bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2021‒02‒07
fifty-five papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman, East Carolina University

  1. Cell Metab. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S1550-4131(21)00005-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      The haploinsufficiency of C9orf72 is implicated in the most common forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), but the full spectrum of C9orf72 functions remains to be established. Here, we report that C9orf72 is a mitochondrial inner-membrane-associated protein regulating cellular energy homeostasis via its critical role in the control of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). The translocation of C9orf72 from the cytosol to the inter-membrane space is mediated by the redox-sensitive AIFM1/CHCHD4 pathway. In mitochondria, C9orf72 specifically stabilizes translocase of inner mitochondrial membrane domain containing 1 (TIMMDC1), a crucial factor for the assembly of OXPHOS complex I. C9orf72 directly recruits the prohibitin complex to inhibit the m-AAA protease-dependent degradation of TIMMDC1. The mitochondrial complex I function is impaired in C9orf72-linked ALS/FTD patient-derived neurons. These results reveal a previously unknown function of C9orf72 in mitochondria and suggest that defective energy metabolism may underlie the pathogenesis of relevant diseases.
    Keywords:  ALS; C9orf72; FTD; OXPHOS; TIMMDC1; complex I; mitochondrial import; mitochondrion; neurodegeneration; oxidative phosphorylation
  2. J Biol Chem. 2020 May 22. pii: S0021-9258(17)50276-8. [Epub ahead of print]295(21): 7452-7469
      Mitochondrial dysfunction underlies many heritable diseases, acquired pathologies, and aging-related declines in health. Szeto-Schiller (SS) peptides comprise a class of amphipathic tetrapeptides that are efficacious toward a wide array of mitochondrial disorders and are believed to target mitochondrial membranes because they are enriched in the anionic phospholipid cardiolipin (CL). However, little is known regarding how SS peptides interact with or alter the physical properties of lipid bilayers. In this study, using biophysical and computational approaches, we have analyzed the interactions of the lead compound SS-31 (elamipretide) with model and mitochondrial membranes. Our results show that this polybasic peptide partitions into the membrane interfacial region with an affinity and a lipid binding density that are directly related to surface charge. We found that SS-31 binding does not destabilize lamellar bilayers even at the highest binding concentrations; however, it did cause saturable alterations in lipid packing. Most notably, SS-31 modulated the surface electrostatics of both model and mitochondrial membranes. We propose nonexclusive mechanisms by which the tuning of surface charge could underpin the mitoprotective properties of SS-31, including alteration of the distribution of ions and basic proteins at the interface, and/or modulation of bilayer physical properties. As a proof of concept, we show that SS-31 alters divalent cation (calcium) distribution within the interfacial region and reduces the energetic burden of calcium stress in mitochondria. The mechanistic details of SS-31 revealed in this study will help inform the development of future compound variants with enhanced efficacy and bioavailability.
    Keywords:  SS-31; Szeto-Schiller peptide; bioenergetics; cardiolipin; drug action; elamipretide; electrostatics; inner membrane; lipid structure; membrane biophysics; mitochondria; peptide therapeutic; peptides
  3. Front Nutr. 2020 ;7 585484
      Sucralose is a non-caloric artificial sweetener widely used in processed foods that reportedly affects energy homeostasis through partially understood mechanisms. Mitochondria are organelles fundamental for cellular bioenergetics that are closely related to the development of metabolic diseases. Here, we addressed whether sucralose alters mitochondrial bioenergetics in the enterocyte cell line Caco-2. Sucralose exposure (0.5-50 mM for 3-24 h) increased cellular reductive power assessed through MTT assay, suggesting enhanced bioenergetics. Low doses of sucralose (0.5 and 5 mM) for 3 h stimulated mitochondrial respiration, measured through oxygraphy, and elevated mitochondrial transmembrane potential and cytoplasmic Ca2+, evaluated by fluorescence microscopy. Contrary to other cell types, the increase in mitochondrial respiration was insensitive to inhibition of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake. These findings suggest that sucralose alters enterocyte energy homeostasis, contributing to its effects on organismal metabolism.
    Keywords:  Ca2+; artificial sweetener; metabolism; mitochondria; sucralose
  4. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2020 Dec;19(2): 1731-1775
      Purpose: Re-examine the current metabolic models.Methods: Review of literature and gene networks.
    Results: Insulin activates Pi uptake, glutamine metabolism to stabilise lipid membranes. Tissue turnover maintains the metabolic health. Current model of intermediary metabolism (IM) suggests glucose is the source of energy, and anaplerotic entry of fatty acids and amino acids into mitochondria increases the oxidative capacity of the TCA cycle to produce the energy (ATP). The reduced cofactors, NADH and FADH2, have different roles in regulating the oxidation of nutrients, membrane potentials and biosynthesis. Trans-hydrogenation of NADH to NADPH activates the biosynthesis. FADH2 sustains the membrane potential during the cell transformations. Glycolytic enzymes assume the non-canonical moonlighting functions, enter the nucleus to remodel the genetic programmes to affect the tissue turnover for efficient use of nutrients. Glycosylation of the CD98 (4F2HC) stabilises the nutrient transporters and regulates the entry of cysteine, glutamine and BCAA into the cells. A reciprocal relationship between the leucine and glutamine entry into cells regulates the cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis and homeostasis in cells. Insulin promotes the Pi transport from the blood to tissues, activates the mitochondrial respiratory activity, and glutamine metabolism, which activates the synthesis of cholesterol and the de novo fatty acids for reorganising and stabilising the lipid membranes for nutrient transport and signal transduction in response to fluctuations in the microenvironmental cues. Fatty acids provide the lipid metabolites, activate the second messengers and protein kinases. Insulin resistance suppresses the lipid raft formation and the mitotic slippage activates the fibrosis and slow death pathways.
    Keywords:  CD98; Fatty acids; Glutamine; Leucine; Mitochondrial pyruvate carrier proteins (MPC1&2); Tissue turnover; mTORC1
  5. Anal Chim Acta. 2021 Mar 01. pii: S0003-2670(20)31254-X. [Epub ahead of print]1148 238173
      Autofluorescence microscopy is a promising label-free approach to characterize NADH and FAD metabolites in live cells, with potential applications in clinical practice. Although spectrally resolved lifetime imaging techniques can acquire multiparametric information about the biophysical and biochemical state of the metabolites, these data are evaluated at the whole-cell level, thus providing only limited insights in the activation of metabolic networks at the microscale. To overcome this issue, here we introduce an artificial intelligence-based analysis that, leveraging the multiparametric content of spectrally resolved lifetime images, allows to detect and classify, through an unsupervised learning approach, metabolic clusters, which are regions having almost uniform metabolic properties. This method contextually detects the cellular mitochondrial turnover and the metabolic activation state of intracellular compartments at the pixel level, described by two functions: the cytosolic activation state (CAF) and the mitochondrial activation state (MAF). This method was applied to investigate metabolic changes elicited in the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 by specific inhibitors of glycolysis and electron transport chain, and by the deregulation of a specific mitochondrial enzyme (ACO2) leading to defective aerobic metabolism associated with tumor growth. In this model, mitochondrial fraction undergoes to a 13% increase upon ACO2 overexpression and the MAF function changes abruptly by altering the metabolic state of about the 25% of the mitochondrial pixels.
    Keywords:  Artificial intelligence; Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy; Live cell metabolic imaging; Machine learning; Metabolic clustering; NAD(P)H FLIM
  6. Cell Rep. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S2211-1247(21)00036-X. [Epub ahead of print]34(5): 108723
      The metabolic changes controlling the stepwise differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) to mature erythrocytes are poorly understood. Here, we show that HSPC development to an erythroid-committed proerythroblast results in augmented glutaminolysis, generating alpha-ketoglutarate (αKG) and driving mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). However, sequential late-stage erythropoiesis is dependent on decreasing αKG-driven OXPHOS, and we find that isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) plays a central role in this process. IDH1 downregulation augments mitochondrial oxidation of αKG and inhibits reticulocyte generation. Furthermore, IDH1 knockdown results in the generation of multinucleated erythroblasts, a morphological abnormality characteristic of myelodysplastic syndrome and congenital dyserythropoietic anemia. We identify vitamin C homeostasis as a critical regulator of ineffective erythropoiesis; oxidized ascorbate increases mitochondrial superoxide and significantly exacerbates the abnormal erythroblast phenotype of IDH1-downregulated progenitors, whereas vitamin C, scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reprogramming mitochondrial metabolism, rescues erythropoiesis. Thus, an IDH1-vitamin C crosstalk controls terminal steps of human erythroid differentiation.
