bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2021‒01‒17
fifty-four papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2019 Feb;pii: S1535-9476(20)31868-5. [Epub ahead of print]18(2): 231-244
      Cancer cells are known to reprogram their metabolism to adapt to adverse conditions dictated by tumor growth and microenvironment. A subtype of cancer cells with stem-like properties, known as cancer stem cells (CSC), is thought to be responsible for tumor recurrence. In this study, we demonstrated that CSC and chemoresistant cells derived from triple negative breast cancer cells display an enrichment of up- and downregulated proteins from metabolic pathways that suggests their dependence on mitochondria for survival. Here, we selected antibiotics, in particular - linezolid, inhibiting translation of mitoribosomes and inducing mitochondrial dysfunction. We provided the first in vivo evidence demonstrating that linezolid suppressed tumor growth rate, accompanied by increased autophagy. In addition, our results revealed that bactericidal antibiotics used in combination with autophagy blocker decrease tumor growth. This study puts mitochondria in a spotlight for cancer therapy and places antibiotics as effective agents for eliminating CSC and resistant cells.
    Keywords:  Antibiotics; Autophagy; Breast Cancer; Cancer Biology; Cancer Stem Cells; Chemoresistance; Clinical Proteomics; Mitochondria; Mitochondria Function or Biology; NMR; NMR-metabolomic; Stem Cells
  2. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2021 Mar 05. 23 264-276
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is a metabolic hallmark of cancer cells. In search of molecular factors involved in this dysregulation in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), we found that the nuclear-encoded long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) MALAT1 (metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1) was aberrantly enriched in the mitochondria of hepatoma cells. Using RNA reverse transcription-associated trap sequencing (RAT-seq), we showed that MALAT1 interacted with multiple loci on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), including D-loop, COX2, ND3, and CYTB genes. MALAT1 knockdown induced alterations in the CpG methylation of mtDNA and in mitochondrial transcriptomes. This was associated with multiple abnormalities in mitochondrial function, including altered mitochondrial structure, low oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), decreased ATP production, reduced mitophagy, decreased mtDNA copy number, and activation of mitochondrial apoptosis. These alterations in mitochondrial metabolism were associated with changes in tumor phenotype and in pathways involved in cell mitophagy, mitochondrial apoptosis, and epigenetic regulation. We further showed that the RNA-shuttling protein HuR and the mitochondria transmembrane protein MTCH2 mediated the transport of MALAT1 in this nuclear-mitochondrial crosstalk. This study provides the first evidence that the nuclear genome-encoded lncRNA MALAT1 functions as a critical epigenetic player in the regulation of mitochondrial metabolism of hepatoma cells, laying the foundation for further clarifying the roles of lncRNAs in tumor metabolic reprogramming.
    Keywords:  MALAT1; apoptosis; hepatocellular carcinoma; long noncoding RNA; metabolic reprogramming; mitochondria; mitophagy
  3. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Jan 12. pii: S0891-5849(21)00035-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. They produce a significant amount of the energy we need to grow, survive and reproduce. The same system that generates energy in the form of ATP also produces Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species (mtROS) were considered for many years toxic by-products of metabolism, responsible for ageing and many degenerative diseases. Today, we know that mtROS are essential redox messengers required to determine cell fate and maintain cellular homeostasis. Most mtROS are produced by respiratory complex I (CI) and complex III (CIII). How and when CI and CIII produce ROS is determined by the redox state of the Coenzyme Q (CoQ) pool and the proton motive force (pmf) generated during respiration. During ageing, there is an accumulation of defective mitochondria that generate high levels of mtROS. This causes oxidative stress and disrupts redox signalling. Here, we review how mtROS are generated in young and old mitochondria and how CI and CIII derived ROS control physiological and pathological processes. Finally, we discuss why damaged mitochondria amass during ageing as well as methods to preserve mitochondrial redox signalling with age.
    Keywords:  Coenzyme Q; ROS; ageing; complex I; complex III; mitochondria; redox signalling
  4. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 Aug;pii: S1535-9476(20)34965-3. [Epub ahead of print]19(8): 1330-1345
      The mammalian mitochondrial proteome consists of more than 1100 annotated proteins and their proteostasis is regulated by only a few ATP-dependent protease complexes. Technical advances in protein mass spectrometry allowed for detailed description of the mitoproteome from different species and tissues and their changes under specific conditions. However, protease-substrate relations within mitochondria are still poorly understood. Here, we combined Terminal Amine Isotope Labeling of Substrates (TAILS) N termini profiling of heart mitochondria proteomes isolated from wild type and Clpp-/- mice with a classical substrate-trapping screen using FLAG-tagged proteolytically active and inactive CLPP variants to identify new ClpXP substrates in mammalian mitochondria. Using TAILS, we identified N termini of more than 200 mitochondrial proteins. Expected N termini confirmed sequence determinants for mitochondrial targeting signal (MTS) cleavage and subsequent N-terminal processing after import, but the majority were protease-generated neo-N termini mapping to positions within the proteins. Quantitative comparison revealed widespread changes in protein processing patterns, including both strong increases or decreases in the abundance of specific neo-N termini, as well as an overall increase in the abundance of protease-generated neo-N termini in CLPP-deficient mitochondria that indicated altered mitochondrial proteostasis. Based on the combination of altered processing patterns, protein accumulation and stabilization in CLPP-deficient mice and interaction with CLPP, we identified OAT, HSPA9 and POLDIP2 and as novel bona fide ClpXP substrates. Finally, we propose that ClpXP participates in the cooperative degradation of UQCRC1. Together, our data provide the first landscape of the heart mitochondria N terminome and give further insights into regulatory and assisted proteolysis mediated by ClpXP.
    Keywords:  Proteolysis; affinity proteomics; degradomics; mitochondria function or biology; substrate identification
  5. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 Jan;pii: S1535-9476(20)30006-2. [Epub ahead of print]19(1): 65-77
      NDUFAB1 is the mitochondrial acyl carrier protein (ACP) essential for cell viability. Through its pantetheine-4'-phosphate post-translational modification, NDUFAB1 interacts with members of the leucine-tyrosine-arginine motif (LYRM) protein family. Although several LYRM proteins have been described to participate in a variety of defined processes, the functions of others remain either partially or entirely unknown. We profiled the interaction network of NDUFAB1 to reveal associations with 9 known LYRM proteins as well as more than 20 other proteins involved in mitochondrial respiratory chain complex and mitochondrial ribosome assembly. Subsequent knockout and interaction network studies in human cells revealed the LYRM member AltMiD51 to be important for optimal assembly of the large mitoribosome subunit, consistent with recent structural studies. In addition, we used proteomics coupled with topographical heat-mapping to reveal that knockout of LYRM2 impairs assembly of the NADH-dehydrogenase module of complex I, leading to defects in cellular respiration. Together, this work adds to the catalogue of functions executed by LYRM family of proteins in building mitochondrial complexes and emphasizes the common and essential role of NDUFAB1 as a protagonist in mitochondrial metabolism.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria function or biology; acyl-carrier protein; affinity proteomics; blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; complex I; protein complex analysis; protein structure; protein-protein interactions
  6. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2021 Jan 13.
      Tumor cell proliferation requires sufficient metabolic flux through the pentose phosphate pathway to meet the demand for biosynthetic precursors and to increase protection against oxidative stress which in turn requires an upregulation of substrate flow through glycolysis. This metabolic poise is often coupled with a shift in ATP production from mitochondrial OXPHOS to substrate-level phosphorylation. Despite major advances that were facilitated by using tumor-derived cell lines in research areas spanning from membrane to cytoskeletal biology, this distorted metabolic profile limits their impact as a model in physiology and toxicology. Substitution of glucose with galactose in the cell culture medium has been demonstrated to shift ATP production from substrate-level phosphorylation to mitochondrial OXPHOS. This increase in oxygen utilization is coupled to a global metabolic reorganization with potential impacts on macromolecule biosynthesis and cellular redox homeostasis, but a comprehensive analysis on the effects of sugar substitution in tumor-derived cells is still missing. To address this gap in knowledge we performed transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses on human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells adapted to either glucose or galactose as the aldohexose source. We observed a shift towards oxidative metabolism in all primary metabolic pathways at both transcriptomic and metabolomic levels. We also observed a decrease in nicotinamide dinucleotide (NAD(P)) levels and subcellular NAD+-to-NADH ratios in cells cultured with galactose compared to glucose control cells. Our results suggest that galactose reduces both glycolytic and biosynthetic flux and restores a metabolic poise in HepG2 cells that closely reflects the metabolic state observed in primary hepatocytes.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Galactose; Mitochondria; NAD; Redox state
  7. Cell Rep. 2021 Jan 12. pii: S2211-1247(20)31613-2. [Epub ahead of print]34(2): 108624
      Thermoneutral conditions typical for standard human living environments result in brown adipose tissue (BAT) involution, characterized by decreased mitochondrial mass and increased lipid deposition. Low BAT activity is associated with poor metabolic health, and BAT reactivation may confer therapeutic potential. However, the molecular drivers of this BAT adaptive process in response to thermoneutrality remain enigmatic. Using metabolic and lipidomic approaches, we show that endogenous fatty acid synthesis, regulated by carbohydrate-response element-binding protein (ChREBP), is the central regulator of BAT involution. By transcriptional control of lipogenesis-related enzymes, ChREBP determines the abundance and composition of both storage and membrane lipids known to regulate organelle turnover and function. Notably, ChREBP deficiency and pharmacological inhibition of lipogenesis during thermoneutral adaptation preserved mitochondrial mass and thermogenic capacity of BAT independently of mitochondrial biogenesis. In conclusion, we establish lipogenesis as a potential therapeutic target to prevent loss of BAT thermogenic capacity as seen in adult humans.
