bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2021‒04‒25
39 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman, East Carolina University

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Apr 27. pii: e2019665118. [Epub ahead of print]118(17):
      Mitochondrial disease is a debilitating condition with a diverse genetic etiology. Here, we report that TMEM126A, a protein that is mutated in patients with autosomal-recessive optic atrophy, participates directly in the assembly of mitochondrial complex I. Using a combination of genome editing, interaction studies, and quantitative proteomics, we find that loss of TMEM126A results in an isolated complex I deficiency and that TMEM126A interacts with a number of complex I subunits and assembly factors. Pulse-labeling interaction studies reveal that TMEM126A associates with the newly synthesized mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-encoded ND4 subunit of complex I. Our findings indicate that TMEM126A is involved in the assembly of the ND4 distal membrane module of complex I. In addition, we find that the function of TMEM126A is distinct from its paralogue TMEM126B, which acts in assembly of the ND2-module of complex I.
    Keywords:  complex I; membrane protein; mitochondria; optic atrophy; oxidative phosphorylation
  2. Cancer Metab. 2021 Apr 21. 9(1): 17
      Acute myeloid leukemias (AML) are a group of aggressive hematologic malignancies resulting from acquired genetic mutations in hematopoietic stem cells that affect patients of all ages. Despite decades of research, standard chemotherapy still remains ineffective for some AML subtypes and is often inappropriate for older patients or those with comorbidities. Recently, a number of studies have identified unique mitochondrial alterations that lead to metabolic vulnerabilities in AML cells that may present viable treatment targets. These include mtDNA, dependency on oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial metabolism, and pro-survival signaling, as well as reactive oxygen species generation and mitochondrial dynamics. Moreover, some mitochondria-targeting chemotherapeutics and their combinations with other compounds have been FDA-approved for AML treatment. Here, we review recent studies that illuminate the effects of drugs and synergistic drug combinations that target diverse biomolecules and metabolic pathways related to mitochondria and their promise in experimental studies, clinical trials, and existing chemotherapeutic regimens.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia (AML); Drug combinations; Leukemia stem cells; Mitocans; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial abnormalities/alterations; Mitochondrial metabolism; Synergy
  3. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Apr 05.
      Elevated mitochondrial H2O2 emission and an oxidative shift in cytosolic redox environment have been linked to high fat diet-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. To test specifically whether increased flux through mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, in the absence of elevated energy demand, directly alters mitochondrial function and redox state in muscle, two genetic models characterized by increased muscle β-oxidation flux were studied. In mice overexpressing peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-α in muscle (MCK-PPARα), lipid supported mitochondrial respiration, membrane potential (ΔΨm) and H2O2 production rate (JH2O2) were increased, which coincided with a more oxidized cytosolic redox environment, reduced muscle glucose uptake, and whole-body glucose intolerance despite an increased rate of energy expenditure. Similar results were observed in lipin-1 deficient, fatty-liver dystrophic mice, another model characterized by increased β-oxidation flux and glucose intolerance. Crossing MCAT (mitochondrial-targeted catalase) with MCK-PPARα mice normalized JH2O2 production, redox environment and glucose tolerance, but surprisingly both basal and absolute insulin-stimulated rates of glucose uptake in muscle remained depressed. Also surprising, when placed on a high fat diet MCK-PPARα mice were characterized by much lower whole body, fat and lean mass as well as improved glucose tolerance relative to wild-type mice, providing additional evidence that overexpression of PPARα in muscle imposes more extensive metabolic stress than experienced by wild-type mice on a high fat diet. Overall, the findings suggest that driving an increase in skeletal muscle fatty acid oxidation in the absence of metabolic demand imposes mitochondrial reductive stress and elicits multiple counterbalance metabolic responses in attempt to restore bioenergetic homeostasis.
    Keywords:  fat oxidation; glucose tolerance; insulin resistance; mitochondria; skeletal muscle
  4. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2021 Apr 19. pii: S0005-2728(21)00063-3. [Epub ahead of print] 148430
      The K0.5ADP of oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) identifies the cytosolic ADP concentration which elicits one-half the maximum OxPhos rate. This kinetic parameter is commonly measured to assess mitochondrial metabolic control sensitivity. Here we describe a luciferase-based assay to evaluate the ADP kinetic parameters of mitochondrial ATP production from OxPhos, adenylate kinase (AK), and creatine kinase (CK). The high sensitivity, reproducibility, and throughput of the microplate-based assay enabled a comprehensive kinetic assessment of all three pathways in mitochondria isolated from mouse liver, kidney, heart, and skeletal muscle. Carboxyatractyloside titrations were also performed with the assay to estimate the flux control strength of the adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) over OxPhos in human skeletal muscle mitochondria. ANT flux control coefficients were 0.91 ± 0.07, 0.83 ± 0.06, and 0.51 ± 0.07 at ADP concentrations of 6.25, 12.5, and 25 μM, respectively, an [ADP] range which spanned the K0.5ADP. The oxidative capacity of substrate combinations added to drive OxPhos was found to dramatically influence ADP kinetics in mitochondria from several tissues. In mouse skeletal muscle ten different substrate combinations elicited a 7-fold range of OxPhos Vmax, which correlated positively (R2 = 0.963) with K0.5ADP values ranging from 2.3 ± 0.2 μM to 11.9 ± 0.6 μM. We propose that substrate-enhanced capacity to generate the protonmotive force increases the OxPhos K0.5ADP because flux control at ANT increases, thus K0.5ADP rises toward the dissociation constant, KdADP, of ADP-ANT binding. The findings are discussed in the context of top-down metabolic control analysis.