    Keywords:  alpha-ketoglutarate; enucleation; erythropoiesis; hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell; human; isocitrate dehydrogenase; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; redox stress; vitamin C
  7. J Biol Chem. 2020 May 22. pii: S0021-9258(17)50278-1. [Epub ahead of print]295(21): 7481-7491
      The small molecule IACS-010759 has been reported to potently inhibit the proliferation of glycolysis-deficient hypoxic tumor cells by interfering with the functions of mitochondrial NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) without exhibiting cytotoxicity at tolerated doses in normal cells. Considering the significant cytotoxicity of conventional quinone-site inhibitors of complex I, such as piericidin and acetogenin families, we hypothesized that the mechanism of action of IACS-010759 on complex I differs from that of other known quinone-site inhibitors. To test this possibility, here we investigated IACS-010759's mechanism in bovine heart submitochondrial particles. We found that IACS-010759, like known quinone-site inhibitors, suppresses chemical modification by the tosyl reagent AL1 of Asp160 in the 49-kDa subunit, located deep in the interior of a previously proposed quinone-access channel. However, contrary to the other inhibitors, IACS-010759 direction-dependently inhibited forward and reverse electron transfer and did not suppress binding of the quinazoline-type inhibitor [125I]AzQ to the N terminus of the 49-kDa subunit. Photoaffinity labeling experiments revealed that the photoreactive derivative [125I]IACS-010759-PD1 binds to the middle of the membrane subunit ND1 and that inhibitors that bind to the 49-kDa or PSST subunit cannot suppress the binding. We conclude that IACS-010759's binding location in complex I differs from that of any other known inhibitor of the enzyme. Our findings, along with those from previous study, reveal that the mechanisms of action of complex I inhibitors with widely different chemical properties are more diverse than can be accounted for by the quinone-access channel model proposed by structural biology studies.
    Keywords:  IACS-010759; bioenergetics; cancer; chemical biology; complex I; enzyme inhibitor; hypoxia; mitochondria; photoaffinity labeling; ubiquinone
  8. J Cell Sci. 2021 Feb 01. pii: jcs.257162. [Epub ahead of print]
      Airway hydration and ciliary function are critical to airway homeostasis and dysregulated in chronic obstructive lung disease. COPD is impacted by cigarette smoking with no therapeutic options. We utilized a high copy cDNA library genetic selection approach in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to identify genetic protectors from cigarette smoke (CS). Adenine nucleotide translocase (Salvioli et al.), a mitochondrial ADP/ATP transporter, was protective against CS in Dictyostelium and human bronchial epithelial cells. ANT2 gene expression is reduced in lung tissue from COPD patients and in a mouse smoking model. ANT1 and ANT2 overexpression resulted in enhanced oxidative respiration and ATP flux. In addition to ANT's presence in the mitochondria, ANT resides at the plasma membrane in airway epithelial cells and regulates airway homeostasis. ANT2 overexpression stimulates airway surface hydration by ATP and maintains ciliary beating after CS exposure, which are key functions of the airway. Our study highlights the potential of ANT upregulation and/or agonists in protecting from dysfunctional mitochondrial metabolism, airway hydration, and ciliary motility in COPD.
    Keywords:  Adenine nucleotide translocase / airway epithelium / cigarette smoke / mitochondria
  9. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2021475118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and is highly refractory to current therapies. We had previously shown that PDAC can utilize its high levels of basal autophagy to support its metabolism and maintain tumor growth. Consistent with the importance of autophagy in PDAC, autophagy inhibition significantly enhances response of PDAC patients to chemotherapy in two randomized clinical trials. However, the specific metabolite(s) that autophagy provides to support PDAC growth is not yet known. In this study, we demonstrate that under nutrient-replete conditions, loss of autophagy in PDAC leads to a relatively restricted impairment of amino acid pools, with cysteine levels showing a significant drop. Additionally, we made the striking discovery that autophagy is critical for the proper membrane localization of the cystine transporter SLC7A11. Mechanistically, autophagy impairment results in the loss of SLC7A11 on the plasma membrane and increases its localization at the lysosome in an mTORC2-dependent manner. Our results demonstrate a critical link between autophagy and cysteine metabolism and provide mechanistic insights into how targeting autophagy can cause metabolic dysregulation in PDAC.
    Keywords:  SLC7A11; autophagy; lysosome; pancreatic cancer; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  10. Front Oncol. 2020 ;10 617190
      Tumor cells develop a series of metabolic reprogramming mechanisms to meet the metabolic needs for tumor progression. As metabolic hubs in cells, mitochondria play a significant role in this process, including energy production, biosynthesis, and redox hemostasis. In this study, we show that 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase-like protein (HPDL), a previously uncharacterized protein, is positively associated with the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and disease prognosis. We found that overexpression of HPDL in PDAC cells promotes tumorigenesis in vitro, whereas knockdown of HPDL inhibits cell proliferation and colony formation. Mechanistically, we found that HPDL is a mitochondrial intermembrane space localized protein that positively regulates mitochondrial bioenergetic processes and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation in a glutamine dependent manner. Our results further reveal that HPDL protects cells from oxidative stress by reprogramming the metabolic profile of PDAC cells toward glutamine metabolism. In short, we conclude that HPDL promotes PDAC likely through its effects on glutamine metabolism and redox balance.
    Keywords:  glutamine; metabolic reprogramming; mitochondria; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; redox balance
  11. J Biol Chem. 2020 Apr 24. pii: S0021-9258(17)50290-2. [Epub ahead of print]295(17): 5588-5601
      Accumulating evidence suggests that brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a potential therapeutic target for managing obesity and related diseases. PGAM family member 5, mitochondrial serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PGAM5), is a protein phosphatase that resides in the mitochondria and regulates many biological processes, including cell death, mitophagy, and immune responses. Because BAT is a mitochondria-rich tissue, we have hypothesized that PGAM5 has a physiological function in BAT. We previously reported that PGAM5-knockout (KO) mice are resistant to severe metabolic stress. Importantly, lipid accumulation is suppressed in PGAM5-KO BAT, even under unstressed conditions, raising the possibility that PGAM5 deficiency stimulates lipid consumption. However, the mechanism underlying this observation is undetermined. Here, using an array of biochemical approaches, including quantitative RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and oxygen consumption assays, we show that PGAM5 negatively regulates energy expenditure in brown adipocytes. We found that PGAM5-KO brown adipocytes have an enhanced oxygen consumption rate and increased expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), a protein that increases energy consumption in the mitochondria. Mechanistically, we found that PGAM5 phosphatase activity and intramembrane cleavage are required for suppression of UCP1 activity. Furthermore, utilizing a genome-wide siRNA screen in HeLa cells to search for regulators of PGAM5 cleavage, we identified a set of candidate genes, including phosphatidylserine decarboxylase (PISD), which catalyzes the formation of phosphatidylethanolamine at the mitochondrial membrane. Taken together, these results indicate that PGAM5 suppresses mitochondrial energy expenditure by down-regulating UCP1 expression in brown adipocytes and that its phosphatase activity and intramembrane cleavage are required for UCP1 suppression.
    Keywords:  PGAM family member 5 mitochondrial serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PGAM5); adipocyte; brown adipocyte; brown adipose tissue; energy metabolism; intramembrane proteolysis; lipid metabolism; mitochondria; mitochondrial homeostasis; obesity; phosphatidylserine decarboxylase (PISD); protein phosphatase; uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)
  12. Cancer Res. 2021 Feb 01. pii: canres.1541.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Serine is a non-essential amino acid generated by the sequential actions of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), phosphoserine aminotransferase (PSAT1), and phosphoserine phosphatase (PSPH). Increased serine biosynthesis occurs in several cancers and supports tumor growth. Additionally, cancer cells can harness exogenous serine to enhance their metabolism and proliferation. Here we tested the relative contributions of exogenous and endogenous sources of serine on the biology of colorectal cancer (CRC). In murine tumors, Apc status was identified as a determinant of the expression of genes controlling serine synthesis. In patient samples, PSAT1 was overexpressed in both colorectal adenomas and adenocarcinomas. Combining genetic deletion of PSAT1 with exogenous serine deprivation maximally suppressed the proliferation of CRC cells and induced profound metabolic defects including diminished nucleotide production. Inhibition of serine synthesis enhanced the transcriptional changes following exogenous serine removal as well as alterations associated with DNA damage. Both loss of PSAT1 and removal of serine from the diet were necessary to suppress CRC xenograft growth and enhance the anti-tumor activity of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Restricting endogenous and exogenous serine in vitro augmented 5-FU induced cell death, DNA damage, and metabolic perturbations, likely accounting for the observed anti-tumor effect. Collectively, our results suggest that both endogenous and exogenous sources of serine contribute to CRC growth and resistance to 5-FU.
  13. 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
  14. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jan 03. pii: S0021-9258(17)49552-4. [Epub ahead of print]295(1): 99-110
      Insulin action in adipose tissue is crucial for whole-body glucose homeostasis, with insulin resistance being a major risk factor for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Recent studies have proposed mitochondrial oxidants as a unifying driver of adipose insulin resistance, serving as a signal of nutrient excess. However, neither the substrates for nor sites of oxidant production are known. Because insulin stimulates glucose utilization, we hypothesized that glucose oxidation would fuel respiration, in turn generating mitochondrial oxidants. This would impair insulin action, limiting further glucose uptake in a negative feedback loop of "glucose-dependent" insulin resistance. Using primary rat adipocytes and cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes, we observed that insulin increased respiration, but notably this occurred independently of glucose supply. In contrast, glucose was required for insulin to increase mitochondrial oxidants. Despite rising to similar levels as when treated with other agents that cause insulin resistance, glucose-dependent mitochondrial oxidants failed to cause insulin resistance. Subsequent studies revealed a temporal relationship whereby mitochondrial oxidants needed to increase before the insulin stimulus to induce insulin resistance. Together, these data reveal that (a) adipocyte respiration is principally fueled from nonglucose sources; (b) there is a disconnect between respiration and oxidative stress, whereby mitochondrial oxidant levels do not rise with increased respiration unless glucose is present; and (c) mitochondrial oxidative stress must precede the insulin stimulus to cause insulin resistance, explaining why short-term, insulin-dependent glucose utilization does not promote insulin resistance. These data provide additional clues to mechanistically link nutrient excess to adipose insulin resistance.