    Keywords:  ChREBP; brown adipose tissue; cardiolipins; de novo lipogenesis; energy expenditure; fatty acid synthesis; fatty acids; lipidome; mitochondria; mitophagy; non-shivering thermogenesis; phospholipids; thermoneutrality; triacylglycerols; whitening
  8. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 14. 11(1): 1458
      T cell activation is intimately linked to metabolism, as distinct metabolic requirements support the functional and phenotypical differences between quiescent and activated T cells. Metabolic transition from mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis is crucial for a proper T cell activation. However, the role of tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), and in particular succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) in activated T cells needs further elucidation. Here we show that inhibition of SDH during activation of T cells results in strong impairment of proliferation, expression of activation markers, and production of key inflammatory cytokines, despite a concomitant increase in glycolytic metabolic activity. Similar effect of SDH inhibition were demonstrated in pre-activated T cell. Interestingly, itaconic acid, an endogenous SDH inhibitor released from activated macrophages and dendritic cells, had no immunomodulator effect. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that SDH enzyme fitness is critical for mounting and maintaining appropriate activation and function of human T cells.
  9. Semin Cancer Biol. 2021 Jan 09. pii: S1044-579X(21)00005-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Evidence demonstrates the importance of lipid metabolism and signaling in cancer cell biology. De novo lipogenesis is an important source of lipids for cancer cells, but exogenous lipid uptake remains essential for many cancer cells. Dietary lipids can modify lipids present in tumor microenvironment affecting cancer cell metabolism. Clinical trials have shown that diets rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) can negatively affect tumor growth. However, certain n-6 PUFAs can also contribute to cancer progression. Identifying the molecular mechanisms through which lipids affect cancer progression will provide an opportunity for focused dietary interventions that could translate into the development of personalized diets for cancer control. However, the effective mechanisms of action of PUFAs have not been fully clarified yet. Mitochondria controls ATP generation, redox homeostasis, metabolic signaling, apoptotic pathways and many aspects of autophagy, and it has been recognized to play a key role in cancer. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current evidence linking dietary lipids effects on mitochondrial aspects with consequences for cancer progression and the molecular mechanisms that underlie this association.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; autophagy; bioenergetics; lipogenesis; redox biology
  10. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 Jul;pii: S1535-9476(20)34978-1. [Epub ahead of print]19(7): 1145-1160
      Assembly factors play a critical role in the biogenesis of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes I-IV where they assist in the membrane insertion of subunits, attachment of co-factors, and stabilization of assembly intermediates. The major fraction of complexes I, III and IV are present together in large molecular structures known as respiratory chain supercomplexes. Several assembly factors have been proposed as required for supercomplex assembly, including the hypoxia inducible gene 1 domain family member HIGD2A. Using gene-edited human cell lines and extensive steady state, translation and affinity enrichment proteomics techniques we show that loss of HIGD2A leads to defects in the de novo biogenesis of mtDNA-encoded COX3, subsequent accumulation of complex IV intermediates and turnover of COX3 partner proteins. Deletion of HIGD2A also leads to defective complex IV activity. The impact of HIGD2A loss on complex IV was not altered by growth under hypoxic conditions, consistent with its role being in basal complex IV assembly. Although in the absence of HIGD2A we show that mitochondria do contain an altered supercomplex assembly, we demonstrate it to harbor a crippled complex IV lacking COX3. Our results redefine HIGD2A as a classical assembly factor required for building the COX3 module of complex IV.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria function or biology; OXPHOS; cytochrome c oxidase; energy metabolism; knockouts; mitochondria; mitochondrial disease; mtDNA translation; respirasome; translation
  11. Nat Commun. 2021 01 12. 12(1): 326
      Adipose tissue-resident T cells have been recognized as a critical regulator of thermogenesis and energy expenditure, yet the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we show that high-fat diet (HFD) feeding greatly suppresses the expression of disulfide-bond A oxidoreductase-like protein (DsbA-L), a mitochondria-localized chaperone protein, in adipose-resident T cells, which correlates with reduced T cell mitochondrial function. T cell-specific knockout of DsbA-L enhances diet-induced thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and protects mice from HFD-induced obesity, hepatosteatosis, and insulin resistance. Mechanistically, DsbA-L deficiency in T cells reduces IFN-γ production and activates protein kinase A by reducing phosphodiesterase-4D expression, leading to increased BAT thermogenesis. Taken together, our study uncovers a mechanism by which T cells communicate with brown adipocytes to regulate BAT thermogenesis and whole-body energy homeostasis. Our findings highlight a therapeutic potential of targeting T cells for the treatment of over nutrition-induced obesity and its associated metabolic diseases.
  12. Elife. 2021 Jan 13. pii: e63102. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Generating mammalian cells with specific mtDNA-nDNA combinations is desirable but difficult to achieve and would be enabling for studies of mitochondrial-nuclear communication and coordination in controlling cell fates and functions. We developed 'MitoPunch', a pressure-driven mitochondrial transfer device, to deliver isolated mitochondria into numerous target mammalian cells simultaneously. MitoPunch and MitoCeption, a previously described force-based mitochondrial transfer approach, both yield stable isolated mitochondrial recipient (SIMR) cells that permanently retain exogenous mtDNA, whereas coincubation of mitochondria with cells does not yield SIMR cells. Although a typical MitoPunch or MitoCeption delivery results in dozens of immortalized SIMR clones with restored oxidative phosphorylation, only MitoPunch can produce replication-limited, non-immortal human SIMR clones. The MitoPunch device is versatile, inexpensive to assemble, and easy to use for engineering mtDNA-nDNA combinations to enable fundamental studies and potential translational applications.
    Keywords:  cell biology; human
  13. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 516746
      Cathepsin S (CTSS), a lysosomal cysteine protease, is overexpressed in various cancers, including glioblastoma (GB). A high level of CTSS is associated with tumor progression and poor outcome in GB. However, the underlying mechanisms of its role in the biological characteristics of G5B remain to be elucidated. Here, we uncovered a potential role of CTSS in the lysosomes and mitochondria of GB cells (GBCs). Downregulation of CTSS in GBCs could increase the expression of autophagy-related proteins; however, there was no significant change in p62, suggesting autophagy blockade. Moreover, inhibition of CTSS increased the expression of mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) and enhanced mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake ability, causing mitochondrial Ca2+ overload, the generation of copious reactive oxygen species (ROS) and eventual mitochondrial apoptosis. Additionally, elevated damage to mitochondria exacerbated the burden of autophagy. Finally, we found that silence of MCU could alleviate the inhibition of CTSS-induced autophagosome accumulation and mitochondrial stress. Collectively, these results demonstrate that CTSS plays an important role in the process of autophagic flux and mitochondrial functions in GBCs.
    Keywords:  autophagy; cathepsin S; glioblastoma; mitochondrial calcium uniporter; mitophagy
  14. Cells. 2021 Jan 07. pii: E97. [Epub ahead of print]10(1):
      Aerobic glycolysis is an important metabolic adaptation of cancer cells. However, there is growing evidence that reprogrammed mitochondria also play an important metabolic role in metastatic dissemination. Two constituents of the reprogrammed mitochondria of cancer cells are the intracellular tyrosine kinase Fer and its cancer- and sperm-specific variant, FerT. Here, we show that Fer and FerT control mitochondrial susceptibility to therapeutic and hypoxic stress in metastatic colon (SW620) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC-H1299) cells. Fer- and FerT-deficient SW620 and H1299 cells (SW∆Fer/FerT and H∆Fer/FerT cells, respectively) become highly sensitive to metformin treatment and to hypoxia under glucose-restrictive conditions. Metformin impaired mitochondrial functioning that was accompanied by ATP deficiency and robust death in SW∆Fer/FerT and H∆Fer/FerT cells compared to the parental SW620 and H1299 cells. Notably, selective knockout of the fer gene without affecting FerT expression reduced sensitivity to metformin and hypoxia seen in SW∆Fer/FerT cells. Thus, Fer and FerT modulate the mitochondrial susceptibility of metastatic cancer cells to hypoxia and metformin. Targeting Fer/FerT may therefore provide a novel anticancer treatment by efficient, selective, and more versatile disruption of mitochondrial function in malignant cells.
