bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2021‒04‒18
forty-four papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Biochem J. 2021 Apr 12. pii: BCJ20200975. [Epub ahead of print]
      Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is a linear polymer composed of up to a few hundred orthophosphates linked together by high-energy phosphoanhydride bonds, identical to those found in ATP. In mammalian mitochondria, polyP has been implicated in multiple processes, including energy metabolism, ion channels function, and the regulation of calcium signaling. However, the specific mechanisms of all these effects of polyP within the organelle remain poorly understood. The central goal of this study was to investigate how mitochondrial polyP participates in the regulation of the mammalian cellular energy metabolism. To accomplish this, we created HEK293 cells depleted of mitochondrial polyP, through the stable expression of the polyP hydrolyzing enzyme (scPPX). We found that these cells have significantly reduced rates of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), while their rates of glycolysis were elevated. Consistent with this, metabolomics assays confirmed increased levels of metabolites involved in glycolysis in these cells, compared with the wild-type samples. At the same time, key respiratory parameters of the isolated mitochondria were unchanged, suggesting that respiratory chain activity is not affected by the lack of mitochondrial polyP. However, we detected that mitochondria from cells that lack mitochondrial polyP are more fragmented when compared with those from wild-type cells. Based on these results, we propose that mitochondrial polyP plays an important role as a regulator of the metabolic switch between OXPHOS and glycolysis.
    Keywords:  glycolysis; inorganic polyphosphates; mitochondrial bioenergetics; oxidative phosphorylation; polyP
  2. Diabetes. 2021 Apr 13. pii: db201143. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase (mGPD) is the rate-limiting enzyme of the glycerol phosphate redox shuttle. It was recently claimed that metformin, a first line drug used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, inhibits liver mGPD 30-50% suppressing gluconeogenesis through a redox mechanism. Various factors cast doubt on this idea. Total body100% knockout of mGPD in mice has adverse effects in several tissues where mGPD is high, but has little or no effect in liver where mGPD is the lowest of ten tissues. Metformin has beneficial effects in humans in tissues with high levels of mGPD such as pancreatic beta cells where mGPD is much higher than in liver. Insulin secretion in mGPD knockout mouse beta cells is normal because, like liver, beta cells possess the malate aspartate redox shuttle that's redox action is redundant to the glycerol phosphate shuttle. For these and other reasons we used four different enzyme assays to reassess whether metformin inhibited mGPD. Metformin did not inhibit mGPD in homogenates or mitochondria from insulin cells or liver cells. If metformin actually inhibited mGPD, adverse effects in tissues where the level of mGPD is much higher than in liver could prevent metformin's use as a diabetes medicine.
  3. Endocrinol Diabetes Metab. 2021 Apr;4(2): e00211
      Aims: To understand the mechanism by which imeglimin (a new oral hypoglycemic agent whose phase 3 development program in Japan has now been completed) decreases hepatic glucose production.Materials and methods: We compared the effect of imeglimin and metformin on glucose production, ATP/ADP ratio, oxygen consumption rate, mitochondrial redox potential and membrane potential in primary rat hepatocytes.
    Results: We found that both imeglimin and metformin dose-dependently decreased glucose production and the ATP/ADP ratio. Moreover, they both increased mitochondrial redox potential (assessed by mitochondrial NAD(P)H fluorescence) and decreased membrane potential (assessed by TMRM fluorescence). However, contrary to metformin, which inhibits mitochondrial Complex I, imeglimin did not decrease the oxygen consumption rate in intact cells. By measuring the oxygen consumption of in situ respiratory chain as a function of the concentration of NADH, we observed that imeglimin decreased the affinity of NADH for the respiratory chain but did not affect its Vmax (ie competitive inhibition) whereas metformin decreased both the Vmax and the affinity (ie uncompetitive inhibition).
    Conclusions: We conclude that imeglimin induces a kinetic constraint on the respiratory chain that does not affect its maximal activity. This kinetic constraint is offset by a decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential, which induces a thermodynamic constraint on the ATPase responsible for a decrease in the ATP/ADP ratio.
    Keywords:  complex I; imeglimin; metformin; mitochondria
  4. Anticancer Res. 2021 Apr;41(4): 1831-1840
      BACKGROUND/AIM: Peroxiredoxin V (Prx V) plays crucial roles in cellular apoptosis and proliferation in various cancer cells by regulating the cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Here, we examined the possible regulatory effects of Prx V on doxorubicin (DOX)-induced cellular apoptosis and its mechanisms in the human gastric adenocarcinoma cell line (AGS cells).
    RESULTS: Our findings suggest that Prx V knockdown may significantly increase the DOX-induced apoptosis by aggravating intracellular ROS accumulation. We also found that DOX-induced mitochondrial ROS levels and membrane permeability were significantly higher in short hairpin Prx V cells than in mock cells, and these phenomena were dramatically reversed by ROS scavenger treatment. Prx V knockdown also significantly upregulated the cleaved caspase 9, 3, and B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl2)-associated agonist of cell death/Bcl2 protein expression levels, suggesting that Prx V knockdown activates mitochondria-dependent apoptotic signaling pathways.
    CONCLUSION: Taken together, this study suggests that Prx V may be a strong molecular target for gastric cancer (GC) chemotherapy, and further elucidates the role of Prx V in oxidative stress-induced cell apoptosis.
    Keywords:  Peroxiredoxin V; apoptosis; gastric cancer; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species
  5. Nat Commun. 2021 04 14. 12(1): 2244
      Ferroptosis is associated with lipid hydroperoxides generated by the oxidation of polyunsaturated acyl chains. Lipid hydroperoxides are reduced by glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) and GPX4 inhibitors induce ferroptosis. However, the therapeutic potential of triggering ferroptosis in cancer cells with polyunsaturated fatty acids is unknown. Here, we identify conjugated linoleates including α-eleostearic acid (αESA) as ferroptosis inducers. αESA does not alter GPX4 activity but is incorporated into cellular lipids and promotes lipid peroxidation and cell death in diverse cancer cell types. αESA-triggered death is mediated by acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain isoform 1, which promotes αESA incorporation into neutral lipids including triacylglycerols. Interfering with triacylglycerol biosynthesis suppresses ferroptosis triggered by αESA but not by GPX4 inhibition. Oral administration of tung oil, naturally rich in αESA, to mice limits tumor growth and metastasis with transcriptional changes consistent with ferroptosis. Overall, these findings illuminate a potential approach to ferroptosis, complementary to GPX4 inhibition.