    Keywords:  adipocyte; glucose; insulin; insulin resistance; mitochondria; oxidative stress; respiration
  15. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 02. pii: 1462. [Epub ahead of print]22(3):
      The existence of a complete oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS) supercomplex including both electron transport system and ATP synthases has long been assumed based on functional evidence. However, no structural confirmation of the docking between ATP synthase and proton pumps has been obtained. In this study, cryo-electron tomography was used to reveal the supramolecular architecture of the rat heart mitochondria cristae during ATP synthesis. Respirasome and ATP synthase structure in situ were determined using subtomogram averaging. The obtained reconstructions of the inner mitochondrial membrane demonstrated that rows of respiratory chain supercomplexes can dock with rows of ATP synthases forming oligomeric ordered clusters. These ordered clusters indicate a new type of OXPHOS structural organization. It should ensure the quickness, efficiency, and damage resistance of OXPHOS, providing a direct proton transfer from pumps to ATP synthase along the lateral pH gradient without energy dissipation.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; cryo-electron microscopy; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; respirasome; supercomplex
  16. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 03. pii: S0021-9258(17)50322-1. [Epub ahead of print]295(27): 8988-8998
      DEAD-box helicase 5 (DDX5) is a founding member of the DEAD-box RNA helicase family, a group of enzymes that regulate ribonucleoprotein formation and function in every aspect of RNA metabolism, ranging from synthesis to decay. Our laboratory previously found that DDX5 is involved in energy homeostasis, a process that is altered in many cancers. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an understudied cancer type for which effective treatments are currently unavailable. Using an array of methods, including short hairpin RNA-mediated gene silencing, RNA and ChIP sequencing analyses, and metabolite profiling, we show here that DDX5 is overexpressed in SCLC cell lines and that its down-regulation results in various metabolic and cellular alterations. Depletion of DDX5 resulted in reduced growth and mitochondrial dysfunction in the chemoresistant SCLC cell line H69AR. The latter was evidenced by down-regulation of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation and by impaired oxygen consumption. Interestingly, DDX5 depletion specifically reduced intracellular succinate, a TCA cycle intermediate that serves as a direct electron donor to mitochondrial complex II. We propose that the oncogenic role of DDX5, at least in part, manifests as up-regulation of respiration supporting the energy demands of cancer cells.
    Keywords:  DEAD-box helicase 5 (DDX5); Krebs cycle; RNA helicase; TCA cycle; bioenergetics; cell proliferation; energy homeostasis; gene expression; mitochondrial metabolism; respiration; small cell lung cancer
  17. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Feb 01. pii: dgaa960. [Epub ahead of print]
      CONTEXT: Elevating NAD+ levels systemically improves metabolic health, which can be accomplished via nicotinamide riboside (NR). Previously, it was demonstrated that NR supplementation in high fat diet (HFD)-fed mice decreased weight gain, normalized glucose metabolism and enhanced cold tolerance.OBJECTIVE: As brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a major source of thermogenesis, we hypothesize that NR stimulates BAT in mice and humans.
    DESIGN AND INTERVENTION: HFD-fed C56BL/6J mice were supplemented with 400 mg/kg/day NR for 4 weeks and subsequently exposed to cold. In vitro primary adipocytes derived from human BAT biopsies were pretreated with 50 µM or 500 µM NR prior to measuring mitochondrial uncoupling. Human volunteers (45-65 years, BMI: 27-35 kg/m 2) were supplemented with 1000 mg/day NR for 6 weeks to determine whether BAT activity increased, as measured by [18F]FDG uptake via PET-CT (randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over study with NR supplementation).
    RESULTS: NR supplementation in HFD-fed mice decreased adipocyte cell size in BAT. Cold exposure further decreased adipocyte cell size on top of that achieved by NR alone independent of ex vivo lipolysis. In adipocytes derived from human BAT, NR enhanced in vitro norepinephrine-stimulated mitochondrial uncoupling. However, NR supplementation in human volunteers did not alter BAT activity or cold induced thermogenesis.
    CONCLUSIONS: NR stimulates in vitro human BAT, however not in vivo BAT in humans. Our research demonstrates the need for further translational research to better understand the differences in NAD + metabolism in mouse and human.
    Keywords:  NR; brown adipose tissue; mitochondria
  18. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 16. pii: e2016553118. [Epub ahead of print]118(7):
      Unlike other cell types, developing B cells undergo multiple rounds of somatic recombination and hypermutation to evolve high-affinity antibodies. Reflecting the high frequency of DNA double-strand breaks, adaptive immune protection by B cells comes with an increased risk of malignant transformation. B lymphoid transcription factors (e.g., IKZF1 and PAX5) serve as metabolic gatekeepers by limiting glucose to levels insufficient to fuel transformation. We here identified aberrant expression of the lactonase PON2 in B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) as a mechanism to bypass metabolic gatekeeper functions. Compared to normal pre-B cells, PON2 expression was elevated in patient-derived B-ALL samples and correlated with poor clinical outcomes in pediatric and adult cohorts. Genetic deletion of Pon2 had no measurable impact on normal B cell development. However, in mouse models for BCR-ABL1 and NRASG12D-driven B-ALL, deletion of Pon2 compromised proliferation, colony formation, and leukemia initiation in transplant recipient mice. Compromised leukemogenesis resulted from defective glucose uptake and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in PON2-deficient murine and human B-ALL cells. Mechanistically, PON2 enabled glucose uptake by releasing the glucose-transporter GLUT1 from its inhibitor stomatin (STOM) and genetic deletion of STOM largely rescued PON2 deficiency. While not required for glucose transport, the PON2 lactonase moiety hydrolyzes the lactone-prodrug 3OC12 to form a cytotoxic intermediate. Mirroring PON2 expression levels in B-ALL, 3OC12 selectively killed patient-derived B-ALL cells but was well tolerated in transplant recipient mice. Hence, while B-ALL cells critically depend on aberrant PON2 expression to evade metabolic gatekeeper functions, PON2 lactonase activity can be leveraged as synthetic lethality to overcome drug resistance in refractory B-ALL.
    Keywords:  B cell leukemia; glucose transport; lactonase; paraoxonase 2
  19. Endocrinology. 2021 Mar 01. pii: bqab006. [Epub ahead of print]162(3):
      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 use 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, 2 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
  20. FASEB J. 2021 Feb;35(2): e21361
      Bcl-2-associated athanogen-6 (BAG6) is a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein involved in protein quality control. We previously demonstrated that BAG6 is essential for autophagy by regulating the intracellular localization of the acetyltransferase EP300, and thus, modifying accessibility to its substrates (TP53 in the nucleus and autophagy-related proteins in the cytoplasm). Here, we investigated BAG6 localization and function in the cytoplasm. First, we demonstrated that BAG6 is localized in the mitochondria. Specifically, BAG6 is expressed in the mitochondrial matrix under basal conditions, and translocates to the outer mitochondrial membrane after mitochondrial depolarization with carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazine, a mitochondrial uncoupler that induces mitophagy. In SW480 cells, the deletion of BAG6 expression abrogates its ability to induce mitophagy and PINK1 accumulation. On the reverse, its ectopic expression in LoVo colon cancer cells, which do not express endogenous BAG6, reduces the size of the mitochondria, induces mitophagy, leads to the activation of the PINK1/PARKIN pathway and to the phospho-ubiquitination of mitochondrial proteins. Finally, BAG6 contains two LIR (LC3-interacting Region) domains specifically found in receptors for selective autophagy and responsible for the interaction with LC3 and for autophagosome selectivity. Site-directed mutagenesis showed that BAG6 requires wild-type LIRs domains for its ability to stimulate mitophagy. In conclusion, we propose that BAG6 is a novel mitophagy receptor or adaptor that induces PINK1/PARKIN signaling and mitophagy in a LIR-dependent manner.
    Keywords:  BAG6; mitophagy; receptor; signaling
  21. Onco Targets Ther. 2021 ;14 699-710
      Introduction: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Copines-1 (CPNE1) has been shown to be overexpressed in various cancers; however, the role of CPNE1 in CRC remains unknown. Therefore, it is of great importance to elucidate the role of CPNE1 in CRC and its underlying mechanism of action.Methods: CPNE1 expression in CRC tissues was measured by quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. CPNE1 was knocked down (KD) or overexpressed using small inferring RNAs or lentiviral transduction in CRC cells. The proliferation, apoptosis, glycolysis, and mitochondrial respiration of CRC cells were assessed by cell counting kit-8, flow cytometry, and Xfe24 extracellular flux analyzer assays, respectively. The role of CPNE1 in tumor growth and chemoresistance was further confirmed in xenograft and patient-derived tumor xenograft models, respectively.
    Results: CPNE1 mRNA and protein were upregulated in CRC tissues. CPNE1 promoted proliferation, inhibited apoptosis, increased mitochondrial respiration, enhanced aerobic glycolysis by activating AKT signaling, upregulated glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) and hexokinase 2 (HK2), and downregulated the production of cleaved Caspase-3 (c-Caspase 3). CPNE1 also contributed to chemoresistance in CRC cells. CPNE1 KD inhibited tumor growth and increased the sensitivity of tumors to oxaliplatin in vivo.