    Keywords:  Fer; FerT; hypoxia; malignant cells; metformin; oxidative phosphorylation; reprogrammed mitochondria
  15. Metabolomics. 2021 01 12. 17(1): 10
      INTRODUCTION: The m.3243A > G mitochondrial DNA mutation is one of the most common mitochondrial disease-causing mutations, with a carrier rate as high as 1:400. This point mutation affects the MT-TL1 gene, ultimately affecting the oxidative phosphorylation system and the cell's energy production. Strikingly, the m.3243A > G mutation is associated with different phenotypes, including mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS), maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD) and myopathy.OBJECTIVES: We investigated urine metabolomes of MELAS, MIDD and myopathy patients in order to identify affected metabolic pathways and possible treatment options.
    METHODS: A multiplatform metabolomics approach was used to comprehensively analyze the metabolome and compare metabolic profiles of different phenotypes caused by the m.3243A > G mutation. Our analytical array consisted of NMR spectroscopy, LC-MS/MS and GC-TOF-MS.
    RESULTS: The investigation revealed phenotypic specific metabolic perturbations, as well as metabolic similarities between the different phenotypes. We show that glucose metabolism is highly disturbed in the MIDD phenotype, but not in MELAS or myopathy, remodeled fatty acid oxidation is characteristic of the MELAS patients, while one-carbon metabolism is strongly modified in both MELAS and MIDD, but not in the myopathy group. Lastly we identified increased creatine in the urine of the myopathy patients, but not in MELAS or MIDD.
    CONCLUSION: We conclude by giving novel insight on the phenotypes of the m.3243A > G mutation from a metabolomics point of view. Directives are also given for future investigations that could lead to better treatment options for patients suffering from this debilitating disease.
    Keywords:  MELAS; MIDD; Metabolomics; Mitochondrial disease; Myopathy; m.3243A > G
  16. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 08. pii: E586. [Epub ahead of print]22(2):
      Mitochondria are ubiquitous intracellular organelles found in almost all eukaryotes and involved in various aspects of cellular life, with a primary role in energy production. The interest in this organelle has grown stronger with the discovery of their link to various pathologies, including cancer, aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, dysfunctional mitochondria cannot provide the required energy to tissues with a high-energy demand, such as heart, brain and muscles, leading to a large spectrum of clinical phenotypes. Mitochondrial defects are at the origin of a group of clinically heterogeneous pathologies, called mitochondrial diseases, with an incidence of 1 in 5000 live births. Primary mitochondrial diseases are associated with genetic mutations both in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), affecting genes involved in every aspect of the organelle function. As a consequence, it is difficult to find a common cause for mitochondrial diseases and, subsequently, to offer a precise clinical definition of the pathology. Moreover, the complexity of this condition makes it challenging to identify possible therapies or drug targets.
    Keywords:  ATP production; biogenesis of the respiratory chain; mi-tochondrial electrochemical gradient; mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial potential; mitochondrial proton pumping; mitochondrial respiratory chain; oxidative phosphorylation; respiratory complex; respiratory supercomplex
  17. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Jan 06. pii: S0891-5849(20)32120-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Superoxide produced by mitochondria has been implicated in numerous physiologies and pathologies. Eleven different mitochondrial sites that can produce superoxide and/or hydrogen peroxide (O2.-/H2O2) have been identified in vitro, but little is known about their contributions in vivo. We introduce novel variants of S1QELs and S3QELs (small molecules that suppress O2.-/H2O2 production specifically from mitochondrial sites IQ and IIIQo, respectively, without compromising bioenergetics), that are suitable for use in vivo. When administered by intraperitoneal injection, they achieve total tissue concentrations exceeding those that are effective in vitro. We use them to study the engagement of sites IQ and IIIQo in mice lacking functional manganese-superoxide dismutase (SOD2). Lack of SOD2 is expected to elevate superoxide levels in the mitochondrial matrix, and leads to severe pathologies and death about 8 days after birth. Compared to littermate wild-type mice, 6-day-old Sod2-/- mice had significantly lower body weight, lower heart succinate dehydrogenase activity, and greater hepatic lipid accumulation. These pathologies were ameliorated by treatment with a SOD/catalase mimetic, EUK189, confirming previous observations. A 3-day treatment with S1QEL352 decreased the inactivation of cardiac succinate dehydrogenase and hepatic steatosis in Sod2-/- mice. S1QEL712, which has a distinct chemical structure, also decreased hepatic steatosis, confirming that O2.- derived specifically from mitochondrial site IQ is a significant driver of hepatic steatosis in Sod2-/- mice. These findings also demonstrate the ability of these new S1QELs to suppress O2.- production in the mitochondrial matrix in vivo. In contrast, suppressing site IIIQo using S3QEL941 did not protect, suggesting that site IIIQo does not contribute significantly to mitochondrial O2.- production in the hearts or livers of Sod2-/- mice. We conclude that the novel S1QELs are effective in vivo, and that site IQ runs in vivo and is a significant driver of pathology in Sod2-/- mice.
    Keywords:  Complex I; Complex II; Complex III; Mitochondria; S1QEL; S3QEL; hepatosteatosis; reactive oxygen species; succinate dehydrogenase; superoxide dismutase
  18. Endocrinology. 2021 Jan 12. pii: bqab006. [Epub ahead of print]
      Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD +) is an essential coenzyme that regulates cellular energy metabolism in many cell types. The major purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that NAD + in white adipose tissue (WAT) is a regulator of whole-body metabolic flexibility in response to changes in insulin sensitivity and with respect to substrate availability and utilization during feeding and fasting conditions. To this end, we first evaluated the relationship between WAT NAD + concentration and metabolic flexibility in mice and humans. We found that WAT NAD + concentration was increased in mice after calorie restriction and exercise, two enhancers of metabolic flexibility. Bariatric surgery-induced 20% weight loss increased plasma adiponectin concentration, skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, and WAT NAD + concentration in people with obesity. We next analyzed adipocyte-specific nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) knockout (ANKO) mice which have markedly decreased NAD + concentrations in WAT. ANKO mice oxidized more glucose during the light period and after fasting than control mice. In contrast, the normal postprandial stimulation of glucose oxidation and suppression of fat oxidation were impaired in ANKO mice. Data obtained from RNA-sequencing of WAT suggest that loss of NAMPT increases inflammation, and impairs insulin sensitivity, glucose oxidation, lipolysis, branched-chain amino acid catabolism, and mitochondrial function in WAT, which are features of metabolic inflexibility. These results demonstrate a novel function of WAT NAMPT-mediated NAD + biosynthesis in regulating whole-body metabolic flexibility, and provide new insights into the role of adipose tissue NAD + biology in metabolic health.
    Keywords:  NAD+; adiponectin; adipose tissue; insulin sensitivity; metabolic flexibility; obesity
  19. Nat Commun. 2021 01 12. 12(1): 304
      Skeletal muscle conveys several of the health-promoting effects of exercise; yet the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. Studying skeletal muscle is challenging due to its different fiber types and the presence of non-muscle cells. This can be circumvented by isolation of single muscle fibers. Here, we develop a workflow enabling proteomics analysis of pools of isolated muscle fibers from freeze-dried human muscle biopsies. We identify more than 4000 proteins in slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Exercise training alters expression of 237 and 172 proteins in slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers, respectively. Interestingly, expression levels of secreted proteins and proteins involved in transcription, mitochondrial metabolism, Ca2+ signaling, and fat and glucose metabolism adapts to training in a fiber type-specific manner. Our data provide a resource to elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying muscle function and health, and our workflow allows fiber type-specific proteomic analyses of snap-frozen non-embedded human muscle biopsies.