    Keywords:  Metabolic control; Michaelis-Menten kinetics; adenine nucleotide translocase; respiration
  5. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 20. pii: S2211-1247(21)00316-8. [Epub ahead of print]35(3): 109002
      Complex I (CI) is the largest enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, and its defects are the main cause of mitochondrial disease. To understand the mechanisms regulating the extremely intricate biogenesis of this fundamental bioenergetic machine, we analyze the structural and functional consequences of the ablation of NDUFS3, a non-catalytic core subunit. We show that, in diverse mammalian cell types, a small amount of functional CI can still be detected in the complete absence of NDUFS3. In addition, we determine the dynamics of CI disassembly when the amount of NDUFS3 is gradually decreased. The process of degradation of the complex occurs in a hierarchical and modular fashion in which the ND4 module remains stable and bound to TMEM126A. We, thus, uncover the function of TMEM126A, the product of a disease gene causing recessive optic atrophy as a factor necessary for the correct assembly and function of CI.
    Keywords:  CI; CI modules; NDUFS3; SILAC; TMEM126A; assembly factor; optic atrophy type 7; respiratory complex I
  6. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 20. 12(1): 2328
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a collagen-rich dense extracellular matrix (ECM) that promotes malignancy of cancer cells and presents a barrier for drug delivery. Data analysis of our published mass spectrometry (MS)-based studies on enriched ECM from samples of progressive PDAC stages reveal that the C-terminal prodomains of fibrillar collagens are partially uncleaved in PDAC ECM, suggesting reduced procollagen C-proteinase activity. We further show that the enzyme responsible for procollagen C-proteinase activity, bone morphogenetic protein1 (BMP1), selectively suppresses tumor growth and metastasis in cells expressing high levels of COL1A1. Although BMP1, as a secreted proteinase, promotes fibrillar collagen deposition from both cancer cells and stromal cells, only cancer-cell-derived procollagen cleavage and deposition suppresses tumor malignancy. These studies reveal a role for cancer-cell-derived fibrillar collagen in selectively restraining tumor growth and suggest stratification of patients based on their tumor epithelial collagen I expression when considering treatments related to perturbation of fibrillar collagens.
  7. Autophagy. 2021 Apr 18. 1-4
      Whether macroautophagy/autophagy is physiologically relevant to regulate mitochondrial function for a rapid and dynamic adaptation of yeast cells to respiratory growth was not fully understood until recently. May et al. (2020. Nat Commun) report that bulk autophagy provides serine as a one-carbon (1C) metabolite that controls respiratory growth onset by initiating mitochondrial initiator tRNAMet modification and mitochondrial translation linking autophagy mechanistically to mitochondrial function. We discuss the mechanistic interplay between autophagy, one-carbon-metabolism, and mitochondrial function and the possible implications in neurodegeneration, aging, and carcinogenesis.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; mitochondrial respiration; mitochondrial translation; one-carbon metabolism; respiratory growth
  8. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Apr 27. pii: e2018229118. [Epub ahead of print]118(17):
      Cancer cells can survive chemotherapy-induced stress, but how they recover from it is not known. Using a temporal multiomics approach, we delineate the global mechanisms of proteotoxic stress resolution in multiple myeloma cells recovering from proteasome inhibition. Our observations define layered and protracted programs for stress resolution that encompass extensive changes across the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. Cellular recovery from proteasome inhibition involved protracted and dynamic changes of glucose and lipid metabolism and suppression of mitochondrial function. We demonstrate that recovering cells are more vulnerable to specific insults than acutely stressed cells and identify the general control nonderepressable 2 (GCN2)-driven cellular response to amino acid scarcity as a key recovery-associated vulnerability. Using a transcriptome analysis pipeline, we further show that GCN2 is also a stress-independent bona fide target in transcriptional signature-defined subsets of solid cancers that share molecular characteristics. Thus, identifying cellular trade-offs tied to the resolution of chemotherapy-induced stress in tumor cells may reveal new therapeutic targets and routes for cancer therapy optimization.
    Keywords:  GCN2; metabolism; myeloma; proteasome; proteostasis
  9. Cancer Discov. 2021 Apr 23. pii: candisc.1765.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria provide the front-line of defense against the tumor-promoting effects of oxidative stress. Here we show that the prostate-specific homeoprotein, NKX3.1, suppresses prostate cancer initiation by protecting mitochondria from oxidative stress. Integrating analyses of genetically-engineered mouse models, human prostate cancer cells, and human prostate cancer organotypic cultures, we find that, in response to oxidative stress, NKX3.1 is imported to mitochondria via the chaperone protein, HSPA9, where it regulates transcription of mitochondrial-encoded electron transport chain (ETC) genes, thereby restoring oxidative phosphorylation and preventing cancer initiation. Germline polymorphisms of NKX3.1 associated with increased cancer risk fail to protect from oxidative stress or suppress tumorigenicity. Low expression levels of NKX3.1 combined with low expression of mitochondrial ETC genes are associated with adverse clinical outcome, whereas high levels of mitochondrial NKX3.1 protein are associated with favorable outcome. This work reveals an extranuclear role for NKX3.1 in suppression of prostate cancer by protecting mitochondrial function.
  10. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 20. pii: S2211-1247(21)00339-9. [Epub ahead of print]35(3): 109025
      Ablation of Slc22a14 causes male infertility in mice, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we show that SLC22A14 is a riboflavin transporter localized at the inner mitochondrial membrane of the spermatozoa mid-piece and show by genetic, biochemical, multi-omic, and nutritional evidence that riboflavin transport deficiency suppresses the oxidative phosphorylation and reprograms spermatozoa energy metabolism by disrupting flavoenzyme functions. Specifically, we find that fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) is defective with significantly reduced levels of acyl-carnitines and metabolites from the TCA cycle (the citric acid cycle) but accumulated triglycerides and free fatty acids in Slc22a14 knockout spermatozoa. We demonstrate that Slc22a14-mediated FAO is essential for spermatozoa energy generation and motility. Furthermore, sperm from wild-type mice treated with a riboflavin-deficient diet mimics those in Slc22a14 knockout mice, confirming that an altered riboflavin level causes spermatozoa morphological and bioenergetic defects. Beyond substantially advancing our understanding of spermatozoa energy metabolism, our study provides an attractive target for the development of male contraceptives.