    Conclusion: CPNE1 promotes CRC progression by activating the AKT-GLUT1/HK2 cascade and enhances chemoresistance.
    Keywords:  aerobic glycolysis; colorectal cancer; copines-1; mitochondrial respiration
  22. Sci Adv. 2021 01;pii: eabd6322. [Epub ahead of print]7(1):
      Unbalanced energy partitioning participates in the rise of obesity, a major public health concern in many countries. Increasing basal energy expenditure has been proposed as a strategy to fight obesity yet raises efficiency and safety concerns. Here, we show that mice deficient for a muscle-specific enzyme of very-long-chain fatty acid synthesis display increased basal energy expenditure and protection against high-fat diet-induced obesity. Mechanistically, muscle-specific modulation of the very-long-chain fatty acid pathway was associated with a reduced content of the inner mitochondrial membrane phospholipid cardiolipin and a blunted coupling efficiency between the respiratory chain and adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) synthase, which was restored by cardiolipin enrichment. Our study reveals that selective increase of lipid oxidative capacities in skeletal muscle, through the cardiolipin-dependent lowering of mitochondrial ATP production, provides an effective option against obesity at the whole-body level.
  23. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 03. pii: S0021-9258(17)50328-2. [Epub ahead of print]295(27): 9061-9068
      Polyamines are small polycationic alkylamines involved in many fundamental cellular processes, including proliferation, nucleic acid synthesis, apoptosis, and protection from oxidative damage. It has been proposed that in addition to these functions, elevated levels of polyamines promote longevity in various biological systems, including yeast, Drosophila, and murine models. A series of in vitro mechanistic studies by multiple investigators has led to the conclusion that addition of exogenous spermidine promotes longevity through autophagy induction; however, these experiments were confounded by the use of mammalian cell culture systems supplemented with fetal bovine serum. Using cell viability assays, LC3B immunoblots, and live-cell fluorescence microscopy, we report here that in the presence of ruminant serum, exogenously added polyamines are quickly oxidized by the copper-containing bovine serum amine oxidase. This polyamine oxidation resulted in the production of harmful byproducts including hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, and reactive aldehydes. Our data demonstrate that it is critically important to prevent confounding bovine serum amine oxidase-induced cytotoxicity in mechanistic studies of the roles of polyamines in autophagy.
    Keywords:  amine oxidase; autophagy; beta-oxidation; bovine serum amine oxidase (BSAO); cytotoxicity; hydrogen peroxide; oxidative stress; polyamine; spermidine; spermine
  24. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 23. pii: e2021012118. [Epub ahead of print]118(8):
      The ATP synthase complexes in mitochondria make the ATP required to sustain life by a rotary mechanism. Their membrane domains are embedded in the inner membranes of the organelle, and they dimerize via interactions between their membrane domains. The dimers form extensive chains along the tips of the cristae with the two rows of monomeric catalytic domains extending into the mitochondrial matrix at an angle to each other. Disruption of the interface between dimers by mutation affects the morphology of the cristae severely. By analysis of particles of purified dimeric bovine ATP synthase by cryo-electron microscopy, we have shown that the angle between the central rotatory axes of the monomeric complexes varies between ca. 76 and 95°. These particles represent active dimeric ATP synthase. Some angular variations arise directly from the catalytic mechanism of the enzyme, and others are independent of catalysis. The monomer-monomer interaction is mediated mainly by j subunits attached to the surface of wedge-shaped protein-lipid structures in the membrane domain of the complex, and the angular variation arises from rotational and translational changes in this interaction, and combinations of both. The structures also suggest how the dimeric ATP synthases might be interacting with each other to form the characteristic rows along the tips of the cristae via other interwedge contacts, molding themselves to the range of oligomeric arrangements observed by tomography of mitochondrial membranes, and at the same time allowing the ATP synthase to operate under the range of physiological conditions that influence the structure of the cristae.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; bovine mitochondria; dimer; mobility; monomer-monomer interface
  25. J Biol Chem. 2020 May 22. pii: S0021-9258(17)50260-4. [Epub ahead of print]295(21): 7249-7260
      Exposure to chronic hyperglycemia because of diabetes mellitus can lead to development and progression of diabetic kidney disease (DKD). We recently reported that reduced superoxide production is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction in the kidneys of mouse models of type 1 DKD. We also demonstrated that humans with DKD have significantly reduced levels of mitochondrion-derived metabolites in their urine. Here we examined renal superoxide production in a type 2 diabetes animal model, the db/db mouse, and the role of a mitochondrial protectant, MTP-131 (also called elamipretide, SS-31, or Bendavia) in restoring renal superoxide production and ameliorating DKD. We found that 18-week-old db/db mice have reduced renal and cardiac superoxide levels, as measured by dihydroethidium oxidation, and increased levels of albuminuria, mesangial matrix accumulation, and urinary H2O2. Administration of MTP-131 significantly inhibited increases in albuminuria, urinary H2O2, and mesangial matrix accumulation in db/db mice and fully preserved levels of renal superoxide production in these mice. MTP-131 also reduced total renal lysocardiolipin and major lysocardiolipin subspecies and preserved lysocardiolipin acyltransferase 1 expression in db/db mice. These results indicate that, in type 2 diabetes, DKD is associated with reduced renal and cardiac superoxide levels and that MTP-131 protects against DKD and preserves physiological superoxide levels, possibly by regulating cardiolipin remodeling.
    Keywords:  MTP-131; cardiac metabolism; cardiolipin; diabetic nephropathy; elamipretide; kidney; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species (ROS); shotgun lipidomics; superoxide ion
  26. Cell Chem Biol. 2021 Jan 20. pii: S2451-9456(21)00006-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ferroptosis is a type of nonapoptotic cell death driven by lipid peroxidation. Here, we show a key role of MGST1 in inhibiting ferroptosis in cell cultures and mouse xenograft models. Ferroptosis activators induce MGST1 upregulation in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines in an NFE2L2-dependent manner. The genetic depletion of MGST1 or NFE2L2 has a similar effect in promoting ferroptosis, whereas the re-expression of MGST1 restores the resistance of NFE2L2-knockdown cells to ferroptosis. MGST1 inhibits ferroptotic cancer cell death partly by binding to ALOX5, resulting in reduced lipid peroxidation. The expression of MGST1 is positively correlated with NFE2L2 expression in pancreatic tumors, which is implicated in the poor prognosis of patients with PDAC. These findings not only provide a valuable insight into the defense mechanism against ferroptotic cell death, but also indicate that targeting the MGST1 redox-sensitive pathway may be a promising strategy for the treatment of PDAC.
    Keywords:  MGST1; ferroptosis; lipid peroxidation; oxidative stress; pancreatic cancer
  27. Commun Biol. 2021 Feb 01. 4(1): 151
      Upon exposure to excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS), organismal survival depends on the strength of the endogenous antioxidant defense barriers that prevent mitochondrial and cellular deterioration. Previously, we showed that glycolic acid can restore the mitochondrial membrane potential of C. elegans treated with paraquat, an oxidant that produces superoxide and other ROS species, including hydrogen peroxide. Here, we demonstrate that glycolate fully suppresses the deleterious effects of peroxide on mitochondrial activity and growth in worms. This endogenous compound acts by entering serine/glycine metabolism. In this way, conversion of glycolate into glycine and serine ameliorates the drastically decreased NADPH/NADP+ and GSH/GSSG ratios induced by H2O2 treatment. Our results reveal the central role of serine/glycine metabolism as a major provider of reducing equivalents to maintain cellular antioxidant systems and the fundamental function of glycolate as a natural antioxidant that improves cell fitness and survival.
  28. Theranostics. 2021 ;11(7): 3472-3488
      Rationale: The activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase 7A1 (ALDH7A1), an enzyme that catalyzes the lipid peroxidation of fatty aldehydes was found to be upregulated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). ALDH7A1 knockdown significantly reduced tumor formation in PDAC. We raised a question how ALDH7A1 contributes to cancer progression. Methods: To answer the question, the role of ALDH7A1 in energy metabolism was investigated by knocking down and knockdown gene in mouse model, because the role of ALDH7A1 has been reported as a catabolic enzyme catalyzing fatty aldehyde from lipid peroxidation to fatty acid. Oxygen consumption rate (OCR), ATP production, mitochondrial membrane potential, proliferation assay and immunoblotting were performed. In in vivo study, two human PDAC cell lines were used for pre-clinical xenograft model as well as spontaneous PDAC model of KPC mice was also employed for anti-cancer therapeutic effect. Results: ALDH7A1 knockdown significantly reduced tumor formation with reduction of OCR and ATP production, which was inversely correlated with increase of 4-hydroxynonenal. This implies that ALDH7A1 is critical to process fatty aldehydes from lipid peroxidation. Overall survival of PDAC is doubled by cross breeding of KPC (KrasG12D; Trp53R172H; Pdx1-Cre) and Aldh7a1-/- mice. Conclusion: Inhibitions of ALDH7A1 and oxidative phosphorylation using gossypol and phenformin resulted in a regression of tumor formation in xenograft mice model and KPC mice model.