  20. FASEB J. 2021 Feb;35(2): e21276
      Mitochondrial derangement is an important contributor to the pathophysiology of muscular dystrophies and may be among the earliest cellular deficits. We have previously shown that disruption of Mss51, a mammalian skeletal muscle protein that localizes to the mitochondria, results in enhanced muscle oxygen consumption rate, increased endurance capacity, and improved limb muscle strength in mice with wildtype background. Here, we investigate whether Mss51 deletion in the mdx murine model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (mdx-Mss51 KO) counteracts the muscle pathology and mitochondrial irregularities observed in mdx mice. We found that mdx-Mss51 KO mice had increased myofiber oxygen consumption rates and an amelioration of muscle histopathology compared to mdx counterparts. This corresponded with greater treadmill endurance and less percent fatigue in muscle physiology, but no improvement in forelimb grip strength or limb muscle force production. These findings suggest that although Mss51 deletion ameliorates the skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration defects in mdx and improves fatigue resistance in vivo, the lack of improvement in force production suggests that this target alone may be insufficient for a therapeutic effect.
    Keywords:   Mss51 ; mdx ; endurance; fibrosis; mitochondrial respiration; muscular dystrophy
  21. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2019 Jun;pii: S1535-9476(20)31812-0. [Epub ahead of print]18(6): 1085-1095
      All but thirteen mammalian mitochondrial proteins are encoded by the nuclear genome, translated in the cytosol and then imported into the mitochondria. For a significant proportion of the mitochondrial proteins, import is coupled with the cleavage of a presequence called the transit peptide, and the formation of a new N-terminus. Determination of the neo N-termini has been investigated by proteomic approaches in several systems, but generally in a static way to compile as many N-termini as possible. In the present study, we have investigated how the mitochondrial proteome and N-terminome react to chemical stimuli that alter mitochondrial metabolism, namely zinc ions and rapamycin. To this end, we have used a strategy that analyzes both internal and N-terminal peptides in a single run, the dN-TOP approach. We used these two very different stressors to sort out what could be a generic response to stress and what is specific to each of these stressors. Rapamycin and zinc induced different changes in the mitochondrial proteome. However, convergent changes to key mitochondrial enzymatic activities such as pyruvate dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase were observed for both treatments. Other convergent changes were seen in components of the N-terminal processing system and mitochondrial proteases. Investigations into the generation of neo-N-termini in mitochondria showed that the processing system is robust, as indicated by the lack of change in neo N-termini under the conditions tested. Detailed analysis of the data revealed that zinc caused a slight reduction in the efficiency of the N-terminal trimming system and that both treatments increased the degradation of mitochondrial proteins. In conclusion, the use of this combined strategy allowed a detailed analysis of the dynamics of the mitochondrial N-terminome in response to treatments which impact the mitochondria.
    Keywords:  Cell biology*; Cellular organelles*; Enzymes*; Mass Spectrometry; Mitochondria function or biology; N-terminomics; rapamycin; zinc
  22. Gene. 2021 Jan 12. pii: S0378-1119(21)00001-9. [Epub ahead of print] 145407
      Electron transfer flavoprotein (ETF) is an enzyme with orthologs from bacteria to humans. Human ETF is nuclear encoded by two separate genes, ETFA and ETFB, respectively. After translation, the two subunits are imported to the mitochondrial matrix space and assemble into a heterodimer containing one FAD and one AMP as cofactors. ETF functions as a hub taking up electrons from at least 14 flavoenzymes, feeding them into the respiratory chain. This represents a major source of reducing power for the electron transport chain from fatty acid oxidation and amino acid degradation. Transfer of electrons from the donor enzymes to ETF occurs by direct transfer between the enzyme bound flavins, a process that is tightly regulated by the polypeptide chain and by protein:protein interactions. ETF, in turn relays electrons to the iron sulfur cluster of the inner membrane protein ETF:QO, from where they travel via the FAD in ETF:QO to ubiquinone, entering the respiratory chain at the level of complex III. ETF recognizes its dehydrogenase partners via a recognition loop that anchors the protein on its partner followed by dynamic movements of the ETF flavin domain that bring redox cofactors in close proximity, thus promoting electron transfer. Genetic mutations in the ETFA or ETFB genes cause the Mendelian disorder multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD; OMIM #231680). We here review the knowledge on human ETF and investigations of the effects of disease-associated missense mutations in this protein that have promoted the understanding of the essential role that ETF plays in cellular metabolism and human disease.
    Keywords:  FAD; Mitochondria; amino acid degradation; fatty acid oxidation; flavoenzyme; multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency; respiratory chain
  23. Mol Cell. 2021 Jan 13. pii: S1097-2765(20)30955-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      In addition to its role as an electron transporter, mitochondrial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an important co-factor for enzymatic reactions, including ADP-ribosylation. Although mitochondria harbor the most intra-cellular NAD+, mitochondrial ADP-ribosylation remains poorly understood. Here we provide evidence for mitochondrial ADP-ribosylation, which was identified using various methodologies including immunofluorescence, western blot, and mass spectrometry. We show that mitochondrial ADP-ribosylation reversibly increases in response to respiratory chain inhibition. Conversely, H2O2-induced oxidative stress reciprocally induces nuclear and reduces mitochondrial ADP-ribosylation. Elevated mitochondrial ADP-ribosylation, in turn, dampens H2O2-triggered nuclear ADP-ribosylation and increases MMS-induced ARTD1 chromatin retention. Interestingly, co-treatment of cells with the mitochondrial uncoupler FCCP decreases PARP inhibitor efficacy. Together, our results suggest that mitochondrial ADP-ribosylation is a dynamic cellular process that impacts nuclear ADP-ribosylation and provide evidence for a NAD+-mediated mitochondrial-nuclear crosstalk.
    Keywords:  ADP-ribosylation; ARTD1; DNA damage; NAD; PARP inhibitors; PARP-inhibitor; PARP1; mito-nuclear crosstalk; mitochondria; mitochondrial ADP-ribosylation
  24. J Biol Chem. 2021 Jan 12. pii: S0021-9258(21)00051-X. [Epub ahead of print] 100283
      Metabolic reprogramming provides transformed cells with proliferative and/or survival advantages. Capitalizing on this therapeutically, however, has been only moderately successful due to the relatively small magnitude of these differences and because cancers may further adapt their metabolism to evade metabolic pathway inhibition. Mice lacking the peroxisomal bi-functional enzyme enoyl-CoA hydratase/3-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase (Ehhadh) and supplemented with the 12-carbon fatty acid lauric acid (C12) accumulate the toxic metabolite dodecanedioic acid (DDDA), which causes acute hepatocyte necrosis and liver failure. We noted that, in a murine model of pediatric hepatoblastoma (HB) and in primary human HBs, down-regulation of Ehhadh occurs in association with the suppression of mitochondrial β- and endosomal/peroxisomal ω-fatty acid oxidation (FAO) pathways. This suggested that HBs might be more susceptible than normal liver tissue to C12 dietary intervention. Indeed, HB-bearing mice provided with C12- and/or DDDA-supplemented diets survived significantly longer than those on standard diets. Additionally, larger tumors developed massive necrosis following short-term DDDA administration. In some HBs, the eventual development of DDDA resistance was associated with 129 transcript differences, ∼90% of which were down-regulated and ∼two-thirds of which correlated with survival in numerous human cancers. These transcripts often encoded extracellular matrix components, suggesting that DDDA resistance arises from reduced Ehhadh uptake. Lower Ehhadh expression was also noted in murine hepatocellular carcinomas and in subsets of certain human cancers, supporting the likely generality of these results. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of C12 or DDDA dietary supplementation that is non-toxic, inexpensive and likely compatible with more standard chemotherapies.
    Keywords:  Ehhadh; Warburg effect; cancer metabolism; fatty acid oxidation; hepatocellular carcinoma; metabolic re-programming; oxidative phosphorylation; peroxisome
  25. Nat Commun. 2021 01 12. 12(1): 295
      Circular RNAs (circRNA) are a class of covalently closed single-stranded RNAs that have been implicated in cancer progression. Here we identify circNDUFB2 to be downregulated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissues, and to negatively correlate with NSCLC malignant features. Elevated circNDUFB2 inhibits growth and metastasis of NSCLC cells. Mechanistically, circNDUFB2 functions as a scaffold to enhance the interaction between TRIM25 and IGF2BPs, a positive regulator of tumor progression and metastasis. This TRIM25/circNDUFB2/IGF2BPs ternary complex facilitates ubiquitination and degradation of IGF2BPs, with this effect enhanced by N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification of circNDUFB2. Moreover, circNDUFB2 is also recognized by RIG-I to activate RIG-I-MAVS signaling cascades and recruit immune cells into the tumor microenvironment (TME). Our data thus provide evidences that circNDUFB2 participates in the degradation of IGF2BPs and activation of anti-tumor immunity during NSCLC progression via the modulation of both protein ubiquitination and degradation, as well as cellular immune responses.
  26. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2020 Dec 15.
      Fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) are mitochondrial redox processes that generate ATP. The biogenesis of the respiratory Complex I, a 1 MDa multiprotein complex that is responsible for initiating OXPHOS, is mediated by assembly factors including the mitochondrial complex I assembly (MCIA) complex. However, the organisation and the role of the MCIA complex are still unclear. Here we show that ECSIT functions as the bridging node of the MCIA core complex. Furthermore, cryo-electron microscopy together with biochemical and biophysical experiments reveal that the C-terminal domain of ECSIT directly binds to the vestigial dehydrogenase domain of the FAO enzyme ACAD9 and induces its deflavination, switching ACAD9 from its role in FAO to an MCIA factor. These findings provide the structural basis for the MCIA complex architecture and suggest a unique molecular mechanism for coordinating the regulation of the FAO and OXPHOS pathways to ensure an efficient energy production.
    Keywords:  ACAD9; Cryo-EM; FAD; deflavination; mitochondrial complex I assembly complex
  27. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 11. pii: E651. [Epub ahead of print]22(2):
      T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematological malignancy whose chemoresistance and relapse persist as a problem despite significant advances in its chemotherapeutic treatments. Mitochondrial metabolism has emerged as an interesting therapeutic target given its essential role in maintaining bioenergetic and metabolic homeostasis. T-ALL cells are characterized by high levels of mitochondrial respiration, making them suitable for this type of intervention. Mitochondrial function is sustained by a constitutive transfer of calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum to mitochondria through the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R), making T-ALL cells vulnerable to its inhibition. Here, we determine the bioenergetic profile of the T-ALL cell lines CCRF-CEM and Jurkat and evaluate their sensitivity to InsP3R inhibition with the specific inhibitor, Xestospongin B (XeB). Our results show that T-ALL cell lines exhibit higher mitochondrial respiration than non-malignant cells, which is blunted by the inhibition of the InsP3R. Prolonged treatment with XeB causes T-ALL cell death without affecting the normal counterpart. Moreover, the combination of XeB and glucocorticoids significantly enhanced cell death in the CCRF-CEM cells. The inhibition of InsP3R with XeB rises as a potential therapeutic alternative for the treatment of T-ALL.
    Keywords:  T-ALL; bioenergetics; calcium; cancer; metabolism
  28. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2021 Jan 13.
      The peroxisome-proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) have been previously implicated in the pathophysiology of skeletal muscle dysfunction in women with breast cancer (BC) and in animal models of BC. This study investigated alterations induced in skeletal muscle by BC-derived factors in an in vitro conditioned media (CM) system and tested the hypothesis that BC cells secrete a factor that represses PPAR-gamma (PPARG) expression and its transcriptional activity, leading to downregulation of PPARG target genes involved in mitochondrial function and other metabolic pathways. We found that BC-derived factors repress PPAR-mediated transcriptional activity without altering protein expression of PPARG. Further, we show that BC-derived factors induce significant alterations in skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and lipid accumulation, which are rescued with exogenous expression of PPARG. The PPARG agonist drug rosiglitazone was able to rescue BC-induced lipid accumulation, but did not rescue effects of BC-derived factors on PPAR-mediated transcription or mitochondrial function. These data suggest that BC-derived factors alter lipid accumulation and mitochondrial function via different mechanisms that are both related to PPARG signaling, with mitochondrial dysfunction likely being altered via repression of PPAR-mediated transcription, and lipid accumulation being altered via transcription-independent functions of PPARG.
    Keywords:  PPAR; breast cancer; cahexia; mitochondria; muscle metabolism
  29. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2020 May;pii: S1535-9476(20)35008-8. [Epub ahead of print]19(5): 852-870
      The redox-based modifications of cysteine residues in proteins regulate their function in many biological processes. The gas molecule H2S has been shown to persulfidate redox sensitive cysteine residues resulting in an H2S-modified proteome known as the sulfhydrome. Tandem Mass Tags (TMT) multiplexing strategies for large-scale proteomic analyses have become increasingly prevalent in detecting cysteine modifications. Here we developed a TMT-based proteomics approach for selectively trapping and tagging cysteine persulfides in the cellular proteomes. We revealed the natural protein sulfhydrome of two human cell lines, and identified insulin as a novel substrate in pancreatic beta cells. Moreover, we showed that under oxidative stress conditions, increased H2S can target enzymes involved in energy metabolism by switching specific cysteine modifications to persulfides. Specifically, we discovered a Redox Thiol Switch, from protein S-glutathioinylation to S-persulfidation (RTSGS). We propose that the RTSGS from S-glutathioinylation to S-persulfidation is a potential mechanism to fine tune cellular energy metabolism in response to different levels of oxidative stress.
    Keywords:  H2S; Post-translational modifications; chemoproteomics; cysteine modifications; diabetes; energy metabolism; glutathionylation; persulfidation; protein sulfhydrome; quantification; tandem mass spectrometry; thiol redox chemistry
  30. Nat Commun. 2021 01 11. 12(1): 265
      Most mitochondrial precursor polypeptides are imported from the cytosol into the mitochondrion, where they must efficiently undergo folding. Mitochondrial precursors are imported as unfolded polypeptides. For proteins of the mitochondrial matrix and inner membrane, two separate chaperone systems, HSP60 and mitochondrial HSP70 (mtHSP70), facilitate protein folding. We show that LONP1, an AAA+ protease of the mitochondrial matrix, works with the mtHSP70 chaperone system to promote mitochondrial protein folding. Inhibition of LONP1 results in aggregation of a protein subset similar to that caused by knockdown of DNAJA3, a co-chaperone of mtHSP70. LONP1 is required for DNAJA3 and mtHSP70 solubility, and its ATPase, but not its protease activity, is required for this function. In vitro, LONP1 shows an intrinsic chaperone-like activity and collaborates with mtHSP70 to stabilize a folding intermediate of OXA1L. Our results identify LONP1 as a critical factor in the mtHSP70 folding pathway and demonstrate its proposed chaperone activity.
  31. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2019 Nov;pii: S1535-9476(20)31764-3. [Epub ahead of print]18(11): 2273-2284
      Tamoxifen has been clinically used in treating estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer for over 30 years. The most challenging aspect associated with tamoxifen therapy is the development of resistance in initially responsive breast tumors. We applied a parallel-reaction monitoring (PRM)-based quantitative proteomic method to examine the differential expression of kinase proteins in MCF-7 and the isogenic tamoxifen-resistant (TamR) cells. We were able to quantify the relative protein expression levels of 315 kinases, among which hexokinase 2 (HK2) and mTOR were up-regulated in TamR MCF-7 cells. We also observed that the TamR MCF-7 cells exhibited elevated rate of glycolysis than the parental MCF-7 cells. In addition, we found that phosphorylation of S6K - a target of mTOR - was much lower in TamR MCF-7 cells, and this phosphorylation level could be restored upon genetic depletion or pharmacological inhibition of HK2. Reciprocally, the level of S6K phosphorylation was diminished upon overexpression of HK2 in MCF-7 cells. Moreover, we observed that HK2 interacts with mTOR, and this interaction inhibits mTOR activity. Lower mTOR activity led to augmented autophagy, which conferred resistance of MCF-7 cells toward tamoxifen. Together, our study demonstrates that elevated expression of HK2 promotes autophagy through inhibiting the mTOR-S6K signaling pathway and results in resistance of MCF-7 breast cancer cells toward tamoxifen; thus, our results uncovered, for the first time, HK2 as a potential therapeutic target for overcoming tamoxifen resistance.
    Keywords:  Kinases; SILAC; breast cancer; drug resistance; hexokinase; parallel-reaction monitoring; quantification; quantitative proteomics
  32. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 602476
      Cancer cells need excess energy and essential nutrients/metabolites not only to divide and proliferate but also to migrate and invade distant organs for metastasis. Fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, considered a hallmark of cancer for anabolism and membrane biogenesis, requires citrate. We review here potential pathways in which citrate is synthesized and/or supplied to cancer cells and the impact of extracellular citrate on cancer cell metabolism and growth. Cancer cells employ different mechanisms to support mitochondrial activity and citrate synthesis when some of the necessary substrates are missing in the extracellular space. We also discuss the different transport mechanisms available for the entry of extracellular citrate into cancer cells and how citrate as a master metabolite enhances ATP production and fuels anabolic pathways. The available literature suggests that cancer cells show an increased metabolic flexibility with which they tackle changing environmental conditions, a phenomenon crucial for cancer cell proliferation and metastasis.