  6. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 13. pii: S2211-1247(21)00277-1. [Epub ahead of print]35(2): 108963
      The assembly pathways of mitochondrial respirasome (supercomplex I+III2+IV) are not fully understood. Here, we show that an early sub-complex I assembly, rather than holo-complex I, is sufficient to initiate mitochondrial respirasome assembly. We find that a distal part of the membrane arm of complex I (PD-a module) is a scaffold for the incorporation of complexes III and IV to form a respirasome subcomplex. Depletion of PD-a, rather than other complex I modules, decreases the steady-state levels of complexes III and IV. Both HEK293T cells lacking TIMMDC1 and patient-derived cells with disease-causing mutations in TIMMDC1 showed accumulation of this respirasome subcomplex. This suggests that TIMMDC1, previously known as a complex-I assembly factor, may function as a respirasome assembly factor. Collectively, we provide a detailed, cooperative assembly model in which most complex-I subunits are added to the respirasome subcomplex in the lateral stages of respirasome assembly.
    Keywords:  Leigh syndrome; TIMMDC1; cooperative assembly; mitochondrial respirasome; oxidative phosphorylation
  7. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2021 Apr 08. pii: S0167-4889(21)00092-6. [Epub ahead of print] 119038
      In addition to its uptake across the Ca2+ uniporter, intracellular calcium signals can stimulate mitochondrial metabolism activating metabolite exchangers of the inner mitochondrial membrane belonging to the mitochondrial carrier family (SLC25). One of these Ca2+-regulated mitochondrial carriers (CaMCs) are the reversible ATP-Mg2+/Pi transporters, or SCaMCs, required for maintaining optimal adenine nucleotide (AdN) levels in the mitochondrial matrix representing an alternative transporter to the ADP/ATP translocases (AAC). This CaMC has a distinctive Calmodulin-like (CaM-like) domain fused to the carrier domain that makes its transport activity strictly dependent on cytosolic Ca2+ signals. Here we investigate about its origin analysing its distribution and features in unicellular eukaryotes. Unexpectedly, we find two types of ATP-Mg2+/Pi carriers, the canonical ones and shortened variants lacking the CaM-like domain. Phylogenetic analysis shows that both SCaMC variants have a common origin, unrelated to AACs, suggesting in turn that recurrent losses of the regulatory module have occured in the different phyla. They are excluding variants that show a more limited distribution and less conservation than AACs. Interestingly, these truncated variants of SCaMC are found almost exclusively in parasitic protists, such as apicomplexans, kinetoplastides or animal-patogenic oomycetes, and in green algae, suggesting that its lost could be related to certain life-styles. In addition, we find an intricate structural diversity in these variants that may be associated with their pathogenicity. The consequences on SCaMC functions of these new SCaMC-b variants are discussed.
    Keywords:  ATP transport; Evolution; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial carrier; Protozoan; calcium
  8. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2021 Apr 13. pii: S0005-2728(21)00062-1. [Epub ahead of print] 148429
      Transduction of electrochemical proton gradient into ATP synthesis is performed by F1FO-ATP synthase. The reverse reaction is prevented by the regulatory subunit Inh1. Knockout of the inh1 gene in the basidiomycete Ustilago maydis was generated in order to study the function of this protein in the mitochondrial metabolism and cristae architecture. Deletion of inh1 gen did not affect cell growth, glucose consumption, and biomass production. Ultrastructure and fluorescence analyzes showed that size, cristae shape, network, and distribution of mitochondria was similar to wild strain. Membrane potential, ATP synthesis, and oxygen consumption in wild type and mutant strains had similar values. Kinetic analysis of ATPase activity of complex V in permeabilized mitochondria showed similar values of Vmax and KM for both strains, and no effect of pH was observed. Interestingly, the dimeric state of complex V occurs in the mutant strain, indicating that this subunit is not essential for dimerization. ATPase activity of the isolated monomeric and dimeric forms of complex V indicated Vmax values 4-times higher for the mutant strain than for the WT strain, suggesting that the absence of Inh1 subunit increased ATPase activity, and supporting a regulatory role for this protein; however, no effect of pH was observed. ATPase activity of WT oligomers was stimulated several times by dodecyl-maltoside (DDM), probably by removal of ADP from F1 sector, while DDM induced an inactive form of the mutant oligomers.
    Keywords:  ATPase activity; Bioenergetics; Dimer of complex V; Inh1 subunit; Oxidative phosphorylation
  9. J Endocrinol. 2021 May;pii: JOE-20-0233. [Epub ahead of print]249(2): 113-124
      Vitamin D deficiency is associated with symptoms of skeletal muscle myopathy including muscle weakness and fatigue. Recently, vitamin D-related metabolites have been linked to the maintenance of mitochondrial function within skeletal muscle. However, current evidence is limited to in vitro models and the effects of diet-induced vitamin D deficiency upon skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in vivo have received little attention. In order to examine the role of vitamin D in the maintenance of mitochondrial function in vivo, we utilised an established model of diet-induced vitamin D deficiency in C57BL/6J mice. Mice were either fed a control diet (2200 IU/kg i.e. vitamin D replete) or a vitamin D-deplete (0 IU/kg) diet for periods of 1, 2 and 3 months. Gastrocnemius muscle mitochondrial function and ADP sensitivity were assessed via high-resolution respirometry and mitochondrial protein content via immunoblotting. As a result of 3 months of diet-induced vitamin D deficiency, respiration supported via complex I + II (CI + IIP) and the electron transport chain (ETC) were 35 and 37% lower when compared to vitamin D-replete mice (P < 0.05). Despite functional alterations, citrate synthase activity, AMPK phosphorylation, mitofilin, OPA1 and ETC subunit protein content remained unchanged in response to dietary intervention (P > 0.05). In conclusion, we report that 3 months of diet-induced vitamin D deficiency reduced skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration in C57BL/6J mice. Our data, when combined with previous in vitro observations, suggest that vitamin D-mediated regulation of mitochondrial function may underlie the exacerbated muscle fatigue and performance deficits observed during vitamin D deficiency.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; skeletal muscle; vitamin D
  10. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 13. pii: S2211-1247(21)00299-0. [Epub ahead of print]35(2): 108985
      Decreased cognitive performance is a hallmark of brain aging, but the underlying mechanisms and potential therapeutic avenues remain poorly understood. Recent studies have revealed health-protective and lifespan-extending effects of dietary spermidine, a natural autophagy-promoting polyamine. Here, we show that dietary spermidine passes the blood-brain barrier in mice and increases hippocampal eIF5A hypusination and mitochondrial function. Spermidine feeding in aged mice affects behavior in homecage environment tasks, improves spatial learning, and increases hippocampal respiratory competence. In a Drosophila aging model, spermidine boosts mitochondrial respiratory capacity, an effect that requires the autophagy regulator Atg7 and the mitophagy mediators Parkin and Pink1. Neuron-specific Pink1 knockdown abolishes spermidine-induced improvement of olfactory associative learning. This suggests that the maintenance of mitochondrial and autophagic function is essential for enhanced cognition by spermidine feeding. Finally, we show large-scale prospective data linking higher dietary spermidine intake with a reduced risk for cognitive impairment in humans.