    Keywords:  SLC22A14 transporter; energy metabolism; fatty acid β-oxidation; male infertility; riboflavin
  11. Cancer Lett. 2021 Apr 16. pii: S0304-3835(21)00167-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Dysfunction of Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), an NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase, impairs varied mitochondrial metabolic pathways in human cancer. Here, we explored suppressive activity of SIRT3 in the progression of gallbladder cancer (GBC). Expression levels of SIRT3 in patients with GBC were lower than those in the adjacent normal tissue. In addition, decreased expression of SIRT3 in these patients was correlated with poor overall survival. Knockdown of SIRT3 gene in GBC cell lines induced mitochondrial respiration and energy metabolism, but inhibited oxidative ROS. Silence of SIRT3 gene also suppressed AKT-dependent ferroptosis, an iron-dependent and lipid peroxide-mediated cell death. Blockade of AKT activity in sh-SIRT3 cells induced ACSL4 expression that drives ferroptosis, and inhibited epithelial-mesenchymal (EMT) markers and invasive activity. In contrast, overexpression of SIRT3 led to the opposite effects on mitochondrial metabolism and EMT. Finally, transplantation of sh-SIRT3 cells in nude mice resulted in rapid tumor growth and larger tumors that expressed lower E-cadherin and lipid peroxide 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) than those observed in control tumors. Collectively, our studies indicate that SIRT3 functions to inhibit AKT-dependent mitochondrial metabolism and EMT, leading to ferroptosis and tumor suppression.
    Keywords:  Cancer progression; Ferroptosis; GBC; Mitochondrial metabolism; SIRT3
  12. Cell Metab. 2021 Apr 16. pii: S1550-4131(21)00166-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Low-protein diets promote metabolic health in rodents and humans, and the benefits of low-protein diets are recapitulated by specifically reducing dietary levels of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Here, we demonstrate that each BCAA has distinct metabolic effects. A low isoleucine diet reprograms liver and adipose metabolism, increasing hepatic insulin sensitivity and ketogenesis and increasing energy expenditure, activating the FGF21-UCP1 axis. Reducing valine induces similar but more modest metabolic effects, whereas these effects are absent with low leucine. Reducing isoleucine or valine rapidly restores metabolic health to diet-induced obese mice. Finally, we demonstrate that variation in dietary isoleucine levels helps explain body mass index differences in humans. Our results reveal isoleucine as a key regulator of metabolic health and the adverse metabolic response to dietary BCAAs and suggest reducing dietary isoleucine as a new approach to treating and preventing obesity and diabetes.
    Keywords:  FGF21; GCN2; body mass index; branched-chain amino acids; diabetes; insulin resistance; isoleucine; mTORC1; obesity; valine
  13. Nat Cancer. 2020 Dec;1(12): 1176-1187
      Venetoclax with azacitidine (ven/aza) has emerged as a promising regimen for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with a high percentage of clinical remissions in newly diagnosed patients. However, approximately 30% of newly diagnosed and the majority of relapsed patients do not achieve remission with ven/aza. We previously reported that ven/aza efficacy is based on eradication of AML stem cells through a mechanism involving inhibition of amino acid metabolism, a process which is required in primitive AML cells to drive oxidative phosphorylation. Herein we demonstrate that resistance to ven/aza occurs via up-regulation of fatty acid oxidation (FAO), which occurs due to RAS pathway mutations, or as a compensatory adaptation in relapsed disease. Utilization of FAO obviates the need for amino acid metabolism, thereby rendering ven/aza ineffective. Pharmacological inhibition of FAO restores sensitivity to ven/aza in drug resistant AML cells. We propose inhibition of FAO as a therapeutic strategy to address ven/aza resistance.
  14. Nanoscale. 2021 Apr 21. 13(15): 7108-7118
      Mitochondria play critical roles in the regulation of the proliferation and apoptosis of cancerous cells. Nanosystems for targeted delivery of cargos to mitochondria for cancer treatment have attracted increasing attention in the past few years. This review will summarize the state of the art of design and construction of nanosystems used for mitochondria-targeted delivery. The use of nanotechnology for cancer treatment through various pathways such as energy metabolism interference, reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulation, mitochondrial protein targeting, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) interference, mitophagy inducing, and combination therapy will be discussed. Finally, the major challenges and an outlook in this field will also be provided.
  15. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 ;12 651211
      Lipid overload of the mitochondria is linked to the development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle which may be a contributing factor to the progression of type 2 diabetes during obesity. The targeted degradation of mitochondria through autophagy, termed mitophagy, contributes to the mitochondrial adaptive response to changes in dietary fat. Our previous work demonstrates long-term (2-4 months) consumption of a high-fat diet increases mitochondrial lipid oxidation capacity but does not alter markers of mitophagy in mice. The purpose of this study was to investigate initial stages of mitochondrial respiratory adaptations to high-fat diet and the activation of mitophagy. C57BL/6J mice consumed either a low-fat diet (LFD, 10% fat) or high-fat diet (HFD, 60% fat) for 3 or 7 days. We measured skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration and protein markers of mitophagy in a mitochondrial-enriched fraction of skeletal muscle. After 3 days of HFD, mice had lower lipid-supported oxidative phosphorylation alongside greater electron leak compared with the LFD group. After 7 days, there were no differences in mitochondrial respiration between diet groups. HFD mice had greater autophagosome formation potential (Beclin-1) and greater activation of mitochondrial autophagy receptors (Bnip3, p62) in isolated mitochondria, but no difference in downstream autophagosome (LC3II) or lysosome (Lamp1) abundance after both 3 and 7 days compared with the LFD groups. In cultured myotubes, palmitate treatment decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and hydrogen peroxide treatment increased accumulation of upstream mitophagy markers. We conclude that several days of high-fat feeding stimulated upstream activation of skeletal muscle mitophagy, potentially through lipid-induced oxidative stress, without downstream changes in respiration.