    Keywords:  cancer; cancer associated fibroblast (CAF); metabolism; senescent fibroblasts; transporter
  33. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13. 11(1): 1037
      Mitochondria have a remarkable ability to uptake and store massive amounts of calcium. However, the consequences of massive calcium accumulation remain enigmatic. In the present study, we analyzed a series of time-course experiments to identify the sequence of events that occur in a population of guinea pig cardiac mitochondria exposed to excessive calcium overload that cause mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT). By analyzing coincident structural and functional data, we determined that excessive calcium overload is associated with large calcium phosphate granules and inner membrane fragmentation, which explains the extent of mitochondrial dysfunction. This data also reveals a novel mechanism for cyclosporin A, an inhibitor of MPT, in which it preserves cristae despite the presence of massive calcium phosphate granules in the matrix. Overall, these findings establish a mechanism of calcium-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and the impact of calcium regulation on mitochondrial structure and function.
  34. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13. 11(1): 985
      Cytoglobin is important in the progression of oral squamous cell carcinoma but the molecular and cellular basis remain to be elucidated. In the current study, we develop a new cell model to study the function of cytoglobin in oral squamous carcinoma and response to cisplatin. Transcriptomic profiling showed cytoglobin mediated changes in expression of genes related to stress response, redox metabolism, mitochondrial function, cell adhesion, and fatty acid metabolism. Cellular and biochemical studies show that cytoglobin expression results in changes to phenotype associated with cancer progression including: increased cellular proliferation, motility and cell cycle progression. Cytoglobin also protects cells from cisplatin-induced apoptosis and oxidative stress with levels of the antioxidant glutathione increased and total and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species levels reduced. The mechanism of cisplatin resistance involved inhibition of caspase 9 activation and cytoglobin protected mitochondria from oxidative stress-induced fission. To understand the mechanism behind these phenotypic changes we employed lipidomic analysis and demonstrate that levels of the redox sensitive and apoptosis regulating cardiolipin are significantly up-regulated in cells expressing cytoglobin. In conclusion, our data shows that cytoglobin expression results in important phenotypic changes that could be exploited by cancer cells in vivo to facilitate disease progression.
  35. J Biophotonics. 2021 Jan 13. e202000384
      Dysfunctional mitochondrial activity can lead to a variety of different diseases. As such, there exists a need to quantify changes in mitochondria function as it relates to these specific diseased states. Here, we present the use of resonance Raman (RR) spectroscopy as a tool to determine changes in isolated mitochondrial activity. RR spectroscopy, using 532 nm as the excitation source, specifically provides information on the reduction and oxidation (RedOx) state of cytochrome c, which is determined by the activity of protein complexes in the electron transport chain. In this model, injection of the substrate succinate into the mitochondrial sample is used to drive the electron transport chain, which causes a subsequent change in cytochrome c RedOx state. This change in RedOx state is tracked by RR spectroscopy. This tool gives real-time information on the rise and fall of the amount of reduced cytochrome c within the mitochondrial sample, providing a method for rapid assessment of mitochondrial metabolism that has broad applications in both basic science and medical research. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  cytochrome c; electron transport chain; mitochondria; redox; resonance Raman spectroscopy
  36. Oncogenesis. 2021 Jan 14. 10(1): 11
      The metabolic changes in melanoma cells that are required for tumor metastasis have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we show that the increase in glucose uptake and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation confers metastatic ability as a result of aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) deficiency. In clinical tissue specimens, increased ARNT, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1), and NAD(P)H quinine oxidoreductase-1 (NQO1) was observed in benign nevi, whereas lower expression was observed in melanoma. The depletion of ARNT dramatically repressed PDK1 and NQO1 expression, which resulted in an increase of ROS levels. The elimination of ROS using N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation using carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone (CCCP) and rotenone inhibited the ARNT and PDK1 deficiency-induced cell migration and invasion. In addition, ARNT deficiency in tumor cells manipulated the glycolytic pathway through enhancement of the glucose uptake rate, which reduced glucose dependence. Intriguingly, CCCP and NAC dramatically inhibited ARNT and PDK1 deficiency-induced tumor cell extravasation in mouse models. Our work demonstrates that downregulation of ARNT and PDK1 expression serves as a prognosticator, which confers metastatic potential as the metastasizing cells depend on metabolic changes.
  37. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2021 Jan 12. pii: S0167-4889(21)00020-3. [Epub ahead of print] 118966
      Activation of the Wnt/□-catenin pathway is one of the hallmarks of colorectal cancer (CRC). Sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) protein has been shown to inhibit CRC proliferation. Previously, we reported that SIRT2 plays an important role in the maintenance of normal intestinal cell homeostasis. Here, we show that SIRT2 is a direct target gene of Wnt/□-catenin signaling in CRC cells. Inhibition or knockdown of Wnt/□-catenin increased SIRT2 promoter activity and mRNA and protein expression, whereas activation of Wnt/□-catenin decreased SIRT2 promoter activity and expression. □-catenin was recruited to the promoter of SIRT2 and transcriptionally regulated SIRT2 expression. Wnt/□-catenin inhibition increased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and CRC cell differentiation. Moreover, inhibition of OXPHOS attenuated the differentiation of CRC cells induced by Wnt/□-catenin inhibition. In contrast, inhibition or knockdown of SIRT2 decreased, while overexpression of SIRT2 increased, OXPHOS activity and differentiation in CRC cells. Consistently, inhibition or knockdown or SIRT2 attenuated the differentiation induced by Wnt/□-catenin inhibition. These results demonstrate that SIRT2 is a novel target gene of the Wnt/□-catenin signaling and contributes to the differentiation of CRC cells.
    Keywords:  Cell differentiation; Cell signaling; Protein expression
  38. J Cancer. 2021 ;12(4): 1144-1153
      Purpose: Various studies have identified miR-202 critically participated in the development of different cancers. However, the potential mechanisms underlying the carcinogenesis of pancreatic cancer (PC) still remains elusive. Methods: In the study, cell proliferation assay, colony formation assay, EdU incorporation assay, Luciferase reporter assay, lactate production, glucose consumption assay, real-time PCR and western blot were used to investigate the mechanism of hexokinase 2 (HK2) regulated by miR-202 in pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo. Results: Here we found that miR-202 was decreased in the PC tissues, and its low expression was correlated with a poor prognosis of PC patients. Overexpression of miR-202 in PC cells reduced cell proliferation and tumorigenesis by impairing glycolysis, while downregulation of miR-202 promoted the cells proliferative capacity. Mechanically, we demonstrated that HK2, an enzyme that catalyzes the irreversible rate-limiting step of glycolysis, as the direct target of miR-202. Overexpression of miR-202 suppressed both the mRNA and protein levels of HK2, whereas re-introduction of HK2 abrogated miR-202-mediated glycolytic inhibition. In addition, the expression of miR-202 was negatively associated with HK2 level in a cohort of PC tissues. Conclusion: Our findings validate the mechanism that miR-202 reprograms the metabolic process to promote PC progression, thus providing potential prognostic predictors for PC patients.
    Keywords:  Glycolysis; Hexokinase 2; Pancreatic cancer; miR-202
  39. Molecules. 2021 Jan 08. pii: E282. [Epub ahead of print]26(2):
      Resident cancer cells with stem cell-like features induce drug tolerance, facilitating survival of glioblastoma (GBM). We previously showed that strategies targeting tumor bioenergetics present a novel emerging avenue for treatment of GBM. The objective of this study was to enhance the therapeutic effects of dual inhibition of tumor bioenergetics by combination of gossypol, an aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor, and phenformin, a biguanide compound that depletes oxidative phosphorylation, with the chemotherapeutic drug, temozolomide (TMZ), to block proliferation, stemness, and invasiveness of GBM tumorspheres (TSs). Combination therapy with gossypol, phenformin, and TMZ induced a significant reduction in ATP levels, cell viability, stemness, and invasiveness compared to TMZ monotherapy and dual therapy with gossypol and phenformin. Analysis of differentially expressed genes revealed up-regulation of genes involved in programmed cell death, autophagy, and protein metabolism and down-regulation of those associated with cell metabolism, cycle, and adhesion. Combination of TMZ with dual inhibitors of tumor bioenergetics may, therefore, present an effective strategy against GBM by enhancing therapeutic effects through multiple mechanisms of action.
    Keywords:  aldehyde dehydrogenase; bioenergenetics; glioblastoma; oxidative phosphorylation; temozolomide; tumorsphere
  40. Nat Commun. 2021 01 12. 12(1): 290
      The environmental contaminant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) causes hepatic toxicity associated with prominent lipid accumulation in humans. Here, the authors report that the lysosomal copper transporter SLC46A3 is induced by TCDD and underlies the hepatic lipid accumulation in mice, potentially via effects on mitochondrial function. SLC46A3 was localized to the lysosome where it modulated intracellular copper levels. Forced expression of hepatic SLC46A3 resulted in decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and abnormal mitochondria morphology consistent with lower copper levels. SLC46A3 expression increased hepatic lipid accumulation similar to the known effects of TCDD exposure in mice and humans. The TCDD-induced hepatic triglyceride accumulation was significantly decreased in Slc46a3-/- mice and was more pronounced when these mice were fed a high-fat diet, as compared to wild-type mice. These data are consistent with a model where lysosomal SLC46A3 induction by TCDD leads to cytosolic copper deficiency resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction leading to lower lipid catabolism, thus linking copper status to mitochondrial function, lipid metabolism and TCDD-induced liver toxicity.