    Keywords:  Pink1; aging; autophagy; cognitive function; dietary spermidine; memory; mitochondria; mitophagy
  11. Mol Cell. 2021 Apr 10. pii: S1097-2765(21)00143-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and glycolysis are the two major pathways for ATP production. The reliance on each varies across tissues and cell states, and can influence susceptibility to disease. At present, the full set of molecular mechanisms governing the relative expression and balance of these two pathways is unknown. Here, we focus on genes whose loss leads to an increase in OXPHOS activity. Unexpectedly, this class of genes is enriched for components of the pre-mRNA splicing machinery, in particular for subunits of the U1 snRNP. Among them, we show that LUC7L2 represses OXPHOS and promotes glycolysis by multiple mechanisms, including (1) splicing of the glycolytic enzyme PFKM to suppress glycogen synthesis, (2) splicing of the cystine/glutamate antiporter SLC7A11 (xCT) to suppress glutamate oxidation, and (3) secondary repression of mitochondrial respiratory supercomplex formation. Our results connect LUC7L2 expression and, more generally, the U1 snRNP to cellular energy metabolism.
    Keywords:  7q-; LUC7; MDS; Tarui disease; cancer; ferroptosis; myelodysplastic syndrome; phosphofructokinase; spliceosome; system X(c)(−)
  12. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Apr 12.
      Ketogenic diets (KD) are reported to improve body weight, fat mass, and exercise performance in humans. Unfortunately, most rodent studies have used a low-protein KD, which does not recapitulate diets used by humans. Since skeletal muscle plays a critical role in responding to macronutrient perturbations induced by diet and exercise, the purpose of this study was to test if a normal-protein KD (NPKD) impacts shifts in skeletal muscle substrate oxidative capacity in response to exercise training (ExTr). A high fat, carbohydrate-deficient NPKD (16.1% protein, 83.9% fat, 0% carbohydrate) was given to C57BL/6J male mice for 6 weeks, while controls received a low fat diet with similar protein (15.9% protein, 11.9% fat, 72.2% carbohydrate). On week four of the diet, mice began treadmill training 5 days/week, 60 min/day for 3 weeks. NPKD-fed mice increased body weight and fat mass, while ExTr negated a continued rise in adiposity. ExTr increased intramuscular glycogen, while the NPKD increased intramuscular triglycerides. Neither the NPKD nor ExTr alone altered mitochondrial content; however, in combination, the NPKD-ExTr group showed increases in PGC-1α, as well as markers of mitochondrial fission and fusion. Pyruvate oxidative capacity was unchanged by either intervention, while ExTr increased leucine oxidation in NPKD-fed mice. Lipid metabolism pathways had the most notable changes as the NPKD and ExTr interventions both enhanced mitochondrial and peroxisomal lipid oxidation and many adaptations were additive or synergistic. Overall these results suggest a combination of a NPKD and ExTr induces additive and/or synergistic adaptations in skeletal muscle oxidative capacity.
    Keywords:  exercise; ketogenic diet; mitochondria; peroxisomal; substrate oxidation
  13. Theranostics. 2021 ;11(11): 5077-5091
      An increasing number of commonly prescribed drugs are known to interfere with mitochondrial function, causing cellular toxicity, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Although often not considered, mitochondrial transport proteins form a significant class of potential mitochondrial off-targets. So far, most drug interactions have been reported for the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier (AAC), which exchanges cytosolic ADP for mitochondrial ATP. Here, we show inhibition of cellular respiratory capacity by only a subset of the 18 published AAC inhibitors, which questions whether all compound do indeed inhibit such a central metabolic process. This could be explained by the lack of a simple, direct model system to evaluate and compare drug-induced AAC inhibition. Methods: For its development, we have expressed and purified human AAC1 (hAAC1) and applied two approaches. In the first, thermostability shift assays were carried out to investigate the binding of these compounds to human AAC1. In the second, the effect of these compounds on transport was assessed in proteoliposomes with reconstituted human AAC1, enabling characterization of their inhibition kinetics. Results: Of the proposed inhibitors, chebulinic acid, CD-437 and suramin are the most potent with IC50-values in the low micromolar range, whereas another six are effective at a concentration of 100 μM. Remarkably, half of all previously published AAC inhibitors do not show significant inhibition in our assays, indicating that they are false positives. Finally, we show that inhibitor strength correlates with a negatively charged surface area of the inhibitor, matching the positively charged surface of the substrate binding site. Conclusion: Consequently, we have provided a straightforward model system to investigate AAC inhibition and have gained new insights into the chemical compound features important for inhibition. Better evaluation methods of drug-induced inhibition of mitochondrial transport proteins will contribute to the development of drugs with an enhanced safety profile.
    Keywords:  adenine nucleotide translocase; drug-induced mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial transport proteins; thermostability shift; transport inhibition kinetics.
  14. Biochimie. 2021 Apr 12. pii: S0300-9084(21)00098-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Glycogen storage disease type IV (GSD IV) is caused by mutations in the glycogen branching enzyme gene (GBE1) that lead to the accumulation of aberrant glycogen in affected tissues, mostly in the liver. To determine whether dysfunctional glycogen metabolism in GSD IV affects other components of cellular bioenergetics, we studied mitochondrial function in heterozygous Gbe1 knockout (Gbe1+/-) mice. Mitochondria isolated from the livers of Gbe1+/- mice showed elevated respiratory complex I activity and increased reactive oxygen species production, particularly by respiratory chain complex III. These observations indicate that GBE1 deficiency leads to broader rearrangements in energy metabolism and that the mechanisms underlying GSD IV pathogenesis may include more than merely mechanical cell damage caused by the presence of glycogen aggregates.
    Keywords:  Glycogen; Glycogen storage disease type IV; Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; Respiratory chain
  15. Pharmacol Res. 2021 Apr 07. pii: S1043-6618(21)00187-0. [Epub ahead of print] 105603
      Mitochondrial unfolded protein response (mitoUPR) is a mitochondria stress response to maintain mitochondrial proteostasis during stress. Increasing evidence suggests that mitoUPR participates in diverse physiological processes especially metabolism and immunity. Although mitoUPR regulates metabolism in many aspects, it is mainly reflected in the regulation of energy metabolism. During stress, mitoUPR alters energy metabolism via suppressing oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) or increasing glycolysis. MitoUPR also alters energy metabolism and regulates diverse metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cancers, fatty liver and obesity. In addition, mitoUPR also participates in immune process during stress. MitoUPR can induce innate immune response during various infections and may regulate inflammatory response during diverse inflammations. Considering the pleiotropic actions of mitoUPR, mitoUPR may supply diverse therapeutic targets for metabolic diseases and immune diseases.