    Keywords:  ALDH7A1; KPC mice model; cancer metabolism; oxidative phosphorylation complex I; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  29. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2008778118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      Human mitochondria contain their own genome, mitochondrial DNA, that is expressed in the mitochondrial matrix. This genome encodes 13 vital polypeptides that are components of the multisubunit complexes that couple oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). The inner mitochondrial membrane that houses these complexes comprises the inner boundary membrane that runs parallel to the outer membrane, infoldings that form the cristae membranes, and the cristae junctions that separate the two. It is in these cristae membranes that the OXPHOS complexes have been shown to reside in various species. The majority of the OXPHOS subunits are nuclear-encoded and must therefore be imported from the cytosol through the outer membrane at contact sites with the inner boundary membrane. As the mitochondrially encoded components are also integral members of these complexes, where does protein synthesis occur? As transcription, mRNA processing, maturation, and at least part of the mitoribosome assembly process occur at the nucleoid and the spatially juxtaposed mitochondrial RNA granules, is protein synthesis also performed at the RNA granules close to these entities, or does it occur distal to these sites? We have adapted a click chemistry-based method coupled with stimulated emission depletion nanoscopy to address these questions. We report that, in human cells in culture, within the limits of our methodology, the majority of mitochondrial protein synthesis is detected at the cristae membranes and is spatially separated from the sites of RNA processing and maturation.
    Keywords:  click chemistry; human mitochondria; mitoribosomes; protein synthesis
  30. Cancer Res. 2021 Feb 05. pii: canres.2511.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      The androgen receptor (AR) is the key oncogenic driver of prostate cancer, and despite implementation of novel AR targeting therapies, outcomes for metastatic disease remain dismal. There is an urgent need to better understand androgen-regulated cellular processes to more effectively target the AR-dependence of prostate cancer cells through new therapeutic vulnerabilities. Transcriptomic studies have consistently identified lipid metabolism as a hallmark of enhanced AR signaling in prostate cancer, yet the relationship between AR and the lipidome remain undefined. Using mass spectrometry-based lipidomics, this study reveals increased fatty acyl chain length in phospholipids from prostate cancer cells and patient-derived explants as one of the most striking androgen-regulated changes to lipid metabolism. Potent and direct AR-mediated induction of ELOVL fatty acid elongase 5 (ELOVL5), an enzyme that catalyzes fatty acid elongation, was demonstrated in prostate cancer cells, xenografts, and clinical tumors. Assessment of mRNA and protein in large-scale datasets revealed ELOVL5 as the predominant ELOVL expressed and upregulated in prostate cancer compared to non-malignant prostate. ELOVL5 depletion markedly altered mitochondrial morphology and function, leading to excess generation of reactive oxygen species and resulting in suppression of prostate cancer cell proliferation, 3D growth, and in vivo tumor growth and metastasis. Supplementation with the monounsaturated fatty acid cis-vaccenic acid, a direct product of ELOVL5 elongation, reversed the oxidative stress and associated cell proliferation and migration effects of ELOVL5 knockdown. Collectively, these results identify lipid elongation as a pro-tumorigenic metabolic pathway in prostate cancer that is androgen-regulated, critical for metastasis, and targetable via ELOVL5.
  31. Cell Stem Cell. 2021 Feb 01. pii: S1934-5909(21)00002-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      The adipose tissue stroma is a rich source of molecularly distinct stem and progenitor cell populations with diverse functions in metabolic regulation, adipogenesis, and inflammation. The ontology of these populations and the mechanisms that govern their behaviors in response to stimuli, such as overfeeding, however, are unclear. Here, we show that the developmental fates and functional properties of adipose platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRβ)+ progenitor subpopulations are tightly regulated by mitochondrial metabolism. Reducing the mitochondrial β-oxidative capacity of PDGFRβ+ cells via inducible expression of MitoNEET drives a pro-inflammatory phenotype in adipose progenitors and alters lineage commitment. Furthermore, disrupting mitochondrial function in PDGFRβ+ cells rapidly induces alterations in immune cell composition in lean mice and impacts expansion of adipose tissue in diet-induced obesity. The adverse effects on adipose tissue remodeling can be reversed by restoring mitochondrial activity in progenitors, suggesting therapeutic potential for targeting energy metabolism in these cells.
    Keywords:  adipocyte; adipogenesis; inflammation; metabolism; mitochondria; stem cells
  32. EMBO J. 2021 Feb 02. e105268
      Mitochondrial translation dysfunction is associated with neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Cells eliminate defective mitochondria by the lysosomal machinery via autophagy. The relationship between mitochondrial translation and lysosomal function is unknown. In this study, mitochondrial translation-deficient hearts from p32-knockout mice were found to exhibit enlarged lysosomes containing lipofuscin, suggesting impaired lysosome and autolysosome function. These mice also displayed autophagic abnormalities, such as p62 accumulation and LC3 localization around broken mitochondria. The expression of genes encoding for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ ) biosynthetic enzymes-Nmnat3 and Nampt-and NAD+ levels were decreased, suggesting that NAD+ is essential for maintaining lysosomal acidification. Conversely, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) administration or Nmnat3 overexpression rescued lysosomal acidification. Nmnat3 gene expression is suppressed by HIF1α, a transcription factor that is stabilized by mitochondrial translation dysfunction, suggesting that HIF1α-Nmnat3-mediated NAD+ production is important for lysosomal function. The glycolytic enzymes GAPDH and PGK1 were found associated with lysosomal vesicles, and NAD+ was required for ATP production around lysosomal vesicles. Thus, we conclude that NAD+ content affected by mitochondrial dysfunction is essential for lysosomal maintenance.
    Keywords:  GAPDH; NAD+; Nmnat3; lysosome; mitochondria
  33. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2020695118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      Inositol hexakisphosphate kinases (IP6Ks) regulate various biological processes. IP6Ks convert IP6 to pyrophosphates such as diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate (IP7) and bis-diphosphoinositol tetrakisphosphate (IP8). IP7 is produced in mammals by a family of inositol hexakisphosphate kinases, IP6K1, IP6K2, and IP6K3, which have distinct biological functions. The inositol hexakisphosphate kinase 2 (IP6K2) controls cellular apoptosis. To explore roles for IP6K2 in brain function, we elucidated its protein interactome in mouse brain revealing a robust association of IP6K2 with creatine kinase-B (CK-B), a key enzyme in energy homeostasis. Cerebella of IP6K2-deleted mice (IP6K2-knockout [KO]) produced less phosphocreatine and ATP and generated higher levels of reactive oxygen species and protein oxidative damage. In IP6K2-KO mice, mitochondrial dysfunction was associated with impaired expression of the cytochrome-c1 subunit of complex III of the electron transport chain. We reversed some of these effects by combined treatment with N-acetylcysteine and phosphocreatine. These findings establish a role for IP6K2-CK-B interaction in energy homeostasis associated with neuroprotection.
    Keywords:  creatine kinase; electron transport chain; inositol phosphates; mitochondrial dysfunction; oxidative stress
  34. Nat Commun. 2021 02 01. 12(1): 720
      Cellular senescence is induced by stresses and results in a stable proliferation arrest accompanied by a pro-inflammatory secretome. Senescent cells accumulate during aging, promoting various age-related pathologies and limiting lifespan. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor, type 2 (ITPR2) calcium-release channel and calcium fluxes from the ER to the mitochondria are drivers of senescence in human cells. Here we show that Itpr2 knockout (KO) mice display improved aging such as increased lifespan, a better response to metabolic stress, less immunosenescence, as well as less liver steatosis and fibrosis. Cellular senescence, which is known to promote these alterations, is decreased in Itpr2 KO mice and Itpr2 KO embryo-derived cells. Interestingly, ablation of ITPR2 in vivo and in vitro decreases the number of contacts between the mitochondria and the ER and their forced contacts induce premature senescence. These findings shed light on the role of contacts and facilitated exchanges between the ER and the mitochondria through ITPR2 in regulating senescence and aging.
  35. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Feb 02. pii: 569. [Epub ahead of print]13(3):
      To survive and proliferate in solid tumors, cancer cells adapt and evolve rapidly in microenvironments where oxygen and substrate bioavailability fluctuates over time and space. This creates metabolic heterogeneity. Cancer cells can further cooperate metabolically, for example by swapping glycolytic end-product lactate for blood-borne glucose. This type of cooperation can be targeted therapeutically, since transmembrane lactate exchanges are facilitated by lactate-proton symporters of the monocarboxylate (MCT) family. Among new drugs, AZD3965 is a first-in-class selective MCT1 inhibitor currently tested in Phase I/II clinical trials for patients with different types of cancers. Because MCT1 can function bidirectionally, we tested here whether and how malignant and nonmalignant cells adapt their metabolism and MCT repertoire when AZD3965 inhibits either lactate import or export. Using breast-associated malignant and nonmalignant cell lines as models, we report that AZD3965 is not directly cytotoxic. In the presence of glucose and glutamine, oxidative cells can survive when lactate uptake is blocked, and proliferating cells compensate MCT1 inhibition by overexpressing MCT4, a specialized facilitator of lactate export. Phenotypic characterization of mice focusing on metabolism, muscle and brain physiology found partial and transient memory retention defect as sole consequence of MCT1 inhibition by AZD3965. We therefore conclude that AZD3965 is compatible with anticancer therapy.