    Keywords:  autophagy; high-fat feeding; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; respiration
  16. Front Genet. 2021 ;12 627050
      Gene editing of the mitochondrial genome using the CRISPR-Cas9 system is highly challenging mainly due to sub-efficient delivery of guide RNA and Cas9 enzyme complexes into the mitochondria. In this study, we were able to perform gene editing in the mitochondrial DNA by appending an NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase chain 4 (ND4) targeting guide RNA to an RNA transport-derived stem loop element (RP-loop) and expressing the Cas9 enzyme with a preceding mitochondrial localization sequence. We observe mitochondrial colocalization of RP-loop gRNA and a marked reduction of ND4 expression in the cells carrying a 11205G variant in their ND4 sequence coincidently decreasing the mtDNA levels. This proof-of-concept study suggests that a stem-loop element added sgRNA can be transported to the mitochondria and functionally interact with Cas9 to mediate sequence-specific mtDNA cleavage. Using this novel approach to target the mtDNA, our results provide further evidence that CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene editing might potentially be used to treat mitochondrial-related diseases.
    Keywords:  PNPase; RP-loop; chimeric guide RNA; heteroplasmic mutations; mitochondria
  17. FEBS J. 2021 Apr 18.
      The mammalian sirtuin family consists of seven proteins, three of which (SIRT3, SIRT4, and SIRT5) localise specifically within mitochondria and preserve mitochondrial function and homeostasis. Mitochondrial sirtuins are involved in diverse functions such as deacetylation, ADP-ribosylation, demalonylation and desuccinylation, thus affecting various aspect of cell fate. Intriguingly, mitochondrial sirtuins are able to manage these delicate processes with accuracy mediated by cross-talk between the nucleus and mitochondria. Previous studies have provided ample information about their substrates and targets, whereas less is known about their role in cancer and stem cells. Here, we review and discuss recent advances in our understanding of the structural and functional properties of mitochondrial sirtuins, including their targets in cancer and stem cells. These advances could help to improve the understanding of their interplay with signalling cascades and pathways, leading to new avenues for developing novel drugs for sirtuin-related disease treatments. We also highlight the complex network of mitochondrial sirtuins in cancer and stem cells, which may be important in deciphering the molecular mechanism for their activation and inhibition.
    Keywords:   SIRT3 ; SIRT4 ; SIRT5 ; Cancer; Mitochondria; Sirtuins; Stem cells
  18. Amino Acids. 2021 Apr 05.
      Recent studies on the regulatory role of amino acids in cell metabolism have focused on the functional significance of proline degradation. The process is catalysed by proline dehydrogenase/proline oxidase (PRODH/POX), a mitochondrial flavin-dependent enzyme converting proline into ∆1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C). During this process, electrons are transferred to electron transport chain producing ATP for survival or they directly reduce oxygen, producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) inducing apoptosis/autophagy. However, the mechanism for switching survival/apoptosis mode is unknown. Although PRODH/POX activity and energetic metabolism were suggested as an underlying mechanism for the survival/apoptosis switch, proline availability for this enzyme is also important. Proline availability is regulated by prolidase (proline supporting enzyme), collagen biosynthesis (proline utilizing process) and proline synthesis from glutamine, glutamate, α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and ornithine. Proline availability is dependent on the rate of glycolysis, TCA and urea cycles, proline metabolism, collagen biosynthesis and its degradation. It is well established that proline synthesis enzymes, P5C synthetase and P5C reductase as well as collagen prolyl hydroxylases are up-regulated in most of cancer types and control rates of collagen biosynthesis. Up-regulation of collagen prolyl hydroxylase and its exhaustion of ascorbate and α-KG may compete with DNA and histone demethylases (that require the same cofactors) to influence metabolic epigenetics. This knowledge led us to hypothesize that up-regulation of prolidase and PRODH/POX with inhibition of collagen biosynthesis may represent potential pharmacotherapeutic approach to induce apoptosis or autophagic death in cancer cells. These aspects of proline metabolism are discussed in the review as an approach to understand complex regulatory mechanisms driving PRODH/POX-dependent apoptosis/survival.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Autophagy; Collagen metabolism; Prolidase; Proline; Proline dehydrogenase/Proline oxidase; Signalling
  19. BMC Cancer. 2021 Apr 17. 21(1): 427
      BACKGROUND: Associations between mitochondrial genetic abnormalities (variations and copy number, i.e. mtDNAcn, change) and elevated ROS have been reported in cancer compared to normal cells. Since excessive levels of ROS can trigger apoptosis, treating cancer cells with ROS-stimulating agents may enhance their death. This study aimed to investigate the link between baseline ROS levels and mitochondrial genetic abnormalities, and how mtDNA abnormalities might be used to predict cancer cells' response to ROS-stimulating therapy.METHODS: Intracellular and mitochondrial specific-ROS levels were measured using the DCFDA and MitoSOX probes, respectively, in four cancer and one non-cancerous cell lines. Cells were treated with ROS-stimulating agents (cisplatin and dequalinium) and the IC50s were determined using the MTS assay. Sanger sequencing and qPCR were conducted to screen the complete mitochondrial genome for variations and to relatively quantify mtDNAcn, respectively. Non-synonymous variations were subjected to 3-dimensional (3D) protein structural mapping and analysis.
    RESULTS: Our data revealed novel significant associations between the total number of variations in the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complex I and III genes, mtDNAcn, ROS levels, and ROS-associated drug response. Furthermore, functional variations in complexes I/III correlated significantly and positively with mtDNAcn, ROS levels and drug resistance, indicating they might mechanistically influence these parameters in cancer cells.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that mtDNAcn and complexes I/III functional variations have the potential to be efficient biomarkers to predict ROS-stimulating therapy efficacy in the future.