    Keywords:  diseases; immunity; metabolism; mitoUPR
  16. Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 14. 11(1): 8177
      The NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 controls key metabolic functions by deacetylating target proteins and strategies that promote SIRT1 function such as SIRT1 overexpression or NAD+ boosters alleviate metabolic complications. We previously reported that SIRT1-depletion in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes led to C-Myc activation, adipocyte hyperplasia, and dysregulated adipocyte metabolism. Here, we characterized SIRT1-depleted adipocytes by quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics, gene-expression and biochemical analyses, and mitochondrial studies. We found that SIRT1 promoted mitochondrial biogenesis and respiration in adipocytes and expression of molecules like leptin, adiponectin, matrix metalloproteinases, lipocalin 2, and thyroid responsive protein was SIRT1-dependent. Independent validation of the proteomics dataset uncovered SIRT1-dependence of SREBF1c and PPARα signaling in adipocytes. SIRT1 promoted nicotinamide mononucleotide acetyltransferase 2 (NMNAT2) expression during 3T3-L1 differentiation and constitutively repressed NMNAT1 and 3 levels. Supplementing preadipocytes with the NAD+ booster nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) during differentiation increased expression levels of leptin, SIRT1, and PGC-1α and its transcriptional targets, and reduced levels of pro-fibrotic collagens (Col6A1 and Col6A3) in a SIRT1-dependent manner. Investigating the metabolic impact of the functional interaction of SIRT1 with SREBF1c and PPARα and insights into how NAD+ metabolism modulates adipocyte function could potentially lead to new avenues in developing therapeutics for obesity complications.
  17. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 16. 12(1): 2284
      Drug resistance is a major obstacle to the treatment of most human tumors. In this study, we find that dual-specificity phosphatase 16 (DUSP16) regulates resistance to chemotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma, colorectal cancer, gastric and breast cancer. Cancer cells expressing higher DUSP16 are intrinsically more resistant to chemotherapy-induced cell death than cells with lower DUSP16 expression. Overexpression of DUSP16 in cancer cells leads to increased resistance to cell death upon chemotherapy treatment. In contrast, knockdown of DUSP16 in cancer cells increases their sensitivity to treatment. Mechanistically, DUSP16 inhibits JNK and p38 activation, thereby reducing BAX accumulation in mitochondria to reduce apoptosis. Analysis of patient survival in head & neck cancer and breast cancer patient cohorts supports DUSP16 as a marker for sensitivity to chemotherapy and therapeutic outcome. This study therefore identifies DUSP16 as a prognostic marker for the efficacy of chemotherapy, and as a therapeutic target for overcoming chemoresistance in cancer.
  18. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 13. pii: S2211-1247(21)00261-8. [Epub ahead of print]35(2): 108947
      During mitochondrial fission, key molecular and cellular factors assemble on the outer mitochondrial membrane, where they coordinate to generate constriction. Constriction sites can eventually divide or reverse upon disassembly of the machinery. However, a role for membrane tension in mitochondrial fission, although speculated, has remained undefined. We capture the dynamics of constricting mitochondria in mammalian cells using live-cell structured illumination microscopy (SIM). By analyzing the diameters of tubules that emerge from mitochondria and implementing a fluorescence lifetime-based mitochondrial membrane tension sensor, we discover that mitochondria are indeed under tension. Under perturbations that reduce mitochondrial tension, constrictions initiate at the same rate, but are less likely to divide. We propose a model based on our estimates of mitochondrial membrane tension and bending energy in living cells which accounts for the observed probability distribution for mitochondrial constrictions to divide.
    Keywords:  fluorescence lifetime; fluorescent tension sensor; membrane tension; microtubules; mitochondrial division; mitochondrial dynamics; super-resolution microscopy
  19. Geroscience. 2021 Apr 17.
      Mitochondria are organelles that provide energy to cells through ATP production. Mitochondrial dysfunction has long been postulated to mediate cellular declines that drive biological aging. Many well-characterized hallmarks of aging may involve underlying energetic defects that stem from loss of mitochondrial function with age. Why and how mitochondrial function declines with age is an open question and one that has been difficult to answer. Mitochondria are powered by an electrochemical gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane known as the protonmotive force (PMF). This gradient decreases with age in several experimental models. However, it is unclear if a diminished PMF is a cause or a consequence of aging. Herein, we briefly review and define mitochondrial function, we summarize how PMF changes with age in several models, and we highlight recent studies that implicate PMF in aging biology. We also identify barriers that must be addressed for the field to progress. Emerging technology permits more precise in vivo study of mitochondria that will allow better understanding of cause and effect in metabolic models of aging. Once cause and effect can be discerned more precisely, energetics approaches to combat aging may be developed to prevent or reverse functional decline.
    Keywords:  AMPK; Autophagy; Membrane potential; Metabolism; mTOR
  20. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 16. 12(1): 2280
      The tumor suppressor p53 is mutated in approximately half of all human cancers. p53 can induce apoptosis through mitochondrial membrane permeabilization by interacting with and antagonizing the anti-apoptotic proteins BCL-xL and BCL-2. However, the mechanisms by which p53 induces mitochondrial apoptosis remain elusive. Here, we report a 2.5 Å crystal structure of human p53/BCL-xL complex. In this structure, two p53 molecules interact as a homodimer, and bind one BCL-xL molecule to form a ternary complex with a 2:1 stoichiometry. Mutations at the p53 dimer interface or p53/BCL-xL interface disrupt p53/BCL-xL interaction and p53-mediated apoptosis. Overall, our current findings of the bona fide structure of p53/BCL-xL complex reveal the molecular basis of the interaction between p53 and BCL-xL, and provide insight into p53-mediated mitochondrial apoptosis.
  21. Cancer Cell. 2021 Apr 12. pii: S1535-6108(21)00159-8. [Epub ahead of print]39(4): 460-462
      Competition for glucose regulates the balance between cancer and immune responses. New findings published in Nature show that regulatory T cells (Treg) shape their metabolism to avoid glucose competition, thus maintaining their stability and sustaining tumor progression. This research suggests hijacking the "eating habits" of Treg could improve cancer therapy.