    Keywords:  CD147/basigin; brain; breast cancer; cancer metabolism; heart; monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs); muscle; oxidative pathway of lactate; oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS); preclinical toxicology
  36. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2021 Feb 01. 6(1): 42
      Fork-head box protein M1 (FoxM1) is a transcriptional factor which plays critical roles in cancer development and progression. However, the general regulatory mechanism of FoxM1 is still limited. STMN1 is a microtubule-binding protein which can inhibit the assembly of microtubule dimer or promote depolymerization of microtubules. It was reported as a major responsive factor of paclitaxel resistance for clinical chemotherapy of tumor patients. But the function of abnormally high level of STMN1 and its regulation mechanism in cancer cells remain unclear. In this study, we used public database and tissue microarrays to analyze the expression pattern of FoxM1 and STMN1 and found a strong positive correlation between FoxM1 and STMN1 in multiple types of cancer. Lentivirus-mediated FoxM1/STMN1-knockdown cell lines were established to study the function of FoxM1/STMN1 by performing cell viability assay, plate clone formation assay, soft agar assay in vitro and xenograft mouse model in vivo. Our results showed that FoxM1 promotes cell proliferation by upregulating STMN1. Further ChIP assay showed that FoxM1 upregulates STMN1 in a transcriptional level. Prognostic analysis showed that a high level of FoxM1 and STMN1 is related to poor prognosis in solid tumors. Moreover, a high co-expression of FoxM1 and STMN1 has a more significant correlation with poor prognosis. Our findings suggest that a general FoxM1-STMN1 axis contributes to cell proliferation and tumorigenesis in hepatocellular carcinoma, gastric cancer and colorectal cancer. The combination of FoxM1 and STMN1 can be a more precise biomarker for prognostic prediction.
  37. J Biol Chem. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S0021-9258(21)00141-1. [Epub ahead of print] 100369
      Previous studies have identified GAPDH as a promising target for treating cancer and modulating immunity, because its inhibition reduces glycolysis in cells (cancer cells and immune cells) with Warburg effect (WE), a modified form of cellular metabolism found in cancer cells. However, the quantitative relationship between GAPDH and the aerobic glycolysis remains unknown. Here, using siRNA-mediated knockdown of GAPDH expression and iodoacetate (IA) dependent inhibition of enzyme activity, we examined the quantitative relationship between GAPDH activity and glycolysis rate. We found that glycolytic rates were unaffected by the reduction of GAPDH activity down to 19% ± 4.8% relative to untreated controls. However, further reduction of GAPDH activity below this level caused proportional reductions in glycolysis rate. GAPDH knockdown or inhibition also simultaneously increased the concentration of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (GA3P, the substrate of GAPDH). This increased GA3P concentration countered the effect of GAPDH knockdown or inhibition, and stabilized glycolysis rate by promoting GAPDH activity. Mechanistically, the intracellular GA3P concentration is controlled by the Gibbs free energy of the reactions upstream of GAPDH. The thermodynamic state of the reactions along the glycolysis pathway was only affected when GAPDH activity was reduced below 19% ± 4.8%. Doing so moved the reactions catalyzed by GAPDH+PGK1 (phosphoglycerate kinase 1, the enzyme immediate downstream of GAPDH) away from the near equilibrium state, revealing an important biochemical basis to interpret the rate control of glycolysis by GAPDH. Collectively, we resolved the numerical relationship between GAPDH and glycolysis in cancer cells with WE and interpreted the underlying mechanism.
    Keywords:  GAPDH; Gibbs free energy; Warburg effect; cancer cells; cell metabolism; flux control; glycolysis
  38. J Biol Chem. 2021 Feb 01. pii: S0021-9258(21)00129-0. [Epub ahead of print] 100357
      Mitochondrial ATP synthase is a reversible nanomotor synthesizing or hydrolyzing ATP depending on the potential across the membrane in which it is embedded. In the unicellular parasite Trypanosoma brucei, the direction of the complex depends on the life cycle stage of this digenetic parasite: in the midgut of the tsetse fly vector (procyclic form, PCF), the FoF1-ATP synthase generates ATP by oxidative phosphorylation, while in the mammalian bloodstream form (BSF) this complex hydrolyzes ATP and maintains mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm). The trypanosome FoF1-ATP synthase contains numerous lineage-specific subunits whose roles remain unknown. Here, we seek to elucidate the function of the lineage-specific protein Tb1, the largest membrane-bound subunit. In PCF cells, Tb1 silencing resulted in a decrease of FoF1-ATP synthase monomers and dimers, rerouting of mitochondrial electron transfer to the alternative oxidase (AOX), reduced growth rate and cellular ATP levels, and in elevated ΔΨm and total cellular reactive oxygen species levels. In BSF parasites, RNAi silencing of Tb1 by ∼90% resulted in decreased FoF1-ATPase monomers and dimers, but it had no apparent effect on growth. The same findings were obtained by silencing of OSCP, a conserved subunit in T. brucei FoF1-ATP synthase. However, as expected, nearly complete Tb1 and OSCP suppression were lethal due to the inability to sustain ΔΨm. The diminishment of FoF1-ATPase complexes was further accompanied by a decreased ADP/ATP ratio and reduced oxygen consumption via AOX. Our data illuminate the often diametrically opposed bioenergetic consequences of FoF1-ATP synthase loss in insect versus mammalian forms of the parasite.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; ATPase; Trypanosoma brucei; alternative oxidase; bioenergetics; electron transport; mitochondria; mitochondrial membrane potential; oxidative phosphorylation; respiration
  39. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S0167-4889(21)00029-X. [Epub ahead of print] 118975
      The Salt-inducible kinase (SIKs) belongs to an AMPK- related family kinase, an isoform of the SIK family, SIK1 gets frequently downregulated in various types of cancer contribute to tumorigenesis. However, its precise role in breast cancer and the relevant molecular mechanism remains unclear. Herein, analysis of the clinical data reveals that SIK1 expression was significantly downregulated in breast cancer tissues, and closely associated with poor survival rate in breast cancer. SIK1 is functionally stimulating oxidative phosphorylation, which in turn inhibits aerobic glycolysis and cell proliferation in breast cancer cells. Mechanistically, SIK1 directly interacted with p53 and positively regulates its transcriptional activity, thereby facilitates oxidative phosphorylation in breast cancer cells. The knockdown of SIK1 downregulates p53 transcriptional activity, leading to stimulation of aerobic glycolysis and cell proliferation. Moreover, high expression of SIK3 stimulates mTOR-mediated aerobic glycolysis and cell proliferation of breast cancer cells. These findings suggest that SIK isoforms plays distinct role in aerobic glycolysis and cell growth of breast cancer, attenuated SIK1/p53 signaling suppresses oxidative phosphorylation and growth inhibitory effect in breast cancer cells, while enhanced SIK3/mTOR signaling potentiates aerobic glycolysis mediated cell growth in breast cancer cells.
    Keywords:  SIK1; SIK3; aerobic glycolysis; breast cancer; cell proliferation; p53
  40. Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 01. 11(1): 2731
      The human hepatoblastoma cell line, HepG2, has been used for investigating a wide variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes. However, less information is available about the phospholipid metabolism in HepG2 cells. In the present report, to clarify the relationship between cell growth and phospholipid metabolism in HepG2 cells, we examined the phospholipid class compositions of the cells and their intracellular organelles by using enzymatic fluorometric methods. In HepG2 cells, the ratios of all phospholipid classes, but not the ratio of cholesterol, markedly changed with cell growth. Of note, depending on cell growth, the phosphatidic acid (PA) ratio increased and phosphatidylcholine (PC) ratio decreased in the nuclear membranes, the sphingomyelin (SM) ratio increased in the microsomal membranes, and the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) ratio increased and the phosphatidylserine (PS) ratio decreased in the mitochondrial membranes. Moreover, the mRNA expression levels of enzymes related to PC, PE, PS, PA, SM and cardiolipin syntheses changed during cell growth. We suggest that the phospholipid class compositions of organellar membranes are tightly regulated by cell growth. These findings provide a basis for future investigations of cancer cell growth and lipid metabolism.
  41. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jan 03. pii: S0021-9258(17)49553-6. [Epub ahead of print]295(1): 111-124
      Aerobic glycolysis or the Warburg effect (WE) is characterized by increased glucose uptake and incomplete oxidation to lactate. Although the WE is ubiquitous, its biological role remains controversial, and whether glucose metabolism is functionally different during fully oxidative glycolysis or during the WE is unknown. To investigate this question, here we evolved resistance to koningic acid (KA), a natural product that specifically inhibits glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), a rate-controlling glycolytic enzyme, during the WE. We found that KA-resistant cells lose the WE but continue to conduct glycolysis and surprisingly remain dependent on glucose as a carbon source and also on central carbon metabolism. Consequently, this altered state of glycolysis led to differential metabolic activity and requirements, including emergent activities in and dependences on fatty acid metabolism. These findings reveal that aerobic glycolysis is a process functionally distinct from conventional glucose metabolism and leads to distinct metabolic requirements and biological functions.