  41. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13. 11(1): 1191
      The in vivo assessment of tissue metabolism represents a novel strategy for the evaluation of oncologic disease. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a high-prevalence, high-mortality tumor entity often discovered at a late stage. Recent evidence indicates that survival differences depend on metabolic alterations in tumor tissue, with particular focus on glucose metabolism and lactate production. Here, we present an in vivo imaging technique for metabolic tumor phenotyping in rat models of HCC. Endogenous HCC was induced in Wistar rats by oral diethyl-nitrosamine administration. Peak lactate-to-alanine signal ratios (L/A) were assessed with hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (HPMRSI) after [1-13C]pyruvate injection. Cell lines were derived from a subset of primary tumors, re-implanted in nude rats, and assessed in vivo with dynamic hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HPMRS) after [1-13C]pyruvate injection and kinetic modelling of pyruvate metabolism, taking into account systemic lactate production and recirculation. For ex vivo validation, enzyme activity and metabolite concentrations were spectroscopically quantified in cell and tumor tissue extracts. Mean peak L/A was higher in endogenous HCC compared to non-tumorous tissue. Dynamic HPMRS revealed higher pyruvate-to-lactate conversion rates (kpl) and lactate signal in subcutaneous tumors derived from high L/A tumor cells, consistent with ex vivo measurements of higher lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels in these cells. In conclusion, HPMRS and HPMRSI reveal distinct tumor phenotypes corresponding to differences in glycolytic metabolism in HCC tumor tissue.
  42. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2019 Oct;pii: S1535-9476(20)31532-2. [Epub ahead of print]18(10): 2078-2088
      Aging is characterized by a gradual deterioration in proteome. However, how protein dynamics that changes with normal aging and in disease is less well understood. Here, we profiled the snapshots of aging proteome in Drosophila, from head and muscle tissues of post-mitotic somatic cells, and the testis of mitotically-active cells. Our data demonstrated that dysregulation of proteome homeostasis, or proteostasis, might be a common feature associated with age. We further used pulsed metabolic stable isotope labeling analysis to characterize protein synthesis. Interestingly, this study determined an age-modulated decline in protein synthesis with age, particularly in the pathways related to mitochondria, neurotransmission, and proteostasis. Importantly, this decline became dramatically accelerated in Pink1 mutants, a Drosophila model of human age-related Parkinson's disease. Taken together, our multidimensional proteomic study revealed tissue-specific protein dynamics with age, highlighting mitochondrial and proteostasis-related proteins. We suggest that declines in proteostasis and mitochondria early in life are critical signals prior to the onset of aging and aging-associated diseases.
    Keywords:  Drosophila melanogaster; aging; mitochondria function or biology; protein synthesis; proteome homeostasis; quantification
  43. Cancer Res. 2021 Jan 13. pii: canres.0118.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Leukemic relapse is believed to be driven by transformed hematopoietic stem cells that harbor oncogenic mutations or have lost tumor suppressor function. Recent comprehensive sequencing studies have shown that mutations predicted to activate Ras signaling are highly prevalent in hematologic malignancies and, notably, in refractory and relapsed cases. To better understand what drives this clinical phenomenon, we expressed oncogenic NrasG12D within the hematopoietic system in mice and interrogated its effects on hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) survival. N-RasG12D conferred a survival benefit to HSC and progenitors following metabolic and genotoxic stress. This effect was limited to HSC and early progenitors and was independent of autophagy and cell proliferation. N-RasG12D-mediated HSC survival was not affected by inhibition of the canonical Ras effectors such as MEK and PI3K. However, inhibition of the non-canonical Ras effector pathway protein kinase C (PKC) ameliorated the protective effects of N-RasG12D. Mechanistically, N-RasG12D lowered levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which correlated with reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels. Inhibition of PKC restored the levels of ROS to that of control HSC and abrogated the protective effects granted by N-RasG12D. Thus, N-RasG12D activation within HSC promote cell survival through the mitigation of ROS, and targeting this mechanism may represent a viable strategy to induce apoptosis during malignant transformation of HSC.
  44. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13. 11(1): 874
      Currently, there is no appropriate treatment option for patients with sorafenib-resistant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Meanwhile, pronounced anticancer activities of newly-developed mitochondria-accumulating self-assembly peptides (Mito-FF) have been demonstrated. This study intended to determine the anticancer effects of Mito-FF against sorafenib-resistant Huh7 (Huh7-R) cells. Compared to sorafenib, Mito-FF led to the generation of relatively higher amounts of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as the greater reduction in the expression of antioxidant enzymes (P < 0.05). Mito-FF was found to significantly promote cell apoptosis while inhibiting cell proliferation of Huh7-R cells. Mito-FF also reduces the expression of antioxidant enzymes while significantly increasing mitochondrial ROS in Huh7-R cells. The pro-apoptotic effect of Mito-FFs for Huh7-R cells is possibly caused by their up-regulation of mitochondrial ROS, which is caused by the destruction of the mitochondria of HCC cells.
  45. Cancer Discov. 2021 Jan 12. pii: candisc.0738.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Internal tandem duplication of the FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 gene (FLT3-ITD) occurs in 30% of poor prognosis acute myeloid leukaemias (AMLs). Limited clinical efficacy of FLT3 inhibitors highlights the need for alternative therapeutic modalities in this subset of disease. Using human and murine models of FLT3-ITD-driven AML, we demonstrate that FLT3-ITD promotes serine synthesis and uptake via ATF4-dependent transcriptional regulation of genes in the de novo serine biosynthesis pathway and neutral amino acid transport. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of PHGDH, the rate-limiting enzyme of de novo serine biosynthesis, selectively inhibited proliferation of FLT3-ITD AMLs in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of PHGDH sensitised FLT3-ITD AMLs to the standard of care chemotherapeutic cytarabine. Collectively, these data reveal novel insights into FLT3-ITD-induced metabolic reprogramming and reveal a targetable vulnerability in FLT3-ITD AML.
  46. Mol Cell. 2021 Jan 06. pii: S1097-2765(20)30947-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      R-2-hydroxyglutarate (R-2HG), a metabolite produced by mutant isocitrate dehydrogenases (IDHs), was recently reported to exhibit anti-tumor activity. However, its effect on cancer metabolism remains largely elusive. Here we show that R-2HG effectively attenuates aerobic glycolysis, a hallmark of cancer metabolism, in (R-2HG-sensitive) leukemia cells. Mechanistically, R-2HG abrogates fat-mass- and obesity-associated protein (FTO)/N6-methyladenosine (m6A)/YTH N6-methyladenosine RNA binding protein 2 (YTHDF2)-mediated post-transcriptional upregulation of phosphofructokinase platelet (PFKP) and lactate dehydrogenase B (LDHB) (two critical glycolytic genes) expression and thereby suppresses aerobic glycolysis. Knockdown of FTO, PFKP, or LDHB recapitulates R-2HG-induced glycolytic inhibition in (R-2HG-sensitive) leukemia cells, but not in normal CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, and inhibits leukemogenesis in vivo; conversely, their overexpression reverses R-2HG-induced effects. R-2HG also suppresses glycolysis and downregulates FTO/PFKP/LDHB expression in human primary IDH-wild-type acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, demonstrating the clinical relevance. Collectively, our study reveals previously unrecognized effects of R-2HG and RNA modification on aerobic glycolysis in leukemia, highlighting the therapeutic potential of targeting cancer epitranscriptomics and metabolism.