  22. Nat Commun. 2021 04 15. 12(1): 2263
      Argininosuccinate synthase (ASS1) is a ubiquitous enzyme in mammals that catalyzes the formation of argininosuccinate from citrulline and aspartate. ASS1 genetic deficiency in patients leads to an autosomal recessive urea cycle disorder citrullinemia, while its somatic silence or down-regulation is very common in various human cancers. Here, we show that ASS1 functions as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer, and the pesticide spinosyn A (SPA) and its derivative LM-2I suppress breast tumor cell proliferation and growth by binding to and activating ASS1. The C13-C14 double bond in SPA and LM-2I while the Cys97 (C97) site in ASS1 are critical for the interaction between ASS1 and SPA or LM-2I. SPA and LM-2I treatment results in significant enhancement of ASS1 enzymatic activity in breast cancer cells, particularly in those cancer cells with low ASS1 expression, leading to reduced pyrimidine synthesis and consequently the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. Thus, our results establish spinosyn A and its derivative LM-2I as potent ASS1 enzymatic activator and tumor inhibitor, which provides a therapeutic avenue for tumors with low ASS1 expression and for those non-tumor diseases caused by down-regulation of ASS1.
  23. Blood Cancer Discov. 2021 Mar;2(2): 162-185
      MYC oncoproteins regulate transcription of genes directing cell proliferation, metabolism and tumorigenesis. A variety of alterations drive MYC expression in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and enforced MYC expression in hematopoietic progenitors is sufficient to induce AML. Here we report that AML and myeloid progenitor cell growth and survival rely on MYC-directed suppression of Transcription Factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of the autophagy-lysosome pathway. Notably, although originally identified as an oncogene, TFEB functions as a tumor suppressor in AML, where it provokes AML cell differentiation and death. These responses reflect TFEB control of myeloid epigenetic programs, by inducing expression of isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 (IDH1) and IDH2, resulting in global hydroxylation of 5-methycytosine. Finally, activating the TFEB-IDH1/IDH2-TET2 axis is revealed as a targetable vulnerability in AML. Thus, epigenetic control by a MYC-TFEB circuit dictates myeloid cell fate and is essential for maintenance of AML.
  24. Oncol Rep. 2021 Jun;pii: 96. [Epub ahead of print]45(6):
      During tumorigenesis, oncogene activation and metabolism rewiring are interconnected. Activated c‑Myc upregulates several genes involved in glutamine metabolism, making cancer cells dependent on high levels of this amino acid to survive and proliferate. After studying the response to glutamine deprivation in cancer cells, it was found that glutamine starvation not only blocked cellular proliferation, but also altered c‑Myc protein expression, leading to a reduction in the levels of the canonical c‑Myc isoform and an increase in the expression of c‑Myc 1, a c‑Myc isoform translated from an in‑frame 5' CUG codon. In an attempt to identify nutrients able to counteract glutamine deprivation effects, it was shown that, in the absence of glutamine, asparagine permitted cell survival and proliferation, and maintained c‑Myc expression as in glutamine‑fed cells, with high levels of canonical c‑Myc and c‑Myc 1 almost undetectable. In asparagine‑fed cells, global protein translation was higher than in glutamine‑starved cells, and there was an increase in the levels of glutamine synthetase (GS), whose activity was essential for cellular viability and proliferation. In glutamine‑starved asparagine‑fed cells, the inhibition of c‑Myc activity led to a decrease in global protein translation and GS synthesis, suggesting an association between c‑Myc expression, GS levels and cellular proliferation, mediated by asparagine when exogenous glutamine is absent.
  25. Cancer Lett. 2021 Apr 13. pii: S0304-3835(21)00157-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      There has been an increasing focus on the tumorigenic potential of leukemia initiating cells (LICs) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Despite the important role of selective autophagy in the life-long maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), cancer progression, and chemoresistance, the relationship between LICs and selective autophagy remains to be fully elucidated. Sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1), also known as p62, is a selective autophagy receptor for the degradation of ubiquitinated substrates, and its loss impairs leukemia progression in AML mouse models. In this study, we evaluated the underlying mechanisms of mitophagy in the survival of LICs with XRK3F2, a p62-ZZ inhibitor. We demonstrated that XRK3F2 selectively impaired LICs but spared normal HSCs in both mouse and patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDX) AML models. Mechanistically, we observed that XRK3F2 blocked mitophagy by inhibiting the binding of p62 with defective mitochondria. Our study not only evaluated the effectiveness and safety of XRK3F2 in LICs, but also demonstrated that mitophagy plays an indispensable role in the survival of LICs during AML development and progression, which can be impaired by blocking p62.
    Keywords:  AML; Autophagy; LICs; Small molecular compound
  26. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2021 Apr 13. pii: S0005-2728(21)00064-5. [Epub ahead of print] 148431
      High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is experienced by non-acclimatized sea level individuals on exposure to high altitude hypoxic conditions. Available evidence suggests that genetic factors and perturbed mitochondrial redox status may play an important role in HAPE pathophysiology. However, the precise mechanism has not been fully understood. In the present study, sequencing of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from HAPE subjects and acclimatized controls was performed to identify pathogenic mutations and to determine their role in HAPE. Hypobaric hypoxia induced oxidative stress and metabolic alterations were also assessed in HAPE subjects. mtDNA copy number, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (mtOXPHOS) activity, mitochondrial biogenesis were measured to determine mitochondrial functions. The data revealed that the mutations in Complex I genes affects the secondary structure of protein in HAPE subjects. Further, increased oxidative stress during hypobaric hypoxia, reduced mitochondrial biogenesis and mtOXPHOS activity induced metabolic reprogramming that might contribute to mitochondrial dysfunctions in HAPE individuals. Haplogroup analysis suggests that mtDNA haplogroup H2a2a1 has potential contribution in the pathobiology of HAPE in lowlanders. This study suggests contribution of altered mitochondrial functions in HAPE susceptibility.
    Keywords:  HAPE; Hypobaric hypoxia; Mitochondria; Oxidative phosphorylation; Oxidative stress; mtDNA
  27. Nat Commun. 2021 04 15. 12(1): 2259
      SOD1 is known as the major cytoplasmic superoxide dismutase and an anticancer target. However, the role of SOD1 in cancer is not fully understood. Herein we describe the generation of an inducible Sod1 knockout in KRAS-driven NSCLC mouse model. Sod1 knockout markedly reduces tumor burden in vivo and blocks growth of KRAS mutant NSCLC cells in vitro. Intriguingly, SOD1 is enriched in the nucleus and notably in the nucleolus of NSCLC cells. The nuclear and nucleolar, not cytoplasmic, form of SOD1 is essential for lung cancer cell proliferation. Moreover, SOD1 interacts with PeBoW complex and controls its assembly necessary for pre-60S ribosomal subunit maturation. Mechanistically, SOD1 regulates co-localization of PeBoW with and processing of pre-rRNA, and maturation of cytoplasmic 60S ribosomal subunits in KRAS mutant lung cancer cells. Collectively, our study unravels a nuclear SOD1 function essential for ribosome biogenesis and proliferation in KRAS-driven lung cancer.