    Keywords:  Cancer biomarker; Cisplatin; Dequalinium chloride hydrate; Mitochondrial DNA; MtDNA copy number; MtDNA variations; ROS-stimulating therapy; Reactive oxygen species
  20. Blood. 2021 Apr 19. pii: blood.2020008955. [Epub ahead of print]
      T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematologic malignancy. Despite recent advances in treatments with intensified chemotherapy regimens, relapse rates and associated morbidities remain high. In this context, metabolic dependencies have emerged as a druggable opportunity for the treatment of leukemia. Here, we tested the antileukemic effects of MB1-47, a newly developed mitochondrial uncoupling compound. MB1-47 treatment in T-ALL cells robustly inhibited cell proliferation via both cytostatic and cytotoxic effects as a result of compromised mitochondrial energy and metabolite depletion, which severely impaired nucleotide biosynthesis. Mechanistically, acute treatment with MB1-47 in primary leukemias promoted AMPK activation and downregulation of mTOR signaling, stalling anabolic pathways that support leukemic cell survival. Indeed, MB1-47 treatment in mice harboring either murine NOTCH1-induced primary leukemias or human T-ALL PDXs led to potent antileukemic effects with a significant extension in survival without overlapping toxicities. Overall, our findings demonstrate a critical role for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in T-ALL and uncover MB1-47-driven mitochondrial uncoupling as a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of this disease.
  21. Circ Res. 2021 Apr 22.
      Rationale: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a mortal clinical syndrome without effective therapies. We recently demonstrated in mice that a combination of metabolic and hypertensive stress recapitulates key features of human HFpEF.Objective: Using this novel preclinical HFpEF model, we set out to define and manipulate metabolic dysregulations occurring in HFpEF myocardium. Methods and Results: We observed impairment in mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation associated with hyperacetylation of key enzymes in the pathway. Down-regulation of sirtuin 3 and deficiency of NAD+ secondary to an impaired NAD+ salvage pathway contribute to this mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation. Impaired expression of genes involved in NAD+ biosynthesis was confirmed in cardiac tissue from HFpEF patients. Supplementing HFpEF mice with nicotinamide riboside or a direct activator of NAD+ biosynthesis led to improvement in mitochondrial function and amelioration of the HFpEF phenotype. Conclusions: Collectively, these studies demonstrate that HFpEF is associated with myocardial mitochondrial dysfunction and unveil NAD+ repletion as a promising therapeutic approach in the syndrome.
  22. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Apr 20. pii: S0891-5849(21)00259-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death dependent on iron, reactive oxygen species and characterized by the accumulation of lipid peroxides. It can be experimentally initiated by chemicals, such as erastin and RSL3, that modulate GPX4 activity, the cellular antioxidant machinery that avert lipid peroxidation. The study aimed to investigate mitochondrial respiration and ferritin function as biomarkers of ferroptosis sensitivity of HepG2 and HA22T/VGH, two Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) cell line models. Cell viability was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, labile iron levels were determined Calcein-AM fluorescence microscopy, ferritin, glutathione and lipid peroxidation were assayed with commercially available kits. The Seahorse assay was used to investigate mitochondrial function in the cells. The study shows that highly differentiated HepG2 cells were more sensitive to RSL3-induced ferroptosis than the poorly differentiated HA22T/VGH (HCC) cell line (RSL3 IC50 0.07 μM in HepG2 vs 0.3 μM in HA22T/VGH). Interestingly, HepG2 exhibited higher mitochondrial respiration and lower glycolytic activity than HA22T/VGH and were more sensitive to RSL3-induced ferroptosis, indicating a mitochondrial-specific mechanism of action of RSL3. Interestingly, iron metabolism seems to be involved in this different sensitivity, specifically, the downregulation of H-ferritin (but not of L-subunit), makes HA22T/VGH more sensitive toward both RSL3-and iron-induced ferroptosis. Hence only the H-ferritin seems involved in the protection from the cell death process.
    Keywords:  Ferritin; Hepatocellular carcinoma; RSL3; ferroptosis
  23. Nat Metab. 2021 Apr;3(4): 456-468
      Metabolism and mechanics are intrinsically intertwined. External forces, sensed through the cytoskeleton or distortion of the cell and organelles, induce metabolic changes in the cell. The resulting changes in metabolism, in turn, feed back to regulate every level of cell biology, including the mechanical properties of cells and tissues. Here we examine the links between metabolism and mechanics, highlighting signalling pathways involved in the regulation and response to cellular mechanosensing. We consider how forces and metabolism regulate one another through nanoscale molecular sensors, micrometre-scale cytoskeletal networks, organelles and dynamic biomolecular condensates. Understanding this cross-talk will create diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities for metabolic disorders such as cancer, cardiovascular pathologies and obesity.
  24. Geroscience. 2021 Apr 23.
      AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a central regulator of both lifespan and health across multiple model organisms. β-Guanidinopropionic acid (GPA) is an endogenous AMPK activator previously shown to improve metabolic function in young and obese mice. In this study, we tested whether age of administration significantly affects the physiological outcomes of GPA administration in mice. We report that intervention starting at 7-8 months (young) results in activation of AMPK signaling and a phenotype consisting of lower body mass, improved glucose control, enhanced exercise tolerance, and altered mitochondrial electron transport chain flux similar to previous reports. When GPA treatment is started at 18-19 months (old), the effect of GPA on AMPK signaling is blunted compared to younger mice despite similar accumulation of GPA in skeletal muscle. Even so, GPA administration in older animals delayed age-related declines in lean mass, improved measures of gait performance and circadian rhythm, and increased fat metabolism as measured by respiratory exchange ratio. These results are likely partially driven by the relative difference in basal function and metabolic plasticity between young and old mice. Our results suggest that age-related declines in AMPK sensitivity may limit potential strategies targeting AMPK signaling in older subjects and suggest that further research and development is required for AMPK activators to realize their full potential.
