative demands for energy distribution, metabolite biosynthesis, and/or signaling. In order to support the specific needs of different cell types, mitochondrial functional capacity can be optimized in part by modulating mitochondrial structure across several different spatial scales. Here we discuss the functional implications of altering mitochondrial structure with an emphasis on the physiological trade-offs associated with different mitochondrial configurations. Within a mitochondrion, increasing the amount of cristae in the inner membrane improves capacity for energy conversion and free radical-mediated signaling but may come at the expense of matrix space where enzymes critical for metabolite biosynthesis and signaling reside. Electrically isolating individual cristae could provide a protective mechanism to limit the spread of dysfunction within a mitochondrion but may also slow the response time to an increase in cellular energy demand. For individual mitochondria, those with relatively greater surface areas can facilitate interactions with the cytosol or other organelles but may be more costly to remove through mitophagy due to the need for larger phagophore membranes. At the network scale, a large, stable mitochondrial reticulum can provide a structural pathway for energy distribution and communication across long distances yet also enable rapid spreading of localized dysfunction. Highly dynamic mitochondrial networks allow for frequent content mixing and communication but require constant cellular remodeling to accommodate the movement of mitochondria. The formation of contact sites between mitochondria and several other organelles provides a mechanism for specialized communication and direct content transfer between organelles. However, increasing the number of contact sites between mitochondria and any given organelle reduces the mitochondrial surface area available for contact sites with other organelles as well as for metabolite exchange with cytosol. Though the precise mechanisms guiding the coordinated multi-scale mitochondrial configurations observed in different cell types have yet to be elucidated, it is clear that mitochondrial structure is tailored at every level to optimize mitochondrial function to meet specific cellular demands.
    Keywords:  cristae; energetics; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial networks; organelle interaction
  37. Nat Metab. 2020 Nov 30.
      In non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), concurrent mutations in the oncogene KRAS and the tumour suppressor STK11 (also known as LKB1) encoding the kinase LKB1 result in aggressive tumours prone to metastasis but with liabilities arising from reprogrammed metabolism. We previously demonstrated perturbed nitrogen metabolism and addiction to an unconventional pathway of pyrimidine synthesis in KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant cancer cells. To gain broader insight into metabolic reprogramming in NSCLC, we analysed tumour metabolomes in a series of genetically engineered mouse models with oncogenic KRAS combined with mutations in LKB1 or p53. Metabolomics and gene expression profiling pointed towards activation of the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP), another nitrogen-related metabolic pathway, in both mouse and human KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant tumours. KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant cells contain high levels of HBP metabolites, higher flux through the HBP pathway and elevated dependence on the HBP enzyme glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate transaminase [isomerizing] 2 (GFPT2). GFPT2 inhibition selectively reduced KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant tumour cell growth in culture, xenografts and genetically modified mice. Our results define a new metabolic vulnerability in KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant tumours and provide a rationale for targeting GFPT2 in this aggressive NSCLC subtype.
  38. Redox Biol. 2020 Nov 25. pii: S2213-2317(20)31013-2. [Epub ahead of print]38 101808
      Ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) is an environmental complete carcinogen, which induces and promotes keratinocyte carcinomas, the most common human malignancies. UVB induces the formation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). Repairing CPDs through nucleotide excision repair is slow and error-prone in placental mammals. In addition to the mutagenic and malignancy-inducing effects, UVB also elicits poorly understood complex metabolic changes in keratinocytes, possibly through CPDs. To determine the effects of CPDs, CPD-photolyase was overexpressed in keratinocytes using an N1-methyl pseudouridine-containing in vitro-transcribed mRNA. CPD-photolyase, which is normally not present in placental mammals, can efficiently and rapidly repair CPDs to block signaling pathways elicited by CPDs. Keratinocytes surviving UVB irradiation turn hypermetabolic. We show that CPD-evoked mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production, followed by the activation of several energy sensor enzymes, including sirtuins, AMPK, mTORC1, mTORC2, p53, and ATM, is responsible for the compensatory metabolic adaptations in keratinocytes surviving UVB irradiation. Compensatory metabolic changes consist of enhanced glycolytic flux, Szent-Györgyi-Krebs cycle, and terminal oxidation. Furthermore, mitochondrial fusion, mitochondrial biogenesis, and lipophagy characterize compensatory hypermetabolism in UVB-exposed keratinocytes. These properties not only support the survival of keratinocytes, but also contribute to UVB-induced differentiation of keratinocytes. Our results indicate that CPD-dependent signaling acutely maintains skin integrity by supporting cellular energy metabolism.
    Keywords:  CPD; Keratinocyte; Mitochondria; Photolyase mRNA; UVB
  39. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Dec 01. 12
      FBXW7 functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase to mediate oncoprotein degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system in cancer cells, effectively inhibiting the growth and survival of tumor cells. However, little is known about the functions of FBXW7 in macrophages and the tumor immune microenvironment. In this study, we find that FBXW7 suppresses M2-like tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) polarization to limit tumor progression. We identified a significant increase in the proportion of M2-like TAMs and aggravated tumor growth in mice with myeloid FBXW7 deficiency by subcutaneous inoculation with Lewis lung carcinoma cells (LLCs). When stimulated with LLCs supernatant in vitro, FBXW7-knockout macrophages displayed increased M2 macrophage polarization and enhanced ability of supporting cancer cells growth. In mechanism, we confirmed that FBXW7 inhibited M2-like TAM polarization by mediating c-Myc degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. These findings highlight the role of FBXW7 in M2-like TAM polarization and provide new insights into the potential targets for cancer immunotherapies.