  28. Haematologica. 2021 Apr 15.
      Dysregulation of apoptotic machinery is one mechanism by which acute myeloid leukemia (AML) acquires a clonal survival advantage. B-cell lymphoma protein-2 (BCL2) overexpression is a common feature in hematologic malignancies. The selective BCL2 inhibitor, venetoclax (VEN) is used in combination with azacitidine (AZA), a DNA-methyltransferase inhibitor (DNMTi), to treat patients with AML. Despite promising response rates to VEN/AZA, resistance to the agent is common. One identified mechanism of resistance is the upregulation of myeloid cell leukemia-1 protein (MCL1). Pevonedistat (PEV), a novel agent that inhibits NEDD8-activating enzyme, and AZA both upregulate NOXA (PMAIP1), a BCL2 family protein that competes with effector molecules at the BH3 binding site of MCL1. We demonstrate that PEV/AZA combination induces NOXA to a greater degree than either PEV or AZA alone, which enhances VEN-mediated apoptosis. Herein, using AML cell lines and primary AML patient samples ex vivo, including in cells with genetic alterations linked to treatment resistance, we demonstrate robust activity of the PEV/VEN/AZA triplet. These findings were corroborated in preclinical systemic engrafted models of AML. Collectively, these results provide preclinical rational for combining PEV/VEN/AZA as a novel therapeutic approach in overcoming AML resistance current therapies.
  29. Biosystems. 2021 Apr 12. pii: S0303-2647(21)00081-2. [Epub ahead of print] 104426
      Mitochondria's significance in human diseases and in functioning, health and death of eukaryotic cell has been acknowledged widely. Yet our perspective in cell biology and evolution remains nucleocentric. Mitochondrial DNA, by virtue of its omnipresence and species-level conservation, is used as a barcode in animal taxonomy. This article analyses various levels of containment structures that enclose mitochondrial DNA and advocates a fresh perspective wherein evolution of organic structures of the eukarya domain seem to support and facilitate survival and proliferation of mitochondrial DNA by splitting containers as they age and by directing them along two distinct pathways: destruction of containers with more mutant mitochondrial DNA and rejuvenation of containers with less mutant mitochondrial DNA.
    Keywords:  Eukaryotes; Eukaryotic cell; Evolution; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial DNA
  30. Mol Cancer Res. 2021 Apr 16. pii: molcanres.0086.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Asparagine synthetase (ASNS) is a gene on the long arm of chromosome 7 that is copy number amplified in the majority of glioblastomas. ASNS copy number amplification is associated with a significantly decreased survival. Using patient-derived glioma stem cells (GSCs), we showed significant metabolic alterations occur in gliomas when perturbing the expression of asparagine synthetase, which is not merely restricted to amino acid homeostasis. ASNS-high GSCs maintained a slower basal metabolic profile yet readily shifted to a greatly increased capacity for glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation when needed. This led ASNS-high cells to a greater ability to proliferate and spread into brain tissue. Finally, we demonstrate that these changes confer resistance to cellular stress, notably oxidative stress, through adaptive redox homeostasis which led to radiation resistance. Furthermore, ASNS overexpression led to modifications of the one-carbon metabolism to promote a more antioxidant tumor environment revealing a metabolic vulnerability that may be therapeutically exploited. Implications: This study reveals a new role for ASNS in metabolic control and redox homeostasis in glioma stem cells and proposes a new treatment strategy that attempts to exploit one vulnerable metabolic node within the larger multilayered tumor network.
  31. ACS Med Chem Lett. 2021 Apr 08. 12(4): 579-584
      Some marketed antibiotics can cause mitochondria dysfunction via inhibition of the mitochondrial translation process. There is great interest in exploiting such effects within a cancer setting. To enhance accumulation of antibiotics within the mitochondria of cancer cells, and therefore delivery of a greater potency payload, a mitochondrial targeting group in the form of a triphenylphosphonium (TPP) cation was appended via an alkyl chain length consisting of 7 to 11 carbons to the ribosomal antibiotics azithromycin and doxycycline. Using MDA-MB-231 cells, the effects of each subseries on mitochondrial translation, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and cell viability are described.
  32. Cancer Metab. 2021 Apr 16. 9(1): 16
      BACKGROUND: Highly proliferating cancer cells exhibit the Warburg effect by regulation of PKM alternative splicing and promoting the expression of PKM2. Majority of the alternative splicing events are known to occur in the nuclear matrix where various MARBPs actively participate in the alternative splicing events. SMAR1, being a MARBP and an important tumor suppressor, is known to regulate the splicing of various cancer-associated genes. This study focuses on the regulation of PKM alternative splicing and inhibition of the Warburg effect by SMAR1.METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was performed in breast cancer patient samples to establish the correlation between SMAR1 and PKM isoform expression. Further, expression of PKM isoforms upon modulation in SMAR1 expression in breast cancer cell lines was quantified by qRT-PCR and western blot. The acetylation status of PTBP1 was estimated by immunoprecipitation along with its enrichment on PKM pre-mRNA by CLIP in SMAR1 knockdown conditions. The role of SMAR1 in tumor metabolism and tumorigenesis was explored by in vitro enzymatic assays and functional assays upon SMAR1 knockdown. Besides, in vivo tumor formation by injecting adeno-SMAR1-transduced MDA-MB-231 cells in NOD/SCID mice was performed.
    RESULTS: The expression profile of SMAR1 and PKM isoforms in breast cancer patients revealed that SMAR1 has an inverse correlation with PKM2 and a positive correlation with PKM1. Further quantitative PKM isoform expression upon modulation in SMAR1 expression also reflects that SMAR1 promotes the expression of PKM1 over tumorigenic isoform PKM2. SMAR1 deacetylates PTBP1 via recruitment of HDAC6 resulting in reduced enrichment of PTBP1 on PKM pre-mRNA. SMAR1 inhibits the Warburg effect, tumorigenic potential of cancer cells, and in vivo tumor generation in a PKM2-dependent manner.
    CONCLUSIONS: SMAR1 regulates PKM alternative splicing by causing HDAC6-dependent deacetylation of PTBP1, resulting in reduced enrichment of PTBP1 on PKM pre-mRNA. Additionally, SMAR1 suppresses glucose utilization and lactate production via repression of PKM2 expression. This suggests that tumor suppressor SMAR1 inhibits tumor cell metabolism and tumorigenic properties of cancer cells via regulation of PKM alternative splicing.