    Keywords:  AMPK; Aging; Beta-guanidinopropionic acid; Healthspan
  25. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 23. 12(1): 2398
      Arginine plays diverse roles in cellular physiology. As a semi-essential amino acid, arginine deprivation has been used to target cancers with arginine synthesis deficiency. Arginine-deprived cancer cells exhibit mitochondrial dysfunction, transcriptional reprogramming and eventual cell death. In this study, we show in prostate cancer cells that arginine acts as an epigenetic regulator to modulate histone acetylation, leading to global upregulation of nuclear-encoded oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) genes. TEAD4 is retained in the nucleus by arginine, enhancing its recruitment to the promoter/enhancer regions of OXPHOS genes and mediating coordinated upregulation in a YAP1-independent but mTOR-dependent manner. Arginine also activates the expression of lysine acetyl-transferases and increases overall levels of acetylated histones and acetyl-CoA, facilitating TEAD4 recruitment. Silencing of TEAD4 suppresses OXPHOS functions and prostate cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Given the strong correlation of TEAD4 expression and prostate carcinogenesis, targeting TEAD4 may be beneficially used to enhance arginine-deprivation therapy and prostate cancer therapy.
  26. Mol Omics. 2021 Apr 20.
      Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer, which is still far from being fully understood in colorectal cancer. In order to characterize the metabolic changes in colorectal cancer, we performed metabolomics analysis of paired colon tissues from colorectal cancer patients by using a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based method. Bioinformation analysis was used to define important metabolites and metabolic pathways, as well as the prognosis significance and expression levels of the key molecules. The results indicated that the metabolite phenotype in cancerous colon tissues was obviously different from their normal counterpart, and we identified a series of important metabolic changes in colorectal cancer, including decreased trends of glucose, citrate, serotonin, 5-hydroxytryptophol and 5-hydroxyindoleacetate, as well as increased trends of glutamate, glutathione, creatine, proline, lactate, fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, succinate, tryptophan, kynurenine and long chain acyl-carnitines. These metabolites are mainly implicated in energy metabolism, amino acid metabolism, glutathione metabolism and fatty acid metabolism. In addition, we found that the expression levels of several key molecules in these pathways were closely correlated with the prognosis of colorectal cancer patients. This study characterizes the metabolic profile in colorectal cancer tissues and provides more insightful understanding of the metabolic reprogramming of colorectal cancer.
  27. Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 22. 11(1): 8735
      BRCA1 is a well-studied tumor suppressor involved in the homologous repair of DNA damage, whereas PINK1, a mitochondrial serine/threonine kinase, is known to be involved in mitochondrial quality control. Genetic mutations of PINK1 and Parkin cause autosomal recessive early-onset Parkinson's disease. We found that in breast cancer cells, the mitochondrial targeting reagents, which all induce mitochondrial depolarization along with PINK1 upregulation, induced proteasomal BRCA1 degradation. This BRCA1 degradation was dependent on PINK1, and BRCA1 downregulation upon mitochondrial damage caused DNA double-strand breaks. BRCA1 degradation was mediated through the direct interaction with the E3 ligase Parkin. Strikingly, BRCA1 and PINK1/Parkin expression were inversely correlated in cancerous mammary glands from breast cancer patients. BRCA1 knockdown repressed cancer cell growth, and high BRCA1 expression predicted poor relapse-free survival in breast cancer patients. These observations indicate a novel mechanism by which mitochondrial damage is transmitted to the nucleus, leading to BRCA1 degradation.
  28. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Apr 19.
      We recently reported that compared to males, female mice have increased hepatic mitochondrial respiratory capacity and are protected against high-fat diet-induced steatosis. Here we sought to determine the role of estrogen in hepatic mitochondrial function, steatosis, and bile acid metabolism in female mice, as well as investigate potential benefits of exercise in the absence or presence of estrogen via ovariectomy (OVX). Female C57BL mice (n=6 per group) were randomly assigned to sham surgery (Sham), ovariectomy (OVX), or OVX plus estradiol replacement therapy (OVX+Est). Half of the mice in each treatment group were sedentary (SED) or had access to voluntary wheel running (VWR). All mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and were housed at thermoneutral temperatures. We assessed isolated hepatic mitochondrial respiratory capacity using the Oroboros O2k with both pyruvate and palmitoylcarnitine as substrates. As expected, OVX mice presented with greater hepatic steatosis, weight gain, and fat mass gain compared to Sham and OVX+Est animals. Hepatic mitochondrial coupling (Basal/State 3 respiration) with pyruvate was impaired following OVX, but both VWR and estradiol treatment rescued coupling to levels greater than or equal to Sham animals. Estradiol and exercise also had different effects on liver electron transport chain protein expression depending on OVX status. Markers of bile acid metabolism and excretion were also impaired by ovariectomy but rescued with estradiol add-back. Together our data suggest that estrogen depletion impairs hepatic mitochondrial function and liver health, and that estradiol replacement and modest exercise can aid in rescuing this phenotype.
    Keywords:  fatty liver; menopause; metabolism
  29. Nat Cancer. 2021 Mar;2(3): 271-283
      Our understanding of how the RAS protein family, and in particular mutant KRAS promote metabolic dysregulation in cancer cells has advanced significantly over the last decade. In this Review, we discuss the metabolic reprogramming mediated by oncogenic RAS in cancer, and elucidating the underlying mechanisms could translate to novel therapeutic opportunities to target metabolic vulnerabilities in RAS-driven cancers.
    Keywords:  KRAS; autophagy; cancer therapeutics; chemoresistance; ferroptosis; glutaminolysis; glycolysis; macropinocytosis; metabolism
  30. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 20. 12(1): 2346
      Cancer expression of PD-L1 suppresses anti-tumor immunity. PD-L1 has emerged as a remarkable therapeutic target. However, the regulation of PD-L1 degradation is not understood. Here, we identify several compounds as inducers of PD-L1 degradation using a high-throughput drug screen. We find EGFR inhibitors promote PD-L1 ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation following GSK3α-mediated phosphorylation of Ser279/Ser283. We identify ARIH1 as the E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for targeting PD-L1 to degradation. Overexpression of ARIH1 suppresses tumor growth and promotes cytotoxic T cell activation in wild-type, but not in immunocompromised mice, highlighting the role of ARIH1 in anti-tumor immunity. Moreover, combining EGFR inhibitor ES-072 with anti-CTLA4 immunotherapy results in an additive effect on both tumor growth and cytotoxic T cell activation. Our results delineate a mechanism of PD-L1 degradation and cancer escape from immunity via EGFR-GSK3α-ARIH1 signaling and suggest GSK3α and ARIH1 might be potential drug targets to boost anti-tumor immunity and enhance immunotherapies.