    Keywords:  FBXW7; c-Myc; macrophage polarization; tumor-associated macrophages; ubiquitination
  40. Blood. 2020 Dec 01. pii: blood.2020008528. [Epub ahead of print]
      BH3 mimetics like Venetoclax target pro-survival Bcl-2 family proteins and are important therapeutics in the treatment of hematological malignancies. We demonstrate endogenous Bfl-1 expression can render preclinical lymphoma tumor models insensitive to Mcl-1 and Bcl-2-inhibitors. However, suppression of Bfl-1 alone was insufficient to fully induce apoptosis in Bfl-1-expressing lymphomas, highlighting the need for targeting additional pro-survival proteins in this context. Importantly, we demonstrated that CDK9 inhibitors rapidly downregulate both Bfl-1 and Mcl-1, inducing apoptosis in BH3 mimetic resistant lymphoma cell lines in vitro and driving in vivo tumor regressions in DLBCL PDX models expressing Bfl-1. This data underscores the need to clinically develop CDK9 inhibitors, like AZD4573, for the treatment of lymphomas using Bfl-1 as a selection biomarker.
  41. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2020 Dec 02.
      The thiol redox proteome refers to all proteins whose cysteine thiols are subjected to various redox-dependent posttranslational modifications (PTMs) including S-glutathionylation (SSG), S-nitrosylation (SNO), S-sulfenylation (SOH), and S-sulfhydration (SSH). These modifications can impact various aspects of protein function such as activity, binding, conformation, localization, and interactions with other molecules. To identify novel redox proteins in signaling and regulation, it is highly desirable to have robust redox proteomics methods that can provide global, site-specific, and stoichiometric quantification of redox PTMs. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based redox proteomics has emerged as the primary platform for broad characterization of thiol PTMs in cells and tissues. Herein we review recent advances in MS-based redox proteomics approaches for quantitative profiling of redox PTMs at physiological or oxidative stress conditions and highlight some recent applications. Considering the relative maturity of available methods, emphasis will be on two types of modifications: 1) total oxidation (i.e., all reversible thiol modifications), the level of which represents the overall redox state, and 2) S-glutathionylation, a major form of reversible thiol oxidation. We also discuss the significance of stoichiometric measurements of thiol PTMs as well as future perspectives towards a better understanding of cellular redox regulatory networks in cells and tissues.
    Keywords:  posttranslational modifications; redox proteomics; site occupancy; stoichiometric quantification; the thiol proteome
  42. Blood. 2020 Nov 30. pii: blood.2020007075. [Epub ahead of print]
      Isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutations are common genetic alterations in myeloid disorders, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Epigenetic changes, including abnormal histone and DNA methylation, have been implicated in the pathogenic build-up of hematopoietic progenitors, but it is still unclear whether and how IDH mutations themselves affect hematopoiesis. Here, we show that IDH1-mutant mice develop myeloid dysplasia in that these animals exhibit anemia, ineffective erythropoiesis, increased immature progenitor and erythroblast. In erythroid cells of these mice, D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG), an aberrant metabolite produced by the mutant IDH1 enzyme, inhibits oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (OGDH) activity and diminishes succinyl-CoA production. This succinyl-CoA deficiency attenuates heme biosynthesis in IDH1-mutant hematopoietic cells, thus blocking erythroid differentiation at the late erythroblast stage and the erythroid commitment of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), while the exogenous succinyl-CoA or 5-ALA rescues erythropoiesis in IDH1-mutant erythroid cells. Heme deficiency also impairs heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression, which reduces levels of important heme catabolites such as biliverdin and bilirubin. These deficits result in accumulation of excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) that induce the cell death of IDH1-mutant erythroid cells. Our results clearly demonstrate the essential role of IDH1 in normal erythropoiesis and show how its mutation leads to myeloid disorders. Our data thus have important implications for the devising of new treatments for IDH-mutant tumors.
  43. Oncol Lett. 2021 Jan;21(1): 31
      Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) serves an important role in the formation and development of various types of cancer, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Metformin, used for treating type 2 diabetes, has been revealed to exert an anticancer effect in various types of cancer, including liver, breast and colorectal cancer. However, its role in the EMT of OSCC has been rarely reported. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of metformin on EMT and to identify its underlying mechanism in OSCC. Firstly, EMT was induced in CAL-27 cells using CoCl2. Subsequently, the effects of metformin on cell viability, migration and xenograft growth were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR was performed to detect the expression levels of E-cadherin, vimentin, snail family transcriptional repressor 1, mTOR, hypoxia inducible factor 1α, pyruvate kinase M2 and STAT3. The results demonstrated that metformin abolished CoCl2-induced cell proliferation, migration, invasion and EMT. Moreover, metformin reversed EMT in OSCC by inhibiting the mTOR-associated HIF-1α/PKM2/STAT3 signaling pathway. Overall, the present findings characterized a novel mechanism via which metformin modulated EMT in OSCC.