    Keywords:  Alternative splicing; HDAC6; PKM1; PKM2; PTBP1; SMAR1; Warburg effect
  33. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 13. pii: S2211-1247(21)00304-1. [Epub ahead of print]35(2): 108990
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is therapeutically recalcitrant and metastatic. Partial epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is associated with metastasis; however, a causal connection needs further unraveling. Here, we use single-cell RNA sequencing and genetic mouse models to identify the functional roles of partial EMT and epithelial stabilization in PDAC growth and metastasis. A global EMT expression signature identifies ∼50 cancer cell clusters spanning the epithelial-mesenchymal continuum in both human and murine PDACs. The combined genetic suppression of Snail and Twist results in PDAC epithelial stabilization and increased liver metastasis. Genetic deletion of Zeb1 in PDAC cells also leads to liver metastasis associated with cancer cell epithelial stabilization. We demonstrate that epithelial stabilization leads to the enhanced collective migration of cancer cells and modulation of the immune microenvironment, which likely contribute to efficient liver colonization. Our study provides insights into the diverse mechanisms of metastasis in pancreatic cancer and potential therapeutic targets.
    Keywords:  Snail; Twist; Zeb1; collective migration; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; immune modulation; metastasis; mouse models; pancreatic cancer; single-cell RNA sequencing
  34. Front Neurol. 2021 ;12 652590
      Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a mitochondrial disease causing severe bilateral visual loss, typically in young adults. The disorder is commonly caused by one of three primary point mutations in mitochondrial DNA, but a number of other rare mutations causing or associated with the clinical syndrome of LHON have been reported. The mutations in LHON are almost exclusively located in genes encoding subunits of complex I in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Here we report two patients, a mother and her son, with the typical LHON phenotype. Genetic investigations for the three common mutations were negative, instead we found a new and previously unreported mutation in mitochondrial DNA. This homoplasmic mutation, m.13345G>A, is located in the MT-ND5 gene, encoding a core subunit in complex I in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Investigation of the patients mitochondrial respiratory chain in muscle found a mild defect in the combined activity of complex I+III. In the literature six other mutations in the MT-ND5 gene have been associated with LHON and by this report a new putative mutation in the MT-ND5 can be added.
    Keywords:  LHON; MT-ND5; case report; complex 1; leber hereditary optic neuropathy; mitochondrial DNA; optic neuropathy
  35. PLoS Pathog. 2021 Apr 15. 17(4): e1009506
      Regulation of mitochondrial structure and function is a central component of infection with viruses, including human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), as a virus means to modulate cellular metabolism and immune responses. Here, we link the activity of the mitochondrial deacetylase SIRT3 and global mitochondrial acetylation status to host antiviral responses via regulation of both mitochondrial structural integrity and metabolism during HCMV infection. We establish that SIRT3 deacetylase activity is necessary for suppressing virus production, and that SIRT3 maintains mitochondrial pH and membrane potential during infection. By defining the temporal dynamics of SIRT3-substrate interactions during infection, and overlaying acetylome and proteome information, we find altered SIRT3 associations with the mitochondrial fusion factor OPA1 and acetyl-CoA acyltransferase 2 (ACAA2), concomitant with changes in their acetylation levels. Using mutagenesis, microscopy, and virology assays, we determine OPA1 regulates mitochondrial morphology of infected cells and inhibits HCMV production. OPA1 acetylation status modulates these functions, and we establish K834 as a site regulated by SIRT3. Control of SIRT3 protein levels or enzymatic activity is sufficient for regulating mitochondrial filamentous structure. Lastly, we establish a virus restriction function for ACAA2, an enzyme involved in fatty acid beta-oxidation. Altogether, we highlight SIRT3 activity as a regulatory hub for mitochondrial acetylation and morphology during HCMV infection and point to global acetylation as a reflection of mitochondrial health.
  36. Elife. 2021 04 13. pii: e62293. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Aging is associated with complex molecular and cellular processes that are poorly understood. Here we leveraged the Tabula Muris Senis single-cell RNA-seq data set to systematically characterize gene expression changes during aging across diverse cell types in the mouse. We identified aging-dependent genes in 76 tissue-cell types from 23 tissues and characterized both shared and tissue-cell-specific aging behaviors. We found that the aging-related genes shared by multiple tissue-cell types also change their expression congruently in the same direction during aging in most tissue-cell types, suggesting a coordinated global aging behavior at the organismal level. Scoring cells based on these shared aging genes allowed us to contrast the aging status of different tissues and cell types from a transcriptomic perspective. In addition, we identified genes that exhibit age-related expression changes specific to each functional category of tissue-cell types. Altogether, our analyses provide one of the most comprehensive and systematic characterizations of the molecular signatures of aging across diverse tissue-cell types in a mammalian system.
    Keywords:  aging; computation; computational biology; mouse; single cell; systems biology
  37. Cancer Discov. 2021 Apr 10. pii: candisc.1228.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is almost uniformly fatal and characterized by early metastasis. Oncogenic KRAS mutations prevail in 95% of PDAC tumors and co-occur with genetic alterations in the TP53 tumor suppressor in nearly 70% of patients. Most TP53 alterations are missense mutations that exhibit gain-of-function phenotypes that include increased invasiveness and metastasis yet the extent of direct cooperation between KRAS effectors and mutant p53 remains largely undefined. We show that oncogenic KRAS effectors activate cyclic AMP responsive element binding protein 1 (CREB1) to allow physical interactions with mutant p53 that hyperactivate multiple pro-metastatic transcriptional networks. Specifically, mutant p53 and CREB1 upregulate the pro-metastatic, pioneer transcription factor, FOXA1, activating its transcriptional network while promoting Wnt/B-catenin signaling, together driving PDAC metastasis. Pharmacologic CREB1 inhibition dramatically reduced FOXA1 and B-catenin expression and dampened PDAC metastasis, identifying a new therapeutic strategy to disrupt cooperation between oncogenic KRAS and mutant p53 to mitigate metastasis.
  38. Transl Oncol. 2021 Apr 12. pii: S1936-5233(21)00059-0. [Epub ahead of print]14(7): 101067
      Lipid metabolism is an essential process in cancer growth and progression. It is highly relevant in tumors with an adipocyte-rich microenvironment, such as ovarian carcinoma (OC). Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT2) is a key enzyme in fatty acid oxidation (FAO) that functions as a tumor suppressor in OC. Downregulation of CPT2 is reportedly associated with poor prognosis of OC patients. At the cellular level, low CPT2 translates into reduced NADPH level and unopposed reactive-oxygen species (ROS)/nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) signaling which are paralleled by induction of mesenchymal mediators, invasion and metastasis. While strategies to propagate the tumor suppressive properties of CPT2 have yet to be developed, a comprehensive approach of co-assessment and co-targeting of CPT2 and its family member CPT1, or/and other key FAO players with FAO-specific inhibitors or/and less specific inhibitors (e.g. targeting NFκB, STAT3) is worth pursuing to improve understanding of the metabolic aspects of OC and develop a lipid metabolism-centered therapeutic strategy that can benefit OC patients.