  31. Science. 2021 Apr 22. pii: eabd5491. [Epub ahead of print]
      The coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+) and its reduced form (NADPH) regulate reductive metabolism in a subcellularly compartmentalized manner. Mitochondrial NADP(H) production depends on the phosphorylation of NAD(H) by NAD kinase 2 (NADK2). Deletion of NADK2 in human cell lines did not alter mitochondrial folate pathway activity, tricarboxylic acid cycle activity, or mitochondrial oxidative stress, but led to impaired cell proliferation in minimal medium. This growth defect was rescued by proline supplementation. NADK2-mediated mitochondrial NADP(H) generation was required for the reduction of glutamate and hence proline biosynthesis. Furthermore, mitochondrial NADP(H) availability determined the production of collagen proteins by cells of mesenchymal lineage. Thus, a primary function of the mitochondrial NADP(H) pool is to support proline biosynthesis for use in cytosolic protein synthesis.
  32. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Apr 22. pii: ddab116. [Epub ahead of print]
      UBQLN2 mutations cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), but the pathogenic mechanisms by which they cause disease remain unclear. Proteomic profiling identified 'mitochondrial proteins' as comprising the largest category of protein changes in the spinal cord (SC) of the P497S UBQLN2 mouse model of ALS/FTD. Immunoblots confirmed P497S animals have global changes in proteins predictive of a severe decline in mitochondrial health, including oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), mitochondrial protein import, and network dynamics. Functional studies confirmed mitochondria purified from the SC of P497S animals have age-dependent decline in nearly all steps of OXPHOS. Mitochondria cristae deformities were evident in spinal motor neurons of aged P497S animals. Knockout (KO) of UBQLN2 in HeLa cells resulted in changes in mitochondrial proteins and OXPHOS activity similar to those seen in the SC. KO of UBQLN2 also compromised targeting and processing of the mitochondrial import factor, TIMM44, resulting in accumulation in abnormal foci. The functional OXPHOS deficits and TIMM44 targeting defects were rescued by re-expression of WT UBQLN2 but not by ALS/FTD mutant UBQLN2 proteins. In-vitro binding assays revealed ALS/FTD mutant UBQLN2 proteins bind weaker with TIMM44 than WT UBQLN2 protein, suggesting that the loss of UBQLN2 binding may underlie the import and/or delivery defect of TIMM44 to mitochondria. Our studies indicate a potential key pathogenic disturbance in mitochondrial health caused by UBQLN2 mutations.
  33. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Apr 19. pii: djab084. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Adult childhood cancer survivors are at risk for frailty, including low muscle mass and weakness (sarcopenia). Using peripheral blood (PB) mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn) as a proxy for functional mitochondria, this study describes cross-sectional associations between mtDNAcn and sarcopenia among survivors.METHODS: Among 1,762 adult childhood cancer survivors (51.6% male; median age = 29.4 [IQR = 23.3-36.8] years), with a median of 20.6 years from diagnosis (IQR = 15.2-28.2), mtDNAcn estimates were derived from whole-genome sequencing. A subset was validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and evaluated cross-sectionally using multivariable logistic regression for their association with sarcopenia, defined by race-, age-, and sex-specific low lean muscle mass or weak grip strength. All statistical tests were 2-sided.
    RESULTS: The prevalence of sarcopenia was 27.0%, higher among females than males (31.5% vs. 22.9%; P < 0.001) and associated with age at diagnosis; 51.7% of survivors with sarcopenia were diagnosed ages 4-13 years (p = 0.01). Sarcopenia was most prevalent (39.0%) among central nervous system tumor survivors. Cranial radiation (OR = 1.84; 95% CI = 1.32-2.59) and alkylating agents (OR = 1.34; 95% CI = 1.04-1.72) increased, while glucocorticoids decreased odds (OR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.56-0.93) of sarcopenia. mtDNAcn decreased with age (β=-0.81; P = 0.002), was higher among females (β = 9.23; P = 0.01) and among survivors with a C allele at mt.204 (β=-17.9; P = 0.02). In adjusted models, every standard deviation decrease in mtDNAcn increased the odds of sarcopenia 20% (OR = 1.20; 95% CI = 1.07-1.34).
    CONCLUSIONS: While a growing body of evidence supports PB mtDNAcn as a biomarker for adverse health outcomes, this study is the first to report an association between mtDNAcn and sarcopenia among childhood cancer survivors.
  34. Autophagy. 2021 Apr 05. 1-3
      Mitophagy is an essential mechanism in maintaining cellular homeostasis, in which damaged and superfluous mitochondria are selectively degraded by the autophagy-lysosome pathway. Our recent study revealed that SPATA33 functions as a novel receptor for mitophagy in the priming of mitochondria for degradation in male germline cells. SPATA33 directly mediates the interaction of the outer mitochondrial membrane protein VDAC2 with the autophagy machinery component ATG16L1 during mitophagy. Upon starvation induction, SPATA33 can promote mitophagy as an autophagy receptor. Thus, SPATA33 confers cargo selectivity during mitophagy in germline cells. These findings provide new insights into selective autophagy and mitochondrial homeostasis.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; SPATA33; mammals; mitochondria; spermatogenesis
  35. PLoS Comput Biol. 2021 Apr 19. 17(4): e1008942
      The metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells creates metabolic vulnerabilities that can be therapeutically targeted. However, our understanding of metabolic dependencies and the pathway crosstalk that creates these vulnerabilities in cancer cells remains incomplete. Here, by integrating gene expression data with genetic loss-of-function and pharmacological screening data from hundreds of cancer cell lines, we identified metabolic vulnerabilities at the level of pathways rather than individual genes. This approach revealed that metabolic pathway dependencies are highly context-specific such that cancer cells are vulnerable to inhibition of one metabolic pathway only when activity of another metabolic pathway is altered. Notably, we also found that the no single metabolic pathway was universally essential, suggesting that cancer cells are not invariably dependent on any metabolic pathway. In addition, we confirmed that cell culture medium is a major confounding factor for the analysis of metabolic pathway vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, we found robust associations between metabolic pathway activity and sensitivity to clinically approved drugs that were independent of cell culture medium. Lastly, we used parallel integration of pharmacological and genetic dependency data to confidently identify metabolic pathway vulnerabilities. Taken together, this study serves as a comprehensive characterization of the landscape of metabolic pathway vulnerabilities in cancer cell lines.