    Keywords:  FTO; LDHB; N(6)-methyladenosine (m(6)A) modification; PFKP; R-2HG; RNA stability; YTHDF2; cancer metabolism; glycolysis; leukemia
  47. Cell Calcium. 2021 Jan 12. pii: S0143-4160(20)30175-5. [Epub ahead of print]94 102333
      Anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 critically controls cell death by neutralizing pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-family members at the mitochondria. Bcl-2 proteins also act at the endoplasmic reticulum, the main intracellular Ca2+-storage organelle, where they inhibit IP3 receptors (IP3R) and prevent pro-apoptotic Ca2+-signaling events. IP3R channels are targeted by the BH4 domain of Bcl-2. Some cancer types rely on the IP3R-Bcl-2 interaction for survival. We previously developed a cell-permeable, BH4-domain-targeting peptide that can abrogate Bcl-2's inhibitory action on IP3Rs, named Bcl-2 IP3 receptor disrupter-2 (BIRD-2). This peptide kills several Bcl-2-dependent cancer cell types, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cells, by eliciting intracellular Ca2+ signalling. However, the exact mechanisms by which these excessive Ca2+ signals triggered by BIRD-2 provoke cancer cell death remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate in DLBCL that although BIRD-2 activates caspase 3/7 and provokes cell death in a caspase-dependent manner, the cell death is independent of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-family members, Bim, Bax and Bak. Instead, BIRD-2 provokes mitochondrial Ca2+ overload that is rapidly followed by opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). Inhibiting mitochondrial Ca2+ overload using Ru265, an inhibitor of the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter complex counteracts BIRD-2-induced cancer cell death. Finally, we validated our findings in primary CLL patient samples where BIRD-2 provoked mitochondrial Ca2+ overload and Ru265 counteracted BIRD-2-induced cell death. Overall, this work reveals the mechanisms by which BIRD-2 provokes cell death, which occurs via mitochondrial Ca2+ overload but acts independently of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-family members.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; B-cell lymphoma 2; Calcium signaling; Mitochondrial permeability transition pore; Targeted therapy
  48. Mol Clin Oncol. 2021 Feb;14(2): 42
      Endometrial cancer (EC) is one of the ten most common gynecological cancers. As in most cancers, EC tumour progression involves alterations in cellular metabolism and can be associated with, for instance, altered levels of glycolytic enzymes. Mitochondrial functions and proteins are known to serve key roles in tumour metabolism and progression. The transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 (PGC1α) is a major regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and function, albeit of varying prognostic value in different cancers. The voltage-dependent anion channel type 1 (VDAC1) regulates apoptosis as well as metabolite import and export over the mitochondrial outer membrane, and is often used for comparative quantification of mitochondrial content. Using immunohistochemistry, the present study examined protein expression levels of PGC1α and VDAC1 in tumour and paired benign tissue samples from 148 patients with EC, in order to examine associations with clinical data, such as stage and grade, Ki-67, p53 status, clinical resistance and overall survival. The expression levels of both PGC1α and VDAC1, as well as a PGC1α downstream effector, were significantly lower in tumor tissues than in benign tissues, suggesting altered mitochondrial function in EC. However, Kaplan-Meier, log rank and Spearman's rank correlation tests revealed that their expression was not correlated with survival and clinical data. Therefore, PGC1α and VDAC1 are not of major prognostic value in EC.
    Keywords:  coactivator 1; endometrial cancer; mitochondria; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ; prognosis; voltage-dependent anion channel type 1
  49. Genes Dev. 2021 Jan 14.
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a lethal disease characterized by late diagnosis, propensity for early metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy. Little is known about the mechanisms that drive innate therapeutic resistance in pancreatic cancer. The ataxia-telangiectasia group D-associated gene (ATDC) is overexpressed in pancreatic cancer and promotes tumor growth and metastasis. Our study reveals that increased ATDC levels protect cancer cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS) via stabilization of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2). Mechanistically, ATDC binds to Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1), the principal regulator of NRF2 degradation, and thereby prevents degradation of NRF2 resulting in activation of a NRF2-dependent transcriptional program, reduced intracellular ROS and enhanced chemoresistance. Our findings define a novel role of ATDC in regulating redox balance and chemotherapeutic resistance by modulating NRF2 activity.
    Keywords:  ATDC (Trim29); chemotherapeutic resistance; pancreatic cancer; tumor growth and invasion
  50. Cell Metab. 2021 Jan 04. pii: S1550-4131(20)30671-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      There is a strong relationship between metabolic state and susceptibility to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection, with energy metabolism setting the basis for an exaggerated immuno-inflammatory response, which concurs with MTB pathogenesis. Herein, we show that controlled caloric restriction (CR), not leading to malnutrition, protects susceptible DBA/2 mice against pulmonary MTB infection by reducing bacterial load, lung immunopathology, and generation of foam cells, an MTB reservoir in lung granulomas. Mechanistically, CR induced a metabolic shift toward glycolysis, and decreased both fatty acid oxidation and mTOR activity associated with induction of autophagy in immune cells. An integrated multi-omics approach revealed a specific CR-induced metabolomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic signature leading to reduced lung damage and protective remodeling of lung interstitial tightness able to limit MTB spreading. Our data propose CR as a feasible immunometabolic manipulation to control MTB infection, and this approach offers an unexpected strategy to boost immunity against MTB.
    Keywords:  T cells; adipose tissue; body weight; caloric restriction; immune response; immunometabolism; infection; tuberculosis
  51. STAR Protoc. 2021 Mar 19. 2(1): 100248
      Isolation of leukemia stem cells presents a challenge due to the heterogeneity of the immunophenotypic markers commonly used to identify blood stem cells. Several studies have reported that relative levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can be used to enrich for stem cell populations, suggesting a potential alternative to surface antigen-based methods. Here, we describe a protocol to enrich for stem cells from human acute myeloid leukemia specimens using relative levels of ROS. This protocol provides consistent enrichment of leukemia stem cells. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Lagadinou et al. (2013) and Pei et al. (2018).
    Keywords:  Cancer; Flow cytometry/mass cytometry; Metabolism; Stem cells
  52. Trends Ecol Evol. 2021 Jan 09. pii: S0169-5347(20)30354-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Biologists have long appreciated the critical role that energy turnover plays in understanding variation in performance and fitness among individuals. Whole-organism metabolic studies have provided key insights into fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes. However, constraints operating at subcellular levels, such as those operating within the mitochondria, can also play important roles in optimizing metabolism over different energetic demands and time scales. Herein, we explore how mitochondrial aerobic metabolism influences different aspects of organismal performance, such as through changing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. We consider how such insights have advanced our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning key ecological and evolutionary processes, from variation in life-history traits to adaptation to changing thermal conditions, and we highlight key areas for future research.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; life-history trade-off; metabolic rate; mitochondrial efficiency; mitochondrial uncoupling; reactive oxygen species
  53. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 597434
      Gefitinib resistance in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a growing important concern. Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) is a main regulator of ferroptosis, which is pivotal for TNBC cell growth. We investigated GPX4-mediated ferroptosis in gefitinib sensitivity in TNBC. Gefitinib resistant TNBC cells MDA-MB-231/Gef and HS578T/Gef were constructed and treated with lentivirus sh-GPX4 and ferroptosis inhibitor ferrostatin-1. GPX4 expression, cell viability and apoptosis were detected. Malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were evaluated. The levels of ferroptosis-related proteins were detected. Subcutaneous tumor model was established in nude mice, and gefitinib was intraperitoneally injected to evaluate tumor growth, apoptosis, and Ki-67 expression. GPX4 was increased in gefitinib-resistant cells. After silencing GPX4, the inhibition rate of cell viability was increased, the limitation of colony formation ability was reduced, apoptosis rate was increased, and the sensitivity of cells to gefitinib was improved. After silencing GPX4, MDA and ROS production were increased, while GSH was decreased. Silencing GPX4 promoted ferroptosis. Inhibition of GPX4 promoted gefitinib sensitivity by promoting cell ferroptosis. In vivo experiments also revealed that inhibition of GPX4 enhanced the anticancer effect of gefitinib through promoting ferroptosis. Overall, inhibition of GPX4 stimulated ferroptosis and enhanced TNBC cell sensitivity to gefitinib.
    Keywords:  GPX4; ferroptosis; gefitinib; sensitivity; triple negative breast cancer
  54. Sci Immunol. 2020 Dec 18. pii: eabb9561. [Epub ahead of print]5(54):
      Although T cell checkpoint inhibitors have transformed the treatment of cancer, the molecular determinants of tumor cell sensitivity to T cell-mediated killing need further elucidation. Here, we describe a mouse genome-scale CRISPR knockout screen that identifies tumor cell TNFα signaling as an important component of T cell-induced apoptosis, with NF-κB signaling and autophagy as major protective mechanisms. Knockout of individual autophagy genes sensitized tumor cells to killing by T cells that were activated via specific TCR or by a CD3 bispecific antibody. Conversely, inhibition of mTOR signaling, which results in increased autophagic activity, protected tumor cells from T cell killing. Autophagy functions at a relatively early step in the TNFα signaling pathway, limiting FADD-dependent caspase-8 activation. Genetic inactivation of tumor cell autophagy enhanced the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade in mouse tumor models. Thus, targeting the protective autophagy pathway might sensitize tumors to T cell-engaging immunotherapies in the clinic.