    Keywords:  epithelial-mesenchymal transition; mTOR; metformin; oral squamous cell carcinoma
  44. Entropy (Basel). 2019 Jul 30. pii: E746. [Epub ahead of print]21(8):
      Starting from the universal concept of entropy production, a large number of new results are obtained and a wealth of novel thermodynamic, kinetic, and molecular mechanistic insights are provided into the coupling of oxidation and ATP synthesis in the vital process of oxidative phosphorylation (OX PHOS). The total dissipation, Φ , in OX PHOS with succinate as respiratory substrate is quantified from measurements, and the partitioning of Φ into the elementary components of ATP synthesis, leak, slip, and other losses is evaluated for the first time. The thermodynamic efficiency, η , of the coupled process is calculated from the data on Φ and shown to agree well with linear nonequilibrium thermodynamic calculations. Equations for the P/O ratio based on total oxygen consumed and extra oxygen consumed are derived from first principles and the source of basal (state 4) mitochondrial respiration is postulated from molecular mechanistic considerations based on Nath's two-ion theory of energy coupling within the torsional mechanism of energy transduction and ATP synthesis. The degree of coupling, q , between oxidation and ATP synthesis is determined from the experimental data and the irreversible thermodynamics analysis. The optimality of biological free energy converters is explored in considerable detail based on (i) the standard biothermodynamic approach, and (ii) a new biothermokinetic approach developed in this work, and an effective solution that is shown to arise from consideration of the molecular aspects in Nath's theory is formulated. New experimental data in state 4 with uncouplers and redox inhibitors of OX PHOS and on respiratory control in the physiological state 3 with ADP and uncouplers are presented. These experimental observations are shown to be incompatible with Mitchell's chemiosmotic theory. A novel scheme of coupling based on Nath's two-ion theory of energy coupling within the torsional mechanism is proposed and shown to explain the data and also pass the test of consistency with the thermodynamics, taking us beyond the chemiosmotic theory. It is concluded that, twenty years since its first proposal, Nath's torsional mechanism of energy transduction and ATP synthesis is now well poised to catalyze the progress of experimental and theoretical research in this interdisciplinary field.
    Keywords:  ATP synthesis by F1FO-ATP synthase; Mitchell’s chemiosmotic theory; Nath’s torsional mechanism of energy transduction and ATP synthesis; Nath’s two-ion theory of biological energy coupling; biothermokinetics; free energy dissipation in oxidative phosphorylation (OX PHOS); irreversible thermodynamics/nonequilibrium thermodynamics of biological processes; optimization of biological energy converters; succinate as feedback signal and anion uncouplers of OX PHOS; variational principle
  45. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2020 Dec 04.
      Aim: To prepare curcumin (CUR)-loaded, dioleoyl phosphoethanolamine-conjugated human serum albumin nanoparticles (NPs) and to evaluate their effectiveness in breast cancer therapy. Materials & methods: The CUR-loaded NPs were physicochemically characterized and evaluated for their cytotoxicity in murine (4T1) and human breast cancer (MDA-MB-231) cell lines. The antitumor efficacy of the nanomedicine was evaluated in 4T1 tumor bearing mice. Results: The prepared NPs exhibited encapsulation and drug loading efficiencies of approximately 79 and 21%, respectively. The NPs were taken up efficiently and markedly hindered the proliferation of breast cancer cells compared with free drug. NPs exhibited greater suppression of tumor growth in 4T1 tumor bearing mice. Conclusion: CUR-human serum albumin-dioleoyl phosphoethanolamine NPs could be a potential treatment alternative for solid tumors, including breast cancer.
    Keywords:  DOPE; ROS; apoptosis; cancer; cancer cells; curcumin; cytotoxicity; enhanced permeability and retention; human serum albumin; nanoparticles
  46. Elife. 2020 Dec 02. pii: e61487. [Epub ahead of print]9
      Missense mutations in the p53 DNA binding domain (DBD) contribute to half of new cancer cases annually. Here we present a thermodynamic model that quantifies and links the major pathways by which mutations inactivate p53. We find that DBD possesses two unusual properties-one of the highest zinc affinities of any eukaryotic protein and extreme instability in the absence of zinc-which are predicted to poise p53 on the cusp of folding/unfolding in the cell, with a major determinant being available zinc concentration. We analyze the 20 most common tumorigenic p53 mutations and find that 80% impair zinc affinity, thermodynamic stability, or both. Biophysical, cell-based, and murine xenograft experiments demonstrate that a synthetic zinc metallochaperone rescues not only mutations that decrease zinc affinity, but also mutations that destabilize DBD without impairing zinc binding. The results suggest that zinc metallochaperones have the capability to treat 120,500 patients annually in the U.S.
    Keywords:  cancer biology; molecular biophysics; mouse; structural biology