  36. Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 23. 11(1): 8844
      A mouse model of human Familial Adenomatous Polyposis responds favorably to pharmacological inhibition of 5'-methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP). Methylthio-DADMe-Immucillin-A (MTDIA) is an orally available, transition state analogue inhibitor of MTAP. 5'-Methylthioadenosine (MTA), the substrate for MTAP, is formed in polyamine synthesis and is recycled by MTAP to S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) via salvage pathways. MTDIA treatment causes accumulation of MTA, which inhibits growth of human head and neck (FaDu) and lung (H359, A549) cancers in immunocompromised mouse models. We investigated the efficacy of oral MTDIA as an anti-cancer therapeutic for intestinal adenomas in immunocompetent APCMin/+ mice, a murine model of human Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. Tumors in APCMin/+ mice were decreased in size by MTDIA treatment, resulting in markedly improved anemia and doubling of mouse lifespan. Metabolomic analysis of treated mice showed no changes in polyamine, methionine, SAM or ATP levels when compared with control mice but indicated an increase in MTA, the MTAP substrate. Generation of an MTDIA-resistant cell line in culture showed a four-fold amplification of the methionine adenosyl transferase (MAT2A) locus and expression of this enzyme. MAT2A is downstream of MTAP action and catalyzes synthesis of the SAM necessary for methylation reactions. Immunohistochemical analysis of treated mouse intestinal tissue demonstrated a decrease in symmetric dimethylarginine, a PRMT5-catalyzed modification. The anti-cancer effects of MTDIA indicate that increased cellular MTA inhibits PRMT5-mediated methylations resulting in attenuated tumor growth. Oral dosing of MTDIA as monotherapy has potential for delaying the onset and progression of colorectal cancers in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) as well as residual duodenal tumors in FAP patients following colectomy. MTDIA causes a physiologic inactivation of MTAP and may also have efficacy in combination with inhibitors of MAT2A or PRMT5, known synthetic-lethal interactions in MTAP-/- cancer cell lines.
  37. Mol Cell. 2021 Apr 09. pii: S1097-2765(21)00263-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mitochondrial translation system originates from a bacterial ancestor but has substantially diverged in the course of evolution. Here, we use single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) as a screening tool to identify mitochondrial translation termination mechanisms and to describe them in molecular detail. We show how mitochondrial release factor 1a releases the nascent chain from the ribosome when it encounters the canonical stop codons UAA and UAG. Furthermore, we define how the peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase ICT1 acts as a rescue factor on mitoribosomes that have stalled on truncated messages to recover them for protein synthesis. Finally, we present structural models detailing the process of mitochondrial ribosome recycling to explain how a dedicated elongation factor, mitochondrial EFG2 (mtEFG2), has specialized for cooperation with the mitochondrial ribosome recycling factor to dissociate the mitoribosomal subunits at the end of the translation process.
    Keywords:  ICT1; cryo-EM; mitochondria; mtEFG2; mtRF1a; mtRRF; recycling; ribosome; termination; translation
  38. Nature. 2021 Apr 21.
      It has recently been shown that in anaerobic microorganisms the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, including the seemingly irreversible citrate synthase reaction, can be reversed and used for autotrophic fixation of carbon1,2. This reversed oxidative TCA cycle requires ferredoxin-dependent 2-oxoglutarate synthase instead of the NAD-dependent dehydrogenase as well as extremely high levels of citrate synthase (more than 7% of the proteins in the cell). In this pathway, citrate synthase replaces ATP-citrate lyase of the reductive TCA cycle, which leads to the spending of one ATP-equivalent less per one turn of the cycle. Here we show, using the thermophilic sulfur-reducing deltaproteobacterium Hippea maritima, that this route is driven by high partial pressures of CO2. These high partial pressures are especially important for the removal of the product acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) through reductive carboxylation to pyruvate, which is catalysed by pyruvate synthase. The reversed oxidative TCA cycle may have been functioning in autotrophic CO2 fixation in a primordial atmosphere that is assumed to have been rich in CO2.
  39. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 19. 12(1): 2327
      Resistance to DNA-damaging agents is a significant cause of treatment failure and poor outcomes in oncology. To identify unrecognized regulators of cell survival we performed a whole-genome CRISPR-Cas9 screen using treatment with ionizing radiation as a selective pressure, and identified STING (stimulator of interferon genes) as an intrinsic regulator of tumor cell survival. We show that STING regulates a transcriptional program that controls the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and that STING loss alters ROS homeostasis to reduce DNA damage and to cause therapeutic resistance. In agreement with these data, analysis of tumors from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patient specimens show that low STING expression is associated with worse outcomes. We also demonstrate that pharmacologic activation of STING enhances the effects of ionizing radiation in vivo, providing a rationale for therapeutic combinations of STING agonists and DNA-damaging agents. These results highlight a role for STING that is beyond its canonical function in cyclic dinucleotide and DNA damage sensing, and identify STING as a regulator of cellular ROS homeostasis and tumor cell susceptibility to reactive oxygen dependent, DNA damaging agents.