    Keywords:  Warburg effect; cancer; glucose metabolism; glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase GAPDH; glycolysis; mass spectrometry (MS); metabolic regulation; metabolic reprogramming; metabolomics; oxidative metabolism
  42. FEBS Open Bio. 2021 Feb 06.
      Little is known about NEKs, a widely conserved family of kinases that have key roles in cell cycle progression. Nevertheless, it is now clear that multiple NEK family members act in networks, not only to regulate specific events of mitosis, but also regulate metabolic events independently of the cell cycle. NEK5 was shown to act in centrosome disjunction, Caspase-3 regulation, myogenesis, and mitochondrial respiration. Here, we demonstrate that NEK5 interacts with LonP1, an AAA+ mitochondrial protease implicated in protein quality control and mtDNA remodeling, within the mitochondria and it might be involved in the LonP1-TFAM signaling module. Moreover, we demonstrate that NEK5 kinase activity is required for maintaining mitochondrial mass and functionality and mtDNA integrity after oxidative damage. Taken together, these results show a new role of NEK5 in the regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis and mtDNA maintenance, possibly due to its interaction with key mitochondrial proteins, such as LonP1.
    Keywords:  LonP1; NEK kinases; NEK5; TFAM; mitochondria; mtDNA
  43. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 26. pii: 1214. [Epub ahead of print]22(3):
      Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of uncoupling proteins (UCP), a class of transmembrane proteins relevant for proton transport across inner mitochondrial membranes, represent a complicated task due to the lack of available structural data. In this work, we use a combination of homology modelling and subsequent microsecond molecular dynamics simulations of UCP2 in the DOPC phospholipid bilayer, starting from the structure of the mitochondrial ATP/ADP carrier (ANT) as a template. We show that this protocol leads to a structure that is impermeable to water, in contrast to MD simulations of UCP2 structures based on the experimental NMR structure. We also show that ATP binding in the UCP2 cavity is tight in the homology modelled structure of UCP2 in agreement with experimental observations. Finally, we corroborate our results with conductance measurements in model membranes, which further suggest that the UCP2 structure modeled from ANT protein possesses additional key functional elements, such as a fatty acid-binding site at the R60 region of the protein, directly related to the proton transport mechanism across inner mitochondrial membranes.
    Keywords:  conductance measurements in model membranes; long-chain fatty acid; membrane protein; proton transfer; purine nucleotide; uncoupling
  44. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jan 26. pii: 474. [Epub ahead of print]13(3):
      Lipids in our body, which are mainly composed of fatty acids, triacylglycerides, sphingolipids, phospholipids, and cholesterol, play important roles at the cellular level. In addition to being energy sources and structural components of biological membranes, several types of lipids serve as signaling molecules or secondary messengers. Metabolic reprogramming has been recognized as a hallmark of cancer, but changes in lipid metabolism in cancer have received less attention compared to glucose or glutamine metabolism. However, recent innovations in mass spectrometry- and chromatography-based lipidomics technologies have increased our understanding of the role of lipids in cancer. Changes in lipid metabolism, so-called "lipid metabolic reprogramming", can affect cellular functions including the cell cycle, proliferation, growth, and differentiation, leading to carcinogenesis. Moreover, interactions between cancer cells and adjacent immune cells through altered lipid metabolism are known to support tumor growth and progression. Characterization of cancer-specific lipid metabolism can be used to identify novel metabolic targets for cancer treatment, and indeed, several clinical trials are currently underway. Thus, we discuss the latest findings on the roles of lipid metabolism in cancer biology and introduce current advances in lipidomics technologies, focusing on their applications in cancer research.
    Keywords:  cholesterol metabolism; fatty acid metabolism; lipid droplet metabolism; lipidomics; mass spectrometry; metabolic reprogramming; phospholipid metabolism; tumor microenvironment
  45. Nat Commun. 2021 02 01. 12(1): 729
      Treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) has demonstrated clinical benefit for a wide range of cancer types. Because only a subset of patients experience clinical benefit, there is a strong need for biomarkers that are easily accessible across diverse practice settings. Here, in a retrospective cohort study of 1714 patients with 16 different cancer types treated with ICI, we show that higher neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is significantly associated with poorer overall and progression-free survival, and lower rates of response and clinical benefit, after ICI therapy across multiple cancer types. Combining NLR with tumor mutational burden (TMB), the probability of benefit from ICI is significantly higher (OR = 3.22; 95% CI, 2.26-4.58; P < 0.001) in the NLR low/TMB high group compared to the NLR high/TMB low group. NLR is a suitable candidate for a cost-effective and widely accessible biomarker, and can be combined with TMB for additional predictive capacity.
  46. Exp Gerontol. 2021 Jan 27. pii: S0531-5565(21)00021-8. [Epub ahead of print]146 111246
      PURPOSE: The objective of the present study was to establish the role of sarcomeric mitochondrial creatine kinase (Mt-CK) in muscle energy output during exercise in a murine model of ageing (the Mt-CK knock-out mouse, Mt-CK-/-).METHODS: Three age groups of Mt-CK-/- mice and control male mice (6, 9, and 18 months of age) underwent incremental treadmill running tests. The maximum speed (Vpeak) and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2peak) values were recorded. Urine samples were analyzed using metabolomic techniques. The skeletal muscle (quadriceps) expression of proteins involved in mitochondria biogenesis, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) and dynamin-related GTPase mitofusin 2 (Mnf2) were quantified.
    RESULTS: The VO2 peak (normalized to heart weight: HW) of 18-month-old (mo) Mt-CK-/- mice was 27% (p < 0.001) lower than in 18-mo control mice. The VO2peak/HW ratio was 29% (p < 0.001) lower in 18-mo Mt-CK-/- mice than in 6-mo (p < 0.001) and 32% (p < 0.001) than 9-mo Mt-CK-/- mice. With a 0° slope, Vpeak was 10% (p < 0.05) lower in 18-mo Mt-CK-/- mice than in 6-mo Mt-CK-/- mice but did not differ when comparing the 18-mo and 6-mo control groups. The skeletal muscles weight normalized on body weight in 6-mo Mt-CK-/- were 13 to 14% (p < 0.001, p < 0.05) lower versus the 6-mo control, in addition, the presence of branched-chain amino acids in the urine of 6-mo Mt-CK-/- mice suggests an imbalance in protein turnover (catabolism rather than anabolism) but we did not observe any age-related differences. The expression of PGC-1α and Mnf2 proteins in the quadriceps showed that age-related effects were more prominent than genotype effects.
    CONCLUSION: The present study showed ageing is potentialized by Mt-CK deficiency with regard to VO2peak, Vpeak and mitochondrial protein expression. Our results support that Mt-CK-/- mice undergo physiological adaptations, enabling them to survive and to perform as well as wild-type mice. Furthermore, it is possible that these adaptations in Mt-CK-/- mice have a high energy cost and might trigger premature ageing.
    Keywords:  Ageing; Efficiency; Exercise performance; Mitochondrial creatine kinase; Skeletal muscle
  47. Mol Metab. 2021 Jan 28. pii: S2212-8778(21)00013-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101173
      OBJECTIVE: Brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis offers the potential to improve metabolic health in mice and men. However, humans predominantly live under thermoneutral conditions, leading to BAT whitening - a reduction in BAT mitochondrial content and metabolic activity. Recent studies have established mitophagy as a major driver of mitochondrial degradation in the whitening of thermogenic brite/beige adipocytes, yet the pathways mediating mitochondrial breakdown in whitening of classical BAT remain largely elusive. The transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy belonging to the MIT family of transcription factors, is the only member of this family that is upregulated during whitening, pointing towards a role of TFEB in whitening-associated mitochondrial breakdown.METHODS: We generated brown adipocyte-specific TFEB knockout mice, and induced BAT whitening by thermoneutral housing. We characterized gene and protein expression patterns, BAT metabolic activity, systemic metabolism as well as mitochondrial localization using in vivo and in vitro approaches.
    RESULTS: Under conditions of low thermogenic activation, deletion of TFEB preserved mitochondrial mass independently of mitochondriogenesis in BAT and primary brown adipocytes. This did however not translate into elevated thermogenic capacity or protection from diet-induced obesity. Autophagosomal/lysosomal marker levels were altered in TFEB-deficient BAT and primary adipocytes, and lysosomal markers co-localized and co-purified with mitochondria in TFEB-deficient BAT, indicating trapping of mitochondria in late stages of mitophagy.
    CONCLUSION: We here identify TFEB as a driver of BAT whitening, mediating mitochondrial degradation via the autophagosomal and lysosomal machinery. This study provides proof of concept that interfering with the mitochondrial degradation machinery can increase mitochondrial mass in classical BAT under human-relevant conditions. It must however be considered that interfering with autophagy may result in accumulation of non-functional mitochondria. Future studies targeting earlier steps of mitophagy or target recognition are therefore warranted.
    Keywords:  TFEB; UCP1; brown adipose tissue; mitophagy; thermogenesis; whitening
  48. Sci Adv. 2021 Feb;pii: eabd3311. [Epub ahead of print]7(6):
      Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer that resembles developmental stages of the neural crest. It is not established what developmental processes neuroblastoma cancer cells represent. Here, we sought to reveal the phenotype of neuroblastoma cancer cells by comparing cancer (n = 19,723) with normal fetal adrenal single-cell transcriptomes (n = 57,972). Our principal finding was that the neuroblastoma cancer cell resembled fetal sympathoblasts, but no other fetal adrenal cell type. The sympathoblastic state was a universal feature of neuroblastoma cells, transcending cell cluster diversity, individual patients, and clinical phenotypes. We substantiated our findings in 650 neuroblastoma bulk transcriptomes and by integrating canonical features of the neuroblastoma genome with transcriptional signals. Overall, our observations indicate that a pan-neuroblastoma cancer cell state exists, which may be attractive for novel immunotherapeutic and targeted avenues.