  39. Cell Metab. 2021 Apr 10. pii: S1550-4131(21)00130-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      NK cells are central to anti-tumor immunity and recently showed efficacy for treating hematologic malignancies. However, their dysfunction in the hostile tumor microenvironment remains a pivotal barrier for cancer immunotherapies against solid tumors. Using cancer patient samples and proteomics, we found that human NK cell dysfunction in the tumor microenvironment is due to suppression of glucose metabolism via lipid peroxidation-associated oxidative stress. Activation of the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway restored NK cell metabolism and function and resulted in greater anti-tumor activity in vivo. Strikingly, expanded NK cells reprogrammed with complete metabolic substrate flexibility not only sustained metabolic fitness but paradoxically augmented their tumor killing in the tumor microenvironment and in response to nutrient deprivation. Our results uncover that metabolic flexibility enables a cytotoxic immune cell to exploit the metabolic hostility of tumors for their advantage, addressing a critical hurdle for cancer immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  NK cell metabolism; NK cells; Warburg effect; adoptive cell therapy; cancer immunotherapy; glucose metabolism; immunometabolism; metabolic flexibility; oxidative stress; tumor microenvironment
  40. J Cell Biol. 2021 Jun 07. pii: e202006043. [Epub ahead of print]220(6):
      Here, we report that acute reduction in mitochondrial translation fidelity (MTF) causes ubiquitination of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) proteins, including TRAP1 and CPOX, which occurs selectively in mitochondria with a severed outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM). Ubiquitinated IMM recruits the autophagy machinery. Inhibiting autophagy leads to increased accumulation of mitochondria with severed OMM and ubiquitinated IMM. This process occurs downstream of the accumulation of cytochrome c/CPOX in a subset of mitochondria heterogeneously distributed throughout the cell ("mosaic distribution"). Formation of mosaic mitochondria, OMM severing, and IMM ubiquitination require active mitochondrial translation and mitochondrial fission, but not the proapoptotic proteins Bax and Bak. In contrast, in Parkin-overexpressing cells, MTF reduction does not lead to the severing of the OMM or IMM ubiquitination, but it does induce Drp1-independent ubiquitination of the OMM. Furthermore, high-cytochrome c/CPOX mitochondria are preferentially targeted by Parkin, indicating that in the context of reduced MTF, they are mitophagy intermediates regardless of Parkin expression. In sum, Parkin-deficient cells adapt to mitochondrial proteotoxicity through a Drp1-mediated mechanism that involves the severing of the OMM and autophagy targeting ubiquitinated IMM proteins.
  41. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 16. 12(1): 2304
      Mitochondria play a pivotal role in the generation of signals coupling metabolism with neurotransmitter release, but a role for mitochondrial-produced ROS in regulating neurosecretion has not been described. Here we show that endogenously produced hydrogen peroxide originating from axonal mitochondria (mtH2O2) functions as a signaling cue to selectively regulate the secretion of a FMRFamide-related neuropeptide (FLP-1) from a pair of interneurons (AIY) in C. elegans. We show that pharmacological or genetic manipulations that increase mtH2O2 levels lead to increased FLP-1 secretion that is dependent upon ROS dismutation, mitochondrial calcium influx, and cysteine sulfenylation of the calcium-independent PKC family member PKC-1. mtH2O2-induced FLP-1 secretion activates the oxidative stress response transcription factor SKN-1/Nrf2 in distal tissues and protects animals from ROS-mediated toxicity. mtH2O2 levels in AIY neurons, FLP-1 secretion and SKN-1 activity are rapidly and reversibly regulated by exposing animals to different bacterial food sources. These results reveal a previously unreported role for mtH2O2 in linking diet-induced changes in mitochondrial homeostasis with neuropeptide secretion.
  42. Nat Rev Immunol. 2021 Apr 15.
      The metabolic charts memorized in early biochemistry courses, and then later forgotten, have come back to haunt many immunologists with new recognition of the importance of these pathways. Metabolites and the activity of metabolic pathways drive energy production, macromolecule synthesis, intracellular signalling, post-translational modifications and cell survival. Immunologists who identify a metabolic phenotype in their system are often left wondering where to begin and what does it mean? Here, we provide a framework for navigating and selecting the appropriate biochemical techniques to explore immunometabolism. We offer recommendations for initial approaches to develop and test metabolic hypotheses and how to avoid common mistakes. We then discuss how to take things to the next level with metabolomic approaches, such as isotope tracing and genetic approaches. By proposing strategies and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies, we aim to provide insight, note important considerations and discuss ways to avoid common misconceptions. Furthermore, we highlight recent studies demonstrating the power of these metabolic approaches to uncover the role of metabolism in immunology. By following the framework in this Review, neophytes and seasoned investigators alike can venture into the emerging realm of cellular metabolism and immunity with confidence and rigour.
  43. Future Med Chem. 2021 Apr 13.
      The spectacular success of the mycobacterial F1F0-ATP synthase inhibitor bedaquiline for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis has generated wide interest in the development of other inhibitors of this enzyme. Work in this realm has included close analogues of bedaquiline with better safety profiles and 'bedaquiline-like' compounds, some of which show potent antibacterial activity in vitro although none have yet progressed to clinical trials. The search has lately extended to a range of new scaffolds as potential inhibitors, including squaramides, diaminoquinazolines, chloroquinolines, dihydropyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrazin-4-ones, thiazolidinediones, diaminopyrimidines and tetrahydroquinolines. Because of the ubiquitous expression of ATP synthase enzymes, there has also been interest in inhibitors of other bacterial ATP synthases, as well as inhibitors of human mitochondrial ATP synthase for cancer therapy. The latter encompass both complex natural products and simpler small molecules. The review seeks to demonstrate the breadth of the structural types of molecules able to effectively inhibit the function of variants of this intriguing enzyme.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase enzyme; bedaquiline; cancer drugs; natural products; tuberculosis drugs
  44. Oncogene. 2021 Apr 16.
      The tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle) has been known for decades as a hub for generating cellular energy and precursors for biosynthetic pathways. Several cancers harbor mutations that affect the integrity of this cycle, mostly at the levels of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH), succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and fumarate hydratase (FH). This results in dysregulation in the production of TCA cycle metabolites and is probably implicated in cancer initiation. By modulating cellular activities, including metabolism and signaling, TCA cycle intermediates are able to impact the processes of cancer development and progression. In this review, we discuss the functional roles of the TCA cycle intermediates in suppressing or promoting the progression of cancers. A further understanding of TCA metabolites' roles and molecular mechanisms in oncogenesis would prompt developing novel metabolite-based cancer therapy in the future.