  49. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2018110118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      Human cancers are biologically and morphologically heterogeneous. A variety of clonal populations emerge within these neoplasms and their interaction leads to complex spatiotemporal dynamics during tumor growth. We studied the reshaping of metabolic activity in human cancers by means of continuous and discrete mathematical models and matched the results to positron emission tomography (PET) imaging data. Our models revealed that the location of increasingly active proliferative cellular spots progressively drifted from the center of the tumor to the periphery, as a result of the competition between gradually more aggressive phenotypes. This computational finding led to the development of a metric, normalized distance from 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) hotspot to centroid (NHOC), based on the separation from the location of the activity (proliferation) hotspot to the tumor centroid. The NHOC metric can be computed for patients using 18F-FDG PET-computed tomography (PET/CT) images where the voxel of maximum uptake (standardized uptake value [SUV]max) is taken as the activity hotspot. Two datasets of 18F-FDG PET/CT images were collected, one from 61 breast cancer patients and another from 161 non-small-cell lung cancer patients. In both cohorts, survival analyses were carried out for the NHOC and for other classical PET/CT-based biomarkers, finding that the former had a high prognostic value, outperforming the latter. In summary, our work offers additional insights into the evolutionary mechanisms behind tumor progression, provides a different PET/CT-based biomarker, and reveals that an activity hotspot closer to the tumor periphery is associated to a worst patient outcome.
    Keywords:  18F-FDG PET /CT; cancer; evolutionary dynamics; prognostic biomarker
  50. Cell Rep. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S2211-1247(21)00002-4. [Epub ahead of print]34(5): 108689
      The epidermis regenerates continually to maintain a protective barrier at the body's surface composed of differentiating keratinocytes. Maturation of this stratified tissue requires that keratinocytes undergo wholesale organelle degradation upon reaching the outermost tissue layers to form compacted, anucleate cells. Through live imaging of organotypic cultures of human epidermis, we find that regulated breakdown of mitochondria is critical for epidermal development. Keratinocytes in the upper layers initiate mitochondrial fragmentation, depolarization, and acidification upon upregulating the mitochondrion-tethered autophagy receptor NIX. Depleting NIX compromises epidermal maturation and impairs mitochondrial elimination, whereas ectopic NIX expression accelerates keratinocyte differentiation and induces premature mitochondrial fragmentation via the guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) DRP1. We further demonstrate that inhibiting DRP1 blocks NIX-mediated mitochondrial breakdown and disrupts epidermal development. Our findings establish mitochondrial degradation as a key step in terminal keratinocyte differentiation and define a pathway operating via the mitophagy receptor NIX in concert with DRP1 to drive epidermal morphogenesis.
    Keywords:  autophagy; cornification; differentiation; epidermis; epithelial morphogenesis; fission; keratinocyte; live microscopy; mitochondria; mitophagy
  51. Theranostics. 2021 ;11(7): 3359-3375
      Background: A metabolic "switch" from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis provides tumor cells with energy and biosynthetic substrates, thereby promoting tumorigenesis and malignant progression. However, the mechanisms controlling this metabolic switch in tumors is not entirely clear. Methods: Clinical specimens were used to determine the effect of SAM68 on lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) tumorigenesis and metastasis, and mouse models and molecular biology assays were performed to elucidate the function and underlying mechanisms in vitro and in vivo. Results: SAM68 mRNA levels were higher in LUAD tissue than in normal lung tissue, indicating that SAM68 expression is upregulated in LUAD. Patients with LUAD with SAM68 high (n = 257) had a higher frequency of tumor recurrence (p = 0.025) and recurrence-free survival (p = 0.013) than did those with SAM68 low (n = 257). Patients with SAM68 high mRNA levels (n = 257) were at a higher risk for cancer-related death (p = 0.006), and had shorter overall survival (p = 0.044) than did those with SAM68 low. SAM68 promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis of LUAD cells in vitro and in vivo by regulating the cancer metabolic switch. SAM68 drives cancer metabolism by mediating alternative splicing of pyruvate kinase (PKM) pre-mRNAs, and promoting the formation of PKM2. Mechanistically, SAM68 increased the binding of the splicing repressor hnRNP A1 to exon 9 of PKM, thereby enhancing PKM2 isoform formation and PKM2-dependent aerobic glycolysis and tumorigenesis. Conclusions: SAM68 promotes LUAD cell tumorigenesis and cancer metabolic programming via binding of the 351-443 aa region of SAM68 to the RGG motif of hnRNP A1, driving hnRNP A1-dependent PKM splicing, contributing to increased oncogene PKM2 isoform formation and inhibition of PKM1 isoform formation. SAM68 is therefore a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of LUAD.
    Keywords:  SAM68; alternative splicing; lung adenocarcinoma; metabolism conversion; tumorigenesis
  52. Cell Metab. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S1550-4131(21)00003-6. [Epub ahead of print]33(2): 334-349.e6
      Low-grade mitochondrial stress can promote health and longevity, a phenomenon termed mitohormesis. Here, we demonstrate the opposing metabolic effects of low-level and high-level mitochondrial ribosomal (mitoribosomal) stress in hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. POMC neuron-specific severe mitoribosomal stress due to Crif1 homodeficiency causes obesity in mice. By contrast, mild mitoribosomal stress caused by Crif1 heterodeficiency in POMC neurons leads to high-turnover metabolism and resistance to obesity. These metabolic benefits are mediated by enhanced thermogenesis and mitochondrial unfolded protein responses (UPRmt) in distal adipose tissues. In POMC neurons, partial Crif1 deficiency increases the expression of β-endorphin (β-END) and mitochondrial DNA-encoded peptide MOTS-c. Central administration of MOTS-c or β-END recapitulates the adipose phenotype of Crif1 heterodeficient mice, suggesting these factors as potential mediators. Consistently, regular running exercise at moderate intensity stimulates hypothalamic MOTS-c/β-END expression and induces adipose tissue UPRmt and thermogenesis. Our findings indicate that POMC neuronal mitohormesis may underlie exercise-induced high-turnover metabolism.
    Keywords:  adipose; exercise; hypothalamus; metabolism; mitochondria; obesity; proopiomelanocortin; ribosome; stress; thermogenesis
  53. Nature. 2021 Jan 27.
      Selective targeting of aneuploid cells is an attractive strategy for cancer treatment1. However, it is unclear whether aneuploidy generates any clinically relevant vulnerabilities in cancer cells. Here we mapped the aneuploidy landscapes of about 1,000 human cancer cell lines, and analysed genetic and chemical perturbation screens2-9 to identify cellular vulnerabilities associated with aneuploidy. We found that aneuploid cancer cells show increased sensitivity to genetic perturbation of core components of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), which ensures the proper segregation of chromosomes during mitosis10. Unexpectedly, we also found that aneuploid cancer cells were less sensitive than diploid cells to short-term exposure to multiple SAC inhibitors. Indeed, aneuploid cancer cells became increasingly sensitive to inhibition of SAC over time. Aneuploid cells exhibited aberrant spindle geometry and dynamics, and kept dividing when the SAC was inhibited, resulting in the accumulation of mitotic defects, and in unstable and less-fit karyotypes. Therefore, although aneuploid cancer cells could overcome inhibition of SAC more readily than diploid cells, their long-term proliferation was jeopardized. We identified a specific mitotic kinesin, KIF18A, whose activity was perturbed in aneuploid cancer cells. Aneuploid cancer cells were particularly vulnerable to depletion of KIF18A, and KIF18A overexpression restored their response to SAC inhibition. Our results identify a therapeutically relevant, synthetic lethal interaction between aneuploidy and the SAC.
  54. Am J Transl Res. 2021 ;13(1): 1-10
      Mitochondria, independent double-membrane organelles, are intracellular power plants that feed most eukaryotic cells with the ATP produced via the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Consistently, cytochrome c oxidase (COX) catalyzes the electron transfer chain's final step. Electrons are transferred from reduced cytochrome c to molecular oxygen and play an indispensable role in oxidative phosphorylation of cells. Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 6c (COX6C) is encoded by the nuclear genome in the ribosome after translation and is transported to mitochondria via different pathways, and eventually forms the COX complex. In recent years, many studies have shown the abnormal level of COX6C in familial hypercholesterolemia, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, uterine leiomyoma, follicular thyroid cancer, melanoma tissues, and other conditions. Its underlying mechanism may be related to the cellular oxidative phosphorylation pathway in tissue injury disease. Here reviews the varied function of COX6C in non-tumor and tumor diseases.
    Keywords:  Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 6c; cancer; mitochondria; tissue damage; tumor oxidative phosphorylation
  55. Bioessays. 2021 Feb 04. e2000165
      It has been assumed that at the whole organismal level, the mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production is proportional to the oxygen consumption. Recently, a number of researchers have challenged this assumption, based on the observation that the ROS production per unit oxygen consumed in the resting state of mitochondrial respiration is much higher than that in the active state. Here, we develop a simple model to investigate the validity of the assumption and the challenge of it. The model highlights the significance of the time budget that mitochondria operate in the different respiration states. The model suggests that under three physiologically possible conditions, the difference in ROS production per unit oxygen consumed between the respiration states does not upset the proportionality between the whole animal ROS production and oxygen consumption. The model also shows that mitochondrial uncoupling generally enhances the proportionality.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; respiration states; theoretical model; variation;  uncoupling